A Guide to the Best & Safest Full Face Snorkel Masks
The innovative design of full face snorkel masks have overcome many of the negatives aspects of snorkeling. New brands continue to enter the market, and the prices and quality of each varies.
We've put together a list that covers the best quality brands, and which mask buy if you need to stick to a budget.
Click the line item below to find the answer to your most pressing question, or keep scrolling to the whole range of our recommended full face snorkels.
Quick Answer - Which are the best full face snorkel masks?
I must admit, I've had great fun testing full face snorkel masks.
After many hours of researching online, watching lots of videos and personal testing, these are the ones that I recommend above all others.
Full face snorkeling masks vs traditional snorkel masks
The benefits of full face snorkel masks
One of the main reasons people enjoy using a full face snorkel masks is because they let you breathe using both your mouth and nose.
This is a much more natural way of breathing.
Air is drawn through the snorkel piece and circulated through the bottom section of the mask.
Fogging and leaking are the two biggest complaints with traditional snorkel masks. Sometimes, no matter what you try, you can't stop a conventional mask from fogging.
With the new full face snorkel masks, the fogging is either completely eliminated or drastically reduced (depending on the brand).
Should you buy one?
If you love a leisurely snorkel, then you should give these a try!
A friend recently asked me to help him learn to snorkel. He's going to a wedding in Cairns, Australia and didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef.
My friend isn't a confident swimmer, so I suggested we try a full face mask in a swimming pool until he gained enough confidence to try a traditional style mask and snorkel, and see which he preferred. I took a range of full face snorkels that I had on hand, as well as traditional diving masks. The full face masks included the Ninja Shark Air and the Ninja Equalizer, Tribord Subea, and Seabeast.
He started with the Seabeast.
The next thing, he's swimming slow laps of his pool and is really pleased with himself. He tells me he hates normal snorkel mouth pieces, and was very impressed with the full face mask. That was it, he didn't want to try any of the other brands, or the traditional mask. He was comfortable with the first one he tried. I warned him that because of his beard, there would be a slow very slow leak, and he was even cool with that.
Some More Benefits
Below are some of the benefits full face masks have over a traditional snorkel and mask set.
As long as you buy the correct size mask, these will not leak. Hair (especially fringes) must be kept out of the way when putting on or it will cause slow leaking.
Many people gag on snorkel mouth pieces that are too big for them. Others need to continually stop to empty out water which is frustrating.
No sore jaw
There is no jaw fatigue, no sore teeth and no gagging on a snorkel mouthpiece. There are some of the best reasons right there for making the switch!
Big Elastic Straps
After the initial adjustment of the elastic straps, you'll quickly realize how much fun these are.
Moustaches are just fine with full face snorkels, which is the complete opposite of regular masks. A regular mask will leak if the wearer has a moustache.
Dry Top Snorkel
All full face masks have a Dry-Top Snorkel system. This has either one or two balls in the tube that float up as you go underwater, blocking water from entering the tube. Once you resurface, you can breathe normally again without having to blow water out of the tube.
The new designs make snorkeling an astonishing and unforgettable experience. These masks are comfortable and easy to use.
A Handy Tip
When choosing any full face mask, go for ones with a flat lens over ones with a curved lens.
Curved lens tend to distort the view and can make people feel dizzy.
What to Look for in a Good Mask
These are my picks of snorkel masks currently available. There are slight differences between them. With each of the masks listed here, you are buying a quality product that will give you many hours of enjoyment.
These top brands are all good choices and close in price. These are all made with quality silicone that gives more flexibility to create a comfortable seal on your face.
These all have full manufacturer's warranties and outstanding reviews on Amazon. Always make sure you purchase from somewhere with a good Returns Policy so that it can easily be exchanged if the sizing is not quite right.
If you want to learn more detail about each of them, have a look at my full reviews and decide which one you want to go with. These really bring full pleasure back into snorkeling.
Once you’ve tried snorkeling with a quality full face snorkel mask, you may never go back to the old style mask and mouth piece again.
Note - The Ninja Shark Equaliser and Kids XS size has a foldable snorkel piece.
Doug Kramer & Family
PBA Champion, Doug Kramer with his family on holiday with Full Face Snorkel Masks.
Which are the best Full face Snorkel Masks?
#2 - Ninja Shark Full Face Snorkel Mask - Best for Equalizing
The Ninja Shark comes in 2 sizes. One for children under 12, and an adult size that should fit everyone from ages 12 and up. These are available to be shipped worldwide directly from Ninja Shark in Australia.
You can read a full review on the Ninja Shark mask here.
If you already know you want to buy the Ninja Shark, click the Coupon below to copy the discount link. Then add it during the Checkout process to get a 10% discount on the Ninja Shark Australia website.
#3 - Cressi Duke - Quality Product at a Great Price
Cressi are a well known manufacturer of water products and have been making quality Scuba and snorkeling gear since the mid 1940's. As well as fins and traditional snorkel masks, Cressi have now added the Duke Full Face Snorkel mask to their snorkeling range.
The Cressi Duke comes in a choice of 2 adult sizes, Small/Medium and Medium/Large, and 18 color choices so you're sure to find one you like.
#4 - Seabeast AF90 - With a Pre-applied Anti-Fog Coating
Seabeast has recently released a new full face mask based on customer feedback of their previous mask. Their new mask has some really great features. Not only is this vastly better than its brand predecessor, this mask has advantages over other full face snorkel models.
You can click the link below to buy directly from Amazon.
Just like Ninja Shark above, you cut out the middle man and buy directly from the innovators.
Click the button below to buy directly from SeaView, or go directly to Amazon.
#6 - Tribord Easybreath - Top Quality Materials & Sleek Design
Click the button below to check the current price and availability on Amazon.
Which full face snorkel mask to buy on a Budget?
Not everyone's budget will stretch to a top quality full face snorkel mask. And that's ok. If you're on a budget, you can still enjoy the amazing benefits of these masks.
There are some well made masks available in the mid-price range. You also do need to be aware that there are a lot of nasty knock-off's selling on Amazon - so buyer beware!
#7 - SeeReef Full Face Snorkel Mask - Best on a Budget
You can click the button below to buy directly from Amazon.
Your FAQ's about Full Face Snorkel Mask Answered
Frequently asked questions
Children seem to take to these so much quicker than traditional masks and snorkels as they're able to breath naturally through their nose and mouth. There's no gagging on a snorkel mouth piece that's too large for them.
When selecting snorkel masks for kids, make sure you go with brands that have XS or S sizing. These brands should also have a good returns/exchange policy in case the size isn't quite right.
Check out the video below to see how well it works for kids.
Full face masks have a dry top snorkel system. There are conventional snorkels with these incorporated into them as well.
Dry top snorkels have a hollow ball float inside the snorkel piece. Every time you go under water, the ball float rises and stops water from coming into the snorkel and into your mouth.
If any water does enter the snorkel, it is channelled along a inner section on either side of your head that is separate to your nose and mouth. The water then drains out through a valve located in the chin area as soon as you raise this above water level.
These will leak if you're not wearing the correct size so you need to makes sure you get the right fit for your face. For adults, the width of your face as well as the size of your nose can play a big part in the level of comfort.
Just like when buying clothes, sizes are not universal across different manufacturers. There are small variations.
Size charts with correct measurements are available for all brands of snorkel masks, so check these before making your purchase.
Read more at:
How to pick the correct size Full Face Snorkel Mask
Whether it’s a traditional mask or a full face snorkel mask, water will get in if there’s any hair between the skirt of the mask and your face. This includes a long fringe.
Moustaches are completely enclosed within the mask, so are not a problem at all. Beards create tiny spaces that will cause water to enter the mask.
Trimming your beard will help, but not stop a slow leak of water into the mask.
You can't breathe once the end of the snorkel is completely submerged. You need to take a breath and hold it as you go under.
The Dry Top system means you don't need to blast blow water out of the snorkel when you come back up. You just breathe normally again once you're floating back on the surface.
You're able to talk with most full face snorkels but it's very muffled and difficult for anyone else to make out what you're saying.
Ocean Reef make full-face Scuba masks as well as snorkeling equipment. They have recently developed and released a communications unit for the Aria (which is the name of their full face snorkel mask). This has been given the very catchy name of The Snorkie Talkie.
If you're interested in a full face mask with a communications unit, then there's some information on our Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask review page.
Replacement Full Face Snorkel Masks Tubes
Snorkel tubes that detach from their masks can become lost or damaged. The full face mask snorkel tube shown above has 3 inner channels for air.
As long as your mask has 3 channels (and not 2 channels only), then this replacement part should be compatible with your mask.
READ THIS before buying!
No matter how good the brand, there’s just no getting around some things with full face snorkel masks.
No deep diving
These are not designed for Free Diving or spear fishing. There’s too great a volume of air inside the face cavity of the mask, and it quickly becomes uncomfortable when diving below 10 feet (3 meters).
The exception to this is the Ninja Shark mask as it has equalizing capabilities but still has limitations.
No duck diving
Full face snorkel masks are designed for using in relatively calm water. As with a traditional mask and mouthpiece, if you lean your head too far forward, water will enter the snorkel.
The float valve system only works when the snorkel is in a vertical position. Water may enter the snorkel when duck diving.
not for swimming laps
These are not designed for swimming laps in a pool. The tubes on full face masks are not wide enough to provide a swimmer with enough oxygen when swimming at an exercise pace.
No Vigorous Swimming
These masks are designed for leisurely snorkeling, and they work wonderfully well when breathing calmly. You may need to remove the mask when swimming longer distances to get to a new snorkel location. Heavy breathing / exercising is less effective in full face mask designs.
If you want something for swimming laps, or for more vigorous snorkeling, then have a look at the PowerBreather Snorkel or center-mounted swimming snorkels. These are made for specially for swimming laps, or for endurance swimming in choppy water.
The reality of good quality masks
There are manufacturers who have spent countless hours and dollars developing their full face snorkel mask. These innovations have been game changers for snorkelers. Innovation and quality comes with a price tag.
Many of the most popular full face snorkel masks available online are direct rip-offs of good quality brands. Often the materials used are not as good, and the masks don't work as they're meant to.
The good news is that even the best quality full face masks are becoming cheaper as new versions are released. It's easy to snap up a bargain if you're happy to go with last years model.
Favorite Lap & Swimming Snorkels
PowerBreather Snorkels - 5 Models to choose from
If you're not quite convinced that a full face snorkel is the way to go, then have a look at the PowerBreather Snorkel.
These are not for the faint-hearted. You will need to be fit to use a PowerBreather snorkel.
These are great for swimming laps, or snorkeling in choppy waters. They come in 5 different models to suit different swimming environments. The PowerBreather Beach Set comes with a Cressi face mask. Click the button below to find out more information on these snorkels.
Finis Swimming Snorkels - Freestyle, Swimmer's and Junior
Full face masks aren't designed for lap or endurance swimmers. If you really want to improve your technique or swimming times, have a look at the 4 top swimming snorkels. There's ones for adults and children.
Finis, Michael Phelps Focus, TYR Ultra-Lite 2.0, and Kraken are the most popular brands.