Diving is an incredible activity, full of emotion and memorable moments. At the same time, snorkeling can este just as exciting as scuba diving if you choose a good spot and have the right gear. I remember a time when I saw a group of huge bump-head parrotfish passing by as well as an encounter with a giant moray in Sumatra.
The biggest advantage of snorkeling is that it’s suitable for everyone, regardless of age or experience. Even those who can’t swim can snorkel if they’re wearing a life jacket. It’s also a fantastic way to get into the submarine world, learn how to look for fish, begin to dive deeper and start feeling comfortable in the water.
Lately, full face snorkeling masks have become very popular, as they allow you to dive while protecting your entire face from contact with the water. They are perfect for beginners as well as experienced divers who want a more complete view of what’s around them. Some models include a camera mount, so you can record your dives and enjoy the videos later at home. These kinds of masks are very comfortable and are better fixed to the face.
They are very easy to use and include adjustment straps and a skirt that creates a seal with the face so there will be no leaks during the dive. Thanks to the shape of the mask, you have a 180-degree panoramic view of the underwater world.
On the other hand, full face masks retain a larger amount of air than do traditional masks, increasing their buoyancy. This makes it a bit complicated to dive deeper.
If you are looking for a good mask, you must find the one that best fits your needs. There are many options and it’s not easy to find the right one. I want to help you make the right choice; that’s why I’ve created this awesome list.
BEST FULL FACE MASKS, REVIEW:
TRIBORD EASYBREATH MASK
“Great overall performance”
A few years ago, Tribord presented the first full face snorkel mask: the Tribord Easybreath. Many customers reviewed this mask as unbeatable. Why? Because it has a great design and performance. It’s built with high-quality materials and it makes you breathe underwater in an easy and comfortable way. Some buyers said it feels like breathing on land.
The fit is better than with traditional masks. If any water comes in, it’s quickly drained through a valve situated on the down side of the mask, close to the chin. The mask is built with a resistant and durable polycarbonate window.
It also has a dry snorkel that prevents the entry of any water. The valve plugs the top of the snorkel when immersed, so the water doesn’t get inside the mask.
It’s a great option if you like to take underwater photos and videos. This model offers a wide 180-degree viewing window so you can check your camera screen easily. There is no attachment for a camera, though.
The mask is not prone to getting foggy thanks to its double air-flow system. It’s ventilated all the time, almost like domestic extraction fans.
It’s been in the market for years and still ranks as the favorite option for many. One of the reasons might be the price and the two-year warranty. While other brands are coming out with modern models, it’s difficult to beat the price of the Tribord.
This is a high-volume mask, so it’s not really recommended for free diving. It should be used near the surface of the water.
You can find this great mask available in three colors and four sizes to fit all ages.
- High-quality construction
- 180-degree view window
- Amazing breathing performance
- Great air-flow system
- Super comfortable
- Great seal
- Not good for free diving
- No camera mount
“Great option for taking photos and videos”
The Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 is a great snorkel mask. It’s similar to the Tribord. They have similar designs and performance; both make it very easy to breathe while you’re snorkeling and they don’t get foggy.
The 180-degree window allows you to enjoy the best the sea has to offer. The main difference with the Tribord is the camera mount. The Seaview 180 is equipped with a camera attachment. This is a big advantage if you like to take underwater photos.
This is the main reason why the Seaview 180 is the Editor’s Choice on this list. You can spend hours exploring the underwater world, taking photos and videos, and breathing as if you were on land. Forget about foggy lenses and sore jaws from biting a regular snorkel for a long time.
The Seaview 180 is an efficient, comfortable and durable mask. It has a good seal, a comfortable silicone skirt and wide straps, a dry snorkel to prevent water from getting into the mask and a purge valve on the chin.
As I said, it’s very similar to the Tribord. Both are high-quality masks. If you want to record underwater videos while snorkeling, this is a great option. If you are looking for a mask for your kids, I’d go for the Tribord Easybreath, as more sizes are available.
- Great design
- 180-degree view window
- Good breathing performance
- Comfortable silicone skirt
- Camera mount
- The Tribord has a better anti-fog system
OCEAN REEF ARIA
“Solid and durable construction”
If the Tribord Easybreath and the Seaview 180 are considered by many as the two best snorkeling masks on the market, the Ocean Reef Aria might be the third best one. Ocean Reef is a reputable Italian company that has been producing scuba equipment for a long time. It knows its stuff.
The mask has all the features of a great snorkeling mask. It has a comfortable silicone mask, wide straps, an anti-fog air system, a purge valve and a dry snorkel.
One of the main differences is that the Aria comes with a camera mount you can put on and take off when needed.
Overall, I think it’s a great mask. It’s more expensive than the previous models but that probably has to do with the construction of the mask. The Aria looks more solid and durable than other snorkel masks, and buyers who have beards said the seal is absolutely fantastic. No leaking despite the beard!
- Solid design
- 180-degree view window
- Great overall performance
- Comfortable silicone skirt
- Can attach a separate camera mount
- More expensive
“Budget-friendly snorkel mask”
The Greatever offers a great wide view, allowing you to enjoy the breathtaking submarine world. It’s another quality product with a design very similar to the Tribord Easybreath.
It’s very comfortable to wear thanks to its wide silicone skirt, and it comes with all the features: a dry snorkel, a 180-degree panoramic vision window and a purge valve that works like a charm. The valve is sealed by a ball when you are immersed in the water.
Many buyers said the seal worked perfectly even if the user has a full beard. The mask comes with a mounting kit containing screws and a screwdriver so you can attach your action camera.
This is probably the best value for the money. You get an outstanding mask for a very reasonable price!
- High-quality product
- 180-degree view window
- Camera mount
- Great seal
- Nothing remarkable
Other quality models:
HEAD SEA VU
I want to review the Head Sea Vu because it’s one of the latest products from Mares and I’d like to give it a try. As you probably know, Mares has been manufacturing scuba equipment for many years.
Actually, I found that it’s a very good product. It has a great overall breathing performance, seal and vision. Mares has started packing the Had Sea Vu mask in some of its snorkel kits, so that might be attractive for many. You can get a mask, good fins and a practical bag in the same kit. Isn’t that great?
You can find it in four sizes and six colors. The dry snorkel comes with an orange piece at the top so you can be seen easily by others while you are on the water’s surface.
- Good brand
- Solid construction
- You can find it in kits
H20 NINJA 180
The Ninja 180 is another excellent mask. You can find the Ninja in two models: regular and special edition, which comes with a mount for your GoPro.
It’s a high-quality product. It works perfectly and must be on this list. However, it’s much more expensive than the previous models, so I don’t really see the point in paying more when you don’t get any extras.
If you are looking for a mask with a camera mount, I recommend that you buy the Seaview at a more reasonable price.
- Amazing performance
- Great seal and valves
Other helpful gear for snorkeling:
ATOMIC AQUATICS VENOM
Full face snorkel masks are a lot of fun but some people still prefer traditional snorkel masks. If you like to dive deeper, they’re actually a better option. Diving deep with full face masks gets too difficult due to the large quantity of air sealed in the face.
The Atomic Aquatics Venom is a fantastic snorkel mask. Of course, you can use it for diving, too. It provides a high level of comfort, high-quality optics and a great design. The frameless skirt is made of two different silicon materials that offer a comfortable face seal and stability.
OCEANIC ULTRA-DRY 2
If you’ve opted for a traditional mask, you are going to need a snorkel. When it comes to snorkels, I’d recommend that you get a good one. They are not that expensive and you’ll avoid getting water in your mouth all the time. Look for a snorkel with a good valve and a comfortable mouthpiece. The Oceanic Ultra-dry 2 ranks as on the top.
GOPRO HERO 8 BLACK
Have you tried the new GoPro Hero 8 Black? It’s absolutely amazing! This is the most powerful and easy-to-use GoPro ever. The camera is waterproof to 33 feet (10 meters) without a housing. It’s the perfect camera for your snorkel adventures!
Even though you are planning to dive in warm waters, it’s recommended that you wear a good wetsuit if you or your kids are going to snorkel for a long time. The Cressi Playa is easy to put on and take off thanks to its front zip. It’s a great option for traveling in tropical destinations.
CRESSI PALAU SHORT FINS
Long fins are great for diving or free diving, but if you want fins for snorkeling, I recommend short fins. They are light and easy to pack, and though they don’t provide the same thrust as long fins, they’re good enough for snorkeling.
What you need to know before buying a full face mask for snorkeling:
Even though these masks can be a lot of fun, not everybody is going to like them. If you want to know whether they are what you are looking for, check out the following advantages and disadvantages:
– A good solution for those who experience some difficulties breathing through traditional snorkels, because it feels easier to breathe.
– You get everything in one piece. Traditional snorkels tend to move and detach from the mask.
– You get a better seal. Leaks happen fairly often when using a traditional mask. Full face
masks are a good solution for people with moustaches, which create difficultly in terms of sealing on regular masks.
– Panoramic vision. You have full vision in all directions. This is one of the greatest advantages, as it gives you a new concept of snorkeling with a 180-degree view.
– They don’t get foggy as easily as regular masks do. They feature a dual vent system that allows the air to circulate inside, preventing fogging.
– Even though they are a good option if you have a moustache, the sealing doesn’t work the same way with hairy beards.
– Not recommended for freediving. First, you have more air in the mask, so your buoyancy makes it more difficult to get deeper. On the other hand, there is no way to regulate pressure and you don’t have access to your nose, making it complicated to equalize.
– They are bulkier. Not a surprise, right? Some models are pretty big. It’s not a big problem for a short holiday, I guess, but you don’t want to carry a mask this big for weeks.
– You can’t wear glasses. Due to their design, it’s not possible to wear prescription glasses.
Why should I use a full face mask?
There are many reasons that come to mind in terms of choosing a mask like this. First, it’s gonna be a new experience and it’s always exciting to try out new gear. These masks are a lot of fun!
I think they’re a very good option for kids and entry-level divers because they make snorkeling easier and more comfortable. I’d like to point out that these masks are designed for both kids and adults, the same way regular masks are. They might be a good option for experienced divers, too.
You can enjoy the underwater world from a different perspective. The 180-degree panoramic view makes a huge difference and it feels pretty crazy the first few times. They are comfortable to wear and provide perfect, clear vision.
Did you know that you can find full face masks for scuba diving?
Should I buy or rent one?
Having your own snorkel gear – like a mask, wetsuit and fins – will make you feel more comfortable underwater. Moreover, rented gear is not always in good conditions, especially snorkel gear, which is usually not treated or stored correctly.
If you buy your own mask, you’ll have the following advantages:
Choice: You’ll be diving with the mask you really like. This makes you feel more confident. Most places don’t rent this kind of masks, so you’ll get a regular diving mask.
Fit: Once you have your own mask and feel comfortable with it, you won’t have to worry about rental masks that can be large and not fit your face. Many of them may also have leaks.
Use it as much as you want: Having your own mask makes you free to use it as many times as you want; you’ll save a lot of money if you start using it often. Rental gear tends to be expensive.
Good condition: Rental snorkel gear is usually poorly treated. Sometimes the strap is about to break or the skirt’s silicone is in bad condition and doesn’t create a good seal. You can take care of your mask and keep it for a long time.
A few things to consider:
You want a mask that fits you well, that is comfortable and that prevents leaks. Follow these recommendations to find the right size.
If the distance from the base of your chin to your eyes is:
< 10 cm: XS
10 – 12 cm: S
12 – 13 cm: M
> 13 cm: L/X
Test if it’s right for you by doing the following:
– Hold the mask against your face without using the straps. Now inhale through your nose and let go with your hand; the mask should stay in position. If it falls, the mask is too big. If you’re feeling that it’s too tight and not comfortable, it may be too small.
Keep in mind that a difference in size can make a difference in price.
Most manufacturers make “no-fog” lenses. Actually, no mask is absolutely “no fog”, but these models have great overall performance. The lenses are made of anti-scratch polycarbonate and are resistant and durable.
The skirt makes the water seal against your face. When the skirt doesn’t work properly or when you’re wearing the wrong size, problems like leaking and fogging develop.
These models present high-quality designs with silicone skirts that provide a great seal.
Straps and buckles
You should choose a model with wide, comfortable straps. They should be adjustable to different sizes. The buckle system should be easy to use. Some models have an easy-to-push button release to quickly adjust the mask to your head.
A good thing about these masks is that you can attach a camera and record all your underwater adventures. If you like to take photos underwater, this is a great opportunity. When you are scuba diving, you can also attach a camera to your mask, but you’ll get bubbles coming out of your regulator and going up. Some pictures or videos will be ruined by the bubbles.
How to avoid fogging:
Snorkeling with a foggy mask is very uncomfortable. Brand-new masks often get foggy at first. This is because they have a very thin silicone layer when they leave the factory. Fortunately, getting rid of this silicone layer is very easy:
For regular masks:
If you have a new mask (only regular dive masks)
1. Rub your mask with toothpaste:
This is a home remedy that works well. Toothpaste removes the thin layer of silicone. You must apply the toothpaste to both sides of the glass, rub gently with your fingers, leave the toothpaste on for a few minutes and rinse with water.
2. Use a lighter:
You can also remove the silicone layer by gently burning the surface of the glass with a lighter. A few passes should do it!
Before you go snorkeling:
This is the best-known and most-practiced method. Simply spit on your mask before snorkeling. Spread the saliva around the lens and then rinse with water.
2. Anti-fog sprays:
There are many sprays that work the same way saliva does. A single drop is enough in most cases.
For full face masks:
They use a system of air flow. These masks are not prone to fogging. These masks are made of polycarbonate, so you shouldn’t use toothpaste or a lighter.
How to clean and care for your mask
It’s very important that you take care of your snorkel gear. You should clean your mask after every dive. Use fresh water and rub the lens, the straps and the skirt of the mask gently to get rid of the salt and possible bacteria.
Some manufacturers recommend dish soap to wash your mask.
Let the mask dry and store it in a dry place protected from the sun.
Do you have doubts?
The Tribord is the one with the best reviews from buyers; it has awesome features and quality. If you don’t plan to take underwater photos, I’d go with the Tribord Easybreath.
If you like to take photos and videos, I’d chose the Seaview 180. It has a resistant construction and a great overall performance, plus a camera mount.
Hi, I’m Miguel; Adventure traveler, scuba diver and hiking lover. I have been traveling the world for the last 10 years and I hope my experiences, photos and hiking routes inspire you to travel the world too.