Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced snorkeler, you fantasize about having that breathtaking underwater experience. You want to be so equipment-light that you forget you have any equipment in the first place. Only then can you truly be one with nature.
Just imagine having a 180-degree field of view in the ocean, and imagine snorkeling without having to bite on a mouthpiece that makes your jaw ache with pain. This is what a 2-in-1 mask and snorkel offer you. This recent invention is a gamechanger, and if you want to gear up with the best full-face snorkel mask, this article is for you.
|Tribord Subea Easybreath||Top-mounted snorkel||XS, S/M, M/L||No|
|HEAD Sea Vu Dry||Top-mounted snorkel||XS, S/M, L/XL||No|
|The Wildhorn Seaview 180° V2||Side-mounted snorkel||S, M, L||Yes|
3 Best Full-Face Snorkel Masks in 2020
1. Tribord Subea Easybreath – Best Overall
The Tribord Subea Easybreath simply excels on all grounds. It features a premium hypoallergenic silicone skirt and a polycarbonate window, rendering it comfortable and shatterproof.
Also, the previously mentioned silicon skirt makes it leak-free. You get a dry top snorkel whose valve prevents water from entering the breathing tube. And, in the event of water entering, use the one-way chin valve to drain the water by quickly tilting your head.
This is the original full-face snorkel mask that won the Oxylane Innovation Award in 2014. It’s not difficult to imagine why, with all of its impressive features and 180-degree visibility. Furthermore, this mask’s top is 4 times more visible than a regular snorkel, which is a crucial safety precaution with heavy boat traffic.
Our two concerns with this full-face snorkel mask are that there might be some leakage despite its waterproof technologies and that it isn’t fog-proof.
- High-quality construction
- 180° visibility
- 4x more visible top
- Not fully waterproof
- Not fog-proof
In short, the Tribord Subea Easybreath is an overall top-notch and safe mask that we’d recommend for all scuba divers.
2. HEAD Sea Vu Dry – Best Safety Tested
Tested for CO2 levels, the HEAD Sea Vu Dry meets the European Union Safety Standards for open and closed Scuba diving masks and passes for regular and heavy breathing in panic situations. In contrast, traditional full-face masks may not vent the exhaled air properly, thus causing a CO2 buildup, which is problematic as we’ll illustrate later on.
The dry top snorkel is useful in preventing water entry. It also has shatterproof polycarbonate and a silicone skirt, which makes for a comfortable seal.
However, unlike the previous product, the Sea Vu Dry makes use of anti-fogging technologies with a constant airflow circulation system, so you can breathe through your nose or mouth without having to worry about the window fogging.
And as a safety measure, the top of this full-face snorkel mask is bright orange so that you can easily be seen by your fellow snorkeling comrades or nearby boat skippers.
Despite all that, we have to note that this full mask doesn’t have a camera mount, but you can always mount it to a grip or handle. Another thing is the hefty price tag, which, to be fair, is expected from a high-quality full-face mask.
- Safe CO2 levels
- Orange top for safety
- No camera mount
If your motto is “safety, first,” the HEAD Sea Vu Dry is the perfect match for you. It also doesn’t hurt that the build quality and anti-fogging technologies are impressive.
3. Wildhorn Seaview 180° V2 – Best GoPro Compatible
The Wildhorn Seaview 180° V2 is the mask for vloggers, bloggers, and social media influencers. Where most masks enable you to attach aftermarket GoPro mounts, this one has an integrated side screw mount, which leaves you hands-free and makes dropping your camera in the water highly unlikely.
Safe and tested for CO2, this dry snorkel’s tube has separate inhaling and exhaling chambers instead of a standard smaller three-channel design. These dual side chambers enhance the flow, thus bettering your breathing experience by 50% and eliminating fogging entirely.
Furthermore, we like the construction quality with a silicone skirt and polycarbonate lens and frame. It’s comfortable thanks to the molded plastic edges and soft elasticated fabric straps, and it also won’t pull at your hair, unlike most masks.
Ideal for facedown positioning in the water, the snorkel won’t accidentally get submerged as your head moves in water to experience the unobstructed 180 degrees view because of its angled side design. Finally, we can’t forget the snorkel’s one-way auto drain chin valve that functions to expel water in case it gets in.
Alas, nothing is perfect. This full-face snorkel mask isn’t easy to pack for travel due to its large size, and it’s relatively pricey. Also, there aren’t any quick release straps, which is a minor complaint, and this is better used in calm water owing to the snorkel positioning.
- GoPro Compatible
- 50% better breathing
- Good build quality
- Premium facedown positioning
- 180° visibility
- No quick release
- Only for calm water
If you like to document your 180° underwater viewing experience, the Wildhorn Seaview 180° V2 is the full-face mask for you. It’s also very safe, comfortable, and more.
How to Choose a Full-Face Snorkel Mask
Several features can indicate the quality of a full-face mask, so allow us to illustrate them for you.
It’s beyond important that your mask fits just right because a correct fit can help avoid leakage and CO2 inhalation (more on that later). Needless to say, you should be able to adjust it using a wide head strap with touch adjustment buckles.
To test its fit, wear the mask with the strap around your head, and exhale through your nose. If you managed to expel the exhaled air quickly outside of the mask, that’s an indication that you’ll manage to expel the water outside too. If not, clearing out the mask will be a challenge. Finally, put your mask on for several minutes to notice if it applies too much pressure on your face, causing any discomfort.
It’s of great importance that you don’t buy any off-brand knock-offs. They can allow water leakage, obstruct your breathing, and cause CO2 buildup. The latter can be fatal and is rumored to have caused some snorkeling deaths in Hawaii by ROPE, which is a condition that arises from breathing resistance.
To avoid this dilemma, find a full-face mask without much air resistance. Some known manufacturers test their masks for CO2 levels, though not many, such as SEAC and Head/Ocean Reef, so get your hands on one of those if you can.
Related to our previous point, find a “real” snorkeling mask, rather than a cheap supermarket bought-on-a-whim one. Plastic glass, used in masks, is not advisable because it fogs up quite frequently, thus undermining your ability to view your surroundings.
As for regular glass, it may break due to an accident, but if not, it’ll surely break due to the water pressure when scuba diving, which can cause severe injuries. This leaves us with tempered glass, which is indeed your safest bet, as it doesn’t fog up much, and it’s shatterproof.
As a rule, the smaller the volume, the better, because there won’t be more trapped air inside your mask than needed. It also makes it that much easier to clear out water if it penetrates the mask and to equalize if you dive below the surface.
Furthermore, it sits closer to your face, decreasing the amount of drag in the water. Still, this is a matter of preference, with some snorkelers preferring bigger volume masks.
The seal around your mask should be a feathered and double skirt. Thus, it’ll function to prevent leaking and be comfortable against your skin too.
Field of View
You need a frame that doesn’t restrict your vision, and an excellent curved lens that gives you a 180-degree field of view is probably why you’re purchasing a full-face mask in the first place.
We hope that this article has aided you in finding the best full-face snorkel mask. Without a doubt, we’d strongly urge you to consider the Tribord Subea Easybreath. With this outstanding build quality, comfort, and more, we can certainly see why it was elected winner of the Oxylane Innovation Award.