Looking for a high-quality snorkel mask can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack, except the needle also looks like hay because most snorkel masks typically look the same. But they certainly aren’t in terms of build quality. A high-quality mask can enhance your visibility, comfort, and security way more than a standard plastic mask can.
In short, a good snorkel mask is essential to a pleasant aquatic experience. You may find that thought intimidating, but never fear; we’re here to guide you as you choose the best snorkel mask with a specially curated list of our top picks and a buying guide that might take you a long way.
|Cressi F1 Mask||Single-window mask||10|
|Scubapro Spectra Scuba Mask||Two-window mask||6|
|Wildhorn Seaview 180° V2||Full-face mask||6|
3 Best Snorkel Masks in 2020
1. Cressi F1 Mask – Best Overall
Cressi is a brand recommended by experts, and the F1 is one of their most popular masks amongst divers and snorkelers, especially the black version. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular, as it offers excellent quality at an affordable price. To add, it’s available in a vast collection of colors.
This frameless or single window mask has a wide-angle lens that provides a good range of vision and is made of shatterproof tempered glass. Moreover, the mask uses silicone, so it’s durable and will last you a long time. Besides, it has buckles for easy adjustment.
Despite making use of anti-fog technologies, the Cressi F1 may fog up frequently. If you can, try it on before making a purchase because you might run into fitting issues.
- Very affordable
- Various colors are available
- Features a wide-angle lens
- Shatterproof tempered glass
- Excellent durability
- Easy-to-adjust buckles
- May fog up a little
- Possible fitting issues
The Cressi F1 is the frameless mask to buy if you’re on a budget. It offers excellent value for a minimal price, earning it vast popularity.
2. Scubapro Spectra Scuba Mask – Most Comfortable
The Scubapro Spectra Scuba Mask gets its superb comfort from a couple of specs. For one, soft silicone is used for the nosepiece and skirt, which is double sealed to be comfortable and secure on your face. Also, the mask comes with adjustable push-button straps, and the swivel buckles allow for easy adjustment.
The two-window/dual-lens design features tempered glass, which is shatterproof even under high pressure in deep water. Furthermore, the design is available in a mirrored-lens, which protects your eyes against the sun.
The Spectra mask may look like it’d only fit larger faces when, in fact, it fits virtually all head shapes and sizes; children and adults alike.
There are only a few downsides to this mask. It isn’t the cheapest, but it more than earns its price. Keep in mind that certain face shapes may find the frame pressing against their nose bridge, but this can be resolved by adjusting the straps and swivel buckles. Lastly, the mask flaunts a pretty unique-looking finish, but it’s not the longest lasting.
- Superb comfort
- Swivel buckles for easy adjustment
- Shatterproof tempered glass
- Mirrored-lens for protections against the sun
- Fits many face shapes
- Not the cheapest
- May press against your nose bridge
- Damageable special finish
For all those who value comfort above all, the Scubapro Spectra Scuba Mask is a viable contender. It’s easy to adjust, shatterproof, and more.
3. Wildhorn Seaview 180° V2 – Best Full-Face Mask
We love the Wildhorn Seaview 180° V2 because, as a full-face mask, it provides an uninterrupted panoramic 180-degree view. Thanks to its unparalleled viewing, you can take in every detail underwater.
What sets it apart from other full-face masks, which is also the reason behind its popularity, is its action-camera mount situated at the top. It makes it perfect for GoPro integration and, consequently, allows you to document your most memorable moments.
Another feature that makes the Wildhorn Seaview so sought-after is its two adjustable straps. Its automatic sealing function found in the silicone seal prevents leakage. Moreover, it uses effective anti-fog technology, allowing you to breathe normally through your nose or mouth into a dedicated exhale chamber, without needing a snorkel.
Nonetheless, we have to warn you that this mask is only suitable for calm waters because it can’t submerge. It’s also noticeably bulky, which can be an issue for some people.
- Panoramic 180-degree view
- GoPro Compatible
- Two adjustable straps
- Anti-leak seal
- Anti-fog with a dedicated exhale chamber
- Can’t submerge
- Large size
If you want the full aquatic viewing experience, the Wildhorn Seaview 180° V2 is the mask for you. It’s also GoPro-compatible, anti-leak, anti-fog, and more.
What to Consider When Buying a Snorkel Mask
Down below are the aspects that distinguish good-quality from low-quality masks, so you know how to pick them.
What’s the point of a mask if it’s letting in water, right? This all depends on the seal around the mask. It needs to be a feathered, double skirt seal. Silicone is the preferred material for seals. And as a plus, the feathered double skirt will make for a comfortable seal against your skin.
When you’re snorkeling, you certainly want to avoid inhaling water through your nose. And when you dive below water, you need to be able to equalize, which is why you need eye pockets with an enclosed nose.
If you use a regular plastic glass snorkel mask, it’ll likely fog up too much, worsening your vision. Otherwise, if you use a glass mask, it’ll shatter due to accidents or underwater pressure, so you won’t be able to wear your mask for scuba diving. Tempered glass, however, is shatterproof and can withstand underwater pressure, making it the best option.
Ultimately, this is a matter of personal choice. But if you want our take, opt for a low-volume mask that sits closer to your face. Less volume means just the right amount of trapped air, no more. It’ll also reduce its drag in the water and make it easier to clear out water and to equalize when submerging.
We’ve briefly alluded to a feature that plays into the mask’s comfort: feathered, double skirt seals, but there’s more to it than that. For a mask to fit you comfortably, it needs to have a wide head strap with touch adjustment buckles.
The range of vision you’re looking to get will determine the type of lens you need. If that’s peripheral vision, consider buying shaped lens panels because they allow you to see up and down and left and right.
You need to familiarize yourself with the different mask types if you’re going to choose one, so here are the six most prominent types of masks.
These masks have two added glass panes on both sides of the mask. Side window masks serve two primary functions: widening your vision scope and allowing for more light entry. We have to note that these masks tend to be larger; hence, they need slightly more air to clear them.
What distinguishes two-window masks is the two glass panes separated by a frame. Unlike the former type, these have small volume and sit close to your face; a useful feature as we’ve demonstrated. Just make sure it doesn’t press against your nose bridge and you’re good.
Corrective Lens Mask
Corrective lens masks are designed for all the folks with prescription glasses or contact lenses. Some even have interchangeable lenses!
With single-window masks, a continuous window of glass covers the entire mask with no frame. This provides an unobstructed view and high comfort.
Color Correcting Masks
Certain colors are lost at certain depths in the ocean, such as red at 3m and yellow at 6m, but color-correcting masks can revert perceived objects to their true colors underwater.
Built-In Purge Valve Mask
Built-in purge valve masks are more suited for divers than snorkelers, as they facilitate expelling water out of the mask significantly.
To conclude, we genuinely hope you’ve found this article helpful in choosing the best snorkel mask. And of course, if we have to pick one, it’d be the Cressi F1 Mask. Designed by a highly esteemed brand and loved by divers and snorkelers, this single-window mask manages to blend quality and affordability, which leaves little reason for us to resist buying it.