Sebastian certainly knew what he was doing when he said that everything was better “under the sea,” didn’t he? Except, of course, he didn’t need masks, fins, or snorkels, which means he never had to worry about snorkel floods, leaky masks, or the inability to breathe well in a full face mask.
But what if you didn’t have to either? Whether you’re a recreational scuba diver, snorkeler, or both, you know that the right dive kit can alter your snorkeling/diving experience. Therefore, it’s only fair that you follow us along as we dive into the best snorkels – pun fully intended.
|Cressi Supernova||Dry snorkel||-Quick-release-Anti-splash end valve-One-way exhaust valve-Splash guard|
|Atomic SV2||Semi-dry snorkel||-Purge valve-Semi-dry top-Quick-release with 30° adjuster|
|Aqua Lung Impulse 3||Classic snorkel||-Dual-valve system-One-way purge-Comfo-bite mouthpiece|
The 3 Best Snorkels in 2020
Without further introduction, let’s break down our picks for the best snorkels.
1. Cressi Supernova – Best Overall
The Cressi Supernova simply had to make it to the top of our list. This snorkel is the definition of comfort and easy use thanks to the hypoallergenic silicone used to make the replaceable mouthpiece and bendable tube section.
If you come across some breathtaking coral reefs and want to let go of the snorkel to get a better look at them, you totally can! The quick-release snorkel keeper will ensure that the snorkel remains attached to your mask.
Furthermore, this snorkel enables you to breathe easily at the surface and has an anti-splash end valve that closes during submerge, assisting in water blockage.
However, if water does penetrate, you can quickly expel it downwards into the large, one-way exhaust valve. As for emerging from the water, the splash guard will protect you from inhaling it, even in choppy water.
There are a few issues with this snorkel. If not fastened to the mask firmly, it might move around, and sand entering the top valve can block the tube, making it hard for you to breathe.
- Utmost comfort
- Good water blockage
- No water inhalation
- Flapping tube
- Sand entry may block air
The Italian Cressi Supernova is one of the best snorkels on the market with excellent comfort, quick-release, and water blockage for scuba divers who hate leakage and flooding.
2. Atomic SV2 – Most Advanced
Featuring many impressive technologies, the Atomic SV2 is quite the catch. Named after the water drainage hole to the ship’s side Scupper Valve (SV), this snorkel promises excellent water drainage.
With only a short and sharp exhale, you can clear out the tube using the purge valve. In addition, the semi-dry top is for deflecting water in waves and splashes. Another technology used here is the quick release snorkel keeper found in the Cressi Supernova model too. It can, however, rotate or slide with a 30 degrees angle.
Moving on to the build quality, we’d argue that it’s quite impressive, and the replaceable mouthpiece makes use of silicone for comfort, reminiscent of the former snorkel.
Nevertheless, this snorkel falls short in only two aspects. Firstly, biting on the mouthpiece and clenching your jaw can get painful after several hours, so we wouldn’t recommend this snorkel for extended use. Secondly, the snorkel won’t attach firmly to a narrow strapped mask, but if you don’t use it, then you have nothing to worry about.
- Excellent water drainage
- Easy to clear
- Quick-release with a 30 degree rotating/sliding adjuster
- Good build quality
- Not the best for extended usage
- Not for use with narrow strapped masks
Offering many advanced technologies, the Atomic SV2 never ceases to surprise us with its water drainage, quick release, and more.
3. Aqua Lung Impulse 3 – Best Classic
The Aqua Lung Impulse 3 is an updated version of the classic top-notch Impulse line, showing off its streamlined design that allows for optimum hydrodynamics. It features a high-performance dual-valve system with an upper valve that blocks water and a drain system, a one-way purge, at the bottom to release water if it penetrates the tube.
Where this snorkel stands out is the Aqua Lung Comfo-Bite mouthpiece design. You place the silicone bridge across your upper palette so that you don’t have to clench your teeth, in turn reducing jaw fatigue.
We also can’t forget the flexibility that went into the construction of this tube. This snorkel is available in two options; there’s a standard non-flex option and a flex one in which the lower section falls off easily when not used.
It’s quite the challenge to find issues with this design, but if we were to nitpick, we’d say that it’s quite heavy and bulky compared to other snorkels.
- Effective water drainage system
- No need to bite on the mouthpiece
- Flexible tube construction
- Flex and non-flex options
- Somewhat large and heavy
If the pain in your jaw after biting on a snorkel’s mouthpiece truly irritates you, the Aqua Lung Impulse 3 could just be what you’ve been looking for. Add to that impressive flexibility and water blocking, and we’re sold.
How to Pick a Snorkel
The various types of snorkels can be a lot to take in, so let us help you make an informed decision.
Also known as the “J-style” snorkel, this is the old-fashioned and slightly bent plastic tube with a mouthpiece at the bottom, so you breathe from one end whereas the other is above the water surface, open to the air.
We love how affordable and easy-to-use this snorkel is, making it perfect for beginners. Yet, we’re not fans of how easy leakage is. In case it’s fully submerged in water while you’re on the surface, you’ll need to inhale and exhale to clear it forcefully. Also, it can be uncomfortable, owing to the rigid material used.
Dry snorkels have a valve at the top to block water when submerged in it and a purge valve at the bottom to expel water easily at the surface by exhaling, so you don’t have to worry about flooding or clearing the tube.
We find this especially good for underwater snorkeling. However, we’re wary of the valve at the top because it can make it hard to breathe through if it’s blocked. Also, the air-filled tube is likely to rise throughout a dive, increasing its drag.
This is the hybrid child of the first two types, possibly with a purge valve like the dry snorkel. Its tube may either be flexible or rigid. Also, it features a splash guard or cover at the top of the tube, thus deflecting water on the surface but will certainly still flood if submerged. Overall, it’s quite flexible and user-friendly, though a bit more costly.
Tip: Avoid ones with a purge valve and splash guard moving mechanism because a grain of sand or dirt may risk leakage and blockage if it’s stuck, and the moving parts are likely to break too.
The flexible or roll-up snorkel has a purge valve that expels water with only a short exhalation and a rigid part. It excels in terms of flexibility, providing you with a snug fit.
Besides, it’s lightweight and can be removed from your face easily when you’re not using it and even tucked away in a pocket to grant you unlimited viewing, which explains why it has gained instant popularity.
Like the semi-dry snorkel, if sand or dirt got inside, they could block the air. Furthermore, the top end of the tube is unobstructed, making water flooding entirely possible.
Full Face Snorkel
This is a 2-in-1 snorkel and mask, with the snorkel centered at the top of the mask. By far, this is the easiest to use because there’s no mouthpiece for you to bite down on, which is why it’s ideal for beginners.
However, it’s bulky and fogs up easily. You can’t access your nose to equalize during submerging. And finally, it’s exclusively for snorkeling and not scuba diving.
We hope that, by now, you’ve decided on the best snorkel for you. But if you want us to give you our final verdict, our top pick is the Cressi Supernova. This dry snorkel is perfect if leakage and flooding are deal breakers for you, thanks to its quality water blockage and expelling.