More often than not though, you’ll find that if you plan to or already snorkel frequently, then it becomes cheaper to just invest in the best snorkel gear for yourself than renting it out each time. It can be tough for beginner snorkelers to research or know which equipment is needed and how to find one that suits them.
A popular activity in the warmer areas, such as Texas, Florida, and most importantly Hawaii, snorkeling is a sport enjoyed by the ocean and animal lovers alike. While you might often find that snorkeling is a great tropical resort location activity, it can be done at any time when the weather is warm. In cooler temperatures, you can simply wear a wetsuit to keep you slightly warmer. It’s an activity that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages due to the small amount of actual effort that is needed. All an individual needs to know is how to how to swim and they are good to go.
We have created a beginners guide how to snorkel, just click here to read it.
If you see someone or are that someone, who is spending time fiddling with their mask or gear instead of enjoying the beauty around them – it’s likely that they either do not know how to use their mask wisely or did not get the proper equipment. Below, we’ll be going through all the different equipment and gear that you’ll need to have the best snorkeling experience every single time.
Quick Answers: Best Snorkel Gear Set
- Quick Answers: Best Snorkel Gear Set
- 1. US. Divers Lux Platinum Snorkeling Set – Editors Choice
- 2. Cressi Palau SAF Snorkeling Set
- 3. Seavenger Diving Set with Silicone Mask – Best Value
- 4. US. Divers Cozumel Snorkeling Set
- 5. Seavenger Advanced Snorkeling Set
- 6. Cozia Design Ocean View Snorkel Set
- 7. Snorkelstar Full Face Snorkeling Set
- 8. SealBuddy FIJI Panoramic Snorkel set
- 9. US. Divers Diva Women’s Snorkeling Set – Best For Women
- 10. US. Divers Youth Flare JR. Silicone Snorkeling Set – Best For Kids
- How to Choose The Best Snorkel Gear
Top Snorkeling Gear Packages
- US. Divers Lux Platinum Snorkeling Set
Humber Sport Rating
- Mask: 180° Panoramic View Designed for maximum visibility, masks feature side windows that extend the viewing area and provide peripheral vision.
- Fin Blade Size: Meduim
- Cozia Design Ocean View Snorkel Set
Humber Sport Rating
- Mask: Stylish, Comfy, 180 View. Medical Silicone gel that is harmless to the skin. The breathing tube is using the design of full dry-type, with the principle of floating ball. The headband is to keep the shape and ensure comfortable wearing.
- Fin Blade Size: Short
- Seavenger Diving Set with Silicone Mask
Humber Sport Rating
- Mask: Wide View, Single Lens Mask Shatterproof, tempered glass lens provides a crystal clear, broad field of view while the flexible silicone skirt ensures a snug, comfortable fit.
- Fin Blade Size: Short
Snorkel Gear Reviews
1. US. Divers Lux Platinum Snorkeling Set – Editors Choice
This U.S. Divers Platinum Snorkeling package comes complete with fins, snorkel, and a mask that are all made from superior materials. This Lux set is made for advanced explorers, which might not mean that it is not for beginners, but it is geared more towards experienced snorkelers.
It is GoPro ready, which means that it has a GoPro mount that allows you to easily attach your GoPro to record your underwater adventures. The four-window mask allows you to get a 180° angle wide panoramic view, which means that you have maximum visibility at all, times.
The purge valve allows you to easily clean out any excess water. The comfortable and soft foot pockets are lined with a dual composite heel strap. The dry top snorkel closes when you enter the water completely to keep the water out of the tube.
It is made to suit small and larger foot sizes with a range of size 4 to size 13. The set also comes with a portable and lightweight gear bag with breathable mesh panels.
2. Cressi Palau SAF Snorkeling Set
The Cressi brand is a well-known brand amongst snorkelers. This set by Cressi is a full set, complete with dry snorkel, mask, and adjustable fins. Though the frame seems a bit dated, it does offer a high level of comfort.
The lens is made from simple tempered glass which means that they won’t break or crack. However, the lens is not coated with any anti-fog solutions, which means that it is likely to fog up while you are snorkeling.
The snorkel that this comes with has is a dry top snorkel that you can dive under with. For extra protection, the snorkel is also equipped with a splash guard and a purge valve. The PALAU SAF comes in four different sizes – XS/S, S/M, M/L, L/XL.
The set comes complete with a reusable zip-up bag that is great for traveling.
3. Seavenger Diving Set with Silicone Mask – Best Value
This Seavenger diving set is made to be travel friendly to allow you to be able to take it anywhere your heart desires. The lightweight fins, flexible snorkel, and compact mask are easily stored in the provided mesh snorkel bag.
The large lens allows the snorkeler to have a panoramic view of everything ahead. The tempered lens ensures that this mask will last you for many seasons with proper care. The flexible and small mouthpiece avoid any jaw fatigue that other snorkels might have given you.
This set features open heeled designed fins that fit comfortably without cramming any toes. They are also shorter than others, which allow you to give more powerful kicks that move you smoothly through the water.
The lightweight snorkel bag brings everything together with a fast technology that allows you to gear up and down quickly. This snorkel set is also available in ten different colors, ranging from grey/black to grey/neon yellow. Voted the best value in our best snorkel gear list.
4. US. Divers Cozumel Snorkeling Set
The wide range of sizes and colors of this U.S. Divers snorkeling package makes it a favorite with snorkelers on vacation. It features a form fitting splash top and mask skirt that makes it a watertight and comfortable fit.
The two clear windows help to give you a clear view of what’s ahead of you. The three-way adjustable buckles allow you to fit the mask specifically to your face enabling you to snorkel for hours.
The splash guard uses hypo-adhesion technology to prevent any water from entering the snorkel tube. The vented fin blades provide you with energy saving efficiency and excellent power. This set comes with full foot fins, which means that they will be snug and comfortable on your bare feet.
5. Seavenger Advanced Snorkeling Set
This advanced snorkeling set by Seavenger is one that is sure to last you for the years to come. Unlike some other snorkeling packages, this set features a single window lens, which allows you to have a completely unobstructed view.
The tempered glass ensures the longevity of the product making this an ideal investment set. The silicone skirt surrounding the mask is expertly designed to offer you the most comfortable with a tight seal. It also has an adjustable strap that allows you to truly mold it to your face.
The snorkel also has a splash guard to keep it safe and dry along with a dry top to keep your snorkel water free. The snorkel can easily be secured onto the mask to allow you a comfortable swim. The set also comes with a durable zippered bag that comes with a matching shoulder bag.
6. Cozia Design Ocean View Snorkel Set
This snorkeling package comes complete with a full face snorkel mask that has adjustable straps and adjustable diving fins. The full-face snorkel mask means that you won’t need to purchase a separate snorkel.
The lens is made from shatterproof polycarbonate and has a suction-like fit, which means that this is also very suitable for children. The diving fins are open heel, so you’d need to wear diving boots with them.
The 180° wide view angle allows you to have an uninterrupted vision while snorkeling. Unless you have facial hair, such as a beard, the water tight seal is truly great on this product while still being comfortable. To throw it all together, the set also comes with a snorkel bag to carry your fins and mask.
7. Snorkelstar Full Face Snorkeling Set
The Snorkelstar Snorkeling set comes with a comfortable mask that is linked with cushioning around the nose and rim sections. The comfortability allows you a full range of motion without offering you any discomfort to offer you a longer time underwater.
There is a built-in valve that allows you to not have any worries about inhaling or swallowing seawater. This set can fit most adults and children, making it a versatile option. The mask is built with quality materials making it a durable gear. The mask gives the diver a 180° field of unobstructed view. There is also a built in GoPro mount that allows you to have a secure place to mount your GoPro devices to record lasting memories.
8. SealBuddy FIJI Panoramic Snorkel set
Though SealBuddy is relatively unheard of in the snorkeling gear industry, this Fiji Panoramic set has more bells and whistles than you could want. This might not be a set for beginner snorkelers; it is great for those looking to upgrade their current set.
The four-window mask will offer snorkelers with a wide, panoramic view with some peripheral vision as well. The snorkel tube is bendable which means that it’ll stay above the water while You are moving your head.
The hypoallergenic silicone material that is used for the face skirt ensures that there is a tight water seal while still offering some comfortability. The downside is that this set only carriers fins in size eight to size twelve. Similar to some other sets, this set comes complete with a carrying bag with extra pockets.
9. US. Divers Diva Women’s Snorkeling Set – Best For Women
This great starter kit is geared towards women who are newbies at snorkeling. They are durable enough to last a long while. Other than the feminine aspect of this product, it is similar to the other U.S. Divers snorkeling lines.
It features a hypoallergenic silicon set that provides a comfortable yet secure seal. The mask also has pinch and pull buckles to adjust your mask, even while You are in the water. The pivot dry technology in the snorkel allows you to fully submerse it along with the bendable and soft hypoallergenic mouthpiece. The snorkel also comes with a purge valve to easily clear out the snorkel.
The fins are small but powerful with a soft pocket for your comfort. All U.S. Divers snorkeling sets come with a snorkel bag that is lightweight but durable.
10. US. Divers Youth Flare JR. Silicone Snorkeling Set – Best For Kids
This U.S. Divers JR set is complete with a youth sized mouthpiece, junior face skit, and a built-in whistle. The youth sized mouthpiece is ergonomically shaped to offer your child with reduced jaw fatigue and the highest level of comfort possible.
There is also a one-way purge valve that offers easy and fast water clearance. The junior face skirt is enclosed around a two-window lens that is narrower and smaller to offer them with a clear view.
The built-in whistle is added to help you and your child feel secure. It features the same other features as the other U.S. Divers snorkeling sets, such as the 3-way adjustable buckles. It also has a dry top snorkel. The fins have a comfortable and soft foot pocket and a dual composite heel strap. Similar to all other U.S. Divers sets, this also comes with a lightweight and portable snorkel bag.
- Some reports of plastic snapping while connecting the mask to the snorkel
- Some found that the clip could be made better
How to Choose The Best Snorkel Gear
Before buying any materials, or going any further, it’s important to know what to actually look for. The first step should be for you to make a list of all the necessary equipment that will be needed. You can use the list below to help you get started.
Snorkeling Gear Shopping List
- Water-Resistance Sunscreen
- Rash Guards
- Snorkel Vest
- Fish and Creature ID Card
- Waterproof Camera
- Snorkel Bag
- Waterproof Bag
- Snorkeling Belt
- Snorkeling Weight Belt
- Snorkeling Shoes (Rough Water Entrances)
- Snorkeling swim caps
- Mask Strap Cover
- Travel Pack Towels
- Snorkeling Watch
- Night Snorkeling Lights
Now that you have a list ready with everything that you would need for your snorkeling adventures, it’s time to see which types of each gear are best for you. Masks, snorkels, and fins are not all created equally, so it’s important to figure this out before you go to buy a specific one.
The Scuba Mask
There are numerous scuba masks available on the market today with various materials, designs, shapes, colors, and styles. Each little different may cause the price to shift up or down. A good advice is to think of purchasing a scuba mask as an investment rather than a quick purchase. Your mask will provide you with a window into the world underwater. It’s important for your nose to be within the eye pocket to allow for pressure adjustment changes.
A good quality mask will feature:
- Adjustable buckles
- Comfortable and wide head straps
- Double silicone skirts (not made out of PVC or rubber)
- Tempered, high-quality, impact resistance, glass lenses
Scuba Mask Options
The Mask Skirt
This part, which is also one of the most important parts of your mask, is the soft flexible material that goes around the mask. It generally comes in two main materials, which are plastic and silicon. Inexpensive masks will often be made out of plastic, as that is easier and cheaper to produce. The plastic skirts generally don’t last long, they don’t form a great seal, and they are not flexible.
Silicon, on the other hand, can last you over ten years (if taken care of properly), has more stretch, has a better seal, and is more durable. Most snorkeling equipment is now made of silicon, but there are some that still make plastic scuba gear. Be wary of those sellers.
Mask Skirt Colors
Masks usually come in two colors, which are clear and black silicone. The majority of them are white, with the exception of photographers who use black as it doesn’t allow stray light entering from the sides of their masks. However, black masks can reduce peripheral vision of the diver, adding a more claustrophobic feel.
There are six types of mask lenses on the market currently. The main difference between these is the number of lenses that they have. The number of lenses might affect the fit of the mask, as well as the volume of air inside the mask, unobstructed vision, and peripheral vision.
The Classic Scuba Mask is basically one large lens that also contains your nose on the inside. It has a high volume making it a poorly sealed mask.
The One Lens Mask is the most common mask, with unobstructed views and a nose pocket. The only issue with this mask the insufficient room in the nose bridge.
The Two Lens/Split Mask usually allows for a roomier nose bridge in comparison to the one lens mask. It also has less air in the mask, reducing the volume and your brain ignores the divider whilst you are wearing it.
The Three and Four Lens Mask has side windows that allow better peripheral vision. They also decrease the claustrophobic feel by providing more light. The side windows also increase the air volume.
The Frameless Masks only have the silicon skirt glued to the single front lens, omitting the needs for the stiff plastic frame. They are low volume and lightweight masks that end up being more flexible.
High vs. Low Volume Masks
A mask with a high volume has more buoyancy, more air, and is further away from your face. Low volume, on the other hand, has less buoyancy, less air, and less trouble with sealing. Lower volume masks are easier to purge, but they also have less visibility.
No Purge Valve vs. Mask Purge Valve
The purge valve in a flap valve placed at the bottom of the nose pocket. The purpose of a purge valve is to allow you to blow out the water that has entered in. They allow you to release the water without having to break the seal. However, the same thing can be done manually without the need for a purge valve. It depends on your experience level mainly. For the newer divers, a purge valve might be better to help you get started. For experienced divers, you might be able to do without.
Prescription Snorkel Masks
If you wear glasses, you might be thinking that you won’t be able to snorkel without somehow wearing your glasses under your mask. But worry not, there are actually masks built just for you. Our best suggestion is to wear contact lenses, but if that is not a possible option for you, here are some others:
Bonded Corrective Lenses are corrective lenses that are glued to the scuba mask lens. For normal prescription lenses, they cost around $180 (prices are subject to change), but bifocals and others might cost more. The downside to this method is that the prescription lenses might not be the same shape or size as the mask lens, which means that you won’t have a complete field of view.
Custom Prescription Lenses are similar to the bonded corrective lens, but with custom prescription lenses, your entire mask lens is replaced with a prescription lens. This will be more costly, ranging from around $250 to $300 (prices are subject to change). However, they do give better results and are great for those with a stronger prescription.
For those that are far-sighted, there are ‘reading glasses’ that can be purchased which simply stick inside your mask. They come in small half circles that can be placed on the lower parts of your lens.
Fitting The Mask
When trying on different styles and designs, you should pull the mask strap out of the way and place the mask on their face. After placement, inhale slightly through your nose to see if the mask stays on your face without any other support. It’s important to note down any uncomfortable areas or leaks. Your vision should remain unobstructed and clear. For glasses wearers, there are dual lens masks that offer the ability of prescription lens upgrades.
A correctly fitted mask should seal smoothly in order to keep all water out of the mask. Holding the strap away from your face as you try it on while breathing through your nose can help you see if the seal is good. You can ensure that the mask ‘sticks’ to your face snugly. You should endeavor to keep stray hairs out of the mask, otherwise, it might cause a leak.
The skirt of the mask should not press up under your nose nor should there be any pressure on your forehead or the bridge of your nose. When underwater, the mask will push against your face, so try to recreate that by pressing the mask towards your face. If the mask does not feel good, then it is not right for you.
It is also important to check the fit with the mask strap on. When you place the mask, along with the mask strap, you should feel an airtight fit through the light pressure from the strap. Ensure that the strap lies high on the back of your head. It should be resting over or on your ears as that will start to ache after a while. If the straps are too loose, or you have to pull them tight, then it might mean that you’re trying on the wrong size. If you take off a mask and find yourself with big red marks or lines, it suggests that the scuba mask is too tight of a fit. More often than not, leaky masks are caused by straps that are too light rather than those that are too loose.
The last fitting check that you need to perform is by placing the regulator mouthpiece or snorkel in addition to the scuba mask. The reason behind this is because often times the added equipment can alter the seal of the mask. Sometimes, a re-adjustment is called for to allow for the seal to close properly again. However, sometimes, it just means that the mask is not fit to be used with the snorkel or the regulator mouthpiece.
If you find all the pieces working together, then congratulations, you have found the perfect mask for you. Just remember, that sometimes the perfect mask can be hiding behind a price range that you’re not keen on looking under. It’s important to keep in mind that snorkeling gear is generally an investment rather than a quick purchase.
Defogging A Mask
After you’ve found the perfect mask, there are a few more steps before you’re almost ready to head under water, after, of course, you’ve gone and gotten the rest of the items. Before using your mask, you need to scrub the insides of the lenses with plain, regular toothpaste using a clean finger or your toothbrush. This is to clean of any anti-caking agent that might be coated on the lenses to mold the skirt to the mask. If the agent is not cleaned off the lenses, it will cause the lenses to fog up while you’re underwater.
After scrubbing the toothpaste in, rinse thoroughly with hot water. It’s recommended that you do this every once in a while to keep the lenses free of any dirt that might cause a leak. Cleaning the lenses occasionally will also lengthen the life of your mask. Before each and every dive, you should use a defogging solution accordingly to the set of instructions that they come with.
The Scuba Snorkel
Snorkels are one of the few snorkeling equipment that has stayed close to their original designs. In the market today, there are four main snorkel variations, those being classic, flexible with purge, semi-dry, and dry. The snorkel should fit so that it is comfortable in your mouth. The tip should meet the crown of your head. The vast majority of snorkels are able to do so with a few small adjustments.
A standard snorkel generally has:
- A comfortable and soft mouthpiece that seals out water
- A splash guard or dry valve
- A mask strap clip
- A mouthpiece
- A purge valve
- Flex Tube
Types of Snorkels
Classic Snorkel is, as the name suggests, the classic and traditional model. It is literally just a solid tube complete with a mouthpiece. Though these don’t do have bendability, they are not as comfortable as the flexible tubed snorkels. They do not have any purge valves or splash prevention. The only way to clear water filling the tube or diving underwater is to exhale forcefully.
The Flexible with Purge Snorkel is the next level up snorkel model to the classic snorkel. It generally has a partially flexible silicone tube. These more often than not come with a purge valve. The flexible with purge snorkel is often a tad more comfortable than the classic snorkel because of the flexible tube below the strap attachment piece. The mouthpiece can be rotated as well as the top to allow you to find a better fit. The mouthpiece can also drop from your face when it is not being used.
The purge valve is a common feature in snorkels, which is basically an area where the water in the tube collects. It is slightly slower than where your mouth is and keeps the water from entering your mouth. In this sump area there is a little valve, so when you blow out it clears the water within the tube. This way, you won’t have to blow it from the top, thus taking a lot less effort than the classic snorkels.
The Semi-Dry Snorkel is one that has a splash guard on the top. This type also has a purge valve and a flexible tube. This type of snorkel is great because it has a guard that prevents splashed and sprayed water from entering the tube. There isn’t one single type of tube lid protection as different brands make it in different styles, but they all do the same thing. This will reduce the risk of choking on water.
The original design of the Dry Snorkel was not the best option to purchase. However, the modern version of the dry snorkel has fixed most of the problems that the original one used to have. This type of snorkel is also one of the most comfortable to use. They have a special valve on the tube top that completely seals all air and water when you dive underwater or when a wave comes.
Considerations Before Buying A Snorkel
Tube Collapse and Free Diving
If you’re a free diver using a dry valve, it won’t be surprising if your flexible tube and soft, silicone mouthpiece suddenly collapse once your down 15-20 ft. This is because your tube will be full of air and the pressure of the water is squeezing the tube. Though it might not be a problem, it might cause a little jostle the first time you free dive.
Small Person Versus Big Person
Compared to a bigger person, a small person might need a small mouthpiece for their comfort as well as a tube with a smaller diameter. This is due to a smaller person not having the lung capacity to exhale their breath out of a larger diameter tube. This applies also to children scuba divers who need a shorter tube, smaller diameter tube, and smaller mouthpieces.
Quick Release Mask Strap
Generally, higher-end snorkels have a quick release system which allows one part of the snorkel to stay on your mask, thus making it easy to quickly detach and attach from your mask. This also helps to keep them more compact when traveling.
Replaceable OR Removable Mouthpieces
If you tend to chew on your mouthpiece, then it will be important to be able to find a replacement for the model that you currently own. Therefore avoiding you having to start the research process all over again.
Similar to your scuba mask, silicon will be the best option for the mouthpiece material instead of plastic. The silicon will allow your snorkel to last longer, be more flexible and more comfortable.
A Few Of Our Best Scuba Snorkel Buys
Though this snorkel has a small mouthpiece, it is also very comfortable. The purge valve and tube area have a water ergonomic shape, which allows for a decreased amount of stress on your mouth when you are under the water for longer periods of time. The dry valve on this product is more streamlined and compact in comparison to its previous model.
Most snorkels have a Styrofoam seal but this one by Oceanic has a silicon seal as well as a weighted unique dry valve. The weighted dry valve reduces the possibility of the valve being sucked closed as what happens in non-weighted valves. They also have a mini version of this, that uses the same tube but has a smaller mouthpiece, which is great for adults with smaller mouths or even kids.
Though this might be a physically larger snorkel with a large mouthpiece, it does have the semi-dry top that stays dry, above water at least. This comes in two versions, a solid tube version, and a flexible tube version.
This one has to be one of the best freediving snorkels in the market. The snorkel allows you to move easily and freely through the water with its wing shape. It has a large purge valve and a splash guard that works great for free divers.
The Scuba Fins
Similar to the scuba masks and snorkels, fins can be just as complicated to purchase with the sheer number of designs, colors, and styles out there for us to choose from. These fins are also referred to as flippers, are what allow you to push against the water to swim. They free your hands and allow you to move more efficiently. Snorkel fins also provide slight flotation which helps keep your horizontal. Technically you can swim without them, but they make your diving experience more efficient and gives you more speed. They also protect your feet in case of any accidental contact with coral and rocks, which can tear up your feet if they are unprotected. The main factor to keep in mind when buying is the comfort of the fins. You’ll most likely be in the water for an hour or two, so the fins need to be as comfortable as possible without leaving you with any major discomforts.
Full Foot Fins vs. Open Heel Fins
They come in two types, which are Full Foot Fins and Open Heel Fins. The Full Foot Fin is also referred to as a closed foot snorkeling fin, is the classic choice and is completely closed. The Open Heel Fin is also referred to as open foot snorkeling fin, have an open back with an adjustable strap.
Open Heel Fins are great for those drivers who wish to wear a boot. If you’re looking to go into the colder water, then these will be the best option for you as they allow your further insulation. If you’re entering on a rocky beach, these will also provide your feet with further protection. However, these fits are bulkier, heavier, and stiffer in comparison to the Full Foot Fins.
Full Foot Fins firstly weigh less than their counterparts. It allows you to move easily in the water rather than having more weight added to your feet. There have been efficiency tests done which actually show the Full Foot Fins being more efficient in comparison to the Open Heel Fins. This could have various reasons, such as better hydrodynamics or them being less bulky.
Paddle Fins vs. Split Fins vs. Travel Fins
There are two different types Full Foot Fins, which are the Paddle Fins and the Split Fins. Both have their benefits, but it just depends on which you find offers you with the most comfort.
Paddle Fins can offer divers with a quick thrust as well as giving maneuverability and good control, which is something you need especially around coral. There are various kicking strokes that can be used with paddle fins, but they will not be as fast or efficient for longer swims in comparison to split fins. Paddle fins allow you to gain power through powerful, slow, long strokes. If that is already your style of swimming, then these will work great for you.
Split Fins direct the force of the water more directly in comparison to the paddle fins. This propels the diver easier without needing to put as much energy in. The easier propelling allows you to stay in the water for longer without getting tired quickly while moving you faster than paddle fins. For split fins, you will need to take more rapid, easier, and smaller kicks which reduces the resistance through the water. Split fins are not ideal for turning, frog kicking, or back paddling, but they are better for moving forward faster.
Aside from those two, there are also travel fins which are more space-spacing. These fins are typically open foot, wider, and shorter than the other two types. What they give in saving space, they take with the swimming speed and power. They end up making you use more energy to get to the distance you want, which also means that you won’t be able to stay in the water for too long. However, they are durable and lightweight. So, it all just depends on what’s worth more to you.
Fitting The Fins
The Full Foot Fins and the Open Heel Fins both have different fitting instructions, as can be seen below:
Full Foot Fins
These fins usually run two sizes at a time, which means that you won’t be able to get a fit like you would with other shoes, such as sneakers. So, it’s important to find fins that fit you the best disregarding the size. Buying fins too small is one of the most common mistakes that new divers make. The fin should be snug, but not too loose and not too tight.
A good way to test the fit is by inserting your small finger between the back of the foot and your heel. If you can’t get it in, then it’s too tight. If there is space for your finger to wiggle, then it’s too big. Keep in mind that your fins will get looser over time with continuous use, so you don’t want to buy them too loose.
It’s important to test for any hard spots in the fins. A good way to do this is by flexing your feet back and forth while sitting down. If there are any hard sports, this is because there is some sort of hard plastic at the bottom piece of the foot pocket. You should ensure that your toes are not being squeezed out or that the edges aren’t rubbing your toes – otherwise, it might make your dive uncomfortable.
Open Heel Fins
These fins are usually more comfortable in the sense that you have boots on under the fins, which also help keep your feet warm. When trying on Open Heel fins, it’s important to have your boots with you to ensure that they fit and work well together. When trying them out, you do not need to strap, but your foot should be able to go into the fin all the way. If your foot is able to slide too far forward, it might irritate your ankle as it would be too big for your feet.
If your foot is not able to fully enter the foot pocket, it means that the fin is too tight or too small for your feet, even if it feels fine. A fin that only allows your feet to go into the foot pocket partially, will overtire you faster. Once you find the right size for you, you can use the strap to adjust it to make the most comfortable for you.
A Few Of Our Best Snokel Fins Buys
Split Fin Options
Our favorites are the Full foot fins, such as these ones by Oceanic. They offer a quick thrust with a slightly stiff and lightweight material. The Atomic ones are another great full foot, split fin option. Though they are not as lightweight as the Oceanic ones, they are still quick in the water while also being travel-friendly.
Oceanic Vortex Full Foot Fins
Atomic Aquatics High-Performance Full Foot Split Fin
Paddle Fin Options
These are good options for paddle fins. They are all surprisingly lightweight. The center soft scoop act as a parachute to allow for quick burst thrusts.
Tilos Voyage Full Foot Fins
The Optional / Additional Gear
These other gear pieces are not mandatory or even necessary for some situations but it depends on where you are diving and what equipment correlates with you trips location.
- Water-Resistance Sunscreen
It’s a given that this is an important part of your adventure under the water surface. However, aside from the sunscreen being water-resistance, you can try to find ones that are also reef-friendly. Some chemicals in traditional water-resistance sunscreens are known to kill fish and coral as well as increase coral bleaching. You should also remember to include sunscreen lip balms that are also water-resistant.
- Rash Guards
A Rash Guard will protect divers against getting into contact with the marine line that might be dangerous to them, such as Jellyfish. Along with providing protection from the marine line, Lycra protection also aids your skin against sunburn. If you don’t want to keep applying sunscreen, these reduce the need to constantly apply sunscreen as your skin will be covered.
This will act as an inflatable life preserver, which can be very useful and important tool for beginner divers.
- Fish and Creature ID Card
It might not be necessary, but it’s fun to know what exactly you saw in the water. Identification books help you be able to identify the various types of fish and other creatures in the water.
- Waterproof Camera - GoPro
- Snorkel Bag
Snorkel bags with straps can make it easier on your shoulders when your hiking or walking to the next destination. This way all your gear can be safely stowed away in one location that keeps in organized and allows it to dry.
- Waterproof Bag
Keeping your valuables safe when you’re at a public beach to snorkel can be confusing and hard to do. However, simply using a waterproof box for items such as wallets, cell phones, and keys, can work great. You can simply place it on your snorkeling belt and take it with you.
- Snorkeling Belt
A snorkeling belt is a great tool that allows you to carry your belongings with you in a waterproof bag. You can also carry tools such as your shoes and camera. All in all, it just allows you to keep your arms free to swim.
- Snorkeling Weight Belt
If you’re a free diver, then this weight belt is a great tool that allows you to stay further down to get an awesome picture.
- Snorkeling Shoes (Rough Water Entrances)
Snorkeling shoes are great for entering through rough beach areas or also to use with full foot fins. These can even be fit on a belt to carry with you.
- Snorkeling Swim Caps / Buff Headwear
If you’ve got longer hair, you know that it can be distracting, especially underwater. It can sometimes even block your views. Long hair is also more likely to get stuck under your mask or in your mask strap which could cause the seal to leak. Swim caps and buff headwear are a great solution to those kinds of problems.
- Mask Strap Cover
Another long hair solution, these mask strap covers are neoprene covers that are placed over the mask straps. It keeps longer hair from getting caught as well as spreading the pressure to a wider surface area.
- Travel Pack Towels
Towels are an essential beach item, making it no different for snorkeling adventures. It’s great to have a quick drying and lightweight option.
- Snorkeling Watch
A watch can be great to keep track of the time you spend underwater. Some even have depth ratings on both, higher-end and more affordable options.
- Night Snorkeling Lights
If you are a fan of night snorkeling, then it’s important to get a quality light that actually allows you to clearly see everything in front of you.
Through this collection of information along with the links provided, we hope that you are able to find the best snorkel gear kit that has been specially curated for you by yourself. Before you get out into the water, remember a few things:
- Always swim with a friend – it’s not safe nor is it ever recommended for you to go snorkeling alone. When swimming with a partner, it’s also imperative that you stick together and never go out of each other’s line of sight.
- Do not touch marine life – this is for the good of the marine life and yours.
- Make sure you are familiar with your equipment (and that it’s working correctly)
- Be aware of the ocean and the surrounding waters – know all the details, such as any potential hazards, wind speeds, size of the waves, and the currents.
- Take care of yourself – make sure you keep yourself hydrated, don’t push yourself too hard, and wear sunscreen.