When you go scuba diving, there are a few essential pieces of equipment without which your dive would be impossible. Your air tanks, regulator, wetsuit, BCD, fins and mask, and snorkel are absolutely essential pieces of equipment. Within each piece of equipment, you can get a variety of different kinds, and this is true for your mask and snorkel too.
Full-face masks were first retailed in 2014 by Ocean Reef. By 2015, these masks had gained popularity with scuba divers and snorkelers all over the world. Though a lot of thought went into making these masks a safe and popular option for divers, there are still some naysayers and for good reason. The full-face mask has its advantages for sure, but that does not mean it doesn’t come with its own challenges. To get into the pros and cons of using this equipment, first, we need to understand what it is:
A full-face snorkel is an improved version of the traditional mask and snorkel. It covers the entire face rather than just the eyes and does not require a mouthpiece.
The high-tech design of the mask claims that there will be no fogging; this is because the mask has a separate chamber where you can use your nose and mouth to breathe. The mask also gives divers a wider field of vision because the design does not have any obstructions on the corners of the eyes.
Traditional snorkel mask and snorkel sets are what you are used to seeing in most scuba diving experiences. They are the large set of goggles with a rectangular piece of either plastic or tempered glass; this is what you see out of. Then, there is a piece of silicon, which is used to cover your nose and reduce as much fog as possible within the goggles, and also keep water from entering your nostrils.
The mask is secured to your face with the help of a thick rubber strap that can be adjusted to fit your face. The snorkel is made of a plastic and silicone mouthpiece that is attached to a plastic breathing tube. The mouthpiece is used for breathing through the mouth.
Full-face masks look like something out of a futuristic Hollywood production. The scuba versions of full-face masks cover the whole face and have an area where you can attach your regulator. They are reminiscent of HazMat masks that you usually see in apocalypse-themed movies.
The masks have two sections; the top section is where you view from and the bottom is for your nose and mouth – where you breathe from. These masks have built-in snorkels, so you don’t have to worry about putting in a mouthpiece, you can just breathe naturally. They have comfortable silicon lining that circles the face and keeps it in place, along with a thick adjustable rubber strap to secure them.
The full-face mask gives the diver a larger scale of peripheral vision compared to their traditional counterparts. This is one of the biggest advantages of using a full-face mask.
Another reason why these masks became so popular is the ease of breathing. You aren’t required to wear a mouthpiece, and your nose is not covered; this means you can breathe naturally like you would above water.
Because your nose and mouth are in a separate chamber, your breath is not going to fog up your vision. This can be a huge problem with traditional masks. The built-in ventilation system of full-face masks prevents your breath from leaking into the vision chamber and fogging the plastic.
Full-face masks are equipped with built-in snorkels, which means there is no need to put in a mouthpiece. Traditional snorkels require you to fit something in your mouth, which can cause jaw fatigue during the dive.
With traditional masks, any kind of facial expressions and movements can break the silicon shield and let water into your mask. This is not the case with full-face masks. They skirt the entire face, so there is a lot more freedom for expression without worrying about leaks.
Though it might not seem like the case because you are using a mask to trap your entire face, the use of natural breathing and extended view in full-face masks actually is a lot less claustrophobic than traditional snorkels.
If your full-face mask does not fit properly, the seal is not properly created. This can cause fogging and leaks. When a full-face mask needs to be defogged, it requires the whole mask to come off, unlike traditional masks that can just be lifted at an angle.
This break in the seal can lead to Carbon Dioxide buildup that can be caused by shallow breathing while wearing the mask. CO2 buildup is very dangerous as it can lead to loss of consciousness.
While wearing a full-face mask, you cannot wear glasses that you might need to see. The arms of the glasses will cause a break in the seal around the face.
Full-face masks are larger and heavier than traditional masks. They require extra room when you are planning to travel with them, and likely a separate compartment because the plastic can get scratched easily.
Full-face masks are usually made of plastic, which can easily get scratched. You will need to keep them protected while transporting them, during your dive and even after you are done using them.
Full-face masks are only suitable for shallow dives. Deep dives are not possible because of pressure buildup. These masks are not equipped to equalize pressure on deep dives, thus, they are not used.
There are a lot of myths and facts that are associated with the safety of full-face snorkel masks, so it sometimes gets hard to distinguish which is which. The thing is, most myths regarding the safety of these masks stems from the use of cheaply made knock-offs.
If you are using a well-made mask from a trusted manufacturer, these masks are safe and are continuing to be improved upon by designers. Of course, there are situations like deeper dives where these masks are not viable, but otherwise, they’re safe to use!
There is a reason why these masks are becoming so popular. They are much easier to use, have better vision, have a more natural style of breathing and don’t require an extra mouthpiece. That does not mean that these masks are the end-all-be-all for masks.
There are still times when the traditional masks are required, like when you need to go on a deeper dive. Also, it is very important to make sure you are getting a high-quality mask from a trusted manufacturer. Cheaply made masks can be very dangerous and even fatal as they have not gone through rigorous testing to ensure their safety.
Full-face or traditional, this is a choice of personal preference. Most instructors recommend trying both so you have experience with both techniques and then you can choose your preference. Traditional masks require a little more training but will teach basic skills of controlled breathing, which can be essential in a time of need. Go out, try them both, then pick your preferred method!
Full face snorkel masks have made a real impact on the snorkel mask market in the last few years. They also opened the activity up for many new people as they allow to breathe more natural with your face under water.
These new types of snorkeling goggles are not only for beginners. What makes them such a great device is that they don’t require a learning curve. You continue to breathe as you would on land and that’s about it.
All these masks promise to have a 180 degree view in every direction. When you try them out you see that this is a little more marketing talk than reality. While they provide a huge field of view, they do not provide a full view in every direction. You will see the frame of the mask around the edges of your visible spectrum. This is much better than a standard set of goggles but it’s not as unobstructed as the marketing folks want you to believe.
Standard goggles for diving and snorkeling require that you have a snorkel in your mouth. The mouthpiece can be uncomfortable after even a short time of having it in and that can quickly ruin the fun. If you in the past have not found a comfortable mouthpiece in a snorkel, then using such full-face goggles will be a godsend.
Another great advantage of these kinds of masks comes into play if you have a mustache. Regular snorkel and scuba masks do not create a waterproof seal with your skin as the hair of your mustache disrupts it. A full-face snorkeling mask is different as it covers your whole face. Your mustache won’t be in the way and that makes these goggles the best ones you can get.
If you have a beard, then you will unfortunately not be as happy with these masks as with a mustache. The reason is that your beard will disrupt the seal and there most likely will be water coming into the mask.
Looking over all these initial concerns, what do you have to know to find the best full face snorkel mask? Check out the rest of the post to find out!
We evaluated and reviewed the five top contenders for you. Have a look at the masks below if you are looking to buy one.
We picked five of the best and most sought-after masks for you. They make these masks from the highest quality materials and will keep you safe during any snorkeling trip you take.
Is one of them the best you can get? Check it out!
Wildhorn Outfitters debuted the completely redesigned V2 of the Seaview 180 Degree in 2019. It’s a revolutionary new design that tremendously improves on the advantages of traditional full-face snorkel masks.
At first glance it looks quite different from any other full-face mask. Quite futuristic and probably somewhat more like a helmet when you look at it from the front.
Yet, when you look deeper you realize that all the changes that have been made, are made for a good reason. This mask truly pushes the limits and leaves all other masks in the rearview mirror so to speak.
You get 180 degree views, easy and comfortable breathing, fog-free viewing and an optimized action camera location and mount. Let’s start from the beginning though.
The snorkel is not positioned on the top of the goggles but to the side. It also is shaped to provide an optimized angle of the intake when you have your head in the water. The result is what Wildhorn Outfitters calls the ‘FLOWTECH Advanced Breathing System’.
It’s a system that makes breathing even more natural and safe. CO2 is exhaled safely and with no risk to your health. Not only that though. In rougher waters the snorkel keeps water out and you can still breathe without a problem.
Having the snorkel connect to the bottom of the mask also provides improved airflow inside the mask. Humid air is kept away from the lens improving the already excellent fog resistance of these masks. You breathe inside a separate breathing chamber through your mouth or nose as if you were walking down the street.
The camera mounts to the side of the mask and no longer to the top. The tremendous advantage is that the camera stays underwater all the time. With the old design you more often than not were filming the scenery above the water instead of underwater.
The skirt is made from soft silicone that produces a tight fit with your face. It’s comfortable to wear for hours and with breathing being so easy you can literally go snorkeling for the day!
Should for any reason water get into the mask then you can drain it by simply lifting your head out of the water. The drain valve at the bottom takes care of the water and you’re in the water instantly again.
The new design does not overcome the issues we’ve remarked on in the past with these kind of masks. They trap a lot of air which makes it hard to dive down.
The snorkel is designed to keep water out but if you try to dive straight down then the mechanism can’t close. Water will get into the mask. That’s true for every dry-top snorkel and is not a specific issue of the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 Degree V2.
You can purchase the mask in a variety of colors and sizes. The three available sizes should fit nearly every size of face from children to adults without a problem.
We compiled an in-depth review of the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 Degree V2 that you can check out here: https://www.deepbluediving.org/wildhorn-outfitters-seaview-180-degree-v2-review/
The Tribord Easybreath is the original full face snorkel mask. And today it’s still every bit as good as it was the first day it came out. It provides and exceptionally big field of view that lets you enjoy all the sights and sea life while you snorkel.
The full-face mask allows you to breathe with your mouth or nose. The days of having to force the snorkel into your mouth and biting down on it are gone. This makes for a much more comfortable snorkel experience that is less tiring.
Tribord patented the breathing system and it is quite the clever design. There is a relief valve at the bottom that allows to clear out any trapped water inside with ease. It’s an ingenious mechanism and helpful when snorkeling.
The snorkel itself has a one-way valve which closes the snorkel when it gets immersed in water. This prevents water from coming down the snorkel that end up in your mouth and more often than not gets you to gag. A nice feature is also that the top of the snorkel is kept in bright orange which makes it easy to see by others while you snorkel. This is a great safety feature which helps to prevent collisions while you snorkel!
The window is large and clear. It’s made of a shatter proof polycarbonate which makes the mask a very durable piece of gear. Compared to many cheaper masks you will save money by not having to replace the mask that often due to broken windows, etc.
The Easybreath is not your mask if you require wearing glasses while snorkeling. None of the full-face masks will be good for that as you cannot get prescription lenses for the window. Your fit might also not be perfect if you have a full beard. Otherwise, you can trust to get a tight fit through the silicone skirt of the mask against your face and the straps to adjust the mask.
The Tribord Easybreath is a rather large mask. The trapped air inside will make it nearly impossible to use it for free diving or any other diving as it causes too much buoyancy. That should not be a problem considering it is a snorkel mask and not a dive mask.
The mask comes in various sizes and colors. The sizing should allow to find a perfect fitting mask for any shape of head, even for children. There are four sizes available which is outstanding!
You can get the mask in three different colors: Atoll, Blue and Pink. The top of the snorkel is always kept a bright orange to make it easy to see in the water.
These are just some highlights of the Easybreath goggles. But, that’s not all. You can find the detailed review of this mask here to get a more in-depth insight into what makes this mask one of the best around.
The Tribord Easybreath is overall a great mask. In the past it kind of lost the comparison with the Seaview 180 Degree full face snorkel mask because it didn’t offer a GoPro camera mount. This has been remedied and you can purchase an optional mount for your GoPro camera when you own the Subea/Triboard Easybreath mask. Overall though, both masks are pretty much similar.
The Tribord has a slight advantage as it’s impossible to fog the mask up. The Seaview mask can fog up a little when breathing heavy but it easily clears when going back to a shallower breathing.
On the safety side the Easybreath also has a tiny advantage through the bright orange end piece of the snorkel. It is easier to see in the water and at least in theory can help to prevent collisions.
Besides those small differences both masks are on par. They even look very similar when you hold them next to each other. You can’t go wrong with either!
There are a few more differences to know about and consider in your buying choice. You can check them out in our head-to-head comparison of these two snorkel goggles.
After comparing the Tribord mask with the Wildhorn contender to find the best of the two, we also compared the Easybreath with the Ocean Reef Aria. You can have a closer look at this comparison here.
To provide you with the best knowledge on which mask to pick, we also have created a comparison between the Subea mask and the Ninja H2O which you can look at here.
The Ocean Reef Aria full-face snorkel mask is very similar to the Tribord. It’s overall a very solid mask made from some of the best material around. It is a high-quality mask, fits great and works as advertised.
One downside we see is that it is more expensive compared to the other snorkel goggles shown in this list. For most people it won’t make sense to get the Ocean Reef Aria vs. the Easybreath.
Yet, there are exceptions. If you wear glasses, then the Aria is one of the few masks that has optional corrective lens adapters. These adapters allow to have prescription lenses installed that you then wear while snorkeling. These frames fit tight inside the skirt which leads us to believe it might not work great for everybody.
There’s nothing not to like about this mask. It comes in a few color combinations that might make you scratch your head though. Ever thought of orange and pink? In one mask? You might want or need this mask if you want color combos like that. It might even be worth to pay more than you’d pay for the original.
One thing to consider is also that technically this mask comes in a large variety of sizes. Four to be precise. Including an XS sized mask for children. However, specific color combinations will only be found for certain sizes.
This is an overall good full-face mask. It’s a high-quality product that will last you a long time. The price in our opinion is too high. And you have to pay money if you want to add the GoPro camera mount. You’re better and cheaper off to look at the Seaview 180 Degree.
The Aria is one of the top snorkel goggles you can find. If you want to find out more about this mask, then check out our in-depth review that will provide you with a lot more detail.
As already mentioned above, we also have a comparison between the Aria and the Subea Easybreath. You’ll be able to figure out for yourself which of these two masks might be best for you.
One of the newer models on the market is the Head/Mares Sea Vu. You will find the goggles marketed under the Head brand and other times under the Mares brand. The reason being that Head owns Mares and depending on which market you look at you might find one or the other or both.
In short, this is a great mask. It comes in several sizes and color mixes. You can pick from four different sizes and get it in five different colors. Not all color schemes are available in all sizes so you might have to compromise a little.
The mask has a flat lens and sits comfortably on your face. The design provides excellent visibility in all directions through its rather large lens. The lens is made from shatterproof polycarbonate and offers crystal clear views of the world underwater.
Head/Mares designed it to prevent any kind of fogging and successfully does that. There is a purge valve at the bottom that lets you easily clear any water that might have gotten into the mask.
The air you breathe in and the air you exhale travel to and from the snorkel in different routes. This provides excellent fog prevention and reduces the chance of CO2 build-up.
The snorkel is designed as a dry snorkel. Under normal circumstances you will not have any water enter through. Even if you submerge for a moment to explore the underwater world further, you will stay dry inside the mask. The tip of the snorkel has a brightly colored part to ensure that others will see you while you snorkel and not run over you by accident. For easier transportation you can also remove the tube.
This mask does not offer a mount for an action camera. If you are into making movies of your snorkel trips, then look at goggles that have a mount.
Aqua Lung entered the market of full face snorkel masks with the Smart Snorkel model. As you would expect from a renowned scuba and snorkel gear manufacturer, you will get a top-quality product if you go for these goggles.
Looking at the mask you realize that it has a slightly different design approach compared to other full-face snorkeling masks. The lens is flat compared to others. This provides good visibility straight out at the cost of somewhat reduced visibility on the edges of your optical spectrum. That’s not a problem at all and we appreciate the excellent visibility you can get through this design choice. The lens is made from shatterproof polycarbonate that keeps your face and eyes safe from the outside world.
It is available in three different sizes. This allows pretty much any size and shape of face to find a match that seals tight. If you are a fan of different colors, you will unfortunately not be too happy. There’s only one color that the mask is available in.
Another design aspect that Aqualung considered is to have a low breathing resistance. You practically breathe as easily as if you are on land with this mask. That also results in being fog proof all around.
The goggles have a dry top snorkel that prevents water from coming into the mask. This is only true when you dive down a little at a shallow angle. If you dive straight down the dry top cannot close the snorkel and water can come into the mask.
The skirt and straps are made from hypoallergenic silicone. It’s very similar to the top-quality materials that Aqua Lung uses in their scuba diving gear.
There are a lot more snorkel goggles available. Most of them are to be honest, cheap knock-offs of the masks we list above. On the plus side, most of those other masks are cheap. On the downside, they are unfortunately made from cheap material and do not last long.
Another issue you can run into with these cheap models is that the lens is not made from shatterproof polycarbonate. This does not seem to be that big of an issue in the first place as you won’t dive deep and there won’t be a lot of pressure against the mask. But, think of what happens if by some freak incident the lens breaks. If it is shatterproof polycarbonate then you’ll have a crack and in the worst case you replace the mask. With cheap plastics you might have sharp fragments hitting your face and eyes. The worst case in that is serious health risks and injuries that nobody would want to have.
Cheap material is not only a potential threat to your health but can also result in a much shorter lifetime of your goggles. Most people like to snorkel in warm water which usually also means you are in sunlight a lot. Inferior materials, specifically plastics, will age in sunlight as they are not capable to withstand the UV rays. That will fairly quickly make them prone to breaking and leaking and you will then have to replace that mask a lot quicker than having gone for a quality product.
Just to be sure though. Not all other masks on the market are cheap and not worth a second look. We picked the best for this review and there are others that are undoubtedly good masks. Some of these are:
In the worst case some of these masks can be dangerous when you snorkel for a long time. If they do not transport your exhaled breath effectively out of the mask, then you run the (low) risk of having too much carbon-dioxide you breathe in.
All the masks listed above are designed to transport CO2 out of the mask effectively and efficiently. You won’t risk breathing in too much of it. The danger in using such a cheap mask is that there is CO2 build-up inside the mask and you eventually breathe in too much of it. This can have serious health implications and in the worst case even lead to death.
Some of these cheap full face masks also have a soft area over your nose that allows you to equalize in case you dive straight down. In theory, that’s a nice feature. However, these goggles all trap a lot of air which makes it hard to dive.
Also, diving straight down will render each of these dry top snorkels useless. They won’t close and prevent water from coming in so you potentially end up with a flooded mask after trying to dive straight down.
This also brings us to one downside of all of these full-face snorkel goggles. You can’t purge them the way you can with traditional designed ones. A traditional mask can easily be purged by lifting it slightly and blowing into it with your nose.
The contenders we are looking at here allow you to breathe through your mouth or nose. This makes it impossible to purge by blowing out through your nose. This is not a problem of one specific set of goggles, it’s one that comes with the ability to breathe through your nose and mouth.
You should always remember that these masks are made for relaxed snorkeling and not for exhausting free diving or swimming. Such physically more straining activities will increase your rate of breathing and potentially can increase the CO2 in your mask!
What do you have to consider to find the best full face snorkel mask? Check out the buyer’s guide below!
When you’re in the market for a new full-face snorkel mask and you only look at the pictures, then you quickly will realize that they look all pretty much the same. If you compare that, for example, to looking at the different best dive masks then you at least can see a difference between those.
Full-face snorkel masks all are derived from one original design. And that was the Tribord Easybreath. The major updates and innovations you can get are improvements and changes on the breathing chamber and mounts for action cameras. You can find these on the Seaview 180 Degree mask.
Important factors to keep in mind also are to have a snorkel that stays dry and a valve to get rid of water inside the mask. Regarding safety you need to make sure that the window is of high-grade, impact resistant polycarbonate. Another good feature to have is a snorkel end piece is in a strong signal color. This allows others to see you easily and avoid collisions.
Snorkeling is a family-friendly activity. It’s relaxing and there’s so much to see underwater. You also do not need any skills whatsoever once you know how to swim. It is important to use the right equipment to make it a pleasant recreational activity for you and your family.
Until a few years ago the best snorkel masks you could get where the same as the ones you used for diving. Technically, there was and is nothing wrong with that. You added a snorkel, and you were good to go. And that’s where the problem started for most.
The snorkels had a mouthpiece you needed to bite down to keep it in place. Even if it’s your own, that’s a rather unhygienic piece of equipment. The more important issue though is or was that you had to breathe through your mouth. The old goggles and snorkel combinations did not allow for any nose breathing. Many people didn’t like this leisure activity because of that as their instinct was to breathe through their nose.
Another problem with the old snorkel tubes was that they didn’t keep water out when they got submerged. There’s a lot of drinks that taste better than a nice swallow of salt water. Many people tried the activity and quickly stopped once they drank a mouthful of salt water and gagged under water. Not only does it taste gross, it also can lead to panic attacks for some people as they immediately fear they drown. Newer generations are dry so they don’t allow water to get into the snorkel and your mouth when submerged.
The full-face masks completely took away with those old types of snorkels and breathing problems. As they cover the whole face, they allow to breathe through your mouth or your nose. Just as if you’d take a stroll in a park. They also are designed to be dry snorkels and will keep the water out of the snorkel and the mask if they get submerged.
Dry top snorkels work well if you dive slowly and in parallel to the surface. If you try to dive straight down the mechanism that keeps the water out of the snorkel won’t work. It will not close and you end up with water in your mask.
Once you have water inside your mask, you will find another problem of these goggles. You can’t easily purge them while you have your head underwater. You have to come up to activate the purging mechanism. There’s no way you can purge them by blowing into the mask through your nose as you can do with a standard dive mask.
Another advantage of a full-face mask is that it is overall more comfortable to wear. As it covers your whole face, the skirt is pressing all around your face. Traditional masks can have pressure points in the middle of your face which might make that more uncomfortable to wear. This is true especially when you snorkel for a longer time and also if you use a cheaper dive mask.
Many people, for whatever reason, think the cheapest dive mask is good enough for snorkeling as they won’t dive. Technically, that might be true but these cheap dive masks also don’t use the best components and materials and thus are often leaky and/or uncomfortable to wear. A full-face mask, if it’s not one of the cheap knock-offs, will usually use high-quality components and materials which make it very comfortable to wear for long times.
Another advantage of the full-face snorkel mask over the traditional dive mask/snorkel combo is that you can’t forget the snorkel at home. You won’t believe how many people go snorkeling only to find out they brought their dive mask but forgot their snorkel at home. They had to clean it and took it out and forgot to put it back. Just one of those things we all tend to do. A full-face mask has the snorkel built-in. If you remember to grab your mask for snorkeling, you also will have your snorkel with you. This might not be an obvious advantage but experience shows it is one to think about!
Traditional masks restrict your view to where you have a good sight on what is in front of you but not much besides that. Full face masks will not give you a full field of view but one that is much larger in comparison.
You won’t get a full 180 degree view in all directions. With some better masks it is close to the 180 degrees though.
Around the edges you will see the frame of the mask and in some other areas you will get a pretty distorted view due to the curving of the lens.
That is not to say that it is a tremendously better field of view compared to a traditional mask. You’ll see a lot more underwater than you would otherwise so it’s worth getting one of these masks.
Another benefit of having a larger field of view is that you can see your snorkel buddies easily. That’s specifically important if you snorkel with your children and need to keep an eye on them.
None of the lenses of these full-face goggles is made from tempered glass. They all are made from polycarbonate or lesser quality plastics.
The high-quality masks use polycarbonate lenses that are shatterproof. That means that if the lens breaks it will not disintegrate into sharp pieces but instead will stay in one piece.
Lenses from polycarbonate are scratch resistant. Do not expect them to be as strong as tempered glass. They can scratch and if you are not careful, then they will scratch.
Having high-quality lens materials is important to get the most lifetime out of your mask while having a crystal clear view in the water. It also helps with traveling as you don’t have to worry that the lens will scratch or break from the smallest pressure.
Most lenses nowadays have a flat front. That means that you get clear views straight out and distorted views on the edges where there are sharp curves. Cheaper masks and older models have round lenses. These distort the view (slightly) when looking in any direction. Compared to a flat lens the curved variant has a consistent distortion that is minimal across your whole field of view. Most snorkelers prefer the flat lens even though there is a greater level of distortion around the edges of the lens.
Last but not least, these kinds of masks are usually also more fog proof than traditional dive masks. As the air continuously exchanges inside the whole mask through you breathing in and out, the humidity level also stays more regulated. This reduces the chance of your mask fogging. In a traditional mask, you have the air sealed around your eyes and nose and it’s not exchanged at all during your snorkel adventure. This increases the chances of the window fogging up and you having issues seeing the beauty of the sea underneath you.
Some full-face snorkel masks also have a mount for an action camera included. Most allow to add a GoPro camera on top of the mask so you can tape the same scenery as you see it while you snorkel.
This is a great feature as it allows you to continue to use your hands while filming. If you have the camera in your hand, then one of your hands is constantly in use holding the camera.
However, while it is great to have the camera attached to your mask, it also has downsides. Most masks have the action camera attachment on the top or on the snorkel. The problem there is that if you don’t have your face underwater, your camera might not be inside the water but above. At that moment you will film nothing but the surface of the lake or ocean.
Masks that have an integrated GoPro attachment that sits in the frame on the top or bottom of the mask. These will usually ensure that the camera is inside the water to film what you see. One simple way to improve the location of the camera is by getting a GoPro extension that lets you change the position of the camera and push it forward and deeper into the water.
Full-face masks have not only advantages though. There’s one disadvantage, and that comes from the large volume of these masks. If you snorkel and see something interesting a few feet below you, it’s much harder to dive down with a full-face mask compared to a traditional scuba mask.
Why, you ask? The air trapped inside the mask creates a lift under water. This makes it much harder to dive down as the air wants to keep you afloat. Modern traditional scuba masks are designed to minimize the amount of trapped air to make it easier to dive. The full-face mask traps a lot of air which helps you stay afloat and makes it easier to snorkel but it also makes it nearly impossible to dive with them.
It feels like there are new full face snorkels coming out every day. Pricing for these ranges from cheap to expensive to overpriced.
Masks that are cheaply designed can also put your health at risk. If the mask is not designed to optimally remove your exhaled breath, then you risk having CO2 build up inside the mask which can lead to health risks.
In most cases, you get what you pay for. Masks that are really cheap will usually be made from cheap material and won’t last long. Some expensive masks are also not worth the money.
The masks we listed above are all reasonably priced and offer top-quality. They are worth the money and will last you a long time.
If the mask fits correctly, then your face will stay dry which makes it very relaxing and comfortable to snorkel with such a mask. A traditional mask will only keep the area it covers dry while the rest of your face gets wet.
Having the mask cover your whole face is not always a good thing. It actually can get hot inside the mask if you snorkel for a long time in hot environments. A traditional mask would allow water on your face which would help to cool you down. The large mask covers your face and your breath will heat it up even more. That’s no danger but it can be uncomfortable after a while.
The short answer is no, you can’t. The problem is that the temples of the frame will disrupt the seal between the skirt of the mask and your skin. This will allow water to come into the mask.
One of the best and easiest alternatives is to wear contacts. Your face and eyes will usually stay dry inside the mask so there’s no danger of having the contacts washed out of your eyes. However, not everybody feels comfortable wearing contacts.
The Ocean Reef Aria mask has a prescription lens accessory you can put into your mask. Your optician has to fit the classes into the frames and you can then place those into the inside of the mask. This works ok but as there’s not a lot of room inside the mask it can be uncomfortable for people.
These kinds of masks have increased the comfort regarding breathing compared to old-fashioned snorkels with a mouthpiece. Will you truly breathe like on land? No, you won’t. You have a limited amount of air you can get through the snorkel.
However, the amount of air you can breathe in and exhale is close to what an average person would get on land. Is breathing harder than on land? Yes, it is a little harder but nothing to be worried about. After using the mask for a few minutes you won’t even feel it anymore.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to travel with them. They are bulky and need a significant amount of space in your suitcase.
Even the newer models which allow to remove the snorkel are still quite large. A traditional mask and snorkel pack a lot smaller and you might consider that if you travel a lot or want to travel light.
Now you’re ready to put your head into the water. Enjoy your snorkeling views!
There’s no good way to wear such a mask if you have a beard. Most likely the beard will interfere with the skirt and you will experience leaks.
It’s a different story if you have a mustache. The mask will completely cover it so you won’t have a problem and will not experience any leaking.
Surprisingly, you can’t really. You would think with not having a mouthpiece you should be able to speak and also be heard by your partner.
However, that’s not the case. The mask blocks nearly every sound you make so you won’t have an easy time talking to anybody.
You can’t. The design lets you breathe through your mouth or nose and you cannot create pressure inside the mask to clear it. The air you exhale will go out through the snorkel.
You can clear a traditional mask by leaning back and exhaling through your nose. This will force the water out of the mask. It does not work like that with full face designs.
You will have to get your head out of the water which will then allow the purge valve to open and let the water drain. Overall, it’s not a big concern but if you are used to a traditional mask and the way to clear it, you will have to get used to not being able to do that.
One major issue is that these masks are a lot more comfortable compared to traditional setups. This does often result in snorkelers being out in the water for long periods of time.
Snorkeling is most fun if you do it in warm water like the Caribbean. Extended times out in the water will cause a lot of sun exposure. If you are not careful, you will find yourself having terrible burns on your back. It’s just easy to forget how comfortable snorkeling has become when you can breathe naturally!
Always put lots of sunscreen on your back and the back of your legs! It might be better and safer to wear a good rash guard with UV protection!
These masks are not designed to be used to swim laps. That doesn’t mean that you can’t but they won’t be of any help if you try to break any records in the pool.
In the best case they give you better visibility but you will most likely experience more drag when swimming. It’s not designed to help you swim faster or improve your swimming overall.
To be honest, the Seaview 180 or the Tribord Easybreath are the overall best masks you can find today. They offer the best performance and quality for the price and will last you for many years to come.
All the masks above are in the same price range. If you are on a budget, then look to find one of last years’ models and you’ll end up happy.
Wildhorn introduced a Version 2 of the Seaview 180 which is a completely different approach to full-face snorkling masks. This triggered the update of this list of goggles and we replaced the original/old Seaview 180 with the new one which you see in the section above.
For reference, here’s our take on the old mask that you still can find and which is still a great buy!
The Seaview 180 degree snorkel mask by Wildhorn Outfitters is a staple for full face masks since it came out several years ago. Until this day it is one of the best, if not the best, 180 Degree full face snorkel mask available. It provides a full 180-degree view which lets you enjoy the underwater wildlife and scenic beauty.
You can breathe through your mouth or nose with this mask while having a surround view through the wide-angle lens. The mask comes in two sizes and roughly fits kids 7 years or older if they wear the smaller size.
The Dry Snorkel Technology prevents water from coming through the snorkel into your mouth. No more swallowing salt water and gagging on it. The overall design of the mask is also a lot more comfortable than traditional snorkels as you do not have to bite down on a mouthpiece!
They make the mask skirt from silicone which provides a comfortable and snug fit to your face. The wide straps allow easy adjustment and won’t get tangled in your hair.
The mask does not provide the ability to wear glasses as the tight fit would be disturbed by the arms of the glasses. There is also no option to replace the lens with prescription lenses! Also, if you have a beard, you might not get a snug fit with this mask or any other snorkel or dive mask. You shouldn’t have a problem with a mustache though.
The separate breathing chamber is an innovative design. It forces the airflow away from the lens. This pretty much eliminates any fogging on the lens. You can enjoy the view a lot better than with many other masks.
Due to the design of this being a full-face mask, there is a lot of air between the lens and your face. This will provide quite a lot of buoyancy so you will have a harder time diving with this mask. As they designed the Seaview 180-degree mask for snorkeling and not for diving, this is not really an issue at all.
The Seaview 180-Degree full face snorkel mask also has the added feature of a GoPro camera mount. It’s your perfect companion if you want to make a video of your snorkeling experience as you need not hold the camera in your hands.
The mask comes in a range of colors. You can get it in Navy Blue/Gray, Plum/Gray, White/Blue, White/Pink and White/Teal. It comes in two different sizes to fit children and adults perfectly.
The Seaview 180 is definitely one of the best snorkel goggles you can buy. If you want to find out how it fares against the Tribord Easybreath, then have a look here.
There’s also more to say than what we can pack into this overview of the Wildhorn mask. If you want to know all the nitty-gritty then check out our in-depth review of this outstanding mask.
There have not been any significant changes through last year. Some models that are listed above have seen minor modifications but overall we still think that the goggles that we list are the best ones to use in 2020.
Happy snorkeling in 2020. Stay safe and enjoy the world underwater!
We removed several of the masks we had in the original article as they are not up-to-date anymore or because they are no longer sold. For reference we provide you with the information on those masks below. Know that they are no longer available or no longer recommended.
The Octobermoon full face mask is definitely the ‘best of the rest’. It’s a similar design as the Triboard Easybreath yet it is cheaper in price.
One could also call it a cheaper knock-off of the Tribord mask. While there is truth to it, it’s also not fair to reduce the mask that way. It’s a quality snorkel mask that is actually high quality.
The snorkel is a model that will automatically close when it submerges. The mechanics of this are quite sophisticated as the valve closes the snorkel instantly when you dive. It also is not one of those cheap mechanisms that sometimes doesn’t work but a really well-designed piece of gear.
The snorkel is not in a highly visible color like on the Easybreath. This is not a problem but a highly visible color can help others to see you and to avoid collisions.
The skirt of the mask is made from high grade silicone and it shows when you put the mask on. It fits tight while still being comfortable. It’s so well designed that you possibly even get a tight seal if you have a beard!
Even with this great skirt you won’t be able to wear glasses while using this mask. You won’t be able to get a tight fit around the arms of your glasses. There’s also no possibility to change the lens with a prescription lens.
The volume of the mask will make it hard to dive. The trapped air produces too much buoyancy and that will force your head to stay afloat. A full-face mask will not be a good choice if you need a mask for both snorkeling and diving.
The Octobermoon snorkel mask comes in two different sizes. The smaller version is intended for children and people with smaller-sized heads. The larger size works for medium to large heads.
You also have the choice between two color combinations. You can either get it in black or in blue.
If you’re looking for a great budget priced mask, then you don’t have to look any further. You get a great mask for a lower price than the Seaview or Easybreath masks.
The UooCool mask is one of the latest new masks in the full-face snorkel mask market. And they have designed a solid and high quality full face snorkel mask.
The snorkel is designed to stay dry under water and the design works well. It stays dry under water. The mask has a water purge valve at the bottom of the mask to get any water in the mask out easily.
The mask seals well even when you’re not freshly shaved. It provides a comfortable fit with a good skirt. The straps allow to adjust the fit perfect.
The mask has no attachment for a GoPro camera which seems surprising for a rather new model on the market. The overall design is solid and the field of view is large.
The snorkel top is colored to match the mask. It’s not a bright signal color so it might not be easily visible like for example the Easybreath mask.
The mask comes in two different sizes to fit nearly any size and shape of face. The mask comes in several colors which include black, blue, green and two different pink masks.
It is overall a well-designed mask for a good price.
The Ninja mask is a good and high quality mask. It comes in two editions. The standard version and the GoPro version.
We could write a lot about this mask as it seriously is a good mask. However, the price in our opinion is simply not justified. The Ninja is not better than the Seaview or the Easybreath yet it costs nearly double the price.
There’s no reason to spend that much money in our opinion so for a mask is not in any way better than others we already looked at above. However, if you have too much money to spend, then you can be sure to get a great mask for the money you spend.
For this money you spend you’ll get a mask with a dry snorkel, a great fit, and last but not least one that is fog free. You can count on getting a mask with all the features you’d expect and that we already reviewed for our two top-rated masks. Yet, you’ll spend way more money than you have toâ¦
The name is a mouthful but thankfully the snorkel is not. Being a full face mask means that there’s no snorkel piece to bite onto. You can breathe through your mouth or nose as if you are on land.
This mask is a relatively new contender on the market and their claim to fame is that they have the longest snorkel of all full-face masks. We have not measured it against all the available snorkels but yes; it is a long snorkel. This gives you a little more leeway when moving around before accidentally submerging the snorkel.
The mask has a soft skirt that provides a tight and leak free fit to your face. You might have trouble staying dry if you have a beard. If you end up with some water in your mask, then there is a valve at the bottom of the mask to drain any water that accumulated. Stand upright to enable the automatic draining of water from the mask.
The snorkel stays dry even if submerged. That will save you a lot of salty or dirty water in your mouth which otherwise will lead to gagging and a less than perfect experience snorkeling.
The mask is designed to give you a full 180 degree field of view. The window is built with impact resistant polycarbonate. It is fog free.
Another great feature of this mask is that it has a mount for your GoPro camera. It’s designed to allow you to get an easy view out of the mask onto the viewfinder or the screen of the camera so you can see what you’re filming while you snorkel.
This is a great mask with good features at a good price. We don’t think it’s any better than the Seaview but it’s also not necessarily worse. It only comes in black and the snorkel does not have a color piece that would make it easily visible when you snorkel.
Snorkeling doesn’t require much equipment, but there are a few main items every snorkeler needs: a snorkel, mask and a set of fins. Of late, full-face snorkel masks have been introduced to the market and have become quite popular.
Unlike conventional and traditional snorkel goggles that do not cover your face, full-face ones are designed to prevent water from getting to your face and into your nose or mouth. But, there have been many questions surrounding whether or not it is even safe to use a full-face mask. So let’s dive right into it:
Full face snorkel masks look drastically different than the traditional ones. Their main function is to reduce fogging up as you snorkel in the ocean or lake and to eliminate the need to attach a snorkel.
These goggles have everything built into one piece, the lens as well as typically a dry-top snorkel. It eliminates the need to buy different pieces of equipment as it comes in one piece. The dry snorkel ends up in a chamber through which you breathe.
This enables snorkelers to breathe through their mouth and nose (basically the way we breathe on land) and is considered to be the more comfortable option. Full-face masks also give a clearer view, which can also be a reason for their recent popularity.
Of course, if you’re using gear that is going to seal your face completely, there will be some obvious risks involved. There have been quite a few known incidents where:
Some snorkelers have raised concerns about the dangers of the full-face mask being completely sealed. That could lead to a potential buildup of carbon dioxide within the mask. This can make the snorkeler feel spaced out and may even make them unconscious.
The advantages of using such a mask become the downside in this case. As the full-face snorkel masks are a lot more comfortable to use, a snorkeler can perform the activity for a much longer time. This could in very rare cases cause a build-up of carbon dioxide in the mask.
Some snorkel mask producers state straight off that their masks are meant for casual snorkeling. They are not meant for heavy-duty purposes since they won’t let you get enough oxygen for strenuous movement and potentially could lead to a buildup of CO2 inside the mask.
You might also think that water getting into the mask can be of danger. Most of the full-face masks come with a purge valve that makes it easy to expel any water inside and therefore pretty much eliminates any risk of suffocating.
Obviously, the first step is to get a snorkel mask from a well-known source. Once you have it, you can follow some precautionary measures to avoid any unfortunate incidents:
Even though it sounds quite simplistic, practice wearing your mask until you can wear and remove it quickly and easily. After all, you don’t know what sort of situations may arise in the water so you need to be prepared.
The early symptoms of CO2 overdose include breathing problems, hyperventilation, drowsiness, haziness, and reduced consciousness. If you experience anything like this when you are swimming, stop and remove the mask as soon as you can to avoid drastic situations, such as convulsions or a complete loss of consciousness.
You can also simply have regular intervals while you snorkel and take the goggles off for a few seconds to exchange the air inside the mask completely. This pretty much guarantees that there’s no co-2 build-up inside that ever could get to a level that is a danger to your health.
First off, full-face masks aren’t meant for swimming underwater. If you still decide to do so, equalize the pressure in your ears close to the water surface before wading out.
Having a snorkel buddy will not only make the experience more fun, but you’ll also have someone you can turn to for help in case your equipment malfunctions or there is some other type of emergency. They’ll also be there for you if you have a sudden panic attack.
Knowing whether there are jagged rocks close to the shore, what the current is like, if there are any expected winds, etc., can help you prepare for your snorkeling adventure in advance. Ideally, full-face snorkel masks should not be used in harsh weather and water conditions since you’ll need to exert more energy. Also, there is a greater risk of CO2 buildup inside your mask.
Don’t overexert yourself by saying that it’s just another few feet. If you start feeling the symptoms of CO2 building up inside, stop and remove the mask. If you intend to snorkel out to a longer distance and wish to spend more time observing marine life, a conventional mask and snorkel is the better option.
Always be aware of all the important information, such as how to defog your mask, how to fit it on your face properly, etc., so that it doesn’t cause discomfort or blur your vision during your dive. Learn how to loosen and tighten the straps easily so that you can remove the mask easily in case of emergencies.
With full-faced snorkel masks, the most important thing is to be aware of all the risks involved and how to combat them.
Make sure you take care of 2 things:
There has been news about a number of snorkel-related deaths in Maui (Hawaii) where many blamed the full-face snorkel mask as being the root cause.
However, people may be quick to jump to conclusions out of suspicion over foreign equipment. Out of a number of deaths reported in Hawaii, there were only 2 snorkelers who were using full-face snorkel masks, so it is quite unclear if these were the actual cause of death or not.
With a number of other factors, such as weather conditions, tides, and water currents and even just a snorkeler who may have suffered from a wave of panic, it is difficult to tell whether full-face snorkel masks can actually lead to death or something else happened.
Especially, since most likely there weren’t many people around, there may not be any eyewitnesses either.
The main thing is to always supervise your children when they are snorkeling. As long as the mask you get for them is of good quality, they’ll be comfortable in it because they can breathe regularly and the mask provides better vision.
Make sure your children know how to adjust the straps and remove the mask easily and they’ll be fine.
It is important to select a full-face mask from a reputable brand and to choose a model that has been successfully tried and tested. Knock-offs may use low-grade materials that will not fit well and will be made of low-quality silicone, which won’t seal properly.
This will cause you to exhale carbon dioxide into the mask. This carbon dioxide will mix with the moisture and the combination of the two will fog up your view. If you end up consuming too much of the carbon dioxide, it can also make you dizzy and unconscious.
Known and reputable brands and masks like the Subea/Tribord Easybreath, the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview or from Head/Mares, Ocean Reef (Aria) or Aqua Lung provide panoramic views that are safe to enjoy while you snorkel.
Despite some risks involved, at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. If you feel more comfortable in a full-face snorkel mask, then get a good one and it’ll enhance your snorkeling experience.
Just remember: these masks are meant for leisurely snorkeling and should be strictly avoided by professional and serious snorkelers. For most people, the benefits outweigh the risks when using these goggles responsibly.
Apart from that, just stay away from knock-offs and you’ll be fine. Check the reviews you can find online before buying. Please share your experiences below in the comments.
By now we’re all used to seeing full face snorkel masks when we are anywhere where snorkeling is possible. Yet, this mask pushes the envelope just by looking at it. We’re excited to review the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 Degree V2 for you!
You’ve probably seen the typical full-face masks with the snorkel coming out on top of the mask. These types of masks provide you with a panoramic view and you can breathe through your mouth and nose.
The best ones of these masks are (were) the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 and the Tribord Easybreath. Until now. There’s a new kid in town and the cards are being shuffled again.
Wildhorn Outfitters introduced the version 2 of their wildly successful and highly praised Seaview 180 in early 2019. And when they say V2, they really mean it. It’s not just a few updates here and there, it’s a revolutionary design change.
It’s also interesting to see that Wildhorn took a completely different approach to funding the development and tools required for the mask. They started a campaign on Kickstarter to fund the tooling and hoped for $20,000. They ended up with more than $400,000 in pledged funding! That alone shows how many people find this revolutionary approach to a full-face mask tempting and worthwhile! You can check out the Kickstarter page for more information!
A whole lot has changed when the Seaview 180 V2 hit the market. It truly is a revolution in design and a major step in making these types of snorkel goggles safer and even more convenient and comfortable than what they already were.
We focus on highlighting the design choices made by Wildhorn Outfitters for this mask together with outlining the benefits you get when using this mask.
Just a first glance shows you that this mask takes a completely new approach to the full-face covering snorkel goggles you’ve seen in the past. The snorkel is integrated on the side and not the top, resembling the position where the snorkel is located with traditional snorkel goggles.
Looking at it from a design, it makes a lot of sense. The air you breathe in and out can be funneled easier into the snorkel and doesn’t flow through the rest of the mask.
The advantages are that you’re breathing even easier and more natural in the V2 compared to other masks of this kind. Not having to deal with the exhausted air that is humid in your field of view also improves the fog resistance (or free-ness if you want) compared to traditional models.
Lastly, the better transport of air in and out of your mouth and nose reduces the elevation of CO2 in the air you breathe in. While all high-quality full-face snorkeling masks are designed to specifically remove the CO2 quickly and satisfactorily out of the mask, some cheaper models might not have that much thought put into them!
The snorkel is also shaped differently on top. This optimizes the position of the air intake above the water. As you’d expect, it’s a top-dry snorkel design that prevents water from getting into the mask and breathing chamber.
Having the position of the air intake optimized does improve the overall snorkeling experience a lot. Your position in the water is better and you get more relaxed. Snorkels on top of the mask do at times lead the snorkeler to keep the head held up instead of straight in the water.
The Seaview 180 V2 does in our opinion a better job to encourage to hold the head steady in the water. While the snorkel is longer which usually requires more effort to breathe in and out, Wildhorn Outfitters in this case also made it larger. This in combination with the unique design provide a better airflow than the typical full-face mask.
The breathing and snorkel design is called ‘Flowtech’. It does deliver on the promise to make breathing easier and position the air intake at a better angle and position.
The fun at snorkeling stops when you’re wearing a leaky mask. Water inside the mask is annoying and makes the experience a hassle.
The original Seaview 180 was great at keeping the inside dry. If you got the right size mask you most always did not get water into the mask. The snorkel had a mechanism to keep water out and the mask itself has a silicone skirt that produces a tight seal with your skin.
The V2 takes it a step further. We already mentioned that the snorkel position is optimized which, in combination with the dry valve, prevents more water in a wider range of positions and situations to enter your mask that way.
Yet, as with all dry snorkels, you can overcome the capabilities offered. If you dive straight down then the valve can’t close and water can enter through the snorkel into the mask. This is an issue that all dry snorkels have and nothing that’s specific to the Seaview 180 v2.
If you want to dive underwater with this mask then do it at a slight angle and you will be fine. The snorkel valve can close and it will keep you dry.
The skirt is thick and soft and made from hypoallergenic silicone. It seals tight against your skin and allows no water to get in.
Should, under some unforeseen circumstance, water get into the mask then it’s easy to get it out. There is a purge valve at the base of the mask. Simply lift your head out of the water and the valve opens and the water drains out. No need to panic as it’s a quick and easy way to get any water to flow out.
The Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 Degree V2 has one of the widest fields of view you can get. You get a full 180 degree view through the flat lens.
Some of the first snorkel masks that provided a wide view used rounded masks. This does provide a somewhat more focused view out of the edges but also produces a slight distortion when you look straight out.
A flat lens provides a clearer view looking straight but a slightly distorted view around the edges of your field of view. Most times you look straight out and therefore having the better view in this direction provides a lot more benefit compared to less distortion around the edges.
Another advantage of the V2 is that it has a separate breathing chamber that directly connects to the snorkel. This reduces the accumulation of humid air inside the mask as it never really gets into the mask itself.
This by itself reduces the chances of fog building up on the lens. A specifically designed air flow system inside the mask does the rest and keeps the lens fog-free in pretty much any condition.
In our opinion none of the other available masks at this time even stands a chance to beat the Seaview 180 V2. The airflow is superb and keeps your visibility at a maximum.
Nearly all other full-face masks that have an Action camera mount have it on the top of the mask. At first you might think that this is the best position you could have. It’s in the same direction as your mask and it’s not anywhere in your view.
However, there’s one problem with that position. If you’re not keeping your head flat in the water but lift it up a little, then your camera comes out of the water and films what happens above the water instead of what’s going on underwater.
The 2nd version of the Seaview 180 takes care of that issue with the mount of the action camera being on the side of the mask. This keeps it out of your field of vision while it also ensures that the camera is underwater all the time.
Your movies will be a million times better and you can show your friends and family what you’ve seen underwater instead of showing them what happened above!
In the early days many manufacturers provided a large number of different sizes. This made it somewhat confusing to figure out what the best matching size for your head would be.
Over the years it seems to have become the standard to offer three sizes. These typically range from extra-small/small to medium to large/x-large. The Seaview 180 Degree V2 is no exception. It’s available in the sizes
It’s simple to find out what the best size for you is. You measure from the bridge of your nose down to your chin. Either ask somebody to measure it for you or do it in front of a mirror.
You can match the measurement to the sizing chart for the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 Degree V2. Here are the three brackets to check against:
Buy the mask in the size that matches your measurement and you’ll get the perfect fit for your face. If you get a mask that’s too small or too large then you most likely will end up with a leaking mask that isn’t comfortable to wear!
Having a variety of colors to choose from is not of any help when it comes to safety. However, it can be fun to pick a bright color and match it with your preferred outfit like a rash guard instead of going with a bland black or grey.
The Seaview 180 V2 comes in a variety of colors. Don’t worry, it’s not like you end up with the complete mask in different colors. The shades are subtle and it’s only the tip of the snorkel and the purge valve that bring the little color into your underwater adventures. The frame itself is always in black or grey depending on what other color you choose. You can pick
One would think that at some point in time more colors will come. Pink or a bright yellow might be nice options for different people!
Keeping the mask clean is pretty easy. You’re dealing with plastics and soft silicone so you definitely do not want to use any harsh chemicals!
Most times it’ll be enough to rinse the mask with clean water. It’s important that you really wash out all the areas of the mask to prevent any small particles to stay behind. Do that anytime after you use the goggles and they will stay clean for life.
It’s very important that you keep the mask in a place where you have good ventilation. This allows it to dry completely and prevents any moisture from building.
To store the mask you simply make sure to keep it in a dry, ventilated and dark place. Constant exposure to sunlight can and will damage the silicone and plastics of the mask. When you’re at the beach then put a towel over the mask instead of baking it in direct sunlight.
Lastly, always keep the lens off of sand. The fine sand particles can scratch the lens and eventually it’ll start to impact your visibility.
The Seaview 180 V2 is designed specifically for snorkeling. It’s not a good fit at all for freediving.
First, it has a large volume for a freediving mask. A lot of air is trapped in the mask which makes it much harder to dive down.
Second, the materials are top-notch but not the right ones for the pressure you experience when you dive deep. You want to use tempered glass lenses for diving down. Wildhorn Outfitters used highest-quality polycarbonate for the mask but it’s not as safe and sturdy as tempered glass.
To say it in one word: Yes. We think that at this time this is the best full-face snorkel mask you can get. Other competitors including the original Seaview 180 are great and you won’t have any complaints if you buy a high-quality model.
However, the design choices made with the version 2 of the Seaview mask are simply superb compared to older models. This mask is not simply an evolution but a revolution. Wildhorn Outfitters took all they learned from the original design and made it better.
And just to understand how good the first version was and is. There are thousands of five star reviews that you can find online. The old version is most likely the best-rated full face mask you can find. We are certain that the new version V2 will take that top spot within a short period of time. It’s that good!
Just make sure to measure your size correctly and then enjoy your snorkeling in a whole new way!
Until a not too long ago it was a tie between the Tribord Easybreath (checkout the review here) and the Seaview 180 (old version, review here). With the introduction of the V2 of the Seaview 180 we do believe that we found a new ruler.
You can check out our picks for the best full-face snorkeling masks here: https://www.deepbluediving.org/best-full-face-snorkel-masks/
For decades, if you wanted to snorkel, you got a cheap scuba mask and a snorkel. You could only breathe through your mouth and had to clamp your teeth down on a piece of plastic to keep the snorkel in. Any tiny wave caused water to get into the snorkel and into your mouth.
Your vision was restricted to look straight out of the mask. If you are somewhat claustrophobic, then you were on the edge of a panic attack as soon as you put the googles on.
Sounds like a joyful experience?
That’s why the full-face masks became popular. You have a 180-degree view and you can breathe through your mouth or nose. No need to bite down on a mouthpiece. The overall experience is a lot more comfortable and joyful
These kinds of masks are actually the best choice you can make for kids. They are comfortable and easy to put on and off. Breathing is natural so your kids don’t have to learn to suppress the urge to breathe with their nose as they’d do with traditional masks.
We’ve compared the most popular full face masks that come in small sizes for children. You can find the list of these snorkel goggles here: https://www.deepbluediving.org/best-full-face-snorkel-mask-for-children/
Going on any sort of snorkeling trip you see more and more people use full-face snorkel masks. The reasons for that are obvious.
But, these masks are not only great for adults. They make snorkeling a lot more enjoyable for children too. We all try to protect our kids so check out our thoughts on what you have to consider before you buy such snorkeling goggles. We picked a number of full face snorkeling masks for kids that are high-quality and safe and won’t break the bank!
They make breathing a lore more convenient and easier. A good mask will also be fog-free, and you don’t have to deal with visibility issues.
Moreover, you also have a superior view when you’re using such a mask as you’re getting a 180-degree view. Any of the higher quality masks also comes with a dry snorkel which prevents water from entering the mask through the snorkel when using it as designed. More about that later…
The most important factor is that you can breathe through your mouth and nose which makes snorkeling a lot more convenient and simpler. With traditional masks you had and have to deal with the mask which covers your eyes and nose and then the snorkel which you use through a mouthpiece. This way you can breathe through your mouth but not your nose. This is way less comfortable and convenient when you compare it to a full-face mask.
In a rush? Check out the list of masks we think are the best for children:
You’ll see many adults using these kinds of masks but what about children? Having all these advantages over traditional masks should certainly make these masks perfect for use with children.
Yet, there are some differences to consider. First and foremost, the heads of children are smaller. Looking at a full-face snorkel mask you can easily see that the mask has to sit tight over your face. A smaller face will be harder to fit if there are not special sizes available.
Children grow practically by the minute. For many people the thought of having to pay a lot for anything kid related that they will basically grow out of within the blink of an eye.
This won’t necessarily be the case with a full-face snorkel mask. While you certainly have to make sure to get the correct size, it’s usually taking a while before one would grow out of a mask that fits great today.
Newer masks enter the market all the time and they have come down in price a lot since their introduction. The flipside is that many of the masks you can find that are on the lower spectrum of the price range are not of the best quality. This can and will negatively impact the experience your kids will have.
The higher quality masks are overall barely more expensive than a good traditional mask with a dry snorkel. Yet, compared to the traditional setup your kids will definitely enjoy a full face mask a lot more. Getting them excited about snorkeling and making it a fantastic family activity should not be something you want to risk for saving a few bucks by buying a cheap mask.
If the price of a regular high-quality mask is too high, then do not go for a cheap knock-off. The quality of these cheap masks is simply not there. The materials used are often very cheap as is the construction.
Using these cheap masks a few times might result in you throwing them away because they don’t work or already broke. The high-quality masks we highlight below are great and are not that much more expensive than the cheap versions.
If you truly cannot afford to purchase one of the top-contenders in the full-face snorkel masks then have a look to find a model from the previous year. They are pretty much as good but might have a few cosmetic or minor design changes. Yet, they will be cheaper while you won’t have to compromise on quality!
Sizing a full-face mask is straightforward. You measure the distance from the bridge of the nose to the chin while the mouth is closed. That distance will decide which size of the mask to get.
Manufacturers that have specific children sizes will use the same type of measurement. Something you do not want to do is to get a size larger in the hopes that the mask will fit your child longer.
What will most likely happen is that the mask won’t fit as it should, and it will not keep the water out. The water will get into the mask and your child will not enjoy the experience for a minute. In the end the money you saved will have the potential to ruin the experience for them!
There’s a combination of things that make such full-face snorkel masks stay dry inside. First, it’s using the right size as pointed out above. Most people including children using these masks and getting water inside have an ill-fitting mask.
The skirt of the mask is made from soft silicone (in most cases) that will sit tight against your skin. This seal prevents water from getting into the mask. If the size is wrong, then there’s often a gap in this connection and water comes in.
Another common reason for water to get in is if a strand of hair comes between the mask skirt and your skin. This will break the seal in tiny areas and water will get into the mask. Usually, you will end up with a few drops of water so it’s not like the water will be gushing in.
The last mechanism to prevent water from coming into the mask is the snorkel. Most if not all of the full-face masks use what is called a dry snorkel.
A dry snorkel has a floating device in the tip. This float, usually in the shape of a ball, closes the snorkel when it dips under water. It also prevents waves from letting water in.
These dry snorkels do work to some extent. If your kid tries to dive straight down then the angle of the snorkel changes and the float often won’t work. The result is that there is water coming into the mask during such an activity. If the kid is diving under water and keeping a similar position as during snorkeling, then the snorkel will keep the water out.
The snorkel is an integral part of these masks and the design is such that it sticks out of the water pretty straight when snorkeling. Within a certain range of positioning the snorkel in any direction it will work fine to keep the water out. However, diving straight down puts the snorkel parallel to the surface and the technology to keep the water out will fail at that moment.
There will be situations where smaller amounts of water enter the mask through the snorkel or otherwise. All of the high-end and high-quality full-face snorkel masks have a purge valve in the chin area. This valve allows to get rid of the water inside the mask without having to take the mask off.
In many cases you simply have to have your child stick her head out of the water and bend it back a little. That will open the valve and drain the water from the mask.
A big difference between cheap masks and higher end masks is the level of distortion in the viewing area. That mostly depends on whether the viewing section of the mask is curved or flat. A flat section reduces distortion and provides a clearer view and image.
A rounded visor will create some distortion but the view on the sides will be better as you won’t have sharp angles in the field of view. However, the distortion can make some people dizzy and force them to stop the snorkeling at least for a while.
The high-end masks do all come with a flat lens when you look out front. The minimal reduction in visibility to the sides is a small price to pay for being able to see clearly and without getting dizzy.
A minor other difference between the different masks is whether the mouth/nose chamber is made with nearly transparent material or not. Theoretically, you get a little more peripheral field of view if the material is transparent or close to being transparent. In our opinion it’s not that important as you usually will have swam right across the area that is now going out of your peripheral view and as such you usually will not concentrate on that area any longer.
With regards to safety there’s no difference between a traditional mask and a full-face mask. With the ability to breathe naturally the chance of an accident is smaller in our opinion.
If there is something unforeseen happening, then being able to breathe like above water can be a tremendous calming factor. If your child usually breathes through the nose, then a traditional mask can cause panic as there is no ability to breathe through the nose.
Another safety related advantage is that the field of view of the full-face mask is larger than that of most traditional masks. This can be a safety advantage as it does improve peripheral vision. That way an object that is out of the field of view with a traditional mask can be seen with a full-face mask and a potentially harmful situation can be avoided.
The flipside is that many of the cheap masks are made with cheap and low-quality material. If you buy any of the listed masks below then you can be assured that high-quality components and design are used.
You might think that whether using a high-grade silicone skirt or a lower quality doesn’t have an effect on safety. And that can be true. But the low-quality material on the visor/lens does certainly have a huge influence on the overall safety.
High-quality masks use shatter-proof polycarbonate. In the case of a heavy impact the lens will not break into small pieces that can cut into the skin or even the eyes. This might not be the case for the cheap masks where cheap plastics are used everywhere. In our opinion it’s not worth saving a few bucks while increasing the chances of a serious injury in the (ultra-rare) case of an accident!
Most safety related issues during snorkeling and swimming come from other factors than the mask anyway. The best safety advice that can be given is that you as the parent watch and supervise your children anytime they go into the water whether it’s for snorkeling or just to take a swim!
There’s no straightforward answer. A full-face mask is the best choice if you and your children want to regularly go snorkeling.
They are way more convenient compared to traditional masks and take your family’s snorkeling experience to a completely new level. Breathing is easy and the visibility through the large lens is outstanding.
This makes snorkeling a whole lot more fun especially for children. Being able to see that much more through the 180-degree view allows them to really enjoy the wonders that lie under the water surface.
The other advantages are that these masks provide a variety of adjustments through straps to ensure that it sits tight and comfortably. A side effect of such a good fit is that there’s no water getting into the mask. Yet, if there is then it’s easy to use the purge mechanism to get rid of the water.
Another big advantage for both kids and adults is that there’s no mouth piece. A traditional snorkel ends in such a mouthpiece and you or your child have to bite down on it. After a while her jaws will get tired and the whole experience stops being fun and pleasant. A full-face mask does not require any mouthpiece and there’s no jaw fatigue coming through it. Your child can snorkel for longer times and enjoy the experience a lot more!
Depending on your children’s age and size you definitely want to look for masks that are available in XS or S sizes. All of the high-quality brands have at least an S-size and some do have masks in XS specifically for children.
Buying online through a trusted retailer like Amazon will make it easy to get such a mask and knowing that you can return it in the worst case that it is not fitting. Yet, using the measurement technique mentioned above should allow you to find the right sized mask for your kid.
Interesting enough, all of the masks we suggest you get are the same brands we suggest in our best full-face snorkel masks guide. The truth is that you won’t go wrong with any of these masks we showcase in more detail below.
The best masks for children in our opinion are:
These three masks are overall the best masks you can get whether you’re an adult or a child. The SeaView 180 is the only one of the three that has a GoPro mount. Both the EasyBreath and the Aria have an optional GoPro mount that you can purchase separately.
If your children are on the older side and can work with a GoPro (or compatible) camera then having the mount on the mask is great. It provides the same view and angle from the camera as your child has when snorkeling. The video can capture memories that last forever!
Using an optional mount does work well but it typically is not as good as a mount that is integrated with the mask. The reason is that the positioning is good but not as good as with the integrated mount. These optional mounts slide over the snorkel and can obstruct the view on the top of the mask. The built-in GoPro mount of the SeaView 180 keeps the camera out of sight!
In the following you’ll find our rundown on the three masks:
Not too long ago Wildhorn Outfitters released the Seaview 180 Degree in the XS size for children. The mask is one of the top-rated ones you can get for grown-ups and it’s a great addition that they brought out one that is specifically sized for children.
The Seaview 180 is constructed and built with quality in mind. It’s the only mask of the three shown here that has a built-in GoPro mount. If you don’t use a GoPro camera then it’s a feature you don’t need but otherwise it’s great to have that mount. You secure the camera to it and it’ll record everything your child sees. This can add so much more excitement to a snorkel trip!
The design of the mask is pretty much flawless. Breathing is easy and the chance of fogging up is close to not existing. The materials used are of the highest quality and won’t wear out anytime soon.
The S/M and L/XL versions of the mask come in a variety of colors. The XS size for children is currently only available in one color combination of black and navy blue.
The Tribord Easybreath is the original full face snorkel mask. For years it was and is the standard when it comes to this type of snorkel gear.
Early 2017 the design was slightly changed and with that change the branding changed from Tribord to Subea. This latest update also meant that many of the different sizes you could get with the older model are no longer available. On the positive side, the mask did get cheaper without loss of overall quality!
Unfortunately, the XS size of the mask is no longer available. The smallest size is the ‘S’. Based on Subea’s information the two mask sizes cover about 90% of people which includes children aged around 10 years and older.
If your kid is into using a GoPro camera then you can get an optional mount for the mask. This optional mount slides over the snorkel and does make sure that the camera stays in place. The positioning of the video camera is not as optimal as with the SeaView 180 that you can see above.
Besides this one criticism, the mask is pretty much the best you can get. The measures built in to prevent fogging are best in class. The overall quality and the fit are also hard if at all to be beaten.
The Easybreath comes in a large number of different colors. Most sizes are available in both sizes. At times you can also find special editions of the mask with completely different colors or prints to make them more unique!
Ocean Reef makes a variety of snorkel and scuba gear. The Aria mask is their contender in the full face snorkel mask area and it’s overall a great mask.
It comes in four different sizes including an XS size for children. Not all color combinations can be had in all different sizes though!
The mask is built with top of the line materials and will last for a long time. One of the more unique features of the mask is that the area covering your mouth and nose is made from semi-transparent material. This can allow a slightly better view if you look down.
The mask does not have a built-in GoPro mount but you can purchase a mount as an accessory. The optional mount snaps over the snorkel and positions the video camera reasonably well. The position is not as good as on the Seaview 180 but slightly better than on the Easybreath.
Another great (optional) feature of the Aria mask is that you can get an accessory that supports eye glasses in the mask. As you can imagine, using glasses with any snorkel or scuba mask is a challenge as the temples of the frame (the parts going to your ears) disturb the seal between he mask and your face. This will lead to leaking!
A downside of the Aria is the price. It’s on the high end of the pricing range when you compare it to other masks. Overall, the high price is in our opinion not justified when you compare it to the other two masks listed above!
Besides the rather high price, the Aria is a great mask for both children and adults. We have an in-depth review that you should have a look at if you are interested in the Ocean Reef Aria: https://www.deepbluediving.org/ocean-reef-aria/
All of these masks are great. You can’t really go wrong. If your kid wears glasses then the Aria is the one to go with as you can get adapters for the glasses to wear while your kid snorkels.
Otherwise, pick the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 if your kid will go snorkeling with a GoPro camera s it has the mount integrated into the mask. Yet, even the Tribord Easybreath can be accessorized with a mount for an action camera so it does come down to your personal preference.
There’s no doubt that using a full face mask is a great option if you want to go snorkeling with your kids. They make breathing easier than the traditional masks as you can breathe through your mouth or nose. Specifically for children this is great as it reduces anxiety and keeps them more relaxed and calmer in the water.
A second advantage is that you have a larger field of view. A traditional set of goggles will allow you to look straight out but on your sides you will have the skirt of the mask blocking your visibility. A full-face mask provides you with 180 degree visibility which can reduce the feeling of panic in children and adults.
The only downside is if you want to dive down. At that moment the larger volume of a full-face mask can produce a lot more upward buoyancy and make it harder to dive down.
Measuring for the right fit is very simple. You might need help from somebody or stand in front of a mirror to correctly do it.
Simply measure from the tip of your chin up to the bridge of the nose. That measurement is used to them find the correct size of a full-face snorkel mask.
If you have a mask that’s too large or small then it will not sit comfortably on your face. It’s also pretty much guaranteed that you will end up with water in your mask as you won’t achieve a watertight seal between the skirt and your skin.
Keeping your snorkel goggles clean is the same whether they are the traditional or the full-face version. You use a mild (dish) soap with a soft cloth. Wash and rinse the mask thoroughly with clean water and then let it dry in air.
Do not rub hard against the lens and also make sure to not dry it or keep it in sunlight. Direct sunlight can age the material of any such mask and reduce the lifetime significantly.
One of the big advantages of high-quality full-face masks is that they are specifically designed to be fog free. However, there’s never a guarantee that you won’t end up with some light fogging.
A few steps to prevent that is to first of all keep your mask clean. You can also use any of the available defogger sprays which work very well.
Lastly, you can use the traditional methods of scrubbing the inside of the mask with toothpaste or spit. Apply the toothpaste with a brush and then wash it out with hot water. If the fogging happens while you snorkel then simply spit into the mask and distribute the saliva. That will typically prevent any fogging for a while.
Whether you snorkel or dive, you might always end up with a little water in your mask. Most full-face snorkel masks come with a purge mechanism. If you have water in your mask you will usually have to lift your head out of the water and tilt back a little and the purge valve will open and any water will drain.
If you experience a lot of water constantly getting inside the mask then you most likely have a set of goggles that does not fit correctly. Make sure to use the right size for your face!
It can also be that you have a low-quality mask and the skirt surrounding the mask is made from cheap materials that do not provide a watertight seal. We would in that case recommend to spend a little more money on one of the higher-end masks that we list above in order to have a delightful snorkeling experience.
Going snorkeling with a full face snorkel mask makes you realize how old regular masks and snorkels are. The market leader is the original full-face snorkel mask, the Tribord Subea Easybreath.
Formerly the mask was referred to as Tribord Easybreath. Since the 2017 model was introduced that had some improvements, the name also got changed to include the Subea name. It looks like the marketing is going to switch away from the Tribord name towards the Subea name. You can probably expect soon to have this mask only be sold as the Subea Easybreath mask.
Since the first introduction of the then Tribord Easybreath mask, there have been some improvements made. The most significant was to use a hypoallergenic silicone skirt. A skirt is the soft silicone strip that seals the mask against your face.
Other improvements include better air circulation inside the mask through improved air valves. This enables you to breathe more comfortably and also helps with preventing fogging of the goggles when you’re using them.
Lastly, the snorkel itself has been improved. The latest model as an improved locking mechanism for the snorkel so it won’t be able to detach from the mask accidentally. Subea markets this as the Secure Lock Snorkel with a Dry Freak O-Ring. The lifecycle of the O-ring is rated to be about six years, and the mask comes with a replacement ring.
When you look online or in a store, you might still find older versions of the mask for sale. There’s nothing wrong with those models at all and if you only occasionally go snorkeling and you get a better price on the older models then go for it!
For most people, it’s the different color choices. Just kidding! But, as we are talking about colors at this time let’s cover this topic first. The mask does come in three different colors:
During the introduction of the upgraded model, you could also get a few different limited edition prints. These can often still be found even though they are officially not available anymore!
These limited editions are
They have patterns printed around the mask to make them stand out. If you can find them, you will have to expect to pay more than for the standard model. Once they get harder to find you also will have to assume that prices will increase even more.
All kidding about color aside, most important, you can breathe naturally. What stops many people from making snorkeling their hobby is that they can’t breathe naturally through their nose. Even worse, if you rent a traditional mask and snorkel, you end up putting the snorkel mouthpiece into your mouth where you don’t even know how used it before. While it is (or should be) cleaned and disinfected, it’s still not a pleasant thought for many.
Not having a mouthpiece results in a lot less stress for your jaws. You don’t have, and your jaws won’t experience any fatigue.
This way you can snorkel for much more extended periods of time without getting tired from the continuous clamping down on the mouthpiece.
One of the great features of the Tribord/Subea Easybreath is how the air is flowing inside the mask. The design is so intelligent that it continuously has air flowing along the lens which in turn results in a fog-free snorkeling experience. Many traditional goggles at one point or another will start to fog. If that happens, you have to get your head out of the water, take the mask off and clean it. You won’t have to perform that exercise with the Easybreath as it is pretty much impossible to get it to fog up. The airflow along the lens prevents any condensation, and you’ll have a clear view.
The airflow design is such that any fogging that could occur from exhaling is kept in the bottom part of the mask. There’s no visibility through that area so any fogging that happens will not impact your visibility at all!
But that’s not the only thing. The other remarkable improvement of a full-face mask is that you get panoramic views. A regular snorkel mask restricts your visual area to pretty much straight ahead and a few degrees up and down as well as left and right. A mask that covers your whole face provides you with a 180-degree view in all directions. You can enjoy the sights underwater a lot more. A lot more people enjoy snorkeling that way as they don’t feel as restricted as with a regular mask.
And for all that think that such a large mask must be prone to breaking: it’s not. The lens is made from shatterproof polycarbonate that is tough, and you’d have a tough time to find a way to break it.
The snorkel is a dry snorkel. That means that even if you get the tip of the snorkel under water, there’s no water coming through the snorkel into the mask or your mouth. Dry snorkels are not exclusive to full-face goggles as you can get a traditional snorkel that is a dry snorkel.
When you want to go snorkeling, then you want a dry snorkel. But that’s not all; you want a high-quality one. These are designed with excellent materials that will keep your snorkel dry for years to come.
A dry snorkel uses a floating device in the tip of the snorkel. When the tip goes under water, the floating piece rises and closes off the tip of the snorkel. That prevents water from getting in while the tip is submerged. When the float seals the snorkel, you can’t breathe as long as you’re underwater. Once the tip gets above the water again, the float or ball sinks and opens the snorkel so you can breathe. You can breathe in and out regularly again, and you won’t have to blow any water out of the snorkel.
The Subea Easybreath not only has a dry snorkel, but it also has a purge valve that is located in the chin area. If you ever have water get into the mask, then you can force the water out through the purge valve. There’s no need to take the mask off to drain it! You lift your head above the water, and the valve opens and lets the water in the mask drain.
Looking at the mask, you can see that it is a little on the bulky side. Another great feature specific to the Tribord Easybreath is that you can detach the snorkel from the face mask. That reduces the overall size for traveling significantly! You merely put both parts into the mesh bag that comes with the mask, and you’re ready to go!
With the 2017 upgrade there finally also came a way to mount a GoPro camera. And compared to other full-face masks, the engineers at Subea came up with a pretty smart solution.
First of all, not everyone uses a GoPro or a similar video camera. There’s also no universal mount for such action cameras so having the mount be part of the mask could result in you not using the mount at all.
The Easybreath designers came up with an easy to attach mount for the camera that clicks into the snorkel. It sits securely attached so you won’t lose your camera but can also easily be removed if you don’t use one. An overall pretty smart way to make the mask be usable with a GoPro camera. The mount is optional and is quite inexpensive if you wanted to get it.
The video camera adapter positions the camera on top of the mask. That way your camera view is somewhat similar to what you see when you snorkel. That usually provides the best video capture while it also keeps your hands free from having to hold the camera. The problem with the adapter though is that the camera does end up obstructing your view on the top of the mask if you look up. Other masks with a built-in camera mount, like the Seaview 180 don’t have that problem.
Another downside of the camera attachment is though that it can scratch the top part of the lens of your mask. It’s not very likely, yet it can happen. If you know that you will regularly use a video camera like a GoPro to film your snorkeling excursions, then you might overall be better off to use a mask with a built-in mount like the Wildhorn Outfitters SeaView 180.
One of the huge advantages of the Tribord Easybreath over most of its competitors was that there were four different sizes available. This allowed finding a pretty perfect fit for nearly all face sizes and shapes.
With the switch to the 2017 model and using the Subea name, the mask only comes in two different sizes. These two sizes cover around 90% of different facial sizes. Even kids above the age of approximately ten years should have no problem to have a great fit with the smaller size!
Reducing the number of different sizes in the case of the Subea Easybreath does not have an adverse side effect. It makes sizing easier, and the introduction of the new mask skirt provides a tight fit for most faces even though there are fewer sizes available. You shouldn’t have an issue to find a perfect size match for your face.
Another advantage of going to only two sizes is that the cost to produce the mask went down. And that resulted in the latest model being cheaper than the models before when you purchase one.
The two sizes make it pretty easy to pick the right size. With the four available sizes, it was a little harder, and some people ordered a mask a size too large. In any case, it’s easy to measure for the right fit.
While you keep your mouth closed you measure between the bottom of your chin to the bridge (top) of your nose. If the distance is less than 4.7 inches, then you need to get the smaller version of the goggles. Otherwise, you’ll go for the large size to fit your face.
In any case, you want to make sure that there’s no gap between your chin and the bottom of the mask. The skirt of the mask should fit tight against your skin all around the mask.
This tight fit is hard to achieve if you have a beard. The hair of your beard will often prevent a tight fit of the mask against your face, and the result is that some water can get into the mask. This is not a specific problem of the Tribord/Subea mask but is valid for all types of snorkel and scuba masks. A full face mask has an advantage over regular masks when it comes to you having a mustache as it still provides a tight fit in that case. A traditional mask will leak if you have a mustache.
However, beard hair is not your only hair issue with a snorkel mask. If you have long hair or bangs and you don’t get them out of the way when you put the mask on then the effect is the same as if you have a beard. The hair will provide tiny openings between your skin and the mask, and that will allow water to get into the inside of the goggles.
Putting on a large mask like the Easybreath seems complicated at first. It’s pretty easy. You have to make sure that your hair is out of the way. The straps allow adjusting the fit of the mask until it sits perfectly tight yet comfortable on your face.
It’s easiest to keep the straps out of the way when you put on the mask. Place it straight onto your face until it fits tight. Make sure there’s no hair between your skin and the goggles. Then push the straps into their place and pull them tight. Putting the mask on straight from the front will usually reduce a chance that a hair gets caught between your skin and the skirt of the mask. If you slide the goggles from the top of your head, then you most likely will catch strands of hair that will prevent a watertight seal.
It’s pretty easy to take care of the mask if you follow a few simple common sense guidelines. First of all, keep the mask away from sand and rocks. The lens of the mask is polycarbonate, and as such, it can scratch. Placing the lens into sand or onto sharp rock is a recipe for ending up with a scratched visor! If you’re on the beach, then place the mask with the lens pointing up into the sand, so it sits on the skirt.
Use clean water (fresh water!) to rinse the mask after each time you snorkel. While water often looks clear, things are floating around, and any of that can lodge itself into crevices in the goggles or the snorkel. It can even get as bad as preventing the floating device in the snorkel from closing up the snorkel. So, rinse with fresh water after each use. If you want to be extra thorough, then clean again before you place the snorkel into the mask before you go snorkeling.
Always rinse by hand and never place the mask into your washing machine or dishwasher. This most likely will damage your mask and render it unusable.
Use the mesh bag that comes with the mask for storage and travel. The mesh of the bag provides ventilation and lets water drain out and away from the goggles.
Keep the bag and mask out of extended periods in the sunlight. Sunlight can interact with the plastic of the mask and over time damage it.
All full face masks trap a lot of air between your face and the lens. This large volume of air makes it hard to dive down underwater if you see something you want to explore further.
This is not a specific issue of the Tribord/Subea Easybreath but is true for all large masks. Traditional snorkel and scuba masks are designed to trap the least amount of air possible inside the mask. This way you don’t have to fight the natural buoyancy of that air when you want to dive down.
It’s also not like it’s impossible to dive down a few feet to explore the underwater world a little while you snorkel. It is pretty much useless though if you wanted to use the mask for freediving instead of snorkeling. The depths you try to reach with freediving will undoubtedly be too much for a mask with such a high amount of air trapped inside.
The dry snorkel is also only dry if you keep the mask mostly horizontal. If you try to deep dive, then the floating device in the snorkel is in the wrong position and won’t effectively close up the snorkel. The result, in that case, is that water will enter into the mask through the snorkel. Again, the mask is designed for snorkeling and not for deep diving!
Since Tribord introduced the Easybreath as the original full-face snorkel mask, a lot of competitors and knock-off’s have entered the market. Follow the links below to check out some head-to-head comparisons between the Easybreath and other masks:
We’ve listed the good and bad in our review above. At this time it’s pretty clear that there’s not many if any negatives with the Tribord Easybreath at all. If you’re looking for a full face snorkel mask, then it honestly doesn’t get better than this!
Our only caveat is if you regularly want to use your GoPro (compatible) camera. If that’s the case, then have a closer look at the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 Degree mask. It has a built-in, perfectly positioned GoPro mount. The Seaview is comparable in quality and features yet has the mount for the camera in an overall better position.
If the GoPro mount is not your primary concern, then the Easybreath is the best mask for you. It combines outstanding design features with highest quality materials to provide you with a long-lasting snorkel mask for years to come.
The Easybreath and the Seaview 180 are certainly not the only masks available today. If you are interested in other top-rated full-face snorkel masks then check out our post comparing the best of them!
There’s no straight answer to that. We’ve evaluated a number of full face masks over the years and through all that time the Easybreath kept it’s place on one of the top spots.
Have a look at our list of the best full face snorkeling masks here to find the one that is best for your needs: http://www.deepbluediving.org/best-full-face-snorkel-masks/
The short answer is ‘yes’. However, these masks are not designed for diving! They are pretty large which results in a lot of air being trapped. This makes going underwater harder as the trapped air will want to push upwards.
The snorkel on the Easybreath and other such snorkel goggles is dry. However, if you dive straight down, the mechanism to close the snorkel won’t work that well and water can (will) get into your mask.
Using these kinds of goggles has a number of advantages when you compare it to a traditional snorkel/dive mask:
Similar to there not being a single best version for adults, there’s also not a single best one for children. We’ve checked and evaluated the most common and sought after masks for children.
Have a look at the following post when you’re trying to find the top children’s full face snorkel mask: https://www.deepbluediving.org/best-full-face-snorkel-mask-for-children/
If you hold both masks and look at them, you’ll realize they are both high-quality products. Yet, you will find one big difference. No, not the different colors…
The Seaview 180 Degree in the past had a leg up to the Easybreath by having a GoPro mount as part of the mask. No fussing around with 3rd party mounts or having to hold the GoPro in your hands. You put the camera on the mask and films what you see. It’s hard to see anything easier than that.
In the latest version the Subea Easybreath mask offers an ingenious optional mount for the GoPro camera. It snaps onto the snorkel and secures the camera. With this add-on the makers of the Easybreath snorkel mask removed any advantage which other masks had in the past!
They make both masks from the best materials. Both snorkel goggles have a lens made from scratch and shatterproof polycarbonate. This makes your purchase one you’ll enjoy for a long time.
The first full-face snorkel mask was the Tribord Easybreath. It took the snorkel market and turned it upside down.
The design was simple and removed many obstacles that existed in the past preventing people from taking up snorkeling. The major news was the much larger field of view through the panoramic lens and the ability to breathe through mouth and nose.
All those features combined with high-quality materials provide a comfortable fit. That is also the reason the Easybreath became the best choice for any snorkel mask. Until another competitor made a mask of similar quality yet added the GoPro mount. That was the Wildhorn Seaview 180.
And that’s when it started that numerous people looking for a top-quality full-face snorkel mask turned to the Seaview 180 Degree instead of the Tribord Easybreath. Now, that’s not to say nobody gets the Easybreath anymore. Far from it. Overall, it is still one if not the most bought snorkel mask you can find.
The Seaview models in the past had a rounded lens while the Subea Easybreath always came with a flat lens. Wildhorn also switched to a flat lens in the latest model(s). The differences between a flat and a rounded lens are negligible but most prefer the flat variant.
And for comfort, visibility and quality, it still sets the gold standard. Together with the Seaview 180 and not by itself anymore.
Please have a look at our in-depth review of the Subea Easybreath at this link. In addition, you can also check out our detailed evaluation of the Wildhorn Outfitters 180 Degree.
You might ask why would you even consider getting a Tribord when the Seaview is just as good and offers the GoPro mount? Well, you can find a few good reasons. If you don’t have a GoPro, then you won’t need to have a mask with a mount.
GoPro might come out with a new camera next year which requires a different mount. Likely? Not really, but you never know… In that case you’re better off with a 3rd party mount as you can switch it out versus having to buy a new mask.
That’s where the new camera mounting accessory for the Subea Easybreath mask makes sense. First, if you don’t own a camera you won’t need a mount. Second, if GoPro changes the mount you won’t have to throw away your mask but instead you switch out the mount and you’re good to go. You’ll need a matching mount for such a new mounting system.
In the past the biggest point for getting a Tribord mask was that it came in more sizes. Even for smaller children you could find a matching size. The latest version only comes in two sizes and while sufficient for most people, it can be challenging to find a size that matches when you have a tiny or large head.
An advantage of the Tribord is that it is impossible to fog it up. The breathing mechanism is so clever that there’s usually never any fogging inside the mask. The Seaview is nearly as good but there are situations where it can fog up. That can be annoying as you have to take it off and get the fogging taken care of.
Another advantage of the Tribord is that the tip of the snorkel is a bright signaling color. At first glance this might not seem important at all but if you’re snorkeling in crowded waters then it can be a good thing to have that bright orange part sticking out of the water and making you visible to others around you.
If you have a GoPro and want to use it to make videos of your snorkel experience, then the Seaview 180 Degree is the mask to go with. Otherwise, it depends. Both masks are of similar quality and make.
If you are a heavy breather, then the Easybreath might be better suited for you. It practically never fogs up and breathing heavy won’t change that. The Seaview sometimes has a slightly higher chance to get foggy.
Yet, for small faces the Tribord has better sizing and might fit more comfortable. The bright orange tip of the snorkel is a slight advantage.
No matter which of these two masks you pick, you’ll be happy with your purchase. Both are priced around the same and are overall very affordable. Both will provide you with an excellent snorkeling experience.
You can check out how the Easybreath fared against the Ocean Reef Aria in this comparison. Additionally, we compared the Ninja H20 to the Tribord goggles.
With more and more full face snorkeling masks being available it is prudent of you to get a good idea of important features and considerations you have to take into account. Our list of the best full face snorkel masks contains a buyer’s guide as well as our top picks for these kind of goggles. You can find it here.
Technology has brought significant advances to diving equipment—even the simple mask has been transformed. Full-face snorkel masks have been developed that allow you to breathe naturally through your nose and mouth. They have a 180° view area, and you don’t have to bite down on a mouthpiece as with the older two-element snorkel.
The SeeReef Full Face Snorkel Mask is one of the highest-rated in its price range. In this article, we’ll go over the concept and features, and compare it to the competition.
Many would-be snorkelers have trouble breathing through their mouth, which is required by the original two-piece unit. Some suffer jaw pain after clenching a mouthpiece.
The SeeReef Full Face Snorkel improves upon a design first introduced by Tribord in 2014 (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/20/tribord-easybreath-snorkel-mask_n_5355412.html). The innovative combined-function mask allows you to breathe naturally through your nose and mouth while underwater–without a mouthpiece. The SeeReef mask also reduces fogging and provides a wide area of view.
It is important to remember these one-piece snorkels are specialized gear: they are not intended for free diving or intense exertion while swimming. Though sold as a secure system for beginners and kids, problems can arise for the uninitiated—these masks should only be used under supervision or with a buddy.
The sleek, modern-looking SeeReef Full Face Snorkel combines the goggles and air tube in one unit. The upper viewing lens and lower breathing area are divided, and an extra long air tube connects through four intake valves in a floating-valve “dry snorkel” system. The shatter-proof flat lens allows clear and fog-free 180° viewing.
The SeeReef mask promises natural breathing and a better view underwater. Exhaled air flows up through the snorkel instead of the lens chamber to minimize fogging. The innovative design reduces the chance for choking and swallowing water.
The SeeReef Full Face mask is priced more competitively than Tribord’s EasyBreath. The SeeReef offers most of the performance of the original market leader with the addition of a flat lens for panoramic viewing. The SeeReef’s second-generation design also adds a 4-intake valve system for easier breathing, and an extra long air tube and a dry-snorkel assembly to keep water out.
The SeeReef model comes with spare seals, two sets of earplugs, and a hard carrying case to keep your gear intact and the high-grade lens from becoming scratched.
The SeeReef Snorkel is a one-piece mask with a built-in breathing system. It uses two chambers to divide the viewing lens area from your nose and mouth, a feature which reduces fogging from breath moisture.
The separate compartments allow for broader, unobstructed panoramic viewing. The single lens is engineered with a flat design to decrease distortion and increase visibility beyond the capacity of older “bubble” masks.
SeeReef updates the original Full Face mask design with four intake valves for maximizing air flow. Three intakes are positioned in the breathing area, and one valve is fitted at the top of the air tube. This arrangement allows you to breathe more naturally than most other masks, providing effortless and unencumbered air flow.
When fitting the mask, you want the breathing area to fit snugly. You can test the fit by standing out of the water and breathing into the mask: the upper viewing section should remain clear, with fogging only in the bottom compartment.
Adding to the comfort of the SeeReef design is a dry-top mechanism that uses a ball float to prevent water from entering the air tube when submerged. If you dip your head below the water, the ball rises to block intake.
Any water that gets in will drain when you raise your head above the surface. You don’t have to blow out air through the tube as with most older snorkels. Many traditional units include the dry system too.
The SeeReef’s has updated their model with an extra long breathing tube to ensure natural air flow. The system expells air through side chambers and out the top. The angle of the breathing tube is optimized for surface viewing.
The mask is held securely by bright sea blue straps behind the mask’s oval frame. They come in Jet Black or Pacific Blue. The blue option is a white frame with blue straps. The strips aren’t friendly to long hair, and mats it easily—but they are visible and attractive.
A good seal is necessary for the unit to function correctly, so the wide straps are placed to distribute pressure around the frame. The setup is not complicated to learn, but it is not made for quick release. Even if you’re an experienced diver, the straps may be different than you are used to, so practice out of the water first so you can release quickly.
The apparent key to getting the proper seal is how well the mask’s frame fits your face, and one size can’t fit all. The SeeReef takes a step in the right direction by offering two sizes, small/med, and large/XL.
The mask should fit snugly but not tight. Pay close attention to the fit of the area around the breathing chamber. To find your size, measure between your eyes and chin. Get a small/medium if the distance is less than 4.7 in (10cm), and the larger size if more.
The smaller size is suitable for many children.
Full masks have been in the news from a rash of snorkeling deaths in Hawaii (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hawaii-full-face-snorkel-mask-related-deaths/). The issue seems to involve cheap, mass-produced knockoffs that duplicate the look of the mask without the engineering know-how behind it. This is an essential piece of gear, so you want to avoid a cheap copy.
The concern highlights some issues:
To reiterate, the SeeReef and other well-made Full Face Snorkels safe for recreational use while comfortably floating on the surface—they are not to be used for diving or intense exertion while swimming.
Don’t do this, at least not for longer periods of time:
SeeReef includes a hard carrying case to protect the lens. Even its scratch-resistant lens won’t keep away marks if you mix them in with your other gear. There is also a soft cleaning cloth included.
Two sets of earplugs are also included: a standard set and a pair of in-ear super-molds. You get some spare seals just in case.
SeeReef stands behind their product with a full money-back guarantee, with no special conditions or waivers. Specific manufacturer information can be challenging to find, so check with your retailer for the details of their policy.
Looking across the internet at online discussions about Full Face masks, you’ll see some people are happy with their quality Full Face masks while others warn against cheaper models.
TravelAdvisor has users with a lot of real experience, and the SeeReef has earned good marks.
The Tribord Easybreath was updated in 2017. They added the name Subea and introduced an improved airflow setup that reduces fogging. As the company was the first to introduce the recreational Full Face design, their Easybreath mask is still a top competitor in the market.
If we’re to be picky, the unit doesn’t quite have the sleek SeeReef’s visual area. The SeeReef also has a longer air tube, but since both have dry valve protection, it doesn’t make a huge difference. The Easybreath is a little more expensive than the SeeReef for possibly better performance, as they have more experience to give their product.
The Seaview 180 is another competitor in this range. Its high-quality lens with super-wide viewing area is this popular unit’s standout feature. Its integrated GoPro mount was the first on the market, and the well-regarded assembly still fits all existing models.
The Wildhorn mask it is a little pricier than SeeReef’s for much the same performance. It’s close to a choice between styles you prefer.
Ocean Reef’s Full Face mask is much like the Tribord Easybreath it imitates, but it comes in twice as many sizes and many different color combinations. You can’t fault the design, but there are complaints about durability, especially after significant time spent in storage.
The Aria fogs up more than the SeaReef, and the price is higher than the SeeReef. These brands are similar enough in overall performance that it comes down to which appeals to you most.
The great thing about the SeeReef Full Face Snorkel and other top models is that they allow you to breathe naturally underwater. You don’t have to bother with a mouthpiece, and you get more great high-quality viewing than ever before.
Full Face masks are very limited in use, suitable only for quiet floating at the surface. By delivering a smooth and comfortable experience within these parameters, SeeReef’s performance opens up simple snorkeling to more people. With the SeeReef mask, you can breathe naturally and not worry about choking on intake water or gagging on the mouthpiece.
Do you use the SeeReef snorkeling goggles? Or any other full face mask? Leave us a comment below and share your thoughts and experiences. We’d love to hear from you!
Most holiday goers enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling, as we all do. However, there are a few issues that had for quite a while prevented such people from having the best experience. Full face Snorkel masks have played a significant role in doing away with most of the problems.
Thanks to them, vacation goers can breathe with their nose now and not get the foggy view due to my breath condensing on the mask’s face. This also rules out any spitting in your mask during snorkeling.
The Ocean Reef Aria Snorkel Mask addresses all those issues. It is the perfect example of a full face snorkel mask that has come a long way in providing the best experience when snorkeling.
The full face snorkel masks may have been around since 2014, but quite some snorkelers are not familiar with them. They have enriched the snorkeling experience by doing away with jaw fatigue caused by biting the mouthpiece that comes with the more traditional masks and is very comfortable hence we can now take longer dives.
There is a growing market for them, and a lot of brands are entering with a wide range of quality and price. You should, however, not buy a full face snorkel mask if you intend to use it in taking swimming laps or if you like to dive down a lot. It will be a disappointment since they are not designed for that.
There are some critical factors you should probably consider before buying such goggles:
The primary purpose is to keep water from reaching your face. Without trying the mask, it is essential to check the sizing of the manufacturer to make sure that it won’t leak.
The best other alternative is to check out other buyer reviews and how the manufacturer responds to queries on its functionality. A snorkel mask with double seals stands a better chance at keeping water out.
Where and how you intend to use the snorkeling mask are essential factors to consider. There are more expensive snorkel masks that will keep water out in deep waters if you want to use it in deep sea diving. The purpose of the mask will quickly narrow down to the type of mask you want.
If you prefer to dive a lot during your snorkeling excursions, then a traditional mask might be a better choice for you. They provide less uplift as they don’t trap that much air inside the mask and make it possible to dive down.
An excellent snorkeling mask is adjustable to different shapes and sizes. This is to conform to individuals’ faces without leaking.
The straps have to be easily adjustable preferably with one hand. Part of this also has to be that you can quickly take the mask off if you need to.
There is quite a variety of lenses that are fitted in snorkel masks with each differing in price. If you do real deep dives, then you might want to consider using glass lens masks that do not fog at all. The glass lenses also do not get as easily scrubbed as the plastic lenses.
An excellent and efficient way to control fog that forms on the face of the mask is to have a good flow of air in the mask. Many masks have the breathing chamber separate from the lens so the breath won’t fog up the lens.
Having a lot of airflow and circulation also allows breathing more naturally which makes snorkeling more enjoyable. Air circulation is not only limited to the air inside the mask and how much air you can breathe. When breathing out, it’s vital that the CO2 enriched air is quickly transported out of the breathing chamber.
When you’re planning to purchase an expensive mask, a solid product warranty is a necessary consideration. In most cases, it will allow you to know that the brand you’re considering stands behind their products.
Depending on your needs it can be of importance that specific accessories are available. These can range from action camera mounts to special lenses if you need prescription glasses.
Ocean Reef has made full face snorkel masks for a long time and has gained much traction in the industry. These goggles are a good testimony of their quality.
When you put on the mask, the first thing you will notice is its soft and comfortable feel on the face with smooth edges and a well-designed structure. The product also promises to offer a great view of the underwater world. This is through its flat lens, which does not distort the picture as the spherical lens would.
Among the many more features this premium product offers its customers, the most important is the panoramic view provided by the wide lens. The mask covers your whole face so that you have a 180-degree view in each direction. Since the large lens could be prone to breaking, the Ocean Reef Aria snorkel mask has its lens made out of shatterproof polycarbonate.
The Ocean Reef Aria snorkeling mask is especially useful if you have a problem with your vision and would like to enjoy the same view as everyone else. This is achieved by supporting the Optical Lens Support accessory compatible with Aria sizes L/XL and S/M.
This product is, however, not recommended for duck diving and swim laps. The Ocean Reef Aria snorkeling mask is designed for leisurely snorkeling at the surface of calm water. Though you can dive up to three meters below the water surface with a full face snorkel mask, they are not meant for free diving either.
One of the most useful features of a full face snorkeling mask is the broad and more unobstructed view of the underwater world that they offer. The Ocean Reef Aria is an excellent example in this as it has a lens that stretches across your entire face.
This provides you with a 180-degree view of every direction, which is exhilarating especially for first-time snorkelers. Thanks to a flat lens design at the front, the view in the Ocean Reef Aria is not distorted as it is in spherical lenses.
A significant addition to the viewing experience is that the Ocean Reef Aria does not fog up thanks to a sophisticated airflow system. You will also not have to spit into the mask to clear up the fog before snorkeling.
Here’s a YouTube video that will show you some spectacular underwater experiences with the Aria mask:
It is easy to snap the Ocean Reef Aria snorkel on and off making it easy to bring along on trips. A flutter system ensures that no water enters the snorkel and into the mask while snorkeling.
It will also restrict your breathing the moment it closes off the snorkel to avoid entry of water. In rare cases where water gets into the mask, it’s easy to get rid of it. Just breathe out, and the water will run out of the mask through a valve at its bottom.
You can view an exciting video of how the Ocean Reef Aria snorkeling mask is used and the how the snorkel is turned into a selfie-stick.
Since Ocean Reef has experience in making full face scuba masks, they rarely go wrong, especially in design and comfort. This mask will fit perfectly on quite a variety of customer facial dimensions.
Whatever the face size, the mask feels very comfortable on the face with soft edges and high-quality material. The great fit is one of the outstanding features of this mask and is praised in many reviews you can find.
The most crucial aspect in a full face snorkeling mask is probably the efficiency of its airflow system. A mask that allows you to breathe naturally through the nose and mouth gives you a more relaxed time snorkeling especially if you are a first timer.
Traditional masks and snorkels would have you put a snorkel in your mouth. If you rent the set, then you have no idea who used it before and now have to stick the mouthpiece into your mouth. On longer snorkeling trips it also tires the jaws and reduces the thrill of the memorable experience.
Thanks to modern full-face snorkeling masks like the Ocean Reef Aria, your jaws do not have to experience any fatigue. The result is that you can snorkel for extended periods of time and have a richer experience of the underground world.
The Ocean Reef Aria has a camera support mount that will allow you to mount a GoPro or any other similar sports camera at the top of the snorkel mask. You can also remove it and use the mount for better aiming during your filming.
While the mount is not part of the mask, it is reasonably priced if you want to purchase this accessory. It also makes sense to get a float on your camera.
This video shows how a camera is installed onto the camera support mount and also how it can be turned into a selfie-stick:
It also teaches you how to connect other accessories like marker wings.
Marker wings come in a wide range of colors and are useful in recognizing an individual’s snorkeler when his head is under the surface of the water.
Although standard optical lenses are not included in the product package, the Ocean Reef Aria has a frame that allows the lenses to be mounted for snorkeling. Though lightweight, the optical lens support is also durable and easy to add and remove making the mask suitable for anyone.
The optical lens support accessory is available for the S/M and L/XL sizes of the Aria. However, this is support only; you will have to buy a generic lens to fit or visit your optometrist to get lenses installed in your eyes.
This full face mask is similar to the Ocean Reef Aria in most features including the 180-degree view, the camera mount, waterproof dry top, etc. It’s the original mask of this kind.
It does not offer as many optional accessories but in turn is also priced lower. The design is also a little different from Aria’s with the water drainage valve located in a higher position along with other minor design tweaks. The material and most of the other features are comparable.
The Seaview 180 Full Face Snorkel Mask is just as Aria in visibility enabling the user to access 180 degrees of visibility. Most of the features are also similar with both having camera mounts and using shatter-proof poly-carbonate for the lens. The Seaview goggles have an action camera mount standard so you won’t have to purchase it as an optional accessory.
They are also both available in multiple colors. The Seaview does not provide an option to mount prescription lenses. Otherwise, it’s probably a better choice as it’s typically lower in price.
The X-Lounger snorkel mask is designed for adults and kids the age of seven years and above. It offers similar if not more features at a typically lower price compared to the Ocean Reef Aria.
The snorkel on the mask can be folded for easy traveling and you also have a removable action camera mount included. A lot of the other features are similar. The quality of both masks is impeccable and you’ll enjoy snorkeling with either one of them.
The Ocean Reef Aria Full Face snorkeling mask is one of the best of its kind. It stands out in how simple it makes snorkeling while improving the quality of the experience.
If you are looking for a full face mask that doesn’t fog easy and supports a horde of accessories, then you found your perfect set of goggles. If you require prescription glasses, then it is the best mask you can get with the optional accessory to mount corrective lenses inside.
More and more people buy the snorkel masks that cover the whole face. They are convenient and allow to breathe through the nose which makes it a lot more comfortable for many people.
The available masks are overall pretty similar and at first glance are typically different by color, snorkel length and materials. However, there’s one other difference that is not that obvious. It’s the shape of the lens on those goggles.
There are two different types of masks. The first type of mask has this rounded front where it’s curved all the way around on the front. And the second type has a flat front. It looks a little bit more like a traditional scuba mask with a lot of transparent glass or plastic added around it to cover your face.
A lot of people have been asking, what’s better? What’s the difference between the two? Some companies even sell both the curved front and the flat front snorkel masks. Make sure you know which one you’re getting before you decide to buy.
The main difference you can experience between those two types of goggles comes down to visibility. You’ll encounter some distortion with each type of goggle. One has it more pronounced around the edges while the other type has the distortion across the visible area.
When it comes to the curved front mask, there’s typically just a little distortion of the actual image due to the curving of the lens. When you’re underwater and you’re swimming around, then you most likely won’t see the world any differently than you do if you wear swimming goggles or have your eyes open. There’s usually some distortion when you’re looking out at the edges of the lens.
The distortion you experience is evenly spread across the whole visible area. It’ll end up stronger at the edges where the lens meets the frame as the lens is having a stronger curve in those areas.
With the flat fronted snorkel mask, the problem is that there is a little bit of distortion around the edges where the flat part of the lens transitions into the curved portion. That point where there’s a crease in the mask. So, if you were to look at such a mask at where the flat part of the lens goes into the curve, then you do see a little flat line. There’s a little bit of distortion there. And so, it makes it look just a little bit different when you’re swimming.
However, when you’re looking straight out, there’s no distortion at all as the lens is not curved at all. Typically, when in the water you will generally look straight out of the mask. At that moment the flat mask has a slight advantage as all the stuff that’s on the side is not what’s in your primary focus.
But you notice it. It is there, but you do get used to it. Interesting enough all the major brands that provide such full face goggles like the Subea Easybreath or the Wildhorn Outfitters 180 Degree have flat lenses.
Initially, you will probably enjoy the round front mask more than the flat fronted mask, just because the slight distortion of the curve is less evident than the somewhat more obvious one around the edges of the flat mask. The vision feels initially a little more natural.
However, if you are snorkeling a lot, then you do get quickly used to the flat front which has zero distortion when you look straight out. You also do get a better feel of how your video camera will record imagery when you look through the flat lens.
In the end, though, it’s more important that you get a mask that is of high quality. The type of lens is to some degree secondary. In the end, you will get used to either one and you won’t even realize that there are distortions after a while. One thing you will recognize instantly is if the mask is of low quality.
Water dripping in or cheap plastics being used are a much bigger problem than the flat vs. curved lens on the full face snorkel mask. And if you are used to traditional snorkel masks or swimming goggles, then the improvement is so massive that you probably won’t even realize that there are distortions in your visibility.
In the end it’s your choice. Pick a mask that offers high quality for a fair price and you can’t go wrong. Try to avoid the super-cheap masks if you want to use them regularly and for a long time. Let us know your experiences in the comments below.