Review of the Subea/Tribord Easybreath Full-Face Snorkeling Mask
Going snorkeling with a full face snorkel mask makes you realize how old regular masks and snorkels are. The market leader in the original full-face snorkel mask, the Subea/Tribord Easybreath.
Formerly this full-face 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 full-face snorkel mask only be sold as the Subea Easybreath Snorkeling mask.
Yet, without further delay, let’s dive right into our Tribord Easybreath snorkeling mask review.
- 1 What makes the Tribord/Subea Easybreath so enticing?
- 2 Breathing
- 3 Fog Free Viewing
- 4 Visibility all around
- 5 Dry Snorkel or not?
- 6 Easy traveling
- 7 Making Movies
- 8 Sizing
- 9 Hair in the way!
- 10 How to put it on
- 11 How do you take care of your Subea Easybreath?
- 12 What things is the Easybreath not so good at?
- 13 Easybreath vs. the Competition
- 14 Is the Subea/Tribord Easybreath worth getting?
- 15 Frequently Asked Questions
Since the first introduction of the then Tribord Easybreath full-face 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 full-face snorkel 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 has an improved locking mechanism for the snorkel so it won’t be able to detach from the snorkeling 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 full-face snorkel 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!
What makes the Tribord/Subea Easybreath so enticing?
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:
- Atoll (turquoise)
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 longer periods of time without getting tired from the continuous clamping down on the mouthpiece.
Fog Free Viewing
One of the great features of the Subea-Tribord Easybreath is how the air is flowing inside the mask. The air-flow design of this full-face mask is so intelligent that it continuously has the air flowing along the lens. This in turn results in a fog-free snorkeling experience.
If you have a regular snorkeling mask then at one point or another it 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 full face mask 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 air-flow design is such that any fogging that could occur from exhaling is kept in the bottom part of the snorkeling mask. There’s no visibility through that area so any fogging that happens in that part of the full-face mask will not impact your visibility at all!
Visibility all around
But that’s not the only great feature. The other remarkable improvement of a full-face mask is that you get panoramic views. A regular snorkeling mask restricts your visual area to pretty much straight ahead and a few degrees up and down as well as left and right. A full-face 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 which leads to a much more enjoyable snorkeling experience. A lot more people enjoy snorkeling that way as they don’t feel as restricted as with a regular snorkel mask.
And for all that think that such a large full-face mask must be prone to breaking: it’s not. The lens is made from shatterproof polycarbonate that is tough, and you’d have a hard time finding a way to break it.
Dry Snorkel or not?
The snorkel is a dry-top snorkel. That means that even if you get the tip of the snorkel underwater, there’s no water coming through the snorkel tube into the mask or your mouth. A dry-top snorkel is not exclusive to a full-face mask. You can get a traditional snorkel tube for your snorkeling mask that is a dry-top snorkel.
When you want to go snorkeling, then you want a dry-top 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 snorkel with a dry top uses a floating device in the tip of the snorkel tube. When the tip goes underwater, 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 tube.
The Easybreath full-face mask not only has a snorkel that is dry, but it also has a purge valve that is located in the chin area. If you ever have water get into the snorkeling mask, then you can force the water out through the purge valve. There’s no need to take the full-face 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 snorkeling mask, you can see that it is a little on the bulky side. A great feature to help with that when you travel and that is specific to the Tribord Easybreath is that you can detach the snorkel tube from the full-face mask. That reduces the overall size for traveling significantly! You merely put both parts into the mesh bag that comes with the full-face mask, and you’re ready to go!
With the 2017 upgrade there finally also came a way to mount a GoPro camera to the snorkeling mask. 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 full-face 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 full-face 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 of your snorkeling experience 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 snorkeling 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 mount is that it can scratch the top part of the lens of your full-face 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 camera mount like the Wildhorn Outfitters SeaView 180. Another very popular full-face snorkeling mask is the Ocean Reef Aria which comes with a detachable camera mount.
With the switch to the 2017 model and using the Subea name, the full-face mask only comes in two different sizes. These two sizes of the snorkeling mask cover around 90% of different facial sizes. Even kids above the age of approximately ten years should have no problem having a great fitting full-face mask!
Reducing the number of different sizes in the case of the Easybreath full-face mask does not have an adverse side effect. It makes sizing easier, and the introduction of the new hypoallergenic silicone 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.
The two sizes make it pretty easy to pick the right size. With the previously four available sizes, it was a little harder, and some people ordered a snorkeling 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 full-face snorkeling mask. 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 snorkeling mask. The skirt of the mask should fit tight against your skin all around the mask.
Hair in the way!
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 full-face snorkeling mask against your face, and the result is that some water can get into the snorkeling 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 full-face snorkeling 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 skirt of the full-face snorkeling mask, and that will allow water to get into the inside of the goggles.
How to put it on
Putting on a large full-face snorkeling 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 Tribord Easybreath full-face snorkeling 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 the chance that a hair gets caught between your skin and the skirt of the Tribord Easybreath full-face snorkeling 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.
How do you take care of your Subea Easybreath?
It’s pretty easy to take care of the mask if you follow a few simple common-sense guidelines. First of all, keep the Tribord Easybreath full-face snorkeling 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 (freshwater!) 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 tube. It can even get as bad as preventing the floating device in the snorkel from closing up the snorkel. So, rinse the Tribord Easybreath full-face snorkeling mask 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 Tribord Easybreath full-face snorkeling mask and over time damage it.
What things is the Easybreath not so good at?
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 Easybreath but is true for all large full-face snorkel 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 the Tribord Easybreath full-face snorkeling mask with such a high amount of air trapped inside.
The 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 Tribord Easybreath full-face snorkeling mask is designed for snorkeling and not for deep diving!
Easybreath vs. the Competition
Since Tribord introduced the Easybreath as the original full-face snorkel mask, a lot of competitors and knock-offs have entered the market. Follow the links below to check out some head-to-head comparisons between the Easybreath and other masks:
- Easybreath vs. Seaview 180 Degree – A tight race for the top spot as these are in our opinion the best full face snorkeling masks you can get today. Find out whether one is the clear winner here: https://www.deepbluediving.org/tribord-easybreath-vs-seaview-180-degree/
- Ocean Reef Aria vs. Easybreath – Another head-to-head comparison between two excellent masks. The Aria is typically higher priced but is it worth it compared to the Easybreath? Read the comparison here: https://www.deepbluediving.org/tribord-easybreath-vs-ocean-reef-aria/
- Ninja H2O vs. Easybreath – The Ninja H2O was an overall great mask but couldn’t kick the Easybreath off the top spots. Our detailed comparison shows the pros and cons of both masks: https://www.deepbluediving.org/ninja-h2o-vs-tribord-easybreath/
Is the Subea/Tribord Easybreath worth getting?
We’ve listed the good and bad about the Tribord Easybreath full-face snorkeling mask in our review above. At this time it’s pretty clear that there are 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 mask. It has a built-in, perfectly positioned GoPro camera 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 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!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best snorkeling mask for full face?
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 Tribord Easybreath full-face snorkeling mask kept its 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/
Can you go underwater with a full face snorkel mask?
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 pull/push you upwards.
The snorkel on the Tribord Easybreath full-face snorkeling mask 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.
Is a full face snorkel mask better?
Using these kinds of goggles has a number of advantages when you compare it to a traditional snorkel/dive mask:
- 180 Degree View – you get a much wider field of view which allows you to fully take in the beauty of the underwater scenery
- No mouthpiece – you can breathe naturally without having to clamp down on a snorkel mouthpiece. This prevents jaw fatigue and makes it a lot more relaxing.
- Keeps your face dry – The full-face snorkeling mask covers your whole face. If you only snorkel occasionally then it can be a lot more pleasant than to have the water touch your face.
What is the best full face snorkel mask for kids?
Similar to there not being a single best version for adults, there’s also not a single best full-face snorkeling mask 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/