In this Guide
Full-face snorkel masks are a great new product for people who want to snorkel, but don’t like having to have a mouthpiece. They’re perfect for kids, or people with respiratory issues who need something a bit less constrictive than a traditional snorkel.
They also allow you to breathe through your nose and mouth underwater, which is more natural than breathing only through your mouth. They’re a less intrusive, more hygienic, and more intuitive way to breathe underwater than a traditional mouthpiece snorkel. Plus, you can relax with one of these on, rather than constantly clenching your mouth.
Since they’re a relatively new innovation, though, it can be a bit difficult to navigate the marketplace. Plus, there can be quite a price difference between brands, even though the masks look fairly similar. How do you know whether you’re getting a deal, or getting a cheap, shoddy knockoff?
We’ve put our snorkeling expertise to work, to give you a head start! We compared all the full-face models on the market today, from the original models to the most recent editions.
We looked for full-face masks that fit comfortably, sealed securely, and breathed easily. We also combed through hundreds of user reviews to make sure our recommendations had a good reputation for reliability.
In this guide, you’ll find in-depth reviews of our three top recommendations. We’ve compared all their important features and functions, to help you sort through the options. At the bottom of the page, you’ll also find some helpful pointers to make your shopping experience clearer and quicker.
Let’s get started by taking a brief glance at all our recommendations:
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Snorkel Mask Reviews
Octobermoon Snorkel Surface Scuba Mask with Gopro Dry Full Face Diving Mask for Action Camera
This Octobermoon model is a good low-cost solution for people who need a full-face snorkel mask on a budget. It has all the basic features of the high-end versions, with an off-brand price tag.
There’s a 180-degree viewing window, a dry-valve snorkel tube, and a silicone edging for getting a good air seal. We especially like the camera mount feature, which isn’t always included on the more expensive versions.
The wrap-around window provides a 180-degree panorama view. It’s just as wide as even the nicest full-face models, so you’re not missing out on any visual range by saving money.
The full-face snorkel design allows you to breathe through both your mouth and your nose. That’s the basis of the full-face design, and this model is a great taster option for people who haven’t tried this style of snorkel before. Previous buyers said this model was a low-cost solution for introducing reluctant kids to snorkeling.
It includes a mount for a GoPro or other camera setup. That’s a nice extra on this one, especially given that more expensive models like the Tribord don’t have camera mounts.
It’s made with non-toxic silicone around the edges, just like the more expensive models. Previous buyers found that it sealed easily, and didn’t allow any moisture or water in.
The window is made from a clear polycarbonate, which is cheap but fairly durable. It provides a nice clear picture, and we didn’t find any issues with buyers’ windows cracking.
It’s covered for a 90-day satisfaction guarantee period. That’s pretty convenient, especially if you’re testing the mask before your break. It’s also ideal if you’re buying the mask for your trip, and it has an issue while you’re away. Chances are, you’d be able to return it when you got back. The few previous buyers we found who had issues said the return process was very simple, and they received a full refund.
The snorkel air hose has a dry-top valve. That means it prevents water from travelling down the tube when you’re submerged. Having a dry valve makes it super convenient to dive underwater and then come up to breathe without having to clear water or get any water in the mask itself.
Previous reviewers agreed that it’s pretty dorky-looking. We know that most people aren’t buying a full-face mask for the looks, but there are definitely more attractive options on the market.
Some previous buyers didn’t have as much luck getting a seal. Just like any scuba mask, the Octobermoon has a specific shape, and it might not fit perfectly on every face. One other downside in the fit department is the fact that this one only has 2 size options.
It’s not quite as well-designed as the upper level versions. We found that more previous buyers had an awkward time creating a seal, and that some people still had issues with fog.
Some previous buyers also reported having a bit of a hard time getting the breath they needed to swim comfortably. This definitely isn’t a good option for people with asthma or other respiratory issues. Overall, it’s simply not quite as comfortable or well-designed as the Tribord.
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This Seaview is a midrange option which we like for its fog-proof features and range of color choices. It’s slightly better designed than the Octobermoon, while still maintaining a reasonable price point.
It has the same basic design as the Octobermoon. There’s a 180-degree viewing window, a dry-valve snorkel, and adjustable head straps. Like the Octobermoon, it has a silicone edge insert to help you achieve a watertight fit without hard plastic cutting into your face,
The major difference on this model is the anti-fog system. There’s a separate breathing channel that’s kept slightly apart from the viewing window. That helps direct your breath away from the screen, which lessens fog buildup. It’s not as refined a system as the Tribord, but it does make the Seaview a less foggy option than the Octobermoon.
This one also adds a one-way chin valve. It allows any leakage to drain out of the mask, without allowing any water in through the port. That’s a good backup feature to have, especially if you submerge for a few minutes and don’t have a perfect seal.
It’s still relatively inexpensive. This one costs slightly more than the Octobermoon, but it’s still well below the price of the Tribord.
It comes in a variety of color options. While the Octobermoon only comes in a couple color choices, this one has 5 different color choices. You can go classic black, or bold pink, or something in between.
Wildhorn Outfitters has a good reputation for customer service, and responded to online questions and concerns promptly.
A few buyers reported issues with leaks in their masks. Quality control definitely isn’t a high point with these lower-cost models. While most buyers didn’t have problems, a few of the issues we saw reported were faulty valves, leaky mask frames, or snorkels which simply broke off.
As with the Octobermoon, some people had issues breathing. We’d caution against swimming intensely with any snorkel, as they’re not really meant for laps or other more intense exercise.
There are only two size options. That’s common at this price, and a definite disadvantage compared with the Tribord.
Some previous buyers were put off by the curved window, and said it felt like they were looking through a fisheye lens. That could cause some people to have headaches, or feel a bit queasy. By contrast, the Tribord has a flat window pane for a clearer picture.
Also like the Octobermoon, the Seaview simply isn’t quite as smartly designed or well-made as the Tribord. It fits less easily, has a less resilient design, and doesn’t breathe as easily.
This Tribord Easybreath was actually the first full-face snorkel mask on the market. While many brands have tried to imitate the design, the Tribord remains securely at the front of the pack thanks to its patented breathing system and superior construction quality.
If you already know you like the full-face design, or simply want the safest, most reliable option for your short aquatic getaway, we highly recommend this model!
It comes in 4 different sizes. That’s a huge advantage over the cheaper models, because it allows for a more precise fit. That means much fewer leaks for you, and a more comfortable snorkel.
It’s better-built than our other recommendations. This one’s made in France, where there’s a much higher standard for quality control and safety of materials than in China. It also has a shatterproof window, which is much stronger than the windows on the Octobermoon or Seaview.
The Tribord was the original full-face snorkel mask. As such, it’s more smartly-designed than the cheaper, imitation options. While the fog-prevention system on the Seaview is decent, the Tribord has a much better ability to disperse breath without creating fog on the viewscreen. Special vents help prevent fogging without impeding your air supply.
Previous buyers said that after an initial wash with dish soap (always a good idea),they didn’t have any visibility issues. The Tribord is also much easier to breathe through, since the innovative air channel makes sure you’re not breathing in the same air you’ve just breathed out. That’s a crucial difference between this mask and the Chinese versions.
Like the imitation versions, this model has a dry valve snorkel tube and a one-way drain valve on the chin.
The snorkel top is designed with safety in mind. The super bright top is visible from 4x the distance you’d spot a normal snorkel. That’s a huge plus for parents keeping an eye on kids, and new snorkelers who might not be as confident going it alone. It’s a smart, simple way to keep everyone in your party safe, and to avoid collisions.
Of our three recommendations, the Tribord provides the clearest, most realistic view. While the Seaview and Octobermoon have good viewing windows, their bubble design and cheaper materials do tend to distort your image. The Tribord has a flattened, very clear window which allows for unimpeded views of all the subterranean sights.
We found that on the whole, buyers who had used the Tribord and one of the cheaper, knock-off versions were overwhelmingly recommending the Tribord. They said it felt less plasticky and cheap, had less plastic fumes, and was simply an overall better product. It fit more securely, breathed more easily, and was more of a pleasure to use. They agreed that it was well worth the money.
Some previous buyers said the snorkel was attached somewhat loosely, and they were considering gluing it on. However, Tribord have updated the design for 2017, and buyers agreed that the problem has been solved.
Depending on the size and color, this one can cost quite a bit more than our other recommendations. Casual purchasers who just want a full-face mask for a weeklong trip might not want to spend so much on a one-time use item.
Even though this one has a superior ventilation system to the Octobermoon and the Seaview, it’s still not designed for lap swimming or an intense workout. It also won’t provide any air underwater, just like a normal snorkel.
Which is the Best Full Face Snorkeling Mask for You?
If you’re on a tight budget, trying a full-face mask for the first time, or are just shopping for a mask for one-time use on a vacation or short trip, the Octobermoon is your least expensive option. It’s a good low-cost way for you to try out the full-face experience without making much of an investment.
On the other hand, it’s a bit awkwardly-designed and cheaply built. So, while it will get the job done, it might not give you quite as enjoyable an experience as a nicer model. It also only comes in two size options, so some people might not be able to get a perfect fit. We recommend it to people who want to spend the least amount possible.
The Seaview is a solid compromise between the price point of the Octobermoon and the smart design of the Tribord. It’s less fog-prone than the Octobermoon, and it has lots of color options to choose from. However, it has limited size and fit options, and the breathing system and fog prevention aren’t as effective as the Tribord.
The Tribord is the most expensive option here, but we think you really do get what you pay for. It’s better designed, better built, and better fitting than either the Octobermoon or Seaview.
We like the choice of four different sizes, as well as the smart ventilation system. It’s simply a more enjoyable, comfortable experience to snorkel in the Tribord rather than one of the cheaper imitations.
The only downside is the price. It can be a lot to spend for a casual purchase to take on a single trip, though it will probably make your short trip much more enjoyable. We highly recommend it to anyone who can afford it!
How to Choose the Best Snorkel Mask
Know what you’re getting:
Unlike traditional snorkel masks, there isn’t a wide range of options on the market for full-face snorkel masks. While the snorkel marketplace is full of different brands that each have a distinct style and design, the full-face market has one main designer, Tribord, and lots of off-brands and other companies who make cheaper imitations.
Most of the options look fairly similar, so it’s easy to think that the $50 option is just as good as the $150 option. However, you’ll want to be aware of the specific dynamics of the full-face market.
The original maker of the first full face mask is a French company called Tribord, and they own quite a few patents for certain features of their design. Most importantly, the Tribord model is the only one on the market with its exact ventilation system. It has a very effective design for making sure you can breathe easily without fogging or having hot air back up.
The other, cheaper options are Chinese-made knock-offs or imitations from off-brands or competitors. They mimic most of the Tribord’s shape and features, but they can’t imitate the patented breathing system. As a result, non-Tribord options tend to fog up more easily, fit more awkwardly, or function less reliably.
Knock-offs can be a cost-effective solution for people on a budget, or snorkelers looking for a single-use mask. They’ll give you the same basic full-face experience, and can provide a decent imitation of the Tribord model. However, you shouldn’t expect them to work quite as well or as comfortably as the patented original.
Decide on your budget:
Your budget will probably be the primary factor in making your decision. Since you really do get what you pay for with full-face masks, it’s simply a question of how much money you’re willing to spend. You’ll find full-face options on sale for between $50 and $150 or so.
If you’re going to be snorkeling regularly, we really recommend the Tribord. Overall, it’s a safer, more comfortable model with superior design and build quality. If you’re only shopping for a short trip, like a cruise or quick vacation, you might want to save money by getting an off brand. Since you won’t be using the mask again, it’s reasonable to try and save money.
The one caveat we would point out in that scenario is that if your cheap full-face mask breaks or malfunctions while you’re gone, it’ll be a real bummer. Likewise, having an awkward design, poor fit, or imperfect viewing window can detract from your overall snorkeling experience.
All in all, we think it’s worth spending the extra money to get the real thing. However, we’ve gone out of our way to recommend two of the best imitators, so cash-strapped shoppers don’t have to settle too much.
Think about fit:
One of the most important things to consider when buying any type of diving mask is the fit. If your mask doesn’t fit properly, you’ll be uncomfortable as you snorkel, and risk having leaky edges around your face.
With that in mind, make sure you have a look at the sizing chart for your new mask. Most of the knock-off models and imitation brands have only two sizes, but the Tribord has 4 options to choose from.
So, one benefit of spending the extra cash is getting a mask that fits more perfectly. Make sure whichever mask you choose has a silicone edging around the face. Silicone helps achieve a tight seal without hard plastic pressing into your face.
If you’re still not sure which full-face snorkel mask you should buy, check out Amazon’s best selling models here! You can compare our picks with the rest of the competition, and size up prices for all your options.