Snorkeling has been around for centuries, ever since the ancients used to use reeds to breathe primitively underwater. In all the years since, the basic design of the snorkel hasn’t changed much. Dry snorkels have recently changed the game, though! They allow you to easily dive below the surface, shutting out water and then opening up again when you resurface and need a breather. The best dry snorkels are comfortable, durable, and–most importantly–reliable enough to function correctly each and every time you use them.
In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the best dry snorkels on the market! We’ll teach you everything you need to know to shop for one like an experienced pro, and explain why we’ve chosen these specific models over the competition.
Keep on reading to discover which dry snorkels we currently recommend and to see all the reasons why!
|Picture||Product Name||Color Options||Cost|
|Cressi Mini Dry||Clear, Clear/Black, Clear/Blue, Clear/Lilac, Clear/Pink, Clear/White, Clear/Yellow||$|
|Cressi Supernova Dry||Black, Black/Black, Black/Blue, Black/Brown, Black/Lime, Black/Orange, Black/Red, Black/Yellow, Camo Green, Clear/Black, Clear/Blue, Clear/Cobalt, Clear/Dark/Blue, Clear/Gray, Clear/Lilac, Clear/Lime, Clear/Orange, Clear/Pink, Clear/Red, Clear/White, Clear/Yellow||$|
|Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry||Black/Black, Black/Blue/Clear, Black/White, Black/Yellow, Clear/Blue, Clear/Lilac, Clear/Pink, Clear/Silver, Clear/Yellow||$$|
Best Dry Snorkel Reviews (2019)
Cressi Mini Dry
The Cressi Mini Dry is our recommendation to folks shopping for a dry snorkel that’s suitable for kids. One of the reasons that full-face snorkel masks are so popular is that traditional snorkels are so darn uncomfortable for little ones to use. The bulky mouthpieces and heavy construction take all the fun out of snorkeling. The Mini Dry takes Cressi’s stellar dry snorkel design and puts it in a much smaller package that’s perfect for kids.
Unlike the vast majority of dry snorkels aimed at kids, this one’s made by a real scuba and snorkel gear manufacturer.
Despite the fact that it’s an inexpensive model for children, the Mini Dry is made entirely in Italy, just like the high-end Cressi models. The materials are exactly the same ones used in the adult versions–including the hypoallergenic silicone mouthpiece.
The valve is reliable and very easy for young ones to use. The float mechanism activates to seal off the air tube when the snorkel is submerged, and you simply blow to purge water through the valve in the mouthpiece.
It has a widened bore for easier breathing–key for young ones who might not have mastered breath control yet.
It has a flexible tube section that makes it easy to store. That’s super handy for a family, where you’ll want to store a bunch of snorkels together in your luggage.
The snorkel clip has a quick-release design that makes it easy to adjust the height to suit your child.
This design is actually a miniaturized version of the popular Supernova (reviewed below) and it works in exactly the same way.
It’s by far the best dry snorkel we’ve found for kids, but it’s not perfect. The valves do occasionally stick, although it’s very rare and much less frequent than with cheaper options.
Cressi Supernova Dry
Cressi’s Supernova dry snorkel is our recommendation to most folks. It remains the company’s best-selling model, and is simply a larger version of the Mini model we’ve just looked at. While it might not be the absolute best on the market, it’s more than enough for most people and very reasonably priced.
It’s very affordable. It costs half as much as Cressi’s top-notch Alpha Ultra model, even though the casual user would have a hard time telling them apart. Despite the fact that the Supernova is a good deal larger, it barely costs any more than the Mini!
It’s comfortable for any adult or teen user. The Supernova is sized to suit just about anybody, and the flexible mouthpiece contours easily to fit your face. You can also make height adjustments using the quick-release mouth clip. We think just about everybody will love using this one.
Like the Mini, the Supernova is made entirely in Italy from top-notch materials. At this price, you won’t find many other decent adult snorkels that aren’t chintzy knock-offs of Cressi products (and usually made with shoddy quality control or unsafe materials)!
Compared to other adult models, we think the Supernova is vastly more comfortable. It has little wings on the mouthpiece that make it much easier to keep in place. Since the tube and the mouthpiece are both flexible, it’s easy to make adjustments without accidentally yanking the snorkel out of your mouth.
The valve is very reliable. That’s the most important difference between this and comparably-priced models from the competition. Sure, looks and comfort are big pluses, but reliability is the key thing to look for with a dry snorkel. The Supernova works perfectly nearly every time. That’s something you can’t say about the competition at this price! As far as we’re concerned, the only model that betters it is the Alpha Ultra at twice the price.
It should last for years of use. Like most Cressi products, the Supernova has a great reputation for durability.
The Alpha Ultra model below is lighter and more ergonomic. The valve is also more reliable in that model. It’s definitely a better snorkel overall, so if you’re an ardent aquatic explorer, you’ll find that it’s worth the investment. For most people, the Supernova is more than good enough.
The key difference between the Supernova and the pricier Alpha Ultra is the valves. Both the floater mechanism and purge valve on the Alpha Ultra are more reliable and less prone to sticking with sand or other debris. Most users won’t notice much of a difference, but if you’re a frequent snorkeler and want the best of the best, go for the Alpha Ultra.
Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry
Cressi’s Alpha Ultra is our ultimate recommendation for a dry snorkel. It’s a bit pricier than our other picks, but worth it for those who snorkel frequently enough to appreciate its additional comfort factor and impeccable reliability. Put simply, we think it’s the best dry snorkel on the market right now.
It’s noticeably lighter than the Supernova, and sleeker to boot. The difference doesn’t seem significant on paper, but it really strikes you when you use this one. It’s much more effortless to swim with.
It’s also a faster piece of equipment that folks who snorkel far from shore will really appreciate. You can cut through the water with much less drag, so those swims out to the sights are more enjoyable.
It’s extremely ergonomic. We can confidently say that the Alpha Ultra is hands-down the most comfortable dry snorkel we’ve ever reviewed. Its
comfortable silicone mouthpiece and adjustable positioning, not to mention the flexible tubing, make it a seamless extension of your body.
The valves are absolutely stellar. They work perfectly every time and have no issues with interference. They’re silicone, which seals tighter than rigid plastic materials.
Despite being lighter and a bit sleeker than the Supernova, it feels likely to last longer. It’s technically made with the same materials and at the same Italian factory, but the silicone components in particular feel more substantial.
Even though it’s a premium piece of equipment, it won’t break the bank. It’s still available for under $50! That’s a pittance compared to what you’ll pay for even one vacation at the beach, so we think it’s a very reasonable price to pay for the best dry snorkel on the market.
The sleeker design does mean that you have a slightly less generous air supply than with the Supernova.
It’s twice the price of the Supernova. Casual users don’t need to spend this much on a dry snorkel, since the Supernova is nearly as good. This one’s only something we recommend to passionate folks who are sure to get their money’s worth from it.
Which of the dry snorkels featured in this guide should you buy?
If you’re shopping for kids, the Cressi Mini Dry is the obvious choice. The smaller mouthpiece and more compact design are perfect for younger snorkelers. The Mini Dry is affordable enough that you can justify buying it for kids who may or may not make full use of it, but well-made enough that you can be confident kids are safe as they swim. Just don’t try and buy one of these as a budget option for adults! Get a full-sized model like the Supernova Dry instead.
The Cressi Supernova Dry is our budget recommendation for adults, and we think it’s the best choice for most buyers. It’s half the price of the Alpha Ultra Dry, but is very well-made and achieves the same basic function. However, it’s heavier and a bit clunkier than the Alpha Ultra. The dry valve isn’t as flawless, either. Most folks won’t notice a difference, but if you want the best of the best and can justify the cost, go for the Alpha Ultra.
The Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry is our ultimate recommendation for a dry snorkel. It’s probably overkill for most buyers, but if you snorkel a lot and can justify spending a little more money it does offer a better experience compared with the Supernova. We love how lightweight and ergonomic it is, and the valve is the most reliable we’ve ever reviewed.
For an outstanding experience, the Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry is definitely our pick for the best dry snorkel on our list. Offering outstanding quality and impressive performance, you’re sure to enjoy a great snorkel.
Never, Ever Go For Unknown Brands
A dry snorkel is a piece of safety equipment, first and foremost. Sure, you want something that looks good and feels comfortable, but your apparatus’s primary purpose is to keep you safe while you’re in the water. That’s why it’s so important to buy only from reputable brands with a proven track record for making safe, reliable snorkeling gear.
Since these products are so popular and often purchased by casual users who may not be experts on aquatic adventure gear, it’s no surprise that many companies are offering cheap, generic models for a fraction of the cost of the models we’ve recommended in this guide.
Don’t be tempted! These models are made extremely cheaply, and that’s dangerous. Not only do the materials often contain chemical impurities that produce fumes and cause skin irritation, but the valves on these models are rarely functional and often downright hazardous. Cheap snorkels also leak like crazy.
Decide On Your Budget
Good quality dry snorkels are available for as little as $15 (for kids models and the very basic adult models) or as much as $50 (for the nicest adult options). Figure out how much you can afford to spend. If you’re shopping for kids, there’s no need to spend more than $20 to get a good dry snorkel. If you’re an adult user, think about how often you’ll be snorkeling and what you can justify investing in your new gear. Most casual users will be perfectly fine with something under $30. If you’re going to be snorkeling fairly frequently and can justify a premium model, you might consider spending $50 or so for our top-notch recommendation.
Know Your Needs
Before you start considering any specific models, make sure you know what you’re looking for! If you’re shopping for kids, choose a model specifically designed for young snorkelers. Any decent manufacturer will offer kid-specific models that are simply miniaturized versions of their adult dry snorkels. You’ll want to choose those instead of the cheaper options from non-scuba brands! Those ones tend to be toys instead of real (but miniature) gear.
If you’re shopping for something to take on vacation, look at an affordable model from a reputable brand. You’ll want something that’s going to be easy on your wallet without being so cheap as to be unsafe. If you’re looking for something that’ll last for years and be as comfortable as possible, consider a premium model.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the best dry snorkels, and found all the information you need to confidently buy the perfect one for you! You can learn more about any of the models we’ve recommended here by clicking on the links in our reviews. That’s the most convenient way to check current prices and see all the different color options available.