The basic snorkel gear needed is a mask, fins, and snorkel. It is also important to have anti-fog drops for the mask lens. If the water temperature is below 78 degrees wearing a wetsuit is recommended. Other snorkel gear often overlooked include a dive flag, snorkel vest, and or pool noodle so you are more visible to boat traffic while snorkeling.
The boat should have an air horn, tag line buoy, and vinegar for jellyfish stings. If you get motions sick taking Dramamine an hour or more before the snorkeling trip is a good idea. Lastly, if you are snorkeling on a private boat bringing a submersible radio or rescue beacon is a good idea.
Check out the snorkel masks page if you are just looking for a mask and snorkel. There are many masks on the market and buying quality gear can make your snorkeling experiences much more enjoyable. One decision that will have to be made is whether to buy a full face snorkel mask or a conventional snorkel mask.
Having worked on snorkel and scuba diving boats I know common mistakes people make when getting snorkel gear. The most common mistake is for beginners to use full-face snorkel masks. Full face masks are becoming more popular to get but often do not live up to expectations. For a large percentage of people, the mask does not seal right and leaks. Also if the mask does not fit correctly it could lead to dangerous air re-circulation issues. Some full-face masks are not even designed with one-way valves to properly bring in the fresh air. Also because the large air volume in full-face masks the pressure within the mask can not be equalized. This means that it is only comfortable to dive to about 5 feet deep with a full face snorkel mask.
In this article, the best snorkel gear packages will be reviewed. These packages are a great way to get snorkel gear. All the essential equipment is included with a carry bag which is great for traveling.
Here are the 17 Best Snorkel Gear Packages
1. Cressi Panoramic View Snorkel Gear Set
This Cressi package comes with a panoramic mask, dry snorkel, and Palau long blade adjustable fins. Color options include blue, white, pink, yellow, black-titanium, and red. Fins sizes range from XS women’s size 5 to XL men’s size 13. The Skirt and head strap are both made with silicone for a comfortable fit.
Having a dry snorkel is nice so that salt water does not enter the mount when freediving. The Tao dry silicone snorkel has a top valve that seals the snorkel when diving underwater. A lower purge on the bottom of the snorkel allows any small amount of water in the snorkel to be blown out with a forceful exhale. The mouthpiece of the snorkel is also made of silicone for comfort and durability.
I have used these fins before and the XL works well for a size 13 foot. Working on dive boats these are also the fins that we would rent to guests. They work very well because each size increments fits many different size feet. This is because they are an open heel design. The back of the fin is secured to the foot with an adjustable back strap allowing them to fit a variety of foot sizes.
This is a great snorkel package for travel cause the bag has a shoulder strap and zipper similar to a small backpack.
2. Cressi Onda Snorkel Gear Set
This snorkel gear set includes Palau short fins, an Onda wide view single lens mask, and a Supernova dry snorkel. Fins sizes range from women’s XS size 5 to men’s medium size 8.5. Color options include blue, lilac, pink, red, titanium, and white. The mask features a tempered glass lens, hypoallergenic silicone skirt, and silicone head straps.
This is the snorkel gear kit that I would recommend for most recreational snorkelers. The reason is that it works well for almost everyone. There is only one size mask but is large enough for most adults and still fits narrow faces and older kids. I have rented this mask to hundreds of people and had very few issues with the mask leaking or breaking. If the mask is too wide the Cressi Ondina kids mask is a smaller version of this mask.
The dry snorkel works well for beginners and experienced snorkelers. Sometimes beginners will have the end underwater and not realize why they can not get air. This is better than a mouthful of seawater. Changing the head angle or snorkel angle is the solution.
The fins are also great because the open heel design allows them to fit multiple foot sizes. This is nice because multiple people can share the same gear if needed.
Growing up we always like to bring snorkel sets with us on vacation. When going on excursions or boat trips there is always a time limit. With your own gear, you can explore and snorkel for extended durations without it being prohibitively expensive. Depending on the location going on boat excursions is definitely a good idea as well. Snorkeling is one of the most fun activities that I know of.
The Onda mask and Palau fins are made by Cressi in Italy and come with a two-year limited warranty.
3. Cressi Women’s Palau Mask Combo
This set includes an Onda dual-lens mask, Palau short fins, and a dry snorkel. Color options include pink, lilac, blue, yellow, black-white, red, and titanium. Fins sizes are available from XS women’s size 4 to XL men’s size 13. Bass Pro Shops has a similar package called the Cressi Bonete.
The lenses are made with tempered glass and the skirt of the mask is made with soft 100 percent hypoallergenic transparent silicone. Rapid action buckles allow for easy adjustment of the head strap.
This is a good mask and snorkel for most adults. It seems to be popular with women snorkelers. The fins are a bit shorter than the standard long fin design. This means that kicking can be done with less effort and impact the joints in the feet and knees. The Cressi mask is great for both snorkeling and scuba diving. The kit comes with a mesh bag which is a good way to keep the gear together.
4. Cressi Premium Mask Fin and Snorkel Gear
This kit comes with a Cressi frameless mask, premium Rondinella full foot fins, and a dry snorkel. Color options are blue, yellow, or Aqua. Fins sizes range from ladies size 5 to men’s size 14.
This is top-quality freediving gear at a reasonable cost. The frameless mask has low air volume which is good for diving deep when snorkeling. Having good freediving snorkel gear is important when spearfishing.
The Rondinella fins are full foot fits with open toes. These fins are made with a lightweight and durable polypropylene material which is great for traveling. The full pocket fins are very comfortable to wear for extended snorkel durations or long swims. It can be more difficult to find a full foot fin that fits just right. If you spend a significant time wearing fins full foot fins like these are a way to go for warm water. In cold water, open heel fins with booties are another great option.
5. Head Kids Mask and Snorkel Gear
The Kids Junior snorkel kit comes with a mask, snorkel, fin, and a carry bag. Fins sizes are small 9-13 and large 1-4. Colors for the kits include purple, aqua, blue, green, lime, white and yellow.
This is one of the smallest masks that I know of and typically fits kids between 3-7 years old. The snorkel is not a dry snorkel but does have a splash guard, silicone mouthpiece, and a lower purge valve.
These silicone lined head fins also work great for kids. Often time parents think their kids do not need fins. They definitely do! Fins are required when diving from a boat and for good reason. Without fins, the current is often faster than people can swim. The fins and mask both have quick-release straps.
I actually remember getting a mask and fins for my 4th birthday. I walked all around the house wearing them. It is a big advantage to learn how to snorkel as a child. It is still one of my favorite things to do as an adult.
6. Cressi Junior Mask and Snorkeling Gear
The Cressi junior snorkel set comes with a dual-lens mask, snorkel, fins, and a net bag. Color options include blue-lime, blue-orange, blue-white, lilac-white, white-blue, and white-orange. Fins sizes are small-medium 1-3 and large-extra large 3-6. Bass Pro Shops has a similar set made by Aqua Lung.
This Rocks kid set is good for kids that are 6 to 14 years old. The mask has a silicone skirt for a comfortable and strong seal. Tempered glass is used for the lenses. Silicone is also used for the snorkel mouthpiece.
The snorkel says dry snorkel but does not close the snorkel when going underwater. It does have a splash guard and purge valve. A quick-release snorkel keeper provides and easy way to add and remove the snorkel. Like all Cressi products, these are covered with a two-year limited warranty.
7. US Divers Kids Snorkel Mask and Fins
This US Divers snorkel set comes with a dual-lens mask, dry snorkel, and open heel fins. Color options include fun blue, neon black, fun purple, and pink. Fins sizes are small 9-13, medium 1-3 and large-extra large 3-6. The mask has a silicone skirt, tempered glass lenses, and pro-glide buckles for easy adjustments.
Piper snorkel features include a submersible dry top, ergonomic mouthpiece, and purge valve. This is the only kit that comes with an actual dry snorkel for kids. This can be nice if kids accidentally submerge the snorkel. After swimming under the water it is also easier for kids to not have to clear the snorkel. It is good to teach them how to clear the snorkel. Blowing out at the surface will still blow small amounts of water out the purge valve. The snorkel also has a built-in whistle.
A lightweight gear bag with mesh panels for ventilation is included. The shoulder strap on the gear bag is nice when traveling.
8. Promate Prescription Mask Snorkel Gear
The Promate snorkel gear kit comes with a prescription mask, snorkel, and open heel adjustable fins. Color options include black, blue, clear, green, pink, purple, and yellow. The set costs around $50 with basic lenses and $90 with the prescription lens. After ordering the set the company is emailed with a message detailing the desired lens strength. Fins sizes are small-medium and large-extra large.
The lens can be nearsighted with strengths from -1.0 to -10.0 by increments of 0.5. These allow the user to see far distances clearly. Farsighted lens strengths are from +1.0 to +4.0 by increments of 0.5. This allows the user to see close distances clearly which can be helpful for reading scuba gauges. A bifocal lens that is both near and farsighted is also an option.
Promate is the leading company that makes prescription snorkel masks. Not all people wear contacts which could make snorkeling difficult but this is a great solution. The mask is also available without the snorkel and fins. Some dive shops have this mask with all the lens strengths that can be easily placed in the mask upon request. That is never a sure thing though it is good to get your own mask with the proper prescription.
9. Promate Snorkel Mask Diving Gear Set
The Promate dive kit comes with a sea slender mask, dry snorkel with a whistle, and open heel fins with boots. Color options include black, blue, pink, purple, titanium, and yellow. Fins sizes are available from women’s size 5 to men’s size 13. Fins and boot sizes are based on US shoe size.
Promate the company is most well known for their prescription snorkel masks. A prescription can be added to this mask for an additional $40. This is a quality kit that works well for freediving and scuba diving. The 5mm neoprene boots provide insulation which helps when snorkeling in cold water. Side zippers on the boots make them easy to get on and off.
10. Cressi Clio Mask Fins and Snorkel Gear
This snorkel gear set comes with a Cressi freediving mask, CLIO fins, and a dry snorkel. Black, blue, and yellow colors are available but you have to find each specific listing. Typically men’s and women’s fins sizes are available but again you have to search for the specific fin size. The mask only comes in one size and fits most adults, both women, and men.
I am a big fan of Cressi CLIO fins. For warm water diving, these are very comfortable fins. The key here is the proper size though. If you have fins that fit well you can dive 7 days a week and your feet will still feel great. With the wrong size fins, your feet can cramp and you can get blisters in less than one hour in the water.
11. Seavenger Aviator Snorkeling Gear Set
The Seavenger Aviator snorkeling set comes with a single lens mask, dry snorkel, and compact fins. Color options include peppermint, bubblegum pink, black, green, orange, blue, lavender, and red. The silicon section of the mask can be black or clear. Fins size options are extra small, small-medium, and large-extra large.
This is a very popular snorkel gear package. The mask is one size fits most and has a silicone injected skirt to fit comfortably and provide a watertight seal around the face. A splash guard and baffle system on the snorkel help to prevent water from entering the snorkel both above and below water.
The compact fins are around 16 inches long and have an open heel and open toe. Being short and rigid is good for kids and is easier on the knee and foot joints. These are also good fins to swim laps at the pool. A quick-dry bag is included which is nice when traveling.
12. US Divers Trek Snorkeling Gear Package
US divers snorkel gear package for women includes a dry snorkel, single-lens wide view mask, and trek travel fins. Color options are coral, purple, Aqua, mint-green, raspberry, and red-white. Size options are small ladies size 5-8 and medium ladies size 8-11. A convenient travel and storage bag with mesh panels works great to store the gear.
Admiral LX masks are made with hypoallergenic silicone for a watertight and comfortable seal around the face. Pro-Glide buckles allow the mask head strap size to be quickly adjusted.
The Island Dry LX snorkel is also made with a comfortable silicone mouthpiece and lower purge valve. When swimming underwater the dry top closes and prevents water from entering the snorkel. Pivot dry technology keeps water out of the snorkel both above and below the water.
Treck fins have a comfortable foot pocket with dual composite and easy-to-adjust heel straps. Release buckles attach to the strap which makes taking the fins off easier. The small profile of the fins makes them great for traveling and has enough surface area to provide good thrust in the water.
13. Cressi Frog Mask Fins and Snorkel Gear
This Cressi snorkel gear package includes a dual-lens mask, dry snorkel, and frog plus open heel fins. Color options available are black, red, blue, yellow, pink, and white. Fins sizes range from women’s size 6 to men’s size 13. A mesh snorkel gear bag is also included.
Frog plus fins are powerful efficient open-heel fins that are good for scuba diving, snorkeling, and freediving. The foot pocket is below the fin blade which increases the working fin area by 20 percent. Outer silicone layers on the blades create a channeling effect that allows for high energy transfer when kicking. The channeling effect combined with the lower foot pockets creates powerful fin strokes with less effort.
Cressi focus masks have two tempered glass lenses with a soft silicone skirt. The eyes are positioned close to the lenses for a clear and wide viewing area. The mask has a relatively low air volume which is good for snorkeling. A dry snorkel is both anti-splash and seals when diving beneath the surface. The lower end of the snorkel is made with a flexible corrugated material. A purge valve and water collection area make clearing any water in the snorkel easy and effective.
14. Tusa Mask Fin Snorkel Set
Tusa adult snorkel gear set comes with a wide view single lens mask, dry snorkel, and fins. Color options are hot pink, red, and green. Fins sizes are small for ladies up to size 4, medium ladies 4.5-11, and large men size 5-14.
The serene mask has a wide field of view with a clearVue tempered glass lens and has low air volume within the mask. Crystal silicone is used for the skirt material and has a patented round edge for increased comfort and seal. A five-position head strap allows for small tension adjustments.
Uf-21 fins are flexible long blades that have thrust channels built-in. The open heel foot pocket is made with soft comfortable material. Foot straps and buckles make tension adjustments and fin removal easy. A carry bag with vents is included which is nice when traveling.
The USP-250 snorkel uses an FDA compliant pure silicone mouthpiece. A large purge valve at the bottom of the snorkel makes clearing the snorkel easy. An innovative Hyperdry Elite top helps keep the snorkel completely dry when submerged. All of this gear is backed with a 3-year warranty.
15. US Divers Mask Fin and Snorkel Package
US Divers Cozumel snorkel set comes with a basic mask, snorkel, and fins. Color options include black, blue, red, titanium, and yellow. A mesh gear bag is also included which is perfect for traveling and keeping the gear organized. Bass Pros has a Better version of this same mask fin and snorkel kit.
On vacations growing up, we would typically have US diver snorkel gear packages. The gear is not top of the line but is built good enough to make snorkeling a very enjoyable experience.
The mask has dual-lenses and will fit most adults and big kids. The snorkel has a splash guard and a purge valve. The fins are full foot fins so the size needs to be selected carefully.
16. Cressi Full Face Mask Snorkel Gear
This Cressi snorkel gear kit comes with a Duke full face mask with an integrated snorkel, Palau fins, and gear bag. Color options are blue, pink, lilac, yellow, titanium, red, and white silver. Fins sizes range from XS women’s size 5 to XL men’s size 13. The two mask sizes are small-medium or medium-large.
Duke is a full face mask designed by Cressi with several unique design features. The mask does not have any one-way values so the breathing effort is less than other full-face masks. A lateral deflecting mechanism helps keep the mask fog-free. Airflow length is reduced in the lateral air chamber which is a patented feature to make breathing easier. Hypoallergenic silicone is used for the skirt for a comfortable watertight seal.
17. Seabeast Full Face Mask and Snorkel Gear
The Seabeast full-face mask comes with open heel fins. Mask sizes are small-medium and large-extra large. Only one fins size is available which is medium size 9/10. The fines are black and lime green. Mask color options are black-blue and blue-red.
A hydrophilic coating on the lens helps prevent fog. The flat lens allows for a clear and large viewing area. A removable camera mount makes it possible to wear a GoPro while snorkeling. Thick and soft straps help secure the mask to your face. The snorkel has a floating ball that prevents water from entering the mask when diving under the water. A mesh carry bag is included for the mask. The snorkel folds to take up less space when traveling.
Sea Drops Anti-Fog Mask Cleaner
Sea drops come in a 1.25-ounce bottle. Most snorkel masks will fog without applying an antifog solution. This is the biggest mistake I see snorkelers make is not properly applying the anti-fog solution. When done improperly the mask will fog after a few minutes of use and drastically reduce visibility making for a bad snorkeling experience.
To apply the solution first wet the mask with fresh or saltwater. Then add a small drop to each lens and run the solution to the entire inside lenses. If it is applied thin enough the lens does not need to be rinsed off. If the solution is too thick just a little water to the inside of the mask and swirl it around. Then dump out any access water out and you are good to go. Do not fully submerge the mask as this removes too much of the anti-fog solution.
Other good anti-fog solutions include Spit the spray, Johnson’s baby shampoo, and Sea Gold gel drops. Some defog solutions come in a spray bottle. Just be sure to only lightly rinse the mask after applying the solution.
Wetsuits for Snorkeling
Seavenger snorkel wetsuits come in both men’s and women’s sizes. Men’s sizes range from small to double extra-large. Women’s sizes range from 3-11. A size chart can be found to determine the best size based on measured dimensions. Color options include classic black, black remix, geometric blue, and dark floral.
This wetsuit is made with 3mm neoprene which is good for water temperatures of 65 degrees and higher. Super stretch panels under the arm increase flexibility while swimming and snorkeling. The wetsuit is designed for a snug fit to prevent water from circulation through the wetsuit. An extra-long leash is provided so the suite can be put on without assistance. The zipper is in the rear of the wetsuit. Sometimes the zippers are in front. This is typically for short wetsuits though. The seams are designed to lay smooth and prevent chafing. Rash guards can be worn under wetsuits to make them more comfortable as well.
Extra Snorkel Gear
A dive flag needs to be flown on the boat being snorkeled from or pulled on a float when diving from shore. When diving from a designated swimming beach a dive flag is not needed. It is still a good idea to have some type of visible device above the surface if there is any boat traffic in the area. Even a pool noodle can be enough. If a boat comes near it can be raised high to help to boat more easily see the diver.
A bright-colored inflatable life jacket helps to be more visible in the water. It can be left deflated or can be inflated to add flotation.
Tag Line Buoy
When snorkeling from a boat a buoy should be tied to a long 100 foot or longer rope and set to drift behind the boat. Snorkeling or scuba diving should be done in front of the boat. Sometimes the current strength increase or people get tired of swimming against the current. The tag line gives them an easy way to pull themselves back to the boat.
Air horn or whistle
a noise-making device can help get the attention of a distracted snorkeler who is getting themselves in an undesirable situation. An air horn can help get the attention of boaters if they do not realize snorkelers and divers are in the water.
At certain times of the year jellyfish are common. Most of the time a jellyfish sting is not a big deal and vinegar helps to neutralize the sting.
Radio or PLB Rescue Beacon
Having a rescue beacon is a good way to contact help if you did get swept away by the current. This is important to have when diving from a private boat. The PLB would need to be placed in a submersible dive canister.
Frequently asked Questions
What Snorkel gear is best for beginners?
The best snorkel gear for beginners is a conventional mask, dry snorkel, and comfortable fins with a secure fit. Open heel adjustable fins are the easiest way to get fins that fit properly. Wearing a life jacket, inflatable snorkel vest, or a foam pool noodle is a good idea. Pool noodles actually work the best. They can be tucked under the arms and allow people to float comfortably. Another way to float really well is to wear a wetsuit.
I have seen many beginners snorkel and the hardest part is getting off the boat. It is good to practice in a pool or beach before going on a boat. Pressing the mask into the face with one hand and doing a giant stride entry is the easiest way to enter the water. Some people decide to walk down the swim ladder but can slip and get hurt. On small boats sliding off the side of the boat or doing a backward roll works.
Also, some beginners forget to apply a defog solution to their masks. Snorkeling is a much better experience when divers can see clearly out of their masks. Also, I do not recommend full face snorkel gear for beginners. Too often the mask does not fit right and results in a bad snorkel experience. Once you get good with a conventional mask and snorkel you could try a full face mask for fun. However, the traditional masks and snorkels are better in almost every way anyway.
How do I choose snorkel gear?
The most important thing when buying snorkel gear is to make sure it is the proper size. There are some masks and snorkel sets that work for almost all adults and large kids. Open heel fins with an adjustable back strap are good fins that fit a wide range of foot sizes.
For materials, it is important to get a mask with a silicone skirt. This allows for a good watertight seal around the face. Silicone is a soft material that contours well to many face shapes. It is also a good idea to get a snorkel that has a silicone mouthpiece. This is a soft and durable material that is comfortable to wear. Most masks are made with tempered glass. Some kid’s masks and full-face masks are made of plastic which works alright.
How much does good snorkel gear cost?
A basic mask, fin, and snorkel set can be purchased for around $40. For adults good equipment cost around $90. To get kids good equipment cost around $50. If you are just going to use the snorkel equipment one time a $40 set should get the job done. A set for $90 is made with quality silicone and if properly taken care of can last for 10 or more years of occasional use. Some snorkel gear even comes with a 3-year warranty. Gear that is more quality is more comfortable to wear, will last longer, and has features to make snorkeling easier. The most obvious snorkel gear improvement is a dry snorkel.
Is there a snorkel that lets you breathe underwater?
Yes, snorkels let you breathe with your head underwater but the snorkel must remain above the surface. This allows the snorkeler to continually look beneath the surface without having to raise their head to breathe. Once the snorkel is submerged beneath the surface it is not possible to breathe. When diving the air in your lungs compresses and without a pressured scuba tank a diver can not breathe. The deeper the snorkeler goes the harder it is to even equalize the pressure in the mask. When freediving below 60 feet a special equalizing technique called the Frenzel is needed to equalize ear pressure. Plugging your nose and blowing out is called the Valsalva maneuver and works well to about 60 feet.
How do you snorkel like a pro?
The best way to snorkel is to place your hands behind your back and kick your feet up and down. Do not kick like you are riding a pedal bike. Also do not lift the fins out of the water. Keep the fins in the water with your legs straight and kick up and down. Lie flat in the water looking forward, not vertical looking down.
When diving beneath the surface take a full breath of air before submerging. The snorkel can stay in your mouth even if it fills up with water. Then position your body vertically in the water and lightly kick to the desired depth. When surfacing the end of the snorkel should be above the water surface. Then the diver should blow the water out of the snorkel with a forceful exhale.
The most important tip to snorkel like a pro is to relax. Lightly swim and enjoy the sights around you. Even warm water can pull the heat out of your body. So when snorkeling for a long duration in the water below 80 degrees wearing a wetsuit is a good idea.
Why do people use a snorkel underwater?
A snorkel does not work when fully submerged in the water. It is convenient to leave the snorkel in your mouth to make it easy to clear the snorkel when returning to the surface. Snorkels do allow the person’s head to remain underwater to view sea life without having to lift their head. Without a snorkel, people have to hold their breath and continuously take their heads out of the water to get fresh air. Snorkel tubes have to be short or the diver would be breathing recirculated old air. Some scuba divers also wear a snorkel but that is just in case they need to surface swim back to the boat.
What to do if you see a shark while snorkeling?
If you see a shark when snorkeling the most important thing to do is stay calm. Try and identify the type of shark. If it is a nurse shark just enjoy seeing it and keep your distance. When snorkeling in clear water most sharks are scared of people and will swim away. If the shark is lingering in the area it would be good to slowly swim back to the boat and get out of the water. It is not smart to be snorkeling near sharks feeding on bait or people spearfishing. Most snorkel reefs are national marine sanctuaries and spearfishing is prohibited. Personally, I enjoy swimming with nurse sharks and reef sharks. Often times this is the highlight of the snorkel or dive trip.
Captain Cody has worked on charter fishing boats in the Florida Keys, Virgin Islands, and Alaska. Growing up in Pennsylvania Cody has also done extensive freshwater fishing including bass fishing tournaments. Cody strives to provide detailed information about the best fishing gear and tactics to help both novice and experienced anglers have a more productive and enjoyable time on the water. Cody also has a background in aerospace engineering and neuroscience but really only takes pride in being good at one thing and that is fishing!