OUR TOP PICK

snorkel breathing tube

Overall Rating

4.9  /5

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General Impression

With a large snorkel tube, it’s easy to get all the air you need with the Oceanic Ultra-Dry 2, which is one of the best scuba snorkels currently on the market. It boasts a more ergonomic design and a drop-away flex mouthpiece. The oversized purge valve also allows the snorkel to be cleared seamlessly.

Specifications

TYPE: Dry snorkel
BRAND: Oceanic
WEIGHT: 7.2 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving, snorkeling, and freediving

PROS

  • Quick-release swiveling snorkel keeper for easy detachment
  • Smoothbore flex mouthpiece drops away when not in use
  • Replaceable mouthpiece made from 100% liquid silicone
  • Oversized purge valve for easy clearing
  • Dry snorkel design eliminates water entry

CONS

  • The large mouthpiece can cause drag
  • More expensive than some snorkels on the market

BEST VALUE

snorkel valve

Overall Rating

4.8  /5

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General Impression

The Supernova Dry – Designed by Italy’s most trusted diving and snorkeling brand, this is one of the best dry snorkels available, with a unique valve that blocks water entry through a float mechanism. The special water collection well and valve enables you to quickly expel water while the tube and mouthpiece are both made from hypoallergenic silicone for sensitive skin.

Specifications

TYPE: Dry snorkel
BRAND: Cressi
WEIGHT: 6.4 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving and snorkeling

PROS

  • It features a highly flexible tube that reduces jaw fatigue
  • Can fold into a compact shape to store in a BCD pocket or travel pack
  • The wide elliptical bore shape increases airflow for comfortable breathing
  • The purge valve enables you to instantly clear the snorkel tube when needed
  • Quick-release snorkel keeper for ease of removal

CONS

  • Slightly weightier than some snorkels on the market
  • The purge valve is prone to leaking when freediving

top 10 snorkels

Overall Rating

4.6  /5

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General Impression

Designed for traditional use in diving and snorkeling, this easy-to-fit dry top snorkel comes with a quick-release clip and a flexible tube. The dry top will keep water out of the snorkeling tube even in the choppiest conditions, with a purge valve to expel water if it does accumulate in the tube.

Specifications

TYPE: Dry snorkel
BRAND: Zionor
WEIGHT: 6.4 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving and snorkeling

PROS

  • Floatation mechanism prevents water from coming into the tube when submerged underwater
  • An engineered purge valve provides instant water-clearing when needed
  • The elliptical design system helps to create buoyancy in the water
  • The flexible mouthpiece reduces jaw fatigue
  • A quick-release snorkel clip makes it easy to attach and remove from your mask

CONS

  • Slightly weightier than other snorkels on the market
  • Can be mildly uncomfortable for snorkelers with small mouths

easy air snorkel

Overall Rating

4.4  /5

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General Impression

Another affordable option with plenty of features, this semi-dry snorkel boasts a splash-proof guard to eliminate water intake and a quick-release buckle so you can detach it with one hand. The silicone mouthpiece is angled for greater comfort and can be replaced when worn or if the existing mouthpiece is too large.

Specifications

TYPE: Semi-dry snorkel
BRAND: Phantom Aquatics
WEIGHT: 2.4 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving and snorkeling

PROS

  • Splash-proof guard to prevent water from entering the snorkel tube
  • Quick-release buckle for detaching the snorkel with one hand
  • Extra-large self-draining chamber
  • Angled silicone mouthpiece that can be replaced when necessary
  • Incredibly light design

CONS

  • The large mouthpiece can be too big for small mouths
  • Has a lot of buoyancy, which makes it unsuitable for freediving

snorkels for sale

Overall Rating

4.2  /5

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General Impression

The Ultra Dry 2 Snorkel – Boasting 100% dry top technology, this affordable dry snorkeling or scuba diving snorkel is easy to install thanks to a quick snap snorkel keeper. There’s a large bore tube for easy breathing, as well as a soft silicone mouthpiece so you can stay in the water for longer without getting jaw fatigue.

Specifications

TYPE: Dry snorkel
BRAND: Deep Blue
WEIGHT: 7.2 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving, snorkeling, and freediving

PROS

  • Large purge valve at the bottom of the tube to eliminate water
  • Semi-dry top to deflect water in choppy conditions
  • The composite flex tube offers a contoured shape for greater comfort
  • A soft silicone mouthpiece helps to minimize jaw fatigue
  • Designed for not only adults but also children above 10 years old

CONS

  • Heavier than most snorkels on the market
  • Some users report issues of the snorkel not purging water completely on resurfacing

snorkling tube

Overall Rating

4.6  /5

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General Impression

This affordable dry snorkel can easily be utilized with your existing mask and features a quick-release adjustable clip to easily connect and disconnect it. Unlike float ball designs that can get lodged by small sand, it features a profiled “paddle” dry snorkel top that automatically closes when submerged. The silicone mouthpiece is super soft and can be removed if you want to replace it.

Specifications

TYPE: Dry snorkel
BRAND: Aegend
WEIGHT: 7.2 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving and snorkeling

PROS

  • Food-grade silicone mouthpiece that’s angled and corrugated for prolonged use
  • The long oval upper tube allows you to breathe effortlessly
  • Can easily eliminate water using the one-way purge valve
  • Features an advanced dry top valve and a splash guard

CONS

  • Heavier than most other snorkels on the market
  • Snorkel clip is prone to popping out of place

aqualung snorkel review

Overall Rating

4.2  /5

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General Impression

Also known as the Snap Snorkel, this roll-up scuba diving snorkel from Aqua Lung is relatively lightweight and can be stashed in your BCD pocket (or attached using a D-ring) when not in use. It’s one of the best snorkels for wreck divers or those exploring confined spaces and will snap into shape when you return to the surface and want to conserve the air in your tank.

Specifications

TYPE: Roll-up travel snorkel
BRAND: Aqua Lung
WEIGHT: 6 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone (hypoallergenic)
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving

PROS

  • Roll up, compact design that can fit into a BCD pocket
  • Immediately snaps into shape when removed
  • Flexible and durable silicone design
  • Comes with a regulator-quality mouthpiece

CONS

  • No vents or purge valve for water clearing
  • Some users find it too floppy to use comfortably
  • Not designed for long periods of snorkeling

new type of snorkel

Overall Rating

4.7  /5

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General Impression

This low-profile snorkeling tube is designed to be hydrodynamic, which makes it a good snorkel for free divers wanting to minimize drag. It was created by Aqua Sphere in conjunction with Michael Phelps and his coach Bob Bowman to assist in improving users’ swim technique and body positioning by eliminating breathing motion.

Specifications

TYPE: Swim snorkel
BRAND: Aqua Sphere
WEIGHT: 12 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Swimming and freediving

PROS

  • Hydrodynamic design to reduce water drag when freediving
  • An adjustable and lightweight head bracket for a comfortable fit
  • The silicone Comfo-bite mouthpiece minimizes jaw fatigue
  • A one-way purge valve helps to maximize the clearing of excess water

CONS

  • Designed for swimmers rather than snorkelers and scuba divers
  • Only available in a regular and small fit

best snorkel tube

Overall Rating

4.7  /5

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General Impression

The Alpha Ultra Dry is designed with a compact valve that automatically closes to keep water out, no matter what angle the snorkel is positioned. It’s lightweight and folds up into a compact shape so that it can be stored in a BCD pocket and is one of the best snorkels for travel.

Specifications

TYPE: Dry snorkel
BRAND: Cressi
WEIGHT: 4 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving and snorkeling

PROS

  • Features a float mechanism that prevents water from entering the snorkel when submerged
  • Has a highly flexible tube that reduces jaw fatigue
  • Folds compactly for storing in a BCD pocket or travel pack
  • The wide elliptical bore shape increases airflow capacity for easy breathing
  • Water can be cleared when needed using the purge valve

CONS

  • More expensive than other snorkels on the market
  • Mouthpiece lacks a lingual arch for easy holding

best semi dry snorkel

Overall Rating

4.7  /5

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General Impression

Combining all of the best features of TUSA’s snorkels into one, this dry diving snorkel features an angled purge chamber to make eliminating water easy. The swivel mouthpiece is designed to reduce any load on the mouth while the two-part construction means you can rotate the snorkel and attach it in a horizontal position if needed.

Specifications

TYPE: Dry snorkel
BRAND: TUSA
WEIGHT: 5.6 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving, snorkeling, and freediving

PROS

  • Low-profile design and angled purge chamber for staying dry
  • Streamlined to reduce drag when snorkeling, diving and freediving
  • Gasket closes quickly and efficiently when submerged or hit by waves
  • High flow purge valve to eliminate water
  • Removable and replaceable mouthpiece

CONS

  • More expensive than other snorkels on the market
  • Is only compatible with TUSA mouthpieces

dry snorkel

Overall Rating

4.4  /5

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General Impression

This dry top snorkel for divers features a soft silicone mouthpiece that’s ideal for those spending long hours in the water who want to avoid jaw fatigue. The corrugated silicone hose ensures flexibility and helps the mouthpiece to fall out of the way when it’s not in use.

Specifications

TYPE: Dry snorkel
BRAND: Kraken
WEIGHT: 7.2 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving and snorkeling

PROS

  • Quick-release clip to easily connect and disconnect the snorkel to your mask
  • One-way purge valve to easily clear water from the tube
  • The mouthpiece is made from soft silicone for greater comfort
  • Corrugated silicone hose that falls out of the way when not in use

CONS

  • Heavier than most snorkels on the market
  • Only available in black

dry top snorkel set

Overall Rating

4.8  /5

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General Impression

One of the best snorkels for beginners, the Tribord Easybreath is a full-face mask that’s designed for snorkelers who don’t feel comfortable in the water. It’s designed to stay upright and cover your entire face, so you can breathe normally, without having to worry about removing water and/or fog from your mask.

Specifications

TYPE: Full-face snorkel
BRAND: Tribord
WEIGHT: 1.32 pounds
MATERIALS: Hypoallergenic silicone and polycarbonate lens
SUITABLE FOR: Snorkeling

PROS

  • Is available in kid and adult-friendly sizes
  • Features a fluorescent orange tip for visibility
  • 180-degree field of view
  • Air circulation system prevents fogging
  • Dry top snorkel limits water entry

CONS

  • You cannot dive down with it
  • Not designed for snorkeling in rough conditions
  • Takes up extra space in your luggage

best snorkle

Overall Rating

4.7  /5

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General Impression

Hydro-dynamically designed for ease of use, this semi-dry professional snorkel features an elliptical barrel and contoured design to minimize drag in the water. All ScubaPro snorkels boast specially-designed mouthpieces that conform correctly to your bite and can be angled to ensure they’re comfortable for prolonged use.

Specifications

TYPE: Semi-dry snorkel
BRAND: ScubaPro
WEIGHT: 4.8 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Scuba diving

PROS

  • 3D barrel for less drag when snorkeling
  • Angled purge valve to divert bubbles away from the line of sight
  • Ergonomic mouthpiece to reduce jaw fatigue
  • The flexible, corrugated section drops away from the face when not in use
  • Quick-release and connect snorkel clip

CONS

  • The large mouthpiece can be too big for small mouths
  • Much more expensive than other snorkels on the market

snorkel for scuba diving

Overall Rating

4.5  /5

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General Impression

One of the best snorkels for freediving on the market, this low-profile and lightweight snorkel boasts a unique wing shape that reduces drag in the water. It’s popular amongst spearfishers who are regularly diving down, with a shark fin-shaped top that won’t catch on fishing lines, seaweed or other floating material.

Specifications

TYPE: Dry snorkel
BRAND: Riffe
WEIGHT: 5.6 ounces
MATERIALS: Silicone
SUITABLE FOR: Freediving

PROS

  • Unique design that prevents drag in the water
  • The top is shaped to prevent catching on underwater materials
  • Hinged snorkel keeper for easy attachment to your mask
  • Comfortable mouthpiece and purge on the bottom for easy clearing

CONS

  • The large mouthpiece can be uncomfortable for some
  • The advertised “dry top” is just a splash guard and water tends to come in when submerged

BUYERS GUIDE AND TIPS
Best Snorkels

You might think that a snorkel is just a snorkel. But in fact, there are lots of different types on the market. At its most basic, a snorkel is a tube with a soft mouthpiece that allows you to breathe comfortably while at the water’s surface. It usually attaches to the side of your face mask’s strap, with the ability to adjust the positioning to your preference.

A classic snorkel will do the job for short periods in the water. But if you plan on spending a significant amount of time snorkeling, want to do some freediving or will be in choppy waters, it’s worth investing in a snorkel with additional features. In this guide, we’ll introduce the various types of snorkels available and some of the features you might want to consider.

Types of snorkels

Classic J-Curve Snorkels

This is the most common (and affordable) type of snorkel on the market and at its most basic, comprises a solid tube and a mouthpiece. They have no purge valves or splash guard at the top, so you need to know how to clear the snorkel of water by exhaling forcefully while at the surface. Sometimes these snorkels can be bent into a specific shape but most aren’t as comfortable as having a flexible tube section.

Dry Snorkels

Dry snorkels feature a special valve that’s designed to keep water out at all times, which means you don’t need to clear water out of your tube every time you surface. Dry snorkels tend to be the bulkiest and most expensive snorkels on the market.

Semi-Dry Snorkels

Semi-dry snorkels also aim to keep water out of the tube via a splash guard at the top and are among the best snorkels for snorkeling. However, their splash guards will only work when you are at the surface and once fully submerged, you can expect water to flow in.

Folding Snorkels

Folding snorkels are popular with wreck divers or those using guidelines in overhead environments. They can easily be rolled up and stored in the pocket of your BCD when not in use and won’t get in the way when you’re navigating tight channels or wreck environments.

Full-Face Snorkel Masks

A full-face snorkel mask combines a mask and snorkel in one, making them popular with beginners. Rather than fitting just over your eyes and nose, it secures around the entire face, enabling you to breathe completely normally through your nose or mouth. Most offer anti-fogging capabilities and won’t let any water enter through the top of the snorkel. The downside is that you can’t dive beneath the water’s surface without water flooding into the mask.

Features to look for in a Snorkel

Flexible Tube

While most classic snorkels are designed from a single piece of hard tube, others feature a flexible tube below the strap attachment point. These tend to be more comfortable as this lower section can be rotated to best fit your face and won’t pull against your mouth. Another nice feature is that the mouthpiece will drop away from your face when you’re not using it, which makes it particularly convenient for scuba divers who might be switching between a snorkel and regulator.

Purge Valve

While you can blow the water out the top of your snorkel by forcefully exhaling, a snorkel purge valve does the hard work for you. This small valve is located in the base of the snorkel where water collects and will clear water from the tube when you blow out.

Splash Guard

A splash guard does exactly what its name suggests – it prevents splashes of water and ocean spray from entering the top of the snorkel tube. It’s a useful feature to have, as it will reduce the number of times you have to eliminate water from your snorkel. But it’s important to remember that a splash guard won’t stop water from entering the snorkel if you submerge beneath the water’s surface or if a large wave covers the top of your snorkel.

Dry Valve

If you want to prevent water from entering your snorkel tube when you dive underwater, then look for a dry snorkel. They feature a special valve on top of the snorkel tube that completely seals out all water, so you don’t have to clear it when you resurface. Keep in mind that it also seals out air, so you can breathe through the tube whilst underwater either.

Mouthpiece

The snorkel mouthpiece is usually made from soft rubber that you can comfortably bite down on and can make a big difference in terms of jaw fatigue. Over time, the mouthpiece will need to be replaced as it wears down and to ensure it’s hygienic. So look for snorkels with easily replaceable mouthpieces so you don’t have to throw the entire snorkel away. Some mouthpieces are larger than others, so check online snorkel gear reviews to see how the one you’re considering purchasing sizes up.

Snorkel Size and Length

You want the snorkel tube to be long enough to stay above the surface of the water while you’re snorkeling or resting at the end of a dive. But if it’s too long, it can be awkward and more difficult to breathe through. Similarly, you want the size of the tube to be wide enough that you can take a deep breath quickly and easily but no so large that you have to move unnecessarily large volumes of air back and forth. These are both things that snorkel manufacturers consider when designing new models and are often commented on in snorkeling reviews.

FAQs
Best Snorkels

Q: How to use a Snorkel

A snorkel is a simple piece of equipment to use, with the soft mouthpiece placed into your mouth while the snorkel tube is positioned at a 90-degree angle to the water’s surface. The snorkel is attached to the side of your mask and can be adjusted by moving the snorkel tube either up or down to find the position that suits your face. Once in the water, simply breathe as you normally would at a relaxed and steady pace. If water enters the tube, you can eliminate it by breathing forcefully or use the purge valve if your snorkel is equipped with one.

Q: How to Snorkel Underwater

Snorkeling at the surface is relatively easy and just requires you to position your body parallel with the water’s surface and breathe as you would on land. But if you want to dive underwater while snorkeling (and you don’t have a dry snorkel), you’ll need to hold your breath to avoid water filtering into the tube and your mouth. When you return to the water’s surface, you can then forcefully exhale to eliminate the water or remove it using the purge valve if your snorkel is equipped with one.

Q: What is a Dry Snorkel?

A dry snorkel features a special valve at the top that’s designed to keep water out at all times. This means you don’t need to clear water out of your tube when you resurface after duck diving and can begin breathing as you would normally. While they’re more convenient to use than semi-dry or classic snorkels, they also tend to be bulkier and are among the most expensive snorkels on the market.

Q: What is a Dry Top Snorkel?

A dry top snorkel is equipped with a special valve at the top of the snorkel tube to prevent water from flooding in when you dive beneath the water’s surface. It will also prevent water splashing into your tube when you’re snorkeling in choppy waters or if you’re waiting for a boat to pick you up at the end of your dive. Rather than having to constantly eliminate water by forcefully exhaling or using a purge valve, you can continue breathing normally, just as you would on land.

Q: Dry Snorkel vs Semi-Dry Snorkel

While a dry snorkel has a special valve to keep water out of the tube at all times, a semi-dry snorkel uses a splash guard that is only effective at the water’s surface. A dry snorkel means that you can dive beneath the water’s surface without worrying about water flooding into your tube. On the other hand, a semi-dry snorkel will prevent water from entering the tube if you’re snorkeling in choppy waters. But as soon as you fully submerge, you can expect water to flood in.

Q: How to Breathe while Snorkeling

While snorkeling, you should breathe just as you would on land, with steady and slow breaths so you remain calm. Once you become comfortable and relaxed, you should be able to hear your breath quite noticeably and feel its rhythm. It’s important to move slowly and calmly while snorkeling. Flailing arms and rapid movements can lead to water splashing and entering your snorkel. This can sometimes cause beginner snorkelers to panic and immediately lift their heads above the surface to remove the water.

It’s a good idea to practice expelling water from your snorkel somewhere that you feel comfortable and can touch the bottom (without damaging any coral). This will ensure that once you’re out in deeper waters or on the reef that you can do it confidently.

Q: How to Connect a Snorkel to a Mask

If you’ve bought a new snorkel, it should come with a snorkel clip that can be attached to the strap of your mask. Once this is attached securely, you can slip the snorkel tube through the snorkel clip and position it so that it fits your face comfortably. The snorkel clip allows you to slide the snorkel tube up or down until you find a position where the mouthpiece fits into your mouth comfortably and without straining or pulling.

Q: What is the Best Snorkel for Freediving?

Freedivers tend to use basic and streamlined snorkels that will minimize drag when they’re diving too deep depths. These can help them to move through the water efficiently while holding their breath for a long time. As less time is spent at the water’s surface, have a bulkier dry top snorkel or semi-dry snorkel is less important than a streamlined shape. If you are a freediver looking for other top-notch gear, be sure to look through this comprehensive guide on freediving fins, and a similar review of freediving masks.

Q: What is the Best Snorkel for Scuba Diving?

Scuba divers commonly use snorkels while at the water’s surface to conserve the air that’s in their cylinders. There’s no use wasting precious air at the surface when you can just as easily breathe through a snorkel. The best diving snorkel will depend on the individual diver’s preference. Perhaps they want a semi-dry snorkel with a splash guard for when they surface in choppy waters of maybe they prefer a snorkel that can be rolled up and stored in the pocket of their BCD when not in use. Most prefer a streamlined snorkel that stays out of the way when it’s not being used and will clear easily with a single exhalation.

Q: Where to Buy a Snorkel

You can purchase snorkels online through websites such as Amazon or at your local dive shop. As your mask and snorkel will be used together, it’s a good idea to buy snorkel gear at the same time or ensure they will work effectively together.

Most snorkelers and divers wear their snorkels on the left side of their head (which doesn’t interfere with the second stage regulator) and some snorkels are asymmetrically shaped to accommodate this. If you prefer to wear your snorkel on the right side of your head, just check that it’s designed to allow for this.

REACH OUT

As always, we create our content with you, fellow divers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next dive is a great one!

Pippa Strickland

Pip is a product expert, a degreed environmental scientist, and an adventure-style traveler originally from Australia. Pip has been an SSI-certified Divemaster for over 5 years, during which time she’s worked with hundreds of certified divers. She’s dived widely throughout Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines and the Middle East, with a particular passion for night diving. When she’s not diving, her key interests include surfing, trekking and gardening in her ever-growing veggie patch.

2 Comments

  • Douglas says:

    What mask / what do you recommend for divers with deep “smile “ lines , round face ?

    • Hey Douglas, thanks for reaching out. While smiling too much is never a problem, we could certainly offer some recommendations. Many divers with the same problem come right by getting good at smoothing their face after donning a mask. Alternatively, try the Mares X-Vision.

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