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The Best Snorkel Sets For Beginners, Kids, & Adults 2021

Last updated: November 18, 2021
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vector graphic showing a snorkel set

Going on a snorkeling trip is an adventure you’ll never forget.

If properly equipped, you’ll see underwater sights that will provide a lifetime of vivid memories.

Or, if you don’t bring the proper snorkel gear, you and your family will just be left with leaky, fogged masks, water in your snorkels, and fins that are more trouble than they’re worth.

Let’s take a look at some of the best snorkel sets for swimmers of all ages and experience levels.

What Comes in a Snorkel Set?

A good snorkel package should come with a few components, including a face mask, snorkel, and swim fins.

Some sets may even come with a snorkel vest to help you float on the surface.

1. Snorkels

A classic snorkel is a simple breathing tube that allows you to exchange air with the surface while submerging your face in the water.

Higher quality snorkels have an integrated valve inside of the breathing tube that helps stop water from coming inside.

This feature is essential for snorkeling in waves, as you’ll have to resurface and clear the water from your snorkel if one rolls over and fills your snorkel with water.

A classic snorkel might not have a valve, but it’s pretty common to find either a splash guard (semi-dry) or valve (dry) on most snorkels.

Dry models are the preference for scuba divers.

2. Masks

A snorkeling mask allows you to keep your eyes open underwater, just like a pair of goggles.

But, instead of sitting close to your eyes like reading glasses, a typical snorkeling mask is a bit box-shaped and protrudes more off your face.

Snorkeling masks need to fit correctly to be effective.

Otherwise, they can leak or fog.

Finding one that fits tightly without being uncomfortably tight is key.

Sometimes, the mask and the snorkel are one piece.

This is called a full-face snorkeling mask.

This style tends to leak less than a traditional snorkel mask and offers a better, wider field of view.

A good snorkel mask will have durable and comfortable soft silicone where it contacts your face.

When picking out a face mask, you’ll also find some with a frame, while others are a frameless mask.

It’s a matter of preference and fit which one is better for you.

A higher-end snorkel mask should have a tempered glass lens to resist cracking, scratching, and shattering.

3. Fins

Fins are swimming aids that boost your power to move through the water.

Even if you’re a strong swimmer, propelling yourself through the water can become tiring on a longer snorkeling adventure.

You will also probably splash more water swimming without fins, so snorkeling while wearing a pair is very practical, though it’s not essential.

How Much Does a Good Snorkel Set Cost?

A good snorkel set doesn’t have to be a bank breaker.

Professional snorkeling kits can cost upwards of $300.

But you can find high-quality kits for a fraction of that.

For a good snorkel gear set, expect to spend less than $100.

For a beginner set of snorkeling equipment, you can find complete snorkel combo kits for just over $50, and kids’ sets run in the $40 range.

There will often be compromises when you find models with very low pricing.

So, it’s always a good idea to compare features, materials, and construction carefully before buying any snorkeling gear.

What to Look For When Buying a Snorkel Set

Consider each part of a snorkel set carefully when purchasing.

Some sets come with an outstanding snorkel, but the snorkel mask might be ill-fitting or uncomfortable.

So, keep in mind these specific things to look for when buying a snorkel set.

Snorkel Type

Semi-dry snorkels are pretty effective at preventing water from entering the breathing tube.

But, semi-dry isn’t the same as dry.

Scuba divers often prefer a semi-dry exploring model because the snorkel will fill with water when they submerge themselves, reducing their buoyancy while they explore underwater.

Dry snorkels will not fill with water even when submerged.

So, consider your and the rest of your family members’ comfort levels with clearing the tube of water and how much they might panic if a bit of water gets in their snorkel.

It’s essential to practice with your snorkel a bit before using it in the ocean, where waves make for unpredictable swimming.

Target Demographic

The design of snorkel sets varies by who is going to use them. For instance, a professional scuba diver needs a different sort of gear than a little kid going on their first snorkeling adventure.

So, be mindful that each snorkel package has a design for a fairly specific demographic.

Sizing is a key factor for snorkels, masks, and fins.

So, an adult won’t have any success trying to use a kid’s snorkeling set, and a kid won’t have much luck with a snorkel gear set for an adult.

Make sure you’re buying gear that’s appropriate for each individual.

Sometimes that can be a bit more complicated than it sounds.

For instance, if you have a kid with a large face or head, they might need a mask for a small adult, as kids’ models might be uncomfortably snug.

But if you buy a mask that’s too big, it will tend to leak and fog.

Type of Fins

Snorkel fins come in two main designs, open or full-foot.

Full-foot snorkel fin models are harder to put on and take off and need to be sized quite carefully as there is not an adjustable strap.

Open fins don’t completely enclose the foot at the heel.

Instead, an adjustable strap keeps your snorkel fin on while your foot is inside of a pocket.

This allows the snorkeler to wear other gear, like a water shoe, under their fins.

Properly sized full-foot models are often quite difficult to don and doff, as they are quite tight.

They are ideal for divers who enter the water from a boat without having to walk on anything rough and are best suited for use in warm water.

Open models of snorkeling fins paired up with dive shoes are better for entering the water from the shoreline, where you may encounter rocks and other things you don’t want to step on with an unprotected foot.

And, since you can wear thermal accessories underneath them, they’re often the choice of cold water snorkelers and divers.

You also need to consider whether a short or long snorkeling fin is best.

Longer models can propel you farther per kick, but stir up lots of sand when near the bottom. So the ideal snorkeling fin is often a short fin model.

Full Set vs Partial

Ideally, when you buy a set of snorkeling gear, it comes with the full boat of the essential gear you need: Fins, face mask, snorkel, bag. But, that’s not always possible.

For instance, if you have a growing kid whose feet are adult-sized yet their face needs a small frame mask, you may have to mix and match a bit to find the ideal combination of snorkel fin and snorkel mask to fit their frame.

Sometimes, it might make more sense to buy individual components.

Also, consider that once you have the essential pieces of your snorkel kit, you might still need other accessories. Some of the most popular, common, and useful accessories for snorkeling will help boost your enjoyment of the trip.

Some of these essential pieces include:

  • A waterproof phone case
  • Anti-fog spray for your masks
  • A dry bag to keep essential non-waterproof gear safe
  • Neoprene strap covers for your masks to avoid tangling hair
  • An inflatable snorkel vest to aid your buoyancy when swimming and floating on the surface while looking at the sea life below you.

If you’re going in cold water, you might even want a wetsuit to go along with your snorkel package.

And if there are spiny hazards or jellyfish, you might want a rash guard.

Choosing a Snorkeling Set

This is where you have to make decisions about what snorkel combo of gear is best for you.

What Are the Best Fins for Snorkeling?

The best fins, also called flippers, for a snorkeling set are the ones that best fit your particular snorkeling needs and circumstances.

There are two main types: Full-foot or open heel.

Open heel fins feature a strap that goes around the back of your heel.

It’s adjustable, so you can wear a set of reef shoes with your flippers, in case you have to walk over jagged stones, rocks, or other hazardous items during your walk across the beach to the water, or if you have to put your feet down while swimming.

Full foot snorkel fins let you slip inside them like a slipper, totally enclosing your foot.

Another thing to consider is the length of the snorkeling fin itself.

Longer fins are ideal for swimming in wide-open waters.

But on shallower swims, they are more likely to stir up sand and sediment because they move more water than their smaller cousins.

Split fins are best for open, deep sea swimming.

So, think about what kind of snorkeling you’re going to be doing and which type and style of fins would be better for you to use.

If you’re going diving, we can help you find the best scuba gear too.

What are the Best Masks for Snorkeling?

Aside from the snorkel itself, the mask is the most important part of your snorkeling gear.

Without a good seal, you won’t be able to enjoy the sights that lie underneath the water. So, make sure that whatever you buy is watertight.

Look for silicone parts instead of plastic, as plastic is common on cheaper gear and splits more easily.

Soft silicone is tougher, more comfortable, and more expensive, so it’s common on higher-quality gear.

Your choice of mask will largely come down to which one suits the shape of your face best.

But you can also choose from models with a window for each eye, one window with no obstruction between the eyes, and even completely frameless masks that aid your ability to see off to the sides.

What is the Best Snorkel for Snorkeling?

The best snorkel will always be the one that you’re most comfortable with.

A kid might focus mostly on the color, but they must have a level of comfort in using it.

Dry snorkels are excellent at keeping water out. But when the valve closes, you also can’t get any air.

So, it takes some practice to get good at coordinating dives, splashes, and breathing.

Semi-dry models need to be purged of water, as they allow some to get in under heavy splashing and will completely fill when submerged.

So, again, you need to develop a comfort level with your snorkel.

Think carefully about what type of adventure you’re going on, who is snorkeling with you, and their level of comfort.

It’s a great idea to do some practice in a calm swimming pool to develop your techniques before hitting the open ocean.

Best Brands for Snorkel Gear

Some brands are more likely to offer the best snorkel set.

Cressi is among the most famous.

But there are a few standouts when it comes to outfitting for scuba diving and snorkeling.

You might also be interested in checking out the line of gear from Phantom Aquatic.

Cressi

Cressi is a manufacturer of diving, swimming, and snorkeling equipment.

Headquartered in Genova, Italy, the Cressi company’s founding was in the 1940s.

Still family-owned and operated today, they manufacture the majority of their products at the headquarters.

This allows them to keep a close eye on quality control.

U.S. Divers

U.S. Divers is a manufacturer of snorkeling equipment.

They also offer some swimming gear.

The original company was known as a distributor for scuba gear.

Now, after changing hands a few times, the US Divers trademark has been retained for the sales of Aqua Lung America’s line of classic snorkel gear.

Aqua Lung

The Aqua Lung company is now known as Aqua Lung America.

They’re headquartered in California and primarily manufacture scuba gear as a subsidiary of Aqua Lung international.

The term ‘aqua lung’ was the original name of the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) designed by Jacque Cousteau and Emile Gagnan in the 1940s.

That design is the basis for the SCUBA regulators that are common for divers today.

The Best Snorkel Sets

Since there are so many snorkeling kits on the market, we developed a list of the ones we consider the best.

We’ve broken them down first by their target demographic and then listed our favorites.

1. Best Snorkel Sets for Kids

As you can imagine, the most significant difference between adult and kids snorkeling gear is the size.

But, kids’ gear also tends to be less durable and focuses a lot on style and colors. Here are some we recommend.

GoOsprey Kids Snorkeling Set for Kids

This set of snorkel gear comes in four optional colors.

The snorkel mask is made of soft silicone for durability and comfort and has a tempered glass lens that won’t scratch. It’s a complete dry top snorkel gear set.

Specifications
  • What’s Included: Fins, mask, snorkel, bag
  • Snorkel Type: Dry
  • Fin Type: Open
  • Mask Window Style: Single-lens
What We Like
  • Comes with earplugs
  • Very adjustable fins
  • Customer service satisfaction pledge
What We Don’t Like
  • Only bottom of the bag is mesh
  • Not much information about the company
  • Only a few colors offered

Adicop Kids Mask Fin Snorkel Set for 3-7 Years Old Boys and Girls

This set of gear comes with a dry top snorkel, as well as all the other essentials.

The open heel fins fit well, and the mask is particularly good at remaining free of fog.

The silicone mouthpiece is appropriately sized for children.

If there are drawbacks, it’s the lack of durability.

The limited color selection in stereotypically gendered blue and pink may also be off-putting.

Specifications
  • What’s Included: Fins, mask, snorkel, bag
  • Snorkel Type: Dry
  • Fin Type: Open
  • Mask Window Style: Double Lens
What We Like
  • Excellent fog resistance
  • Good fitments for most kids
  • Easy for kids to put on and take off themselves
What We Don’t Like
  • Only pink or blue
  • Not super durable
  • Not sized for big kids

2. Best Snorkel Sets for Beginners

Beginner snorkel sets should be affordable but of decent quality.

ZEEPORTE Mask Fin Snorkel Set with Adult Snorkeling Gear

This snorkel set is affordably priced and perfect for a beginner who doesn’t want to invest too much.

But, the mask strap is prone to snapping, likely because the mask itself is a bit small, forcing you to stretch the strap more to get it on your face.

The dry top snorkel won’t fill with water even when submerged, and the snorkel fins are pretty tough.

Specifications
  • What’s Included: Fins, mask, snorkel, bag
  • Snorkel Type: Dry
  • Fin Type: Open
  • Mask Window Style: Single-lens
What We Like
  • High-quality snorkel
  • Accurate and detailed sizing
  • Durable fins unlikely to crack
What We Don’t Like
  • Mask strap is prone to failure
  • Mask is too small for large faces/noses
  • Fin fitment is not ideal for smaller feet

Seavenger Hanalei Anti-Fog 4-Piece Snorkeling Set

This affordable beginner set comes with a semi-dry snorkel with a silicone mouthpiece.

It’s also available in kid sizes.

Since the snorkel tube has a splash guard, you can swim even in relatively rough waves.

If you’re swimming in colder water, they also offer a wetsuit.

They even have other accessories like a rash guard shirt to prevent jellyfish stings.

Specifications
  • What’s Included: Fins, mask, snorkel, bag
  • Snorkel Type: Semi-Dry
  • Fin Type: Open
  • Mask Window Style: Double Lens
What We Like
  • Variety of sizes for kids and adults with optional accessories
  • Anti-fog treated and tempered mask
  • Easy to use
What We Don’t Like
  • Not as durable
  • Limited color choices
  • The bag is kind of flimsy

Seavenger Aviator Snorkeling Set with Gear Bag

This snorkel set has fairly short paddle fins.

They’re not really that powerful, so if you’re swimming in the open ocean, you might want something longer.

But, there are lots of colors to choose from and a complete line of matching accessories to complement your snorkel combo.

Specifications
  • What’s Included: Fins, mask, snorkel, bag
  • Snorkel Type: Dry
  • Fin Type: Open
  • Mask Window Style: Single-lens
What We Like
  • Ten color options to choose from
  • Complete line of accessories
  • Very good value
What We Don’t Like
  • Fitment of the mask can be difficult
  • Fins can get uncomfortable after long swims
  • Snorkel seals are not durable

Aqua Lung Sport Flexar Mask Fin Snorkel Set

This snorkel gear set has full-foot fins, so there is no adjustable strap.

The frameless mask has a silicone skirt and has a tempered glass lens with a wide field of view.

The fins are a bit hard to get on and off, and the sizing is a bit hard to figure, so you might have to perform a bit of trial and error to find the perfect size.

Specifications

  • What’s Included: Fins, mask, snorkel, bag
  • Snorkel Type: Semi-Dry
  • Fin Type: Full-foot
  • Mask Window Style: Double Lens
What We Like
  • Tempered glass for durable eye protection
  • Tough silicone mouthpiece resists wear
  • When properly fitted, fins propel powerfully
What We Don’t Like
  • Size labeling for fins can be confusing
  • Sometimes hard to find
  • Limited color options

3. Best High-End Snorkel Sets for Adults

High-end snorkel gear should fit well and be durable enough to use for a long time.

It’s not as rugged as scuba diving equipment, but it should be a lot better than the cheap stuff.

U.S. Divers Adult Cozumel Mask/Seabreeze II Snorkel/Proflex Fins/ Gear Bag

The US divers company is famous for their history of making scuba diving gear.

The semi-dry snorkel comes with open heel fins, a gear bag, and a face mask.

Thanks to the splash guard, you can swim on the surface without getting too much water in your snorkel, and then it will fill if you submerge yourself.

Specifications
  • What’s Included: Fins, mask, snorkel, bag
  • Snorkel Type: Semi-Dry
  • Fin Type: Open
  • Mask Window Style: Double Lens
What We Like
  • Fins adjust for all foot sizes
  • Snorkel clips to mask on either side
  • Consistent sizing
What We Don’t Like
  • Purge valve could be better
  • The face skirt is PVC plastic, not soft silicone
  • Fins are quite long

Cressi Palau Mask Fin Snorkel Set with Snorkeling Gear Bag

Cressi is a top maker of swim and dive equipment, so you should expect this gear to have all the hallmarks of a classic snorkel and high-quality components.

Everything from the gear bag to the soft silicone mouthpiece and the mask’s silicone skirt is well-designed and pretty rugged.

Specifications
  • What’s Included: Fins, Mask, snorkel, bag
  • Snorkel Type: Dry
  • Fin Type: Open Foot
  • Mask Window Style: Double Lens
What We Like
  • Rugged, clear lenses afford a broad view
  • The snorkel keeps water out even in churning seas
  • The fins are perfect for shallow water and fit easily in travel bags
What We Don’t Like
  • Limited snorkel mounting options
  • Fin straps are less than ideal, hard to lock into place
  • Mask lens may fog without pre-treating

Promate Snorkel Set

This set of gear comes in a good range of sizes, and you can choose from lots of colors.

The plastic snorkel tube seems susceptible to cracking, so check over your new equipment carefully and make sure not to drop it.

But, the open fins work well, and the adjustment band offers enough room for you to wear a water shoe if you’d like.

Specifications
  • What’s Included: Fins, mask, snorkel, bag
  • Snorkel Type: Dry
  • Fin Type: Open
  • Mask Window Style: Double Lens
What We Like
  • Silicone mask for durability
  • Multiple color options
  • Optional snorkel vest
What We Don’t Like
  • Biggest size mask too small for large adults
  • Plastic cracks easily
  • Not as durable as some others

Innovative Scuba Concepts Adult Snorkel Set

This is another option for serious scuba divers who don’t want to spend too much money.

The entire snorkel combo is backed by a two-year warranty, so you can purchase and play with confidence.

If you’re thinking about stepping up and trying to be a bit more of a diver, the mask will probably still work, and the snorkel tube will fill with water when submerged.

Specifications
  • What’s Included: Fins, mask, snorkel, bag
  • Snorkel Type: Semi-Dry
  • Fin Type: Open
  • Mask Window Style: Double Lens
What We Like
  • 2-year warranty
  • Mask is very tough
  • Excellent fitment
What We Don’t Like
  • The mask strap is failure-prone
  • The mask can be uncomfortable at the nose
  • Just one color (black) on offer

Frequently Asked Questions

Some questions about snorkeling come up all the time.

Is it better to buy or rent a snorkel set?

In general, it’s better to buy your own gear, especially if the idea of using the same snorkel and mask as other people grosses you out.

Buying your own gear will allow you to get what you really want.

You can also usually fall back on rental equipment if something goes wrong with the stuff you own.

Can I go snorkeling with glasses?

Many have tried, but it won’t work.

The earpieces on your glasses will break the seal of the face mask.

So instead of getting a traditional snorkel mask, you might need to get one with prescription glass to aid your vision.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, we’ve provided you with enough information to start your shopping.

If you have a snorkeling trip coming up, don’t wait any longer to buy your gear. You’ll want to test it before you go!

 

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