There are a few things about snorkeling that beginners often consider obstacles when first attempting the activity:
1. If you haven't been snorkeling before, it can be really difficult to know all the ins-and-outs of purchasing the proper equipment.
2. It can be tough to get used to new equipment, especially since comfort level depends largely on the on quality of gear and the shape of your face, which varies on an individual basis.
3. Although most snorkelers can get the hang of breathing through the snorkel and exploring amazing spots, some people just don't like the feeling of breathing through a snorkel, holding their breath, etc. For some, no matter how good the equipment is, it's just too uncomfortable of a feeling to deal with, especially if if there are any respiratory issues involved.
Therefore, we decided to feature a full face snorkel mask. These masks are not common, and can be very expensive, but the feedback so far has been excellent. Additionally, for those who want to commit to snorkeling on a regular basis, or are on a vacation and plan on doing lots of snorkeling, it may be well worth the extra few bucks to snorkel in comfort. In any case, we hope to provide enough information to allow you to comfortably make your own decision on whether or not it's worth getting one.
This is by far the most common full face snorkel mask. To be honest, we haven't come across any other full face snorkel masks that are readily commercially available. The design is simple, yet clever. Here are a few of the cool features:
The company states that you can breathe as easily underwater as you can on land and have the capability to use both your nose and mouth. Consider these types of statements with caution, as you are still wearing a full face mask. However, it is pretty awesome for breathability.
The design is pretty cool in that the "snorkel" sits where it usually would, but it is completely rigid and part of the mask itself. Moreover, it's 100% dry snorkel, which we usually recommend if the budget allows. This means you can breathe through it above water, and as you dive below the surface a valve will automatically close preventing any water from entering the snorkel and mask.
Another really beneficial aspect of this design is the unobstructed 180º field of view. Additionally, the mask doesn't fog up very much at all because it incorporates a double airflow system that is meant to prevent condensation from forming. You may notice a bit of fogging if you are breathing through your mouth, but it's way less of an issue (sometimes not an issue at all!) if you use your nose, which if anything is a little more natural.
You may notice part of the snorkel is orange or another bright color. This is a safety feature designed to make the snorkel more visible, thus avoiding collisions on the surface of the water. It sounds kind of dumb, but I guess if you completely forget you even have a snorkel it could lend itself to more "collisions".
Who Needs a Full Face Snorkel Mask?
You may be wondering why a full face snorkel mask is necessary, especially when we've gone so long successfully snorkeling with standard equipment. There are some that would really benefit from this type of mask.
This is kind of weird, but people with large mustaches could find a massive difference when using a full face snorkel mask. When you don't have to worry about your mustache interfering with a rubber or silicone mouth piece, it could be worth the investment.
People who have difficulty controlling breathing through their mouth may also find this useful. With the Tribord full face snorkel mask, you can breathe through your nose, which is much more natural for lots of people.
Anyone who finds a two-piece set (e.g. snorkel and mask are separate objects) to be frustrating, especially those who have tried multiple snorkels/masks, could find this very helpful. Whether it's do to with the straps, the snorkel, the mouthpiece, you name it, the full face snorkel mask is generally more natural and comfortable.
Lastly, if you enjoy testing out new cutting-edge equipment and you have the money to spend, I would recommend trying this out if you love snorkeling. It's definitely a big difference from a standard snorkel set, so even if you don't prefer it, it could be cool to see the difference for yourself (or simply find someone else's full face mask to borrow if possible!).
Are there any disadvantages?
The main disadvantage is the price. These masks used to be more affordable, but the price has recently increased quite a bit. We're not exactly sure why, but my best guess is that the product was still being developed, perhaps a proof of concept. Regardless, it will be difficult to find this item for under $200, especially when including tax and potentially shipping. In fact, you will most likely be looking at something in the $300 range (all in).
Will it look good when I wear it?
Depends on your tastes, but the company definitely put a lot of effort into making it a sleek design that fits the swimwear style. Check out the video below for a really cool description of the design stage:
Pros versus Cons
This is a type of product that we cannot recommend across the board. Whether or not you will find this to be worth it is completely dependent on your individual needs. However, we will summarize the pros and cons of this full face snorkel mask in hopes it will allow you to make your own decision more comfortably.
- More comfortable breathing. Can breath through nose and/or mouth
- 180º unobstructed field of view
- Limited or no fogging
- One piece design is sturdy, comfortable, and handy
- Good quality equipment. 100% dry-top snorkel already built in is pretty awesome
- Not as common. Although well reviewed, the sample size is still a little smaller than we would like. We would feel more comfortable recommending this if more than just us and a limited amount of customers provided reviews. However, all the reviews are great, so that's something.
This is definitely a cool product that is sure to open doors for future innovation with snorkeling. At this point, we would only recommend this product if you have tried snorkeling and have issues with standard equipment (especially mouthpieces). It could very likely be well worth the price, just be prepared to throw in a couple extra bucks for this innovative snorkeling mask.