The Best Snorkels

The Best Snorkels

Finding the Best Value Snorkels

It can probably go without saying that a snorkel is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can have when snorkeling. Although the general design and purpose behind snorkels has not changed too much in recent history, advancing technology has allowed for a wide spectrum of snorkels.

There are lots of little things to consider when looking for a snorkel. First off, knowing your budget will immediately help you narrow your choices. Furthermore, snorkels can often be purchased in packs bundled with a mask, fins, or both. We have reviews on the best snorkeling sets as well as mask/snorkel combinations, but if you already have a mask and fins that you are happy with, it's probably a good idea to look at individual snorkels.

Below we will review some of the best and most popular snorkels. Many will have similar features, as there are a few snorkel features that we highly recommend, but we will make sure to show a bit of everything, as everyone's needs, preferences, and budgets can be different. 

Product Summary Our Rating Price
The Best Snorkels

This is one of the most popular snorkels made by a reputable snorkel brand. 100% dry top, angled silicone mouthpiece with easy-to-use purge valve and flexible barrel. Includes two year warranty. Overall well-reviewed by many customers, there's excellent value in this snorkel!

LEARN MORE
The Best Snorkels

US Divers is another high quality snorkeling brand. This specific snorkel is no different. 100% submersible dry top with Pivot Dry Technology, one-way purge valve, full flex section, and an angled silicone mouthpiece. Overall well-reviewed, we consider this a good value snorkel!

LEARN MORE
The Best Snorkels

Cressi is one of the best snorkel brands, but this is a very cheap snorkel for a reason. Simply put, it just doesn't have the advanced features that most people look for in a snorkel. It comes with flexible bore tube and clip for your mask, but that's about it. No dry top or splash guard, no quick release, etc. This is a very base-level snorkel at a great price, just be aware it doesn't have any of the desirable advanced features. 

LEARN MORE
The Best Snorkels

This is a good quality snorkel, very similar to the Phantom Aquatics snorkel below. 100% dry top, flexible tube, easy quick release, angled silicone mouthpiece for comfort, and easy purge system. Very well-reviewed by many customers, we put this up there as one of the best value snorkels. 

LEARN MORE
The Best Snorkels

Phantom Aquatics is a good snorkel brand. They've been around for a while and have lots of snorkeling products, so they know what they're doing. This snorkel isn't anything too fancy, but it's a great value snorkel. 100% dry top, single-handed quick release buttons, easy purge system, flexible tube, and angled mouthpiece. Not bad! We definitely recommend this snorkel especially if you can get a deal. 

LEARN MORE
The Best Snorkels

With a patented dry-top system, this snorkel stays dry even at larger depths. The purge valve is over-sized, making it effective and easy to find. Otherwise, all the features are what you would expect from a higher end snorkel. The customer reviews are mixed, but are good overall. It's a solid snorkel, but maybe just a little bit overpriced. 

LEARN MORE
The Best Snorkels

This snorkel is made by a reliable brand that is usually top of the line, or close to it. This is a very cheap snorkel in terms of cost, but the quality is there. The main thing is it's not submersible, but instead has a splash guard at the top which helps prevent, but does not eliminate, water from entering the barrel. There is a purge valve. Great quality and super cheap, but the trade off is it isn't submersible without water entry.  

LEARN MORE
The Best Snorkels

This is a 100% dry top snorkel with a purge valve, similar to lots of other dry top snorkels. The corrugated hose allows for flexibility and can be adjusted to many different positions. Overall, this is good snorkel at a moderate price. 

LEARN MORE
The Best Snorkels

This is a 100% dry top snorkel with a purge valve, similar to lots of other dry top snorkels. The corrugated hose allows for flexibility and can be adjusted to many different positions. Overall, this is good snorkel at a moderate price. 

LEARN MORE
The Best Snorkels

Good dry top snorkel with angled mouthpiece to reduce jaw fatigue. Lower purge valve for instant clearing, but sticks sometimes. Worst case, it's a great "semi-dry" snorkel, but since it's more expensive, take at least a quick look around before committing. 

LEARN MORE

This is one of the most popular snorkels made by a reputable snorkel brand. 100% dry top, angled silicone mouthpiece with easy-to-use purge valve and flexible barrel. Includes two year warranty. Overall well-reviewed by many customers, there's excellent value in this snorkel!

US Divers is another high quality snorkeling brand. This specific snorkel is no different. 100% submersible dry top with Pivot Dry Technology, one-way purge valve, full flex section, and an angled silicone mouthpiece. Overall well-reviewed, we consider this a good value snorkel!

Cressi is one of the best snorkel brands, but this is a very cheap snorkel for a reason. Simply put, it just doesn't have the advanced features that most people look for in a snorkel. It comes with flexible bore tube and clip for your mask, but that's about it. No dry top or splash guard, no quick release, etc. This is a very base-level snorkel at a great price, just be aware it doesn't have any of the desirable advanced features. 

This is a good quality snorkel, very similar to the Phantom Aquatics snorkel below. 100% dry top, flexible tube, easy quick release, angled silicone mouthpiece for comfort, and easy purge system. Very well-reviewed by many customers, we put this up there as one of the best value snorkels. 

Phantom Aquatics is a good snorkel brand. They've been around for a while and have lots of snorkeling products, so they know what they're doing. This snorkel isn't anything too fancy, but it's a great value snorkel. 100% dry top, single-handed quick release buttons, easy purge system, flexible tube, and angled mouthpiece. Not bad! We definitely recommend this snorkel especially if you can get a deal. 

With a patented dry-top system, this snorkel stays dry even at larger depths. The purge valve is over-sized, making it effective and easy to find. Otherwise, all the features are what you would expect from a higher end snorkel. The customer reviews are mixed, but are good overall. It's a solid snorkel, but maybe just a little bit overpriced. 

This snorkel is made by a reliable brand that is usually top of the line, or close to it. This is a very cheap snorkel in terms of cost, but the quality is there. The main thing is it's not submersible, but instead has a splash guard at the top which helps prevent, but does not eliminate, water from entering the barrel. There is a purge valve. Great quality and super cheap, but the trade off is it isn't submersible without water entry.  

This is a 100% dry top snorkel with a purge valve, similar to lots of other dry top snorkels. The corrugated hose allows for flexibility and can be adjusted to many different positions. Overall, this is good snorkel at a moderate price. 

This is a 100% dry top snorkel with a purge valve, similar to lots of other dry top snorkels. The corrugated hose allows for flexibility and can be adjusted to many different positions. Overall, this is good snorkel at a moderate price. 

Good dry top snorkel with angled mouthpiece to reduce jaw fatigue. Lower purge valve for instant clearing, but sticks sometimes. Worst case, it's a great "semi-dry" snorkel, but since it's more expensive, take at least a quick look around before committing. 


What Does Dry Top Mean? 

If you are new to snorkeling or unfamiliar with the specific features of a snorkel, you may be asking yourself "What is a dry top snorkel"?  Very briefly, a dry top snorkel is a snorkel that prevent water entry above, and usually below, the surface of the water.

As you may be able to imagine, this is a serious advantage, as you don't need to worry about constantly blowing the water out of your snorkel, swallowing water, or just having it on your mind that you have a snorkel full of water.

A dry top is different from a splash guard in that it is usually a dynamic system, rather than a static shield that helps prevent water from coming in the top of your snorkel above the surface. Additionally, splash guards typically don't do anything for you once the snorkel is underwater. 

How Does a Dry Top Snorkel Work?

The exact mechanisms involved in a dry top snorkel will vary slightly depending on the company and manufacturer. However, the general principle is pretty much the same across the board.

A dry top snorkel works by having a pivot or ball design. Basically, when you're above the surface of the water, there is nothing forcing the shield from rotating downwards and plugging the barrel, which allows you to breathe easily. Once you go underwater, the pressure that the water is exerting on the top of your snorkel causes the shield to close and plug the barrel. This effectively eliminates water from entering your snorkel through the top of the tube.

Once you re-surface, that pressure isn't there and when you exhale the shield will lift up again opening the top of the tube, which then allows you to breathe again. A really weird, but accurate, analogy to the dry top design is the epiglottis in your throat. When you eat food, this flap closes so that food can't go down the larynx, and instead goes down your esophagus to your stomach. As soon as there is no pressure from the food and swallowing, the epiglottis lifts up and opens the larynx, allowing you to breathe normally. The dry top design of a snorkel works in a similar fashion.  


Why Don't All Snorkels Have Dry Tops?

The main reason that not all snorkels have dry tops is cost. It's pretty much an add-on to a standard snorkel, just at the time of manufacturing. If it costs more to make, companies need to charge more to make anything off it. Fortunately, the design is simple and small enough that it isn't much of an additional cost, so they can still be fairly cheap.

Another reason that not all snorkels are dry top is that some actually prefer the standard snorkel. Whether this is due to their budget, or they are simply used to more standard snorkels that they have been using for a long time, there's nothing wrong with using a standard snorkel. However, given the added convenience and performance at a relatively low increase in cost, we typically recommend dry top snorkels to anyone we speak with. 

What is a Purge Valve?

You may see a lot of snorkels talk about how they offer easy purging systems. A purge valve is pretty simple, it just allows for the snorkeler to clear any water that has entered the inside of the snorkel. In most cases, the purge valve is found at the bottom of the snorkel and can be used simply by exhaling. Similar to dry tops, these are becoming increasingly common on snorkels and is actually considered industry standard by some.

So why does a dry top snorkel need a purge valve? Although water should not be entering the snorkel through the dry top, constantly diving under and resurfacing can result in a small accumulation of water in the snorkel. For example, even though no water enters the dry top when underwater, when you resurface it will be wet, and over time small drop can drip down the barrel.

Additionally, many snorkelers underestimate how much water can enter through the mouthpiece. This can be from small crack or leaks that have developed over time and have gone undetected. Additionally, if you are taking the snorkel off a lot and putting it back on, this can allow water to drip down through the mouthpiece to the bottom of the barrel.

In any case, a purge valve at the bottom of the snorkel can alleviate these issues immediately. Most snorkels now have a purge valve, and although it may not be totally necessary, we always recommend a purge valve as it adds an additional level of convenience and performance for a very minor increase in cost. 

What To Look For in a Snorkel Mouthpice

The main thing that counts here is comfort. Most mouthpieces are made of the same material (100% silicone or something similar) and usually have a similar design. However, there are a couple things to know in order to increase your understanding of what snorkel may be best for you.

Often times it's just too difficult or expensive to get out to a store and test all these things out. So, if you can't try out a mouthpiece by actually putting it in your mouth first, here are a couple tips:

  • If online, look for previous customer reviews. Comfort is often something people comment on, so if you want to be sure, try and check with previous reviews from numerous people. 
  • 100% silicone is pretty standard for mouthpieces these days, so it's likely the snorkel you are considering has that, but it's always a good idea to double-check.
  • The orientation of the mouthpiece, combined with the general shape of the snorkel or flexibility of the snorkel, will both contribute to the comfort level. Angled mouthpieces are becoming more common, as this is what is generally more ergonomic for lots of people. 

What are some other good things to have on a snorkel?

We have covered all the main stuff above, but there are a couple features that you can consider bonus " features. For example, a quick-release buckle is handy, as this allows you to easily attach and detach the snorkel from your mask without having to fiddle around with it.

Another bonus feature, which may be more preferable for inexperienced swimmers or children, is a whistle on the snorkel. A lot of snorkel vests have whistles, but if yours doesn't or you choose not to wear one, then it could be a good idea to have a snorkel with a whistle on it.

The Best Snorkels

This snorkel was our #1 choice for best value! It has all the features that we recommend in a snorkel, including a 100% dry top, 100% silicone mouthpiece, a purge valve for easy clearing if necessary, a flexible barrel, quick release buckle for easy removal, and a 2 year warranty.

Cressi is a reputable snorkel brand and this isn't the only snorkel they offer. There's a few different ones that you can find (we review multiple Cressi snorkels in the table above), but generally speaking this is the best one in terms of value. In fact, it's a great snorkel regardless of the price.

You can find snorkels made by other companies that are extremely similar to this, but based on our research, this seems to be the best quality and highest performance for the cost. Overall, we highly recommend this snorkel.

The Best Snorkels

This is another great snorkel with good value. US divers is a great snorkel and scuba brand that offer lots of different stuff. They have a reputation of producing high quality snorkeling gear, often times with advanced or cutting-edge features.

This snorkel isn't anything overly special compared with other good snorkels. That being said, this snorkel offers everything you need, like a 100% dry top with their patented Pivot Dry Technology. It also comes with a flexible breathing tube, 100% silicone mouthpiece, and a one-way purge valve for easy clearing.

When comparing this US Diver snorkel to the above-reviewed Cressi Supernova snorkel, one may ask why we didn't think this one was the best value when you can sometimes find it at a similar or cheaper price point. In our experience, we find that US Divers snorkeling equipment is a tiny bit more hit or miss. That's not to say more people find it bad, but when someone really likes it, they REALLY like, and vice versa. However, the difference is so small that it really only acted as a tie breaker for our decision. In reality, we would be happy using either!

Overall, we would definitely recommend this snorkel especially if you have used and been happy with US divers snorkel equipment in the past. 

The Best Snorkels

This is a really cheap snorkel, but for a reason. Although there's nothing wrong with the quality and durability of the construction, it's lacking all the features that are now becoming more common on snorkels.

This snorkel does NOT come with a dry top, one-way purge valve, flexible barrel, or a quick release buckle. This means it's way more likely that water will be entering the barrel and causing you problems, which is the main reason it's so cheap.

This does not necessarily mean it's a bad snorkel. Like any other activity, people have different preferences when it comes to their equipment. If you're looking for the base-level standard design snorkel, this is it. It's simple, easy to use, and it's the old-school design that some people do still prefer.

Overall, if you're looking for this type of simple old-school design, then this is a good quality snorkel for you. However, if you want something a little more modern that does a better job at keeping the water out, then we suggest considering a different snorkel. 

The Best Snorkels

It was basically a tie between this Phantom Aquatics dry snorkel and the Cressi Supernova dry snorkel for best value. The main reason this snorkel didn't win is because it's usually just a little more expensive, but that being said, one may prefer it if they have a lot of other Phantom Aquatics gear that they've come to like, which is a really common occurrence. Therefore, we decided to name this our #1 choice for best snorkel overall. 

Simply put, this is a really good quality snorkel with all the features we recommend. For example, it's 100% dry top, easy purge system with an extra large self draining chamber, flexible tube, quick release buckles, and an ergonomically angled mouthpiece.

This is a very well-reviewed snorkel by the majority of customers, with any complaints being small or attributed to needing time to become accustomed to it. For example, if you are used to more rigid snorkels it may feel a little weird using a flexible snorkel at first. This isn't anything to do with the particular brand or model of snorkel, but just the design in general.

Overall, we highly recommend this snorkel. It has all the desirable features, Phantom Aquatics is a reliable brand, and it all comes at a reasonable price. 

The Best Snorkels

This is another high quality US divers snorkel; however, the key difference is that this snorkel has a splash guard at the top, whereas the US Divers Island dry snorkel utilizes a 100% dry top.

So what is a splash guard, and is a splash guard helpful when snorkeling? A splash guard is a simple system, usually like a shield, that helps prevent water entry above the surface. This water entry would be due to water splashing up and entering the top of the barrel, hence the name splash guard.

A splash guard is useful in that it prevents water entry to a further extent than a completely open top, like the Cressi Gringo snorkel. However, it's not as good as a dry top, as it does not prevent water from entering the snorkel when it is submerged.

Other than that, this is a great quality snorkel with some good features, like a purge valve, quick release buckles, and ergonomic shape, and a soft silicone angled mouthpiece.

Overall, if you are looking for a really cheap snorkel or simply just want something a little more old school (yet modern), than we would recommend this snorkel. It has a lot more features than the Cressi Gringo, but is comparable in price, so this US Divers snorkel probably wins over the Cressi Gringo snorkel. We would still consider it worth it to invest in a snorkel with a 100% dry top if there's room in the budget, but that's just our preference.


Leave a Comment

Shares
The Best Snorkels The Best Snorkels The Best Snorkels The Best Snorkels The Best Snorkels The Best Snorkels
Someone from the United States
Recently visited this page
a few seconds ago
Someone from the United States
Recently visited this page
10 minutes ago
Someone from the United States
Recently visited this page
14 minutes ago
Someone from the United States
Recently visited this page
18 minutes ago
Someone from the United States
Recently visited this page
11 hours ago
Someone from United Kingdom
Recently visited this page
12 hours ago
Someone from United Kingdom
Recently visited this page
16 hours ago
Someone from United Kingdom
Recently visited this page
17 hours ago
Someone from the United States
Recently visited this page
17 hours ago
Someone from Greece
Recently visited this page
18 hours ago
Someone from Greece
Recently visited this page
18 hours ago