A full face snorkel mask brings the underwater world into focus while you breathe easily. Whether you’re a beginner snorkeling for the first time, or a seasoned snorkeler wanting an uninhibited view of the fish, turtles, coral, and sea life - a full face snorkel mask is a great option.
We’ll review different benefits and specifications to help you find the best full face snorkel mask for your next underwater adventure.
Full face snorkel masks allow a larger viewing area than traditional snorkel gear. The mask encloses your entire face, allowing a 180-degree view of your surroundings without any obstacles in your peripheral view as typically seen with a standard mask. It seals well with less chance of water leaking into your visual field.
A full face snorkel mask covers your entire face, which means you can breathe freely through your mouth and nose. This key aspect reduces anxiety associated with snorkeling and allows for a more relaxing experience. A full face snorkel mask is comfortable without the need to clench your teeth as you bite down on a snorkel and allows hands-free viewing with less stress.
Traditional snorkel gear works great, but once you’ve tried a full face snorkel mask, you might never go back. The lens of a full face mask extends to your temples behind your visual field and allows for a wider 180-degree view of your surroundings without obstruction. The full face snorkel mask secures with a strap behind your head and seals your entire face comfortably to reduce the chance of a water leak when you smile or scream at the amazing shark swimming below!
The biggest advantage of full face snorkeling masks is the ease of breathing. In standard snorkel gear, your nose is sealed and you clench on the snorkel in your mouth, which can feel awkward. With a full face snorkel mask, you breathe easily through your nose and mouth for a more comfortable experience. Reluctant or young snorkelers will appreciate the difference and be more likely to explore the ocean floor.
A full face snorkel mask is designed with two separate chambers: one for viewing and one for breathing. This prevents fogging in the viewing chamber and improves your overall experience.
There are many full face snorkel masks on the market that differ greatly in their overall quality. It’s important to find a mask that fits comfortably, and allows safe ventilation to expel carbon dioxide. Breathing fresh air means finding a reputable brand and a quality mask.
We’ve narrowed down the full face snorkel masks to our favorites and will review each one individually.
Top 11 Best Full Face Snorkel Mask
Ever since full face snorkel masks have become popular, many cheap low-quality masks have popped up everywhere. The original designer of the full face mask patented key components for easy breathing and anti-fog lenses. Knock-off brands might not have adequate ventilation, which t can lead to carbon dioxide buildup and jeopardize your safety.
You’re best to purchase a reputable brand to ensure your safety. Price should not be the sole criteria you base your purchasing decision on - there are other things to consider when choosing a full face mask:
If your mask does not fit well you’re likely to be uncomfortable and risk a water leak. A mask with a silicone skirt will seal the best., just ensure the straps are snug on your head and that they are adjustable to allow for the best fit.
Look for a full face mask with a lens that will not fog. If you have to stop often to clear your lens from fog, it can ruin your snorkeling experience.
Look for a mask with a lens that extends past your eyes to allow for an unobstructed 180 degree view of your surroundings. This is the main benefit of a full face mask; you want a panoramic view of the underworld.
It’s best to have fabric straps for more comfort, and wider straps resist stretching out as easily as thinner straps. A push button release buckle is preferred for easy removal of the mask when needed.
Don’t purchase a full face snorkel mask without a dry top snorkel, as this protects you from water flowing into your snorkel if a wave washes over your head.
A dry snorkel has a ball that floats inside the top of the snorkel, and when you submerge, it floats to the top and blocks water intake. If water does enter, it flows through a channel that is separate from your nose and mouth to be purged easily. You won’t choke on salt water with a dry top snorkel.
Full face snorkel masks have a single, double, or multiple lens options, special coatings on lenses, and different lens shapes. A single lens has no frame across the bridge of the nose and cannot be used with prescription lens systems. Multiple lens systems provide separate lens systems on either side of the glass for better peripheral vision and water viewing.
Some lenses may come tinted to reduce glare and to make underwater viewing more clear. A flat lens on a full face snorkel mask instead of the typical “bubble” design can reduce distortion and improve visibility.
Some full face masks offer the capability of attaching your GoPro camera to record your underwater adventures. While this is not a requirement, it is a nice option!
Now that we know what to look for, we’ll review the best full face snorkel masks and help you find the best one for your next ocean adventure.
Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 V2 full face mask has everything you’d want in a full face snorkeling mask. With a wide viewing area of 180 degrees, anti fog lens, and GoPro compatibility, you can hit the water with confidence. It has a patented air flow system for good ventilation to ensure safe snorkeling.
The Ocean Reef Aria is a comfortable full face snorkel mask with a silicone seal and dry snorkel, allowing you to breathe easily through your nose and mouth, and even attach your GoPro camera. Ocean Reef Aria offers the possibility of snorkeling while wearing your glasses for a clear view of the tropical fish! A prescription-compatible system can be added for an additional purchase.
The Ocean Reef Aria has recently developed a communication system called the Snorkie Talkie to enable conversation with friends while snorkeling! It is a separate purchase but an innovative addition to an already great mask.
Tribord developed the first full face snorkel masks on the market. The Tribord Easybreath has dual chamber air ventilation for comfortable breathing with fresh air intake. It is GoPro compatible has a patented anti fog lens and comes in many sizes to fit both children and adults.
Wildhorn Outfitters has a second mask to make our list, the Seaview 180. The Seaview is a high-quality, full face snorkel mask with 180-degree viewing and an anti fog lens. It also has GoPro attachment capability to record your adventures. The silicone seal ensures a snug fit and it’s a great mask for children to explore the water.
The Seabeast Full Face Snorkel Mask comes with a foldable dry snorkel that snaps into place, and it's a unique option to make traveling with your snorkel gear much easier. Another unique difference from other masks is the flat viewing window that reduces distortion as well as being anti fog.
The Deep Blue Gear Vista Vue has easy breathing with a large, single chamber with three times the usual air flow. A multi-purge valve increases air flow and two purge valves at the temples allow for carbon dioxide escape and safer breathing.
HEAD Sea VU full face mask went through safety testing to ensure safe carbon dioxide levels. It has a full panoramic view with anti fog lens and dry snorkel to prevent water from entering the mask.
The Ninja Shark full face mask has an innovative design that allows snorkelers to pinch their nose to equalize pressure when they dive. No other masks on the list offer this option. It also includes a complete package with a dry bag to store your towel or gear as well as a waterproof phone case.
Vaincre 180 full face snorkel mask is a great all around mask with 180 degree viewing, dry snorkel, and an anti fog lens. It comes in youth sizes as well as adults, to get the whole family in the water.
The MIDRY Full Face Snorkel Mask has everything needed for safe, comfortable snorkeling. The vertical dry snorkel stays out of the water easily and prevents water intake if hit by a wave. It comes with a great package with many extras included such as a mesh bag, anti fog spray, and even a book on great snorkeling locations.
The SEAC Libera full face snorkel mask is an Italian design that differs from the other full face masks. The snorkel is only responsible for fresh air intake and the output is by another means, ensuring fresh air with every breath. The output mechanism is through valves on the side of the mask, but when the valves are submerged, it takes more effort to exhale. For many - this is not an issue and they feel breathing is easier overall due to fresh intake.
There are pros and cons to a full face snorkel mask, and many things to take into consideration. You might want to try out a full mask snorkeling mask before buying one to see if it’s right for you.
You can’t beat the panoramic 180 degree range of visibility in a full face snorkel mask. The lens extends beyond your temples to include your peripheral vision, without needing to constantly turn your head. Don’t miss the octopus or starfish camping out in the coral - you’ll see it all with a full face snorkel mask.
Because your entire face is sealed with a full face mask, it’s less likely to leak when compared to standard snorkel gear. A silicone skirt ensures a comfortable seal without leaking.
A full face snorkel mask allows you to breathe through your nose and your mouth and is less constricting. This is a great advantage for children anxious about breathing underwater!
With your mouth and nose free to breathe normally, you no longer have to bite down on a snorkel mouthpiece. The mask seals comfortably to your face and offers a more relaxing snorkeling experience with less stress. Also, men with a mustache can use a full face mask easily as opposed to standard snorkel gear, but it should be noted that a beard might interfere with sealing in some models.
A full face mask has separate chambers for air exchange and viewing. Your own breath cannot fog the window to interfere with your view.
Most full face masks have a water purge option at the chin to easily expel water that collects in your mask. The addition of a dry snorkel also prevents water from flowing into your mask if flooded by a big wave. These features keep your face dry and ensure you’re breathing easy.
The biggest disadvantage of a full face snorkel mask is the inability to talk to your friends when you chat at the surface of the water. You must remove the mask to have a conversation.
A full mask is more bulky and takes up more space in your luggage when you travel compared to standard gear. When trying to travel light, it might not be an easy addition to your suitcase.
When free diving below the water’s surface you cannot equalize pressure in your ears as easily without access to your nose. Also, the air trapped in the mask makes you more buoyant and makes diving more difficult, and some masks are more likely to leak when free diving.
With heavy breathing and the need for air capacity during vigorous activity, a full face mask will not ventilate as well. Some report feeling breathless with less air capacity when exercising in a full face snorkel mask.
The wide open window can act like a greenhouse on a hot day and some people report feeling too hot in a full face mask.
Mounting a GoPro on your snorkel gear is a fun feature that is impossible with standard snorkel gear. Even though the GoPro mount is a great option for snorkeling, many of the attachment sites are positioned too high on the mask and are not submerged with casual snorkeling. This means that you are getting video of the water’s surface instead of the beautiful fish. There is an extension that can be added to bring the action camera closer to your lens.
Finding the appropriate size full face mask will ensure you’re more comfortable when snorkeling and less likely to experience leaks. You must measure your face from your chin to the bridge of your nose between your eyes.
<10 cm Extra Small
10 - 12 cm Small
12 - 13 cm Medium
>13 cm Large or Extra Large
Test your mask to ensure it fits properly. Without using the straps, hold your face mask to your face and inhale in a deep breath while letting go with your hand. The mask should stay comfortably on your face. If it feels too tight or constricting, it might be too small, so you should test a larger size.
Even though full face masks are designed to be anti fog, they initially come with residue from manufacturing that can fog your lens. You can pre-treat your full mask by washing it in warm soapy water to remove the silicone lubricant that was applied to help it keep its color.
If you take good care of your snorkel gear, it will last for years of water adventures. After each snorkeling trip, rinse your mask and the straps with fresh water to remove salt and bacteria. Some manufacturers recommend using a mild dish soap as well. Remove the suntan lotion that coated your mask as it can cause silicone to harden over the long term.
Completely dry your mask and ensure the fabric straps are dry before storing to avoid mold. Store it in a mesh bag in a dry place out of the sun to prevent breakdown of the silicone components.
One of the most frustrating things when you snorkel is your mask fogging up and needing to float awkwardly on the water’s surface as you rinse it out. Full face masks are less likely to fog because of the air flow within the mask. If you experience fogging, you can use an anti fog spray or good old fashioned spit on the surface with a quick rinse.
There are many remedies to prevent fog build up for standard snorkel equipment including rubbing toothpaste on your lens or using a lighter to reduce the silicone layer - but do NOT use these techniques on a full face snorkel mask. The lens of a full face mask is polycarbonate and can scratch with toothpaste and will not tolerate the heat of a lighter.
With so many full face snorkel masks on the market, it’s important to determine which masks are of better quality. Look for anti fog lenses, a dry snorkel, panoramic views, water purge at the chin, and action camera attachment capability.
Finding the best full face snorkel mask is worth the journey once you’re able to float across the water’s surface, relaxed and breathing easy, and see all of the wondrous gifts that the ocean has to offer.
No - full face snorkel masks are not dangerous, but it’s important to purchase a quality mask. Initially there were some reported issues with full face masks associated with inadequate ventilation. If you buy a cheap snorkel mask, it might not have adequate ventilation to expel old air and then carbon dioxide levels can increase. If this happens you could feel dizzy or sick. Stick with reputable brands for a safe full mask that will ensure adequate ventilation.
Before you grab your mask and dive into the water, make sure your mask fits properly and seals around your face to prevent leaks. Start slow and wear a PFD if you’re uncertain or anxious to get started. Practice in shallow areas before launching into deeper or remote locations.
You could rely on any of the full face snorkel masks included in our review, but the Ocean Reef Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask has all of the great qualities you want in a quality mask - with some additional perks. The Ocean Reef company donated the full face Scuba masks used when divers rescued the Thai soccer team from the underwater cave in 2018.
No. A full face snorkel mask still requires your snorkel to remain above the water’s surface in order to obtain fresh air to ventilate. It does allow you to breathe through both the mouth and nose while you snorkel which is different from standard snorkel gear, but it is not a self contained apparatus like scuba.
It can be! Full face snorkel masks are better than standard snorkel gear for beginners and people anxious about snorkeling. By offering the ability to breathe comfortably through the nose and the mouth, stress is reduced. A full face snorkeling mask also offers a wider visual field without obstructions.
The downfall of a full face mask is that it’s larger and takes up more space in your suitcase as you travel. It might not seal the best if you have a beard, and it makes conversation with your snorkeling buddies difficult. If you want to exercise with your snorkel, a full face mask might make it harder to breathe than standard gear.
Absolutely! A full face snorkel mask is an ideal choice for children or for anyone reluctant to snorkel. There’s a certain amount of anxiety when placing your face into the water and trying to breathe normally. Full face snorkel masks lessen the stress because you can breathe normally through your nose and mouth. Standard snorkels require you to bite down and children can gag and have difficulty adjusting enough to snorkel comfortably.
The key is finding a mask that fits well to prevent leaks and to provide a comfortable fit. A dry snorkel and water purge system would be recommended for children to prevent water inadvertently filling the mask.
No. Freediving is not recommended with a full face snorkel mask for a few reasons. It will be more difficult to submerge and dive when the full face mask contains trapped air that makes you more buoyant. You might be able to get away with about a 10-foot dive, but not much more due the buoyancy issues.
Because you cannot access your nose with a full face mask, you are unable to pinch your nose to equalize pressure. This will cause pressure and potentially damage your eardrums as you descend. Full face masks are also more prone to leaking as you dive. If freediving is a big part of your snorkeling trips, you are best to consider standard snorkel gear.
Yes and No. If you have a mustache that limits your ability to seal standard snorkel gear at the nose, then you’re in luck! A mustache does not interfere with the function of a full face snorkel mask and you’re able to get a good seal.
If you have a beard, the news is not as good. A full face snorkel mask relies on a silicone seal to fit snug around your chin. A beard will not allow the silicone to seal to your skin and will likely cause leaks.
Purchasing your own snorkel gear will provide the comfort that you know it fits and has been cared for properly. You don’t have to stand in line at the rental counter and get gear that has been abused by many vacationers and less likely to have been cared for and stored properly. Most rental places typically rent standard snorkel gear and you’re unable to use a full face snorkel mask to enjoy the benefits of panoramic viewing.
The benefits of buying your own snorkel gear is that you know you’re using a mask that you like and it fits properly. Additionally, you can use your own gear whenever you want without the expense of repeated rentals. By caring for your own gear, you’ll avoid scratches and grime that could interfere with your view through rented snorkel gear.
When using rental gear, you can’t be certain that the snorkel that you’re putting in your mouth was cleaned after the previous user. Having your own snorkel gear means you can run to the water without the added hassles when renting.
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