What to Look for in Your First Mask and Snorkel Set

Ready to explore the water? Here’s how to set out with the right gear.

Snorkeling is fun for the whole family, so investing in a set will lead to a lifetime of adventures.Shutterstock

Snorkeling adds an excellent element of adventure and fun to any vacation. Consider a new mask and snorkel set to be an investment.

Family-friendly

It features an ultra-clear lens, a soft and comfortable mask skirt, and a low volume design. A push-button buckle makes strap adjustments a breeze.Cressi

It all starts with a good fit. Your snorkel and mask set should be easy to adjust and should fit snugly without feeling like it's cutting into you or that the straps are too tight. It should also stay fixed over time, as you don't want water leaking into your mask. Look for strong buckles and straps and adjustment systems you can work without having to take your mask off.

As clear as day

This is great for swimming in choppy waters or with kids around. A large and easy-to-reach purge valve makes cleaning easy.SwimStar

Lens placement is another point to consider. Masks can come in single-lens or dual-lens designs. Single lenses offer an uninterrupted view and may not press against more sensitive pressure points around the eyes, while dual-lens designs are more secure and sturdy, especially important if the kids will be fighting over who gets to snorkel next.

Built to adapt

This setup is designed to fit people with different head sizes. It is versatile so it's great for adults, teens, students, and even advanced divers.OMORC

Ease of use will offer a better swim. Look for snorkels that will be easy to clear and that offer methods of keeping water out, so you don’t have to resort to the usual hard breath out to get your snorkel clear. Also look for sets designed to connect in some way, so you’ve got the option of keeping snorkel and mask together, either when packing or in the water. It’ll also make it more family-friendly if you plan to share a mask and snorkel, so you won’t be spending your time emptying a snorkel, just settling the question of who gets it next.