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How To Choose Your Snorkel Mask And Avoid Fogging?

Snorkeling is a fun water activity that allows you to explore the underwater scenery. And one of the main attractions of the sport is that it requires basic swimming skills and a few pieces of gear, including a snorkel mask.

The function of a snorkel mask is to provide airspace between your eyes and the water. And this improves your visibility underwater as you can focus your eyes. Also, your eyes are protected from saltwater and debris or anything floating on the water.

There are several snorkel masks available on the market and it’s not necessarily easy to be sure you are choosing the best one for your next adventure. Truth be told, there are tons of $10 masks that you can find at your local supermarket during the summer. You are free to buy these, but if you are more serious about snorkeling and want to have the best quality possible, I would suggest looking at masks that are primarily aimed at scuba divers. It doesn’t prevent you from using them for snorkeling. These masks have way superior qualities (durability, quality/transparency of the glass…) and this is why I recommend them.

Below, you’ll find a guide to help you choose the mask that best suits your needs.

Why Do You Need Snorkel Mask?

The most obvious benefit of a snorkel mask is that it allows you to see clearly underwater. And this allows you to experience a wonderful snorkeling experience as you can enjoy the beauty of the underwater scenery. And this is why the quality/clarity of the glass is so important. Buying a low-quality mask with low-quality glass simply means that everything will appear less vibrant underwater.

Snorkel Mask vs. Diving Mask

Snorkel and diving masks perform the same functions. However, diving masks are made of higher quality materials to make them able to withstand the higher pressures divers experience since they go deeper underwater than snorkelers.

You can use a diving mask for snorkeling and such masks will last longer due to the higher quality materials. However, you can use a ‘snorkeling mask’ for diving as it isn’t just strong enough to withstand the pressures at depths divers reach.

How to Prevent Your Mask from Fogging?

Your mask will fog when water vapor condenses on the inside of the lens and this will reduce visibility. Buying masks with anti-fogging properties will reduce the tendency of fogging to occur.

However, you can prevent digging by cleaning your snorkel mask with non-whitening toothpaste after you buy it before going for your first dive. There are also specific scuba mask cleaning agents on the market but using toothpaste is cheaper.

Put the toothpaste on the inside of your mask’s lens and use your fingers to spread it all over the surface. Leave the toothpaste for a while before cleaning it off.

Baby shampoo can also prevent fogging and should be used before any snorkeling session. Dilute a few drops of any baby shampoo product in water, pour it into a spray bottle, and apply it to the inside of your lens. All the surface of the lens coated with the film of baby shampoo will not fog.

How to Choose Your Snorkeling Mask?

Below are factors to put into consideration when choosing a snorkel mask:


Choosing the right snorkel mask is important if the mask is to perform as it should. Ideally, snorkeling masks should fit your face snugly without leaking. Manufacturers have their sizing charts and you should study these charts and measure your face to choose one that will fit you snugly.

A good way to know if your mask is a true fit is to wear the mask to check if the inner seal is touching the face or not. If it does, then there’s a good chance the mask will work well.

Skirt Material

The skirt of a snorkel mask is the soft, pliable part on the edges of the mask that touches your skin. Made of silicone or rubber, the skirt provides an effective seal and suction. Silicone skirts are generally better than rubber skirts as rubber tends to deteriorate over time. Having a broad silicone is also important as the seal will be better the wider the band is.

One Window vs Two/Multiple Windows

Snorkel masks can have one or multiple windows. Single-window snorkel masks have the advantage of providing a wide field of vision with less obstruction. Two-window snorkel masks have two separate lenses and are suitable for prescription lenses. So, snorkelers with eye defects that need prescription lenses should go for a two-window snorkel mask.

Snorkel masks can also have three or four lenses and these lenses provide a wider field of view which can be for snorkelers that feel claustrophobic underwater. However, there will be distortions or even blind spots in the adjoining areas of the lenses.

snorkeling masks - Guide

Low Volume vs. High Volume

Mask lens volume is the amount of airspace that’s inside your snorkel mask. And the closer the lens is to your face, the lower the amount of airspace in your mask. For snorkeling, it’s best to choose low-volume masks as they offer more visibility and are easy to clear. High-volume masks are not easy to clear due to the large airspace available.

Straps and Buckles

Snorkel straps are usually made of silicone although neoprene is also used. Silicone has the advantage of sticking to your face like a second skin and works best for snorkelers with facial hair or problems with their straps slipping. Buckles allow you to attach your mask to your face and you should go for scuba masks with an easy-to-use buckle system.

Final Thoughts

Resist the temptation to get some random cheap snorkel mask! Snorkeling is a wonderful activity and there is so much beauty underwater. The quality of your gear is essential to ensure to get the best of your snorkeling time and see the underwater world in the best conditions. Get yourself a quality mask and a snorkel, quality fins and get in the water!

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