Ready to start diving? Free diving and snorkeling are relaxing hobbies that tens of millions of people around the world enjoy every year. Diving underwater gives people an exhilarating feeling of freedom that few other things can match.
Going into an ocean, lake, or reservoir with proper diving gear makes things even more interesting. When you’re able to see and fully enjoy the underwater landscape and observe fish, plants, and aquatic animals, it is like you’re entering an alien world.
I first started snorkeling many years ago, and I’ve never looked back ever since I began. It’s one of my favorite hobbies, and I don’t think my life would be nearly as good without it. It gives me time to unwind and float freely in a world that is almost nothing like the surface.
My First Time Snorkeling & How I Lost A Snorkeling Mask
The first time snorkeling was when I was on a vacation in Maui back in the early 2000s. My wife and I had both snorkeled as kids, but we’d only ever used basic kid’s pool snorkels—they didn’t seal when you went underwater like dry snorkels—and neither of us were really all that interested in picking up new hobbies.
That all changed on our Maui trip. We met another couple at our resort and we decided to go on a snorkeling tour in the Papalaua Wayside Park.
We all leased our snorkeling gear from the resort we were staying at. The snorkeling masks provided such amazing visibility, and I was totally immersed. You could say that I was hooked from the start, but so was my mask. I snagged my mask on something underwater and the brittle plastic belt broke in half at the back.
I lost the mask and had the pay the hotel for the cost of the mask. Yikes!
Why Snorkeling Is Now More Fun Than Ever!
The best snorkeling mask models of today are so much better than what we had back when I was a kid. Even if you compare today’s masks to models that were commonplace on the market ten years ago, it is simply amazing how much progress we’ve made over the last decade. The Internet has opened up the market to startups and smaller companies that have contributed some groundbreaking innovations to the world of snorkeling. Crowdfunding has only turned up the speed dial.
As a result, companies have to be more creative than ever to entice customers. Since the market is becoming so highly competitive, you’re seeing the build quality of the masks rise exponentially. Prices also continue to fall, which reduces the cost of entry into the world of snorkeling, thus making it more appealing to people who might not have invested money in it before.
It’s amazing what kind of snorkeling masks they’re coming out with these days. I’ve selected my five best snorkeling masks in 2018 in this article. When you’re looking to get started with snorkeling or free diving, let this article be your go-to list for the best snorkeling mask on the market in 2018.
- Full Face Construction
- Fits most faces comfortably
- Suitable for all levels of diver
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I’ve covered this thing elsewhere before, and it still blows my mind to this day. The Tribord Easybreath is a mind-blowingly cool snorkel mask that works well and looks amazing. It looks like it walked right out of a science fiction film, and people of all ages love using it underwater.
The mask features a fog-proof, shatterproof polycarbonate window with a 180-degree field of vision. It wraps around the head to allow for easy breathing through the nose and mouth, and efficiently purges excess water from the mask using next-generation technology.
The mask fits almost every different head shape and comes in multiple sizes. Since it wraps fully around the head, it avoids the common problem that people with facial hair experience when using conventional masks.
The cool factor on this mask is reason enough to add one to your collection. You’ll turn heads wherever you go with this thing, I promise you. It has received hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon and on other online stores, so the general public seems to concur with snorkeling experts. This mask is outstanding, and I’d recommend it to beginner, intermediate, and expert divers alike.
Keep in mind, you will need to shell out a little bit of extra money to get your hands on this one. If you aren’t prepared for the potentiality of spending over one hundred dollars on a scuba kit, this mask may not be the one for you. Nonetheless, for people who are willing to spend the money, this is one of the best offerings on the market in 2018.
- Extremely sleek
- Expert build quality
- Defog spray included with purchase
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The ScubaPro Spectra is an excellent option for divers who want a sleek, functional diving mask at a fair price. I’ve used a pair extensively on different snorkeling trips across the world, and I have had no issues with it so far.
It fits very comfortably, and it was not fatiguing even after five hours of continual use. This pair in particular is highly recommended for intermediate and expert divers, but beginners will certainly get some benefit out of it as well. The brand is trusted by professional scuba divers, so it will be more than suitable for conventional diving purposes.
You may not need to shell out this sort of money if you’re a casual snorkeler, so keep this in mind when you’re shopping online. For anyone who wants a good quality mask that feels like it is solid and well-made, this is one to add to your shopping list.
Positive reviews are flooding Amazon and other online retailers for this particular pair, and as a result, I’ve chosen to add it to my top 5 list for 2018, as it is a phenomenal mask that doesn’t leak, provides excellent visibility, and doesn’t fog up during use.
ScubaPro masks are built within professional specifications and are certified for a wide variety of different underwater environments. Whether you’re diving into colder or warmer waters, the tempered glass lenses will serve you well.
The mask features adjustable swivel buckles to fit a variety of different head sizes and shapes. Two ounces of defog spray is included with every purchase as an added bonus.
Kraken Aquatics Scuba Mask
- Soft silicone construction
- Impressive one-piece lens
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The Kraken Aquatics Scuba Mask is inexpensive yet highly functional snorkeling gear with a multitude of features. I recommend this pair for beginning snorkelers who aren’t sure if they want to invest a lot of money into the hobby.
While it may not look as neat as the Easybreath or be as robust as the Spectra, it is most certainly an excellent scuba mask. In my experience, I’ve never had any water leak into the mask, and it was exceptionally comfortable for long periods of wear. With soft silicone that molds to fit the face, it conforms to your head without feeling itchy or sticky.
As with many models in this price category, it features a tempered glass lens certified and tested for safety, and is scratch and shatter resistant. The mask features an adjustable strap with a buckle to hold it firmly to the head.
The manufacturer states the mask is rugged enough for diving in rough conditions, and after trying it out in a variety of different waters, I can get behind this claim. The one-piece lens design provides maximum visibility, so that divers can fully take in exhilarating underwater scenery without obstruction.
I still use this mask often on my snorkeling trips when I don’t want to stand out. The black, sleek, low-profile design will appeal to adults and people who may like the appearance of the Tribord Easybreath, or don’t want to shell out the cash to purchase the Spectra. Overall, an excellent and fairly inexpensive mask.
Octomask GoPro Dive Mask
- Works with all GoPro cameras
- Astounding build quality
- Perfect for all levels of diver
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Octomask recently created a diving mask compatible with the all generations of GoPro cameras. For YouTubers and online video producers, this scuba mask is a must-have.
The mask features a stabilized platform and aluminum thumbscrew to keep your GoPro footage stable. The rugged construction ensures that all of your filming will be as beautiful as if the viewer was watching it with their own eyes. The GoPro camera is, of course, not included.
When I went back to Hawaii for a scuba trip, I took my GoPro Hero4 along with me and used this mask to get some amazing underwater panorama footage for my YouTube channel. It appears other YouTubers have since followed suit! I wanted to keep this mask a closely-guarded secret, but since the cat is out of the bag, I suppose it is only appropriate that I add this mask to my top 5 countdown for 2018.
The mask is incredibly comfortable and features a rubberized silicone skirt to ensure that the mask doesn’t leak. It conforms to the head comfortably and provides an excellent seal. The build quality is astoundingly solid, and you can feel that a lot of R&D went into the production of this diving mask.
The company backs up each purchase online with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which makes purchasing an Octomask GoPro Dive Mask even more appealing.
This is one of my favorite masks, and I think anyone out there who loves shooting beautiful underwater footage is going to love this thing.
Oceanic Mako Dive Mask
- Small & lightweight
- Tempered glass lens
- Sleek design
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The Oceanic Mako is a lightweight, non-cumbersome option for people who don’t want something as large as any of the other options on this list. I was astounded by the clarity of vision and overall field of view on this mask underwater, as well as how lightweight the mask was in general.
With some of the larger masks, I always get a little bit of neck pain at the end of the day. Anyone who wants to scuba dive or snorkel without compromising on comfort will appreciate the sleek, lightweight nature of this mask.
The Mako comes with a hard mask box to protect the sturdy tempered glass lens, which sweetens the deal a bit and makes transporting the mask from place to place an easy prospect. Adjustable neoprene comfort straps keep the mask secure and keep you comfortable while wearing the mask for long periods of time.
The 100% silicone skirt provides comfort and the mask rests comfortably on the bridge of the nose without slipping or losing contact, which ensures the seal is maintained at all times without resulting in skin irritation.
All in all, the Mako is one of the best masks on the market, and the price is right. It deserves a position on the top 5 for its sleek design, lightweight frame, world-class visibility, and overall comfort. It is eminently clear that this mask was designed for people who dislike most scuba masks, and haven’t been able to find the right mask to fit their head shape.
These are the best of the best, and I hope you’ve enjoyed my brief reviews of the best snorkeling masks on the market in 2018. Whether you’re snorkeling or scuba diving, you will no doubt appreciate these excellent masks and the unique benefits that each of them provide.
Whether you opt for the cool factor of the Tribord Easybreath or the low-profile design of the Oceanic Mako, you’re bound to find something right for you on my best of 2018 mask countdown!