Watch the full video on if you should buy a full face snorkel mask above.
Not long ago the Full Face Snorkelmask was introduced and in no time it took the snorkeling market by storm. It seems snorkeling is accessible for everybody now thanks to the full face snorkel mask. But such a mask something for you and should you buy one? We have all the questions for you right here.
Diving down with a Full Face Snorkel Mask
First question you need to ask yourself is; Do I want to dive down during snorkeling? If the answer is yes, don’t buy a full face snorkel mask. The mask covers your whole face which makes it difficult to equalize using the ‘pinch your nose’ method. Some people can equalize by swallowing or wiggling there yaw but most of us need some training to be able to do this. Another big drawback when diving down is the fact that a snorkel mask has a large volume. The pocket of air is located on your head which makes diving down head first hard. If you overcome this the air in the mask will shrink creating a squeeze which requires a lot of breathing in the mask to equalize it.
Staying on the surface
If you plan to stay on the surface a full face snorkel mask may be the right move for you. You’ll be able to breath through your mouth and nose which is really comfortable. Also the lens is very big which creates a large field of vision and you can truly enjoy the underwater world. The lens can’t fog up because the air you’r breathing in and out is rerouted to travel past the lens and clear any fog.
If you’r ready to buy a full face snorkel mask the next most important thing is getting the correct size. Snorkel masks are almost always available in three sizes: L/XL, S/M and a child version. The size is measured from the bridge of the nose all the way down to the tip of the chin. For most masks there is a size chart like for the Ocean Reef Aria. The size chart will tell you exactly which mask to fit. It is recommended to always fit a snorkel mask first before buying or if you do buy one first make sure you can return it to the store. When you put on the mask it’s critical that there is no room between your chin and the mask also the rest of the mask should close off the face completely.
What type of lens to get
There are roughly two types of lenses available on snorkeling masks. First there is the spherical lens which looks like to have the best field of vision but suffers a lot from distortion. Distortion is when the light which is hitting the lens is bend which causes objects to seem closer or deformed. Your other options is a flat lens which has a more limited field of vision but only suffers from distortion around the edges and otherwise you have a normal view.
Action cam mounts
If you have a action cam like a Gopro you might want to check if a mount is on the mask already or if its sold separately. Some masks don’t even have the option at all. Other things to keep in mind are the straps which need to be soft and easy to tighten. Also make sure the mask doesn’t hurt your face anywhere. You will probably use the mask longer periods on end and you want it to be comfortable.
So Should You Buy a Full Face Snorkel Mask?
As long if you’r fine with staying on the surface a full face mask is a great option for your snorkel adventures. Breathing through your mouth and nose is really comfortable. Also the view onto the underwater world is great. Down below we have selected a few masks which are safe and great options for all your adventures. There are some more cons for the Full Face Snorkel Masks, for example CO2 Build Up. Check out our article about the dangerous flaws from a Full Face Snorkel Mask.