Garth loves camping under the stars with his Arb III, scuba diving, snorkeling, and also tanning. His favourite snorkel spots include Alanya (Turkey), Koh Rong (Cambodia), and Maui (Hawaii, USA).
He also loves to visit the cenotes in Mexico and he recommends everyone reads the book, “The Soul of an Octopus”, because, he says “they are sensitive, just like me”.
Full face snorkel masks are a relatively new product in the world of snorkeling, and therefore less is commonly known about them among amateur snorkelers, although by now, the word has gotten around that they can be most effective.
These types of snorkel mask were first launched in 2014 and has since revolutionized the way we explore the underwater world.
They allow the wearer to breathe naturally through their nose and mouth, making the snorkeling experience much more comfortable and memorable.
These masks are less intrusive, more hygienic, and enable more intuitive way of breathing underwater than traditional mouthpiece snorkels.
Our today’s post is all about these amazing masks. Here you can read what makes them so special and what to look for when buying one. You can also read our in-depth reviews of some of the best full face snorkel masks available on the market.
Here is exactly what we are going to cover today:
- What Makes Full Face Snorkel Masks so Effective?
- Are full face snorkel masks dangerous?
- Why can fake full face snorkel masks be dangerous?
- What to look for when buying a full-face snorkel mask?
- We Review the Best Full Face Snorkel Masks:
- X Lounger Full Face Snorkel Mask
- Seaview 180
- Tribord Easybreath
Let’s get to it…
What Makes Full Face Snorkel Masks so Effective?
Using a full face mask is a great alternative to a standard snorkel mask for a number of reasons. Here is what makes full face snorkel masks so useful:
Full face snorkel masks offer better visibility than standard snorkeling mask.
Most full face mask models nowadays come with a curved lens that extends behind your eyes, giving you a clear uninterrupted 180 degree field of view.
The frame of a full face mask seals behind your vision line, which means there is no frame that could alter your vision.
Full face snorkel masks seal around your entire face, which decreases the chances of water entering into the mask when you smile or move your mouth underwater.
A full face mask lets you inhale and exhale through entire your nose and mouth. Natural breathing can help you stay calm and relaxed in the water.
There is no learning curve or getting comfortable breathing through a mouth piece. You simply put the mask on and breathe normally.
Full face snorkel masks are also perfect for those who have issues with sore jaws or mouth from holding onto a mouth piece on a standard snorkel mask.
Are full face snorkel masks dangerous?
Full face snorkel masks cover your entire face, allowing you to breathe through your nose and mouth. Of course, while breathing we produce carbon dioxide.
When you are active, your body requires more oxygen and you breathe faster and shallower. When you have a full-face snorkel mask on your head, you may not exhale deeply enough to push the used air out. This can eventually cause you to start breathing in the bead air that contains a lot of carbon dioxide.
Inhaling carbon dioxide can cause headaches, dizziness and unconsciousness. Carbon dioxide build-up can occur not only with full face snorkel mask. CO2 can easily build up in poorly designed snorkel tubes as well.
Although CO2 build-up sounds scary, you don’t need to worry. If your snorkel equipment is properly-designed and tested, it is safe to use. That’s why we suggest always spending a bit more and buying high-quality snorkel equipment from well-known and trusted brands.
The manufacturers of full-face snorkel masks have taken CO2 build-up into consideration and designed the masks accordingly. Full face snorkel masks are nowadays divided into two parts: a breathing and a looking part.
The breathing part seals the mouth and nose off from the looking part. On the top of this part, you can find tiny valves which that are designed to only let in fresh air. When these valves are properly designed and silicone seals perfectly, bad air which contains carbon dioxide is force to flow out of the mask on the side channels of the mask.
Of course, in order for your mask to work properly and to get perfect air circulation and no leakage, it is crucial to know how to choose the right mask size for your face.
Next, we explain what makes fake full face snorkel masks especially dangerous and why you should always go for well-known brands.
Why can fake full face snorkel masks be dangerous?
Original manufacturers have spent ages on designing, modifying and testing full face snorkel masks to make them efficient and safe to use.
Unfortunately, nowadays there are many manufacturers that don’t own patented, tested designs with well-established process of making their products safe and reliable. These manufacturers simply copy original products, without putting their products through adequate testing and quality checks.
Many manufacturers enter the market with attractive prices and poorly-designed products. Of course, customers usually get caught by lower prices because everyone loves to save some money, right?
Although you might save some money if you decide to buy a low-quality snorkel mask, we highly suggest you collect some information and think before the purchase, especially if it comes to your own or your family’s safety.
Moving on! Next we discuss what you need to pay attention to when buying a full face snorkel mask…
What to look for when buying a full-face snorkel mask?
Whether you are just entering the world of snorkeling or you are an experienced snorkeler, using a full-face mask is definitely an option you need to seriously look at.
Unfortunately, with so many options available to choose from, buying a full-face snorkel mask can be an unpleasant experience.
Buying a full-face snorkel mask is a jungle of poor-quality mask and high-end models. No matter whether it’s your first time snorkeling or you are experienced, there are some things you need to pay attention to when buying a full face snorkel mask- if you want to find the one that will fit all your needs perfectly.
Here is what you need to pay attention to:
Most full-face snorkel masks come with a curved lens that extends behind your eyes, providing you with a crystal-clear uninterrupted 180-degree view.
The frame of the mask seals well behind your vision line, meaning there are no obstacles that could alter your vision.
The lens is usually made of high-quality materials that allow clear vision. The lens is also built to last, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally scratching or breaking your mask.
When buying a full-face mask, you need to look for a model that perfectly seals around your entire face, which decreases the chance of water sipping into the mask when snorkeling.
Most of the masks come with a rear strap that is designed to hold your mask in place on your head, allowing you to move freely and even snorkel through waves without losing your mask.
Of course, in order to achieve perfect seal, you need to find the mask that will properly fit your face. If you don’t choose the correct size for your face, your mask won’t work properly.
When you snorkel with a full-face mask you can breathe through either your nose or mouth. This natural way of breathing helps you stay calm and relaxed in the water.
As we have already mentioned, the absence of a standard mouth piece also makes snorkeling more comfortable, allowing you to snorkel longer.
Next, we review some of the best models available on the market. We will start with a quick buyers guide chart, then provide more detailed reviews, beginning with the X-Lounger.
X Lounger full face mask is a great low-cost solution for those who are looking for a full-face snorkel mask on a budget. This mask has all the basic features of the high-end models, with an off-brand price tag.
The mask comes with a 180-degree viewing window, a dry-valve snorkel tube, and a silicone edging which allows a perfect air seal.
The mask also includes a mount for a GoPro or other camera setup, a feature which isn’t always included on the more expensive models.
The wrap-around window allows a 180 degree panorama view. Thanks to the high-quality poly-carbonate lens you will be able to see the underwater world in perfect clarity.
The mask comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee period. This is very convenient if you want to test the mask before you your trip to your favorite remote snorkeling destination.
Here is a video of the mask in action:
On to the next one…
The Seaview mask is a mid-range model popular for its great fog-proof features and range of color choices. This mask is slightly better designed than the X Lounger, while maintaining a reasonable price tag.
It comes with a 180 degree viewing window, a dry valve snorkel, and adjustable head straps. Just as the X lounger, it comes with a silicone edge insert that allows for a watertight fit without uncomfortable plastic cutting into your face.
The main advantage of the Seaview over the X Lounger is its anti-fog feature. The mask has a separate breathing channel that is kept apart from the viewing window. This design helps channel your breath away from the screen, which lessens fog buildup.
Another cool feature is the one-way chin valve which allows any leakage to drain out, without allowing any water to sip in through the port.
The Seaview comes in a variety of color options. You can go for classic black, bold pink, or something in-between.
Here is a video of this mask in action:
If you are looking for the safest and most reliable full face mask on the market, the Tribord Easybreath might be the perfect option.
This mask comes in 4 different sizes which is a great advantage over some cheaper models as it allows for a more precise fit. This results in much fewer leaks and a more comfortable snorkeling experience.
It is also better-built than our other recommendations. This mask is made in France, where there are much higher standards for quality control and safety of materials than in China.
The Tribord Easybreath features a shatterproof window, which is much stronger and resistant than the windows found on the X Lounger and Seaview. This model also has a dry valve snorkel tube and a one-way drain valve on the chin.
The Triboard mask is incredibly easy to breathe through thanks to its innovative air channel that makes sure you are not breathing in the air you’ve just breathed out.
It is also worth mentioning that its top is designed with safety in mind. Its super bright top is visible for 4 times the distance you would spot on a regular mask. This is a great feature for kids and new snorkelers.
Thanks to its flattened window the mask provides incredibly clear and realistic view.
There is no doubt the Tribord Easybreath is one of the best full face snorkel masks you can buy today.
To find out more, please watch this video review: