Short on time? We consider the best snorkel gear package to be the Cressi Palau Snorkel Set
There’s a huge difference between rented snorkel gear and your own gear bought to fit you and your needs.
Why risk ruining your snorkel trip with subpar and ill-fitting equipment?
In this guide I’ll help you decide the type of gear that’s right for you, plus give you some options of the best snorkel gear to suit your needs and budget (without skimping on quality!).
The Top 5 Best Snorkel Gear Sets in 2022
- Cressi Palau Snorkel Set – SHORT FIN | LONG FIN – Best Overall
- Seavenger Aviator – Best Budget
- Cressi F1 Mask with Supernova Dry Snorkel – Best Snorkel & Mask Set (No Fins)
- TUSA Powerview Snorkel Set – Best Premium
- Cressi Rocks Pro Dry – Best Kids Snorkel Set
The Best Snorkel Gear Reviewed
Cressi Palau Snorkel Set – Best Overall
Mask: Single lens
Snorkel: dry snorkel
Fins: Short or long open heel paddle fins
This snorkel set is made up of Cressi’s Onda mask, their Supernova dry snorkel, Palau fins and carry bag.
Overall the Palau set is an excellent quality snorkel set that comes in at a very reasonable overall price for a top brand.
The Supernova Dry snorkel is one of the top snorkels that I recommend in my best dry snorkel article, and is one of the most popular dry snorkels on the market – It’s a high quality snorkel that performs really well at keeping the water out, and is comfortable to use for long periods.
It’s also worth mentioning that the snorkel clip that attaches the Supernova snorkel to the mask is very easy to use (a one button push will release the snorkel from the mask, which is simple and easy to reattach).
Cressi’s Onda mask is also a very popular mask that has now been on the market for over 20 years! It’s a good option for snorkelers looking for good quality but at a reasonable price point, but would also be a fine option for scuba diving as well.
It’s a single lens mask although it does have a small ridge running down the centre of it – This doesn’t hurt the field of view but I think it’s still worth noting. The mask is comfortable to wear but unfortunately clear silicone, over time, will eventually start to yellow.
The fins are a great length (17 inches) for easy packing but provide a decent amount of propulsion in the water considering their shorter length. In strong currents you will struggle with these (as you would with any shorter length fin), but basic snorkeling in calm waters these can handle just fine.
With being open heel fins they are very accommodating in terms of fitting multiple foot sizes. A great plus as it’s easy to find the correct size, but also means you can often share them with friends/family members easily too.
You can quite comfortably wear these fins barefoot, or with a thin snorkel shoe or sock (which will provide you with a bit of extra warmth and foot protection).
If travel friendliness is more important to you then we recommend the SAF (Short Adjustable Fin) set. If you want more propulsion in the water and size isn’t an issue for you then we recommend going with the Cressi Palau long fin set – which is the same exact same set as this, but with longer fins that provide much better propulsion.
- Super compact and great for travel
- The Supernova snorkel is excellent at keeping water out. (It also happens to be the one of the best dry snorkels that I recommend to people).
- Excellent price and comes in a comes in a variety of colors
- Good overall quality snorkel set that will last a long time
- Comfortable to wear for long durations.
- The short fins do not provide much in the way of propulsion in current
Seavenger Aviator – Best Budget
Mask: single lens
Snorkel: dry top with purge valve
Fins: open heel fins / paddle blade
The Seavenger Aviator set is one of the best value for money snorkel sets out there, and it’s also the most compact and travel friendly on our list as well (measuring 17 x 11 x 7 inches and weighing just 2lbs).
The single lens panoramic mask has a really good field of view and the adjustable straps are really easy to use when wanting to tighten or loosen them.
Comes in a large variety of colors, which includes both clear and opaque mask options. (Personally I prefer opaque/colored mask skirts as they don’t yellow over time like clear silicone does).
This set comes with a dry top snorkel with a purge valve, it’s a pretty decent snorkel overall but the dry top valve is known to stick on occasion if placed at the wrong angle.
The fins feel sturdy, and at a length of just 16 inches are very compact. This makes them really easy to manoeuvre in, but you shouldn’t expect a considerable amount of power from them. A short fin like this though is good for beginners who are just getting used to them, and is a good option for kids as well.
Because of it’s low price and travel friendliness, the Seavenger Aviator set would be a good choice for the snorkeler on a budget who maybe only goes snorkeling once or a small handful of times a year.
- Very compact and travel friendly (the most compact on our list).
- A good option for beginners and those who don’t snorkel much but would like their own snorkeling gear
- Comes in a large variety of colors
- The very short fins won’t provide much propulsion
- The dry top valve can stick if placed at the wrong angle so be sure to attach it to the mask correctly.
Cressi F1 Mask with Supernova Dry Snorkel – Best Snorkel & Mask Set (No Fins)
Mask: Single tempered glass lens / frameless design
Snorkel – Dry top snorkel with purge valve
The Cressi F1 snorkel mask and Supernova dry top snorkel are one of the most popular snorkel sets on the market – Both are reliable, durable and very comfortable and they come in at a really good price. So if you’re looking for just a mask and snorkel at this time, this is the set I would recommend for most people.
The mask is a frameless, single lens mask so it’s very lightweight and has a really good field of view. The silicone skirt is soft and comfortable and can be folded flat for easy packing.
The F1 mask is also a good mask to add to your dive gear and would make a good primary mask, or a backup mask since it folds down compactly to be able to store in your BCD.
The Supernova snorkel is the same one as included in the Palau set, and both this snorkel and F1 mask are ones that I recommend within my best snorkel and best snorkel mask gear reviews.
- The F1 mask is really lightweight and compact
- It has a nice, soft silicone skirt that’s very comfortable
- The F1 mask has a wide field of view
- Both mask & snorkel comes in a huge variety of colors
- Might take a little extra effort to get the manufacturers film off the lens
TUSA Powerview – Best Premium
Mask: two window
Snorkel: dry snorkel
Fins: Open heel paddle fins
If you’re in the market for a mask snorkel and fins of more premium quality, durability and overall performance then the TUSA Powerview set is worth checking out.
This snorkel set comes with the TUSA Hyperdry Elite snorkel, which is one of the snorkels I regularly use myself. In terms of performance and keeping water out of the tube it’s excellent! The Hyperdry snorkel features a flexible tube so that the snorkel contours toward your mouth to prevent jaw fatigue and it’s super comfortable to use even for long periods.
The mask lens has a really good clarity to it – If you’ve ever used a cheap snorkel mask and compared it with a premium like like this – You will see a difference. It’s is a dual window mask which is capable of taking a prescription lens if desired, and it has a low internal volume so it would also be a good choice for the scuba diver who likes this style of mask.
Though obviously compact (therefore good for travel), the performance of the fins is still good and they give a decent amount of propulsion. But they are not the most comfortable over time when worn barefoot, so they are best used with snorkel booties/neoprene socks to prevent rubbing and chafing.
- The mask lens is great quality and ultra clear
- This mask will take prescription lenses if desired.
- The carry bag is good quality, and unlike the others in our list, it has shoulder straps for easy transport
- The fins aren’t as comfortable when worn barefoot
Cressi Rocks Pro Dry – Best Kids Snorkel Set
Mask: two window
Snorkel: dry top snorkel
Fins: open heel
In Rocks Pro Dry snorkel set is made with the same high quality materials and design features that you can find within Cressi’s adult snorkel gear.
The snorkel mask has tempered glass lenses, and the soft silicone double edge skirt is nice and wide to give a good seal against the face in order to prevent leakage.
The snorkel included in this set is a dry top snorkel, so it is designed to prevent any water from getting into the snorkel, and it’s a very high quality one at that.
The fins are really easy for your child to put on, take off and they’re really simple to adjust as well. The foot pockets are nice and comfortable, and the vented design is best for giving kicking power but with good efficiency to reduce fatigue.
- Really high quality, premium materials
- The silicone mask skirt is really soft and comfortable
- The fins are easy to don and doff, and easily adjustable
- The set is compact, lightweight and easy to travel with
- The mesh bag dries ultra quick but isn’t the highest quality.
What To Consider When Purchasing A Snorkel Set
The snorkel gear you buy will be made up of three key pieces of equipment – A snorkel mask, a snorkel, and a pair of snorkel fins.
In this section we’ll go into further detail on each to help you decide which the best snorkel set for you will be.
There are several different types of snorkel mask on the market. Each one with its own unique features and benefits.
Your can also check out our standalone guide to the Best Snorkel Masks if you want even further information to help you select the right style of mask.
Single Lens Mask
The lens is made up of a single pane lens. Not having a frame down the centre can provide a better field of vision. A frameless, single lens style of mask is also lightweight and compact.
This style of mask is not suitable for those who want prescription lenses, but if that is irrelevant to you then this won’t matter.
(Both of the snorkel masks I use – The Hollis M1, and the Apex VX1 – are single lens masks)
dual Lens Mask
This style of snorkel mask has two windows separated by the masks frame down the middle.
This type of mask is best for those who wish to have prescription lenses fitted, and this style also has a smaller internal volume of air than a single lens mask (which makes it easier to clear).
This type of mask can be slightly bulkier and may have a reduced field of vision in comparison to a single lens mask.
Multiple Lens Mask
This type of mask has extra viewing panes at the sides.
This helps increase peripheral vision and also allows more light to enter the mask.
A multiple window mask will usually have a high internal volume of air, and is generally bigger and bulkier than the others.
If your mask doesn’t fit properly, it will not work properly. There’s no point spending money on the best mask money can buy if it doesn’t fit!
An ill fitting mask will leak water and be uncomfortable. Now that’s a bad combination!
So how do you know if your mask fits you correctly? Well it’s actually pretty easy to check if your mask fits. To do so, simply press it against your face and gently breathe in through your nose.
Now remove the hand which had it pressed to your face – If the mask fits you correctly then it should stay glued against your face effortlessly. If it slips or is slipping off, that means there isn’t a tight seal.
And if air is seeping in through the sides of the mask that means water can seep in too!
There are three different types of snorkel;
- traditional snorkels
- semi dry snorkels and
- dry snorkels
Full Face Snorkel Masks are not covered in this article as it would simply be too long! Check out my other guides for more info on these; Are Full Face Snorkel Masks Safe, and, The Best Full Face Snorkel Masks
Pay attention to the details here as the type of snorkel you want just might influence which snorkel set you want to buy!
The most basic type of snorkel is the traditional snorkel – It’s essentially an open top tube with a mouthpiece. As it’s the most basic type of snorkel it is also the cheapest.
Traditional snorkels tend to be extremely durable and can last the user for years. This is due to the fact that as they don’t really have any special bells and whistles, there’s nothing to really go wrong with them.
Due to their open top design a traditional snorkel allows water to freely enter the top of it. So if you’re planning on going with this kind of snorkel then you need to be comfortable enough to clear any water that gets into the tube. (Clearing the snorkel is done by exhaling sharply to blow the water out the top).
Semi Dry Snorkel
The semi dry snorkel is basically a traditional snorkel but with a splash guard at the top. The splash guard helps to shield water from getting into the top of the snorkel. (Water can still get in though).
Many semi dry snorkels also have a purge valve at the bottom. A purge valve allows for any water which may end up in the snorkel to be ‘purged’ out of the bottom. The water is purged from the snorkel simply by gently exhaling.
Slightly more expensive than the traditional snorkel and a tad bit heavier (due to the added splash guard).
Dry Top Snorkel
A dry top snorkel has a special mechanism at the top that is there to prevent water from getting into your snorkel. Once submerged the top of the snorkel closes therefore not allowing any water to enter.
A purge valve at the bottom of the snorkel also allows for any water that may have got in to be quickly expelled back into the ocean. This type of snorkel is the most expensive of the three but it is worth the added cost for the hassle free snorkel experience that it offers.
This is the type of snorkel that I typically recommend to people, but it is worth noting that you cannot freedive with this type of snorkel (due to added buoyancy from the trapped air inside it)
Some people seem to think of the snorkel fin as a non essential piece of snorkeling gear – But those people have probably just never used them before!
Here are the different types of snorkel fin on the market, and the differences between each one.
Short Fins Vs Long Fins
Short fins are ideal for travel due to their compact size and are great for snorkeling in calmer waters by the shore. Long fins are, well.. Longer than short fins.
Their added length makes them heavier than short fins but they provide much better propulsion in the water thus making it a better option in open water and against currents.
Open Heel Vs Closed Heel
Closed heel fins offer a slip on/slip off type design – It’s very important with a closed heel fin that you get the correct fit.
Too loose and the fin can slip off, but too tight and you will find it very uncomfortable to wear.
This type of fin is worn barefoot – As you won’t be using the additional insulation of a water sock this means this type of fin is good for warm water/tropical conditions, but you probably wouldn’t want to use this type of fin in cold water. Closed heel fins also tend to be lighter and offer less drag in the water.
Open heel fins have an ankle strap design – This type of fin can be much more accommodating as you slide your foot into the fin and then tighten the strap around the back of your heel.
This type of fin allows the user to also wear water socks. This additional insulation makes this fin a good choice to use in colder waters, and provides added protection in general.
Check out our full guide to the best snorkel fins if you want to learn more about the multiple different styles of fins and their benefits/drawbacks.
Should You Buy Or Rent Snorkel Gear
If you’re trip isn’t going to be heavily focussed around a lot of beach time, you will probably be just fine renting some snorkel gear.
I did rent snorkeling gear once before (many years ago in Mexico), and let me tell you… I didn’t have any issues with mask fogging/snorkel leakage/fins slipping off.
I have also borrowed friends and families snorkel gear in the past, and again not had any issues with the gear not fitting me correctly, but in truth they were not the type of mask or snorkel that I would have preferred.
NOW.. I have had much better times snorkeling since then using my own snorkeling gear. The best part about buying your own snorkel set is that you can tailor it to your own needs and specifications.
In reality there are a ton of benefits to having your own snorkel gear and really aren’t any disadvantages. So if you plan on snorkeling each vacation, then buying your own snorkel set is ideal.
By the time you’ve rented snorkel gear twice, you might as well have just gone and bought your own!
So here is our list of reasons as to why you will not regret buying snorkeling gear of your own;
- It’s generally cheaper to buy a set, then to buy each piece individually
- Shipping wise, it’s more convenient (and cheaper) to have everything arrive at your home all at once
- You’re able to get comfortable/familiar with your gear – And can practice with it as much and for as long as you want.
- You can use it whenever you want! You’re not limited to only being able to use the gear at set times/days (like whilst on snorkel tour) or restricted to the opening/closing times of a rental store.
- Only you (or anyone you have allowed) have used it. With rented gear you don’t know how many other people have had that snorkel in their mouth!… and how/if it was disinfected!
- Able to buy gear that fits you – Rental gear will not fit every individual, and if that happens to be you then you’re not going to have an enjoyable day snorkeling!
- By the time you’ve used your gear twice – It’s already paid for itself by not having to fork out for rentals
You may not find a set of fins, mask and snorkel as a set that matches the specifications you want. In which case, you should think about purchasing the individual pieces separately….
Should You Buy A Snorkel Set Or The Individual Pieces
As mentioned above, buying a snorkel set can be cheaper than buying each piece individually so if you can find the right set for you, and it has all of the pieces you want then great!
However you may not be able to find a set that has the exact fins, mask and snorkel that you want. There are of however a lot of snorkel and mask combos (without fins) that you could look into and then buy your fins separately.
Or you could just go ahead and buy each piece individually – But, if you find a set that has all of the pieces you want, it’s probably going to work out cheaper, and is less hassle when it comes to shipping. So it’s definitely worth looking into!
For anyone who is wondering what specific snorkeling gear I use, I am currently using a Hollis M1 Mask, Tusa Hyperdry snorkel, and Scubapro Go Sport fins.
How To Clean And Care For Your Snorkel Gear
The best snorkeling gear will last you for years of adventures. It’s essential that you take care of your gear though as the kinder you are to it, the longer it will last.
Things like sun and salt water can be very damaging over time – But keeping your gear fresh and clean is really quite simple.
- Give all of your snorkeling gear a really good rinse/wash in clean fresh water after every use
- Let your gear dry fully before you store it away
- Always store your gear out of direct sunlight
Additional Snorkel Accessories
There are also a number of different accessories/gear that you could invest in to help make your adventure even more comfortable, enjoyable and memorable;
- Best Rash Guard For Snorkeling
- Best Snorkel Vest
- Best Underwater Camera For Snorkeling
- Best Snorkel Shoes
Buying a snorkel set is a convenient way to purchase your snorkel equipment which could save you time and money over buying everything separately.
When you compare the cost of renting equipment for each single use versus purchasing your own snorkel gear that will last you many many adventures it really is a no brainer to invest in your own gear.
The Cressi Palau set provides a travel friendly option built of quality gear at a very competitive price.