A swimming snorkel can be a powerful training tool within your arsenal.
Both recreational and competitive swimmers can benefit highly from using a swim snorkel, whether in the pool or in open water.
There are some unique snorkels on the market, with very distinct features and differences to suit certain swim styles, environments and level of ability.
In this guide we’ll delve into the best ones for each category to help you choose the best swimmer’s snorkel suited to your needs.
The Best Snorkels For Swimming – 
- Finis Swimmer’s Snorkel – Best For Beginners & Best Budget
- Tyr Ultralight 2.0 – Best For Comfort
- MP Michael Phelps Focus – Best Snorkel For Lap Swimming
- Finis Freestyle Snorkel – Best For Freestyle Swimming
- AMEO Powerbreather – Best All Rounder
The Top 5 Best Snorkels For Swimming Reviewed
Finis Swimmer’s Snorkel – Best For Beginners
- One way purge valve
- Accommodates dry top & cardio cap accessories
- Long tube
Finis were the creators of the first center mounted snorkel, and atop of our list is the Finis original swimmer’s snorkel itself.
I would consider this to be the best swim snorkel for beginners as the tube length is longer and more forgiving than some others.
Because of it’s slightly longer tube the Finis would suit beginners who have yet to tighten up their technique and head position, and it is also the best swim snorkel on a budget and the cheapest on our list.
The Finis Swimmer’s snorkel has a longer tube in comparison to many others, and the tube shape allows a decent flow of oxygen.
There are also some good options for additional accessories to purchase with this snorkel.
A dry top valve can be purchased at an additional cost. The dry top blocks water from entering it when submerged which beginner swimmers will appreciate, as it saves you from having to blast clear water from the snorkel tube.
Cardio caps can also be purchased to further enhance the Finis, allowing you to adjust the air flow to make breathing more restrictive so you can work on more hypoxic training.
The head bracket on the Finis is quite hard, if using the snorkel for short periods it’s unlikely to bother you, but if you’re going to be snorkeling for long durations you may prefer the padded head bracket of the Tyr 2.0 (reviewed below)
(The Finis Glide is essentially the same snorkel but without a purge valve).
- Head band is easy to adjust to find the correct position
- Good quality at an affordable price
- Decent tube length is great for beginners
- A dry top valve and cardio cap can also be purchased for this snorkel
- The head bracket is quite hard & not as comfortable as the others
TYR Ultralight 2.0 Snorkel – Best For Comfort
- Available in adult & junior sizes
- Very lightweight design (175grams)
- Cushioned head strap
- Removable/replaceable mouthpiece
- x2 cardio training caps included
The Tyr 2.0 is a very lightweight swim snorkel that has a lot of really nice features.
Only weighing 175grams, the TYR 2.0 is a nice lightweight and non bulky design, and feels less noticeable to wear then some other snorkels.
It comes with two different cardio training caps for either moderate or advanced cardio training, and to help you increase your aerobic capacity.
I like that the mouthpiece is easily removable so it can be cleaned or replaced if needed.
The head strap is cushioned at the front where it rests against your forehead, making it really comfortable, especially for long wear use so would be a good swim snorkel for long distance swimmers.
The length of the snorkel is fairly short (about half an inch shorter than version 1.0). Which won’t suit some people.
It isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but if your technique isn’t spot on then you’ll probably take on water.
Now you could see this as a good thing as it will encourage you to perfect your stroke technique, but you could also find this snorkel frustrating to get used to.
- Very comfortable to use for long periods
- Customizable in terms of breathing difficulty
- Easy to clean & maintain
- Good purge valve
- You will take on water if your technique isn’t good
MP Michael Phelps Focus Swim Snorkel – Best Snorkel For Lap Swimming
- Triangular tube
- One way purge valve
- Optional breathing restrictor
- Unique comfo-bite mouthpiece
- Available in adult & smaller size
The unique tube shape of the focus snorkel is designed to inhibit side to side movement of the snorkel.
It’s flat edge rests against your head which eliminates the wobble that circular snorkels suffer from.
Because of the hydrodynamic design of the focus snorkel (thanks to it’s shape, and low profile), it glides through the water really easily with minimal drag.
With reduced drag and limited side to side movement the MP Focus is therefore really good lap swimming, sprinters and doing flip turns.
Another unique feature to this snorkel is the mouthpiece. The sides of the mouthpiece have a connective layer of silicone, which rests behind the front teeth.
This promotes a much more relaxed jaw as the snorkel stays in place without having to clench your jaw super hard when turning, in turn allowing you to comfortably use the snorkel for long periods.
Overall the MP Michael Phelps Focus is excellent for swimming laps and competitive swimmers will benefit the most from its hydrodynamic tube and its ability to stay glued in place with no side to side wobble!
- Very low drag and cuts through water easily
- Virtually no side to side movement
- Very comfortable head strap
- Mouthpiece helps reduce jaw fatigue
- Some find the mouthpiece’s design uncomfortable
Finis Freestyle Snorkel – Best Swim Snorkel For Freestyle Swimming
- Curved design specifically for freestyle use
- Medical grade silicone mouthpiece
- Hydrodynamic tube
The curved designed of the Finis Freestyle is aimed at improving body alignment and promoting a proper head position.
It sits a bit closer to the head than a regular swimmer’s snorkel (and actually curves around the head in fact), and because of this it has better stability than the original finis snorkel, especially when doing flip turns.
If you tuck your chin a little too far with the Finis Freestyle then it will fill up with water.
You’ll certainly know if your head is out of alignment as the top of the snorkel will submerge and water will flood in.
It can take a little getting used to at first, but this instant feedback will help let you know when your technique is off.
This snorkel is great for lap swimming and for slightly more advanced swimmers.
It’s not the best suited for beginners as you will probably find it a little too frustrating at how easily it can take in water with improper technique and body alignment
This snorkel is specifically aimed for those doing freestyle stroke, so if you plan on using many different strokes you’d be much better off with one of the others on our list that can accustom a wide range of styles
- Promotes proper head position for freestyle stroke
- Stable & sits close to the head
- Good for flip turns
- A good training aid for improving freestyle stroke/efficiency
- Water will easily enter if head is out of alignment
AMEO Powerbreather – Best All Rounder
- Interchangeable short or long vents
- Flip Caps (for flip turns, open water & hypoxic training)
- AMEO patented “fresh air system“
The AMEO Powerbreather has a real unique look in comparison to other swim snorkels, and it also has some unique features that others don’t as well.
It’s primary feature though is it’s fresh air breathing system. The inhalation and exhalation of air from the AMEO are completely separate systems from one another which prevents CO2 buildup in the vents.
Oxygen intake is through both of the snorkel tubes, and unlike a regular snorkel where you would also expel CO2 out of that same tube, CO2 is instead expelled out of the bottom of the AMEO.
Thus you are only ever breathing in fresh oxygen.
The reason the AMEO is the best all rounder is that it’s very customisable. If you’re lap swimming in a pool you can use the shorter vent attachments and flip caps.
The flip caps are to help prevent water getting in during flip turns, and shorter vents mean the tops of the snorkel won’t extend as high out of the water.
When open water swimming or swimming in choppy waters you can switch the short vents out to longer vents which extend even higher out of the water, and this will help to prevent water from entering the snorkel.
The breathing effort of the AMEO is also customizable allowing you to increase or decrease the breathing resistance depending on the attachment you use.
It has three different levels of resistance (easy, medium & power) – great if you want to gradually build your lung capacity over time.
The AMEO is also compatible with snorkel masks as well as goggles, so if you enjoy snorkeling in open water and would prefer the use a a larger mask, the AMEO allows you that option.
And since the AMEO sits at the side of your head instead unlike a regular swimming snorkel, it offers a fully unobstructed view which a lot of swimmers find more preferable over a center mounted snorkel.
Now, the Powerbreather probably isn’t the best option for beginners as there is a little more breathing resistance with this than a regular snorkel and it can take some getting used to.
That’s great for helping to improve your endurance, but this could be a bit too advanced for beginners.
- Highly versatile & customizable
- Unobstructed View
- Fresh air breathing system
- Compatible with snorkel masks as well as swim goggles
- Beginners may struggle with this snorkel
Why Use A Swimming Snorkel
A swimming snorkel is an excellent training tool, and can provide you with a whole heap of benefits.
The benefits they provide are not only for athletes and triathletes but recreational swimmers can also enjoy the many advantages that a swim snorkel offers….
Benefits Of Using A Swim Snorkel
Using a swimming snorkel and Eliminating the need to lift or turn your head out of the water can provide you with a ton of benefits….
When you don’t have to focus on timing your stroke with your breathing, and perfecting your breathing/stroke technique together.
This will allow you to focus 100% on stroke efficiency and technique purely on their own.
For competitive swimmers, important things like head position, body alignment and stroke technique can be focussed on instead which can help eventually lead to improved efficiency and swim times.
Beginner and recreational swimmers can enjoy the exact same benefits as well, as too many different techniques to focus on at the same time can inhibit progress.
Without having to worry about about breathing, or accidentally drinking pool water can make the activity much more relaxing and enjoyable too!
Many swimmers breathe on their dominant side but this can allow muscle imbalances to form over time, creating one side which is stronger and more muscularly developed than the other.
Muscular imbalances are not fun (I speak from experience here!), and they can take a lot of time to correct once they’ve formed.
Eliminating the need to turn your head to breathe can help to prevent imbalances from forming, and will allow you to focus on creating a well balanced stroke technique across the whole body.
Swimming snorkels can come with different spout caps, and their purpose is to restrict the airflow of the snorkel.
This will force your lungs to have to work harder which can help increase your lung capacity.
Additional features like these come down to preference really.
Recreational swimmers may not have a need for them but many competitive swimmers enjoy the ability to customise the snorkels airflow between easy, medium, or difficult.
Key Features To Consider In Swim Snorkels
A one way purge valve sits at the very bottom of the snorkel, and is a very handy feature for clearing any water which may have entered into your snorkel.
When you exhale, this one way valve will open and release the water that has collected in your snorkel back out into the pool/ocean.
This allows you to swim with uninterrupted breathing and without having to worry about blast clearing water out of your snorkel.
The primary disadvantage of a purge valve, and why some swimmers avoid having a snorkel with any special additional features like this is that it presents the opportunity of breaking or failing at some point.
Swimming snorkels with larger spout diameters are great for beginners due to the increased airflow that they allow, giving you plenty of oxygen and easy unobstructed breathing.
More advanced and competitive swimmers may enjoy a smaller size in order to gain benefits from a more hypoxic style of training, and working on increasing their lung capacity.
A longer tube length is great for beginners and open water swimmers.
For open water swimmers having a longer tube sticking out of the water means there is less chance of waves splashing over your snorkel and letting water into it.
And for beginners, whilst your honing your technique and working on your head and body position, a training snorkel that has a longer tube length will be much more forgiving than a shorter one.
Advanced swimmers will prefer a shorter and therefore more hydrodynamic tube that can cut through the water more easily.
The more hydrodynamic the tube is, the less it will drag, and potentially wobble around in the water.
If speed is an area of concern when swimming laps, or when swimming through open water, a snorkel which creates less drag will be highly beneficial.
Using a snorkel with a shorter tube length will let water in fairly easily with an incorrect head position. This will not really be an issue at all if the proper technique is used, but beginners may find that a short snorkel tube just lets too much water into their snorkel.
The Best Swim Snorkel – Our Verdict
The finis snorkel is an excellent all rounder, and probably the best suited for accommodating most swimmers.
It’s great for all stroke techniques, swimming laps, flip turns, and it also has the option of additional accessories in order to further customise it to your needs!
If you’re interested in a more traditional snorkel, then check out our guide to the best snorkels.