Full Face Snorkel Mask VS. Traditional: Which One Is Better?

Full Face Snorkel Mask VS. Traditional: Which One Is Better?

March 11, 2019

The full face snorkel mask has been around for several years now, but since many people haven’t gone snorkeling during that time, it’s still considered to be a new style snorkel mask. It’s no wonder we hear a lot of questions about the best snorkel gear for beginners. In this post, we’d like to help set the record straight and get you started on your own snorkeling adventure.

One look at our snorkel product line will make it clear that we think the full face snorkel mask is a terrific innovation—and ours is one of the most popular! But we want to be very clear that it isn’t always the best choice, depending on what kind of snorkeling you want to do.

We didn’t choose the design based on cost or availability. We love snorkeling and have done extensive product development and testing to make the best full face mask possible, and there’s just no comparison for snorkeling on the surface.

Free Diving Requires Traditional Snorkeling Gear

We love the full face snorkel mask for snorkeling, but for free diving—that’s a different story. Beginners are best off sticking to surface snorkeling regardless of the equipment they use, but when people get more familiar with being in the ocean and have developed their snorkeling skills, they often want to start diving below the surface to get a better look at things. This is also common with scuba divers when they are in the water with just snorkeling gear. If you want to be able to dive down more than a couple of feet, you’ll need to be able to equalize the pressure in your ears, so a traditional mask is better.

Water weighs a lot more than air, so when you dive down, the water creates pressure pushing inward on your ears, which can become painful and even result in injury if you can’t create an equal amount of pressure in the tiny tubes in your ears. Equalizing, or clearing, your ears is commonly done by pinching your nose closed and attempting to gently blow air out with your mouth shut. This essentially puts pressure against your middle ear to balance out the pressure caused on the other side. A traditional mask has a soft rubber cover over the nose so you can easily pinch your nostrils closed, but you can’t do that with the new style snorkel mask.

A Full Face Snorkel Mask Is the Best Snorkel Gear for Casual Surface Snorkeling

For recreational snorkeling on the surface, a full face snorkel mask has several advantages. The larger lens not only lets you see beneath you much better, but opens up your peripheral vision so you can see what’s happening all around you.

The really big innovation with the full face snorkel mask is that the snorkel is integrated into the mask, so you no longer have to hold it in your mouth, which can be uncomfortable and result in a sore jaw. More importantly, breathing through a tube that you hold in your teeth can cause pain and discomfort over time.

By building the snorkel into the mask and designing a valve system to allow air flow between mask compartments, the new design allows you to breathe through both your nose and mouth, for a more natural breathing experience.

The upgraded snorkel design in Wildhorn’s Seaview 180° made it much easier to keep water out of the snorkel, and the newer version, SV2, has an angled snorkel with even better technology for increasing airflow and eliminating water intake.

Another advantage is that if water leaks into the mask, it can run to the bottom of your chin instead of being held right under your eyes. When traditional masks leak salt water into your eye chamber it can cause discomfort and reduced visibility.

When You Shouldn’t Use a Mask and Snorkel

Breathing through a snorkel is only appropriate for relaxed surface swimming. If you are going to be swimming hard either for exercise or if you find yourself swimming against a current, you should not use a snorkel at all, but breathe the air directly by lifting your face out of the water. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to exert yourself when you are swimming with a full face snorkel mask, you should remove the whole mask and swim without it.

There are circumstances when a traditional mask or no mask at all is best, but for your general snorkeling needs, the Seaview 180° V2 can’t be beat. It is available in three sizes for comfort and effectiveness, so be sure to check out the sizing chart and order one today. Adventure awaits!




Also in Tips

The Best Snorkeling Tips: Gear, Safety, and Snorkel Locations
The Best Snorkeling Tips: Gear, Safety, and Snorkel Locations

March 11, 2019

Snorkeling is one of those rare adventures that is both thrilling and relaxing at the same time. Not to mention it gets you out in nature in some of the most amazing environments imaginable while being more accessible than SCUBA diving. We can’t say it’s the perfect activity for everyone, but we think it comes pretty close.

Read More

Backcountry Skiing Guide: What to Know Before You Go.
Backcountry Skiing Guide: What to Know Before You Go.

October 15, 2018

In the United States, an average of 27 people die in avalanches each winter, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). If you are planning to start backcountry skiing it’s imperative that you have the right knowledge and tools to keep you safe in the backcountry.

Read More

10 Reasons Fall is the Best Hiking Season
10 Reasons Fall is the Best Hiking Season

September 06, 2018

No other season prompts you to pause and look around quite like Fall. Nature is best experienced slowly. Sometimes when you’re hiking it can be easy to focus too much on the destination or spend a lot of time watching your footing. But in the Fall, bright colors call your attention away from the ground and towards the glowing deciduous trees that make this season so special. Take your time and look up!

Read More

★ Judge.me Reviews

Let customers speak for us

1458 reviews
83%
(1206)
12%
(175)
3%
(49)
1%
(16)
1%
(12)
Awesome Goggle

I have been looking far and wide for a quality goggle that has an interchangeable lens system. My buddy has the Smith I/O goggles, and I tried his, but couldn't get over the $200 price tag. These goggles are just as good, if not better than those. I am blown away. Incredible goggle for an incredible price. I highly recommend!

Love this vest

Went on a family vacation. I purchased a vest as well as my sister , niece and brother n law. Do not snorkel without one of these vests. My nephew borrowed one to use and he said he definitely could tell a difference and would be purchasing one for himself.
I do want to also mention in our family 7 of us own the masks.

Order

I hi received everything lens’s look great can’t wait to use them....

Cool Mask!!

I took it to Hawaii. It didn’t leak at all the whole time. The side corners of the frames almost act like mirrors to see more around the bend behind you (at least I think so). Great field of vision. A little pressure builds up on the face but it’s no different than traditional masks. I grew up snorkeling reefs and this mask was a lot of fun. Not designed for diving down but I still did a few feet and had no problems.

Love this Towel!!

Super awesome towel. Take it with you anywhere with ease. Dries fast and works well as a wrap. I have three of them.