Free Shipping on orders over $25

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 Ultimate Women's Ski Wear Guide

August 12, 2021

Look no further for the info you need before purchasing your women’s ski wear. Wildhorn’s ultimate guide lists everything you need for a great day on the slopes!

Read More

Key Differences Between Ski and Snowboard Pants

August 12, 2021

Ski pants or snowboard pants? There are a few key differences between the two. Learn about them here and decide which works best for your snow days!

Read More

4 Step Guide to Proper Snow Goggle Care

July 21, 2021

Read More

★ Judge.me Reviews

Let customers speak for us

2663 reviews
85%
(2270)
10%
(269)
3%
(81)
1%
(24)
1%
(19)
Drift helmet is great!

I have the Crimson helmet, great ventilation system, easy hookup for sound as well, love the color! (lots of color options)

Didn’t Last Long

It was good while it lasted. Liked the chair. Emailed the company about this issue and no response. Just send me a new seat, not the whole deal man…Bought on Amazon.

Snorkeling Vest - Palawan

Love it!

Drift Helmet is great!

This helmet is lightweight with good adjustable ventilation system with built in ear speaker capability. Purchased speakers slip right in ear slots... no hassles! not to mention, great selection of colors!

Good mask. Challenge fit

I really like the mask. Unfortunately I have a smallish adult head face and even with measuring it was hard to get a perfect fit. I measured at the medium but it had just a small trickle at the forehead even with tightening so I ordered the smaller size and it is slight small. I suspect I just have that unique face shape and small head size. I’m still practicing with the masks in the swimming pool to decide which one I’m going to take in my trip. I will definitely use it even with imperfect fit I can see well and the trickle is just minimal and doesn’t really interfere with seeing or breathing. I bought one for my daughter and she hasn’t had a chance to try it out yet. I suspect it will fit her better. We are excited to use them on our trip

x