Best Snorkel Gear for Beginners and Pros

Having the best snorkel gear can make all the difference to your snorkeling trip. It will make you more comfortable in the water and it might even save your life.

Best Snorkel Gear

We’re crazy about snorkeling! Having snorkeled some of the worlds most challenging and best snorkeling destinations, we know first hand that buying or renting snorkel gear in remote places can be very limiting – nothing ever quite fits and hygiene is another topic entirely.

Whether you’re a snorkeling beginner or a seasoned professional, our essential packing list for snorkelers will help make your trip a more enjoyable experience.

All the snorkeling gear we recommend has been thoroughly tested in many different conditions by our highly experienced snorkelers and freedivers.

1. Snorkel Mask

The most important item on your list should be a well fitted mask. Don’t learn the importance of a well fitting snorkel mask the hard way, there's nothing worse than a leaky one, so make triple sure to get one that fits your face like a second skin.

Scubapro Synergy Twin Trufit Mask with Silver and Black seal

Best for pros
Scubapro Synergy Twin Trufit

For pros – a dive mask which is low-volume and has a black opaque silicone seal is the way to go. A low-volume mask will make free-diving equalisation easier whilst the opaque seal will remove glare and help focus.

We’ve tested many different masks, and many of us agree that the Synergy Twin Trufit by Scubapro provides an excellent seal. This low-volume mask has been one of the most comfortable we’ve ever worn, thanks to its unique ribbing, and combination of thick and thinner silicone contouring.

Additional features which we like are the quick-release buckles that make adjusting, removing or swopping out straps a breeze.

Buy now: Amazon

Size view of the EXP Panoramic 3 Lens Mask in black

Best for beginners
EXP Panoramic 3

For beginners, we would recommend a dive mask that prioritizes seal and clear unimpeded views.

Although full face masks are becoming increasingly popular with new snorkelers. We would suggest you avoid these as they can cause breathing difficulties under exertion, are prone to fogging and do not allow for free-diving.

Instead opt for a traditional dive mask and separate snorkel. The EXP Panoramic 3 Lens Mask allows for 180 degree views, which are great for newbies. It also comes with a 100% soft silicone skirt - cheap masks are often made with plastic skirts, so for the price this mask is incredibly good value.

Buy now: Amazon

2. Snorkel

Snorkels may appear similar to someone with little knowledge, but there are several different types: wet snorkels, semi-dry snorkels, dry snorkels, flexible and full face snorkels. Each of these types have various styles, sizes, hardness and features that will make a better choice for certain skillsets and activities.

Black Flexible Wet Corsica Snorkel by Cressi

Best for pros
Cressi Corsica Snorkel

For very experienced snorkelers, a J-type snorkel (wet snorkel) that is lightweight, with medium flex, and an average tube height will minimise drag underwater and be very reliable.

We recommend the Cressi Corsica Snorkel. It’s an excellent choice for pros who are comfortable freediving – being rigid enough that it doesn’t deform under their mask strap and soft enough that it can bend easily in the water.

This highly popular snorkel by cressi also has the perfect tube diameter, making both breathing and clearing super easy.

Buy now: Amazon

Black & White Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkel by Cressi

Best for beginners
Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkel

For newbies we recommend a dry snorkel - A dry snorkel is designed to keep water from entering the breathing tube when submerged. These tend to be more expensive than wet or semi-dry snorkels, but will help prevent you chocking on a mouthful of saltwater if you panic.

The Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkel by Cressi has many features that help with beginner snorkels; a purge valve that enables instant clearing, a flexible tube that reduces jaw fatigue, a float valve located near the top opening which closes when submerged, and a splash guard on the top that will help filter out any water offering good wave protection.

Buy now: Amazon

3. Fins

Second to the mask and snorkel, fins are the next most important item on the list of snorkel gear to buy. There are a huge variety for types to chose from that can make narrowing down the best pair of fins for your needs difficult.

Things that should be considered are leg strength, water temperature, and whether you’re primarily beach snorkeling or off-shore snorkeling from a boat.

Either way, you will want the best pair of fins suitable, so you can fight through the current and keep up with all those beautiful fish!

White Open-Heel Avanti Quattro Plus Fins by Mares

Best for pros
Mares Avanti Quattro Plus

It’s a tough decision, but for pros, who could only have one pair of fins, we would recommend an open-heel type fin. Although slightly heavier and require more energy, they are the best choice for varied snorkeling conditions, especially if you have to walk across rocks or dead coral to access your snorkeling entry point.

We use the highly rated Mares Avanti Quattro Plus for all our snorkel trips, they are incredibly versatile and well designed for handling strong currents. The bungee cord makes them a cinch to put on and take off, even with one hand.

Buy now: Amazon

White Full-Foot Superchannel Fins by Mares

Best for beginners
Mares Avanti Superchannel

The majority of casual snorkelers will be swimming in warm, tropical water, making full-foot fins the better choice.

Otherwise known as closed-heel fins, full-foot fins have a flexible foot pocket which encompasses your entire foot. They weigh less and create less drag than open-heel fins, making kicking easier and more efficient.

The Mares Avanti Superchannel full-foot fins are the perfect blend of power and efficiency. These solid all around fins have three deep channels that will help propel you through the water with ease.

Buy now: Amazon

4. UV Protection

Beginner snorkelers often vastly underestimate the power of the sun, a common mistake that can ruin a snorkel holiday.

UV Protection, such as rash guards, wetsuits, hoods and booties will protect you from the suns harmful rays. They keep you warm and protect you from coral and jellyfish stings, and are an environmentally-friendly option compared to wearing sunscreen. If you must use sunscreen, opt for a brand that offers reef-safe sunscreens.

For tropical snorkel trips we recommend having a variety of options that you can wear depending on the situation. Having extra layers will help keep you warm after long periods in the water, when your body will naturally require more insulation.

Men's Basic Skins Rash Guard by O’neil

Best rash guards
O’neil Basic Skins

Whilst snorkeling, we highly recommend you wear at least a rash guard. Your back can burn incredible fast as the majority of your time will be spent lying horizontally, face down.

Basic Skins by O’neil offers UPF 50+ Ultraviolet Protection with minimal seam placement for irritation prevention. These are made from a lightweight and durable stretchable fabric and should fit tightly on your skin. Definitely go with the long sleeve option for full coverage.

Buy now: Amazon (Women's)
Buy now: Amazon (Men's)

Men's and Women's Black Water Leggings by Ubestyle

Best snorkel leggings
Ubestyle Water Leggings

Most beginners often forget to cover their lower half, but stings or scratches from coral or rocks can really have an impact on your snorkel excursion.

These Ubestyle water leggings are perfect for protecting your lower body. Like rash guards they can be worn on their own or underneath a wetsuit for additional warmth. Lightweight, durable, quick drying and offer a UPF 50+ rating against UV rays.

Buy now: Amazon (Women's)
Buy now: Amazon (Men's)

Men's and Women's Black Cressi Skin Snorkel Fullsuit

Best snorkel fullsuit
Cressi Fullsuit Skin

Snorkeling with a one-piece fullsuit reduces drag by naturally conforming to your body, and can easily be layered with rash guards and leggings for extra warmth.

We recommend this Cressi fullsuit skin for full body coverage. Made from 1 mm nylon material, a thin, flexible and durable material that is effortless and perfect for tropical snorkeling.

Buy now: Amazon

Black 3 mm neoprene snorkel hood by ZCCO

Best head protection
ZCCO Snorkel Hood

The back of your neck, scalp and forehead are prone to burning whilst snorkeling. Jellyfish stings can be particularly painful on the cheeks and neck area too. A snorkel hood solves these issues and has the added benefit of making it easier to slide a mask strap over your head.

The head is also one of the areas of skin that loses heat most quickly. This 3 mm neoprene ZCCO snorkel hood, not only offers head protection but also brings great warmth and comfort to your head underwater.

Buy now: Amazon

5. Booties

Booties or reef shoes are NOT shoes to help you walk on the reef. The reef should never be walked on! Botties instead are used with open-heal fins, they keep your feet warm and also help protect your feet from sharp rocks or sharp objects in the sand.

We’ve watched many people struggle to get out to sea without reef shoes, and it looks painful! Hence why we never go snorkeling without them.

Black 2 mm Neoprene Equator Boots by Mares

Our pick
Mares Equator Boots

These 2 mm neoprene Mares Equator Boots are thin and flexible enough to work properly inside a fin, yet the soles are robust enough to protect your feet when walking along the shore.

Buy now: Amazon

6. Fin Socks

Full-foot fins are worn without booties, and often with just bare feet. Wearing dive socks helps reduce friction and can offer some foot protection when you take your fins off on the shore.

Gray Neoprene Water Socks by Cressi

Our pick
Cressi Neoprene Water Socks

We love these Cressi neoprene water socks, they are ideal for long snorkeling sessions, and perfect with full foot pocket fins. Made from stretchy 1.5 mm neoprene, they feature a very useful non-slip and anti-wear sole.

Buy now: Amazon

7. Mesh Bag

Mesh bags are the perfect container for transporting your snorkeling gear to the snorkel site. They are big, light, foldable and they’ll drain really easily, helping to dry out your equipment, towels and clothes once you’re finished as well.

After your snorkel, simply rinse your gear while still-in-the-bag.The mesh material allows air to circulate, so no more smelly gear!

Foldable Mesh Duffle Bag by Cressi

Our pick
Cressi Foldable Mesh Duffle Bag

Rather than taking multiple bags we recommend keeping it simple with a mesh bag, big enough to carry all of your snorkel gear.

We use this Cressi mesh bag, it’s long enough to fit even free-diving fins, and spacious enough to also carry our booties, diving skin suit, dive mask, snorkel, towels, water and underwater camera equipment, with plenty of space leftover.

Buy now: Amazon

8. Dry Bag

Weather and sea conditions can be unpredictable forces of nature in the tropics, it often rains unexpectedly and boat journeys can get rough. If this happens, then your precious things are going to get wet.

If you’re transporting items, such as, an underwater camera, phone, wallet, keys, first aid kit etc to your snorkel site, a dry bag could save you a small fortune.

Black Waterproof Backpack by Earth Pak

Our pick
Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack

These heavy duty backpacks by Earth Pak haven’t let us down yet. With an IP68 certified waterproof rating, were comfortable knowing that our valuable are well protected.

Additional features include a cushioned padded back and strap for comfort and an external access pockets to easily access items without having to unroll the top. Hidden internal pockets also help tuck away the most valuable items.

Buy now: Amazon

9. Waterproof Phone Case

Ditto all of the above re a waterproof phone case. If you are out on a boat trip then there is a good chance you might catch a wave. There are tons of these on the market online, and are a very inexpensive way to protect your very mobile phone.

Pair of Black Waterproof Phone Pouch by Pelican with luminous lanyard

Our pick
Pelican Marine Phone Pouch

We haven’t regretted using this Pelican waterproof case and have even taken it underwater with us whilst snorkeling. It has a certified IP68 waterproof rating and comes with a handy detachable lanyard strap.

A bonus feature of this pouch is the built in air cushions which will float your phone, making it much easier to retrieve.

Buy now: Amazon

10. Microfibre Towel

It is very handy to take a small microfibre travel towel with you on snorkel day trips. Catching a cold or ear infection on the boat is a possibility, especially if your body or ears are still wet from snorkeling.

Microfibre towels dries 3x faster than fluffy towels, they are also more absorbent, thin, sand-proof and take up much less space.

Octopus design Microfiber Towel by OCOOPA

Our pick
OCOOPA Diveblues Towel

Many microfiber towels look the same, that’s why we love these vibrant ocean inspired towels by OCOOPA.

Their gorgeous designs include, sharks, turtles, and octopus species. Available in different sizes to fulfil your needs, and are neatly packed away in a provided string bag.

Buy now: Amazon

11. Ear Infection Prevention

There are numerous health benefits of snorkeling but it’s also true that frequent exposure to water creates a high chance of ear infections occurring. Swimmer’s ear (also known as otitis externa) is a bacterial infection typically caused by water that has softened the ear canals skin lining.

Swimmer’s ear causes itching, pain, redness, discharge and deafness, and can take two weeks to clear up. Snorkelers in tropical water are at higher risk of external ear infections so if you’re planning on spending a lot of time in the water, be prepared.

Ear Drops by Swim Seal

Our pick
Swim Seal Ear Drops

Don’t let an ear problem ruin your snorkel trip, simply apply 2-3 drops of Swim Seal to each ear snorkeling. These ear drops will line the ear canal with a waterproof coating preventing water becoming trapped before your snorkel.

Unlike alcohol drops, Swim Seal will not burn, sting, irritate or damage the delicate skin inside your ears. Each bottle is good for 100 snorkel sessions

Buy now: Amazon

Express your passion for snorkeling

Now you have everything ready for an epic snorkeling trip, we would love to share some of our favourite gift ideas for ocean lovers with you.

Best Gift Ideas for Ocean Lovers

Discover the allure of the sea with our ocean jewelry and gifts at Citrus Reef. Capture crashing tides with exquisite wave rings and embark on nautical adventures with stylish anchor bracelets. Each purchase supports our heartfelt cause: protecting coral reefs.

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