Snorkeling snorkeling tips

Full Face vs. Traditional Snorkel Mask


Snorkeling is a popular activity that allows people to explore the underwater world without having to scuba dive. When it comes to snorkeling gear, there are two main options: the traditional snorkel mask and the full face snorkel mask.

Each has its pros and cons, and deciding which one to use depends on personal preference and individual needs.

Traditional snorkel masks

Traditional snorkel masks have been around for decades and are the most commonly used type of snorkeling gear. They consist of a mask that covers the eyes and nose, and a separate snorkel that extends above the water’s surface to allow the snorkeler to breathe.

Traditional masks have a few advantages over full face masks. They are generally less expensive, easier to fit, and allow for a wider range of movement while snorkeling. Traditional masks are also available in a variety of styles and sizes, making it easy to find one that fits your face comfortably.

However, traditional snorkel masks have a few drawbacks as well. They can be uncomfortable for some people, as they can create pressure points on the face and can cause leaks if not properly fitted.

Additionally, the separate snorkel can be cumbersome and may get in the way while swimming, which can be a nuisance for some snorkelers.

Full face snorkel masks

Full face snorkel masks are a newer option and have become increasingly popular in recent years. These masks cover the entire face, including the nose and mouth, and have a built-in snorkel that extends up from the mask.

The biggest advantage of full face snorkel masks is that they offer a 180-degree view of the underwater world. They also provide a more natural breathing experience, as the snorkeler can breathe through their nose and mouth, just as they would on land.

However, full face snorkel masks also have some potential drawbacks. They are generally more expensive than traditional masks, and can be more difficult to fit properly due to the full-face coverage.

Some users have reported feeling claustrophobic or experiencing discomfort while wearing a full face mask, as they can create a feeling of trapped air or heat. Additionally, the built-in snorkel can sometimes lead to carbon dioxide buildup, which can be dangerous if not addressed.


Overall, the decision between a traditional snorkel mask and a full face snorkel mask comes down to personal preference and individual needs. Those who prioritize a wider range of movement and ease of use may prefer a traditional mask, while those who want a more immersive underwater experience may prefer a full face mask.

Whichever option you choose, it’s important to make sure that your mask fits properly and is comfortable to wear, as this will ensure a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience.