Remember the first time you ever snorkeled? I do, and most of you probably do as well. After my first snorkeling adventure I was hooked. I then made the smart investment in my own snorkeling gear. Experienced snorkelers agree that cheap snorkel gear destroy a well-planned beach vacation & snorkeling trip. Imagine your mask constantly leaking or fogging up while trying to enjoy the beautiful sites that can only be seen under the water.
Please don’t make the mistake of investing your money in the wrong equipment, a leaky mask can ruin your experience altogether because of poor visibility.
The same can be said for a low-quality snorkel. Settling for a model that doesn’t have a one-way valve will leave you gulping mouthfuls of saltwater. Having experienced that once is enough, isn’t it?
The snorkel sets that are carried by the big box chains can’t compete with the quality of gear such as that offered by Cressi in their Palau Snorkel Set. To enjoy your snorkeling experience, a small investment in decent snorkel gear is well worth the investment and will provide many happy memories that will last a lifetime.
We have chosen the 3 highest rated best snorkel sets for you in this article.
Quick Answer: The 3 Best Snorkel Gear Sets
Let’s take a look at our top-rated snorkel gear, and discover which set make the most sense for you to invest in.
Best Snorkel Gear
Snorkel Gear Reviews
Cressi Palau Snorkel Gear Set at a Glance:
- Mask: 2 pane mask with easy release buckle
- Fins: Open-heel, easy to maneuver short fin
- Snorkel: Dry snorkel
- Other: Mesh carry bag
Cressi is a known for their high-quality snorkeling equipment at affordable prices. The Palau snorkeling gear set has everything you need for an exciting snorkeling trip, including a sturdy mesh bag to store all of your snorkeling gear. The mesh bag is a nice feature that is standard with all three of our top rated snorkel gear sets, because you can put your gear in the bag immediately without having to wait for it to dry first.
The snorkel is ergonomically designed with a curve built in. While it may not sound like a big deal, it is. With a typical snorkel you have to bite pretty hard on it so it doesn’t come out of your mouth. After a while your jaw gets tired as you may have experienced in the past!
This 100% dry snorkel comes equipped with a unique anti-splash guard and uses a floating purge and seal valve. You can snorkel with confidence, knowing that even if you dive under the water, you will not get salt water in your mouth! If you have had this happen, you know how unpleasant it is. This is a feature that frankly I wouldn’t own a snorkel that doesn’t have this. There is nothing better than diving down to the bottom of the ocean to take a closer look at a fish or creature that catches your eye.
For this reason, I think this is the best snorkel set for beginners and experienced snorkelers alike.
The high-quality silicone frameless mask provides a secure watertight seal on most faces. The two-window design provides excellent visibility. You can easily adjust the buckles on the straps to get the perfect fit. Once you have the right fit, it is yours and custom to you for many years. Much easier than the hazzle of dealing with rented gear.
The Palau short fins are good choice because they are easy to fit in your fully packed suitcase and have the advantage of being easy to walk around with on the beach or a boat. If you have attempted walking with fins on your feet you can appreciate what we are sharing here.
The short, thin fins allow you to swim without struggling to avoid accidentally kicking the fragile coral or your snorkeling companions. Though longer fins are usually faster, the stiff nature of the Palau fins create a strong thrust without the cumbersome length of longer fins. We found these very comfortable and fast for us.
These open heel fins are extremely comfortable and equipped with a large foot pocket giving them the ability to adjust between three to four different foot sizes. The buckle is easy enough to adjust to get a good fit and releases with a push of the button when you are ready to take them off.
The Cressi Palau Snorkel Set is our top pick and we highly recommend it. You simply can’t go wrong with this set.
U.S. Divers Panoramic Snorkel Set at a Glance:
- Mask: 4 pane mask with tempered glass
- Fins: Open-heel composite fins
- Snorkel: Submersible dry top snorkel
- Other: Gear bagwith carry straps
If you simply want the best set money can buy and looking for a premium quality set of snorkel gear, the US Divers Platinum is just what you want. I have to admit, I was surprised at the mask. It’s very high quality and has a medical grade silicone skirt that provides the best seal possible.
The mask is a 2-pane design that gives excellent visibility, what I really like was the extra side windows that give you peripheral vision to make sure you don’t miss anything.
While I cannot say how well it works if you have a beard but from what I understand it will seal effectively. You just may need to adjust the strap to be a little tighter, but this is the set most highly recommended for those with facial hair.
The ocean was rough when I tested the set, so it was a good test of the snorkel and I will tell you it definitely works. No water got my mouth when a wave splashed over the top of the snorkel, or when I dove down to get a closer look at some ocean creatures on the bottom.
The fins that come with the US Divers snorkel gear set are an open heel design, meaning you secure your foot into the snorkel with a strap that wraps around your heel.
The fins come in two sizes and it has a wide range of adjustability so anyone other than Big Foot should be able to get a good fit.
The buckles on the fins are easy to adjust to get a good fit, they are also a “quick release” design that makes it simple and fast to get the fin off your foot.
A very unique option this set has is an “Action” camera mount for a GoPro or similar camera on the snorkel. The placement is unusual, because normally the camera mount is on the mask.
But after trying it, I actually think the snorkel is a better place to mount it. This is only snorkel set I am aware of that has a mount for your GoPro.
U.S. Divers Panoramic View Platinum Snorkel Set With GoPro Mount
To top off this premium snorkel set is a travel bag that packs up the gear easily and has a shoulder strap for easy transport. It even has an extra storage pocket for your keys, phone etc plus some anti-fog solution for your mask is included.
It’s hard to find anything to dislike about this snorkel set, especially if you want to use your GoPro. I Highly recommended!
Seavenger Snorkel Gear Set at a Glance:
- Mask: Single-lens maskwith tempered glass
- Fins: Open-heel short travel fins
- Snorkel: Dry top snorkel with splash guard
- Other: Mesh carry bag
If you are looking for a durable snorkel set that is made for long-term use, this Seavenger product is one of the best snorkel gear sets on the market.
The frameless mask is made from 100% high-grade silicone for a perfect water-tight seal. The sturdy mask is equipped with a single lens made out of tempered glass.
Seavenger specially designed the lens in a teardrop shape, allow you have your eyes close to the lens giving you a better view of the coral and fish. My wife love this teardrop shaped mask, it is her favorite.
The panoramic viewing ensures that you will not miss a thing while enjoying your snorkeling experience.
The dry snorkel comes equipped with a protective splash guard and highly effective purge valve. Say goodbye to stained jaw muscles from clenching the mouthpiece, due to the superior designed angled mouthpiece and flexible barrel.
I really loved the short trek style fins, they are very easy to walk around in, this is especially nice if you are snorkeling from a boat. And if you enjoy other water sports, such as body boarding, you can get an extra “bang for your buck” with these multi-functional fins.
The vented blades on the fins produce maximum thrust for their size allowing you to quickly and efficiently swim around reducing fatigue.
The open heel fins have a convenient rapid release strap that is also easy to adjust to get a good fit. The foot pocket is surprisingly comfortable for such a budget priced snorkel set.
These fins travel easy in their quick drying gear bag, made from plastic mesh. Not only will you get a great value and a quality set of gear, but you also have the choice of thirteen stylish colors. The Seavenger is the best snorkel set for the money and the one we suggest for families who are investing in multiple sets. You can’t go wrong with this set and each child can choose their own color to avoid the “You’ve got my snorkeling mask disagreements”.
Best way to Pack Snorkel Gear in Your Luggage
If you plan to snorkel more than a couple times when you travel, it’s worth the luggage space to bring your own gear. You can find the best travel luggage here
After you have your own snorkel gear nothing else can quite measure up. So packing can be a little bit of a hazzle, but the money you will save renting gear, and the comfort of having your own gear is something that makes sense for most people.
I asked several of my most experienced snorkeling friend and travelers and combined that with my personal experiences to uncover space-saving snorkel gear packing tips and hints for getting your gear to your destination in functional working order so you are ready to hit the ocean when you arrive at your destination.
Here are the Top 7 Tips for how to pack your snorkel gear when your travel.
They may seem like common sense if you are an experienced snorkeler who travels frequently, however if your new following these snorkeling travel tips should serve you well for many years in the future.
- If you have a mask with your prescription in the lens, be sure to pack it in your carry-on bag. You don’t want to lose your mask, and not be able to enjoy your snorkeling adventures.
- Pack you mask in the center of your case wrapped in Tee Shirts to prevent your lens from getting scratched.
- After you have packed your suitcase, lay your fins across the top. They will serve well as an extra layer of protection for all your packed items.
- If you’re traveling with a duffel bag, make a protective frame using your fins and shoes. Put your shoes on each end of the bag with the soles facing out and the fins on each side.
- Stuff your mask and fins. Make room by stuffing socks and small items in your mask and in the foot pockets of fins. Travel snorkels made of soft silicone can roll up and tuck inside tiny spaces. By doing this your snorkel gear really doesn’t take up as much space as you might first expect.
- A mesh bag with a shoulder strap takes up hardly any space and is all you need for toting snorkel gear once you’re at your destination. It can double as a bag for groceries or the kids’ sand toys. If you are conserving space packing your equipment in the mesh bag is not necessary and not the way to maximize space.
- Before packing up to return home, rinse your snorkel gear in fresh water and allow it to dry completely. You’ll prevent mold and stench as well as prolong the life of your snorkel gear. (Don’t neglect the step, or you will be sorry)
10 Florida Snorkeling Hot Spots for Snorkeling
From the Emerald Coast to the turquoise waters of the Palm Beaches and beyond, Florida’s more than 1,000 miles of coastline have some of the best snorkeling around. Whether you want to bask in soothing water, find sharks’ teeth, or come face to face with tropical fish and stingrays, these are 10 of the best places for you to enjoy snorkeling in Florida.
Bathtub Reef Beach, Stuart Florida
Family-friendly and scenic, Bathtub Reef Beach is located at the northern tip of Hutchison Island in Martin County. The beach gets its name from the water’s bathtub-calm conditions created by the reef system just off the shore. The reef hosts a variety of sea life, including endangered sea turtles.
Cannon Beach, Key Largo
For lovers of Florida history and shipwrecks, Cannon Beach at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a must-see. It’s one of the most fun ways to view artifacts of centuries-old shipwrecks, which are submerged in Cannon Beach’s calm and shallow waters. This is a popular spot for families to swim with small children. If you have not experienced Cannon Beach snorkeling, put this spot on your bucket list.
Phil Foster Park, Jupiter Florida
Wildlife abounds under the water’s surface at Phil Foster Park in Palm Beach County, which has a snorkeling trail 200 feet off Phil Foster Beach that attracts underwater photographers, divers, and snorkelers alike every summer. The trail spans two acres and is full of tropical fish and marine animals. It has been reported that more than 300 species have been observed at this popular location.
Red Reef Park, Boca Raton
Situated off scenic A1A highway between South Beach Park and Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Red Reef Beach boasts an artificial reef where snorkelers can see a variety of tropical fish upon entering the water. This is a wonderful snorkeling spot for young kids and first time snorkelers. The reef is shallow, so plan your snorkel trip around high tide.
Venice Beach, Venice Florida
Venice Beach Florida has been called the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World,” The beautiful turquoise waters of Venice Beach are a paradise for shark-tooth hunters who can snorkel for those treasures along the shore. This is the perfect beach for a family outing. Lifeguards, free parking, food concessions, and other amenities make Venice an ideal spot to spend a day at the beach.
St. Andrews State Park Jetty, Panama City Beach
Snorkel northwest Florida’s St. Andrews State Park to see why the Panhandle is called the Emerald Coast. A rock jetty forms a lagoon protected from the Gulf of Mexico that’s easy to snorkel and flanked by a white-sand beach—a perfect way for beginners and families with children to escape the heat and enjoy a day or snorkeling.
Coral Cove Park, Tequesta
Coral Cove Park is known for its rock formations. A popular beach destination in southeast Florida. On a calm day, you could mistake the waters off this beach for the Caribbean, with its clarity and countless species of marine animals, including rays, tropical fish, and seahorses.
Regina Sugar Barge, Anna Maria Island
For more experienced snorkelers and divers, the Regina Sugar Barge wreck on Anna Maria Island has a lot to explore. The wreckage of the barge that sunk in 1940 spans a length of 200 feet, rests in 20 feet water, and is only 150 feet from the beach. If you are an experienced snorkeler and you haven’t seen the Regina Sugar Barge wreck, put this location on your bucket list.
Peanut Island Park, Riviera Beach
There’s no land access to the island, so a boat ride or water taxi is required. A enjoyable island getaway and snorkeling trip together that’s Peanut Island at Riviera Beach..
It’s well worth the effort to see the clear, blue-green waters of this popular snorkeling and paddling spot. This popular snorkeling spot features Tropical fish galore and other sea creatures for your viewing enjoyment.
Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, Dania Beach
Nurse sharks, spiny lobsters, and an array of tropical fish are just some of the specials snorkelers can spot at Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park in Dania Beach. The 2.5-mile stretch of beach offers easy snorkeling and diving from shore. An ideal location for family snorkeling trips.