The Best Snorkel Set For Adults And Kids: Things To Know About


So, should you buy a snorkel set or is it better to grab your gear separately? A question I can’t answer in under a minute. What I can do however, is provide the main characteristics for you to check out.

If you stick with me for just a moment, you’ll soon understand the basics and whether or not to go for a set. I’ll share a few quality sets later on in this article, for both adults and children.

Why Buy A Snorkel Set?

Newbies & Pricing

The main advantage of a snorkel set is value for your money. Buying gear separately is often more expensive (I’ll do the math further down below), especially if you’re looking for quality brands. Therefore, if you’re totally new to snorkeling, you might want to start with a limited budget and experience if you actually like it. For newbies I always advise to read my renting vs buying snorkel gear article, because renting for the day is way cheaper than grabbing a set immediately.

Kids

Kids grow up so fast, that almost every year you’ll end up buying new gear as their heads and feet become bigger. Ok, maybe not every year, but you get my point. I shared loads of information about all kinds of snorkel gear for children in my article called snorkeling with kids, even snorkel sets that are relatively inexpensive. If budget plays a role, it might be a good idea to go for a set.

Quality

If you do a little research you’ll soon figure out that snorkel sets can be of great quality these days. Sure, some inexpensive ones could last for a limited amount of time, but a decent brand with decent quality is definitely one of your options. It’s not always “expensive is better”, I’m just saying that many sets are of high quality. I’ll cover fabrics further down below.

What To Look For When Buying A Snorkel Set

The Mask

I’d say, go for tempered (also known as toughened) glass lenses. Things could become tricky when we think about the seal of a mask. If possible, check out if there’s a so called “double layered skirt”. This will increase your chances of finding that perfect seal to your face. Talking about the seal/fabric, try to find a hypoallergenic silicone. Silicone is very durable, which is extremely important for a long lasting strap. Silicone is also very flexible, which adds to the comfort on your head.

Most snorkel sets come with a “traditional” mask. However, these days the so called “full face snorkel masks” seem to be a rapidly evolving industry. If you’re in doubt, I highly recommend you read my article (the one I just linked to) because these masks come with their own pros and cons (and even risks). I would never advise one for newbies or for kids.

The Snorkel

Snorkels may all seem pretty much the same, but that’s definitely not the case. I dedicated an entire article about snorkel purge valves, which contribute to less (or no) water entering your mouth. In the end, snorkeling is all about fun and relaxation. A so called “dry top” with a “splash guard” are meant to prevent water from entering the top of the snorkel. Try to go for these qualities in order to increase your chances of full enjoyment. Again, a silicone fit is the way to go in my opinion for the same reasons I mentioned with the mask.

The Fins

This is a link to my snorkel fins review where I explain all the types with their pros and cons. Of course, snorkeling is possible without fins. However, fins contribute to the fun big time! That’s why I’d go for a set with fins. They’re usually adjustable, which is especially handy for growing kids. A so called “open heel” allows you to enter your fins easily. Try to find a foot pocket made of comfortable rubber and all should be fine. Remember, comfort is a key element when snorkeling.

Quality / Fabric

I mentioned fabrics a few times already, but they can really be a big deal. For both comfort and durability there’s nothing wrong with silicone as it stretches and therefore seals as good as possible. If you’re able to try on your gear, that’s obviously the best way to go. If you order something online, there’s always a big question mark as to how it’ll all fit eventually. I’m not a big fan of ordering online, but when it comes to a low budget set, yeah I totally understand why.

Size & Weight

Always consider transportation. Will your gear fit your suitcase or snorkel backpack? Are there limitations on luggage weight? One helpful article I once wrote is called “Can you bring snorkel gear on a plane?“. You’ll find some helpful information, even on hand luggage. Anyway, especially fins vary in sizes (and therefore weight). For recreational snorkeling in calm and shallow water, small fins should be more than enough. Why carry large ones with all the hassles if you don’t even need them?

Price

Cheap snorkel sets for kids are available for as low as 10 bucks. Nope, I would definitely not go for those, I’m just trying to explain something here. If you look at a decent snorkel mask by Cressi for example, prices start at around 40 bucks. A decent snorkel by the same brand starts at 30 bucks, and small open heel fins are around 25 bucks. That’s a total of almost 100 bucks.

Now, if we look at a Cressi snorkel set that comes with all the characteristics I mentioned in this article, you’ll end up paying somewhere between 60 and 70 bucks (depending on your size). In other words, why buy all your gear separately if you only want to snorkel once or twice on your next holiday. A set is way cheaper, and pretty much the same. You might even get a mesh bag with it.

Which Set Ticks My Boxes?

Adults

If you’re able to spend 60-70 bucks, the “Cressi Bonete Pro Dry Set” is definitely worth to read more about. This set ticks all my boxes, and hey, it’s made by Cressi. One of the leading brands in snorkel and scuba gear. I’ll add some pictures so you get an idea of why this set corresponds with the things I already explained. Sure, the amount of available sets is almost endless, and it’s definitely important that you choose wisely. It’s my goal to share the basics so you can start your journey from there.

snorkel set cressi adults

All necessary information and latest prices can be found here (this links to Amazon in a new window).

Kids

It can be hard to decide whether or not your kid “needs” snorkel fins. It’s probably a matter of age as well. Fins aren’t always comfortable when kids are young, especially when they’re still discovering the underwater world whilst walking in a shallow pool. Once they get older and master their swimming skills, yeah, fins can enhance their excitement. Quite obviously, a parent needs to control and assist a kid when snorkeling. Never leave them out of your possession for a single second. That being said, I myself ended up with a set for my daughter without fins. I always held her hand and carried her around. I’ll link to this set below, and if I’m not mistaken, it’s meant for kids up to 10 years of age. If you prefer a set with fins, I’ll link to that as well.

Without Fins

For around 25 bucks, this is the set we got by Wacool.

snorkel set wacool kids

All necessary information and latest prices can be found here (this links to Amazon in a new window).

With Fins

For around 50 bucks, this Cressi Junior set comes with fins for kids.

snorkel set cressi kids

All necessary information and latest prices can be found here (this links to Amazon in a new window).

Final Thoughts

There’s no “best snorkel set” out there. However, in this article I did my best to give you a few basic characteristics of what to look for. Tempered glass, hypoallergenic silicone, rubber foot pockets…you get my point by now. And once again: Comfort is a big part of an enjoyable snorkel adventure.

One Last Thing

I just wanted to touch on one topic real quick, which is underwater photography and filming. For anyone not aware, before making any purchase, keep in mind that there are snorkel masks that come with an attachment for cameras like GoPro’s. I have a separate article called “The giant guide for snorkeling with a GoPro” with loads of information, tips, tricks and gear. Always good to know your options.

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