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Snorkeling Gear For Your Family: What Are The Top Brands?

full face snorkel maskWelcome to our snorkeling gear and other water sports reviews site. We provide you with a trusted and accessible source for popular snorkeling gear and give you our unbiased reviews on the best gear available for you and your family.

We focus on the good affordable brands but will also give you an overview of the not-so-good brands plus touch on some of the overpriced ones too. We hope that reading our product reviews and information articles will help you make the right decision when buying your next lot of equipment.

Fortunately, with our comprehensive reviews, you won’t have to bounce around from site to site. This will help you cut through all the trial and error of trying to figure out which are the best products and what is the easiest way to compare them.

Of course, it’s no surprise that there are many designs and brands of gear for you to choose from. This can be confusing if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. Here you’ll find in-depth reviews of the top brands and models that we recommend.

From our research we’ve found that the latest innovative technology in snorkeling is the full-face snorkeling mask. This allows thousands of enthusiastic snorkelers to experience 180° views and easy natural breathing. In fact, it’s just like breathing on land. Checkout our in-depth review on the full-face snorkel here.

We also review the top brands and models of the U.S. Divers and Cressi snorkel sets. Plus if your children love snorkeling, check out the kids snorkeling sets and which packages are the most popular.

For those who like a little more adventure, we also have comprehensive reviews on inflatable kayaks and stand up paddle boards as well as sea scooters and dive computer watches. So as you can see, all you’ll ever need to know about snorkeling and other water adventure gear can be found right here on our site.

Snorkeling For Fun And Adventure

Snorkeling is a great way for your family to spend time together and have amazing experiences, all with little to no equipment. This offers an easy, spur of the moment activity while you’re anywhere near water either at home, on vacation or planing your next snorkeling adventure.

The experience of exploring beautiful underwater environments and watching the serene life of the most fascinating aquatic creatures while floating in a weightless dream like world, is what draws so many people to this enthralling hobby again and again.

Many underwater enthusiasts prefer snorkeling to scuba diving. Snorkeling is far less intrusive when you’re observing the aquatic surroundings which can lead to a more intimate encounter with the abundant sea creatures and their habitat.

Here is a preview of some of our product reviews which compare the top brands of snorkeling and other water adventure gear. We’ve listed their performance, strong and weak points, design, pros and cons and price parameters plus where you can buy them.

The Attraction Of Snorkeling

Even the most pristine and beautiful areas will provide a less-than-fun experience if you have ill-fitting snorkeling gear. The traditional design of mask and snorkel consisting of a face and nose mask with a mouth grip has always been the industry standard.

There has been no new or different thinking or innovation applied to the design of snorkeling gear until just recently.

Only a short time ago, a handful of designers and innovators set out to change the way we snorkel. By knowing the recreational sport first hand and listening to other avid snorkelers, the designers at Tribord wanted to change the norm of the standard retro-style ill-fitting snorkeling masks.

The old designs are both hard to put on and make it difficult to get a proper seal without being too tight. Also if the mask fogs up, it’s quite often necessary to remove it and clean it plus some snorkelers even believe that spitting on the lens will work to stop it from fogging up.

Tribord Designers And Innovators

The designers at Tribord decided that there must be a better solution to the standard snorkeling mask widely available on the market. So what was their idea?

They came up with the idea of a full face mask that is not only easy to put on but will provide the best possible snorkeling experience as well. The second criteria for their new design was to provide ease of breathing for kids, adults, novices and experienced snorkelers. A third factor they considered was to provide a wider viewing range with no blind spots like there are in standard mask designs.

Two other important criteria for the designers was to provide a more stress-free experience and to make the mask self-clearing of water. They also decided that the mask needed a snorkel top which was highly visible and also eliminated the fear of breathing in water if submerged or used in choppy water.

Snorkeling And Scuba Diving

Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) dive gear is similar to snorkeling gear in principle and in that it can provide an unforgettable experience. But unlike scuba, snorkeling provides a more laid back interaction with the underwater surroundings.

However, to have a fun and enjoyable experience, some snorkeling training is a good idea since most of us have learned just by doing. Obviously if it is a disappointing experience for you, you may not be willing to try it again.

Before you can scuba dive you have to receive training, get certified and know how to dive safely. Ironically, few that snorkel have received any formal training. It is more of a learn-as-you-go type of experience and usually involves using older rented equipment on your first try. This can be problematic and possibly an experience that you may not want to repeat.

The Right Gear For Snorkeling

Great gear is essential as is learning how to use it and getting the correct fit for your individual face size and structure. One size does not fit all, so knowing how to size the mask and snorkel and what to look for will help to provide you with the best experience possible.

Having the right gear is first and foremost the most important aspect of a happy and enjoyable snorkeling experience. If you have spent any time at all in the water, you will certainly understand that statement. So the question is how to find the right gear for your needs, where to start and how to know what type of design will work best for you.

Throughout recent history, many different designs have come and gone. The best and most enduring apparatus over the years was a mask and a separate snorkel that is held in the mouth by clenching it between the teeth.

This was the only design available but caused many to dislike the snorkeling experience because the act of breathing through the mouth is not natural or comfortable. It can cause exhaustion more quickly by making you breathe unnaturally and possibly more rapidly because of anxiety or uncertainty.

The most comfortable and natural way to breath is through the nose and mouth. This was impossible to do because of the design of the mask and separate snorkel. Many do not like the uncertain feeling, especially the possibility of sucking in a snorkel full of water into their lungs. Although some snorkels do have a floating ball or a slightly angled snorkel shaft to keep most of the water out.

snorkeling set

However the safest way to ensure that your snorkel is water free in case of choppy water or unknowingly diving too deep, is to reserve enough air in your lungs to blow through the snorkel and clear it of any trapped water.

This can be a rather unnerving idea, especially for kids or beginners learning to snorkel. And this is especially true for people who don’t have a large lung capacity. So what is the alternative? Is there any other technology available that takes all of this into account?

What Is The Latest Technology In Snorkeling Masks?

In response to these problems, Tribord has designed a new kind of mask. It’s called the Tribord Easybreath snorkeling full-face mask and it has made snorkeling so much more relaxing and fun.

This technology is the answer to conventional masks which were never perfect but offered no other choice for snorkelers. The Tribord Easybreath mask is a full face mask which means that it covers your entire face. The great part of this design is that you can easily breathe through your nose and mouth.

Another feature of the the Tribord Easybreath is that the snorkel is part of the mask as well. This means that there’s no separate snorkel to clench between your teeth. This provides a much more relaxing experience and some people have compared it to the serene experience you get by watching fish and aquatic life in an aquarium.

The 180-degree view allows for a beautiful natural observation of the environment below the waves. You’ll experience no claustrophobic feeling such as you would with a mask that only has a forward field of vision. Many times traditional masks can impair your vision on either sides which may cause a little anxiety for those of us that deal with claustrophobia.

In all the reviews and questions we read regarding the Tribord Easybreath, most people agreed that they had the best and most pleasurable experience with this innovative full face technology.

The Tribord Easybreath provides a panic free experience for all ages and levels of experience.

Kids Snorkel Sets

There are hundreds if not thousands of snorkel sets available for kids, ranging from the cheap sets purchased at big box stores (meant for swimming pools or bathtubs) to more professional gear sold at sporting goods stores.

It is not only important to get a proper fitted snorkeling set for your kids to ensure a lifelong love of snorkeling but also to teach them the proper way to breath and submerge with confidence.

Once panic enters the equation in a child’s experience, it is hard to gain their trust again and assure them of a good underwater adventure. Unfortunately this fear can last into adulthood and affect any future willingness to try any type of water sports.

snorkeling set for kids

Sea Scooters For Kids And Adults

If you enjoy scuba diving or snorkeling, you’ve undoubtedly come across someone using a sea scooter for these activities. Sea scooters help to propel you along underwater or just below the surface so that you can conserve air and energy by not having to constantly kick yourself along.

Using a sea scooter means that you can snorkel or dive for longer periods as you won’t get as tired and you’ll be using less oxygen as well. In our review we look at 3 different sea scooters in three price ranges to give you the absolute best pick of all the different models available for kids and adults.

We also highlight which sea scooters are ideal for kids to use in the backyard swimming pool and which ones are meant for more serious divers. And to make things even easier, we also give you a handy comparison chart so that you can choose exactly the right sea scooter for your needs.

And if you have a need for speed, we’ll let you know which are the fastest sea scooters as well. This is especially important if you want to get to your dive site quickly so that you can spend more time exploring the underwater world.

Cressi Dive Computer Watches

If you’re serious about scuba diving, you’ll eventually need a good dive watch to not only keep track of time but also how deep you’re going and how much air you have left in your oxygen tanks.

There are many types of dive watches available on the market but we believe that the computer dive watches are the best to use because they can help you to map out your entire dive and prevent you from going too deep in case you get carried away by all the wonder around you.

In our review article we look at two models of computer dive watches made by Cressi. We give you the best features of each one, the pros and cons and also how to use them.

cressi leonardo computer dive watch

Other Equipment For Fun Water Activities

Spending time in the water need not be reserved just for snorkeling or scuba diving. There are many other types of fun water activities that you can do with your family or on your own. Water sports such as kayaking and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) require very little equipment and are both enjoyable and great exercise.

To make it easier for you to choose the right equipment for your needs, we’ve written some in-depth reviews on both inflatable kayaks and inflatable stand up paddle boards.

Inflatable Kayaks

Traditionally kayaking was reserved for enthusiasts, athletes and college sports carnivals. The reason for this was that you needed a vehicle which could transport a rigid kayak, usually on roof racks, or the use of a boathouse where you could keep your kayak in between paddling adventures.

Thanks to the invention of inflatable kayaks, this is no longer the case. Now anyone, young or old, can enjoy the sport of kayaking no matter what your fitness level is. There’s nothing more enjoyable than spending a relaxing summer’s afternoon leisurely paddling across a calm lake or down a slow flowing river whether it’s on your own or with a friend.

In our review of inflatable kayaks we look at the top models in both 1-person and 2-person kayaks and suggest which models are best for calm water paddling and which will stand up to some white water rapids if you’re more of a thrill seeker. We also give you some tips of what to consider when buying your first inflatable kayak.

The models that we’ve reviewed for you were all chosen for their durable construction and their ease of set up. We also considered affordability and offer a couple of budget options for those of you who are price conscious but still want to enjoy some quality time on the water either by yourself or with a friend or family member.

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP)

You may have noticed that stand up paddle boarding or SUP has become extremely popular with people of all ages over recent years. It’s a great way to spend some time outdoors and to get some regular exercise as well.

To enjoy stand up paddle boarding, all you need is a paddle board and a paddle which is probably why this sport has become so popular. The introduction of the inflatable stand up paddle board has meant that many more people can now enjoy this relaxing outdoor water activity without needing a special vehicle to transport the board or somewhere special to store it.

There are some excellent advantages of having an inflatable SUP and we talk at length about these in our extensive review. In short, the advantages include ease of transport, durability, affordability and ease of storage.

Our review covers 4 of the top inflatable SUPs and we tell you exactly why these are the ones that we recommend. We also tell you which boards are the most suitable for beginners and for kids and which ones can easily accommodate 2 people.

So not only can you enjoy paddling on the water by yourself, but you can also take a friend or even your dog along for the ride as well. Stand up paddle boarding is also great exercise and some people even do yoga on their SUPs.

Check out our review today to find out exactly which inflatable stand up paddle board would be perfect for you.

We do hope that you like all of our detailed reviews and information articles on full face snorkel masks, snorkeling sets for kids and adults, sea scooters, dive computer watches, inflatable kayaks and inflatable stand up paddle boards. Making it easier for you to choose which water sports gear is the best for you.