The Dry Snorkel:

How it Works, Features, Advantages/Disadvantages Plus Our Pick For Best Dry Snorkel

You've heard of a dry snorkel but aren't sure if it is for you? We'll take you through the pros and cons of this snorkel and hopefully make that decision a bit easier.

A dry snorkel - is it the best for you

If you've been shopping for snorkels, you know there are tons of styles and features out there.

When you think about it, it's pretty amazing there are so many out there since the snorkel is the most basic piece of scuba gear you can find. But now there are lots of bells and whistles you can choose from in a snorkel.

(You can read our page on all the features of a scuba snorkel available to choose from for more information.)

OK, let's start with the basics - what is a dry snorkel?

It is a snorkel that has a mechanism that lets a minimal (or no) amount of water into the snorkel. This includes when you accidentally submerge the snorkel or when the snorkel goes underwater while you are skin diving or scuba diving.

If some water does get into the snorkel tube, it is channeled out of the tube so it does not interrupt the flow of breathing.

There will be some type of float valve mechanism on the top of the snorkel that will close when the snorkel is submerged and open when the snorkel is on the surface.

A dry snorkel.

With this type of snorkel the diver should never have to clear the snorkel of water. This will save some energy and should make for a comfortable surface swim.

So what are the advantages of a dry snorkel?

  • No Water
  • Obviously this is the biggest advantage of these types of snorkels. If they work properly you should not get that mouthful of water which inevitably happens with other types of snorkels.
  • Saves Energy
  • These snorkels should allow the snorkeler to conserve some energy and swim more efficiently. The person won't have to forcefully blow air out the tube or raise their head to clear out the snorkel. Ideally, it will be one uninterrupted swim.

What about the disadvantages of a dry snorkel?

  • Possible Air Blockage
  • Some people have reported that sometimes the valve on the snorkel will close when it is not supposed to, making it difficult to get a breath. Of course, all you have to do is raise your head to get air but this pretty much defeats the purpose of this type snorkel.
  • Buoyant Underwater
  • I have also read reviews from scuba divers who complain that the snorkel bangs them in the head underwater and "floats" around. Of course, this can, and does, happen with any type of snorkel.
  • Bulk/Drag
  • Many of these snorkels come with other bells and whistles, making it bulkier than the plain jane snorkels. This can cause more drag and may cause it to pull on your mask more than a streamlined snorkel.

Reading about people's opinions and reviews of these types of snorkels online, there seem to be 2 themes that reoccur.

The first is "I absolutely love this snorkel" and the second -"I haven't used it in a long time, want to buy it?"

I found more positive opinions of the snorkel when people were using them for pure snorkeling and not for scuba diving. This may be something to take into consideration if you are thinking of using this type of snorkel while diving.


These picks were updated as of November 2015.


Best Dry Snorkel Recommendation:


We have looked at and read many reviews and ratings of the dry snorkels that are available. Given the pros and cons of each snorkel and the overall satisfaction of users, we have narrowed our choice to the best overall one.

Best dry snorkel - a Cressi model

This Cressi model gets great reviews from users and has earned a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0. Can't get much better than that.

The snorkel has a soft silicone mouthpiece and a flexible tube making it very comfortable for users.

It does a great job of keeping water out of the tube while you are snorkeling in all conditions.

After reading through the numerous reviews, I see the pros and cons of this best snorkel as follows:

Pros:

  • Comfortable and flexible mouthpiece
  • Purge valve works well
  • Keeps water out well
  • Lightweight, comfortable in mouth
  • Tube soft and pliable
  • Attaches easily and securely to mask
  • Great value

Cons:

  • Water gets in when freediving (several users)
  • Top mechanism got stuck, not letting in air (2 users)
  • Mouthpiece on small side (1 reviewer)

Overall, we thought this snorkel earned the top spot since it gets very high marks for comfort, resistance to flooding and its purge valve. All of these are important features in a dry snorkel and they will help make your snorkeling experience that much more comfortable.

You can get all the details on this best snorkel here

Coming in a very close second is this other model by Cressi. It also gets rave reviews by lots of users scoring an impressive 4.6 out of 5.0. I don't think you would go wrong with either of these snorkels, but I had to pick one!


Best Value Snorkel And Mask Combo


If you also need a mask for snorkeling, Cressi offers a great deal on a mask and dry snorkel set. This set has earned a solid 4.5/5.0 rating and has almost 600 reviews.

The mask is a low volume mask with a silicone skirt and gives a great field of vision.

After my old mask started leaking, I purchased a low volume mask (a higher end product, not this model) and absolutely love it. The field of vision on these masks are great. I don't know if I can go back. LOL.

(If you are interested, I purchased this Atomic mask).

The snorkel has the same features as I highlighted above and gets great reviews.

Best Dry snorkel and mask combo

And the price really can't be beat.

The manufacturer also states that this is a good back up mask as it can fold up and fit in your BC pocket. Can't say I ever have a back up mask with me, but if you want one this should fit the bill.

The pros and cons of this mask and snorkel set as I see it are:

Pros:

  • Great field of vision
  • Comfortable fit on mask, silicone skirt
  • Mask seals well, doesn't leak
  • Snorkel keeps water out
  • Purge valve works well
  • Mask, snorkel are lightweight
  • Good quality/great value

Cons:

  • Mask fogs (quite a few users, see below)
  • Mask strap broke (3 users)
  • Mask/snorkel leaked (a few users)
  • Glass broke in mask (2 users)

Get all the information on this mask and snorkel combo here


For more information on masks and snorkels, check out our free guide here. It also contains a link to our page on how to stop your mask from fogging.

Looking for other scuba equipment and accessories? Check out our Scuba Gear Store.



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