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What Makes an Excellent Snorkeling Mask?

If you really enjoy snorkeling, but aren’t quite sure what kind of mask to buy, don’t worry because you’re not alone! Snorkeling is an amazing experience that everyone should enjoy as often as they can, but when it comes to gearing up, masks can just be a headache! The rest of this article will help you understand what makes an excellent snorkeling mask to help you make an informed, confident decision!

You Can’t Snorkel Without a Mask!

Okay sure, snorkeling masks do look pretty silly. If you really think about it, they kind of make you look like a duck, and wearing flippers really isn’t helping your case! Regardless of how they look, snorkeling masks do, in fact, serve an important purpose, making them a snorkeling necessity. Simply put, if you want to snorkel, you need a mask!

Snorkeling masks serve multiple important purposes that help to create an enjoyable snorkeling experience. First and foremost, they offer a watertight seal to protect your eyes from the water and anything floating around. On top of protecting your eyes, they also have a clear screen that offers you crystal-clear visibility underwater. They’re also designed to allow you to breathe underwater, the main feature that makes them so popular!

The Difference Between Acceptable and Wonderful

Snorkeling masks are all primarily made for the same purposes, but that doesn’t mean they’re all equal. Snorkeling masks come in varying degrees of construction quality and actual design, all of which can provide for a different wearing experience. Here are the most important factors to consider when looking for a snorkeling mask:


Even though comfort is not required for a snorkeling mask, it’s really what makes the difference between a good one and an excellent one. It isn’t terribly difficult to find many different snorkeling masks that all will give you great visibility and a strong seal, but if you’re constantly bothered by how uncomfortable the mask is, you’re undoubtedly going to remember that afterwards.

Yes, wearing an uncomfortable snorkeling mask, even if it works just fine, can really ruin your snorkeling experience! Even if you’re seeing some incredibly colorful and memorable sights, a physical reminder of discomfort can be enough to draw your mind away.

This is why it is absolutely critical to make sure you find a comfortable mask! You’re going to spend countless hours wearing it, and it is one of the biggest factors you can actually control to create a better experience!

Waterproof Seal

The purpose of just about any mask is to protect or hide your face. A snorkeling mask is no different, offering you protection from the surrounding waters. The way a snorkeling mask actually works is by creating an airtight seal between your face and the rubber fittings of the mask.

You can often adjust the length and tightness of the elastic band securing your mask, but if you make it too loose, you will lose the watertight seal of the mask. This will cause water to seep into your mask, ruining the whole purpose of the mask in the first place.

It is possible for the seal of your mask to wear down overtime, but you want to make sure you find one with a great seal from the very beginning.


Snorkeling masks were designed to allow you see and breathe underwater. This means that you need a mask with a lens that offers the best visibility. There are many different styles of snorkeling mask lens types, varying anywhere between one and four lenses.

On top of lens types, the quality of the lens also matters, as some will be easier to see through than others! Not all lenses are made of the same material either – some are made of glass, while others use cheaper plastics. This makes it pretty simple. Find a mask with glass lenses that you don’t have any issue seeing through without compromising on comfort!
Does Style Matter?
While the way each mask looks doesn’t matter, the design of each mask certainly can. You can find one, two, three, and four lens masks, with each offering a different viewing display. There are also frameless and more traditional, classic masks, but these often take away any peripheral vision you do have.

Generally speaking, the more lenses there are, the greater your field of vision will be. These masks might be uncomfortable for you to wear though, so you might have to find a reasonable mix of vision, comfort, and usability.

There are also differences in how much volume each mask may have. The higher a mask’s volume is, the farther away it is from your face, and the bigger the mask’s “inside area” is. This does allow for some great visibility, but it comes at the cost of reduced seal quality. On the flip side, a lower volume mask has a much better waterproof seal, but that comes at the cost of less visibility.

Put Your Mask to Use in South Maui!

Now you know the truth – not every snorkeling mask is the same! As a matter of fact, the type and quality of snorkeling mask you choose will definitely impact your snorkeling experience. When trying to choose a mask, you need to find one that provides a strong waterproof seal and has a good balance of comfort and visibility.

The type of mask you choose can impact how it performs. You’ll need to decide what is most important to you and make a decision based on that. While there are some snorkeling masks that are a great middle-of-the-road option, most will sacrifice something to improve another. This is most common with visibility and seal quality, although most people opt for a low volume mask with an improved seal.

Make sure you try your mask on before buying it to make sure it suits all of your needs! You’re going to wear it for hours, so you’ll want to be sure you like it.

One of the best places for using your snorkeling mask is in south Maui! The calm, clear waters of natural island bays make for some delightful snorkeling! There is a wide selection of beaches to choose from, but Kai Kanani has some of the best snorkeling and sailing tours on the entire island! If you love snorkeling, then you’ll be thrilled by the snorkeling tours available here!