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7 Best Snorkels for Scuba Diving – Complete Buyer’s Guide

by Max
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7 Best Snorkels for Scuba Diving - Complete Buyer's Guide

The best snorkels for scuba diving differ from those designed for snorkeling. They naturally drop from your face since you’ll have to use a regulator most of the time. However, tracking snorkels for scuba diving down can be easier said than done.

Although using a snorkel while scuba diving is a moot topic, it can be helpful. It can save your breathing gas when swimming at the surface and can be used when assessing conditions underwater. Among the best scuba diving snorkels is the Oceanic Ultra-Dry 2. This snorkel features Oceanic’s patented dry snorkel technology to ensure water doesn’t enter the tube.

While snorkels aren’t essential to your scuba diving gear, they can come in handy to conserve air and energy. Therefore, this article will point you towards the best snorkels for scuba diving.

The Quick List – Our Top 3 Picks

  1. Best high-end scuba diving snorkel: Oceanic Ultra-Dry 2
  2. Best user-friendly scuba snorkel: Cressi Supernova
  3. Best free diving snorkel: Genesis Hydra

Disclaimer: We are entirely reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. This does not affect our opinion of the products linked, which is 100% impartial and unbiased.

Why You Need a Snorkel When Scuba Diving

Snorkeling and scuba diving are two different underwater activities. Yet it’s not unheard of for divers to use snorkels while scuba diving.

Snorkels are notorious for creating entanglement hazards in overhead environments for many divers. And their dorky appearance doesn’t put them in high esteem. Therefore, they avoid them at all costs.

However, a snorkel can be helpful in the following instances:

  • Conserving breathing gas: Instead of using air from your tank during surface swims before and after shore dives, you can use your snorkel. It’ll ensure you have more air for the actual dive.
  • Waiting for a boat pickup: A snorkel is a comfortable alternative to a regulator. It enables you to monitor your surroundings without creating exhaust bubbles.
  • Emergencies: A snorkel proves invaluable when you run out of air, giving you a readily available and limitless source of fresh air. It’s also useful when you have to tow a diver.
  • Checking the current and the visibility: Before diving deep beneath the surface, you can assess conditions underwater from the surface with a mask and snorkel.

The Best Snorkels for Scuba Diving to Enhance Underwater Adventures

1. Oceanic Ultra-Dry 2

Our Expert Opinion: Best High-End Scuba Diving Snorkel

If you’re looking for the best in scuba diving snorkels, the Oceanic Ultra-Dry 2 Snorkel is an ideal choice. It incorporates Oceanic’s patented dry snorkel technology, ensuring water doesn’t enter when deep diving. It also features comfortable design aspects like a 100% liquid silicone rubber mouthpiece. Overall, what it brings to the table outweighs the high price point.

What You Need to Know

The Oceanic Ultra-Dry 2 Snorkel offers a blend of aesthetic design and functionality. It features Oceanic’s patented dry snorkel technology, preventing water from entering the barrel even when diving deep. As a result, it allows for uninterrupted airflow and comfortable breathing during underwater activities.

Ergonomics is also a highlight of the Ultra-Dry 2. It’s designed to reduce resistance and drag while swimming. And its drop-away corrugated section ensures the snorkel doesn’t get in the way when it’s not in use. Furthermore, it has a one-way purge valve and dual exhaust valves to ensure efficient water drainage with minimal effort.

Specs & Features

  • Price: $64.95
  • Type: Dry-Top
  • Materials: Mouthpiece: Silicone
  • Tube Style: Contoured
  • Purge Valve: Yes

What We Like

  • Comfortable mouthpiece that is easy to hold and reduces jaw fatigue
  • One-way purge valve at the bottom that allows for effortless clearing
  • Made from high-quality materials and is durable

What We Don’t Like

  • More costly than other underwater snorkels

2. Cressi Supernova

Our Expert Opinion: Best User-Friendly Scuba Snorkel

What’s one must-have accessory for your underwater adventures? The Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel. This model is one of the best snorkels for scuba diving because of its user-friendly design. Two stand-out features are the quick-release snorkel keeper and its ergonomic contoured shape that makes it enjoyable to use underwater. Although its innovative design is prone to creating dead air space, it’s still worth the investment.

What You Need to Know

Featuring an innovative anti-splash end with a sealing valve, the Cressi Supernova ensures zero water entry while submerged. Therefore, it allows for uninterrupted explorations of underwater depths.

A smartly designed corrugated section with a smooth internal bore sits at the lower end of the snorkel. This ensures water doesn’t get trapped inside and allows excess moisture to drain into a collection reservoir. As a result, it allows for a smooth transition from snorkel to scuba regulator.

Moreover, the mouthpiece and tube section of the Supernova are made from hypoallergenic silicone for maximum comfort during extended use.

Specs & Features

  • Price: $24.95
  • Type: Dry w/Splash Guard
  • Materials: Mouthpiece & Corrugated Tube: Silicone
  • Tube Style: Contoured
  • Purge Valve: Yes

What We Like

  • Splash guard with a special valve that prevents water from entering the tube
  • Corrugated lower tube that allows for smooth water drainage
  • Comfortable to use hypoallergenic mouthpiece
  • Made from durable materials and is built to last

What We Don’t Like

  • Long design may create dead air space

3. Genesis Hydra

Our Expert Opinion: Best Free Diving Snorkel

The Genesis Hydra is among the best snorkels for scuba diving and free diving. It stays completely dry underwater without restricting breathing. You can breathe comfortably even when you encounter waves or dip your head underwater. Now, it’s not without shortcomings, but few live up to its standard for scuba and free diving.  

What You Need to Know

The Genesis Hydra features a dry ball chamber, allowing a smooth and dry diving experience. It also ensures unrestricted airflow while instantly sealing off when encountering choppy water or dipping underwater.

The smart deep reservoir below the mouthpiece is another reason the Hydra is among the best free diving snorkels. This captures residual water without influencing your breathing.

The Hydra also features a one-way purge valve for quick drainage. And it has a removable and replaceable silicone mouthpiece for comfort during extended snorkeling sessions.

Specs & Features

  • Price: $34.95
  • Type: Dry
  • Materials: Mouthpiece: Silicone
  • Tube Style: Contoured
  • Purge Valve: Yes

What We Like

  • Fits snugly against the side of your head
  • Dry ball chamber that allows air to flow freely
  • Deep base receptacle that captures water without impacting breathing
  • Silicone mouthpiece that’s comfortable to use

What We Don’t Like

  • Regular cleaning of the purge valve’s membrane is required to prevent sand and salt buildup
  • Dead air space may occur in the deep-well purge chamber if you don’t breathe properly

4. Mares Ergo Splash

Our Expert Opinion: Best Semi-Dry Snorkel for Peak Performance

The Mares Ergo Splash is a functional semi-dry snorkel for scuba diving and snorkeling. It offers top performance and comfort thanks to a built-in splash guard and flexible lower tube. And it has an ergonomic design that seamlessly aligns with your head. Therefore, you can breathe and move efficiently underwater. While it may not be as high-quality as other snorkels, it’s still among the best snorkels for scuba diving.

What You Need to Know

The Mares Ergo Splash Snorkel has a flexible lower and rigid upper half. A semi-dry top with exhaust valves allows for a user-friendly experience. And the flexible bottom tube ensures comfort in the water, accommodating any angle of use.

Furthermore, the Ergo Splash incorporates a splash guard to protect the diver from incoming waves. It also has a soft silicone mouthpiece that keeps the snorkel stable underwater. And it conveniently tucks away when not in use.

The snorkel also has an adjustable keeper for a customized fit. And perhaps the best part for some divers is that it’s available in multiple colors, allowing you to match it to your gear.

Specs & Features

  • Price: $24.95
  • Type: Semi-Dry
  • Materials: SiliconeRubber
  • Tube Style: Contoured
  • Purge Valve: Yes

What We Like

  • Contoured design allows for effortless breathing
  • Affordable
  • Splash guard to protect you from oncoming waves
  • Easy-to-use mask clip

What We Don’t Like

  • Purge valve membrane weakens over time, resulting in water pouring in
  • Dead air space created by water leaking into the bottom of the snorkel

5. Cressi Tao Snorkel

Our Expert Opinion: Best for Comfort while Diving

Cressi designed the Tao Snorkel with user comfort in mind. This is evident from the corrugated flexible lower tube that minimizes jaw fatigue. Also, it has a removable and replaceable silicone mouthpiece that’s angled to reduce jaw fatigue for extended use. While the mouthpiece may be too small for some, the Tao Snorkel is still an excellent choice.

What You Need to Know

The Cressi Tao is a semi-dry snorkel designed to enhance your underwater adventures. It has a spacious bore contoured tube that ensures effortless and comfortable breathing. And it features a lower purge valve for easy water expulsion.

Thanks to its streamlined design, drag is minimized, allowing for an exceptional underwater experience. It also comes with an adjustable clip with a quick-release clasp that easily secures it to your mask.

Specs & Features

  • Price: $19.95
  • Type: Semi-dry
  • Materials: Corrugated lower tube and mouthpiece: Silicone
  • Tube Style: Contoured
  • Purge Valve: Yes

What We Like

  • Angled silicone mouthpiece
  • Generously sized contoured tube for efficient breathing and reduced water entry
  • Adjustable clip with a quick-release mechanism
  • Instant clearing thanks to lower purge valve

What We Don’t Like

  • The mouthpiece may be too small for some

6. TUSA Imprex II

Our Expert Opinion: Best for Easy Clearing

Scuba diving with the TUSA Imprex II snorkel is a game-changer for many. This high-performing and durable snorkel has a revolutionary design that ensures underwater diving comfort. Although it’s not as easy to pack as other underwater snorkels, it boasts a hyper-dry system for easy clearing.

What You Need to Know

The TUSA Imprex II Hyperdry Contoured Snorkel with Flex Tube has a unique hyper-dry system. This system combines the angle of the snorkel pipe and water surface resilience to clear out water efficiently. As a result, it keeps the main tube dry by expelling water through a separate escape route.

As with other TUSA snorkels, the Imprex II incorporates a high-flow purge design featuring a covered large-diameter oval purge valve. As a result, clearing is quick and easy while eliminating residual water in the mouthpiece.

The Imprex II also has a flex corrugated lower tube made of crystal silicon. This allows the snorkel to swing out of the way seamlessly when transitioning to your scuba regulator.

Furthermore, the Imprex II features an ortho-consciously shaped mouthpiece. Therefore, it fits comfortably in your mouth during underwater exploration. And it has an internal purge channel beneath the mouthpiece. This guides exhaled air from the top while excess water drains through a one-way purge valve at the bottom.

Specs & Features

  • Price: $38.00
  • Type: Semi-dry
  • Materials: Mouthpiece And Flex Tube: Silicone
  • Tube Style: Contoured
  • Purge Valve: Yes

What We Like

  • Hyperdry system that keeps the main tube dry by ejecting water through an independent escape pipe
  • Comfortable, easy-to-hold mouthpiece
  • Included snorkel keeper to attach to mask
  • Flexible lower section that allows the snorkel to fall away when not in use

What We Don’t Like

  • Might not travel as well as other scuba snorkels due to its rigid design

7. Oceanic Pocket Snorkel

Our Expert Opinion: Best Scuba Diving Snorkel for Travel

Whether traveling to join a liveaboard or visit a tropical destination on your bucket list, a compact snorkel is essential. Luckily, that’s precisely what you’ll get with the Oceanic Pocket Snorkel. As the name suggests, you can fold and fit it neatly in your BCD pocket. Therefore, you won’t need to worry about it taking up space.

What You Need to Know

The Oceanic Pocket Snorkel is one of the best snorkels for scuba diving. It boasts high-performing features such as Oceanic’s dry top deflector. That aspect keeps water out of your snorkel, even in choppy conditions. As a result, you can enjoy a dry and comfortable diving experience.

Featuring an oversized one-way purge valve, the Pocket Snorkel simplifies clearing at the surface, adding to its convenience. It also has a contoured tube design that reduces water resistance. Therefore, you can move underwater freely.

The Pocket Snorkel also has a replaceable 100% liquid silicone rubber mouthpiece similar to a regulator. It offers durability and comfort during extended snorkeling adventures.

Specs & Features

  • Price: $37.95
  • Type: Dry
  • Materials: Mouthpiece: Silicone Rubber
  • Tube Style: Contoured
  • Purge Valve: Yes

What We Like

  • Designed to fold up and fit inside a BCD pocket
  • Flexible and easy to use
  • Purge valve for easy clearing when needed

What We Don’t Like

  • Lack of clip on the band to secure to BCD pocket

Factors to Consider when Choosing the Right Scuba Diving Snorkel

Type of Snorkel

There are five common types of snorkels you can choose from. Each is suitable for specific underwater activities and has its pros and cons. Below, we explore the four you may encounter the most.

Classic Snorkel

Commonly known as a ‘J-style’ snorkel, the classic snorkel comprises a simple plastic tube with an attached mouthpiece. It’s typically slightly bent, but you can adjust it to fit your preference.

The classic snorkel won’t break the bank. However, it’s more rigid and not as comfortable as other snorkel types.

Submerging a J-style snorkel while on the surface fills it with water. As a result, you’ll have to expel the water to use it again. Nevertheless, it’s a beginner-friendly option thanks to its simplicity and ease of use.

Pros
Cons
  • Requires training before use
  • Rigid design makes it uncomfortable to use
  • Water entry from both ends is possible

Flexible Snorkel

Flexible snorkels are amongst the best types of snorkels for scuba diving. As the name suggests, it’s an alternative to the rigid classic snorkel. And it’s designed with a one-way purge valve to facilitate uninterrupted breathing by expelling excess water with each exhalation.

Because of its blended flexible and rigid design, the flexible snorkel fits snugly around a diver’s face. It also naturally drops away when you aren’t using it, allowing an unobstructed view.

Pros
  • Flexibility – more adaptable than classic snorkels
  • Lightweight and easy to travel with
  • Purge valve for efficient water expulsion
  • Conveniently drops away from the face when not in use, allowing uninterrupted viewing
Cons
  • The airway can become blocked if sand or dirt enters
  • Water can enter from the top end

Semi-Dry Snorkel

The semi-dry snorkel is a blend of a classic and dry snorkel. It features a splash guard at the top to prevent splashes or sprays of water from entering the tube. And it has a purge valve at the base.

Furthermore, semi-dry snorkels are typically constructed of flexible or rigid materials. With some models, the purge valves and splash guards are designed with a moving mechanism. While advantageous, tiny grains of sand and particulates can get stuck in the mechanism.

Pros
  • Flexible
  • Easy to use
  • Features a splash guard to keep water out
  • Designed with a purge valve for the discharge of water
Cons
  • More costly than J-shaped and flexible snorkels
  • Doesn’t block out water 100%
  • Moving parts can jam and leak if dirt or sand gets into the mechanism

Dry Snorkel

A dry snorkel completely blocks water and air when submerged underwater because of the valve at the top. It has a purge valve at the bottom, making it easy to empty the tube of stored water. The purge valve also allows you to remove any water that enters the tube by exhaling quickly.

As a result, you can swim on the surface, dive deeper, and resurface without worrying about constantly clearing water out of the tube. Therefore, divers save energy since they don’t have to push the water from the snorkel. And you can swim more comfortably.

The downside of a dry snorkel is that debris can sometimes block the valve at the top, making it difficult to breathe. Also, since there’s constant air inside the tube, it remains buoyant throughout a dive or while you’re submerged.

Pros
  • Allows for submerging underwater
  • Doesn’t require constant water-clearing
  • Has a purge valve for draining small amounts of water
Cons
  • Blockages of the top valve can make it hard to breathe
  • Increases drag underwater
  • More buoyant than other snorkels

Type of Diving

Matching a snorkel to your intended underwater activities is vital. A versatile classic snorkel is suitable if you engage in scuba diving, free diving, and snorkeling.

However, a flexible or semi-dry is more appropriate if scuba diving is your main pastime or professional pursuit. A flexible snorkel allows for uninterrupted diving as it doesn’t obstruct your view when it isn’t in use.

In contrast, a semi-dry snorkel conserves air in your tank while surface swimming. You also won’t have to deal with the bulkiness of a dry snorkel. Still, a dry snorkel can be useful as you can dive deep and resurface without getting water in your mouth.

Purge Valve

A purge valve is an essential component of a snorkel that keeps water from entering your mouth. Each type of scuba snorkel has a purge valve, except the classic snorkel. And those snorkels have varying degrees of preventing water from entering the tube, with the dry snorkel preventing the most water entry.

Therefore, if you dislike water entering your mouth while snorkeling, choose a snorkel that prevents that. However, a flexible snorkel is ideal and more budget-friendly if you don’t mind a bit of water in your mouth.

Takeaway

If you’re on the fence about adding a snorkel to your scuba diving gear, consider cases where it might prove useful. For instance, before and after dives, you can use a snorkel instead of using your breathing gas as you swim at the surface.

Some of the best snorkels for scuba diving include the Genesis Hydra Snorkel. It offers superior performance when you encounter waves or dip your head underwater.

All in all, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question about the best snorkel for scuba diving. Individual choices vary widely. Therefore, your decision to buy a scuba diving snorkel will depend on the type of diving you’ll be doing.

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