Best Snorkel Gear For Beginners – My Favorite Set

If you’re trying snorkeling for the very first time, your head is probably spinning in circles looking at all of the different gear out there. You may be tempted to go with the best deal you can find, in case you decide you don’t like it.

This is a big mistake! Cheap gear is going to function poorly, and will guarantee you have an unpleasant experience in the water. On the other hand, it makes no sense to go with top of the line gear, if it is your first time.

The following list is the exact equipment we provided, when we used to run snorkel trips on the Turtle. Over the course of a few seasons, we didn’t have a single gear problem. Our guests would frequently say, “this is the best equipment I’ve ever used” or “this way better than the gear everyone else provides.”

This is far from top of the line, but it’s good quality gear at a reasonable price, that will work very well for beginners or even more experienced snorkelers.

Cressi Palau Adjustable Snorkeling Fins

Cressi Palau Adjustable Snorkeling Fins

Unlike a full foot fins, the Cressi Palau has an open heel with an adjustable strap, just like a dive fin. What that means is a much better fit, since you can fine tune it. There are other fins with a similar design, but many have 2 problems.

They either have blades that are very small. This is great for traveling, but won’t give you enough power. Or they have split fins, which are easier to kick, but once again won’t give you the power of a single blade fin.

Buy the Cressi Palau Fin

Cressi Onda Snorkeling Mask

Cressi Onda Snorkeling Mask

The Cressi Onda has a very comfortable clear silicone skirt. The clear skirt lets more light into the mask, which tends to be more relaxing for first time snorkelers. It comes in one size, and fits most faces.

The single lens provides a great range of vision. Also very important, the lens on this mask is tempered glass. The plastic lenses you see on some of the cheaper masks are more prone to fogging, as well as getting scratched up.

Buy the Cressi Onda Mask

Cressi Gamma Snorkel

Cressi Gamma Snorkel

The Cressi Gamma has a slightly shorter design than some of the larger snorkels you see out there. What this means is it’s also a little bit lighter, and therefore a little less noticeable hanging off the side of your mask.

The Gamma has a splash guard on top to help keep water out from waves or swells. The bottom is flexible, and features a very comfortable mouth piece with a drain in the bottom.

Buy the Cressi Gamma Snorkel

Scuba Max Silicone Snorkel Keeper

Scuba Max Silicone Snorkel Keeper

One last very small piece of gear, that I highly recommend, is a silicone snorkel keeper. Due to its flexibility, this type of snorkel keeper holds your snorkel at a more comfortable angle than the plastic clip that comes with most snorkels. It also eliminates any chance of your snorkel breaking free while you’re in the water.

Buy the Scuba Max Snorkel Keeper

6 Responses to Best Snorkel Gear For Beginners – My Favorite Set

  1. Great article Chris Gruno!

    I’ve always wanted to try snorkeling so this was really helpful for someone like me. I will definitely try this equipment out when I get the chance.

    Anyway, I wish you all the best!

  2. Thank you for the information you have provided regarding snorkeling gear. Being land-locked in the Midwest, I have little need for this type of gear, but we love to vacation in the tropics and snorkeling is always one of our go-to activities. You do a nice job of simply noting some pros and cons to snorkel gear and how the ones you are promoting do a better job. I take it that Cressi is a major brand of this type of gear, and your top pick. Further, that you are just highlighting a few of the options, perhaps the ones you would recommend of the many different Cressi products. It’s great to have such a focused referral. Thank you!

    • Yes David, Cressi has been around for years. They make both snorkeling and dive gear. Looking at my personal gear, I think every piece is from a different manufacturer, including Cressi. There are plenty of other brands that I really like, but Cressi really seems to be the only one that makes a line for the novice at a reasonable price.

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