The dry snorkel is an invention that’s been around for quite some time now. Original models used ping-pong balls that would float to the top of the unit and seal off the air-inlet valve. As you can probably imagine, these early models were plagued with a number of problems—the biggest being that the balls would burst and flood the mask. Which was the cause of the models going out of fashion, at least until the 1990s came along.
In the 1990s, they popped up once again and were rather clunky devices that weren’t a whole lot of fun to carry around. Eventually, these models would become the snorkels that they are today – which have become lighter and more streamlined over the years. Nowadays, these devices are used by a variety of divers but are especially popular among beginners. That’s because these devices are designed to keep water out of the swimmer’s mouth, which boosts their confidence while learning to dive.
There are probably dozens of different models of these devices available but beware, not all of them are equal. As is the case with just about any consumer product, there are some that are excellent, some that are mediocre and some that are just plain bad. So you’ll want to make sure that you buy the best one possible and not end up with a snorkel that’s going to let you down when you need it.
How do you find the best dry snorkel? There are a number of features you should look for and in which I’ll tell you about later on in this article. But first, I would like to give you my 10 recommendations for this product, so you don’t have to spend a whole lot of time looking for one. Check the ones out below and I think you’ll be delighted.
Best Dry Snorkels – Reviews
10Deep Blue Gear Ultra Dry 2
Designed for children and adults 10-years old and up, and available in one of a number of different colors including red, neon orange, black, white or blue, this snorkel is sure to be popular with just about any member of the family. It’s designed to keep water out of the breathing tube so that your snorkeling experience is as easy and user-friendly as possible. It’s completely submersible dry top will keep water out no matter the what the wave conditions are or whether it’s taken under the wave line. This model has a composite flex tube that is designed to fit well and a silicone mouthpiece that reduces much of the jaw fatigue swimmers have with other snorkels. And if water does get into mouthpiece end, there is a built-in purge valve for clearing it out quickly and easily.
9Aqua Lung Snorkel With Safety Whistle
This model is designed for people who need a snorkel that doesn’t allow water into the tube or at least one that’s named after a Jethro Tull song. It’s a 100% dry model that keeps water completely out no matter how rough the waves get or whether it is taken beneath the wave line. It does this using a patented seal that seals it from water but opens it back up once you’ve reached the surface. This device has a clear silicone mouthpiece that’s fits most people’s mouths well and an adjustable mask strap retaining clip. While this device is similar to other snorkels, this one does come with a handy safety whistle built right into it. The swimmer can then blow the safety whistle to let others know that he or she is in distress and needs help.
8Tusa Hyperdry Elite II Snorkel
The Tusa Hyperdry Elite II Dry Top Snorkel is a model that’s the culmination of years of research. It’s basically a newer version of the Hyperdry Elite II and has several features that make it a good snorkel to use. It contains a special gasket that quickly closes the gasket that seals water off from the hose, even if the swimmer submerges quickly or is suddenly hit by a wave. If water does get into it, however, it has a quick clear mechanism which allows this water to be quickly expelled from the unit. This model has a two-part construction that allows it to be attached in a horizontal position or quickly rotated as needed. The last feature worth mentioning on this device is that is has a special silicone mouthpiece that alleviates some of the problems swimmers often have with jaw fatigue while using a snorkel.
7Riffe Stable Snorkeling & Scuba Diving Snorkel
This dry top snorkel is a model designed to be used snorkeling or while scuba diving. It has a low profile and a flexible vinyl tube that allows swimmers to fold this unit up and store it away in just about any bag. The top of the tube has a shark-like design that keeps it from snagging on random floating materials such as seaweed, yet has a high-quality hinge that allows fresh air to be quickly and easily brought in above water but seals tight when the unit is below the waterline. It also has a purge valve that can expel any water that does manage to make it inside. Whether it’s used alone or attached to a mask, this snorkel will prove itself useful out on the water.
6Mares Ergo Diving & Snorkeling Snorkel
This dry top model allows swimmers and divers to breathe in fresh air when they are near the surface of the water but seals out water when the unit is taken beneath the water line. This easy-to-use model is specifically designed with the novice diver in mind but is advanced enough to also be used by experienced divers and snorkelers. It has a curved mouthpiece that makes it very comfortable to use and a quick purge valve that allows water to be expelled from the snorkel quickly and efficiently. And since this model is sold in a variety of different colors—including black, clear, lime and yellow, among others, there is sure to be a model that fits the swimmer’s personal style.
5XS 3-D Dry Scuba M-Line Snorkel
Proudly claiming itself to be the original dry top snorkel, the XS 3-D is based on the design of the 3-D Flex Dry. In fact, the only difference between these two models is this one doesn’t contain a corrugated flex tub. This makes this model a good one to use for snorkeling because it employs a floating valve system that automatically closes when it comes into contact with water. When the swimmer surfaces, it automatically opens to get rid of the vacuum effect. Other features of this snorkel include an adjustable mouthpiece with dual ball joints and a one-way purge valve that can quickly eliminate any water that makes it into the snorkel.
4Oceanic Ultra-Dry Diving & Snorkeling Snorkel
Designed to be exactly what its name suggests, this Ultra Dry model incorporates Oceanic’s patented Dry Tube Technology into an ultra-low profile product that is ergonomically designed for comfort and function. This technology creates a seal to virtually eliminate water entering the snorkel barrel while achieving superior air flow performance on the surface. This snorkel isn’t as inexpensive as some other models but it is high-quality and extremely durable and should provide the snorkeler or diver with quite a few snorkeling trips or dives during the lifetime of this product.
3Phantom Aquatics Snorkel
Although this snorkel isn’t as expensive as some of the fancier snorkels on the market, it does have a variety of features which make it handy for just about anyone who wants to head out to the ocean and enjoy a day of snorkeling. It features a dry top tube that seals instantly when it’s taken underwater but allows fresh air to flow when above the wave line. If any water does manage to make it into the tube via the mouthpiece, then this unit also has a purge system with an extra-large self-draining chamber. Other features of this snorkel include an angled and removable mouthpiece designed to be extra comfortable, and a quick release buckle that can be detached from a mask with just one hand.
2Cressi Supernova Dry Adult Diving Snorkel
Since 1946, Cressi has been designing and manufacturing diving and snorkeling equipment and this snorkel is one of their latest designs. It features a dry-top valve that keeps water out of it, even under rough waters of when the snorkeler dives unexpectedly. This model also has a flexible tube that allows it to be folded up and put away easily and also reduces fatigue on the snorkeler’s jaw. Another feature of this unit is that the lower section is flexible and keeps the snorkel away if the snorkeler decides to switch to a scuba regulator. This snorkel also has a purge valve on the bottom to get rid of excess water and comes in a variety of different colors including black, white, blue, yellow and pink.
1Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry Adult Snorkel
Manufactured by a company that’s been making snorkels for over 70+ years, the Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry is an Italian made snorkel that’s made from high-quality silicone, a material which is more durable than PVC—which is what many other snorkels are made of. It features an instant-close float mechanism which keeps water out of the unit when the snorkeler submerges and allows air to flow when he or she is above the wave line. This snorkel features a tube that eases jaw fatigue and can be easily folded for storage. Another great feature of this snorkel is that it has a quick purge valve that will clear excess water out of the tube when necessary.
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Buying the Best Dry Snorkel
Although most snorkels are fairly simple devices, finding one that fits your needs isn’t always easy. There are a number of different varieties available and each one seems to have its own patented design. That’s why you should just focus on basics and look for a few key features. Here are what to look for when buying a snorkel – especially a dry-top version.
Size of the Diameter Tube
Generally speaking, when choosing a snorkel you’ll want to choose one that has a large diameter tube. After all, a larger tube means that more air will enter the tube at one time and that means it will be somewhat easier to breathe while you’re swimming. Smaller tubes generally require more “work” as far as airflow is concerned.
Rigid & Flexible Models
Another thing you’ll want to consider is whether the snorkel is rigid or has a flexible bend next to the mouthpiece. I find that I like flexible models better because they will bend somewhat to accommodate the angle of my mouth. In the past, I’ve found that rigid models make me feel like a fish on a hook and are highly uncomfortable. However, the flexible types also happen to move around a lot while swimming, which is something a lot of swimmers don’t like.
The Mouth Piece
All thing being equal, you’ll want to get a snorkel with a comfortable mouthpiece. One that fits in your mouth and doesn’t require you to bite down on it to hold it in place. A good mouthpiece fits comfortably between your teeth and doesn’t produce a lot of jaw fatigue. You might also want to consider buying a model in which the mouthpiece is replaceable. That way, if it gets chewed up or damaged, you can just replace it without having to buy a whole new snorkel.
The Purge Valve
Needless to say, a purge valve is another important feature to have with one of these snorkels. That’s because even the best snorkel doesn’t keep every drop of water out of it, so you should have an easy way to expel the water from your mouthpiece so you don’t have to get a mouthful of saltwater. Most of these work by the swimmer blowing air into a valve that then jettisons the water out quickly and easily.