Online “department” stores and general sporting goods stores work because sales associates know a little about lots of products. Other online stores do the same, or eliminate the problem by restricting your selection. At Snorkel City, we are dedicated to giving you the best variety of the best gear at the best prices. All of our US-based customer associates know the ins and outs of a variety of brands and materials and are ready to help you select the perfect snorkeling gear for your next excursion.
The best material for mask skirts and snorkel flex tubes and mouthpieces is silicone. Silicone is hypoallergenic, flexible, soft, and very durable. Because silicone has elastic properties, it molds to the contours of your face comfortably, and lets the same design of mask fit many different face shapes. Cared for properly, silicone will stay crystal clear, letting in more light and creating a bigger view. On a snorkel, a silicone mouthpiece will fit more comfortably in your mouth, without sharp lines and points leftover from the molding process. Silicone is soft and will not damage teeth. A silicone flex tube can be repositioned easily and does not tug into an unnatural position.
Using PVC or a PVC/silicone blend in masks and snorkels saves a few dollars, but you will pay the difference during your snorkeling experience. PVC is quite firm, so it does not conform well to the contours of your face. Because of this, a PVC mask skirt is more prone to leaks. A PVC mouthpiece has similar problems—due to its stiffness, it can fit awkwardly in your mouth and rub or press on sensitive lips and gums. A PVC “flex” tube does not allow enough movement to reposition the snorkel comfortably, and it takes quite a bit of work to get it where you want it to go. Leaving your PVC mask in a mask box won’t help much—because it is so rigid, anywhere it was pushed in the mask box will leave a permanent curl or bend.
Snorkeling masks should use tempered safety glass for the lenses. Accept no exceptions. Tempered glass is designed to withstand use for both snorkeling and diving. This is vital if you like to dive under the water to investigate while snorkeling. An abrupt change in pressure can damage plastic or polycarbonate lenses. Tempered glass is engineered to break into several mostly dull pieces, not small sharp slivers, when it breaks. We consider this a vital safety feature at Snorkel City, and we are pleased to offer our customers only masks with tempered glass lenses.
At Snorkel City, we always share what materials are contained in our products. We list that information right on the product page—no fine print, no hidden surprises. We take all our own product photos, so what you see on the website is what you receive.
We encourage you to shop around and discover for yourself that Snorkel City offers the best gear at the best prices. We also encourage you to ask us detailed questions about our products. We stand behind our inventory, and will not offer you any product that we would not use ourselves. Do your research, shop around, and then give Snorkel City a call. We are ready to help you today!