Choosing a snorkel

Here at Aquaholics we stock a wide range of snorkels at our shop in Puerto Princesa in beautiful Palawan Philippines.

scuba dive palawan

I often get asked the question,  ‘Martyn, which is the best one’ and my answer is all of them! They all the job for which they were intended but they all have different features.

So the one which is the best depends on what you want it for. Put simply a snorkel is designed to help you breath with your face in the water whilst looking at the pristine corals, shipwrecks and abundant fish life of Palawan

Snorkels basically fall into one of 3 camps. Lets take a look and see if we can find the one that’s right for you.

We have:

a) Open snorkel
b) Semi dry
c) Totally dry


a) Low cost, streamlined
b) Mid priced,purge valve and shield at the top
c) More expensive, purge valve and 2 way valve at the top


a) Water gets in easily when submerged or hit by a wave and requires hard exhale to clear water from inside
b) Water gets in easily when submerged
c) Biggest snorkel, more drag and requires careful handling due to mechanism


a) Simple and close fitting so less drag
b )Easy to clear due to purge valve and some degree of protection in rougher waters
c) Practically impossible to flood due to locking water mechanism and purge valve for simplistic clearing should water enter

dry snorkelKeep- all snorkels have one of these and there are many variations. This is how you attach the snorkel to the mask. Be careful as many keeps break if too much pressure is applied

So if you hate salty sea water coming down into your mouth choose C. if you want to do some deeper snorkeling/free diving chose B and if you are maybe a rental shop chose A as no moving parts and unlikely to break due to rough handling!

Personally, I use all of them at some point. The folding one you can see I use when I am scuba diving and keep that in my BC pocket at all times and my partner Keith in Port Barton swears by the fully dry snorkel which he has used many a time to sneak upon some unsuspecting turtle, just off German island Port Barton. Finally, soon the Tubbataha season will arrive and hopefully all those divers will be carrying the right snorkel on each and every dive.If not let Aquaholics be of help and assisting you to get the one that’s right for you.

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