Snorkeling is not rocket science and yet, breathing through your mouth with a tube can be a challenge for some. For kids in particular, smaller mouths and wiggly teeth can turn snorkeling masks and finding Nemo into a nightmare. That’s why I was thrilled when EasyBreath, a full-face snorkeling mask that lets you breathe through your nose, was invented two years ago. It was so different in design from regular masks that it was worth at least a shot.
I waited a year to get my hand on an adult mask and waited another year for smaller masks to be developed so my youngest could have one too. Finally, we were able to test both snorkeling masks with my girls in Thailand last week.
From the get-go, it was a winner and my girls both declared that they are never coming back to conventional masks. We had their friends try the EasyBreath and they also loved it too. Whether in the pool or in the sea, they used it all the time. If you are planning a seaside family vacation, this is really the best snorkeling mask for kids – and for adults too.
In this in-depth review, I’m offering pros and cons of this snorkeling mask so you can decide whether it is for your family.
PROS OF THE EASYBREATH SNORKELING MASK
Breathing. It’s much easier to breathe with this mask. Just breathe in and out through your nose as you would normally on land. No need to wrangle a tuba in your mouth or breathe through your mouth (though you can do that too).
Underwater visibility. It is simply awesome. Think 180 degree panoramic views of the ocean below. Forget the aquarium, this beats any ocean experience in terms of what you see.
Visibility at the surface. Like all parents, I regularly check on my kids when we are snorkeling together. Conventional black snorkeling tubes are really hard to spot against a deep blue sea, but this mask’s tube comes with a bright orange spout that makes it highly visible at the surface. It’s like a small flag that says “Hey, I’m here!” From a parent perspective, it’s a Godsend as you can spot where your kids are much more easily.
Comfort around the eyes. If your kids get marks from regular swim goggles, this mask will make them change their mind about putting their head in the water. The pressure seal is a soft cordon around the head and nothing presses around the eyes or on the forehead.
Magnifying effect. The snorkeling mask gives a magnifying effect which is great to watch ocean life as the distance between the eyes and the mask is greater than in regular masks or swim goggles. If your kids have long eyelashes that sometimes “brush” against swim goggles, this won’t be an issue here.
Underwater dives. You can dive underwater with this mask and it still won’t fill with water thanks to a valve system and provided the diver exhales on the way up (you cannot breathe when you go underwater as it applies pressure on your face and is uncomfortable.)
No fog. The mask does not fog up underwater and you don’t even need to clean it or apply anti-fog treatment before swimming. Very cool!
No underwater mask flooding. This mask pretty much guarantees a flood-free experience thanks to the full-face seal.
Neck comfort. No need to lift your head to breathe normally, in the pool or in the sea. I can see that being a big plus for swimmers who like to train with snorkeling masks and who don’t want the discomfort of a rubber piece in their mouth for extended periods of time.
Cool design. It gives you a cool alien look, much like Star Wars X-fighters or Darth Vader’s younger sibling! It’s easier to play sea monster with this snorkeling mask too.
Solid. If a word describes this snorkeling mask, it’s solid. You won’t be able to bend it around the edges and the pieces are assembled very tightly. This is the type of mask that you can keep for a long while and keep in your cupboards in between snorkeling sessions.
No dental side-effects. I had to say something about teeth as kids are such regulars of the Tooth Fairy. Whereas conventional snorkeling tubes press on the gums and teeth, this mask leaves the mouth alone and this makes a real difference if you have a wiggly tooth about to fall.
CONS OF THE EASYBREATH SNORKELING MASK
Weight. It’s heavy, that’s the mask’s biggest disadvantage, especially if you’re traveling light otherwise. A mask weighs a hefty 550g/1.2 lbs. Two of these means 1.1kg of your suitcase taken up by snorkeling gear, before fins and other essentials.
Price. Created by Decathlon’s water sports brand Tribord, the EasyBreath retails around £35/$50 per piece. It’s definitely an investment and before having tried it, I was really hesitant to pay so much for an untested piece of gear. In the end, I’m glad that it’s such a success and do not regret paying that much as I am sure that it contributed to a better snorkeling/vacation experience for my family.
Size. The mask measures as much as a human face, with the tube coming apart to fit inside the mask in the mesh packaging. Again, an issue if you are traveling with a carry-on, not so much if you are driving or checking your luggage.
Occasional headaches. If the mask is too tight, it might press on the nose and head, resulting in headaches.
Sound. It might seem odd to mention the sound of a snorkeling mask but truly, anybody breathing through the EasyBreath is breathing Darth Vader-loud.
Occasional leakage. Too loose fitting results in leakage. You might get water in the mask, which means that you need to empty the mask and getting to the surface.
HOW DOES THE EASYBREATH SNORKELING MASK WORK?
To illustrate how it works, Tribord created a video showing elements of the mask’s creation as well as user testing. It’s in French with English subtitles. As you will see, putting the mask on is easy peasy.
Convinced yet? If you have already tried it. I’d love to have your feedback on this revolutionary design.
Laure is an author, environmental advocate, blogger, open water swimmer and now mother. She's passionate about inspiring families to enjoy the outdoors with their children, learning to unplug and living a healthy lifestyle, giving kids life skills and exploring the world around us sharing Family Friendly, Fun Ideas for the whole family on Frog Mom.