June 30, 2022 8 min read

Before diving into the underwater world, you might be wondering how do snorkel masks work. These devices can help you breathe more easily since they're equipped with dedicated exhale valves that exit from the top of the mask rather than the snorkel itself.

These valves on the snorkeling mask minimize the distance of your out-breath and prevent re-breathing the expelled air. As your head dips into the water, these valves close. This way, the water pressure won't clog them, and you'll be able to exhale completely.

Dedicated Exhale Valve on a Snorkeling Mask

Many snorkel masks have dedicated exhale valves, which allow you to breathe out through the top of the mask instead of the snorkel. These valves are designed to reduce the distance of the out-breath and prevent you from breathing in the same air that you just exhaled.

The valves are also designed to close as your head goes underwater. This helps ensure that the mask doesn't become too tight when you dive or snorkel, and you won't have to worry about water pressure closing them.

While a dedicated exhale valve is not a requirement, it can make life much easier if you're in a pinch. Dedicated exhale valves can help you quickly get out of the water when you're in trouble underwater. Using a purge valve is an easy alternative to tilting your mask, and it allows you to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth. And, if you have a mustache, this feature is particularly convenient.

snorkeling mask

Dedicated exhale valves on snorkel masks are especially helpful in emergencies. Snorkelers don't swim regularly and are exerting themselves beyond their normal exercise routines. This makes it more difficult for their bodies to expel CO2, limiting the amount of fresh air they can breathe. This process is further complicated by a full-face mask. If a snorkel mask is too tight, the CO2 level can increase to dangerously high levels.

The main strength of this study is its performance evaluation at three different flow rates. The authors of the study suggest that noninvasive breathing support tools should be evaluated under rigorous performance tests. They note that this study recreated the setup used in noninvasive ventilatory support clinics. This study also warns against the indiscriminate use of noninvasive respiration tools. It also stresses the importance of rigorous testing before widespread adoption.

Dry Top

Most dry snorkels have a purge valve located beneath the silicone mouthpiece. The purpose of the purge valve is to help the diver expel water that has collected in the snorkel. A soft silicone valve located at the bottom of the reservoir opens when the diver forcefully exhales, enabling water to exit the snorkel without splashing out into the mouth. A dry top snorkel is less susceptible to currents, which is why the purge valve is often located beneath the mouthpiece.

Snorkels have separate areas for inhaling and exhaling air. The snorkel has a purge valve, which opens when the user blows into it, forcing the water out of the mask. Earlier designs required the user to blow really hard to force water out. This feature can be clogged with dirt, so the user should regularly clean the mask. The water stops prevent the mask from fogging and keep the face and snorkel dry.

The mask is adjustable and comes with a wide rubber headband. Quick-release buttons are located on the sides for emergencies. The mouthpiece detaches from the top of the mask and can be attached to a GoPro or underwater camera. The mask is adjustable and has two air channels. The mask also folds down to store easily. If the user is looking for a camera mount for their underwater video, a dry-top snorkel mask might be a good option.

The flex tube of a dry top snorkel is adjustable and provides an improved fit for the diver. The flex tube also provides a safer, more comfortable fit by reducing the pull on the mouthpiece. Also, it allows the diver to adjust the top of the snorkel by adjusting the angle of their mouthpiece. This also prevents water from entering the tube. The only disadvantage to these masks is that they are very bulky and wide.

Purge valve on Snorkels

Some scuba divers choose to use masks with a built-in purge valve so they can clear water without having to remove the mask. This is very convenient when holding other equipment in place. Before buying a mask for scuba diving, be sure to buy a trial run with a friend or go online and test out various models. If you are not satisfied with the quality of the mask, you can always return it.

Many modern dive masks do not feature a purge valve, but it is useful for diving. It eliminates the need to tilt the mask to clear water, and it can help you breathe easily while wearing the mask. The downside to a purge valve is that it adds another weak spot to the dive mask. It can also fail after a while due to dirt buildup and improper cleaning. Some scuba divers like dry snorkels, but it's up to you to decide if it's necessary.

person with snorkel mask

One of the main benefits of a purge valve is that it helps you breathe easier in the water. If you don't have one, it can be a nightmare to expel water. It also takes more effort, which can be stressful for beginners. Prior to the invention of the purge valve, water only went one way through the snorkel. Therefore, if water leaks in, it can drain only down.

A purge valve on traditional snorkel masks is essential if you're prone to fogging or experiencing water leakage. Some masks come with an automatic purge valve, but some don't. One-way valves may be necessary for certain situations. It's also a good idea to keep a mask clean and dry. If you're looking for a face snorkel that offers the best fit, you should look for a mask with an anti-fog coating.

Full-face Snorkeling Masks and Fabric straps

Snorkel masks feature fabric straps to provide greater comfort. Wider straps resist stretching the full face snorkel. Push-button release buckles make removing the mask quick and easy. Full-face snorkeling masks should have a dry top so that water cannot enter the mask. If you plan on swimming or snorkeling in open oceans, you should choose full-face snorkel masks with a dry top. For added comfort, you can choose a snorkel that is adjustable for a full face mask.

Face snorkel masks with fabric straps can be uncomfortable for some. A more comfortable fabric strap is made of a soft 6.5mm neoprene material with a plush backing and no-fray Velcro. You can choose between different styles and colors of fabric straps to fit your preferences. Make sure the strap is easy to adjust and comfortable. If it is hard to adjust in water, a strap may be too loose or too tight, which will cost you valuable time and effort.

While some people find nylon straps uncomfortable, others find neoprene mask straps more comfortable. For example, a neoprene strap prevents hair from getting caught in the mask's straps. For longer hair, a neoprene strap is perfect. This design also prevents hair from entanglement in the straps. And with the Slap Strap, you can also have your name or initials embroidered on the straps.

Despite the many benefits of snorkeling, it's important to remember that the majority of fatalities from diving and snorkeling are unexplained. Many are caused by a condition called ROPE. Certain health conditions increase the risk of ROPE. In addition to the risk of ROPE, diving masks also do not have a physiological explanation for drowning. The Hawaii government study also found no link between the risk of ROPE and the difficulty of removing the mask.

Ways to Prevent Leaks on a Snorkel Mask

Leaks can be caused by a few things, but one of the most common is over-pressurization, which can encourage a leak. If you are constantly over-pressurized, you will create a feedback loop, where you keep leaking and get stuck in a cycle of constantly leaking. To avoid this problem, simply press the mask gently after putting it on. For some divers, gently pressing the mask each time before they nose-pinch can stop leaks.

First, before you wear the mask, make sure you remove any moisturizer or hair. Also, shave the area under your nose, especially if you have a mustache. You can also apply petroleum jelly to your mustache to make it more solid. Remember to rinse well before entering the water. Also, try to avoid touching the lenses of the mask with your fingers, as this can also damage the silicone skirt and cause leaks.

Another common reason for leaking masks is a too-tight strap. You should have enough room to adjust the strap to fit your face and avoid it rubbing your face. If the strap is too tight, it will pull down the skirt, making it easier for water to come in and cause a leak. A good fit ensures that the silicone does its job and doesn't fall off your face.

Then, make sure your mask is placed correctly. You can use your hand to hold the mask in place or you can use both hands if it's necessary. Do not tighten the strap too much, as this can cause it to buckle and leak. Also, when wearing the mask, try to look around in all directions so you can equalize it. If you can't find the problem, you should consult a professional before diving.


Snorkel masks are designed to allow you to breathe comfortably while swimming or floating on your back in the water. The mask covers your nose and mouth and has a tube that extends to the surface of the water. The tube has a one-way valve that allows you to exhale but prevents water from entering the mask. That's all there is to how the snorkel works!


who works snorkel mask

Can you breathe underwater with a snorkel? How do snorkel masks work?

Snorkels are a great way to enjoy the underwater world without having to hold your breath. But can you actually breathe underwater with a snorkel? The answer is yes! With a snorkel, you can breathe comfortably underwater as long as you keep the top of the snorkel above the waterline. The snorkel allows air to flow freely from your lungs to the surface, so you can stay underwater for as long as you want. Of course, there are some things to keep in mind when snorkeling. Make sure you know how to use your snorkel properly before getting in the water. And always be aware of your surroundings.

Can you breathe underwater with full-face snorkel masks?

Have you ever wanted to breathe underwater like a fish? Well, now you can! With a full-face snorkel mask, you can breathe underwater just like you would on land. Whether you're swimming in a pool or exploring the Great Barrier Reef, a full-face snorkel mask lets you breathe easily and comfortably underwater.

How long can you breathe underwater with a snorkel?

Snorkeling is a great way to explore the underwater world without having to invest in scuba diving gear and lessons. But how long can you actually stay underwater with just a snorkel? The average person can hold their breath for about 30 seconds. With a snorkel, you can extend that time to 1-2 minutes. Of course, this also depends on how comfortable you are with breathing through a tube. If you're new to snorkeling, it's best to start with short dives and work your way up. So, how long can you stay underwater with a snorkel? It really depends on the person.

Why do snorkel masks cover the nose?

Snorkel masks are designed to cover the nose in order to allow the user to breathe through their nose while swimming. This is important because it allows the user to keep their face submerged without having to hold their breath, which can be taxing on the lungs. Additionally, the nose helps to filter out some of the water that might otherwise enter the mouth and mask.

Author - Nurlana Alasgarli
Nurlana Alasgarli          

Content Specialist

Nurlana Alasgarli is a professional copywriter with more than 6 years of creative writing experience. Having lived and experienced all over the world, there are many writing genres that Nurlana follows, including adventure, outdoor and water sports. Nurlana brings life to content creation, captivating her readers.

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