It's summertime, and that means beach time! If you're going into the water you might as well take the time to look around, and that means you'll need a mask and snorkel to do it right. Wildhorn Outfitters has you covered with a choice of traditional or full-face snorkel sets.
Let's talk about the Seaview 180 V2 first. Designed for casual snorkelin, it comes in two pieces for easy transport and storage in the included cinch-top bag, which we appreciated given our desire to pack light for a week in Hawaii – gear testing, what can we say, it's a grind! Once at the beach, just snap the snorkel onto the mask and you're good to go.
The Seaview is a full-face mask, meaning it covers not just your nose but your mouth as well. You can choose from three sizes, which all use the same polycarbonate mask and frame, but differ in the silicone insert to better seal to different face sizes. For you budding YouTubers out there, it even comes with a removable action camera mount on the left side.
The V2 is the second iteration, and it features high-quality design and construction all around, from the medical grade silicone to the multiple valves between the breathing chamber and the eye chamber, which were very effective in preventing fogging. The X strap keeps the Seaview snug against your noggin, the float in the Flowtech snorkel does a good job at preventing waves from getting in, and the drain below the mouth easily lets water flow out as you surface. Testing with kids and adults, the Seaview was popular for its large viewing area and easy on/off. Kids in particular liked the one piece design so they didn't have to futz around with a separate snorkel and mask.
The Kradan snorkel set is for the traditionalists out there, with a separate mask and two-piece snorkel. That's right, we said two-piece snorkel, designed for easy transport – again appreciated! Just seat and twist the two pieces together and snorkel on. The Kradan is a great snorkel set, with a really supple hypoallergenic silicone skirt and mouthpiece that sealed extremely well against a variety of face sizes and types. The strap is easily adjustable on both sides, and the snorkel itself has a very cool feature: the bottom translucent flex tubing lets the snorkel move a bit in the water, so all that force isn't being transferred to your mouth and jaw. Combined with the very comfortable mouthpiece the Kradan was a favorite for longer snorkel sessions.
Both the Seaview 180 V2 and the Kradan are great snorkels. If you've got a younger snorkeler or you're very much into casual floating and viewing, the Seaview gives you the convenience of a single piece of gear and a panoramic view. It does breathe a little differently than traditional two-piece snorkels, so try it in the pool or a calm, protected area first until you get used to it, which doesn't take very long. If you're a more experienced snorkeler and want a high-speed traditional set, the Kradan is a great choice. We'll be taking both to the beach with us, and remember: never snorkel alone!