Mask vs Swim Goggles for Snorkeling

By Katie (Milwaukee, WI)
I am a snorkel newbie but advanced swimmer. Do I really need a mask for snorkeling? Or could I use my swim goggles (Aqua Sphere Vista Ladies) that I swim with in the lake by my house?

I only ask, because they work so well (great seal, minimal fog, I can wear them for hours). Do I need a mask that covers my nose? I am a bit confused as to why I would need a mask that covers my nose if the goggles don’t leak, I am not doing scuba diving, and I am pretty certain the water won’t go in my nose.

Thank you:)

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Nicole & Galen – Jan 05, 2014 – The Problems Are Breathing, Snorkel Attachment and Pressure.

Katie, the problems with wearing swim goggles instead of a snorkeling mask are related to breathing with your face in the water, what your snorkel attaches to, and pressure.

Even though you are breathing through your mouth in a snorkel, blocking any breath from moving through your nose is not easy without some barrier or plug. We recommend to men who want to keep their mustaches and go snorkeling to wear swim goggles, but add a good nose plug. That would be an option for you since you like your goggles so well.

But, the other problem with swim goggles vs. a snorkel mask is that the snorkel attaches to your mask strap for stability. If the strap isn’t sturdy enough your snorkel will flop around. Your mask looks like it has a decent strap for this.

And last, you said you won’t be scuba diving. If you plan to do any freediving with your goggles, do not go any deeper than 10 feet. Because in a snorkel mask you can breathe of out your nose to lower the pressure inside. With goggles you don’t have that option and will end up with two black eyes.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous – Aug 22, 2016 – Thanks!

I thought it would take lots of Google searching to answer this question but this site popped up with a wonderfully concise answer! As a mustachioed man I now have a plan. Thanks!

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