Snorkeling in Silfra: Everything You Need To Know
For a moment, I stop breathing. Not from fear, but from pure awe and wonder. I am experiencing a blend of deep serenity and insane euphoria.
Choose the Best Snorkel Gear for Iceland’s Silfra Fissure.
Explore Silfra – the world’s top diving site – with the best snorkeling gear for 2023.
Snorkeling in Silfra was voted one of the top five things to do in the world by Trip Advisor’s 2019 Travelers’ Choice. Grab the right snorkel gear and make the most of your vacation!
On our snorkel tours, we provide you with quality snorkel gear you’ll need to explore Silfra. But you’re more than welcome to bring your own equipment as well.
We’re here to make the choice of equipment easy for you. In this blog, find our top picks for the best snorkeling gear, product comparisons and in-depth reviews. Let’s take a look!
If you’re in a rush, here are our favorite gear recommendations for 2023. For more of our personal favorites, keep scrolling down. We’ve also included buying tips for snorkel gear.
The first thing you’ll notice when choosing new snorkeling gear is that gear is sold both as individual components and as full sets. Later we’ll dig deeper into the pros and cons of these options.
For now, let’s take a quick look at product comparisons and reviews for 2023.
A well-fitting mask is arguably the most important piece of snorkeling gear, especially at Silfra. With visibility exceeding over 300 ft (90 m), the waters in the fissure are among the clearest on Earth.
Wherever your snorkeling trip takes place, you don’t want to ruin your adventure with a foggy or leaking mask. Here’s our take on the best masks for a smooth snorkeling experience.
(The list doesn’t include full-face snorkel masks as they don’t fit with dry suits. We’ll talk about dry suits and why you need them for snorkeling at Silfra later.)
Our expert guides use this mask daily and it proves its worth. This product features ultra-clear glass. Ordinary face masks have tiny iron particles in the lenses that block the light. This mask, on the other hand, is iron-free and has maximum light transmission.
The frameless design significantly expands your field of vision. Moreover, the DGX mask has a black silicone skirt to avoid confusing reflections on the inner surface of the glass.
Besides the awesome vision provided by the mask, the double silicone skirt also efficiently seals water out. All of the features make it the best snorkel mask for beginners.
The DGX mask is included on our Silfra tours.
A question our snorkeling guides often get asked is “What if I wear glasses?” Unfortunately, you can’t wear glasses under your snorkeling mask. Contact lenses are a great alternative, but if you don’t feel confident wearing them underwater, go for a prescription mask.
The Promate mask is a real game-changer on the market. If offers corrective lenses for the nearsighted from -1.0 to -10.0 and for the farsighted from 1.0 to +5.0 (by increments of 0.5 in both cases).
Now, you’re probably wondering whether you can order different prescription strengths for each eye? The answer is yes! Bifocal lenses are also available.
BONUS: This breakthrough mask also has a GoPro camera mount.
If you’re planning on snapping great pictures underwater, this old-school oval mask is the perfect choice. This product is popular with photographers because of its clear view of the diver’s face. It also offers a wide field of vision and a great seal.
However, the high internal volume of air makes clearing the mask a little hard.
Overall, the Tortuga mask is quite affordable and will make for a serious fashion statement.
Cressi is one of the best snorkeling gear brands on the market and has operated since 1946. Cressi F1 mask is a great piece of gear that doesn’t cost too much. It’s made from high-quality silicone and will last through many snorkeling seasons.
The wide-angle lens is made of anti-fog tempered glass and provides a good field of vision. The mask features easily adjustable buckles anchored directly to the skirt for maximum stability.
It comes in multiple colors to suit your taste and folds up flat for easier packing.
This is a high-end mask known for superior quality and supreme comfort. It has an ultra-clear lens, one of the best on the market, so you get the best possible view. The wide design provides fantastic views in all directions.
The Atomic mask comes with its signature waterproof seal, known as Gummi Bear UltraSoft silicone. Expect an exceptionally snug and comfortable fit around your face. In addition, it has easily adjustable swivel buckets.
The Atomic isn’t a cheap mask, but it provides everything a professional snorkeler needs.
Snorkels come in three different types: classical, semi-dry, and dry. The main difference is whether the opening at top has a splash guard (or a valve mechanism).
Snorkels have little variation, but there are plenty of brands and styles to choose from. Find reviews below on our top picks for each type of snorkel.
If you’re looking for a classic snorkel, Cressi’s standard bore tube ticks all the boxes. It features a soft silicone mouthpiece that provides comfort for a long time underwater.
This snorkeling buddy has a wide tube to ensure maximum airflow. A sliding elastic clip makes it super easy to attach it to any mask.
This semi-dry snorkel is perfect for both beginners and more advanced snorkelers. That’s why we use it on our snorkeling tours. The DBE snorkel is designed with the snorkeler’s comfort in mind. The mouthpiece is made from silicone, ensuring ease of use.
A splash guard protects the top of the tube from splashes at the surface. So you can focus on exploring the rift without worrying about water in your snorkel!
In addition, it has a purge valve on the bottom that allows you to blow away any water that may have entered the tube.
This dry top snorkel is a dependable piece of gear. It has a comfortable angled mouthpiece that is also replaceable. This means you don’t need to throw the whole snorkel away when the mouthpiece starts to fail.
A nice touch is the self-draining chamber that makes it easy to purge. The setup is flexible and fits in any day bag.
Fins are a must-have when snorkeling at Silfra. They can stick to your foot in two basic ways: in a foot pocket or by a strap over the heel.
The water in Silfra is about 35-37°F (2-4°C). This means you’ll have to wear neoprene booties for warmth. For that reason you should choose open-heel design fins. They fit better with booties.
Let’s take a look at our top picks for open-heel fins.
Apex RK3 fins are designed in collaboration with the U.S. military and are among the best on the market. They are made from thermoplastic rubber and are very durable. This exceptional piece of gear provides great maneuverability and plenty of power to each leg kick.
As these fins are noted for an extremely secure fit, you won’t have to worry about them slipping off your feet. We provide Apex RK3 fins on our snorkeling tours.
This product from Mares is the best choice within the average price range. They are made from durable material that provides quality and mobility. Bungee heel straps make donning and doffing a breeze. Swimmers love these fins for their great thrusting power.
These fins are short and lightweight, making them perfect for travelers. Unlike longer fins, they are easier to control and requires less energy to propel yourself forward. This means they are also less powerful. Overall these are good compact fins at an affordable price.
Ready to go snorkeling? Check out our award-winning Silfra tours and book your ticket today!
You can choose between buying the whole snorkeling kit at once or acquiring it piece by piece. Generally, sets include all three basic parts of snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel, and fins) or just a mask and a snorkel.
The biggest selling point of sets is value. Buying a set of snorkel gear tends to be cheaper than buying each component individually. In addition, all pieces in a set fit seamlessly and suit the same skill level. It’s perfect for beginners.
However, sets are made for an average person and might not fit you perfectly. This applies especially to masks that come in many different varieties.
Also, you might need something specific. For example, you need open-heel fins for snorkeling in Silfra to fit with neoprene booties.
If you’re looking for professional snorkeling gear, it’s better to buy components individually.
In a nutshell, buying a package will save you money but collecting your own gear set will ensure you get the perfect fit for each piece.
Let’s dive into the next section and look at comparisons and reviews of the best snorkeling gear sets.
This set is the perfect starter for beginners. Inside you’ll find quality gear including a silicone mask, dry snorkel, fins, and a mesh carrying bag. The mask has strong tempered glass lenses and a conforming skirt edge that adapts to most faces.
The dry snorkel automatically closes during submersion. This is a great feature when adventuring with kids. The fins have an open heel and an adjustable strap for an ideal fit. They are small and convenient for travel.
Seavenger is one of the best snorkeling equipment brands. These guys are known for making high-quality and dependable gear.
The Aviator set includes a single-lens mask, dry-top snorkel, and open-heel fins. The best thing about this set is that it comes in different sizes and is perfect for outfitting the whole family. In addition, the set is compact and will easily fit in your luggage.
This is a great snorkel and mask combo for those who want to purchase fins separately. The mask has good downward vision and a wide split strap for a snug fit.
The semi-dry snorkel keeps water out when it splashes over the snorkel. As every good snorkel should, it features a purge valve for blowing out any water that gets inside.
The set comes in multiple colors and at a fair price. No wonder it’s among the best rated snorkeling gear on the market.
The water at Silfra is ice cold at around 35-37°F (2-4°C). That means you’ll need to wear a dry suit in addition to your mask, snorkel, and fins.
The good news is that our tours provide neoprene dry suits from the companies Waterproof and 0’Three. More precisely, we use the model D70 from Waterproof and the Port 10 from O’Three. These suits are made from high-quality components and will keep you warm throughout your adventure.
The only thing you need to bring with you on a tour is the thermal base layer. Your base layer needs to be thin and made of wool, fleece or synthetic fabric. We advise avoiding cotton, as it quickly absorbs moisture and loses its ability to retain warmth.
You’ll also need to wear warm undergarments beneath your dry suit, thick neoprene gloves, and a thick hood for extra warmth. We provide all this equipment.
If all this talk about thermals and dry suits makes your head spin, don’t worry. We’ve created a video to give you a better idea of how the gearing-up process for snorkeling at Silfra works.
So now you know all about our top-rated snorkel gear, but how do you choose the best fit?
We’re all different and have different needs. And that’s alright.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know before spending your hard-earned money on new snorkeling gear.
Your mask should fit neatly and tightly. Check if the mask fits with these few easy steps:
If the mask sticks to your face, it fits!
There are a few other things to check before purchasing your mask:
If you’re thinking of bringing your own fins to Silfra, please make sure that they are open-heeled fins, as they will need to fit with a neoprene boot.
Before you buy fins, take a few moments to find the right fin for you at the dive store:
To find more information about snorkeling and what you need to know before your first snorkeling adventure, check out our article: What is Snorkeling.
Is the underwater world calling to you? Check out our snorkeling tours and find your next adventure!