There are legitimate reasons why some people don’t want to wear a traditional snorkel mask.

Have you thought about modern full face snorkel masks instead? If you’re still not convinced it doesn’t leave you with many options.

Maybe you could just use a regular old pair of swim goggles, but is it even possible to have an enjoyable time snorkeling with them.

Can You Snorkel With Swim Goggles?

Yes, you can definitely snorkel with swim goggles. It’s possible to have a great time exploring the underwater world too. There are obviously a few big differences which you’ll need to know about, so we’ll discuss everything you’ll need to understand before hitting the water.

Aqua Sphere Vista Swim Mask with Clear Lens, Gray/Blue
A top choice when using goggles to snorkel.

Differences Between Goggles and Snorkel Masks

  • Keeping a watertight seal
  • Wearing a nose clip
  • Snorkel deeper underwater
  • Wider field of vision

Keeping a watertight seal – Snorkel masks are designed to keep a watertight seal at all times. Some of them allow you to swim dozens of meters below the surface of the sea. Even full face snorkel masks will keep water out when you’re a few meters below the water line.

Goggles aren’t designed to be used for snorkeling, so you’ll need to make sure you choose a pair capable of creating a great seal around your face. You have to take into account you’ll need to attach your snorkel to the strap too.

If you wear cheap ones with a flimsy strap your snorkel won’t stay in position, so pick out the best snorkel goggles you can find.

Wearing a nose clip – Any kind of snorkel mask will stop water from entering your nose no matter what you’re doing underwater. You can even breathe through your nose will wearing a full face snorkel mask. But your nose has zero protection when wearing goggles.

You must wear a nose clip to stop water from getting into your nose. People joke about walking and chewing gum at the same time, but try breathing through your mouth while stopping water from entering your open nostrils. It’s almost impossible and you’ll fail at some point.

Snorkel deeper underwater – Snorkeling goggles aren’t designed to be used deep under the sea. Even if you can hold your breath for a few minutes there is a limit to how far you can go down. Equalizing your ears isn’t a problem because you’ll be able to pinch your nose.

Equalizing your goggles is another problem altogether. Water is 800 times denser than air and there isn’t a lot of air in your goggles. At least when you’re using a proper snorkel mask you can equalize it a little by exhaling through your nose.

Wider field of vision – The best full face snorkeling masks will give you 180 degrees of panoramic vision when you’re underwater. You’ll be able to see almost anything no matter what direction it comes from. Normal snorkel goggles don’t afford you the same luxury as the Wildhorn mask.

WildHorn Outfitters Seaview 180 Degree Panoramic Snorkel Mask- Full Face Design,Panoramic Navy Blue/Gray,Large/Extra Large (Renewed)
180 degree panoramic vision makes a difference.

To be fair, there are some models with special lenses that will give you a wider field of vision than you’ll ever need when snorkeling.

Staying Safe Snorkeling With Goggles

There are obviously a few dangers involved in any activity that takes place in open water. But it’s a bit more dangerous when you’re not using optimal equipment. Here are a few helpful safety tips you should keep in mind:

  • Learn how to keep calm
  • Wear good snorkel fins
  • Check the sea conditions

Learn how to keep calm – It’s fair to say there are more chances of something going wrong if you snorkel with goggles. Water could come pouring into your eyes or nose. You could lose control of your snorkel and it might leave you unable to breathe for a while.

You’ve got to learn how to stay calm in those situations. If you stay calm there is a good chance you’ll be able to get out of any dangerous scenarios you find yourself in.

Wear good snorkel fins – Staying calm is fine but it’s still useful to reach the surface as quickly as possible when things go wrong. If you’re wearing great snorkeling fins you’ll be able to break the surface much quicker. You’ll probably feel more confident knowing you’re wearing them too.

Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins- Compact Travel, Swim, and Snorkeling Flippers for Men and Women. Revolutionary Comfort on Land and Sea.
It's better to be safe than sorry.

Wildhorn snorkeling fins are a really popular choice with snorkeling fanatics at the moment.

Check the sea conditions – Don’t snorkel in the ocean when sea conditions are dangerous. Learn to check how bad it’s going to be before you go snorkeling. But it’s not really the point I’m trying to make.

Snorkeling with goggles in rough conditions is a nightmare. You’ll be messing with your snorkel most of the time you’re out there due to waves crashing into it.

Key Snorkel Goggle Features You’ll Need

If you do decide to wear goggles when snorkeling you shouldn’t really wear any random pair you find lying around. Some features you’ll find on good models will come in extremely handy under the sea. Let’s look at a few of the big ones and why they are so important:

  • UV protection
  • Anti-fog + anti-scratch
  • Quick adjust buckles
  • Split head strap

UV protection – The average pair of goggles is designed to be used in an indoor swimming pool. When you’re in the ocean you’ll need to deal with the sun, especially if you are on a tropical holiday. Would you spend hours in the sun without applying sunscreen to your body?

If you want to give you eyes the same sort of protection you’ll need snorkel goggles with UV protection lenses. Don’t risk damaging your eyes in case it becomes serious.

Anti-fog + anti-scratch – Wearing goggles to snorkel is fine as long as you can actually see the fish and flora when you’re under the water. The biggest obstacle standing in your way will be the lenses fogging up, which won’t happen when wearing a full face snorkel mask.

It’s much more likely to happen when wearing snorkel goggles, so make sure the manufacturers have used anti-fog treatment. Anti-scratch lenses fall into this category too. If you have scratches all over your lenses it’s going to obstruct your perfect view.

Quick adjust buckles – You’ll need to find a way to squeeze your snorkel under your head strap. I’m sure you already know they’re not designed with that in mind, so it’s safe to say your snorkel will probably move around a lot during the course of the day.

If you have quick adjust buckles you’ll be able to take care of the problem much quicker. Less time wasted adjusting things means more time admiring giant turtles and sharks that won’t eat you alive.

Split head strap – Swimming around all day with a simple strap is going to hurt after a few hours. It’s going to be even worse when snorkeling because pressure increases as you go deeper underwater. There is a really simple way you’ll be able to ease your pain.

Make sure your snorkeling goggles have a split head strap. Pressure will be applied over a greater surface area making it hurt less. If you’re lucky you won’t feel any discomfort at all.

Can You Go Snorkeling With Swimming Goggles?

Yes, absolutely. It’s possible to go snorkeling with swimming goggles. Not only can you snorkel in the middle of the ocean, but you can have lots of fun doing so. That doesn’t mean it’s the best idea in the world, so make sure you understand you’re leaving yourself at a disadvantage.

Don’t forget about any of the tips we’ve talked about today. Grab yourself a good pair of snorkel goggles and any extra safety equipment you think will help out.