Kapitol Reef recently sent me their snorkel set (mask, snorkel, and fins) to use and review. I took them in the frigid waters of the Pacific out at Smuggler’s Cove on the Oregon Coast, dove down deep with them in an abandoned, flooded pit at an old rock quarry on the Lewis River, and used them on a recent trip to India’s Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Through all of the time that I used their gear, the pros and cons stayed consistent, no matter the environment.
- The mask itself has a one-way purge valve which is definitely a step above my old Promate mask.
- The snorkel has a unique dual-tubed
design that separates your inhaled air from your exhaled air, thereby preventing you from re-inhaling your expelled CO2 which, according to Kapitol Reef, allows you to hold your breath for 22% longer.
- The snorkel is reasonably easy to purge and is remarkably durable
- The fins are also durable and won’t completely bend beneath you in rough waves
- The mask’s strap felt a bit thin in width and tended to squeeze the skin above my ears
- The snorkel is rather heavy and awkwardly pulls on the mask’s skinny strap when in rough waves
- The snorkel tended to make a gurgling noise after being submerged, no matter how hard I tried to purge it. This was more psychologically irritating than an actual physical problem since I wasn’t inhaling water but it sounded like there was still water in the snorkel
- The fins are large and heavy and aren’t the best to travel with due to their weight, however, this can also be a pro depending on what you need it for
Appearance: Streamlined and durable, the Kapitol Reef Snorkel Set looks great and I felt like a cool kid wearing them. The snorkel is large, nearly twice as thick as my Promate one., and it looks almost like some sort of oxygen regulator that divers wear. The mask has two lenses instead of one large panoramic one, so you do look a little bug-eyed wearing it (albeit a cool bug). The fins are long and ridged, allowing maximum stability and as much maneuverability as possible. Their weight helps keep your feet from floating up in saltwater so that’s always a plus.
Value: Priced at around $99.95, the Kapitol Reef Snorkel Set is a bit steeper priced than typical Promate sets commonly found on Amazon, but while the quality feels similar, the Kapitol Reef Snorkel Set has some neater functions (see Pros above). The entire set feels solid – that plastic doesn’t feel cheapy or jank, instead you’d be hard pressed to find a way to break any of the pieces.
Overall, I’ll give the Kapitol Reef Snorkel Set a ★★★★☆. So grab a set and check out the coral beauty that awaits you!