Dry VS Semi Dry Snorkel: The Ultimate Comparison

Snorkels are small tubes that provide swimmers with a steady flow of fresh air, enabling them to breathe underwater when snorkeling or scuba diving. However, for something this small and simple, they are essential for scuba diving.

Dry snorkel tubes have a floating seal design inside to prevent water from entering the tube and work the best underwater in shallow depths. Whereas, semi-dry snorkel tubes have a splash guard design that keeps water out of the tube and is better for staying above the surface due to its splash guard.

But keeping all aside, the snorkel that really matters can vary depending on how and where you wish to dive. In this article, we will discuss dry vs. semi-dry snorkel because these two types are utilized by the majority of snorkelers.

So without any further ado, let’s dive in!

What Is A Dry Snorkel?

Dry snorkels include a cover known as the float valve, and mechanism at the top of the tube. It stops water from entering the tube from the surface or even while completely immersed. A snorkeler will not have a tube full of water when using these kinds of snorkels.

Like every other snorkel, these too come in various qualities. Some higher quality products may feature an additional plugged valve system for any unwanted water that might accidentally flow in the tube.

What Is A Semi-Dry Snorkel?

Semi-dry snorkels use a splash guard at the head of the tube to keep the water out. If the water does get in, which is generally due to large water splashes or waves, it has a one-way flush valve that allows you to simply drain the water out.

Designed especially for beginners, these have a more flexible body and a longer tube compared to the dry ones, we’ll talk more on that in a while. Nevertheless, these too come in various qualities and ranges in terms of materials and functionality.

Purpose of the Dry And Semi-Dry Snorkel

The purpose of a dry snorkel is to enhance your comfort at the surface by keeping water out of the dry snorkel tubes. Dry snorkels are more secure and pleasant than classic j-type snorkels.

A semi-dry snorkel’s purpose is to keep water out of the top of the tube by utilizing a splash guard. A semi dry snorkel is preferable when staying above the surface.

Dry Vs Semi Dry Snorkel: What Are The Differences?

The core functionality of both these snorkels are quite similar, however there are some key points that separate these products individually:


Semi-dry snorkels tend to have a longer tube than the general dry snorkel. Most semi-dry snorkel tubes are generally flexible allowing you the comfort to adjust, however manufacturer’s use these features on high end dry snorkels as well.


While this is very subjective as the material may vary between products and their manufacturer. Usually the dry snorkels are made up of rigged and better materials compared to their counterparts.


Even though both have a very specific usability and function, most divers say semi-dry snorkels are more comfortable for snorkeling. This is mainly due to their light weightiness however you might end up cleaning the water every now and then with it.

Down below is a comparison chart to help you judge better on which snorkel fits your needs.

Dry Snorkel

Semi-Dry Snorkel

It has a floating object inside the tube to create a seal.

It does not have a floating object or a seal.

When you want to stay underwater, this is the perfect moment to utilize it.

It is most effective when you simply want to float.

Not at all useful for deeper dives.

Since water fills up in this when submerged, you don't feel any up thrust while deep water diving.

Useful for longer periods of diving.

Water usually fills up when swimming for too long and needs to be cleared frequently.

It is usually bulkier and heavier to wear.

Generally more comfortable to wear than dry snorkels.

Other than these differences, both these snorkels can come in different shapes. Semi-dry snorkel sets tend to be more flexible and seem like an easier option, however, the effectiveness lies completely on how you’ll use it.

Advantages Of Dry Snorkel

So why should one opt for a dry snorkel? Here are some advantages for you to consider:

One of the most significant advantages of utilizing a dry snorkel is that very no water enters the tube. Which is fantastic since, unlike other snorkels, you will not have a swig of water when snorkeling if you use a dry snorkel.

You will also need to clear your snorkel less frequently since there will be less water in the tube allowing you to do snorkeling better. You'll also be able to breathe more easily, avoid choking on seawater, and snorkel more effectively.

Lastly, they are made up of luxury materials, giving you that premium feels when snorkeling.

Advantages Of Semi-Dry Snorkel

The semi-dry ones have a few distinguishable features for you to consider. Below are some of the advantages that you might want to consider before you garb a semi-dry snorkel

Unlike dry snorkels, Semi-dry snorkels do not keep all of the water out of the tube, but they do aid to prevent any water from splashing into the tube when on the surface. Thus, wet or semi-dry snorkels offer a greater advantage to scuba drivers.

Unlike dry snorkels, semi-dry snorkels are also not too heavy and are more comfortable for long sessions.

Moreover, the semi-dry snorkel comes with an adjustable and flexible tube, with which you'll get a better fit every time.

Dry Vs Semi-Dry Snorkel: Which One Is Worth Buying?

Which is better: a dry or semi-dry snorkel? The choice between these two snorkels is determined by the type of aquatic activity you choose to engage in. Because of its floating seal, the dry snorkel is ideal for going underwater in shallow depths. On the other hand, the semi-dry snorkel is ideal for staying above the surface thanks to its splash guard.

In simpler words, both are equally effective, so before choosing to identify the type of snorkeling that you are expecting. However, in general, you’ll find dry snorkels to a touch more expensive than a semi-dry one. Nevertheless, we suggest you evaluate the uses according to your requirement before making a purchase.


In this article, we investigated dry vs semi-dry snorkel and supplied as much information on both as we could so you don't have any difficulties when purchasing a snorkel. The dry snorkel is better for when you are going below, while the semi-dry snorkel is best for staying on the surface.

We recommend that you use a dry snorkel since it helps you preserve energy; nevertheless, the one you pick will depend on your usage. We hope this article was helpful and that you are now able to select the best snorkel for yourself. Until next time, happy snorkeling!

Norma A Robertson

Hey, my name is Norma A Robertson. My hobbies include paddle boarding, kite surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, etc. I started this website to share my experience and ideas as well as review products that interest me to help everyone who reads it. I hope you find what you are looking for in my articles.

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