Serious 4×4 enthusiasts know that an air intake snorkel is an important part of an off-road toolkit when it comes to preparing to tackle anything a trail might throw their way. Upgrades to wheels and tires, suspension, lighting, and other areas have an important role in dialing up capability in an off-road setting, though the snorkel is the go-to product to protect your engine from the typically catastrophic ingestion of water or mud.
Whether you’re a novice off-roader looking for affordable options in your first snorkel kit, or a seasoned veteran building or upgrading a new rig, we’ll highlight some of the most popular options on the market below.
Table of contents
- Editor's Pick: K&N Performance Intake Kit With Snorkel
- Volant Snorkel Periscope Kit
- Partol Air Ram Intake Snorkel Kit
- Rugged Ridge Low Mount Snorkel Kit
- TMS Cold Air Intake Rolling Head Snorkel Kit
- Hauk Offroad Cast Snorkel
- ARB Safari Snorkel
- Spec-D Tuning Pre-Cleaner Intake Head
- River Raider Snorkel System
- Air Ram Intake Snorkel Kit
- What You Need to Know About Snorkels
Editor's Pick: K&N Performance Intake Kit With Snorkel
When brand reputation and long-term confidence are key, look no further than this snorkel kit from K&N. From one of the most popular brands in aftermarket intake systems comes this cold air intake snorkel that’s guaranteed to provide a horsepower gain, engineered to improve throttle response and engine sound, and built to fully separate the fresh air inlet from the hot engine compartment.
As a K&N product, the quality of the materials and components are top-notch, though this unit is priced accordingly. A removable airbox lid provides easy access to the filter beneath, for quicker inspection and replacement. Expect quick and easy installation thanks to clever design that ties into existing mounting points. The high-flow, open-element filter can be used for years before servicing is required, too.
Volant Snorkel Periscope Kit
Available for numerous applications, this Snorkel Perisocope kit from Volant attaches to the brand’s cold air intake kit on your 4×4 to create a new intake system that gathers air from above the vehicle’s roofline. The three-piece air duct is made from durable polyethylene for a long service life, and connects to the Volant Cold Air Intake through the front fender. A polished aluminum cover adds some visual flair and helps prevent debris from finding its way into the intake system. This kit is popular, though shop carefully: it only includes the periscope snorkel extension, and NOT the required cold air intake (purchased separately), so some online product images may be misleading.
Partol Air Ram Intake Snorkel Kit
For shoppers on a tight budget, or those who want to try out a snorkel for the very first time before making a bigger investment, the Partol Air Ram Intake Snorkel Kit is worth a look. High-flow ducting and a windshield-height intake scoop reduce the possibility of hazardous hydro-locking of the engine in deep water. Large-bore plumbing helps ensure a constant and generous supply of fresh, dry air to the engine, which may improve efficiency and power.
Mounted to the front passenger side of the vehicle, this affordable snorkel is made of UV-resistant ABS plastic. The price is right for first-time snorkel users or those curious about living with a snorkel kit, but you get what you pay for: this simple snorkel has decent ratings, but some owners complain of a low-quality feel and poor looks.
Rugged Ridge Low Mount Snorkel Kit
This uniquely clever Jeep snorkel kit from Rugged Ridge provides the benefits of an elevated air intake, but with less visual or functional modification of your vehicle. Normal snorkel kits mount up high—at the end of a length of ducting that runs roughly the height of the windshield. This low-mount snorkel kit takes a different approach, since it elevates the air intake duct above factory height and outside of the engine bay, but with minimal visible exterior hardware. Instead, this snorkel kit connects a low-profile intake duct, which sits just above the height of the hood, to the intake box beneath, via mandrel-bent aluminum and silicone couplers.
Though it doesn’t offer the huge height advantage of more hardcore units, this kit provides added confidence for fording deeper water, with nothing to block your factory window fold-down, or light bar. Many owners appreciate this system’s ability to ensure the engine is feeding only on cool, outside air in tough or hot situations where the vehicle may be moving slowly, and therefore accumulating hot air under the hood.
Best of all, this system is modular—meaning owners can expand or change it by adding or removing parts, to fit the task at hand. Need to cross some deep water? No problem—just pop on the sold-separately intake extension, to replace the hood duct with a full-height snorkel on an as-needed basis.
TMS Cold Air Intake Rolling Head Snorkel Kit
With affordable pricing and strong owner reviews that typically express surprise at the cost versus quality quotient of this product, the TMS Cold Air Intake Rolling Head Snorkel Kit enhances performance, adds confidence, and is built to last. Designed specially to keep dust and water out of your engine, it’s a strong investment to protect your ride, at a price that won’t break the bank. As it doubles as a cool-air intake, this kit may provide added power, mileage, and an enhanced engine tone, too. Everything you need is in the box, but check instructions carefully—as some owners have complained of vague or missing steps.
Hauk Offroad Cast Snorkel
Here’s a premium product that takes snorkels upscale, and provides outstanding durability and performance. Unlike most snorkel kits, this unit is constructed of cast aluminum, not plastic, for a longer service life and improved toughness. A powder-coat finish enhances the appearance even further, while a high-flow design allows the engine to run cooler, and more efficiently. Heavy duty ducting is included, to connect the exterior snorkel to the factory airbox. Stainless steel hardware is included for mounting and connecting this snorkel, helping round out the Hauk Offroad Cast Snorkel as the first, and last, snorkel you’ll buy. Colored epoxy coating is available for a customized look, if desired.
ARB Safari Snorkel
This tough and smooth-looking snorkel kit moves the air intake duct up high and out of the way, protecting your engine from water ingestion and hydro locking. A clean exterior look and tough black polyethylene construction with a cross-linked body add style and strength, while high-flow ducting helps improve performance and fuel efficiency. Finally, a uniquely-designed evacuation system helps more effectively disperse rain and unwanted moisture from the system, before it reaches your airbox.
Spec-D Tuning Pre-Cleaner Intake Head
Used in conjunction with your existing snorkel kit, this special pre-cleaner head can be installed ahead of use by off-road vehicles at low-speeds, in extra-dusty or dirty environments. Ideal where an extra level of cleaning is required, this highly rated and affordable pre-cleaner system uses a cyclonic action that encourages dust, dirt and water to settle out of the air intake stream, becoming trapped in the clear bowl, rather than clogging your vehicle’s actual air filter. Once full, the cleaner bowl can simply be removed and emptied. It’s like adding a second air filter system to protect your engine, for maximum peace of mind.
River Raider Snorkel System
For discerning shoppers, professional off-roaders, or any customer who demands nothing less than the best from a design perspective, the River Raider snorkel system is an expensive but rewarding option. With the air intake relocated to the top of the windshield at the end of a cast aluminum duct, this snorkel kit offers a factory-looking design and quality feel. Numerous custom colors and finishes can be specified to match the look of any off-roader. All supporting hardware and connectors are included, and this no-fuss solution is guaranteed to fit and function properly, the first time.
Air Ram Intake Snorkel Kit
Ideal for shoppers experienced with snorkel installation, or those willing to seek professional installation help for the job, this affordable kit combines reasonable pricing with a high-flow design that attaches to the factory airbox and air cleaner assembly of your vehicle. UV stable plastic contributes to a long life, all mounting and installation hardware is included, and templates are provided for easier install of the required parts. Owners note that while templates are provided, the supplied installation instructions are too vague to be useful, and ratings are accordingly low from some users. This one’s an ideal choice for users on a budget, who also have some previous snorkel-install experience.
What You Need to Know About Snorkels
Limited Functionality: Many snorkel kits for the Jeep Wrangler will block the factory hinged windshield from being able to fold down onto the vehicle’s hood and out of your way. If you’ll off-road with your windshield folded, you’ll likely have to remove the snorkel kit. Some will also block or interfere with the transmission of light from roof-mounted light-bars in an after-dark setting, too.
If either of the above is a concern for you, consider the Rugged Ridge Low Mount Snorkel Kit, above. It’s the only product on our list that that’s modular, allowing drivers to quickly install a high-mounted snorkel when required, and to replace it with a low-profile air intake duct that won’t block the windshield, or lighting provisions when a more elevated air intake isn’t required.
Professional Installation: Many snorkel kits require some light to moderate modification of your vehicle’s factory air intake system, body, and more. You may need to drill, cut, bend, or modify certain parts of your vehicle’s body, and this mean’s there’s a risk of damage. Also, proper installation of all couplers, mounts, and components is vital to the snorkel’s ability to keep water out of your engine. If you have any doubts about your ability to handle the install, consider having a professional off-road shop, or experienced installer, complete the work for you. A few dollars spent on high-quality installation may save you thousands in engine damage.
Quality Instructions: Check owner reviews, or available online literature, to ensure the snorkel kit you’re purchasing comes with detailed, high-quality, and easy-to-understand instructions. Many kits also include a template for your vehicle, which illustrates where you’ll need to cut holes through the bodywork to pass the snorkel kit ducting and plumbing through. Remember that proper sealing and painting of any cuts or holes you make through your vehicle’s body-work is vital to sealing out water, moisture, and eventual corrosion.
Crossing Water: If you’re inexperienced when it comes to crossing deep water or mud in an off-road setting, be sure to exercise extreme caution and safety. Check the depth of the water or mud before entering, and if you feel the depth will exceed the capability of your vehicle, or your own comfort levels, back out and find another way across. Cross streams in a straight line where possible, and don’t underestimate the power of even a light flow of water. Many off-roaders have their vehicles washed away by flowing water each year, risking harm, injury, and environmental damage in the process. Finally, remember that crossing deep water or mud may introduce unwanted liquids into certain parts of your vehicle’s driveline, braking system, and more. Many off-roaders either make special modifications to address this, or, flush and change any potentially-affected fluids afterwards, to fend off possible damage to driveline parts.
How Deep: Remember that installing a snorkel does not necessarily prevent water-related damage to vehicle wiring, electronics, fluids, or parts like the alternator, power steering pump, and more. A snorkel may prevent your engine from sucking up water and becoming a paperweight, though it could also leave you with an expensive repair bill if water gets into other components that aren’t’ designed to get wet. Further, your vehicle’s door seals may not be completely waterproof, and deep water can, therefore, find its way inside of your vehicle, leading to pricey damage. Ditto if water or mud finds its way into the air intake for the climate control system. Do your homework first, and determine how much water you can drive through, snorkel, or not.
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