Don’t snicker at the thought of wearing a snorkel vest. Yes, a snorkel vest is ideal for those new to the hobby, but they’re also good insurance for anyone who wants a little added security while exploring the open water. Many snorkeling locations sometimes have strong currents that can unknowingly move a snorkeler away from the boat or shore. That’s when a snorkel vest comes in extra handy. Here are some of our favorite snorkel vests for any age.
This vest from Lyuwpes is flexible, lightweight and compact – three qualities you should look for in any model. It has polyester construction and is rated for adults 80 to 220 pounds in weight. There are latch tracks to provide a secure fit. A mesh bag is included for storage.
Did you know? If you’re new to snorkeling or even a seasoned hobbyist, it’s recommended that you always use the buddy system when on the water. Stay close to each other in the water to make your adventure as safe as possible.
Stable and balanced
We got to hand it to Seaview – this is a smartly-designed vest. We don’t want to tag it as just a snorkeling vest because it’s ideal for so much more. Use it while paddle-boarding, wakeboarding and other lower-impact sports. It’s available in four sizes so you’ll get the ultimate fit. It fits snugly around the waist rather than riding up around the neck. And – bonus – there are no annoying straps through the crotch area.
Did you know? Always be sure to note the weather conditions before snorkeling. Most beaches will post warning signs for swimmers and snorkelers. If you get caught in an ocean current, don’t fight it. Instead, swim perpendicular to the current and you’ll eventually escape it.
Designed for floating rest
This vest from WACOOL features a polyester exterior with PVC interior. It can be inflated in just 15 seconds with a valve set in a convenient location. Once deflated, it takes up no more space than a book. Though it’s designed for adults and kids, it does have a weight limit of 100 pounds. Travelers rave that this vest is great when luggage space is limited.
Did you know? Though it’s tempting to interact with the underwater world, don’t touch the coral reefs. Many are endangered and can be destroyed with the smallest touch. Others are fragile and can cut you. Likewise, avoid touching any animals you encounter. The real ocean isn’t a Disney playground where turtles and crabs sing to you. Any animal you run across could either be endangered or could bite if they feel threatened.
A snug fit
Two reasons why we love this snorkel vest from Scubapro: The stretchable material means it stays put and doesn’t rise up and float around your neck; the other reason – a security pocket! Seriously, the struggle of where to hide your keys or other valuables during a snorkel trip is real. Another bonus: It’s available in a wide variety of sizes from extra small to 3XL.
Did you know? Even though you’re in the water, sunburn is still a danger while snorkeling. Be sure to apply a water-resistant sunscreen all over – particularly on your back – a half hour before entering the water. We recommend buying reef-safe sunscreen to help protect the underwater world.
Smaller fit for smaller bodies
Probably the No. 1 customer for a snorkel vest is a child, particularly one who’s new to open water. This vest from Scuba Choice was designed for smaller bodies, hence the 100-pound weight limit. It has plenty of straps to keep it in place and can be easily inflated manually. Snorkel without worry with this model.
Did you know? Snorkeling is designed to help you enjoy the views of the underwater world. To that end, avoid snorkeling at dawn and dusk – two times when the light level is low. Sunlight dissipates quickly once it hits the water. Underwater predators likewise use this time to hunt their prey.