The underwater world has always fascinated me and snorkeling is a great way to experience and learn what lies beneath our oceans, lakes, and rivers.
Snorkeling is all about having fun and being safe. Using a snorkeling vest can enhance both. A snorkeling vest not only helps you float but it also serves as a great safety device. They’re great for the young and old and especially for the new snorkeler as they build their confidence in the water, no matter how old you are.
I’ve put together this guide to help you choose the best snorkeling vest that fits your needs. There’s a difference and I will explain the benefits in each one and give you my top recommendations.
At the beginning of this guide, I will straight away give you my top recommendations. I know several of you just want to know what the best snorkeling vests are and don’t care for the details. For those that are interested in a more detailed review scroll down and you find that.
Best Snorkeling Vests – Top Picks
Faxpot Men/Women Snorkel Vest
The Faxport unisex snorkel vest is great for the novice snorkeler. It’s made with durable nylon with an outer PVC waterproof membrane. It’s easy to blow up and is a good value at its price point.
Things I Like:
- Fast Inflation & Deflation
- Easy latch straps secure vertically and horizontally
- Pinch buckles for fast and easy removal
- Can load up to 220 Ibs
- Comes in three colors – black, aqua, and yellow
Jetty Inflatable Snorkel Vest
The Jetty Inflatable Snorkel Vest is a nice stylish snorkel vest that is very comfortable to wear. It will keep you nice and stable in the water. The inflate valve is easy to open and close and secure while you’re active. Its ergonomic design allows you to adjust buoyancy easily while you are snorkeling or swimming. If you want less buoyancy unlock the valve and press down to release air. This is a nice feature when you want to be unencumbered to explore marine life.
Things I Like:
- Very comfortable
- Easy to use inflate/release value
- Easy to put on and take off
- Fully adjustable
- Well made with quality material
Lyuwpes Inflatable Snorkel Vest Adult
Similar to Faxpot Men/Women snorkel vest the Lyuwpes snorkel vest is another value pick for its quality and price. It is also a horse-collar style vest where you just slip it over your head and then secure the straps accordingly…very easy.
Things I Like:
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy to use adjustable straps
- Good mouthpiece location to inflate
- Easy to roll up and pack
- Rated weight use – 80 to 220 lbs
- Comes in five different colors
Faxpot Children Snorkel Vest Boys & Girls
Our next pick is Faxpot’s child snorkel vest for boys and girls. It is basically the same as their adult version but of course smaller. You will find that this snorkeling vest works well for kids between the ages of 6 – 13 years old.
Things I like:
- Fast inflation and deflation
- Easy connection straps
- 6 – 13 years old
- Load up to 130 lbs
- Similar to the Faxport’s adult version
- Comes in two colors – blue and orange
I’m an avid scuba diver and I have a lot Scubapro equipment. Scubapro is known for its high quality and their snorkeling vest doesn’t disappoint. A nice addition to this vest is the 1/8″ of neoprene that keeps you warm when needed. Below are the highlights why I like this vest.
Things I like:
- Durable materials – nylon and neoprene
- Easy to inflate and deflate
- Security pocket for valuables
- The 1/8″ of neoprene adds warmth (alternative snorkeling vests don’t have)
- Classic orange color
Why Should You Buy A Snorkeling Vest?
You should consider buying a snorkeling vest for several reasons. Snorkeling is a great activity for all ages that want to explore what our beautiful oceans, lakes, and rivers have to offer. A snorkeling vest can really help you enjoy snorkeling even more by helping you be more buoyant and giving you a layer of safety.
It’s so nice to relax in the water wearing a snorkeling vest and just float along effortlessly looking for marine life or checking the beautiful rock formations. My boys really enjoyed doing this last time we were in Hawaii. It also gives a parent a little peace of mind knowing there’s an element of security there.
A snorkeling vest isn’t just for the young. If you’re new to snorkeling or not the strongest swimmer they can give you that extra confidence in the water.
Swimming can burn a lot of energy and can be tiring. A snorkeling vest will help you retain your energy resulting in more fun in the water and in case of an emergency that extra boost of strength.
What To Look For When Buying A Snorkeling Vest?
Typically you will come across three different kinds of snorkeling vests. Jacket, horse collar, and hybrid snorkeling vests.
Jacket Snorkeling Vests – like their name they look like a jacket with adjustable straps to fasten the vest securely. You’ll find the better ones which we have recommended are inflatable and can be deflated on your command.
Horse Collar Snorkeling Vests – This style of vest just slips over your head with straps to fasten securely.
Hybrid Snorkeling Vests – This vest will be a combo of styles – A jacket or horse collar with an added neoprene vest that fits snug to your body. A good example is the Scubapro Cruiser above.
How Do I Use A Snorkel Vest?
First, slip the snorkeling vest on and fasten the straps. It’s very important to make sure you use the straps. If not fastened the vest can ride up and get in your face and make swimming/snorkeling very cumbersome.
Once fastened securely, inflate the air by blowing into the inflator tube. I would recommend blowing it to capacity and see how you like it. Once you have the vest to capacity release a small amount of air until you are fully mobile and can easily snorkel…is the snorkeling vest keeping you nice a buoyant?…too much or too little?…can I move easily?
In most snorkeling vests you can gradually let the air out of the vest. This is a nice feature if you see something like an exotic fish or beautiful rocks/coral down below…let the air out and dive down! Once you return to the surface inflate the vest by blowing back into the inflator tube.
Who Should Use A Snorkel Vest?
Snorkeling vests are great to use for all ages – young or old. They will give you more security in the water and some added confidence to explore the beautiful world under the sea. They also provide parents with a little bit of peace of mind with their young ones.
Can I use a Life Vest to Snorkel?
A proper life vest isn’t going to work well for snorkeling. A life vest is designed to keep your head out of the water and be really buoyant. Because of this, they restrict your full mobility when swimming. Not what you want when snorkeling or swimming.
Simple To Maintain
A snorkeling vest is very easy to maintain. In most cases, you will be using it in the ocean. After using just simply rinse it with fresh water. Saltwater will damage any equipment over time if not rinsed off.
Snorkeling is a great way to explore the beautiful world under the ocean and a snorkeling vest can really enhance that experience for the young and old. They keep you more buoyant and secure in the water, thus giving you more confidence to explore. You will also use less energy keeping you longer in the water, resulting in more fun and adventure. Now, go take a look at the one that’s best for you and more importantly have a great time the next time you go snorkeling