Best Snorkeling Vests of 2020: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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Finding the best snorkeling vest opens a world of opportunities, especially if you and your family enjoy spending most of your time on the water.

Not only are these devices required for many of the most popular snorkeling destinations, but they can also offer an ample amount of peace of mind.

The following three models are a fantastic choice for anyone in the family for your upcoming trip.

Comparison Chart

Scubapro Cruiser Skin Dive Safety Snorkeling Vest

Faxpot Children Snorkel Vest

OMOUBOI Inflatable Snorkel Vest

Best Snorkeling Vest Reviews

1. Scubapro Cruiser Skin Dive Snorkeling Vest

With a sleek and minimalistic design, the Scubapro Cruiser Skin Dive Snorkeling Vest is a fantastic addition to your existing equipment.

There are a few safety features built into the unit, as well as durable materials that will help to elevate your snorkeling experience.

For beginners and experienced water enthusiasts alike, it has plenty of benefits for you to use to your advantage.

Review

The entirety of this snorkeling vest is made from nylon and neoprene for durability and flexibility.

The nylon helps to prevent rips and tears, while the neoprene is exceptional for providing a more snug fit that hugs all of the contours of your body for optimal comfort.

You’ll also notice there is a front bladder that can easily be inflated using the oral inflation valve for improved buoyancy while in the water.

The exterior of the vest has a bright yellow-green fabric, which is highly recommended for fantastic visibility while on the surface to help protect you from other snorkelers and water vehicles.

Another benefit of this safety vest is that it features a special security pocket for keeping all of your essential accessories on your person.

You’ll especially appreciate the thickness of the neoprene, which helps to keep your torso warm without compromising your maneuverability while snorkeling.

If you decide to purchase the Scubapro Cruiser Skin Dive Snorkeling Vest, you can choose between the fluorescent yellow or orange vest, depending on whichever you think would offer optimal visibility.

PROS

  • Ideal floatation aid
  • Inflates quickly
  • Boosts snorkeling confidence
  • Highly elastic

CONS

  • Not a recommended life preserver 
  • Rides up the chest

2. Faxpot Children Snorkel Vest

When planning a family trip to your favorite snorkeling spot, you will surely need to ensure your children have the right equipment.

Even for swimming in your backyard pool, providing your children with an inflatable vest can give you the peace of mind you need.

Fortunately, the Faxpot Children Snorkel Vest is highly adaptable and recommended for children who have limited experience with snorkeling.

Review

When your kids use the oral inflation tube on the front of the vest, they will easily be able to inflate the vest with minimal effort.

This is convenient for situations when they need immediate buoyancy.

Also, you’ll appreciate the bright colors of the vest that allow you to easily keep track of your children while they are on the surface, making it one of the better jackets for young beginners.

There are two materials used to construct the vest: durable nylon on the outside and an interior waterproof PVC membrane.

To assist with the durability of the unit, the nylon material is high-strength, while the PVC membrane can hold up to 130 pounds at a time with superior airtightness.

As earlier mentioned, your kids will be able to inflate the Faxpot Children Snorkel Vest quickly, and they will also be able to deflate it immediately by pressing and holding the valve.

You’ll like how easily this vest can be packed into your luggage, which is ideal if you are taking an overseas trip to your favorite snorkel location.

All of the adjustable features on this snorkel vest are important to note, as you can adjust the waist and the crotch strap for the perfect fit.

With the help of the latch straps, you can secure the vest both horizontally and vertically, so your kids won’t have to worry about the life vest riding up their torso.

There are also pinch buckles added to the adjustable straps so that it can easily be removed when needed.

PROS

  • Inflates in 10 seconds
  • Fits easily in suitcases 
  • Fits children well
  • Comfortable to wear

CONS

  • Poorly sewn seams
  • Material leaks easily

3. OMOUBOI Inflatable Snorkel Jacket

Designed for adults, the OMOUBOI Inflatable Snorkel Jacket could be what you’ve been looking for.

It has several highly versatile features that help to make it one of the higher-quality models on the market.

It is also a snorkel jacket that is quite easy to use.

If you need something convenient and comfortable to wear, this is one of our top recommendations.

Review

The central premise of this jacket is to provide snorkeling enthusiasts with a piece of gear that will last over years of use.

With that said, you’ll appreciate the exterior ripstop polyester outer shell, which helps to prevent tears, rips, and holes over years of regular use.

You won’t have to worry about the unit leaking while you’re out on the water, keeping you safe at all times and helping to improve your confidence.

To inflate the jacket, you have to press on the valve and blow into the oral inflation tube, all of which can be done in 10 seconds or less.

As an added convenience, the valve will close shut when it’s loosened, helping to make inflating and deflating substantially easier.

You even have the opportunity to top up the inflation while you’re in the water if you find the vest starts to lose air.

If you’ve been searching for a snorkeling jacket with adjustable features, this is one of the better options to consider as it features fully adjustable leg straps.

You also can adjust the waist using the buckle so that the jacket can fit you correctly based on your height.

Instead of dealing with a vest that rides up your torso every time you go snorkeling, be sure to use these straps to your advantage.

The OMOUBOI Inflatable Snorkel Jacket is a fantastic choice for children and adults, depending on the size of your child’s torso.

As the jacket is designed to offer buoyancy to bodies between 88 and 200 pounds, you’ll find that this is one of the better jackets to use while out on the water.

Also, it doesn’t have an obnoxious fluorescent color, although it still has a bright blue material that can easily be seen while on the surface.

PROS

  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Comfortable and fashionable
  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to pack
  • Fantastic for pre-teens and adults

CONS

  • Some areas are too stiff
  • Poorly written instructions
  • Sand fills oral inflation tube

Snorkeling Vest FAQs

1. Can I snorkel if I can't swim?

As with any other water activity, it is highly recommended you avoid snorkeling if you do not have any experience with swimming.

It’s common for people to assume that snorkeling is more relaxed than swimming.

After all, you can have an inflatable vest to help.

However, if the vest deflates, you must be able to know how to navigate back to shore or a boat safely.

For your safety and the safety of others in your traveling party, always make sure that you know how to swim before participating in any water activities, especially snorkeling.

2. Can non swimmers do snorkeling?

As previously mentioned, non-swimmers should not consider snorkeling, especially if you intend on visiting reefs that are well off the shoreline.

Sometimes, it is impossible to predict the water conditions you’ll be facing, and you wouldn’t want to rely on your snorkeling vest to do all of the work for you if a wave confronts you.

It is highly recommended that you take snorkeling and swimming lessons, if necessary, well before you get into a significant body of water, such as an ocean.

3. Do I need a snorkel vest?

It’s highly likely you will need a snorkel vest, especially if you are visiting regulated snorkel areas around the world.

The vast majority of spots will require people to wear vests as an extra layer of protection, and you should want to get your hands on one as well.

Not only are snorkel vests convenient, but they can also be incredibly useful in dangerous situations, such as if you experience a cramp or fatigue while on the water.

They are a relatively inexpensive investment that can help to make your experience far more enjoyable.

With one, you won’t have to worry about using all of your physical strength while snorkeling.

4. Will snorkel vest keep me afloat?

The easy answer is yes.

Your snorkel vest will keep you afloat, as this is what they are designed for.

With that said, make sure you choose the right model that is rated for your weight, and that has adjustable features for the perfect fit.

An ill-fitting snorkel vest won’t perform as well as it should, which can be quite dangerous in a problematic situation, such as if you get fatigued.

It’s important to note that even though snorkel vests will keep you afloat, they are not rated as life preservers.

5. Are flippers necessary for snorkeling?

Flippers might not be necessary for snorkeling, depending on the water conditions you’re in.

Frequently, you’ll find that snorkelers head out with their bare feet, although flippers can be recommended for better navigation while in the water.

Some people find that flippers increase fatigue, while others believe that it helps to limit the amount of leg and arm fatigue you’ll experience.

Buyer’s Guide

When you begin searching for your ideal snorkel vest, there are several features to keep an eye out for.

You’ll not only want to make sure you choose a design that is highly visible from the surface of the water, but you’ll also want a unit that can easily be inflated or deflated.

Also, you’ll want to make sure it’s adjustable, among many other things.

Below are the essential guidelines to follow when you start shopping to help make sure you invest in the correct snorkeling vest for your needs.

1. Type

You might assume that snorkeling vests all come in one type when, in reality, there are three different ones to consider: jacket, hybrid, and horse collar.

Everyone has their own opinions of what type suits them best based on their body size and the activities they intend to do while in the water.

Jacket

Opting for a jacket snorkeling vest isn’t as common as some of the other types, but it may also be a more comfortable option.

You’ll find that jacket-style vests have a zipper in the front, and the material will cover the entirety of your torso, both the front and back.

Unfortunately, jacket vests aren’t going to have any adjustable straps, which is what makes them one of the less preferable options.

You might also find that the interior or exterior materials are specifically designed to protect you from the UV rays from the sun or to add extra buoyancy to the jacket.

Horse Collar

Much like its name suggests, horse collar snorkeling vests will wrap around your neck and the front of your torso while the back is open and has plenty of adjustable straps.

You’ll also find that horse collar snorkeling vests will have a crotch strap that goes from the back to the front of the jacket.

There are a few extra features that horse collar vests can offer, such as easily accessible pockets.

Hybrid

As the most popular type of snorkeling vest, hybrid models feature all of the best components of jacket and horse collar vests.

You’ll be able to take advantage of the comfort from jacket vests without the middle zipper.

Many have found that the buoyancy with hybrid vests is substantially better than with the other two models; however, they might not be able to inflate as much.

2. Sizing & Fit

Most often, when you start looking for snorkeling vests, you’ll find there are two general sizes: kids and adults.

The majority of manufacturers don’t have individual sizes, as their vests will have adjustable features that allow you to customize the fit and feel of the unit when it is worn.

The main difference between these two sizes is their weight restriction.

Adult vests will typically work with people between 80 and 200 pounds, while children’s jackets can accommodate substantially more lightweight individuals.

Some brands have individual sizes, though you will want to pay close attention to their sizing chart and recommendations to make sure you are choosing the right model.

You will also want to make sure that your vest has adjustable straps so that you can create a more tailored fit.

3. Inflator Tube

On the front of snorkeling vests, you’ll find they feature a tube that you blow into to inflate the vest.

This tube will also be used for deflation, typically by opening or pressing on the valve so that air can escape the vest.

As this is one of the essential features of the unit, you will want to make sure the inflator tube is made from high-quality materials that won’t wear down over time.

It’s also essential to make sure the placement of the tube is perfect, as you will want to be able to reach it with your mouth without having to pull at your vest while in the water.

Ideally, your entire vest should be able to be inflated in 10 or fewer seconds, allowing you to relieve any strain within a matter of seconds.

4. Visibility

Visibility is another incredibly important feature for your general safety when you’re snorkeling, as you will want to be seen by others in your group as well as any marine vehicles.

The majority of manufacturers will create their snorkeling vests using highly vibrant and visible materials, such as fluorescent greens, pinks, yellows, or red.

You must choose a color that is not only easy for your snorkeling party to see but also others that may be at a farther distance.

Also, make sure that the color stands out brilliantly against the green or blue water you could be snorkeling in.

5. Storability

Every piece of equipment that you have for your ocean adventures will need to be stored easily during the off-season or in-between trips.

This point is exceptionally accurate for snorkeling vests, as you’ll want to make sure they’re protected while not in use.

Fortunately, the majority of models are easy to pack and store in luggage, making them even easier to keep in your basement or garage.

We highly recommend keeping your new snorkeling vests in a cool and dry place during the off-season.

Also, consider placing them inside of a medium or small bag for their protection and even more accessible storage.

Final Verdict

Our choice for the best snorkeling vest is surely the OMOUBOI Inflatable Snorkel Jacket.

It has all of the features you’d expect from a higher-end model.

You can quickly inflate the unit within 10 seconds, have access to multiple adjustable straps, and it even features a brilliant blue color that can easily be seen on the surface of the water.

Also, wearers have noted that it is one of the most comfortable snorkeling vests they have had the pleasure of wearing.

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