SUMMARY TABLE

Name

Image

Price

Rating

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ROCONTRIP
Reflective Inflatable Snorkel Vest
OUR TOP PICK

snorkeling floatation vest

4.9  /5

OUMOBOI 
Inflatable Snorkel Vest
BEST VALUE

snorkeling life vest inflatable

4.8  /5

CRESSI
Safety Vest

snorkel vests reviews

4.7  /5

DEEP BLUE GEAR
Inflatable Snorkel Vest

snorkel flotation devices

4.6  /5

SCUBAPRO
Cruiser

snorkeling vest 2019

4.7  /5

WILDHORN
Jetty

best snorkeling life vest

4.3  /5

OUR TOP PICK

best snorkel vest 2019

Overall Rating

4.9  /5

Design

4.6

Performance

4.9

Ease of Use

4.9

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Rocontrip’s reflective snorkel vests take the lead in our ranking thanks to their combination of fantastic safety features, sturdy construction, and compact design. The horse collar is a breeze to put on and take off and the long straps allow for a great personalized fit for a range of different body types. The adult and kid vest comes in four different high-viz colors to help you stand out in the water, even with a moderate swell; besides, the vest also features reflective strips, which sets it aside from other models and gives you additional peace of mind so you can relax and fully enjoy your snorkeling experience. Designed with a sturdy combination of Dracon and PVC, it comes as no surprise that this snorkel vest’s reviews are almost perfect, and we´re pretty sure you’ll to love it too!

STANDOUT FEATURES

Added safety with reflective strips
Very tough and durable
Family friendly; kid and adult snorkeling vest
Very sturdy inflation tube
High weight capacity

BEST VALUE

snorkeling floatation device

Overall Rating

4.8  /5

Design

4.8

Performance

4.8

Ease of Use

4.9

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It’s safe to say that Oumoboi has come up with the best snorkel vest in terms of added value. We especially love the high-quality materials and versatile design that make this vest foldable and portable and, therefore, perfect for those of us who are often on the road. Besides, the vest has a weight capacity of 90 to 200lbs., which makes it extremely versatile. All materials used are very high quality and sturdy, including the straps and air valve, and the vest also comes in five different colors for every taste.

STANDOUT FEATURES

Sturdy Polyester and PVC construction
Choice of highly-visible colors
Very compact and lightweight
Smaller and more streamlined
Versatile for different body types

cheap snorkel vests

Overall Rating

4.7  /5

Design

4.5

Performance

4.6

Ease of Use

4.9

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This SealBuddy inflatable snorkeling vest is slightly smaller than other models, but that doesn’t compromise capacity at all; the vest caters for people up to 200 lbs. and its smaller size makes it ideal for fast and easy inflating and deflating. SealBuddy has managed to maintain a classic, horse collar design that comes in three neon colors for high visibility on the water. The smaller size and easy buoyancy regulation also mean less drag for those more experienced snorkelers that like to dive down and explore a little further. A little mesh bag for traveling is included as well.

STANDOUT FEATURES

High visibility
Easy to pack and carry
Sturdy mouthpiece

kids snorkel vest 2019

Overall Rating

4.5  /5

Design

4.3

Performance

4.7

Ease of Use

4.6

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Another great option by Omouboi. This snorkeling flotation device comes in jacket design and has leg straps instead of the less comfortable crotch strap. The zipper is wide and durable and offers the added benefit of control. Just like its horse collar counterparts, this vest inflates and deflates fast to regulate buoyancy on the fly. The mesh back also offers additional sun protection, which can be a huge advantage when snorkeling out in the sun.

STANDOUT FEATURES

Jacket style for added comfort
Mesh back for sun protection
Leg straps for a more streamlined buoyancy
Fast and easy inflating/deflating

snorkeling vest reviews

Overall Rating

4.5  /5

Design

4.7

Performance

4.0

Ease of Use

4.9

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This canvas snorkeling life vest is great for added safety on the water while allowing for the occasional dive down. The colors are bright for high visibility so you can snorkel with confidence. This design by Rtizan is better suited for shorter people since the length of the crotch strap is shorter than that in other models, which could be an issue for taller users. Despite this, the straps and buckles are quality-assured and provide a firm and durable hold to keep you safe and comfortable.

STANDOUT FEATURES

Highly visible colors
Holds up a large range of weights
Intuitive and easy inflation

inflatable snorkeling vest

Overall Rating

4.4  /5

Design

4.3

Performance

4.0

Ease of Use

4.9

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Wacool’s snorkeling vest is a great horse collar option for any watersport lover. The vest comes with a satisfaction guarantee so you can test and see how well the vest fits and feels. It comes in blue and bright green fabric, which makes it more stylish. Note, however, that although this looks good, blues and greens camouflage with the water and are not as bright for easy spotting. The deep-neck design makes it more comfortable by keeping it from feeling tight around the neck. Another great perk is that the vest offers two different sizes, for adults and children, which makes it one of the best options for the whole family.

STANDOUT FEATURES

Kid and adult format, family friendly
Risk-free trial guarantee
Intuitive and easy inflation
Compact

snorkeling vests 2018

Overall Rating

4.7  /5

Design

4.4

Performance

4.8

Ease of Use

4.9

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The perfect option for travelers: Lyuwpes seems to understand that not all of us live right next to the ocean and, hence, came up with probably the most compact snorkel vest design in the market. The device packs down around the inflation tube to a tiny 7 inches, which lets you take it anywhere with you. It is polyester and PVC construction makes it durable while still friendly on the skin, and its adjustable design for adults makes it perfect for almost every shape and size.

STANDOUT FEATURES

Extremely compact and lightweight, perfect for traveling
Very high visibility
Quality materials
Fast and easy inflating/deflating

snorkel vest reviews

Overall Rating

4.4  /5

Design

4.2

Performance

4.4

Ease of Use

4.6

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This fantastic, high-density snorkel jacket is as sturdy as it is comfortable. Rrtizan has a great experience with life vests and similar devices and uses a fantastic combination of polyester and PVC on its surface; this results in a heavy-duty vest perfect for the constant snorkeler. The jacket is easy to put on, even in the water and features a double-mesh back for added comfort and sun protection. The vest comes in a bright blue design to match the waves!

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STANDOUT FEATURES

Jacket format, easy to put on in the water
Mesh back for added comfort and sun protection
Fast and easy inflation/deflation

best snorkeling vest review

Overall Rating

4.4  /5

Design

5.0

Performance

4.6

Ease of Use

4.6

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Cressi is arguably one of the most experienced brands in water activities and has come a long way with the quality and design of its products. Their safety vests are definitely no exception and, although it is a bit more expensive, the sturdy and high-quality construction justifies the extra spend. The design is a more compact version of a horse collar vest, but also offers reliable buoyancy and great control. The Cressi snorkel vest folds up around the inflation tube for a compact and portable product while its waist and crotch straps are fully adjustable to fit a wide range of people. As with other horse collar vests, the lack of coverage in the back does leave you more exposed to the elements so we recommend adding an extra layer of exposure protection like a rashguard or wetsuit. Just so you know, there are great wetsuit options for women and men in the market.

STANDOUT FEATURES

Well-engineered design
Long-lasting construction
Very compact so great for traveling
Easily accessible mouth tube

kids snorkel

Overall Rating

4.6  /5

Design

4.6

Performance

4.4

Ease of Use

4.9

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Undoubtedly the best advantage of Deep Blue Gear’s snorkel vest is its custom design for different body type: this amazing family of snorkel vests offers three different sizes designed for the specific needs of the person wearing them. The vest comes in children, adult, and adult XL sizes, ranging in capacity from under 90 to over 200 lbs. Besides, each size has also been modified for better performance. The inflation tube is sleek and comfortable and the vest features long, adjustable straps for every fit. There is barely any bad snorkeling vest review for this product, so trust you’ll have a more enjoyable and secure experience with it!

STANDOUT FEATURES

Different designs for different bodies
Streamlined
Long and adjustable straps
Holds a large range of weights

kid snorkel gear

Overall Rating

4.5  /5

Design

4.5

Performance

4.0

Ease of Use

4.9

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This SeaPro snorkel vest is a great and simple choice for people on the go since it packs down compactly and is made of lightweight TPU. The device comes in one size but has a capacity of up to 220 lbs., which makes it very versatile and convenient. SeaPro’s design has a very ergonomic and intuitive blow valve, allowing for simple inflation and deflation regardless of snorkeling experience. Broad straps provide additional comfort and hold the vest in place to avoid friction. The vest comes in a bright orange, one of the best colors for visibility while out in open water.

STANDOUT FEATURES

Intuitive inflation/deflation
High visibility
Compact and packable
Sturdy and broad straps

kids snorkel gear

Overall Rating

4.6  /5

Design

4.0

Performance

4.8

Ease of Use

4.9

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Innovative Scuba sure knows what proper snorkeling vests should look like. For those of us looking for added safety, they’ve included a safety whistle in their so there’s no need to worry if conditions get a little rougher. Their horse collar design features heavy-duty coated nylon and comes in three colors and sizes, so there’s a suitable option for everyone. When fully inflated, the vest allows for leisurely floating, but it can also be easily deflated for diving if you spot something interesting in the bottom, just make sure you’ve got the right snorkeling fins to enhance your experience.

STANDOUT FEATURES

Very sturdy
Whistle for added safety
Multi-size for different body types

best snorkel gear for kids

Overall Rating

4.7  /5

Design

4.5

Performance

5.0

Ease of Use

4.5

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Probably one of the smarter designs for snorkel life vests, ScubaPro thought of everything a snorkeler could need and combined it in a single piece of gear. The vest is a hybrid and comes in 5 sizes for a snug fit for everyone. The vest is built of sturdy materials and high-quality neoprene on the back, which provides additional warmth and sun exposure to enjoy as much time out on the water as you want. Another great feature is a small pocket for storing small objects like keys, coins, or, for added safety, a whistle.

STANDOUT FEATURES

Personalized, snug fit
Neoprene back for added warmth and exposure protection
Pocket to hold personal items

buoyancy for kids

Overall Rating

4.3  /5

Design

4.0

Performance

4.4

Ease of Use

4.5

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The Jetty is one of the most innovative vests for more experienced swimmers at the time. Wildhorn created a hybrid design engineered for a nice and comfortable trim on the water that lets you regulate buoyancy on the fly with a purge valve. The vest features a very stylish and intuitive design that is easy to put on and take off in the surface and in the water. Another more personalized vest, it comes in four different sizes to cater to different needs and to provide a snug fit around the waist, which prevents it from riding up. Materials are soft and sturdy and it features an inner layer of spandex that prevents the webbing from rubbing on your skin, which makes it extremely comfortable and probably the main reason why the piece has received such excellent snorkeling vest reviews.

STANDOUT FEATURES

Stylish and streamlined
Very comfortable
Very sturdy materials

BUYERS GUIDE AND TIPS
Best Snorkeling Vest

Arguably one of the most critical considerations for any activity on the ocean is safety. We all know how amazing the ocean can be and, many times, we underestimate its power. This is why extra safety is never a bad idea, and snorkeling bests provide just that.

Any experience in the ocean becomes much more enjoyable when we know we’re using the right gear, and snorkeling is not the exception. Regardless of your experience, a snorkeling vest is always a great idea: it allows for more time on the water while offering extra peace of mind when conditions get rough.

Snorkel vests also act as exposure protection. Remember we lose heat faster in the water so, even in the tropics, you are likely to get cold. Adding an extra layer of protection in the form of a snorkel vest provides both, safety and an extra layer of warmth.

Picking the right snorkeling vest, however, is not always a simple task, so here are some of the main considerations for choosing the right fit for you.

Types

Horse Collar Vests:

This vest goes over the head, so it’s intuitive and simple. Vests of this kind come with waist and crotch straps to hold it in place and keep it from riding up. The inflation tube, as with most other designs, requires oral inflation and comes to one side of the head for easy access.

Most of these vests have the disadvantage of leaving your back exposed to the elements (sun, jellyfish, etc.) so we strongly recommend wearing suitable exposure protection, i.e. a rashguard or a wetsuit, for the conditions you’ll be snorkeling in. Remember sunblock washes away and it won’t be enough protection!

This type of vest is also less buoyant, which means it will allow you to dive if you feel more like exploring. This advantage also makes it less suitable for places with stronger currents or swell, since it will require additional effort from you to stay afloat.

Snorkeling Jackets:

Unlike horse collar vests, jackets feature a zipper at the front and have a snugger fit around the waist to prevent them from crawling up the neck. They use a single bladder connected at the neck just like horse collar vests, so there’s no need for two inflators. Some jackets offer optional leg straps for added comfort. One of the main advantages of jacket-style vests is their lack of crotch straps, which many people find uncomfortable. Jackets are also more buoyant and stay in place easier than horse collar vests, keeping you afloat even in rough conditions; although this is mainly an advantage, these vests won’t let you dive down.

Hybrid Vests:

A more uncommon type of vest is the hybrid. This piece of equipment combines different features and constructions to create a more personalized product. Hybrids usually come in many different sizes for a snug fit and, therefore, tend to be more comfortable. Materials and the number of features tend to make these vests a bit more expensive, but they’re also more durable and comfortable. These vests are great for the more seasoned swimmers and snorkelers who are looking for added comfort and a personalized fit.

Materials

Most vests are made of either canvas or a combination of polyester and PVC (usually 60%, 40%), although there are many vests using different materials and coatings for added durability and strength. Depending on budget, the person using it and site conditions, both can be good options.

Canvas is less expensive and more common, many newer models using canvas use different coatings to make the fabric more resistant and waterproof. Canvas serves its purpose for keeping the air in but it provides less warmth and tends to be heavier when wet. On the other hand, polyester and PVC alloys retain more water and are more resistant to tearing. They also dry much faster and, when in contact with the body, tend to add an extra layer of warmth.

Sizing

Jacket and horse collar vests come either in a one-size-fits-all format or in three sizes: kid, adult, and XL adult. Although this is an advantage for a diverse family or for touristic operators that need to fit a wide range of users with a vest, they are also less snug and a bit more difficult to adjust to the right size. Usually, most adult and one-size vests have a capacity of 85-210 lbs., which makes them extremely versatile, XL sizes cater for people over 220 lbs., and kids’ sizes cater for shorter people of under 80 lbs. Hybrid vests depend on size charts and have different capacities and measurements for each individual size.

REACH OUT

As always, we create our content with you, fellow divers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next dive is a great one!

Carmen Romano

Carmen is a linguist, technical diver, and avid traveler living in Monterey Bay. She is a dive equipment geek who loves trying out new tools and gadgets. As an independent professional, she has had the opportunity to travel and dive the world; from the colorful and incredible WWII wrecks in Papua New Guinea to the cathedral-like cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula. Her favorite thing about diving is that it has taken her places she never imagined setting foot upon. She loves learning about new cultures, is passionate about marine conservation, and enjoys photography when she’s not underwater.