Best Snorkeling Vest Reviews and Buying Guide For Safety [2018]

There are many reasons to use a snorkel vest, especially when you are someone who likes to take risks and push your limits.

Whether it is because you are not a skilled swimmer, you want to avoid cramps, or just because you just want to be safer – the best snorkeling vest offers an opportunity to achieve all that.

Apart from the snorkeling fins, the goggles and maybe the water suit, you will also have to make a dead-on choice when it comes to the snorkeling vest. Therefore, if you need help buying one, then reading this article will be your best choice.

Here, we will help you avoid wasting your time looking for one and give you a few of the most exciting choices to consider.

Take a look further and learn more!

snorkeling vest vs life jacket

While a snorkeling vest helps the swimmer to float comfortably and dive without restrictions at the same time, a life jacket has the sole purpose of assisting the users to stay on the surface.

These are the two significant differences, but precisely that’s why a life jacket and a snorkeling vest shouldn’t be used for the same thing.

When you are a snorkeler, you need an accessory that does not keep you from diving deep. At the same time, you need more comfort and control when floating, or else you won’t be able to snorkel as well.

The best thing for that will always be a vest, which is perfect for both floating and diving, yet still offers excellent comfort and excellent control of the surface.

In contrast, a life jacket is entirely designed to avoid users from diving on purpose or by mistake. These life jackets are essential in boats due to their advantage in accidents or unfortunate events.

And of course, most of these are totally non-inflatable, so you won’t have to blow to keep the air in.

A snorkeling vest is always aired-up by blowing. But they should also work deflated to help the snorkeler dive when needed. Otherwise, it won’t be a snorkeler vest but a life jacket.

Of course, a life jacket is also made from different materials such as foam and PVC with nylon or polyester cover. While a snorkeling vest can be made of nylon, polyester, or PVC, but without any interior. It should be strong enough to hold air inside and still resist punctures and so on.

 When it comes to versatility, a snorkeling vest is always better, as it has both inflated and deflated modes. On the other hand, a life jacket only offers an inflated or floating style, which can’t be turned off in any way

Our Top 8 Snorkeling Vests Reviews and Recommendations


Is there something more disgusting than having to blow a vest that thousands of people have blown before? We don’t think so, that’s why we come with a few high-quality choices for you to consider.

These snorkeling vests are fantastic in many and different ways, so come and find out more about them to pick the best snorkeling vest for your needs!

1. Scubapro Cruiser Snorkeling Vest

Is there a way to look good snorkeling while getting an excellent safety? Yes, the Scubapro Cruiser is precisely the vest you need if you want both of these. With an excellent fluorescent green color that makes you stand out, there’s no way you will get lost with this one.

 The most important thing about it is not its color but the number of sizes it offers, from X-Small to Small, and Large to X-Large, four different sizes for different results. It is comfortable in all of them, especially when you consider its Neoprene construction which also enhances warmth

KEY SPECIFICS

Better Buoyancy & Mobility

Boasting an oral inflator, you can inflate the vest yourself really fast whenever you need it.

When inflated, this vest is so ergonomic and well-designed that you will receive superior flotation control, making it stress-free for you to achieve a more convenient experience when snorkeling. Or else, you can use it deflated for more mobility.

Handy & Stylish Design

Its fluorescent green design keeps the snorkeler in the vision of anyone nearby. Whether it is boats or other snorkelers, you will be able to stand out especially in blue waters.

Apart from that, the vest looks really good, making it a better option for those who care about appealing.

Back Cover & Front Pocket

It also covers the back completely, making it harder for the sun to burn your back while snorkeling with your face looking down. And with an additional front pocket, you will be able to store or conveniently place items effortlessly.

This is a simple yet very convenient choice for those who want both excellent comfort and superior control. It keeps snorkelers in the right position while floating and avoids them to get sunburnt in the process.

And on top of all that, it looks good enough for picky people who want a more beautiful choice.

2. Sealbuddy Inflatable Snorkel Vest

Beginners need a safe product if they want to learn snorkeling correctly. For them, only products with superior flotation capacity and fast inflating process – like this one will work.

It also has a great design to augment visibility and provides a comfortable experience so you can swim freely when needed. The design is over the collar, so it won’t affect your vision when snorkeling and will keep flotation at the right level.

 Apart from that, it comes with perfect straps around the waist and the crotch, perfect to keep you safe at all times and never get off. Only comes in one-size-fits-all but it is useful for kids, small people or large adults

KEY SPECIFICS

Neon Colors & Design

Fluorescent or neon colors are always better in the sea, they increase visibility to keep you in the sight of others and avoid getting lost or possible accidents.

Also, with an orangey finish, this one looks good enough despite being more of safety design. The collar-over-neck style makes it easy to put on and off when needed as well.

Better Inflation & Flotation

The mouthpiece of inflating this vest is close enough to the face to make it easier, especially after you put it on. It supports almost any bodyweight, and it is so easy to deflate after that you won’t believe it.

Secure Straps & Bonus Mesh Bag

The straps across the waist and the crotch will allow any user to fit the vest in their body securely. This helps to promote a more reliable experience without having to worry about whether it can get off when swimming or not.

And of course, whenever it is not being used, you can safely & comfortably store it in a mesh bag that comes with the vest.

Not the most recommended choice for experienced snorkelers as it may affect mobility slightly, but perfect for beginners or those who want superior safety on top of anything else.

3. Phantom Aquatics Jacket Style Zippered Snorkel Vest

Maybe the softest in the market, this Phantom Jacket-style vest offers one of the most comfortable experiences you will find in the market. It is wholly zipped with a heavy-duty build, making it not only safe to keep you floating in every moment, but also assured it wouldn't deflate or rip easily.

You won’t have a problem using it either, as it fits practically anyone, primarily due to its highly convenient strap system. Just adjust it to your body needs, and you’ll be more than secure.

KEY SPECIFICS

High-Quality Material & Design

Made from Neoprene, this vest not only offers excellent resistance to most common dangers, but it also helps to get superior durability.

Apart from that, the neoprene allows a fluorescent yellow to be used in its design, giving the perfect range of colors to provide more visibility to the person using it. It even comes with three reflective tape parts for superior results.

Reliable Heavy-Duty Zipper

In contrast with other models that are complete on the torso, this one is actually easier to put on and take off with its zippered design.

On top of that, the zipper is one of the most reliable parts of this vest, never wearing off or making it uncomfortable in any way.

Pocket & Straps

Not only does the Phantom jacket-style vest come with a pocket where you can safely store any small item, but it also comes with straps to help you wear it more comfortably.

Whether you need to adjust it to your body type, attach, or store anything while snorkeling, this vest is your best choice.

This is easily one of the comfiest and reliable choices you will find on the market. With its soft design and stable build, you get a product that will not only make it easy to snorkel but also much safer.

4. Scuba Choice Adult Neon Yellow Snorkel Vest

If you are looking for a low-priced yet really convenient vest, the Scuba Choice vest for adults is just outstanding. As a snorkeler, you need enough freedom in your arms and neck to move correctly.

Among the many vests out there, this is the one that offers the most mobility of this kind. It fits practically anyone as well, as it comes with a one-size-fits-all design that only demands the user to put it on and that’s it.

With the back straps, you will have the perfect range of motion without losing any of the benefits a vest offers.

KEY SPECIFICS

Fits Anyone Freely

Fitting adults from 100lbs up to 200lbs or slightly more, this vest provides outstanding comfort. It is not a complete vest you need to mend to meet your needs, merely put it on, attach the back straps, and that’s it. You will have a very reliable yet comfortable and mobility-oriented vest.

High-Visibility Design

With its neon-colored yellow design, you won’t ever get lost. Even people from up to 1 mile away will see you effortlessly. It is entirely bright and also shines with sun rays, making it even better for visibility.

Easy Flotation

You won’t have to struggle to float or maintain balance while the vest is inflated. It will easily keep you on the surface while offering you enough mobility and stability.

You can deflate it really fast as well when needing, and due to its comfortable yet tight design, you will dive quickly as well.

 You won’t have problems putting it on, taking it off, or eventually get lost. It is a very reliable yet effective choice for anyone who wants quality where it matters. Add the flotation and how easy it is to use – and you will have a product that deserves an opportunity

Deleted: really

5. Scuba Choice Snorkel Vest Review

Perfect for experienced or beginner kids, the Scuba Choice is a snorkel vest that allows the user to get more mobility and still enjoy an excellent safety quality.

This inflatable snorkel vest is also really easy to put on and off and does not demand too much-blowing power to inflate either.

The vest comes with its own straps to adjust according to the type of body, and also offer a removable feature to get it off more easily when needed. It also fits practically any child from 50lbs up to 100lbs and slightly more.

KEY SPECIFICS

Totally Easy to Inflate

The oral inflator of this device is specifically designed to help children with less blowing power to inflate their vest easily.

It does not demand more than a few minutes of blowing and keeps all the air inside to avoid children getting frustrated. Apart from that, it is located in a very convenient place for easier access.

Convenient Straps

When it comes to fitting the vest to different body sizes, tightening it up or just adding more mobility – these straps are just fantastic. They will help you do all that and more without problems.

For more comfort and versatility when using, when inflated or deflated, the straps will help you achieve better results.

Hugely Reliable Design

For a snorkel vest for kids, the design is just perfect. Whether the person is a non-swimmer or does not have the great ability on the water, this one will help him get along more smoothly.

It offers perfect stability while floating and still keeps the body of the person from going down. Even when it is only half inflated, it will perform well.

This vest comes with a neon yellow color and with several straps, making it perfect for kids who want more visibility and still a comfortable vest. It will easily promote a better snorkeling experience while keeping safety at the top.

Maybe the best snorkel vest for non-swimmers, the Scuba Choice for kids is just fantastic.

6. Innovative Scuba Concepts Innovative Snorkel Vest

The most convenient and reliable option in the list, the Innovative Scuba Concept is a snorkel vest which is also very creative in many ways. It is effortless to inflate and deflate, comes with an exceptional material build, and even offers additional accessories such as a whistle.

It works for anyone between 50 lbs to 190lbs without problems, and due to its excellently-made straps, it is comfortable and very safe to use. This vest also provides terrific buoyancy control and gives the perfect visibility with its two neon colors.

KEY SPECIFICS

Outstanding Build & Design

Made of high-quality denier urethane-coated nylon, this vest promotes a much more reliable and resistance snorkeling experience. Whether it is inflated or deflated, it will resist puncture, sunrays, and any type of impact or shock.

Apart from that, the design comes with welded seam RF, radio signals seams that increase visibility and reliability overall.

Very Convenient Inflator

You won’t ever have to spend more than 5 minutes inflating your vest, with this one it is a matter of just seconds. It will keep you very safe when inflated, adding perfect flotation control and avoiding punctures or any other problem.

You may inflate it just a little to get just enough flotation, or else inflate it complete for better results.

Exceptional Safety Features

The body straps, the buckles, and the whistle – all features that make this vest one of the most reliable in the market. You won’t have to worry about putting it on your body, as it is totally convenient with its straps.

It will also promote a more secure swimming session with the buckles, and if you ever get lost – you’ll have a whistle to alert your surroundings.

 Never again use an unreliable vest, this Innovative Snorkel Vest will help you get the perfect comfort and safety you need. Just pick among its three colors: black, yellow or pink, and you’ll have a high-quality vest to enjoy

7. Phantom Aquatics Snorkel Adult Vest

For a top-notch snorkel gear set at a low price, the Phantom Aquatics for adults will come like a gem. Perfect for any type of use, you can get a fantastic performance with this one, both inflated and deflated.

It fits people from 100 up to 180lbs without problems. And of course, it is straightforward to put on and off, while it comes with a convenient inflation system.

Overall, this is a vest that provides a high-grade experience while being cheaper than most.

KEY SPECIFICS

Simple Yet Effective Design

This vest looks like any other vest, even public vests you get on boats and so on. But of course, the design and the build are 100% better.

It is made with excellent materials that make the device much more resistant than any other for the same price. In addition, its design promotes comfort and superior control while floating.

High-Quality Brass Inflator

You won’t have to waste minutes inflating your vest or feel like it is too much trouble to deflate it eventually.

The brass inflator of this one allows you to do whatever you want with it more efficiently and comfortably. It helps you save time and effort, even during stressful situations.

Convenient Straps

A good vest for snorkeling needs to be comfortable, handy and provide excellent comfort. The Phantom Aquatics for adults is exactly that, all thanks to the high-quality waist and crotch straps that promote superb effectiveness as a vest.

In short, you get a product that will keep you floating at all times, won’t become a problem when it comes to inflating or deflating, and will always be comfortable. Capable of fitting a wide array of people, this one can be your best choice – especially for its price.

8. Rrtizan Adult Inflatable Life Jacket For Snorkeling

An adult vest needs to be reliable and utterly comfortable. It needs to be made of highly resistant materials, while also being breathable and neat. The Rrtizan adult vest jacket is maybe the best snorkeling life vest you will find on the market.

Perfect for people between 80 and 220lbs, you will have a fantastic vest to enjoy. It keeps you floating without problems, or else helps you dive for longer and more comfortably than any other.

You can inflate or deflate it very quickly, and will always be a total piece of cake to put on with its zippered design.

KEY SPECIFICS

Exceptional Material

With 60% polyester and 40% PVC, you can say this vest is outstandingly resistant and reliable. Apart from that, it is soft and smooth on the skin, fits practically anybody with enough flexibility, and provides perfect comfort.

It also comes with a high-density fabric that alongside its big airbag gives you ideal flotation at any moment.

Convenient & Comfortable Design

Add the adjustable straps for different body sizes, the breathable fabric design, and the foldable feature, and you get a vest for the most demanding users.

Maybe the handiest on the whole list, this one will make your snorkeling experience much better in every way.

High-Quality Zipper Feature

You won’t have any problem while taking it off or putting it on. The zipper design allows any user to unzip down or zip up and enjoy a highly resistant vest for snorkeling. Whether it is for floating for hours with the most balance or swimming deep, this vest is fantastic.

Coming in either neon orange and blue, this cheap yet highly reliable vest is an option not to overlook. It is entirely designed for superior convenience without leaving behind any durability and resistance. And of course, it is totally safe and highly convenient overall.

Snorkeling Vest or Flotation Belt? 

As we already know, a snorkeling vest has the purpose of providing a floating option or a diving ability. A flotation belt, instead, only provides a slight advantage when it comes to floating.

But that does not mean a flotation belt is not useful for snorkeling. It's just that a snorkeling one is much better. While a vest can be used facing down, a flotation belt will keep you upright most of the time.

If you are a snorkeler who wants more versatility and receive excellent flotation control at the same time, a snorkeling vest will always be the right choice.

Otherwise, if you are looking for an accessory that helps you stay afloat without offering the same kind of versatility or control, then what you need is a flotation belt.

Remember, it all comes down to your needs and desires. We highly recommend a snorkeling vest if you want more versatility and at the same time be able to dive in when needed.

But a flotation belt is not a bad choice if you are a good swimmer and want to stay in a different position without diving.

Benefits of Using Snorkel Vest

Less Effort

You won’t have to battle your way in the water when using a snorkel vest. Especially if what you look for is to stay afloat, a snorkel vest will help you enormously.

Versatility

Apart from helping you stay afloat, a snorkel vest also helps to dive in more easily when needed. Inflated, the snorkel vest works as a life jacket when deflated; it works as a diving suit.

Warmth & Sun Protection

Some snorkeling vests also come with slightly insulated materials. These materials maintain heat and warmth more efficiently in the body of the user, working as sweaters for the sea.

Also, most of them also help to avoid getting burnt by sun rays. Especially on the back while snorkeling, a complete jacket-style vest will be your best choice to prevent sunburnt.

Pockets & Straps

In contrast with most flotation belts and life jackets, a snorkeling vest may come with additional features such as pockets. This way you can store or attach anything you want more efficiently and prevent losing it.

When you add the straps, you get even more options to connect and bring things with you while snorkeling.

Comfort & Safety

 There’s nothing more critical for a snorkeling vest than being comfortable. Helping you achieve more confidence while swimming while keeping you afloat is essential. And they won’t make it harder when snorkeling, you just relax and do your thing

What To Look For Before Buying?

Types of Snorkel Vests

There are three main types of snorkeling vest: the horse-collar, the jacket, and the hybrid. All of them offer the same advantages but slight differences in designs.

Horse Collar Style

This one, as its name says, is a vest that typically goes around the neck towards your front torso. The back is usually left open for the straps to go in across the back and between your legs.

You may find pockets in these, or other additional features as well. Typically, the inflating tube is at one side, close enough to the neck part to make it accessible enough.

Jacket Style

This is not as common as other options, yet it is very convenient and sometimes more comfortable than others. As a jacket, this type of vest comes with a zipper in the middle and will cover all your torso from the front to the back.

These jacket-style vests do not offer straps to tighten up or fit, they instead come with fabric on the back that protects users from the sun. Sometimes, this fabric may also be inflatable to offer even more buoyancy.

Hybrid Style

The hybrid style is also one of the most common in the market. It is not like a jacket, but it is not only a horse collar either. You will be able to get the same comfort as you have a jacket, as it covers your body completely, but without the middle zipper.

Apart from that, it comes with the same floating options, yet these usually don’t inflate as much.

Sizing & Fit

Most snorkeling vest manufacturers maybe two sizes: for adults and for children. Frequently, adult sizes are made for people between 80lbs and 200lbs, some of them may offer more or less than that.

However, some brands may offer up to four different sizes from Small to Extra Large and so on. These are often much more reliable as they can fit much better in people with less or more body size, as well as for those in between.

One of the main things you need to look for apart from the size is how comfortable and secure it is. When it comes to coziness, it’s all about how you feel when using it. When it comes to security, it means the different methods it has to stay with the user without riding up or detaching.

We recommend jacket-style vests with zippers or horse-collars with crotch and back straps. Hybrid styles are generally complete enough and provide better security in this sense.

Inflator Tube

The inflator tube of a snorkeling vest should not be too hard to use. Also, it should be close enough to the mouth so the user can inflate the vest more comfortably.

It is recommended to go for vests that can be inflated in just a few seconds or minutes. The process should be smooth and also provide a faster deflating process when needed.

Also, the position of the inflator should be in the chest area, so it doesn’t get lost and promotes easier access.

Visibility

One of the purposes of a snorkeling vest is to increase visibility in the ocean. This means it needs to be bright and easy to spot in the bluish or greenish water.

Most vests come with neon or fluorescent yellow, green, pink or even red colors. We recommend any of these over any blue, black, or similarly dark tones.

Storability

Ocean equipment and accessories need to be easy to store. Even when they are large and offer many features, they should easily fit inside a medium or small sized bag.

This means it should be easily packed or folded, so you can eventually store it and take it with your comfort.

Additional Features

Among these features, you can find extra floating parts, a fast-deflating option, a whistle, and even pockets.

The whole purpose of these features is to improve your experience while snorkeling and most of them come really handy at all times. So pick a vest with one of these for better adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it necessary to have a deflating feature in a snorkeling vest?

A: Even though it is not a necessity per say, it is actually an advantageous feature these vests offer. In contrast with other life-saving ocean accessories, being able to deflate while snorkeling allows the user to dive and have a more versatile experience.

Q: How much does it take to inflate a vest?

A: There’s not a specific time for this, but generally it takes between 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Of course, it all depends on the blowing capacity the person can offer. The more air is blown, the faster the vest will inflate.

Q: Can I use a snorkeling vest instead of a life-jacket?

A: These snorkeling vests are specifically designed for versatility for divers and snorkelers, not precisely as an item for safety measures. So, if you need to use a life-jacket as a safety measure, don’t change it for a snorkeling vest.

Q: Should I use my vest mostly inflated or deflated?

A: We recommend using it inflated most of the time. This helps to get the desired flotation and be safe at all times. Unless you are an experienced swimmer, diver or snorkeler, an inflated vest will always be more secured.

Q: What is better for children, a jacket style, a horse collar or hybrid?

A: It all comes down to what the child who is going to use it feels in it. However, a horse collar is usually not as secure or effective for flotation as a jacket style, and a hybrid is. So, hybrids and jacket style vests are better for children.

Conclusion – Choosing The Right Snorkeling Vest!

You may spend hundreds of hours looking for a vest for your snorkeling adventures and end up picking the wrong one. With this guide, you won’t have that problem.

With the many choices and overall information, you won’t ever have to spend more than a few minutes choosing the best snorkeling vest for your needs. After reading this article, you are undoubtedly more aware and confident about what to pick. So don’t hesitate and get the right one now!