Best Snorkel Vest – Everything You Need To Know About Snorkeling Vests

Samuel Blake
Written by Samuel Blake

best snorkel vestbest snorkel vestSnorkeling is such a great activity for the whole family. It involves very little skill and experience and does not require a lot of gear either. One thing that a snorkeling trip definitely needs, however, is a good Snorkel vest.

Now, not many people know about these, probably because they look a lot like life vests.

Like me, you have probably seen this on people on the beach but have not picked up on the subtle differences.

Now that you have learned about them, however, it means that you are looking to take it easy on your next snorkeling trip.

These buoyant vests, mean less time spent trying to stay afloat and more time taking in the beauty of the underwater worlds.

This is why I like to take one of these out with me when I feel like taking a closer look underwater. As you can imagine, there is little point in wasting your money on anything other than the best.

Best Snorkeling Vests Reviews For 2018

This is why I decided to show you what Snorkel vests rank as the best. Here they are:

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Scuba Choice Adult Snorkel Vest

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I should probably start off by saying that there aren’t really any negative points with the Scuba Choice snorkel vest.

It’s got everything that you need from a snorkel vest – durability, usability, and comfort.

Not to mention, the price is quite reasonable as well.

If I had to pick a highlight for this vest, however, it would be the size. When Scuba Choice says that this vest is for adults, they really mean it. Regardless of how tall you are or how much you weigh, you are going to find that this scuba vest that fits you perfectly. If you are especially tall and have been having trouble trying to find vests that fit, this one will work just fine.

It also works quite well for people who have not been snorkeling before or are poor swimmers. This vest is a great way to make them feel more relaxed in the water.

There is also the added bonus of not getting tired out as the vest is able to take a greater amount of weight.

The straps actually fit quite comfortably, which can be quite difficult to find. Once you are strapped in, there will be no need for adjustment. The oral inflator is very easy to use and you will be able to inflate as well as deflate the vest quite quickly.

This is great if you want to deflate the vest when you are already in the water and want to dive a bit deeper for a while. Last but not least, it has got that bright neon color that makes you and your family members easier to spot.


  • Oral inflator
  • Suitable for adults over 200 lbs
  • Waist and crotch strap
  • High visibility color

SealBuddy Snorkel Vest

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the more frustrating things about inflatable snorkel vests is that they can be a bit overwhelming to wear.

Some of them are quite large which can make you feel as though you are being swallowed up by them. With the SealBuddy snorkel vest, however, there are no such concerns.

This vest is actually quite small but provides you with complete buoyancy when wearing it.

It fits easily over the neck and can be secured tightly so that it does not flounce up when you are in the water.

If you are a first time user, you will definitely appreciate it as you will be able to avoid the constant interruption. What I especially liked about this SealBuddy model was the one fit all size.

Whether you are on the petite end of the spectrum or relatively tall, one vest will accommodate you well. The straps are easily adjusted and can quickly be shortened or lengthened to suit the user.

You are also not going to have to waste time blowing up this vest. I found that it quickly inflated after only a relatively short time. Similarly, it is quite easy to deflate as well.

As it is quite small, it is quite easy to pack up and carry around with you and it will not take up a lot of space.

The vest boasts quality and has been well made. Therefore, you can be quite confident that it will last you quite a while.

For safety purposes, the manufacturer offers you the choice of neon orange and yellow.

With one of these on, you can be sure that no one will be losing sight off you anytime soon.


  • Optimally located oral inflator
  • Waist and crotch straps
  • Easy to wear, over the neck style

Ivation Snorkel Vest

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now, you may be aware that it is not only beginners who wear snorkel vests, experienced swimmers can use these too.

Snorkel vests are a great way to spend more time in the water without tiring yourself out.

If you are quite comfortable out on the ocean but are still looking for a vest to help you out, the Ivation snorkel vest is the one for you.

The reason that I would recommend this is due to the position of the oral inflator. It makes it quite easy for you to squeeze the air out of the vest when you want to dive deeper into the water.

At the same time, you will be able to inflate it back up quite quickly once you are done.

This feature makes it a very versatile vest. Adding to this is the easy over the neck style offered by the vest.

You will have no difficulty slipping the vest up and over your head if you want to take it off.

It is also a good option if you are looking for a tough snorkel vest. It is composed from tear resistant material and so can withstand being banged around a little.

The extra durability also means that you can use it for longer without having to worry about the natural wear and tear over time.

Now, there are no overt complaints about this snorkel vest. That being said, you may find that the fit is not always to your likely.

Those who are a little taller or bigger may experience some problems when trying to get it to fit around them.

Therefore, it is worthwhile to pay closer attention to the measurements provided by the manufacturer.


  • Made from tear resistant material
  • Over the neck style
  • Crotch and waist straps
  • Perfectly placed oral inflator

ScubaPro Snorkel Vest

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

OK, let’s face it, nobody really enjoys swimming with an inflatable tube bobbing around their neck.

It’s a difficult look for anyone to pull off and can look a bit ridiculous in your holiday photos.

If you are looking for a sleeker and more streamlined look, then the ScubaPro snorkel vest is what you need.

Be warned, you will have to pay more for the privilege. This vest is considerably pricier than the rest of the items on the list.

That being said, it does have a lot to offer.

The first being that it provides you with a lot of flotation control.

The oral inflator as well as the dump valve are quite easy to use. This makes diving with the vest a lot simpler. Due to the design of the vest, you will also experience less resistance when you head deeper into the water.

The vest does contain some neoprene which is perfect if you are going into cooler water as it will provide you with some added warmth. Of course, if you are headed out into the sun, you are covered too – literally.

The vest covers your torso almost completely and prevents you from getting burned by the sun.

There is also a convenient little pocket sewn into the vest. This way, you can carry something small that may really need while snorkeling.

The vest comes in two colors – orange and yellow. They are both neon colors which makes them easy to spot, even from a certain distance away.

To make sure that you can make the most out of the vest, get the best possible fit for yourself.


  • Nylon and neoprene composition
  • Full torso cover
  • Flotation control with oral inflator and dump valve

Phantom Aquatics Snorkel Jacket

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If I had to sum up the Phantom Aquatics snorkel jacket, I would say that it was good but not great.

It is good for new or poor swimmers who would feel more confident having a jacket with this design.

As it can be pulled on and zipped up, it is bound to make anyone feel a lot safer having one of these on.

Not to mention, it can be secured further with an adjustable waist strap.

Many people will also find them to be a great deal more comfortable than the vests that employ the horse collar position around the neck. There is also no denying that this jacket certainly does what it claims to do and this is keep you afloat.

You will be able to stay floating for extended periods of time without any effort at all from you.

Therefore, in this department the jacket does get full marks.

Despite this, I felt that there were some less than stellar features too.

For starters, this may not be great for smaller individuals. The size and design of the jacket may be a little ill-fitting for those who are a little shorter. I noticed that the jacket had a tendency to float upwards in the water. As there is no crotch strap, this can be difficult to remedy.

My other qualm would be the inflator on the jacket. The company has clearly placed it there to be easier to reach. Unfortunately, they seem to have gone a bit overboard with it. The inflator is quite high up which can make it tricky to inflate while you are actually wearing the jacket.

While there are some flaws with the jacket, it really does serve its purpose, as needed.

I would recommend it for beginners as it would be most useful to them.


  • Full vest
  • Contains neoprene
  • Buckles and zip closure
  • High up oral inflator
  • Adjustable waist strap

Phantom Aquatics Snorkel Vest

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I would start off by saying that this Phantom Aquatics snorkel vest, much like the previous one, is best for less experienced swimmers.

The design of it is simple.

Users just need to slip the vest over their head and secure it with the waist and crotch straps. Due to the straps you will not have to worry about the vest floating around your neck and head while you are swimming.

It is also great that the vest is able to accommodate a greater variety of weights.

This way, you can just use one vest to fit a lot of people.

However, those who are a little shorter may have to contend with some extra straps hanging about after they have buckled themselves in.

Overall, the simplicity and the comfort (not to mention the confidence) afforded by this vest is what has landed itself on the best snorkel vest list.

One of the reasons that I would recommend this for beginner swimmers and not pro ones is the inflator. It works perfectly fine and there is nothing to be concerned about there.

However, I found that it was a little difficult inflating the air up again once I deflated it to dive.

If you are looking for something that can be easily re-inflated, you may find that this particular snorkel vest is a little fidgety.

If you are just planning to float around, however, this will suit you just fine.

Also, the bright yellow and the orange mean that it is really to spot the vests if this is something that you are worried about at all.


  • Brass oral inflator
  • Waist and crotch straps
  • Supports individuals between 100lbs and 180lbs

What are the Different Types of Snorkel Vests

There are essentially two types of snorkel vests.

The first, and most popular, one is the vest that has the horse collar design.

You just slip this over your head and secure it around your torso with the help of clips or buckles.

The other newer design is not actually a vest but more like a jacket, in fact.

In addition to covering your front, it also more or less completely covers your back as well. Some people find it to be more comfortable, due to the overall design. It is worth noting that the jackets tend to cost a little more and that they also contain neoprene to make them more comfortable.

There is variation between the type of vests (and jackets) as well. One of the reasons is that they come in different sizes. This means that the heights as well as the weights that they can accommodate tend to vary quite drastically. They are usually found in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large Sizes.

The other way that these vests can differ is with the type of fixtures that are used. Now, most use straps to secure the vest to the swimmer. However, you will also sometimes find zippers beings used as well. The straps on the vests usually have buckles and clips to keep the vest in place.

Most of these features are made of plastic, although there are a few that are made from metal. Plastic tends to be the better choice, nonetheless, as it does not corrode or rust.

How to identify the Best Snorkel Vest

If you really are looking for the best snorkel vests, the list at the top should be all that you need. However, if you are looking for some indicators on what separates the great from the mediocre, then keep reading.

Now, my main concern (and I’m sure yours too) is being able to stay afloat with the snorkel vest that I am wearing. It doesn’t matter if you are a strong swimmer or just starting out. The vest needs to hold you up at all times.

Therefore, the construction of the vest needs to be great so that the air doesn’t unexpectedly escape at the worst possible time. The tougher the material, the less likely this will happen.

Snorkel vests are inflated using the oral inflator fixed on the side of the vest. I like to choose ones that have locking rings that are made from metal. I also prefer the inflator mechanism to be made of brass. These materials are of higher quality and as such are more durable.

I like to pay attention to the straps on each vest, although this is not something that everyone does. This is because I am more inclined towards vests that have both waist as well as crotch straps.

This prevents the vest from bobbing up when I am in the water. This can be incredibly distracting and annoying so I like to check before buying the vest.

The other thing that I would like to stress is the fit of the vest. Some companies have a one size fits all policy while others have a variety of size options to choose from. I would caution against from simply picking the size based on the clothes that you wear. Instead, focus on the measurements that are provided and check them against your own. This will give you a better idea of how it will fit.

How to Work a Snorkel Vest

Knowing how to wear and use a snorkel vest is pretty important as you can imagine. I think the first piece of information that you should know is how to inflate it. As you know, this is done via the oral inflator.

The parts that you need to focus on are the topmost portion called the nipple and the ring below it which is called the locking ring.

To inflate the vest, the locking ring will need to be turned in a clockwise motion until it cannot be turned anymore. Then, place your mouth around the top portion of the nipple.

You can either use your fingers or your teeth to push it down. Then blow into the tube to inflate the vest. Once you are done, make sure that the nipple is back in its original position before removing your mouth.

This will prevent the air from escaping the vest. Turn the locking ring in anticlockwise motion so that you can secure the inflator.

To deflate the vest, you will have to ‘unlock’ the locking ring and press down on the nipple. This will cause the air to move out of the vest. By squeezing the vest, you can make this process go a lot faster. If you are not an experienced swimmer, it is a good idea to avoid deflating the vest while you are still in the water.

This is what everything that you need to know about snorkel vests as well as which ones are the best for you. Now, all that is left to enjoy your new purchases!

About the author

Samuel Blake

Samuel Blake

My name is Samuel Blake. I am the founder of this scuba blog. I have been a diver for over 5 years. I care about helping you choose and decide on the best diving products.

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