Snorkeling is one of the coolest ways to explore the underwater world. From schools of fish to eye-catching coral displays, the sights you’ll see can’t be beaten. And because snorkeling requires just a few key pieces of equipment, this one-of-a-kind experience is open to anyone.
If you’re unsure what snorkeling equipment to invest in, the Discover Boating team is here to help. Keep reading for a comprehensive list of the best snorkeling gear to buy for your boat!
Top Snorkeling Gear to Purchase:
Ready to pack for your next snorkeling trip? Below is a list of the top snorkeling gear you’ll need to get started:
The first piece of snorkeling equipment you need is a mask. Depending on your preferences, you can opt for a full-face snorkeling mask or a separate mask and snorkel combo.
Full-face snorkel masks have gained tremendous popularity in recent years – and for good reason! While they were initially designed for beginners, they’re coveted by snorkelers of all experience levels for their leak and anti fog abilities. If you’re interested in giving a full-face snorkel mask a go, consider the Seaview 180° V2 mask because it has two chambers and four intake valves to help air circulate.
While full-face masks are great for adults, snorkel sets are the best snorkeling masks for kids. If you’re ready to invest, consider the Cressi Palau Snorkel Set because it has a durable silicone skirt for leak prevention. And because it adjusts to fit many face sizes, it’s a terrific option for any recreational snorkeler.
If fins didn’t already come with your snorkel set, you will want to get some. While they’re not technically necessary, wearing fins make propelling through the water significantly easier. Remember that short fins are best for shallow water, and longer fins (diving fins) are great in the open ocean.
If you’re unsure which ones to get, the Mares Avanti Superchannel Snorkel Fins are among the best snorkeling gear for adults, and the Cressi Rock Fins are some of the best snorkeling gear for kids.
Read Next: Safe Boating With Toddlers and Kids
3. Snorkeling Vest
Like a lifejacket, snorkeling vests provide buoyancy, which helps snorkelers stay afloat. They’re designed for people who aren’t entirely comfortable in the water, so they’re some of the best snorkeling gear for kids.
Good snorkeling vest options include the Scubapro Cruiser Snorkel Vest for adults and this Scuba Choice Youth Kids Snorkel Vest for youngsters.
4. Wetsuit or Rash Guard
Wetsuits are a snorkeler’s best friend. Why? Well, in addition to warming you up in cold water, wetsuits prevent sunburns and protect against stingy ocean particles. Additionally, they add buoyancy.
If the water isn’t too chilly, consider wearing a Shorty wetsuit, which has short sleeves and leggings that stop just above the knee. Shorties are a breeze to pull on and off, and the Cressi Tortuga 2.5mm Shorty is one of the best.
If the water is too warm for a wetsuit, a rash guard like the O’Neill Basic Skins 50+ Rash Guard also protects against the sun and the stinging ocean particles.
5. Biodegradable Sunscreen
As you probably already know, sunscreen is essential for any outdoor adventure. When snorkeling, its recommended to use a reef-friendly sunscreen that biodegrades in the water. That way, you won’t damage any reefs you’re exploring.
For example, consider this Thinksport SPF 50 Clear Zinc Sunscreen because it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, has zero-to-minimum white cast and greasy residue, and doesn’t have ocean-damaging chemicals.
6. Neoprene Socks
Even perfectly fitting fins leave behind uncomfortable blisters (especially on the backs of your ankles). That’s why all snorkelers should invest in a pair of neoprene socks. Not only do they make snorkeling more comfortable (and therefore more enjoyable), but they also keep your feet warm.
7. Swim Cap (Or Bandana)
Although underrated, swim caps are some of the best snorkeling gear for adults. They ensure your hair doesn’t get stuck in the snorkel and prevent your scalp from burning on a sunny day.
If you don’t want to buy a swim cap specifically, a surgical cap (found at any medical supply company) will do the trick. Thanks to the ties, you won’t have to worry about these guys slipping off underwater.
Now That You Have Your Snorkeling Gear, Plan Your Next Adventure!
Once you’ve secured every item on this list of top snorkeling gear, its time to plan the rest of your next boating adventure. Need some more inspiration? Our boating blog is full of recommendations for on-the-water experiences the whole family will enjoy.