Best Snorkeling Vest Reviews – 2017

Every experienced snorkeler knows that good snorkeling vests are a necessity for both beginners and skilled snorkeler alike. But with so many different brand names and products available in the market, any inexperienced buyer will soon start scratching their head trying to decide which one would be the best for them.

So, how can a buyer know what to look for in a snorkeling vest? What qualities make the best snorkeling vest?

We have the required knowledge and experience to guide you in choosing the best snorkeling vests in the market. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to try many of the best quality snorkeling equipment available.

Read more about other types of life jackets here.

If you are looking for Snorkeling Masks, please read our reviews on:

To make your purchasing experience pleasant, we will present you with some guidelines to choose the best snorkeling vest for your safety, comfort and your budget.

5 Best Snorkeling Vest of 2017

 Product ModelProduct Description

SealBuddy Inflatable Snorkel Vest Snorkel Jacket Free Diving Safety Jacket

SealBuddy Inflatable Snorkel Vest Snorkel Jacket Free Diving Safety Jacket
Pros:
Easy to use for beginners.
Straps secure both horizontal and vertical side of the body.
Easy to carry along for trips and hikes.
Cons:
Not very comfortable for snorkeling long periods.
The valve placement is a bit awkward, can be distracting when snorkeling.

Phantom Aquatics Snorkel Adult Vest

Phantom Aquatics Snorkel Adult Vest
Pros:
Very lightweight, doesn’t overwhelm the swimmer.
Provides extra safety and comfort.
Great for beginners.
Very budget friendly.
Cons:
May not fit taller people.
Doesn’t come with instructions.

ScubaPro Cruiser Skin Dive Safety Snorkeling Vest

ScubaPro Cruiser Skin Dive Safety Snorkeling Vest
Pros:
Buoyancy control is very easy. 
Easy-to-use oral inflator.
Protects swimmers back from sun exposure and sunburn.
Cons:
Can be quite pricey.
May ride up and interferes with the snorkel tube. 

Scuba Choice Scuba Choice Adult Neon Yellow Snorkel Vest with Name box

Scuba Choice Scuba Choice Adult Neon Yellow Snorkel Vest
Pros: 
Very safe, even for non-swimmers.
Inflating or deflating in the water very easy.
The color is very visible in the water.
Great product for a very low price.
Cons:
Can be a bit large for smaller people.

Phantom Aquatics Jacket Style Zippered Snorkel Vest

Phantom Aquatics Jacket Style Zippered Snorkel Vest
Pros:
More comfortable than traditional horse collar design.
Very visible in the water.
Not too bulky.
Very cheap.
Cons:
No size options.
Has a tendency to ride up on the body when in the water.
No crotch strap.

SealBuddy Inflatable Snorkel Vest Snorkel Jacket Free Diving Safety Jacket

Best Buy

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SealBuddy Inflatable Snorkel Vest Snorkel Jacket Free Diving Safety Jacket

One of the most affordable and the best Free Diving Safety Jacket.

The first item on our list is from SealBuddy and it’s a great product geared towards adults of all size. With its traditional simple horse-collar shape and waist & crotch straps it is very easy for beginner snorkelers to get the hang of.

It has small footprint, large buoyancy also excellent visibility due to neon color, making it one of the best products for learners.

The vest can be easily inflated and deflated, the vest will support the body very well in fully inflated state and it won’t require much air. Mouthpiece location is also convenient.

The product includes a large mesh bag that will be great for storing your wet clothes. It can be used by anyone of 5 feet to 6’6” feet height.


Phantom Aquatics Snorkel Adult Vest

Runner-up

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Phantom Aquatics Snorkel Adult Vest

Another cheap snorkeling vest. May not be suitable for taller people.

Another horse collar design vest on the list, the Phantom Aquatics Snorkel Adult Vest is another excellent product designed to let the swimmer swim with their head in the water, as opposed to a life jacket. The inflation mechanism in this product is top notch, very easy to use. Easy to reach oral inflation tube allows quick and easy inflation.

You can add or subtract air inside the water as per necessity. Provides excellent buoyancy, designed to be comfortable in the water. This vest includes adjustable waist and crotch strap for security and comfort. A great product, especially for trips and longtime use.

The straps are quite short and can be quite uncomfortable for people more than 5 feet 7 inches. Some users reported that it gave them wedgies. 


ScubaPro Cruiser Skin Dive Safety Snorkeling Vest

Versatile Option

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ScubaPro Cruiser Skin Dive Safety Snorkeling Vest

Very versatile and safe snorkeling vest. Has lots of functionality.

ScubaPro has been known for their excellent quality vests for a long time. They are designed to be efficient for both the novice and the experienced snorkeler. They are very long lasting, a trademark quality of  ScubaPro.

It features a Nylon and neoprene construction that provides excellent durability and fits very comfortably. Easy to use oral inflator valve makes inflation very quick and convenient. It also has a pocket for storage of personal effects. The nylon back protects the swimmers back while he/she lays on the surface.

It is a versatile product used for all diving applications, cold water, recreation, snorkeling, warm water and more. Overall an excellent product for all types of swimming activities. The vest comes in different sizes. It is recommended to measure your waist before buying.


Scuba Choice Scuba Choice Adult Neon Yellow Snorkel Vest

Fine Vest

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Scuba Choice Scuba Choice Adult Neon Yellow Snorkel Vest

Easy oral inflator, you can adjust the level of buoyancy and inflation even on water.

This one is one of the flagship products of Scuba Choice and one of their best sellers, for good reasons. For a very small price this product is one of the best snorkeling vests around. Very accessible weight range, can fit adults up to 200 lbs of weight. It has removable straps, to keep the vest from riding up when inflated.

Since its removable, those who feel congested or uncomfortable with straps can easily remove it. Easy oral inflator with convenient placement makes inflating the vest very easy, you can adjust the level of buoyancy and inflation even on water. The size of this vest is 27″ x 19″, with 27″ neck, making it ideal for any height.

A great product for beginner or expert. The spring action of oral inflation valve makes inflating or deflating on the water very easy.


Phantom Aquatics Jacket Style Zippered Snorkel Vest

Jacket Style Vest

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Phantom Aquatics Jacket Style Zippered Snorkel Vest

Jacket style stylish vest, extremely comfortable and convenient to use. An ideal product for lovers of snorkeling.

This is another jacket style vest that looks great and stylish on top of being extremely comfortable and convenient to use. An ideal product for lovers of snorkeling. And for all the benefits it offers, it is astonishingly cheap! It has three reflective tape for added visibility in the distance, making it very safe for snorkeling.

It also has a pocket with a buckles closure. Heavy-duty zipper in the front makes it extra easy to put it on. The oral inflation valve is easy to reach.

The vest has multiple adjustment straps for secure fit, Neoprene back for added comfort and protection from sun exposure, Durable bright yellow nylon construction, comfortable rolled edge collar looks and feels great. Overall, an extremely good product for an extremely cheap price.


What to Look For

The key points to remember while choosing a snorkeling vest are

  • Buoyancy adjustment
  • Design
  • Material used in the inflator tube
  • Size and weight(Your own body weight)
  • and of course, your budget

Buoyancy adjustment

The one quality that makes snorkeling vests different from a standard life jacket is its buoyancy adjustment. Snorkeling vests can be manually inflated, deflated or semi-inflated according to your need while in water.

Some products on the market offer extra buoyancy, so you can snorkel longer on the surface of water by saving energy and it makes snorkeling safer.

Design

There are two basic designs available in the market. The “Horsecollar Design” is the most common and widely used due to its simplicity and cheap price. It is donut shaped, and the snorkeler’s head goes through the hole. It adjusts to the body by using one or two straps.

The waist strap keeps the bladder from floating away from the torso, while the crotch strap (in two strap designs) will keep the vest from ‘riding up’ while you are in the water. According to some users, the waist strap can be a tad bit uncomfortable.

The other basic design is the “Jacket Style”. As the name suggests, it is worn like a jacket. Also, the bladder is located in the front only. It adjusts to the body by using zippers and rarely uses straps, so it is also more comfortable.

However, it can also make snorkeling a bit risky compared to the horsecollar design, because without the crotch strap there is no lower body adjustment. Although some products do come with straps, or you can manually add the straps.

Material used in the inflation tube

The inflation tube is a semi grid stem protruding from the front, which has a locking ring on it. The locking ring can be either plastic or metal (preferably brass), but metal has higher durability.

Only high quality vests use metal locking ring, which can be a bit pricy. Therefore, if you have a tight budget, plastic can work just as good, depending on overall quality.

Size and weight (Your own bodyweight)

Suppose you buy a vest, only to see it does not fit. In that case, both your money and time are wasted. So before buying, please take some time to take your own body measurement and research a bit, about what vest size would be ideal for you.

The same is true about weight. If your weight exceeds the capacity of the vest, it cannot make you float, which is the primary job of snorkeling vests.

Budget

And last but not least, your budget is the deciding factor here. If you have a higher budget and looking for long term and frequent use go for the ones with better materials (metal rings and zippers, webbed straps etc.) and if you have a tight budget some of the cheaper ones with the aforementioned qualities checked will be just fine.

We hope this article will help you to decide the best snorkeling vest for you and ensure a happy snorkeling experience.

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Mark Foley
 

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