Best Snorkel Vest Review

Snorkeling, unlike scuba diving, requires much less gear; in fact, a snorkeling vest is halfway there! But you’d like to have the best snorkel vest, wouldn’t you?

An inflatable snorkel vest allows you to offset buoyancy and grants you another layer of safety but finding one that suits your water treading needs can be difficult if you don’t know what to look. We’ve written this guide to help you choose a high-quality snorkel vest from industry-leading brands such as Lesberg and Scubapro.

Best-Selling Inflatable Snorkel Vests

Editor's Choice
Lesberg Snorkeling Vest
  • Lesberg Inflatable Vest

  • Reviewer's Rating
  • Flexible, Lightweight & Compact.
  • Price: See Here
Innovative Scuba Snorkel Vest
  • Innovative Scuba Snorkel Vest

  • Editor's Rating
  • Safety Whistle. Easy to Adjust.
  • Price: See Here
Best Value
Scubapro Cruiser Snorkeling Vest
  • Scubapro Cruiser Snorkeling Vest

  • Editor's Rating
  • Protects your back from excessive sun exposure.
  • Price: See Here

Let’s dive deeper into the 5 best snorkel vest review.

5 Most Popular Snorkeling Vests Reviewed

1. Lesberg Inflatable Snorkeling Vest

Lesberg’s snorkeling vest comes through with the classic horse collar design: easy to use and adjust, comfortable on the neck, and with the assurance that it won’t break on the first use.

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Design

  • The horse collar design is cinched in place with straps and buckles up over your head.
  • The mouthpiece is conveniently located to perform adjustments, even in a pinch.
  • The collar is longer than the average model, offering a more comfortable fit against the skin.
  • The vests are available in several neon colors, not just Neon Yellow, suiting the taste of the user.

Functionality

  • The inflator is very quick and easy to use: it can go from deflated to inflated in about 15 seconds, and it just takes pressing down the air valve.
  • Lesberg uses a thin layer of canvas, on top of high-grade plastics, to provide more durability to the vest; it is also gentler on the skin and produces no abrasions.
  • The straps are made from tough nylon, and the bucklers are constructed with sturdy plastics.
  • The vest folds into a compact triangle, just a little bigger than a smartphone, for convenient transportation.

Value

Lesberg’s vest comes at a very favorable cost to value ratio. If you’d rather not spend a lot on a snorkel vest, this is probably the best bet you can take to make your water time even better without breaking the bank!

Summary

Beginners, experts, and even kids can make use of Lesberg’s snorkeling vest. It fits most body types, provides comfort, and it was made to last; if we get its price into the equation, how can we decline such an offer?

Pros & Cons

PROS:
  • The most affordable of our list
  • Canvas layer is comfortable and prevents abrasion

CONS:
  • The straps might generate discomfort
  • It can be too bulky for some

 


2. Scubapro Cruiser Snorkeling Vest

Scubapro graces us with a snorkeling life jacket to explore what lies below the waters for hours. This jacket is as much of a vest as the Batmobile is a car; we believe it is a good choice for more prospective snorkelers, rather than beginners.

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Design

  • This snorkel jacket trades the straps and buckles for a sleek and compact design.
  • It fits snuggly and provides the same increased control and buoyancy offset of the horse collar snorkel vest.
  • The best part about this jacket design is that it wraps the entire torso, shielding the snorkeler’s back from the sun; excellent for those long sessions that might end with a terrible sunburn.

Functionality

  • The inflator is easy to use, and it inflates and deflates quickly; the jacket stays inflated for longer, unlike smaller vests that tend to lose air.
  • It has built-in pockets to carry whatever you might need, such as a waterproof camera or other personal effects; there aren’t many ways to improve a snorkeling life jacket, but the added convenience is nice.
  • It is constructed with a thin, 1/8″ layer of neoprene to provide warmth without adding discomfort in warmer waters; this is the same material used to design wetsuits for divers.

Value

There’s no sugarcoating it: this snorkeling jacket is more expensive than the standard horse collar vest.

However, if we bring into consideration all its benefits, we can’t say it’s unfair.  We think an active snorkeler would get better mileage out of this vest, considering the purchase is a bit of an investment.

Summary

Scubapro’s snorkeling life jacket caters to the prospective snorkeler; if you tread for hours in the crystalline blue or swim in the cold, you need full torso coverage and extra warmth.

The price tag might intimidate some people; however, if you’re looking to make an investment that will grant you years of snorkeling, Scubapro is arguably the best choice.

Pros & Cons

PROS:
  • Full-torso coverage prevents sunburns
  • Canvas layer is comfortable and prevents abrasion
  • Composed with neoprene

CONS:
  • Relatively expensive
  • Does not have a crotch strap


 

3. Innovative Scuba Snorkel Vest

Innovative Scuba brings a snorkeling vest of sturdier construction and a tighter fit; while it is somewhat more expensive than a standard snorkel vest, we believe it is still within the “affordable” category.

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Design

  • The vest uses the traditional horse collar design, but this one is compacter; it might be a bit uncomfortable for some, but it improves the fit. It has crotch and waist straps to prevent water from riding up.
  • There three different sizes, ranging from “child” size (max 100 pounds), “adult” size (max 190 pounds), and “XL” size (max 230 pounds).
  • Surprisingly, you can get this vest in black, which is an uncommon color for these products; you still can get one in the classic safety yellow or pink.

Functionality

  • This inflatable snorkel vest is made of durable materials; the bladder is made from 210-denier urethane-coated nylon, the buckles are made from sturdy plastics, the straps are made from tough nylon, and the stitches at the seams are very sturdy.
  • Near the breast you can find the oral inflator; it is easy to use and durable. It is designed to be unscrewed and screw to fill and deflate with ease, even in the water.
  • The unit has a safety whistle affixed next to the inflator.; there aren’t many dangers lurking in the water for snorkelers, but the whistle is there, should you ever need to get assistance in the water.

Value

The vest is a tad more expensive than the standard snorkel vest, but not by too much; considering the durability of the product, we believe it comes as the best bet for those looking for a compromise between quality and price.

Summary

Innovative Scuba’s snorkel vest most defining word is “dependable”; the design of the product and its materials make it a prime tool to tread the waters, withstanding even the harshest sea salt.

It’s not very expensive and, in turn, it can resist several seasons of hardcore use. If you’re looking for a “cheap” buy and forget vest to keep yourself covered (literally) for many snorkeling trips, this might be it.

Pros & Cons

PROS:
  • Very durable
  • Good fit and easy to adjust

CONS:
  • Can generate discomfort around the neck
  • Somewhat expensive

 


4. Scuba Choice Adult Neon Yellow Snorkel Vest

Scuba Choice brings us another conventional snorkel vest; it comes without bells and whistles, and that is precisely the appeal of this product; beginner’s and rental businesses love these for this very reason.

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Design

  • This snorkeling vest is pretty standard when it comes to design: just a horse collar with a strap and buckles; it’s available in neon yellow, hot pink, and royal blue.
  • Due to its simple construction and streamlined strap, it provides a comfortable fit.

Functionality

  • The bladder and straps of the vest are made from durable, heavy-duty plastics to withstand salt water; the removable strap is woven from thick nylon, and it helps you get a tighter fit to prevent water from riding up.
  • The inflator tube is next to the right breast; the high-grade plastic looks dependable, and it only takes a few seconds to inflate or deflate the whole unit; it’s easy to adjust in the water as well.
  • It has a small name box near the bottom so that you can label your vest; good when you’re traveling in large crowds for organized snorkeling.

Value

The snorkeling vest is affordable, which makes it a good fit for those who’d rather spend more on their trips themselves than in gear; considering the cost-to-value ratio, it’s a decent choice in any case!

Summary

Do you go snorkeling two to three times per year perhaps? A no-nonsense vest without too much flair, and at an affordable price, sounds like your best bet.

Fortunately, that’s the point of Scuba Choice’s snorkel vest; you can get one for all in the family without breaking the bank and still enjoy your snorkeling altogether!

Pros & Cons

PROS:
  • Cheap
  • Comfortable

CONS:
  • Regular materials
  • Sizing might be a problem


 

5. Scuba Choice Kid’s Snorkel Vest

Scuba Choice now comes with a snorkeling vest for the youths; same deal, but a size smaller. It has a slightly different shape, but it is still the same design.

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Design

  • Children as young as 4 and up to 100 pounds can enjoy snorkeling with a vest just as you do with this; it’s smaller and less buoyant to offset the weight.
  • It provides a comfortable fit, and you can find it other colors such as orange, purple, and yellow.

Functionality

  • The bladder and straps of the vest are made from the same heavy-duty plastics of the adult model to withstand salt water; the strap is tighter and shorter to provide a better fit against the skin and prevent water from riding up.
  • The inflator tube is next to the right breast; made with high-grade plastic and easy to adjust; it inflates and deflates quickly, even in water.
  • It has a small name box near the bottom so that you can label your vest. We believe it should be a bit larger, as it would allow you to write the name of both parents; just in case your little swimmer decides to go where he or she shouldn’t!

Value

This snorkel vest is just as affordable as the adult version. There aren’t many high-quality, low-cost snorkeling vests for little kids; that makes this vest a choice worth looking into if you intend to share the fun with your little ones.

Summary

If you’ve got kids and you’d like to take them to your snorkeling trips, you need to bring appropriate vests that can suit them.

There are many one-size-fits-all vests out there that claim to work on everyone, but that doesn’t involve kids as young as 4; for this reason, Scuba Choice’s youths vest takes a different stance than the other products of our list: you either need it or you don’t; however, if you need it, you won’t be disappointed.

Pros & Cons

PROS:
  • The only real snorkel vest for kids
  • Comfortable

CONS:
  • Might be too big for some kids
  • Regular materials


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can women wear the snorkel vest?

Of course! Horse collar snorkel vests are worn over the neck and then strapped to the waist and crotch to provide a tight fit.

Well-endowed women might have a problem with vests that don’t have a crotch strap; it might end up riding up with the water. Be sure to check it out before you make a purchase; most companies, if not all, are willing to do refunds if the product doesn’t work out for you, but it’s best to double-check!

Q: Do these vests work as a life jacket?

No. They’re closer to a buoyancy aid.

The debate between a snorkel vest vs a life jacket boils down to the fact that a snorkel vest won’t make you float whereas a life jacket will.

The purpose of the snorkeling vest is to lessen the amount of energy you’ve got to use to keep afloat, allowing you to stay close to the top to use your snorkel.

Q: Can I use snorkel vest to swim in open water?

These aren’t life jackets, but you can swim in the open water with one for the extra confidence as long as you know how to swim with intermediate capacity and in the company of more people.

Even strong swimmers make use of buoyancy aids such as these vests to offset buoyancy in open water; it can help you rest.

Vests with crotch straps are more suited for swimming, but it would be best if you avoided swimming in deep water if you’re not a good swimmer.

Q: How do I know if a vest fits me?

Most providers have size charts you can use to gauge whether the vest suits you; however, a reliable piece of advice is following what size of shirt you wear, taking into consideration the weight indications.


How We Appraised Each Snorkel Vest

Most of us tend to be dismissive towards the “small stuff,” such as shoelaces, drinking cups, or snorkel vests. There’s virtually no difference between one another to the inattentive observer, but there indeed a lot of small details that separate “good” from “standard.”

We understand this, so we’ve looked and compared each vest to assess their performance in the following departments to determine if they’re really deserving of the title of the best snorkel vest.

Design

Here, we take a look at the shape, comfort, and color availability.

  • The shape of the snorkel vest is not merely a matter of style but function. Are you going to snorkel for hours with your poor back exposed to the inclement tropical sun at midday? You’ll wish you brought a full-torso snorkeling life jacket.

This is why we’ve included differently-shaped vest to cater to different needs.

  • Comfort is imperative when you’re looking to have a good time; what’s the point of using a bulky, uncomfortable snorkel vest if you’re going to end up tired just as fast without it?

Our choices gravitated to vests that fit snuggly without generating discomfort.

  • Color availability might very well be a matter of vanity, but no less important to us because of that. Back when the idea of snorkel vests was still a novelty, there weren’t any other colors but neon yellow.

However, with so many brands and entrepreneurs pumping products by the hundreds, we expect to see more colors, and perhaps even printed designs!

Functionality

Here, we took a look at the materials and added convenience.

  • The materials used in the production of the vest is quite important to us; we like products that last many seasons, not “cheap” ones that end up costing more because you need to replace them after two or three uses.

Vests that use high-grade plastics, hard nylon, and even materials such as canvas or neoprene were our choice; we’re looking for snorkel vests that withstand salt water, wear and the passage of time.

  • “Added convenience” is hard to explain, but we like products that offer us more than what they state in the tin; we expect a snorkel vest to offset buoyancy, but if it could do anything else other than that, it becomes instantly more valuable.

Sure, some people might not need it, but for those that do; here they are!

Value

Here, we look at the price tag; one of the many ceilings we come across.

We get what we pay for, but some products bring a lot of value at a low price, and we want vests that offer value.

Breaking the bank is not something we should do, period; however, being cheap is not an option either.

If you’re planning a trip to an exotic place to snorkel, you’re already spending money; we would rather spend money on the trip itself than on snorkeling vests, and we’re sure you agree with us.

For this reason, we went over vests that offered good qualities while being affordable; you don’t have to spend a lot of cash to get a safe, comfortable, and effective snorkel vest!



Video Review

Conclusion

Snorkeling is a fun activity to perform with friends and family, no matter the age; it doesn’t require expensive gear or training, and you can start almost right away. You just need a diving mask, swim fins, a snorkel vest, and you’re set.

A “good” snorkel vest, in our eyes, is a vest that makes you float, withstands wear, and feels comfortable; it’s not too expensive, and you don’t have to settle for substandard gear.

“Take care of your gear, and your gear will take care of you”; don’t forget this when you purchase your snorkeling gear!

We sincerely hope this article helped you make an educated decision on the matter, and we wish you enjoy exploring what lies below the surface of the water!

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