2022 Guide to the Best Snorkel Set and Snorkeling Gear for Kids

By Joshua Davis •  Updated: 10/18/22 •  29 min read

Every summer when I was little, my dad would pack the family Buick with lawn chairs, a packed cooler, and charcoal, and drive the family out for a day of swimming, grilling, and riverbank picnicking in Guadalupe River State Park.

QUICK LINKS
  1. OFHQ’s Favorites
  2. Kids’ Mask and Snorkel Sets with Fins
  3. Kids’ Mask and Snorkel Sets
  4. Kids’ Snorkel Fins
  5. Kids’ Snorkel Vests
  6. Kids’ Rash Guards
  7. Kids’ Wetsuits
  8. Kids’ Neoprene Snorkel Socks
  9. Selecting the Best Kids’ Snorkel Set: Things to Consider
  10. A Word of Caution: The Dangers of Full-Face Snorkel Masks
  11. Time to Dive In!

We would stake our claim for the day across a shallow, slow-moving section of the river across from some towering white limestone cliffs.

Here, the typically emerald-green waters of the Guadalupe thinned out to diamond-clear shallows that made it perfect for swimming and fossil hunting among the smooth river stones.

I remember the first time my head was big enough to fit into my dad’s old snorkel mask – my parents couldn’t get me out of the water even to eat.

The world that existed just under the surface was mesmerizing: the nibbling schools of minnows darting among sunlight-dappled river stones, the innumerable colors and shapes of pebbles and shells, the bright red crawdads and skiddish blue-and-yellow perch …

… I felt like I was flying through the sky of another world.

The simple combination of a mask and snorkel gives a child the power to explore an underwater world that would otherwise be inaccessible.

And whether your kids are swimming in a pool, lake, river, or ocean, a good snorkeling set will help them make the most of their experience.

OFHQ’s Favorites

If you’re in a hurry and need to cut to the chase, here are our favorite snorkeling gear picks for kids:

Mares Head Sea Pals Snorkeling Set with Fins (Best Overall Snorkeling Set with Fins)

Complete with a mask, snorkel, fins, and creature-themed backpack, this set from Mares is a great all-in-one option for young kids getting into snorkeling and our top pick!

Best Overall Snorkel Set with Fins
Mares Head Sea Pals Snorkeling Set with Fins
$46.95
Pros:
  • 2-year warranty
  • Quality crafted snorkeling equipment by a reputable company
  • The comfortable mouthpiece and easy-exhale snorkel make it easy for kids to get used to
  • Dry top snorkel prevents the backflow of water into the mouth
  • Fun creature-themed backpack suited for kids
Cons:
  • The nylon ripstop material of the backpack is durable; however, it won't allow wet equipment to dry
  • Open-heel fin design might require neoprene socks to prevent rubbing
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 04:42 pm GMT

The Sea Pals feature open heel fins, which makes them easy to put on and take off (a godsend when you’re dealing with little ones who are impatient to get in the water).

They’re also made with soft, durable rubber that won’t chafe little feet, and they have an adjustable strap to accommodate a wide range of foot sizes.

The mask has a single window design with a durable silicone skirt, and the snorkel has a splash guard at the top to help keep water out.

The set comes in three fun creature-themed designs: jellyfish, turtle, and dolphin.

Promate Youth Snorkel Combo Set with Fins and Vest (Most Complete Snorkeling Set)

The addition of a snorkeling vest makes this one of the most complete kids snorkel gear sets and is great for a leisurely trip to the pool or a full-on kayaking adventure.

The vest has a bright, easily visible design and adjustable straps to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.

It also has an integrated whistle in case your child gets separated from you while snorkeling.

Most Complete Snorkeling Set
Promate Youth Snorkel Combo Set with Fins and Vest
$68.95
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • Excellent cost-to-quality ratio
  • Mask and fin straps feature a soft-touch quick-release buckle that's easy for youngsters to manage
  • Easy-to-reach nose pocket helps release pressure from the ears
  • Ultra-safe snorkel with SOS whistle and the dry top valve is designed with young ones in mind
  • Compact, vented blades reduce drag and fatigue while maximizing speed
  • A snorkel vest increases comfort and reduces fatigue while in the water
Cons:
  • Poor quality carry sack is barely large enough to hold everything
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 04:46 pm GMT

The fins are made with durable rubber and have an open-heel design for easy on and off. They also have an adjustable strap to accommodate a range of foot sizes.

The mask has a two-window design with a durable silicone skirt, and the snorkel has a splash guard at the top to help keep water out.

The set is available in three fun color combinations: blue/yellow, pink/purple, and green/blue.

Gintenco Kids Snorkel Set (Best Mask and Snorkel Budget Pick)

If you’re just needing a basic mask-and-snorkel kit for swimming around the pool or calm water, this set from Gintenco is a great option.

Best Mask and Snorkel Budget Pick
Gintenco Kids Snorkel Set
$21.99 $17.59
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • Smile-inducing price point
  • The snorkel completely seals underwater keeping the tube dry
  • The highly-adjustable mask can "grow" with kids
Cons:
  • The floating ball in the dry snorkel can become lodged if the snorkel is not kept clean
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 04:43 pm GMT

The mask has a two-window design with a durable silicone skirt, and the snorkel has a splash guard at the top to help keep water out.

The set comes in three fun color combinations: blue/yellow, pink/purple, and green/blue.

Seavenger Navigator 3-piece Snorkel Set with Fins (Best Fins Budget Pick)

Cressi Estrella Junior Kids’ Snorkeling Set (Highest Quality Mask and Snorkel Set)

The Italian-based Cressi is a well-respected name in the diving and snorkeling world, and their Estrella Junior set is, arguably, the best snorkel mask for kids on the market.

Highest Quality Mask and Snorkel Set
Cressi Estrella Junior Kids' Snorkeling Set
$44.95
Pros:
  • 2-year warranty
  • On-piece lens provides unobstructed panoramic viewing
  • Designed for ease of use and comfort for young snorkelers
  • Made of the same quality materials as Cressi's famous adult snorkel gear
Cons:
  • Higher grade materials mean a higher price
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 04:43 pm GMT

The single lens mask design features a soft, feathered silicone skirt, and the snorkel has a splash guard at the top to help keep water out.

Pair these up with a set of Cressi fins if you plan on swimming in water with waves or a slight current.

Kids’ Mask and Snorkel Sets with Fins

The technology behind the manufacturing of snorkeling equipment has come a long way since I was a kid. The development of better and more efficient materials has resulted in smaller, more comfortable, and more durable gear.

Still, there is a legion of off-brand companies out there flooding the market with cheaply-made, poorly crafted plastic junk that simply does not hold up and can present a potential safety hazard for kids.

And in our experience, the culprits are often the brands with unpronounceable names and company info that evades even the most diligent web sleuths.

With all the choices on the market today, it can be hard to decide what is the best snorkel set for your child. Here are some of our favorite snorkel sets for kids that come complete with mask and fins that will help make your decision easier.

Mares Head Sea Pals Snorkeling Set with Fins (3 yrs. +)

Important Features:

The Sea Pals Snorkeling Set is a great introductory set for kids just getting into snorkeling. The mask has a comfortable silicone skirt that fits most small to medium-sized faces and the snorkel has a wide bore for easy breathing.

Best Overall Snorkel Set with Fins
Mares Head Sea Pals Snorkeling Set with Fins
$46.95
Pros:
  • 2-year warranty
  • Quality crafted snorkeling equipment by a reputable company
  • The comfortable mouthpiece and easy-exhale snorkel make it easy for kids to get used to
  • Dry top snorkel prevents the backflow of water into the mouth
  • Fun creature-themed backpack suited for kids
Cons:
  • The nylon ripstop material of the backpack is durable; however, it won't allow wet equipment to dry
  • Open-heel fin design might require neoprene socks to prevent rubbing
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 04:42 pm GMT

The fins are adjustable, so they can grow with your child, and the whole set can be easily packed away in the included creature-themed backpack.

One thing to note is that the mask straps can be a bit tough to manage at first. But with some patience and practice, your child should have no problem getting the hang of it.

Promate Junior Snorkeling Set with Fins (4 yrs. +)

Important Features:

Finding a high-quality product with a pleasantly-low price tag is like finding a buried treasure … and all you have to do is a little digging.

We were more than pleasantly surprised when we discovered the Promate Junior Snorkeling Set. This set has an excellent cost-to-quality ratio and features several thoughtful design features that make it perfect for kids.

Promate Junior Snorkeling Set with Fins
$49.95
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • Excellent cost-to-quality ratio
  • Mask and fin straps feature a soft-touch quick-release buckle that's easy for youngsters to manage
  • Easy-to-reach nose pocket helps release pressure from the ears
  • Ultra-safe snorkel with SOS whistle and dry top valve is designed with young ones in mind
  • Compact, vented blades reduce drag and fatigue while maximizing speed
Cons:
  • The mesh carry bag is of the lowest quality – expect it to tear easily
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 04:46 pm GMT

The mask skirt is made from feathered silicone for a comfortable, watertight fit and the wide split strap has a soft-touch quick-release buckle that’s easy for small hands to manage.

The nose pocket is placed within easy reach to help release pressure from the ears and the ultra-safe snorkel has an SOS whistle and dry top valve – both designed with young ones in mind.

The fins are open heel and have compact, vented blades that reduce drag and fatigue while maximizing speed. Plus, the quick-release buckle makes them easy to don and doff.

The only downside to this set is the mesh carry bag – it’s of the lowest quality and will probably tear easily. But, for everything else this set has going for it, we can easily overlook that.

So, if you’re looking for a high-quality snorkeling set for your kids that won’t break the bank, the Promate Junior Snorkeling Set is a great choice.

Promate Youth Snorkel Combo Set with Fins and Vest (4 yrs. +)

Important Features:

If the original Promate Kids’ Snorkeling Set is like scoring buried treasure, then this set adds a little more loot to the haul.

Sporting everything in the original set, plus an inflatable snorkeling vest, the Promate Youth Snorkel Combo Set is sure to please any young water lover.

Most Complete Snorkeling Set
Promate Youth Snorkel Combo Set with Fins and Vest
$68.95
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • Excellent cost-to-quality ratio
  • Mask and fin straps feature a soft-touch quick-release buckle that's easy for youngsters to manage
  • Easy-to-reach nose pocket helps release pressure from the ears
  • Ultra-safe snorkel with SOS whistle and the dry top valve is designed with young ones in mind
  • Compact, vented blades reduce drag and fatigue while maximizing speed
  • A snorkel vest increases comfort and reduces fatigue while in the water
Cons:
  • Poor quality carry sack is barely large enough to hold everything
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 04:46 pm GMT

The vest is easy to inflate and provides extra buoyancy and comfort while in the water for children up to 80 lbs. And, when it’s time to get out, the horse-collar design makes getting out of the vest a breeze.

What surprised us the most is that the addition of the vest added less than half of what it costs to buy alone to the combo price … this is an excellent all-inclusive kids snorkel set!

The only downside to this set is the carry sack – it’s barely large enough to hold everything and is of very poor quality. But, if you can get past that, the Promate Youth Snorkel Combo Set is an excellent choice for kids.

Seavenger Aviator Snorkeling Set with Fins (3 yrs. +)

Important Features:

Designed to be lightweight and compact, the Seavenger Aviator is a great choice for kids in families who travel often or those who are just starting out and might not have the strongest swimming abilities.

Seavenger Aviator Snorkeling Set with Fins
$42.95 $39.99
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • A dry snorkel prevents backflow
  • A rigid fin blade promotes faster momentum when kicking
  • A lightweight and compact set that is ideal for traveling
  • Comfortable price point
Cons:
  • Included dry sack is rather low quality
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 04:46 pm GMT

The mask has a tempered glass lens for durability and a panoramic view, while the dry snorkel has a silicone mouthpiece for comfort. The fins are compact at only 14” making them great for saving space on family road trips, and they are designed with a rigid blade to promote faster momentum when kicking.

A great feature of this set is the mesh carrying sack – perfect for toting around wet gear or for storing the set when not in use. The only drawback is that it is on the flimsy side and might not withstand much wear and tear.

Still, at this price point, it’s a minor inconvenience.

Cressi Junior Rocks Snorkel Set with Fins (3 yrs. +)

Important Features:

Since 1946, Italy-based Cressi has been manufacturing high-quality diving, snorkeling, and swimming gear.

While we would like to believe that The Junior Rocks Snorkel Set is designed with the same commitment to quality, comfort, and durability that has made Cressi a leader in the industry; however, …

Cressi Junior Rocks Snorkel Set with Fins
$59.95 $54.95
Pros:
  • 2-year warranty
  • Easy-to-reach nose pocket allows the ears to adjust to pressure easily
  • Mask provides a wide field of view
  • Manufactured with an emphasis on comfort for all-day use
  • A simpler snorkel design means less to go wrong
Cons:
  • A little pricier than other comparable sets
  • Quality of set pieces seems a bit compromised compared to individually-sold Cressi gear
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 05:55 pm GMT

… while it’s a good set, it does not represent Cressi’s best. It seems that their kids’ sets don’t receive the same treatment as their individually-sold youth snorkeling pieces.

In other words, while many of their individually-sold pieces are designed and made in Italy, this kid set is designed in Italy and made in China.

But, when you’re buying for a child who is just exploring the sport and will soon grow out of their present gear, the Cressi Junior Rocks set is a good choice.

The snorkel has a splash guard rather than a dry top which is great for those who get concerned about the floating ball in a dry top becoming lodged (which does happen from time to time).

The fins are open heel and toe with a short blade. The mask provides a wide field of view with tempered glass and a dual window design.

A great feature of this set is the nose pocket which allows the ears to adjust to pressure more easily. This is a comfort feature that is often overlooked but makes a big difference, especially for kids who might be wearing their gear for extended periods.

The only downside to this set is the price tag. To us, it seems a wee-bit high.

U.S. Divers Dorado Junior Snorkel Set with Fins (6 yrs. +)

Important Features:

The U.S. Divers Dorado Junior Snorkel Set with Fins is a good entry-level set for kids aged 6 and up.

The fins are composite with a vented blade and open-heel design, making them lightweight, durable, and engineered to get the most out of every kick.

U.S. Divers Dorado Junior Snorkel Set with Fins
$49.99 $39.99
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • Fin and mask straps are designed for young, new snorkelers
  • The simple snorkel design allows for water to be purged easily
Cons:
  • Polycarbonate (plastic) lenses get scratched and cloudy with time and use
  • Some pre-use maintenance is required to prevent the mask from fogging up
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 05:55 pm GMT

The mask has polycarbonate dual-window lenses, which, although scratch-resistant. will still become scratched and cloudy over time and use.

The mask straps feature a 3-way buckle system, making them easy to adjust and comfortable to wear.

The snorkel has a splashguard top and a one-way purge valve, making it easy to clear water from the barrel.

The manufacturing process causes a buildup of silicone on the polycarbonate lens. This will need to be scrubbed off before use to prevent rapid fogging of the mask.

Adicop Kids’ Snorkel Set with Fins

Important Features:

I typically try to avoid including reviews of products by obscure companies with innocuous names; however, “obscure” and “innocuous” don’t always mean bad; so, here we go …

First, Adicop is not a diving equipment company, per se. They seem to have their hands in the manufacture of accessories for VR headsets and cell phones …

… and, aside from Amazon, have almost zero online presence. Hmmm …

But, that aside, their uncharacteristic offer of a kids snorkeling set with comparable construction and competitive pricepoint makes them worthy of at least a glance.

Adicop Kids' Snorkel Set with Fins
$46.29
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • Good cost-to-quality ratio
  • Open fin design makes it easy to put on and take off
Cons:
  • Low-quality carry sack
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 05:55 pm GMT

The tempered glass lens and silicone skirt of the mask are standard, as is the dry top snorkel with a silicone mouthpiece. The fins are open-heel and toe design with adjustable straps.

What’s nice is that they include a mesh carrying sack – again, perfect for toting around wet gear or for storing the set when not in use.

So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive kids snorkeling set from a company you’ve never heard of and might not be around next year … this is the one for you! 🙂

Kids’ Mask and Snorkel Sets

Cressi Estrella Junior Kids’ Snorkeling Set (7-13 yrs.)

Important Features:

Designed and made in Italy, the Cressi Estrella Junior Kids’ Snorkeling Set boasts the same quality of craftsmanship and materials that make their adult gear famous.

Highest Quality Mask and Snorkel Set
Cressi Estrella Junior Kids' Snorkeling Set
$44.95
Pros:
  • 2-year warranty
  • On-piece lens provides unobstructed panoramic viewing
  • Designed for ease of use and comfort for young snorkelers
  • Made of the same quality materials as Cressi's famous adult snorkel gear
Cons:
  • Higher grade materials mean a higher price
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 04:43 pm GMT

The one-piece tempered glass lens of the mask provides unobstructed panoramic viewing, while the soft feathered silicone skirt and split strap with easy-adjust buckles create a comfortable and snug fit.

The semi-dry top snorkel has an easy purge valve and a silicone mouthpiece for comfort.

While the price seems a bit high for only a mask and snorkel, keep in mind that this set is designed and constructed with the same quality materials as Cressi’s adult gear. If you’re looking for durable quality, this is the snorkeling set to get for your kids.

Helpful Tip: The warranty information for this product is difficult to find on Cressi’s website; however, their customer service department confirmed that the Estrella Junior set does indeed come with a 2-year warranty.

Gintenco Kids Snorkel Set (4-16 years)

Important Features:

This not-so-well-known purveyor of children’s water gear is making a big splash with its competitively-priced snorkel set.

While by no means an industry-leading snorkel rig, the Gintenco Kids Snorkel Set will get the job done without breaking the bank.

Best Mask and Snorkel Budget Pick
Gintenco Kids Snorkel Set
$21.99 $17.59
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • Smile-inducing price point
  • The snorkel completely seals underwater keeping the tube dry
  • The highly-adjustable mask can "grow" with kids
Cons:
  • The floating ball in the dry snorkel can become lodged if the snorkel is not kept clean
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 04:43 pm GMT

The two-piece, broad-view tempered glass lens of the mask gives kids a wide panoramic view of the underwater world. The silicone skirt and broad strap create a snug, comfortable fit.

The dry-top anti-splash snorkel has a floating ball that seals the top of the snorkel when submerged, keeping the breathing tube dry. The snorkel also has a purge valve for clearing water.

One thing to keep in mind with this set is that the floating ball in the dry snorkel can become lodged if the snorkel is not kept clean. Other than that, this is a great value on a quality kids’ snorkeling set.

Unigear Foldable Snorkeling Set (4 yrs. +)

Important Features:

One of the most difficult aspects of snorkeling for young children to become accustomed to is holding the mouthpiece of the snorkel firmly in their bite. If they don’t, water will leak in and ruin the fun.

Unigear’s Foldable Snorkeling Set has solved this problem with a unique patented snorkel design that allows the swimmer to breathe freely through the nose – no mouthpiece needed.

Unigear Foldable Snorkeling Set
Pros:
  • Unique snorkel design allows the swimmer to breathe freely without a mouthpiece
  • Suitable for snorkeling or scuba diving
  • Dry snorkel completely seals when submerged underwater
Cons:
  • The breathing channel obstructs the swimmer's view
  • Warranty information not found
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The center-mounted breathing tube connects to the nose pocket via a channel that runs vertically down the center of the mask. This reverses the typical practice of mouth-breathing when snorkeling requiring the snorkeler to breathe freely through the nose.

While the breathing channel slightly obstructs the view through what would otherwise be a single-window lens, it makes for an interesting alternative to holding a bulky mouthpiece between your teeth.

Just don’t use it with a stuffy nose.

Kids’ Snorkel Fins

Nothing enhances the experience of exploring below the surface with a mask and snorkel like a good set of fins. The freedom of movement they provide, not to mention the added propulsion, makes swimming around much more fun.

There are two main types of fins available for kids: full-foot and open-heel. While both have their advantages, we recommend open-heel fins for young children as their advantages far outweigh those of fins with full-foot pockets.

While the full-foot design offers the benefit of a snug, comfortable fit without the need of neoprene socks or the hassle of adjustable straps, this type of fin does not adjust … at all. This means your little sprout will outgrow them as quickly as they do a pair of regular shoes.

Open-heel fins, on the other hand, have an adjustable heel strap that can accommodate a wide range of foot sizes. This means you can get much more use out of a pair of open-heel fins before your kiddo outgrows them.

Plus, open-heel fins can typically be donned and doffed more easily than snug-fitted full-foots. The strap can be loosened while the foot is inserted and then tightened with ease.

Also, if you think your child might want to go diving with their fins someday, open-heel fins are the way to go.

Here are a few of our favorite kids’ snorkel fins:

U.S. Divers Sea Lion Junior Floating Full-Foot Fins (Multiple shoe sizes available)

Important Features:

Any parent with young children understands how quickly a child’s footwear can inexplicably vanish. And if they tend to take off their shoes, you can bet they’ll do the same with their fins.

Let’s hope they’re easy to find … and that they float!

U.S. Divers Sea Lion Junior Floating Full-Foot Fins
$26.70 $21.99
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • Bouyant and visible design makes the fins easy to find and retrieve in the water
  • Full-foot pocket is comfortable on bare feet even during longer swims
Cons:
  • High price-point for such a simple design
  • Full-foot pocket will not adjust with child's growth
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 06:17 pm GMT

The U.S. Divers Sea Lion Junior Floating Full-Foot Fins feature a bright yellow, buoyant design that will make them easy to spot in the water. The full-foot pocket is made of comfortable rubber and provides a snug fit even on bare feet.

Though they’re not the cheapest fins available, their durability and visibility more than makeup for the price.

Cressi Kids’ Open-Heel Fins for Snorkeling (4-12 yrs.)

Important Features:

The same fins featured in the Cressi Rocks Kid’s Snorkeling Set, these open-heel fins are also great on their own.

Cressi Kids' Open-Heel Fins for Snorkeling
$24.95
Pros:
  • 2-year warranty
  • The compact and vented design maximizes speed while preserving effort
  • Push-button buckle makes strap adjustments in the water easy to manage
Cons:
  • Neoprene socks are recommended for use on longer swims
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 06:17 pm GMT

The dual vented blades are designed to minimize fatigue while swimming and the foot pocket is made of comfortable rubber; however, neoprene socks will benefit the wearer on longer swims.

The fins also come with an easy-to-use push-button buckle that makes adjustments in the water a breeze.

Phantom Aquatics Rapido Open-Heel Snorkeling Fins (6 yrs.+)

Important Features:

Sporty looks. Solid, comfortable construction. Reasonable price. The Phantom Aquatics Rapido Open-Heel Snorkeling Fins have a lot going for them.

Phantom Aquatics Rapido Open-Heel Snorkeling Fins
$34.99
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • The wide strap and soft rubber foot pocket are more comfortable than most open-heel fins
  • The vented fin design prevents fatigue and maximizes propulsion
Cons:
  • Neoprene socks are recommended for use on longer swim
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 06:17 pm GMT

The wide, adjustable heel strap is more comfortable than most and the soft rubber foot pocket prevents chafing on Bare feet. The fins are also vented to prevent fatigue and maximize propulsion.

However, like all open-heel fins, neoprene socks are recommended for use on longer swims.

Kids’ Snorkel Vests

A snorkel vest is one of the unsung pieces of snorkel gear for kids; however, it is an essential piece of safety gear, especially for younger snorkelers.

A snorkel vest provides buoyancy and keeps the head and torso above water even if the swimmer becomes tired or disoriented. It does not inhibit arm movement or mobility like a traditional life jacket (and should not be considered a life-saving device) and helps conserve the swimmer’s energy.

Here are a few of our favorite kids’ snorkel vests:

Scuba Choice Kids’ Snorkel Vest

The simple, effective design of the Scuba Choice Kids’ Snorkel Vest makes it a great choice for beginning snorkelers.

Scuba Choice Kids' Snorkel Vest
$22.99
  • Supports swimmers up to 100 lbs.
  • Easy oral inflator
  • Adjustable strap keeps the vest in place while inflated
  • 30-day warranty
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 06:18 pm GMT

The vest is easy to inflate with the oral inflator and the adjustable strap ensures that it stays in place while inflated. It also comes with a 30-day warranty, which is always a nice perk.

Rrtizan Children’s Snorkel Vest

Designed with larger swimmers in mind, the Rrtizan Children’s Snorkel Vest is a great option for kids up to 130 lbs.

Rrtizan Children's Snorkel Vest
$18.99 $16.99
  • Supports swimmers up to 130 lbs.
  • Durable canvas construction
  • Adjustable straps keep the vest in place
  • Locking oral inflation tube
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 06:24 pm GMT

The vest is made of durable canvas and has adjustable straps to keep it in place. The oral inflation tube also locks into place, preventing accidental deflation and can be used to inflate the vest fully in 10 seconds.

Kids’ Rash Guards

On average, sunscreen remains waterproof for only 80 minutes. Keeping an effective layer of the stuff on your child’s back while their snorkeling face down in the water is an almost impossible battle, which is why we recommend that kids wear a rash guard while snorkeling.

A rash guard is a close-fitting shirt made of Lycra or polyester that provides sun protection without the need for sunblock. Most are long-sleeved to provide the maximum amount of sun protection and some even come with a built-in UPF rating.

We recommend the following to keep your child’s skin from harmful UV radiation during those long swims and to save having to drain can after can of expensive sun block.

O’NEILL Kids’ Basic Longsleeve Skins UPF 50

O’NEILL is a mainstay among sun-and-water lovers and their Basic Longsleeve Skins boast the recommendation of the Skin Care Foundation.

O'NEILL Kids' Basic Longsleeve Skins UPF 50
$23.31 $21.92
  • Durable 6 oz. Polyester and Spandex
  • UPF 50+ UV Protection
  • Fits close; but, not too tight
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 06:24 pm GMT

Made of durable 6 oz. polyester and spandex, these shirts provide UPF 50+ UV protection while still fitting close enough to the body to promote full arm movement and a minimum of drag in the water.

They’re also quick-drying and stylishly colored, making them ideal for both in and out of the water.

O’NEILL Kids’ Basic Shortsleeve Skins UPF 50

For those preferring the performance of an O’NEILL rashguard without the long sleeves, their Basic Shortsleeve Skins provide the same great UPF 50+ UV protection in a stylish, comfortable package.

O'NEILL Kids' Basic Shortsleeve Skins UPF 50
$27.95 $25.69
  • Durable 6 oz. Polyester and Spandex
  • UPF 50+ UV Protection
  • Fits close; but, not too tight
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 06:24 pm GMT

These shirts are made of the same durable 6 oz. polyester and spandex blend as the long sleeve version and fit close to the body to minimize drag and maximize arm mobility.

They’re also quick-drying and come in a variety of colors to please even the pickiest among us.

Kids’ Wetsuits

When the temperatures of the air and water drop during the shoulder seasons, a good wetsuit is a snorkeler’s best friend.

Wetsuits work by trapping a layer of water next to the body which is then heated by the body’s natural heat. This process, called thermoregulation, keeps the wearer warm even in cold conditions.

A wetsuit also provides some protection against stings and scrapes, making them a good choice for kids who are snorkeling in the shallows around rocks or where mosquitoes might be present. And, on the beach, nothing keeps that gritty sand at bay like a second skin.

O’NEILL Reactor II 3/2mm Jumpsuit

For the fullest coverage and insulation with maximum mobility, a full-body wetsuit like the O’NEILL Reactor II is hard to beat.

O'NEILL Reactor II 3/2mm Jumpsuit
$115.09 $100.70
  • Neoprene rubber construction
  • Rated for 55°F
  • Full-length sleeves and legs
  • Back zipper closure with water-resistant closure
  • Minimal seam placement for comfort
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 06:24 pm GMT

Made of 3/2mm neoprene rubber, this jumpsuit provides full-length coverage of the arms and legs with a back zipper closure that is water resistant. The minimal seam placement also helps to reduce chafing and discomfort.

This wetsuit is available in a variety of sizes and colors to fit kids of all ages and can be used in water temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

REALON Kids’ Shorty Wetsuit

Important Features:

Designed specifically for children from toddler age through 12 years, the REALON Shorty Wetsuit is perfect for those who want the coverage and warmth of a wetsuit without the full-body coverage.

Made of 90% neoprene and 10% nylon, this wetsuit provides short sleeve and knee-length coverage to keep kids warm in water temperatures as low as 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lemorecn Kids’ Full-Length Wetsuit

A great mild-weather wetsuit, the Lemorecn Full-Length Wetsuit is perfect for those days when the water is just a little too chilly for a shorty wetsuit.

REALON Kids' Shorty Wetsuit
$29.99
  • 100% 2 mm neoprene construction
  • UPF 50+ UV protection
  • Full-length sleeves and legs
  • Rear zip entry
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 06:36 pm GMT

Made of 100% 2 mm neoprene, this wetsuit provides full-length coverage of the arms and legs with a rear zip entry for ease of use. The UPF 50+ UV protection rating also helps to keep kids safe from the sun’s harmful rays.

Kids’ Neoprene Snorkel Socks

Open-heel snorkel fins are the typical go-to for parents buying for their ever-growing kids. But, while these have the benefit of adjusting to their feet as they grow, they also tend to rub on their skin, causing discomfort and even painful blisters on a longer swim.

One way to prevent this is to invest in a good pair of neoprene socks. These fit over the feet and provide a comfy barrier between the foot and the fin, as well as added protection from sharp underwater rocks or debris.

Skyone Neoprene Diving Socks

These standard-quality, fairly-priced neoprene socks will get the job done for those who want protection without any bells or whistles.

Skyone Neoprene Diving Socks
$16.98
  • 3mm Neoprene
  • High-stretch and recovery performance
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2022 06:36 pm GMT

Made of 3mm neoprene, these socks provide a snug fit and high-stretch performance for added comfort. They’re also available in a variety of sizes to fit kids of all ages.

Selecting the Best Kids’ Snorkel Set: Things to Consider

The best kids’ snorkel set provides the gear that best fits your child’s age, size, and ability to learn how to use and care for the gear.

If you’re on the fence about the features of any of the reviewed snorkel sets, here are some factors you may want to consider that will help you make your decision:

Fit and Sizing

One of the biggest mistakes parents make when buying a kids’ snorkel set is buying it large with the intent that the kids can grow into them.

The problem with this line of thinking is that a mask’s ability to keep a good seal between the face and the silicone skirt depends solely on the volume of the mask relative to the size of the face. In short, a mask that is too small or too big will leak, drowning any fun it could have provided if fitted properly.

When purchasing a mask, especially online, the important thing is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for measuring the child’s face to ensure you select the right size.

Tempered Glass vs Polycarbonate Lens

The material of the lens is often the first dilemma facing those buying a snorkel mask for kids.

There are two primary types of materials used in manufacturing the lenses for these masks: tempered glass and polycarbonate.

Tempered glass lenses are time-honored technology used in snorkel masks for many years. The big advantage of tempered glass is that it doesn’t scratch as easily as polycarbonate and remains crystal clear throughout its life.

However, tempered glass is also much more prone to shattering if it is hit with a hard object or if the mask is treated haphazardly (i.e., tossed on the ground or possibly stepped on).

For this reason, some parents shy away from this material in fear that it may shatter while on their child’s face … not something I’ve ever heard of happening under normal use.

Polycarbonate is a newer material that was developed for use in bullet-proof glass. It is much more resistant to impact than tempered glass, making it less likely to shatter if hit with a hard object or abused by a careless user.

However, polycarbonate does scratch more easily than tempered glass and is not as optically clear. For these reasons, many people still prefer the look and feel of a tempered glass lens.

When choosing between tempered glass and polycarbonate, it really comes down to personal preference. If you’re worried about the possibility of the lens shattering, then polycarbonate is the way to go.

However, if you’ve taught your children to take care of their things and you’re more concerned with optical clarity and scratch resistance, then tempered glass is the better choice.

Open-Heel vs Full-Foot Pocket Fins

While we touched on this in the section titled Kids’ Snorkel Fins above, here’s a little sum-up:

Most fins come in one of two varieties: open-heel or closed-heel. Open-heel fins have a strap that goes around the back of the foot to keep them in place, while closed-heel fins are more like a slipper that covers the entire foot.

Open-heel fins are typically equipped with an adjustable strap and buckle that makes them easier to do and doff as well as adjust to the growing foot of a child.

The downside is that they can become uncomfortable during longer swims without the added protection of neoprene dive socks.

Full-foot pocketed fins are one-size, fit snug and comfortable without diving socks, and can be a bit of a battle to get your foot into.

They also will not adjust to a child’s growing foot. This makes them better choices for full-grown adults.

Dry Top vs Splash Guard Snorkel

Most snorkels come with some form of a dry top or splash guard to help keep water out when swimming on the surface.

Dry-top snorkels employ a floating ball valve system in the breathing tube that allows the snorkeler to completely submerge the snorkel without any water entering the tube.

The benefit of this comes into play when it’s time to come back up for air: there’s no need to purge water from the tube. Just take in a fresh breath of air.

Splash guards, on the other hand, only provide partial protection from water entering the tube, making them better suited for calmer, shallow waters. They will keep out most of the water but may still require the user to blow a little water out of the tube before taking a breath, especially if the snorkel tube is completely submerged.

The main advantage of a splash guard over a dry top is that they are typically less expensive and have less to go wrong (i.e.; the ball of the dry-top snorkel becoming lodged in the sealed position).

And, in my experience, they work just as well for occasional use in calm water.

If you’re planning on using the snorkel a lot, or in rougher water, then a dry-top is the way to go. Otherwise, a splash guard will do the trick.

A Word of Caution: The Dangers of Full-Face Snorkel Masks

A mask that covers the whole face, is more comfortable than a traditional mask, and allows you to breathe freely without biting down on a rubbery mouthpiece: sounds like a good idea, right?

Since they were introduced to the market in 2014, full-faced snorkeling masks have become increasingly popular, especially among beginner snorkelers and those who are looking for a more relaxing experience.

So, why didn’t we include them in our review?

While they do have some advantages over traditional masks, there are also some serious dangers associated with a full-face snorkel mask that you should be aware of before using them.

One of the main dangers of a full face snorkel mask for a child is that they can trap carbon dioxide inside the mask, which can lead to dizziness, nausea, and even unconsciousness.

This can be caused by poor, cheap construction by companies just trying to score a piece of the market, or simply by the mask being used incorrectly.

Also, full face masks are designed to fit tighter to compensate for the larger mask volume and seal out the water. In effect, this makes them more difficult to remove in an emergency (i.e., if the mask fills with water or the valves malfunction and don’t permit the user to draw in fresh air).

All of these hazards are especially concerning when the mask is being worn by a child floating face-down in the water out of immediate supervision by adults.

While many full-faced snorkel mask manufacturers claim that their design prevents these dangers, experienced divers continue to sound an alert: Don’t Risk It!

Time to Dive In!

Now that you know what to look for when choosing the best snorkeling gear for kids, it’s time to get out there and explore the underwater world!

With the right gear, and a little bit of practice, your child will be swimming like a fish in no time. And who knows? They may even discover a hidden passion for snorkeling and diving!

Happy exploring!

Now, get out there!

Joshua Davis

Being outdoors is freedom! Being outdoors with my wife and two boys is LIVING! Whether in my backyard or getting lost in a National Park, there’s nothing I’d rather do than explore, discover, and experience the paradise that surrounds us. Give me my family, a backpack, and a trail and my life is full!