Equipment You Absolutely Need for Snorkeling

Snorkeling is one of the greatest experiences that you can have in the water. This activity is not only enjoyed by adults because even kids are mesmerized by the marine life they see just below the surface of the water. But if you have tried snorkeling with borrowed equipment, then you’ve probably realized that the wrong kind of snorkel gear can ruin your snorkeling experience. This is the reason why having your own snorkeling equipment is a must so that you will be able to enjoy the experience fully.

When you have the best snorkeling equipment, you no longer have to worry or become frustrated about leaky masks, fogged lenses, and a snorkel that kept filling with water. If it’s your first time to buy snorkeling equipment and you do not know which ones you really need to have, then you’re in the right place. Today, we are going to give you a list of the equipment you absolutely need for snorkeling.

The Essential Snorkel Equipment

Here’s a list of the essential snorkel equipment that you must have:


Snorkel masks come in different styles, sizes, and materials. When buying a snorkel mask, you need to make sure that it has a 100% silicone skirt which is the part that seals the mask to your face to prevent water leakage. There are snorkel masks that have dual-lenses, some have one single large lens, and others even have a panoramic feature with four windows. To be able to get a quality snorkeling mask, you need to choose one that fits you perfectly. If you wear glasses, you can also get a prescription snorkeling mask at snorkeling specialty locations.


 blue and yellow snorkel and snorkeling fins on a wooden table

There are three types of snorkels you can find in stores which are dry, semi-dry, and standard. Dry snorkels are recommended because they are much easier to use. A dry snorkel has a valve like the cover at the top of the tube that closes when yo submerge so that water will not enter the tube. This also prevents surface splashes from entering above water.

Also, remember that good snorkels have a purge valve at the bottom which will allow you to blow out any water that may have entered the snorkel, allowing you to prolong your time underwater and enjoy. There are also 1-piece snorkels but it’s better to get the ones with a flexible silicone tube between the upper tube and the mouthpiece so that you will be able to adjust it for your own comfort.  


blue snorkeling gins on the rocks by the beach

Fins come in different styles as well. There are those with closed and open heels and there are also many fins that come in a convenient, shorter, and travel size. The choice of fins depends on your skill level and swimming ability. You also need to make sure that the fins you will choose will fit comfortably and that you can easily put them on and take off. Here are the differences in each type of fins for your reference:

  • Open heel: These are adjustable fins that will more likely fit to months or even to years after.
  • Closed heel: These fins are snugger, reducing the chance of coming off in the water.
  • Standard: These fins are fine to use for snorkeling and even SCUBA.
  • Travel sized: These fins are great if you usually visit far beaches because it is easy to pack. However, they provide less driving force through the water.
  • Long fins: These are often used by free divers and SCUBA folks. It can be used for snorkeling in open water or if you need more power, but it’s not really a necessary choice for snorkeling.

Carry Bags

A quality snorkel bag is also one of the essential equipment for snorkeling. Having a good bag for snorkeling will help you hold all of your gear, and even other things like your towel, rash guard, and even your lunch. Snorkeling gear bags are necessities because many of the best snorkeling destinations in the world are not snorkeling tours where you will be dropped off by a bus or boated out with a guide. Therefore, you need a good bag that will keep all your equipment safe when you move around.


Snorkeling is a water activity where you will be out in the sun a lot. Even though you will be wearing a rash guard, you will still need to apply sunscreen on your legs, neck, head, and face. Also, when snorkeling, your back will be in the air and under the hot, blazing sun, that’s why it’s important to put sunscreen on it as well. Applying sunscreen before snorkeling is very important because being sunburned can totally ruin your great vacation and snorkeling experience.

Important Snorkeling Equipment

After knowing the essential snorkeling equipment you absolutely need, we are also going to share with you some important snorkel equipment. These are not necessarily needed because you can enjoy snorkeling without them, but these can make your snorkeling experience safer and better.

Rash Guards

If you want to stay protected from the sun but you don’t want to apply sunscreen several times a day, then wearing rash guards is the best possible option for you. Aside from sun protection, wearing a rash guard will also protect you from accidental bumps and scrapes from corals when you go snorkeling. When buying rash guards, make sure that they have sun protection factor or SFF or that they are UV protected.

Snorkeling Vests

These are basically inflatable vests that can aid in your snorkeling, floating, and balance. They can help keep you from getting fatigued in the water and they are also safety items. However, snorkeling vests are not life-preservers or personal floatation devices. You only wear them for assistance. There are also some snorkeling companies that require wearing snorkeling vests. Sometimes, strong swimmers also use them for a better experience because they make snorkeling and floating easier.

If you want to know more check out the Best Snorkeling Vest Reviews and Buying Guide.


Keeping your snorkel mask defogged is also important for you to enjoy your snorkeling experience. Aside from that, it also has to do with safety. It’s because when your mask keeps on fogging up constantly, you will need to stop, pull it off, rinse it and then spit in it again and again. That can put you in a risky situation, especially when you’re in deeper water. Therefore, buying a defogger is also important. In fact, when you use a defogger, you will rarely even notice that you have a mask on at times.

These are the equipment you absolutely need for snorkeling. By having these items, you will surely have a great time admiring the wonderful marine life underwater. If you’re looking into buying your own snorkel equipment, you can also check out our Best Snorkel Gear Reviews for options.