The 10 Best Kid's Snorkeling Sets
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in October of 2016. If your family is planning a trip to a tropical paradise, you'll want to make sure everyone can enjoy the wonders of the undersea world, little ones included. With one of these snorkeling sets, specifically designed to fit well and be comfortable on smaller faces, kids can swim without having to worry about salty sea or chlorinated pool water getting in their mouths or eyes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 27, 2020:
During this update, we felt the need to purge this list of any full-face snorkel masks due to the dangers associated with them. While we don't recommend them for anybody due to the risk of drowning, at least adults are able to be a little more calm and collected in an emergency situation and could probably quickly slip one off if it filled with water. Conversely, children are often prone to panicking. Since they made up a large percentage of the items on this list previously, we had to find a lot of new options to take their place.
We believe that even items for kids should be quality products in most cases, which is why we included two options from Cressi, one of the most well-respected manufacturers of diving equipment. If your child already has a pair of fins, or perhaps isn't a skilled enough swimmer to use them comfortably, the Cressi Ondina & Top Wide View is a smart choice. On the other hand, if you want to buy a full set that includes the fins, mask, and snorkel, you'll want to look to the Cressi Junior. Both of these sets feature masks with a soft silicone skirt and flexible snorkels.
The Mares Head also comes from a leading name in dive equipment and, unlike either of the Cressi options, includes a bag to hold all of the components when not in use. Younger kids will definitely appreciate the various fun marine animal designs the bag comes in, too. The Seavenger Aviator, U.S. Divers Youth Buzz, and Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport Junior also come with bags, which in the case of these sets is made from a quick-drying mesh. The one on the U.S. Divers Youth Buzz can even be carried like a backpack, so your kid's hands will be free to help you carry some of the rest of your beach accessories.
If you want to give your kid a little bit of extra help, or simply are a responsible parent who is taking every precaution to ensure a safe and fun underwater excursion, you should consider the Promate Dry, which comes with an inflatable snorkel vest. That being said, we never recommend taking any child snorkeling who isn't a strong swimmer.
Why You Should Snorkel With Children
When you feel like you're out of ideas, everyone will get excited about grabbing their snorkeling gear and heading to the shore.
If you plan on taking your family snorkeling, those are some lucky kids. Being near the water is wonderful for one's well-being — even just looking at the coast is good for us — so diving in is especially beneficial. There are several reasons it's especially healthy for young ones. First off, regular physical activity makes for more confident, happier kids. Swimming is a great way to get moving. Children, however, can become bored with the rather repetitive workout. Giving them some snorkeling gear and the chance to observe gorgeous and unique sea life while they kick around can keep them engaged longer.
Eco-conscious parents who are trying to teach their kids to be just as green-minded should definitely get them into snorkeling. You can try to explain to your youngsters all of the ocean habitats they could be saving when they remember to recycle that plastic, but nothing will convince them quite as much as seeing it up close and personal. After being just inches away from the vibrant fish, coral, and crabs, your children will feel closer to these creatures, and more eager to protect them. They also might spot some of the very items you've asked them to recycle in the past and discover firsthand how their actions can affect the planet.
Snorkeling is also a creative, healthy way to bond as a family. It can be hard to come up with new, exciting activities to do together every weekend. There are only so many museums young children will tolerate, the parks get old, and the movie theaters are not a great place to interact. When you feel like you're out of ideas, everyone will get excited about grabbing their snorkeling gear and heading to the shore. If you're only near the ocean on vacations, you'll still be glad to have the gear with you since time in the water is much more affordable than most tourism activities. After your swim, you'll all have plenty to share about what you saw and experienced.
What To Look For In Kids' Snorkeling Gear
When you're ready to pick out your children's snorkeling gear, pay attention to some key features. Sets range from basic to more extensive, but at the very least, you'll need a mask and a breathing tube to get your kid started. Make sure the mask straps are easy to adjust and can be set to various lengths. Some masks are designed to push bubbles away from the face as the user swims, allowing the snorkeler to see everything clearly. You may also want a mask with tempered glass as these are tougher and rarely crack. Consider a brightly-colored breathing tube so that if there are a lot of snorkelers in the water, and you're watching from the sand, you can quickly spot your young adventurer.
If you plan on getting fins, too, find a pair that can accommodate a range of shoe sizes.
It's important that mask materials feel soft and comfortable, and the breathing tube screws in securely. You don't want a child fidgeting with these out on the water, as he might cause a leak, or lose his gear entirely. Kiddos with sensitive skin might like masks with hypoallergenic skirts. If you plan on getting fins, too, find a pair that can accommodate a range of shoe sizes. Kids' feet grow rapidly, and you don't want to have to replace these just six months later. It's important you can put them on and take them off quickly, too. You know the moment your little one gets back on dry land, he'll be eager to be out of his ocean gear and running around.
Make sure your set folds up compactly since you're already carrying a lot of other clunky items to the shore. You probably don't want these items getting the inside of your precious beach bag wet, so you might want a set that comes with a quick-drying mesh pouch for everything. Since you will likely have to rent a life vest for your child on most ocean adventures, you may as well purchase a snorkeling set that already includes one. With the right snorkeling set, your kiddo will feel excited to hop in the water and start exploring.
Tips For Snorkeling With Kids
Once your child learns how to snorkel, you'll probably have a hard time getting him out of the water. However, this activity is one that can initially take some getting used to. Even if you taught your kid to swim at a very early age (which is great for their development) and he's already quite comfortable with the water, snorkeling can still be daunting. Get your children used to the feeling of wearing the gear before even going in the ocean. You can let them wear it in the bathtub or pool at home. It's important that, by the time they take their equipment to the ocean, they're perfectly comfortable with it.
However, this activity is one that can initially take some getting used to.
When you're ready to head to the beach, check the weather in advance. You should go on a day when the waters are calm. This is not only safer, but also makes it easier for kids to view sea life. Pick a spot that is a bit secluded. Remember your child will be face down in the water, unaware of his surroundings, and you don't want him running into other bathers. If the waters in your area are known to be cold, you might want to get your child a wetsuit. Don't forget to apply sunscreen to their exposed areas, like the back of the neck and hands, even on cloudy days.
You should have your child stand in a shallow area, with feet planted, wearing just the mask and breathing tube at first. Have him place his face in the water, so he can get accustomed to this sensation. Eventually, you can put his fins on him, and he'll be ready to start kicking. Always supervise your kids while snorkeling, and accompany younger ones at all times. Don't forget to bring a waterproof camera to capture all the incredible things you see.