Girl with starfish (Photo: Shutterstock)
Photo: Shutterstock

The Most Comfortable Snorkel Gear for Kids

Snorkeling is a fantastic family activity that children as young as five can participate in. Being able to watch colorful sea creatures up close is also a great way to teach kids about nature and protecting the environment. Plus, it keeps everyone active! But it’s only fun when you have the right snorkel gear for kids.

The Best Snorkel Gear and Kits for Kids

Although many hotels and resorts rent snorkeling equipment to guests, there are benefits to buying and packing your own snorkel gear, too. Look for masks, snorkels, and fins that are well-fitting, durable, and made of high-quality materials. If you plan on lots of below-the-sea adventures with your family, you’ll also need a snorkeling vest, wetsuit, and water socks.

Here’s the best snorkel gear for kids who want to become underwater explorers.

1. SeavengerAviator Snorkeling Set with Gear Bag

A good snorkeling starter set will feature a dry top splash guard and purge valve to keep water out of the tube when your child is in the water. The all-in-one Seavenger Aviator Snorkeling Set checks those boxes, and it has a scratch-resistant, tempered-glass mask that offers a panoramic view. The mask’s silicone-injected skirt is comfortable, yet snug.

The 16-inch fins have an open foot pocket and are compact enough for travel, and the food-grade hypoallergenic mouthpiece has a one-way purge valve to clear water out of the tube. It’s flexible, too, so your child can comfortably wear it.

Available in a dozen colors, this snorkeling kit for kids also comes with a quick-dry gear bag to stash everything neatly when not in use. Bonus: It comes with a pad to help the fins keep their shape when they’re not on little feet.

2. Usnork Full Face Snorkel Mask

Masks with tempered-glass lenses and angled glass that allows panoramic and peripheral vision are especially smart to buy. With its anti-fog and anti-leak Easybreath technology, Usnork’s Full Face Snorkel Mask is designed to prevent water from entering the tube thanks to a float that lifts and blocks the upper opening when you dive under the surface or have a wave wash over you.

Available in five colors and made of high-quality silicone and plastic, this snorkel mask has a watertight seal and adjustable straps. The full face feature means kids can breathe through their noses or mouths. And with its 180-degree panoramic view, your child won’t miss a thing underwater, and neither will you, since this mask is also available in adult sizes.

Bonus: Get a quick-absorbing microfiber towel, a waterproof phone bag, and a GoPro camera mount free with the purchase of this mask.

3. U.S. Divers Youth Flare Junior Silicone Snorkeling Set

This company’s first chairman of the board was famous sea explorer Jacques Cousteau, and the U.S. Divers Youth Flare Junior Silicone Snorkeling Set was designed to perfectly fit the faces of children ages six and up. The two-window silicone mask is perfect for small faces and offers clear views plus a pinch-and-pull Pro-Glide buckle system so kids can adjust their equipment on their own.

The submersible dry-top snorkel features an ergonomically shaped mouthpiece that minimizes jaw fatigue for extra comfort, and has Pivot-Dry Technology to keep water out of the breathing tube. The fins have a three-way adjustable heel strap, and can fit a range of foot sizes, so kids can wear this snorkel gear for several seasons.

Available in three sizes, the set comes with a built-in whistle and a lightweight gear bag with mesh panels for drainage and ventilation. 

4. THENICE Full Face Snorkel Mask for Kids

With its advanced breathing system and foldable 180-degree panoramic view, the THENICE Full Face Snorkel Mask for Kids is a smart choice for adventurous water-loving swimmers. Available in super cute shark, frog, and hippo designs in several colors, the adjustable, anti-fog mask is made of premium food-grade liquid silicone.

There are three separate air channels so kids inhale fresh air every time. The mask’s dry-top system—there’s a ball at the top of the snorkel tube—prevents water from entering the mask while underwater, keeping kids dry and safe. If water leaks in through the sides, there’s a drainage system that automatically gets rid of it.

Bonus: This mask comes with a satisfaction guarantee and promise to replace the item up to 18 months after the purchase date. 

5. Cressi Short Floating Swim Fins

Developed for toddlers, Cressi Short Floating Swim Fins are perfect for newbie swimmers. These rubber fins are designed to make sure your child has proper foot position while kicking, and helps develop endurance and leg strength. A tab helps slip the fins on and off, plus they float so you won’t have to worry about them filling with water and sinking.

Flexible fins like these make it easier for beginners to master all the right moves, while experienced swimmers are better off with more rigid fins so they can generate more power underwater. Available in two sizes, these will turn your young water-lover into a snorkeling champion before you know it.

6. Faxpot Children’s Inflatable Snorkel Vest 

For young kids, those that need a little confidence boost, or veteran snorkelers that don’t want to get too tired, the neon-colored Faxpot Children’s Inflatable Snorkel Vest will help keep them afloat and horizontal at the surface of the water while snorkeling.

Crafted from durable nylon on the outside and a waterproof PVC membrane, the vest can hold up to 130 pounds, and it’s simple to inflate or deflate. The adjustable vertical and horizontal straps offer a secure fit and easy pinch buckles that small hands can operate. This lightweight vest works for children ages five to 14, and comes with a mesh storage bag. 

7. Head by Mares Italian Collection Premium Youth Sea Pals Character Kids Snorkel Set

The Head by Mares Italian Collection Premium Youth Sea Pals Character Kids Snorkel Set comes with a mask, snorkel and fins, and is a great all-in-one kit for young children. 

The compact dry-top design guards against water splashing in, and the quick-release system on the mask disconnects the strap without having to loosen it. The mask has a tempered-glass lens, and the snorkel features a flexible silicone mouthpiece. The silicone-lined fins feature a quick-disconnect strap for easy on and off.

Bonus: The colorful gear bag doubles as a carry-on if you’re going somewhere without your snorkel stuff.

8. TEAM MAGNUS Kids’ Wetsuit

Ocean water can be pretty chilly, even in warmer months, so we recommend outfitting the whole family with a good-quality wetsuit. The TEAM MAGNUS Kids’ Wetsuit helps lock in your child’s body temperature, and also prevents scratches and impact from rocks or coral in the water.

This thick and elastic shorty wetsuit is crafted with 5mm of neoprene and is designed for kids ages three to 14. The seams are welded and blind-stitched on the inside so they’re non-irritating to sensitive skin, and the eight-panel design offers premium heat retention, so your family can snorkel without getting cold.

Available in several cheerful color combinations, these wetsuits also have a zipper extension on the back so even the tiniest hands can zip and unzip themselves. 

9. Deep Blue Gear Kid’s Maui Jr. Snorkel Set

For first-timers ages five to 10 years old, the Deep Blue Gear Kid’s Maui Jr. Snorkel Set includes a mask, snorkel, fins, and mesh bag. The silicone double-featured mask skirt molds onto your child’s face for a snug, secure fit, and the lenses are shatter- and scratch-resistant. Durable buckles and stainless steel pins mean this gear won’t break after a one-week vacation, either.

The snorkel’s soft silicone mouthpiece is comfortable and kid-sized, and the dry top eliminates water intake if rough waves arrive. The large bore tube makes breathing easier, and an ergonomically designed curve provides a great fit. Having a soft rubber foot pocket and an oversized rubber heel strap on the fins means your child can wear these barefoot, and the adjustable swivel buckles make them a cinch to take off.

Available in blue or yellow, this is an ideal set for young kids.

10. Unrealfind 3mm Neoprene Pull-On Kids Children’s Youth Short Socks

To prevent chafing and add extra insulation while snorkeling, you’ll want to pick up a pair of Unrealfind 3mm Neoprene Pull-On Kids Children’s Youth Short Socks. These low-cut water socks provide warmth for little feet while the family is doing any boating or water sports, including snorkeling. The seams are blind-stitched and glued, so water won’t seep in. Your child can wear them with fins or on their own. The sizes run a tad large, so you may want to order a smaller size when purchasing these are part of the snorkel gear for your kids.

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Wendy Helfenbaum
Montreal-based Wendy Helfenbaum is a journalist, content strategist, and TV producer who writes for dozens of digital and print magazines, as well as many brands. Wendy loves cruising, adventure travel, and venturing off the beaten path with her husband and teenage son, and she can pack a carry-on bag like nobody’s business.