Last Updated on September 7, 2021 by Travels with Kids
Kids love to spend time splashing about in the water! Why not consider getting them out for some enjoyable and educational exploration beneath the ocean’s surface? This guide on the best snorkeling sets for kids tells you all you need to know to get started. Perhaps you live close to the sea, or maybe you want to pack a snorkel set for the kids when you next take a vacation. Whichever describes you, there are several key factors to bear in mind when selecting the best snorkel set for kids.
Why look at snorkeling sets for kids rather than just kids’ snorkels? Well a complete kids’ snorkeling set includes everything you need to get started, so you don’t have to source other products or worry about there being anything missing. The best kids’ snorkel is even better when you get the mask, fins and a carry bag included. A lot of the top snorkelling brands offer complete sets of snorkeling gear for kids, and as you’re buying the complete set these will usually be better value for money than separate items. Purchasing a set in this way will also save you time!
This guide to selecting the best snorkeling gear for kids includes all the best products on the market. It also includes sections on using a full face snorkel mask for kids, other kids’ snorkel gear you may need, top tips for snorkeling with kids, where in the world to snorkel with kids and some useful links.
Read on to discover more about the exciting, adventurous underwater world of kids’ snorkeling!
This post may contain affiliate links, from which we would earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. More info in my disclaimer.
What To Look For When Buying The Best Snorkeling Sets For Kids
Our kids have been snorkeling many times and in various vacation spots. Having tried and tested many a children’s snorkel set, here are some of the key points to consider when making your choice.
What Is Your Budget?
Fortunately, some of the best snorkeling gear for kids is actually very affordable. This makes it a viable purchase even when buying it just for one family trip away. It also means they can try our snorkeling for themselves without you having to spend too much money. While some sets are adjustable, kids still do grow quickly. If they have a younger sibling, however, that children’s snorkel can always be re-purposed for them. If this applies to you, it could be worth spending a little more.
Is The Snorkel Set Easy To Use?
Decent kids’ snorkels and masks should be easy for them to use, as independently as possible. Are the items simple to put or take off, and will they be comfortable to wear? It is likely to keep water out, and is the mask adjustable to ensure a secure fit?
Is It Strong And Durable?
Having mentioned that you shouldn’t have to pay too much for a decent snorkel set, its durability is important. Bearing in mind how they will be splashing about in the water – and that it may also have some wave action to contend with – the set should be able to cope with taking a few knocks. We’ve only listed products with great reviews here, so you can be confident that each set has already been put through its paces by other active families.
What Is A Dry Snorkel?
A dry snorkel is designed to stop water from leaking into the mask. This is achieved by means of a special valve, making for a safer and more comfortable swim.
What Extras Are Included?
All sets will include a mask and snorkel, which may be all you need. However, some sets do also include fins or a carry bag, which can be useful.
Some snorkeling kits for kids come complete with a pair of fins. Again, this is a useful addition to the set. A pair of dive socks can also be useful, especially if the fins have some growing room. A pair of neoprene socks will also help to cut the chance of painful blisters.
Some of our recommended kids’ snorkeling sets come complete with a storage and carry bag. This protects the kit as well as packing it away nicely when traveling.
The Pros And Cons Of A Full Face Snorkel Mask For Kids
Should you buy a full-face snorkel mask for your kids? The jury is out, as it seems people cannot agree on whether a kids’ full-face snorkel is a good idea. So what type is the best snorkel for kids – a full-face one or separate pieces?
While it’s clear that a full face kids’ snorkel should make breathing easier as well as improving visibility, there have been some safety concerns. As a result, one snorkel company based in Maui, Hawaii has banned its use on its tours. This was following a number of deaths. The operator stated that headaches, dizziness, and even unconsciousness could result from the use of an adult or kids’ full face snorkel mask. This, it is said, is due to the build-up of CO2 within the mask. They are also said to be more difficult to remove.
There are also other reasons why we want to err on the side of caution and advise against buying full face snorkels for kids. Finding one that fits perfectly is difficult, and if it doesn’t fit snugly, then water may get in. When this happens and the mask becomes flooded, it can be very frightening for small children in particular, as they won’t be able to breathe or see anything. A mask could also let in water because of being knocked.
For these reasons, we recommend using a conventional snorkeling kit for kids. When using separate items, the mask covers your nose while the snorkel enables you to breathe through your mouth, via a separate channel. This also helps the user to achieve a better fit, as each piece can be adjusted independently.
The Best Snorkelling Sets For Kids: Our Top Picks
So what’s the best snorkel and mask to buy? The best snorkel mask for kids will depend on their age as well as other features you might be looking for. When buying a set, have look at the design of all included items too. Do they seem safe, easy to use, and likely to last? All the best snorkels for kids are listed here. These are high-quality sets that attract consistently high ratings and reviews from satisfied owners.
Mares Sea Pals Kids’ Snorkel Set
The super cute Mares Sea Pals snorkeling sets for kids includes a mask, fins, snorkel, and even a carry bag to store it all in. This leading Italian diving manufacturer has designed this top-quality set to offer optimum performance and safety – as well as to appeal to children. The included dry snorkel mask for kids has a mouthpiece designed to stay comfortable while moving around in the water. A built in top splash guard, easy exhale system, adjustable open backed fins and quick release strap all make this junior set a great all-rounder. Some parents with children as young as three have even reported a successful snorkelling experience when using this set.
Cressi Rocks Junior Kids’ Snorkeling Set
Cressi is also an Italian manufacturer, and this Cressi kids’ snorkel set comes with fully adjustable straps for that perfect fit. The set comprises a snorkel, mask, and fins, specially designed in Italy for kids aged between three and eight. It’s colorful too, and available in your choice of six cool combinations. You can adjust this Cressi snorkel set as your child grows, and the soft mouthpiece and splash guard will make for a comfortable snorkeling experience. A dry snorkel guards against water entry, and there is a mesh bag to store and carry it all in, too.
US Divers Snorkel Set For Kids
Also available in several cool color choices, this US Divers set scores top marks for fit and comfort. A high clarity mask, snorkel with splash guard, easy kick fins and a travel bag are included. The US Divers ‘pro gilde’ buckles make it easy to adjust the size of the mask and fins, while the dry snorkel will resist water leakage. The range of colours should ensure that this high quality set will suit those seeking a boys or girls snorkel.
Seavenger Voyager Kids’ Snorkeling Set
Complete with a carrying bag, this snorkeling set has a range of advantages. The dry snorkel avoids water leakage, while the one-way valve makes breathing easy. A tempered glass lens ensures a clear view and the multi-use fins suit any style of kicking. Weighing just three pounds, this Seavenger set is tailor-made for those traveling with kids.
Aisrida Kids’ Snorkeling Set
This top pick is an Aisrida kids’ snorkel set containing a mask, fins, snorkel, and a storage bag. The one-piece, tempered glass lens has anti-fog properties for a crystal clear view of marine life. Silicone makes the mast comfortable to wear as well as guarding against leaks. Fully foldable, the flexible snorkel tube features an easy breathe, floating valve design, while the adjustable fins can fit a wide range of shoe sizes.
Other Kids’ Snorkeling Gear
So what other snorkeling gears for kids are you likely to need? You may not need any extras – it all depends on where you are going, the season and your preferences. A life vest, wetsuit, dive socks, strap cover, underwater camera, pool noodle and a few other optional additions may just make your snorkeling trip more safe, enjoyable and comfortable.
Your child can lean on the pool noodle as they kick around with their face underwater, saving them from putting as much effort into staying afloat.
If you’re traveling to a cooler climate, then a wetsuit might be a must. They come in a range of sizes, and you may prefer one with long legs or a ‘shortie’ according to season. Here are some of our recommendations, all from respected surf brand O’Neill. Click on each photo for current prices on Amazon.
Toddler – Child Wetsuit
Boys’ Shortie Wetsuit
Girls’ Shortie Wetsuit
Boys’ Full Wetsuit
Girls’ Full Wetsuit
While a life vest may not be necessary when swimming in shallow water and under supervision, it can give kids confidence and parents peace of mind. So why not check out this great value, top quality kids’ life jacket?
A pair of neoprene dive socks has a number of benefits. They keep small feet warm while protecting them from sharp objects or even stinging sea creatures underfoot. These socks may also be useful if your child is yet to grow into their fins fully. From Seavenger, this pair comes in 15 color options.
Underwater Camera Or Go Pro
Kids love to mess about with a camera. We have a Go-Pro and highly recommend them. You can read the full review at Using A GoPro For Travel With Kids. Being waterproof, a Go Pro is great when snorkeling. It’s what our kids use theirs for the most. They just love taking the camera underwater and taking pictures – either of the sea life they discover or simply capturing silly selfies!
If a Go Pro seems a little too much, then why not opt for a very affordable option like this simpler waterproof kids’ camera?
Switch the strap for a padded one and it could mean your own little mermaid suffering less hair tangling. This neoprene strap is much kinder to saltwater-soaked tresses, reducing the risk of post-snorkel tears!
Alternatively, brighten up that mask at the same time as protecting long hair with a cool strap cover. This one comes in a great range of colors, and features a funky design kids should love.
The Cressi Neoprene Mask Strap Cover featured above is also a great choice. It comes in many different solid colors and can match any of the snorkeling sets for kids. We recommend this in addition to whatever set you purchase.
While it’s unlikely to be the first snorkeling accessory that comes to mind, a Tangle Teezer will make easy work of those stressed post-swim locks. It’s the only type of hairbrush that really works once the wind and saltwater have set to work.
Don’t fancy spitting into the mask to keep it fog-free? Then you might want to invest in a bottle of these handy anti-misting drops. There’s not much point in snorkeling when you can barely see, and a lack of visibility can also be a safety concern.
Kids’ Snorkeling Tips, Hints, and Frequently Asked Questions
At What Age Can Kids Start Snorkeling
Children can start snorkeling as long as they are comfortable swimming in the water unaided. They also must have the confidence to stay afloat and to use the equipment safely. Being able to breathe through the snorkel is paramount. If they are likely to get confused, or may not obey instructions, then they are probably not ready. For most, between the ages of four and six will be the best snorkeling minimum age.
You know your child best, though, so trust your own judgment! Don’t forget that you’d need to find a suitable toddler snorkel mask, too. Check out the top tips, below, on how to get started when teaching your child to snorkel.
Is Snorkeling Safe For Kids
As touched on above, kids will need to be able to swim before they can snorkel. They also need to be confident with both the water and the snorkeling equipment. Safety depends on other factors, too, and having the right snorkel set for kids is a good start. They may also need other items, such as those listed in this guide. These might include a life vest, and perhaps also a wetsuit when in colder water. Adult supervision is also a necessity!
Do You Need To Know How To Swim For Snorkeling
It is strongly advised that you don’t try snorkeling with kids if they cannot swim unaided. Even in shallow, still waters the unexpected can happen, so it’s best to be prepared – even when you accompany them at all times. You, of course, should also be confident in the water!
What Should A Beginner Snorkeler Know Before Their First Swim
Any snorkeling rookie – child or adult – should be proficient in using the equipment before beginning. They should also be familiar with their surroundings. Knowing what to do if assistance is required is also advisable.
Buying Before You Travel
If you have a vacation booked, make sure to order that kids’ snorkel set with some time to spare. This is in case you need to exchange it for another size or type.
Any Tips For Teaching Kids How To Snorkel
Snorkeling may not come naturally to kids, so it’s a good idea for children to learn how to use their equipment before they head to the beach. Your local swimming pool at home, or the hotel facilities when away are ideal.
If they are a strong swimmer already so much the better, but in any case do start at the shallow end of the pool. Try using some diving toys when there to pique their interest, telling them to imagine that it’s a shoal of colorful, tropical fish! If it seems easier, use the kids’ snorkel with goggles to begin with, before progressing to the mask. You could try using a pool noodle for flotation, too.
Where To Go Snorkeling With Kids
So which places offer the best snorkeling for kids? Ideally, you want warm, shallow water – with lots beneath the surface to see without venturing too far from the shore. Areas with lots of rocky coral underfoot are best avoided in the case of beginners. There are great places to snorkel all over the world, including – but certainly not limited to – the following:
Australia – Tropical North Queensland
The area north of Cairns in Queensland is great for snorkeling. You can read about our underwater exploration of the region here in our 17 BEST Cairns Day Trips – Explore Tropical North Queensland.
There are various places in the Hawaiian Islands that are ideal for rookie snorkelers. Many have a shallow entry and warm water, making them ideal for snorkel trips with kids. Mauna Kea Beach and Hanauma Bay are our most highly recommended spots.
Like Hawaii, Fiji has warm, shallow waters that are great for those kids learning to snorkel. For more inspiration, check out this post on Top Things To Do in Fiji For Kids.
Curaçao in particular offers ideal conditions for snorkeling with kids. The entries tend to be shallow and the water is warm – plus there’s plenty of beautiful sea life to witness.
The Verdict – The Best Snorkeling Sets for Kids
We hope this post is useful for anyone seeking the best snorkel mask for kids. As you can see, the best option when it comes to buying a kids’ snorkel mask is to look for a complete set. That way, you get everything you need – including a bag to carry it all in. Why spend time sourcing snorkeling fins for kids and a snorkeling mask for kids separately when you can get them all in one useful, high-quality kit? Whichever of these children’s snorkels and accessories you choose, we hope your family has a great time exploring the underwater world. Just as we always do.
Yes a snorkel makes a great kids gift, but look at these other ideas in The Best Gifts For Kids Who Travel: 29 Top Picks.
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