Going on vacation with your little ones? Why not bring snorkeling gear for the kids along? Snorkeling is a great activity the entire family can participate in.
Snorkeling with kids may sound like a challenge, but it’s a great way to instill curiosity and a love for the great outdoors! Because kids are naturally inquisitive, they love exploring and playing in the water and will spend hours investigating the magical world under the waves.
Obviously, you’ll need to pick out snorkeling gear that fits well, is high quality, and is rugged enough to withstand the abuse kids sometimes inflict on their belongings. Picking a high-quality snorkel set is important because poor quality snorkels can leak water, fog up easily, and ruin your kid’s snorkeling experience.
Quick Answer: 5 Best Kids Snorkel Sets
- Mares Head Sea Pals Character Snorkel Set
- U.S. Divers Dorado Mask, Proflex Fins Set
- Head-Pirate-Jr-Mask, Snorkel, & Fin Set
- Promate Junior Snorkeling Set
- Seavenger Adult and Junior Diving Snorkel Set
Snorkeling Gear for Kids Explained
Most kids snorkeling gear comes as a set with a mask, snorkel, and fins. Obviously, safety is the number one priority when it comes to gear for your kids. If your child is young and not yet comfortable swimming on their own, be sure to get them a snorkel vest or arm floaties. A snorkeling vest will keep them floating horizontally in the water. Also, make sure to bring a good waterproof sunscreen, as the water will amplify the amount of UV rays from the sun.
Kids Snorkel Masks
Getting a well-fitting snorkel mask that doesn’t leak is the key to a fun snorkeling experience. If possible, have your child try on the mask and ensure it’s a good fit before use. The seal around the mask, called the skirt, should be airtight and comfortable. It should not be too tight or have any gaps. Look for a good quality silicone skirt, as they tend to be the most comfortable.
A good mask should also have tempered glass lenses. These heat-treated lenses offer great eye protection and are scratch-resistant. Lastly, make sure your kid can adjust the strap on the back of the mask. This is what keeps the mask and snorkel in position and should be comfortable to wear for prolonged periods.
After the mask, the snorkel itself is probably the most important piece of kids snorkeling gear. The snorkel tube should fit comfortably on your child’s head, which is why it’s important to get the right size. Using an adult-sized snorkel is not a good idea. The mouthpiece on kids snorkels are made to fit a smaller mouth, and an adult one would prevent proper snorkel use.
As you may know, most snorkels nowadays incorporate a dry top system. This prevents any water from entering the snorkel when the tip of the snorkel is below the water. This is an especially good idea for kids, as they are just learning to snorkel, and might accidentally swallow saltwater otherwise. A purge valve is another feature to look for, which allows any excess water in the snorkel to be expelled out by blowing. Most snorkels will have this feature.
Kids snorkeling fins are similar to adult snorkeling fins, although smaller. Similarly to adult fins, they come in closed heel and open heel styles. Because kids are constantly outgrowing things, the open heel style is the way to go. That way, you can precisely adjust the fit of the fin, and as your kid’s feet grow, you can adjust the heel strap for a good fit.
Different levels of fin stiffness are also available. Stiffer fins will allow your kid to swim harder and faster but are a bit more effort to use. Softer fins are more forgiving and easier to use but don’t swim as fast. So for younger kids, softer fins are the way to go, as they make learning to snorkel much easier.
Mares Head Sea Pals Character Snorkel Set
This well-made set is perfect for any kid looking to take the plunge into the world of snorkeling. It makes a great gift too! What sets the Mares Head Sea Pals Character snorkel set apart is the cute sea pals character backpack. Along with the fins, mask, and snorkel, the set comes with a choice of sea creature themed carry bags. There are sharks, whales, turtles, fish, and octopus to choose from!
The mask and snorkel are very well made, being manufactured by Mares, which makes first-rate diving and scuba gear. The snorkel features a dry top to prevent any water from leaking in, as well as an easy exhale tube to purge any water out. The mouthpiece is specifically designed for smaller mouths and fits great.
The set comes in two sizes, Small (for US kids shoe sizes 9-13) and large (for youth shoe size 1-4). The sea character bag is very well made, it has a vented bottom to help drain out any moisture and prevent mildew from forming.
- High quality construction
- Comfortable mouthpiece
- Sea creature themed carry bag
U.S. Divers Dorado Mask, Proflex Fins Combo Set
This great snorkel set by U.S. Divers will provide hours of underwater fun and exploration without costing a fortune. The set comes with a mask, snorkel, fins, and quick-dry gear bag. The tempered glass lenses provide excellent eye protection, being shatter and scratch-resistant. The skirt surrounding the mask is made of soft silicone, which provides a comfortable watertight seal.
This snorkel has all the features you need in a kids snorkel set. The snorkel has a splash guard dry top, as well as a one-way purge valve for removing any water that seeps in. The mouthpiece is made of comfortable silicone, which allows your kid to use the snorkel for hours without developing a sore jaw. The Proflex fins are compact, sturdy, and are easy to adjust, thanks to their open heel design.
This set comes with a nice mesh gear bag, which helps keep all your kids snorkeling gear together, plus it dries off quickly.
- Low-profile mask designed specifically for kids faces
- Quick dry gear bag
- Compact adjustable fins
- Fits kids ages 6 and up
Made by the experienced folks over at Head, the Head Swimming Pirate Jr. snorkel set is perfect for any kid looking to get in the water and explore! Head makes excellent snorkel and dive gear for adults as well as children, so you can be sure you’re getting a top quality product. The set comes with a mask, snorkel, fins and a durable travel bag. It comes in two sizes, Small/Medium, and Large/X-Large. There are also four color options, Yellow, Blue, Green, and Pink.
The mask features a tempered glass, two-window lens with low internal volume. This is great for kids that like to dive down below the surface. The low internal volume means the mask is easy to clear of water and will be better for equalizing when diving. The snorkel features a dry top as well as a one-way purge valve for removing any small amounts of water that get into the tube.
The fins are an open heel design, with adjustable straps for fine-tuning the fit. They have soft and comfortable foot pockets, which makes snorkeling with them for hours at a time possible.
- High quality construction
- Low volume mask
- Comfortable mask fit
Another great kids snorkel set, the Promate Junior Snorkeling Set comes with everything needed for hours of underwater fun. As with most sets, it comes with a mask, snorkel, and fins. It also has a mesh drawstring bag to carry everything in. There are two sizes available, S/M (ideal for kids aged 3 – 6) and L/XL (ideal for kids aged 6 – 10).
The mask lens is made from durable tempered glass, while the soft silicone skirt provides a watertight seal and makes the mask easy to wear for prolonged periods of time. A unique feature of this mask is soft dimples on both sides of the nose pocket. These dimples make it easy for beginner snorkelers to equalize underwater. The strap is easy to loosen and tighten, and make putting on and removing the mask a breeze. Like most others, this snorkel comes with a dry top and a purge valve.
Lastly, the open heel fins are on the softer side and great for beginner snorkelers. They have a quick release buckle system, which makes getting into and out of the fins easy.
- Easy to use
- Easy equalization nose dimples
- Quick dry mesh bag
Seavenger really made a great all-in-one snorkel set for a great price. The Seavenger Adult and Junior Diving Snorkel Set comes with a dry top snorkel, a pair of compact fins, a single-lens panoramic mask and fast-drying mesh carry bag.
The mask is one single piece of tempered glass, which provides a wide panoramic view of the water. If you’ve never tried this style of mask, you’ll be blown away by how much more you can see! It comes in adult sizes as well, so you can get one for yourself as well as your kids. The skirt is made of soft, thin silicone, which makes it comfortable and watertight. The mouthpiece is soft and easy to use, so it will hold up to lots of use.
The fins are compact and sturdy, great for swimming around reefs and in shallow water. Because of their compact design, they are great for travel and you can also walk from the beach into the water with them already on your feet. This set comes in both adult (L/XL, S/M) and kids sizes (XS/XXS).
- Quality affordable set
- Wide view panoramic lens
- Comes in kids and adult sizes
- Compact fins great for travel
What to Consider when Choosing Kids Snorkeling Gear – Buying Guide
Kids snorkeling gear comes in a variety of sizes, from toddler sized all the way up to teenager. If possible, have your kid try on the snorkel and mask before leaving on vacation. You’ll know that the mask is a good fit by having your kid put on the mask and inhale through their nose. If the mask “sucks in” and stays on their face comfortably, then it’s a good fit. Also, be sure to try out the strap and make sure it’s easy for your kid to adjust on their own. Lastly, ensure that the mouthpiece is comfortable and not too big for your kid’s mouth.
After you determine the correct size, the next step is ensuring the fit is comfortable and the snorkel set can be used for hours without pain. For the fins, if you have a closed heel, you’ll want to make sure the fit is just right, as it cannot be adjusted. For an open heel, you don’t need to have an exact fit. As long as the fit is decent, it can be fine-tuned later on. For either style, getting some neoprene dive socks is a good idea. This will make the fins more comfortable and will prevent blisters from developing.
Kids snorkeling gear is not all the same. Sets come with different accessories. Look for one with a good quality gear bag to carry the mask and fins. Some sets also come with earplugs, which can come in handy if your kid has issues with ear infections.
We all know kids are prone to breaking things, so a snorkel set with a good warranty is a plus. Most kids snorkeling gear comes with a one year warranty, but some of the better brands include a two-year warranty.