The BEST Snorkel Gear For Kids

The investment in quality snorkeling gear for kids will go a long way toward them having an amazing and unforgettable experience.

It will not only add to their comfort and enjoyment in the water, but also to your peace of mind in terms of their safety.

Unfortunately a lot of snorkel sets for kids are manufactured as though they are toys, and as a result they lack comfort, quality and durability.

A good quality child’s snorkel set, (like our top choice – the Cressi Rocks Pro Dry), should mimic the design of an adult set (only smaller!), and will last you over many vacations and adventures where a cheap set will not.

So, here is our list of the best snorkel sets for kids, plus some additional accessories that we would also consider essential for their overall safety & enjoyment!

The BEST Kids Snorkel Set [2021]


The Best Kids Snorkel Sets Reviewed

Cressi The Rocks Kids SetBest Overall

cressi rocks pro dry kids snorkel gear

Features

  • Suits ages 3 – 10
  • Dry snorkel with purge valve
  • Tempered glass mask
  • Mesh carry bag
  • Vented, open heel fins

The Rocks Pro Dry is a very high quality snorkel set for kids.

In fact it’s made with the same high quality materials and design features that you would find within Cressi’s adult snorkel gear.

The snorkel mask has tempered glass lenses, and the soft silicone double edge skirt is nice and wide to give a good seal against the face in order to prevent leakage.

The snorkel included in this set is a dry top snorkel, so it is designed to prevent any water from getting into the snorkel, and it’s a very high quality one at that.

The fins are really easy for your child to put on, take off and they’re really simple to adjust as well. The foot pockets are nice and comfortable, and the vented design is best for giving kicking power but with good efficiency to reduce fatigue.

In terms of build quality I would rate the Rocks Pro Dry a little higher than the Mares Sea Pals (reviewed below), but it’s also a little more expensive as a result.

Pros

  • Really high quality, premium materials
  • The silicone mask skirt is really soft and comfortable
  • The fins are easy to don and doff, and easily adjustable
  • The set is compact, lightweight and easy to travel with

Cons

  • The mesh bag dries ultra quick but isn’t the highest quality.

Mares Sea PalsBest Budget

mares sea pals kids snorkeling set

Features

  • Suits ages 4-9
  • Dry top snorkel with purge valve
  • Vented open heel fins
  • Character carry bag

The Mares Sea Pals kids snorkel set is a great set of gear for many reasons.

But the biggest reasons being that that this is a very high quality/premium snorkel set, but it’s one that is also very reasonably priced.

Many snorkel sets for kids are often made from rubber and plastic, but this Mares set is made from high quality materials.

The mask skirt and the mouthpiece of the snorkel for example are made from silicone, which is soft and comfortable to wear, and it is also a lot more durable over time than rubber.

So as well as this being a fantastic set in terms of comfort and performance for your child, it’s also one that will last you over multiple vacations and summers!

The snorkel which is included is a dry top snorkel, which also features a purge valve at the bottom.

So, your child can simply focus on having a great time exploring without having to worry about stopping to clear water out of their snorkel, (or getting horrible tasting sea water in their mouth!)

Kids also tend to love the super cute carry bags that come with this set in either octopus, turtle or fish designs.. so much so that they’ll likely want to carry around their own gear 😉

The set comes in either small (9-13), or large (1-4) sizes which will suit children between ages 4-9, and it also comes in a variety of really fun colorways.

Pros

  • The dry top snorkel is great for kids as it prevents water from getting in
  • Comes in several really fun, brightly colored designs
  • Made of premium high quality materials
  • Mask and fins are easy to adjust

cons

  • The fins are a little stiff

Cressi Mini Palau Snorkeling SetBest Premium

cressi mini palau kids snorkel set

Features

  • Suits ages 4-10
  • Semi Dry Snorkel w/ purge valve
  • Tempered glass mask with silicone skirt
  • Non vented open heel fins

The Cressi Palau snorkel set is a highly rated set of kids snorkeling gear.

It is the same (but smaller) version of the adult Palau set which we also highly recommend!

The snorkel in this set is a semi dry snorkel with a purge valve. This type of snorkel will generally suit older kids better than it will younger ones, as it does obviously have the potential for water to get into it.

If swimming in calm water though then the amount of water which gets into your child’s snorkel is likely to be minimal, (unless they dive under the water to submerge it).

The Cressi mask is of excellent build quality, and has a double feathered soft silicone skirt and a tempered glass lens.

The wide skirt on this mask is optimal for creating a good seal around the face to prevent leakage.

It’s actually a very versatile mask too as it’s suited towards fitting a variety of different face shapes, and this mask even suits women with narrower faces as well.

The Palau set features snorkel fins that have longer fin blades than the Sea Pals and Rocks snorkel sets, and with this slightly longer blade comes superior thrust and propulsion through the water.

The foot pocket of the blade is comfortable for use either barefoot or with a dive sock, and with it being an open heeled foot it can accommodate a range of foot sizes.

Pros

  • Made with top quality, durable materials
  • Very comfortable mask and fins
  • Fins provide good thrust with easily adjustable straps
  • Plenty of growing room

cons

  • Priciest on our list

Essential Accessories For Your Kids Snorkel Set

There are a few extra pieces of snorkel gear that we’d consider really important (or even essential) in order to complete your kids snorkel set.

Safety is the primary reason in recommending the following additional snorkeling gear for kids.

best kids snorkeling set

Floatation/Snorkel Vest

I have an entire blog post specifically relating to snorkel vests, so definitely check that out in order to gain some more information regarding this important safety accessory for kids.

In short though, a snorkel vest is used to provide floatation support in the water, and will help provide stability and added confidence in the water.

Their floatation support means that they are great for conserving energy in the water.

What’s important to note is that snorkel vests are often mandatory when going on snorkel tours.

If you are booking ahead with a snorkel tour operator it would be wise to inquire whether they have life snorkel vests appropriate for your child’s age.

Generally they often do for older children but they may not have the sizes available for smaller children, and so this is something you need to be aware of so you can plan whether you need to bring your own or not.

A snorkel vest should not be confused with a life jacket. A snorkel vest provides basic support when snorkeling, and is perfectly suitable for this purpose.

It is not a suitable substitute in place of a life jacket, like the kind you would need to wear on a boat for example.

Sun Protective Clothing For Kids

UV protective clothing is the one sure fire why to protect your children from the suns harmful rays.

It’s also much cheaper to invest in sun protective clothing than to have to apply and reapply large amounts of sunscreen over large parts of the body over the course of the day (not to mention, it is the most reef friendly option!).

We have a full length guide to the best rash guards for snorkeling here, which includes our picks for the best children’s rash guard for snorkeling as well.

As well as providing protection from the sun, it also helps protect against minor scrapes and irritation in the water against rock walls for example, and can also provide added warmth.

Water Shoes/Socks For Kids

Children’s snorkel fins are often open heel fins.

This type of foot closure is great for children as it makes it very easy to find the correct size fins for them, and it allows a fair bit of extra growing room for them too.

But often open heel feels can rub against the back of the heel, so it’s usually recommended to wear them with water socks or water shoes to prevent this.

Water shoes/socks provide an additional layer of protection to your child’s feet against anything sharp like shells or jagged rocks, (so are great for exploring rock pools!), and they also provide additional warmth.

Reef Safe Sun Block For Kids

On top of sun protective clothing you will still need sun block to cover up those areas that are still exposed (like the face, neck, hands for example).

A high SPF sunblock that is also reef safe in order to protect the marine environment would be best.

By far the best reef safe sunscreen for kids on the market right now is the ThinkSport SPF 50+ for kids.

It has a very high SPF rating of 50+, it is certified reef safe, and it is water resistant up to 80 minutes before needing to be reapplied.

How To Choose The Best Kids Snorkel Set

best snorkeling gear for kids

Size & Fit

The sizing can be tricky to get right, especially with your child constantly growing!

Kids snorkeling equipment is built to suit children around the range of 3-10 years of age, and is usually sized by age/shoe size.

For children who are 10 years or older, then you should pay close attention to the size guide given for the snorkel set and use this to assess closely if it will fit them properly or not, as this is getting into the realm where an adult set, for some, may be more appropriate.

The good thing is snorkel equipment allows for some level of adjustment therefore their snorkel set should be able to grow with them to a reasonable extent.

Fins

The snorkel fins in the kids snorkel sets that we’ve recommended are open feel fins.

The open heel design is very forgiving when it comes to sizing which is why you will find that kids snorkel sets usually include open heel fins and not closed heel fins.

This style of fin is easily adjustable and will happily accommodate your child as they grow, as they provide plenty of growing room, which closed heel fins do not.

Open heels fins also allow for the use of water socks/water shoes to be used with them, which are perfect for added protection from sharp, slippery rocks.

Snorkel

The type of snorkel you choose will depend somewhat on your child’s comfort in the water.

For beginners and kids who are still getting used to snorkeling then you may prefer a dry top snorkel, as this type of snorkel should prevent any water from getting into the tube.

A semi dry snorkel has an open top with a splash guard fitted over it which is designed to minimise/deflect water from getting into the snorkel tube.

It is still possible for water to get into it though, and it will of course fill with water if completely submerged, e.g when diving underwater.

That’s certainly not a bad thing per se! But it’s something for you to consider if you think your child would be more comfortable with a dry top.

Color

Snorkel gear for kids usual comes in really bright colors.

Aside from this making the snorkel set much more attractive to children, it also provides an important safety benefit too.

The brighter and more vibrant the snorkel gear, the easier you’ll be able to identify and keep an eye on them whilst they’re in the water.

Our Verdict

We’ve chosen what we feel is the best snorkel gear for kids based on its performance, comfort and durability.

All of kids snorkel sets we’ve recommended fit this criteria but the Rocks Pro Dry is the best quality set at a price that’s very competitive!

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