Choosing the right snorkel gear for kids is crucial in order to provide the little ones with a safe and enjoyable water experience. Learn from this guide what you need to pay attention for when buying mask, snorkel and fins for children and what extra safety accessories a youth snorkeling set should include!
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Why is it important to buy the right snorkel gear for kids?
Kids love the water and find sea creatures fascinating, so snorkeling is an activity that they will enjoy for sure! If you take your children for a beach holiday, you will be surprised how naturally kids learn how to snorkel, but having a leaking mask, too big snorkel or uncomfortable fins can ruin the experience. Therefore it is important to buy fitting, good quality snorkel gear for kids! Although adult snorkeling equipment might fit bigger kids, but usually children under 10-12 years require kids snorkel gear that is adapted their smaller sizes. Never let children use equipment that is too big or too small for them. Unfitting gear is not only uncomfortable, but can make the kid feel unsafe in the water as well as increase the chance of accidents and injuries.
Kids snorkel gear essentials:
- Small size snorkel mask
- Snorkel with small mouthpiece
- Kids size snorkeling fins
- Additional comfort and safety accessories:
- Junior snorkel vest
- Wetsuit / UV protection clothing
Tip: a fun way of teaching children about marine life is playing ocean board games together!
Snorkel set for kids
When looking snorkel gear for kids, the easiest is to buy a complete junior snorkel set that includes a small size mask, a snorkel tube and short swim fins that are designed to fit children. Moreover, a snorkel set for kids often comes with a handy carry bag. Most dive gear manufacturers offer youth snorkeling sets and we highly recommend to choose these quality equipment. The fact that your boy or girl will use a set for a short time only because they quickly grow out it doesn’t mean that cheap, bad quality products can also be considered. After sizing, quality is the second most important factor if it comes choosing snorkel gear for kids. Like with adult equipment, make sure that the mask comes with tempered glass safety lenses, the silicone material used for the mouthpiece is soft and hypoallergenic, the flippers are comfortable and durable. Kid snorkel sets are available in different sizes (usually determined by age), always check the sizing chart and/or the manufacturer’s advice.
Tip: when leaving for a beach holiday, order the snorkeling equipment for your child well in advance so you can change it if the size is not correct. The best is to teach the kids how to use their equipment in a safe environment before going open water, in a pool for example.
Snorkel mask for kids
The snorkeling mask is your window to see the beauty of the sea and it should fit perfectly in order to provide you with a clear view. If a mask is too big, it does not form a good seal therefore it will constantly let water leaking in. Kid snorkel masks have a smaller silicone skirt to secure a leak-free fit as well as feature a narrower nose pocket that is important for underwater equalization. Quality products always feature tempered glass lenses that are scratch-resistant and withstand pressure, moreover food grade silicone skirt that is soft and hypoallergenic for a comfortable wear. To make buying snorkel gear for kids easy, junior snorkeling masks are sold with a snorkel tube in most cases.
Tip: Read our tips how to prevent mask fogging!
- affordable, high quality mask and snorkel set for kids between 6-12 years
- tempered glass lenses with anti-fog coating for clear view
- full dry snorkel made from high grade materials
Full face snorkel mask for kids
Full face snorkel mask safety concerns are important to know even for adults before changing their traditional goggles to a full face one, but the possible hazards are critical to consider if it comes to children. Usually kids don’t find using a classical snorkeling mask difficult and learn the essential skills, like how to clear the mask or how to breathe through the snorkel quickly. Therefore, we suggest to buy normal snorkeling mask for children. Even Decathlon, the manufacturer of the first Easybreath full face snorkel mask doesn’t recommend the product for childern under 10 years. If your boy or girl finds snorkeling with traditional equipment problematic and you decide to give a try to a kids full face snorkel mask, make sure to choose a product that comes with patented design. Monitor your child when testing the mask and teach how to remove it quickly if he/she experiences any breathing difficulty.
Kid size snorkels come with shorter length and small silicone mouthpiece to fit children’s little mouth on the most comfortable way. Get one with purge valve for easy clearing and flexible tube to reduce jaw fatigue. For kids, dry snorkel works the best that prevents gulping water thanks to the special closing mechanism of the top part. In most cases, youth snorkels come with kid masks together, but some models are available separately like the Cressi Mini Dry .
Kid snorkeling fins
Using flippers are not mandatory while learning snorkeling in shallow water since it is better if the child can stand if necessary. But once the kid gets comfortable being in the water, snorkeling fins helps to navigate and make swimming more effective. For children, open heel fins are the best choice that are adjustable, fit more shoe sizes and can be used for a longer time. The blades should be short and soft enough not tiring the legs but flexible and powerful to secure an efficient use.
- lightweight yet powerful short snorkeling fins for kids
- easy donning/doffing thanks to thumb loop,
- open heel design with adjustable straps, fit for children from 4 to 12 years
- compact and durable
Sun protection clothing for children
Although they are not essential part of the equipment, sun protection products are must-haves if it comes to buy snorkel gear for kids. Children’s have a sensitive skin that burns easily, therefore never let them to play on the beach or swim without proper sun protection. The best is use UPF50+ UV protective full suit that covers the whole body. Sun protective clothing provides not only with UV protection but also helps to avoid jellyfish stings as well as minimize irritation. If you plan activities in water colder than 28 C (82 F) , instead of an UV protection clothing rather choose an at least 3 mm wetsuit that gives good thermal insulation so the little ones won’t get cold too quickly.
Snorkel vest for kids
Inflatable vests -albeit are not life-saving accessories – play a key role in staying safe in the water, therefore it is worth adding them to the buying list when choosing snorkel gear for kids. If your kid is not a strong a swimmer yet, it is good to use a kids snorkel vest that helps your child staying afloat if he/she gets tired while snorkeling. The vibrant colors ensure excellent visibility. A kid snorkel vest usually come with horse collar design which means it is simple to put on and take off over the head. Moreover, it gives a flexible and secure fit thanks to the adjustable properly straps and safety buckles. If you don’t have a youth snorkel vest, inflatable arm bands also can do the job!
- highly visible snorkel vest that helps kids staying afloat
- easy inflation, adjustable straps
- fits up to 100 lbs