The best snorkel bags – Our top picks in 2020

Using snorkel bags is the best way to carry and store your equipment when heading to the beach or home after snorkeling. You can choose between various bag types from simple mesh to backpack style waterproof ones, that all have their advantages and disadvantages. We tested several models over the years so now we share our tips and thoughts to help you choose the best one that is lightweight and durable and will fit your needs the most!

Snorkel bag types

Snorkeling bags come in various sizes and designs. It always depends on the conditions and on the user’s preferences what type is the best. This list below compares a wide range of bags and explains the differences between them by highlighting the pros and cons.

Mesh bag

Small mesh bags with drawstring closure are perfect for taking your basic gear to the beach, drain wet clothes and also for collecting floating plastic from the ocean or shells at the beach, but to carry a complete snorkeling set with extra accessories on long hikes, choose a tougher version.

The mesh material is not durable enough for heavy items, while the draw string makes wearing the bag on the shoulder uncomfortable. Usually, these simple bags don’t feature watertight pockets, so you need an extra dry bag to keep your valuables free from water.

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Phantom Aquatics mesh gear bag

  • basic bag at affordable price
  • good for swimming, snorkeling and other beach activities
  • large size, 27X10 inches

Pros

  • cheap
  • lightweight
  • let the gear drain and dry
  • perfect to collect floating rubbish from the sea or shells at the beach

Cons

  • weak material, can’t hold heavy things
  • fits small items and short fins only
  • not comfortable to carry on the shoulder
  • everything gets wet inside, unless it has an extra dry compartment

Mesh duffle bag

A mesh duffle bag is a very affordable solution for those who have lots of equipment to carry. These roomy bag types can store not only mask, snorkel and fins, but easily fit a snorkeling wetsuit, socks, gloves and other accessories too. Sturdy handles and shoulder strap make carrying easy, but longer walks with a full bag can be exhausting.

Big mesh snorkel bags are recommended to use on liveaboards when there are groups of people on one boat. After snorkeling or diving, just put all your stuff in the bag to avoid mixing your gear up with others. Moreover, you can easily rinse and drain the equipment while in the bag.

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Kraken Aquatics mesh duffle gear bag

  • spacious heavy-duty gear bag
  • practical size pocket
  • adjustable shoulder strap

Pros

  • big storing capacity yet small size
  • transparent, easy-to-see what is inside
  • fits longer fins too
  • can be carried on the shoulder or in hand
  • the gear can be washed simply in the bag
  • easy draining and drying

Cons

  • if full, it can get heavy and difficult to carry
  • doesn’t keep the water inside, not practical to use in car
  • easy to tear or damage

Tip: check out or what equipment to buy for snorkeling guide and get tips on choosing the right gear!

Snorkeling fin bags

Fin bags offer the best solution for those who don’t have too much gear to carry and usually pack only the essentials such as a pair of snorkeling fins, mask and snorkel. The main compartment stores the flippers and there are separate pockets for the mask and other small items.

Snorkel fin bags are available in various sizes and different materials. They come with a shoulder strap and some models feature mesh insert for ventilation. Choose this bag type if you prefer snorkeling and traveling light (thanks to the small sizes, these types of snorkel bags are usually accepted on planes too), but don’t if you have a lot of things to carry.

If you are looking for a compact and lightweight model, the Mares Cruise snorkel fin bag  is a good choice.

Pros

  • easy and comfortable way of transporting basic equipment
  • protect the fins from damages while storing
  • usually can be taken on board as a carry-on

Cons

  • limited storing capacity
  • most models have only 1 shoulder strap

Mesh backpack

Backpack style mesh snorkel bags combine functionality with comfort. You can enjoy the advantages of the mesh material such as draining, ventilation and lightness, but unlike the simple drawstring closure bags, these models feature shoulder straps so carrying over long distances becomes easy too. Choose one that is made from strong material and features reinforced straps/handles for extra durability.

Pros

  • lightweight and roomy design
  • hands-free carrying
  • gear drains and dries easily inside

Cons

  • no watertight pocket
  • small 1-person models fit shorter fins only
  • no separate compartments, things can mix up

Waterproof snorkel gear backpack

The most professional solution of traveling with snorkel gear is getting a waterproof snorkeling bag with backpack style. These types unite the advantages of waterproof bags with the comfort of the rucksack design. It protects your gear from rain and splashing water on boats, and very practical when traveling with wet stuff inside since you and your environment (such as car seat) don’t get wet.

A dry bag for snorkeling with padded and adjustable straps ensure comfortable carrying, while external and internal pockets help to keep your things organized as well as dry no matter the conditions. Choose this type if you look for high-level functionality!

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FE Active waterproof backpack

  • designed for extreme water adventures
  • XXL size 25X12X9 inches, 40L storing capacity
  • back-support for greater comfort
  • highest quality materials, eco-friendly TPU construction

Pros

  • padded shoulder straps, comfortable way of carrying
  • inside and outside pockets to organize accessories and valuables
  • keeps your stuff and the car/bus you travel in completely dry
  • floats in water

Cons

  • Higher price
  • most dry backpacks fit travel size fins only, difficult to find one that accommodates longer fins
  • heavier than normal snorkeling bags, takes more space
  • the gear become stale if left for long periods in the bag
  • not (or not easily) reparable if it gets damaged

Tip: get small dry bags too to keep your smartphone, money and credit cards safe and dry. The Freegrace Dry Bags Set  includes a pouch, phone case and a big waterproof snorkeling bag to protect all your gear from water damages!

How to choose a snorkeling bag?

When choosing a bag for snorkeling, you need to decide on the

  • size
  • style
  • material

First of all, make a list of the equipment you usually carry so that you can determine what size the snorkeling bag should be.

After this, consider how you usually reach your snorkel spots, how long you carry the bag. This will determine whether you need a backpack that is comfortable to carry on long hikes, or a simpler hand-held version will do the job too.

Choosing between mesh and dry models is another aspect. If you like to rest on the beach after snorkeling and want to let your wet things drain and dry, a mesh bag will be ideal that you can easily hang on. But if you are traveling by car, scooter or bus back home, get a waterproof snorkeling bag so you won’t make the seats and yourself completely wet.

Equipment that should fit in a snorkel bag

It is better to use smaller bags so each person can carry their own gear and this also prevents things from mixing up. Should you need to fit more persons’ equipment into one bag, get an XXL size backpack with extra padding in the straps or a roomy mesh duffle bag that is big and strong enough.

Snorkel bags we recommend to buy

We tried different snorkel bags over the years and by now we have our favorites. It is true that no bag fits everyone so personal preferences are the most important when choosing one. To make your buying decision easier, here we list some of the best models that we think are worth to buy from simple fin bags to dry backpacks.

AKONA snorkeling bag

The AKONA snorkel bag is functional model with plenty of room. You can easily fit into a snorkel set and some useful accessories such as UV T-shirt and mask de-fog, moreover it has a separate mask storage area where you can store your phone or keys to keep them dry. The bag is made from durable materials and equipped with heavy-duty zips. The strong strap and side-handle make carrying easy.

AKONA bag for snorkeling

  • functional bag for casual snorkelers
  • hold a pair of fins up to 23-inch, snorkel and mask
  • lightweight yet durable design
  • comes with an extra towel

Stahlsac Panama mesh backpack

Stahlsac Panama is one of the most recommended mesh snorkel bags that combines functionality and durability. This roomy and well-made gear bag ensures an easy way of storing and transporting more people’s gear.

Stahlsac snorkeling backpack is made from extra durable mesh and features a reinforced PVC bottom. The full-mesh design allows the gear drain, ventilate and dry while inside the bag preventing them from getting stinky. For the best comfort, the shoulder straps are filled with high-density foam.

To keep your valuables and clothes dry, there is an extra interior dry pocket, while smaller things that can get wet can be placed into the outside pocket. The large opening makes packing in an out easy, while the drawstring closure ensures quick and effortless closing.

If you like the design of this Stahlsac snorkel bags but find the Panama model too big, check out the B.V.I. mesh dive bag  that is perfect to hold 1 person’s equipment.

Stahlsac Panama Mesh Backpack

  • tough polyester mesh, reinforced PVC nylon bottom
  • practical pockets to organize your gear, inside dry pocket
  • lightweight, folds up flat
  • can accommodate 2 snorkel sets and accessories

PROMATE backpack style snorkel gear bag

An affordable roomy backpack snorkeling bag that fits fins up to 68cm/27 inch and can store 2 persons’ gear at the same time. The Promate snorkel bag is made of strong nylon/PVC fabrics. Mesh inserts at the top and at the sides provide ventilation and allow the gear to dry.

Two padded adjustable shoulder straps and a sturdy top handle ensure convenient carrying. The elastic cord is perfect to fix a towel or a pair of water shoes on the outside of the bag. For organizing your gear, the bag has several smaller compartments as well as a padded front pocket that is perfect for the mask. A durable functional snorkeling bag for young and old!

Promate bag for snorkel gear

  • adjustable padded shoulder straps
  • fits fins up to 27-inch
  • practical external pockets and water bottle pouch
  • sturdy PVC/nylon fabric, non-corrosive zips

"Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you."

Anett Szaszi

Anett is a certified scuba diver, freediver and an expert in snorkeling with more than 10 years experience. She fell in love with the ocean when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea in 2008. Since then , she is traveling all over the world to discover our waters. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. Visiting mega-cities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. She is interested in sustainable traveling and marine conservation. She is hoping to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!

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