The snorkel vest is an important piece of gear that will keep you safe in the water.
Its main purpose is to offset the negative buoyancy and let you stay on the surface.
Do keep in mind that its role is not the same as a life jacket, but many people get confused about this.
There are 2 basic styles of vests, which are horsecollar design jacket style.
The Types of Snorkel Vests
Horsecollar is more popular. It looks like an oblong donut. There are 1 or 2 adjustable nylon straps in this design that are secured to your body. There is a crotch strap in designs that have 2 straps. On the other hand, you have to wear the jacket style vest like a shirt. There is a zipper or adjustable straps in these models. Apart from these two, there is also the Hybrid design, which is made by ScubaPro Cruiser. These vests are available in as many as 5 sizes.
When buying a a good snorkel vest, always focus on the right size. Keep your weight in mind to decide what the correct size is for you because the lift capacity must be adequate so that you can stay on the surface without requiring kicking vigorously. Also consider the straps length. The horsecollar design scores here because the jacket design can accommodate limited body sizes.
Usually, vests are available in extra large, regular, medium, and small sizes. Small vests are for children. Look at the size chart while selecting, but do keep in mind that sizing may be different for each manufacturer. And, of course, comfort is always very important. Sometimes, nylon used in the bladder is not too comfortable if your skin is sunburned or if you have applied a rash guard. Lycra dive skin often works better.
Appearance and Convenience
Snorkel vests used to be available in a single color or style in the old days. However, all that has changed now with so many people enjoying snorkeling and all forms of water sports and demanding variety. You will now find vests with safety whistles, additional D-rings, pockets, neoprene, and also additional streamlined designs. They are available in a range of colors, including orange, fluorescent yellow, bright pink, and others. In recent years, vests with printed patterns have also become available, which lets you show off your fashionable side.
But whatever you choose, never compromise on the quality. That should always be the main criteria for selecting a snorkel vest.