Whether you are a first-timer or a vet snorkeler, nobody likes having to think about safety all the time. Keeping in mind that, we gathered thoughts on this topic while queries as ‘Can I use my life jacket for snorkeling?’ have been rising up online.
What is a life vest?
A life vest is a personal flotation device that helps keep you afloat in water. It is typically worn around your chest and fastened with straps or Velcro. Life vests are often required gear for boaters, fishermen, and others who work or play near bodies of water. But what about snorkeling? Can you snorkel with a life vest?
The short answer is yes, you can snorkel with a life vest. In fact, wearing a life vest while snorkeling can be a good idea for several reasons. First, it can provide extra buoyancy in case you get tired and need to rest on the surface of the water. Second, it can help keep you safe if you encounter strong currents or waves. And third, it can offer some peace of mind if you’re not a strong swimmer.
If you do choose to wear a life vest while snorkeling, be sure to select one that is comfortable and won’t restrict your movement. You’ll also want to make sure it fits properly so that it doesn’t impede your breathing or impede your vision while underwater. With these considerations in mind, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy safe and fun snorkeling in most locations.
Is it safe to snorkel with a life vest?
Some people may feel more comfortable snorkeling with a life vest (life jacket), especially if they are not strong swimmers. There is no right or wrong answer, and ultimately it is up to the individual to decide what is best for them. Some things to consider include: whether you feel more comfortable with or without a life vest, whether you need the extra buoyancy that a life vest provides, and whether you are snorkeling in an area with strong currents or waves. If you do decide to snorkel with a life vest, be sure to test it out in shallow water first to make sure it fits properly and does not impede your movement.
Pros and cons of wearing a life vest while snorking
There are both pros and cons to wearing a life vest while snorkeling. On the plus side, a life vest can provide some extra buoyancy and help keep you afloat if you get tired. It can also be helpful if you get caught in a current or wave. On the downside, a life vest can make it more difficult to swim and maneuver, and it can also trap air and cause you to float more than you might like. Ultimately, whether or not to wear a life vest while snorkeling is a personal decision. Test the buoyancy of your snorkeling vest with a few test stops on land.
How to determine life vest size. If you have already bought a life jacket, here are some pointers for getting and keeping it properly fitted in order to make sure it will save your life when needed:
1. Emphasize comfort – obviously, you want something that is comfortable enough that you’ll actually wear it on vacation (and not immediately abandon it hidden in a corner of your room). If you hate it within 30 minutes, it’s not nearly as likely you’ll wear it when the time comes (see why: It doesn’t have to be perfect – a well-fitted life vest that is just a bit uncomfortable is going to provide much better protection in an accident than one you half-ass fit yourself, but aren’t comfortable in.
2. Don’t be cheap – while it doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars, I think most people who spend some time each year on the water spend at least $50, which hopefully will mean you’ll wear it every single day.
3. Make the most of it – pick the one that suits you the best for your frequency of use. It might be more expensive at first, but each vest will have a certain life span (likely 3-5 years). If you only plan to wear it once every 5 years, don’t go for the biggest and heaviest combo out there. Those same pricier models might seem like a bad investment in terms of maintenance and support.
Conclusions: Should You snorkel with a life vest?
The short answer is yes, you can! In fact, many people find that snorkeling with a life vest is a great way to stay safe and comfortable in the water.
If you are snorkeling in choppy water or encountering jellyfish for the first time, a life vest will increase your comfort and safety in the water.
Side Benefit: The Life Vests Will Increase Your Chance for a Great Underwater Photo!