Welcome to our best flotation belt for snorkeling post. So what exactly is a flotation belt? Well it kinda does exactly what it says on the tin - it is designed to help snorkelers or divers float in the water. They are worn between your ribs and hips and go on just like a normal belt - secured with either a clip or buckle.
Why use them? When your snorkeling, admiring all the amazing wonders of the sea, you want to stay afloat as much as possible. Without a flotation belt you end up either singing down and having to continually swim up, or worse, treading water which will sap your energy.
As keen snorkelers, we have put together our top 6 belts below
Top 6 Best Flotation Belt For Snorkeling
OUR TOP PICK
AquaJogger has a strong reputation, though its more usual triumphs are in the aqua exercise world than in scuba.
That said, the AquaJogger Active can substantially aid your buoyancy and keep you safe while snorkeling.
The AquaJogger Active is very versatile. Depending on your body shape, you can even wear it upside down or with the float in front. That will more or less give you a floatation platform from which to snorkel.
The styling of the AquaJogger Active is contoured for comfort. It also has a 48” adjustable belt that clips and unclips easily, so you have a great deal of scope on size and fit.
Sizes: 12.5 x 26.5 x 11.8”. Belt: 48”
Materials: Resilient closed-cell foam
Suitable for: Snorkeling, water aerobics
- Versatility of use
- Contoured for comfort
- Extremely durable
- Long, adjustable belt
- Large quick-release buckle
Speedo is a company that knows its business when it comes to support in the water. The Aqua Fitness Jogbelt, as the name suggests, is primarily designed for aqua fitness and strength-building.
But it’s extremely well thought-out for snorkeling too – it’s contoured round the sides, to give more options on positioning when you’re in the water. The contouring also acts to prevent chafing and rubbing at the hips.
Like the AquaJogger Active, the Jogbelt’s shape is heavier round the back, which some users find gives it a more logical use in snorkeling than some other belts on the market.
The Jogbelt comes in two sizes, and both versions come with an adjustable web belt with a quick release buckle for safety.
If you need a floatation device, you can do a lot worse than go with one of the market leaders in supportive swimwear and aquatic aids.
Sizes: Small/Medium - 25"-48". Large/X-Large - 25"-56"
Materials: Chlorine-resistant foam
Suitable: Snorkeling, water aerobics
- Heavier round the back
- Contoured on the sides
- Useable up to waist of 56”
- Durable foam construction
The TYR Aquatic Floatation Belt has been properly thought through for people who need support in the water.
Its adjustable belt expands all the way to 52” round the waist, so it should accommodate most people.
The belt’s secure plastic clip system is an extra level of reassurance. In the event of the user feeling uncomfortable, they can get free at any time.
Constructed of 3.5″ high EVA foam blocks, the TYR AFB will give confidence to snorkelers who aren’t sure they would otherwise be safe.
That means more people will feel able to conquer the art of snorkeling, whether it’s a new hobby or an old one.
Sizes: up to 52” waist
Materials: EVA foam, PVC
Suitable for: Water aerobics, snorkeling, swimming with disabilities, swimming for novices
- Multipurpose belt
- Affordable price
- Design is streamlined
- Adjustable up to 52”
The Nash Hydroslide opens up your options from simple snorkeling to all sorts of water-based sports and games.
It can help beginners learn to swim, by supporting them in the water while they learn arm and leg technique.
It can even help water-skiers to get to grips with the essentials of the sport.
And for snorkelers, the thin shape of the Hydroslide means you get the best of both worlds – support and floatation without clunkiness or interference.
Vinyl-coated EVA foam is at the heart of the Hydroslide. Its belt is adjustable so you can be comfortably attached without feeling restricted.
Added to which, the bright yellow banana-slide means you’ll always be visible to other water users should anything go wrong.
Plenty of users consider the Hydroslide to be the best floatation aid for snorkeling, and when you see it, it’s easy to understand why.
Added to which, it’s durable, long-lasting and high-quality, so you can keep using your Hydroslide on snorkeling trips for years to come.
Sizes: Small; 25-30”, Medium; 31-36”, Large: 37-42”, X-Large; 43-48”
Materials: EVA foam with a vinyl coating, PVC
Suitable for: Learning to swim, learning to water-ski, swimming with disabilities, water aerobics, snorkeling
- Versatility – can help people in many sports
- EVA foam build
- Belt with a single adjustable strap
With some belts, the fastenings can slip. If the fastenings slip, you end up chafed and miserable, rather than snorkeling with a smile.
The TRC Recreation does away with that concern. It has a fixed belt length, so there’s nowhere for the fastenings to slip to. No slippage, no chafing, more happy days.
The Recreation is made of foam and wrapped in vinyl, and its no-compromise construction makes it ideal for a variety of water exercise.
Whether your gig is snorkeling, water-aided fitness routines or other water-based sports like surfing, water-skiing or paddle-boarding, the Recreation has your back. In fact, by securing the Recreation around your lower back, it can give you reliable floatation support in the water, without getting in your way.
Brand: TRC Recreation
Sizes: Small/Medium, 26-34”; Large/X-Large, 34-44”
Materials: PVC, vinyl-coated foam
Suitable for: Multiple water-based sports, snorkeling, water aerobics
- Multi-purpose support
- Closed-cell foam
- Range of colors to stand out in the sea
When you’re snorkeling, buoyancy is the key.
The AquaJogger Pro Plus gives you buoyancy in spades and keeps it coming all day long.
The belt is durable and gives a flexible fit to all comers. It also gives you a hassle-free release through its quick-release buckle. The contoured design of the Pro Plus is patented, and helps you tone your muscles and strengthen your lower back, so you can work out while you snorkel!
Sizes: Up to 48”
Materials: PVC and closed-cell foam
Suitable for: Snorkeling, novice swimming, swimming with disabilities, water aerobics
- The belt is highly adjustable
- Quick-release buckle
- Durable construction
- Vertical suspension
Best Flotation Belt For Snorkeling Buying Guide
When you try to buy a floatation belt for snorkeling, you’re faced with a bewildering range of options.
How do you decide which snorkel floatation belt is best for you and your needs? Let’s take a look at some of the things to investigate, so you know which belt with suit you best.
The materials of which your belt is made are what determine how much buoyancy it brings to your snorkel-party.
The chief ingredient in most snorkeling floatation devices – and in most floatation devices generally – is foam. But all foams are not created equal. You’ll find some belts made of “EVA,” while others are made of “Closed-cell foam.”
What does that mean when you’re trying to decide which belt to buy? Buoyancy is about two things – how dense your foam is, and how much air is trapped inside it.
If an object is less dense than water, it will float on water, like foam on a cappuccino floating on top of the coffee. The foam is less dense than the liquid, so it floats. The lighter the froth, (the more air it contains), the longer it will float on the surface of your coffee.
Likewise, when a belt is being made, the more air is forced into the foam and trapped there, the more buoyancy the belt will have. While we’re on materials, let’s tackle a sticky subject.
Skin has a tendency to stick to things. If it sticks to boards and belts, that’s going to leave a mark when you peel one from the other. That’s why lots of belts have a vinyl coating – to regain their slippery separation from your skin and stop you getting hurt while you’re snorkeling.
Floatation belts for adults come in a variety of styles. The simplest is a collection of foam blocks held together by a belt. This undeniably works, but gives you the uncool look of having been hauled up by accident with the fresh salmon.
Another popular style is the long rectangle with a belt fastening. This is already a lot cooler than the first style before you learn that water-skiers frequently use it. It can be useful for snorkeling, because the design is minimum-fuss and doesn’t get in the way of what you’re doing.
The last of the “big three” most popular styles is the moulded style that hugs you round the lower back and supports your chest. If you have a bigger body, this style is more likely to be your friend, because it provides stronger support.
That means you can be confident you’re being supported during your snorkeling session.
How buoyant do you want to be?
For water aerobics, vertical lift is great, because the lift helps you through the exercises. With snorkeling though, you want more of a variable lift. Too much lift and you’ll defeat the purpose of snorkeling.
What you need for snorkeling is a belt that will keep you in the water, but won’t let your midsection go all the way under. That will keep your face in the water as long as you want it there, but won’t give you the panicky feeling of sinking.
One option is to get a snorkel floatation belt with adjustable foam sections. That means you get control of the buoyancy of the belt, so you can use if for different purposes.
It’s also true that women float more easily than men. Again, if you can control the buoyancy, you control the game when it comes to snorkeling buoyancy belts.
This is a weird one.
Fact #1 – there are lots of manufacturers out there.
Fact #2 – once you know what makes for a good snorkeling floatation belt, your choices are cut to a handful of trusted companies.
The reputable brands (including all the ones on our list, naturally), tend to specialize in water-based sport aids and wearables. That means they’ll know their business inside out.
They’ll have better, more informed customer service departments. They’ll probably offer better, longer, more inclusive warranties, because they’ll be able to back their products all the way.
And you may well already know their names.
Most of the time, a snorkeling floatation device is for life, not just for Christmas. That means it can be used for other water-based sports as well as snorkeling. Aqua exercise, water-skiing, swimming. You name it, you can probably use your snorkeling floatation device to help you gain buoyancy in it.
Best Flotation Belt For Snorkeling - FAQ's
Can you snorkel if you can’t swim?
Can you play in the shallow end of a pool without being able to swim? Yes, you can.
Ideally, don’t go into deeper water if you’re not confident you can swim your way back to safety. But snorkeling has more to do with floating than swimming, so in shallower water – go snorkel-nuts!
What is a snorkeling belt called?
Floatation belts for snorkeling are known by many names. If you see listings for buoyancy belts, floatation devices, fitness belts, buoyancy devices or snorkeling belts, you’re seeing lots of listings for the same things.
It’s worth remembering that a snorkeling belt is not a personal floatation device. A PFD is a specialized device, designed to preserve life in emergency situations.
A life jacket on a plane or boat? PFD. Snorkeling belt? Buoyancy aid. Big, big difference. Never use a snorkeling belt in place of a PFD.
What is a floatation belt?
Floatation belts are usually blocks of foam wrapped in vinyl, with a belt attached to help give you buoyancy in the sea. The foam is less dense than the water. That means the foam floats on top of the water, and if you’re attached to it, so do you.
How do I use a float belt?
Floatation belts are much like real belts. They’re designed to be worn. Most floatation belts can be attached with a simple quick-release buckle. They wrap around the waist, and cover the lower back.
Put your floatation belt on before you get in the water. The reason for that is because putting any clothing or equipment on once you’re in the water means you’re fighting the water as well as the air.
What’s the difference between a snorkeling floatation belt and a swimming floatation belt?
Snorkeling and swimming are different things. They use different muscles. So the effect of the floatation devices for each type of activity have very different effects.
A swimming belt builds strength in the swimmer’s muscles and increases their endurance. They’re essentially an additional resistance band, so the swimmer has to work harder on every stroke. A snorkeling belt on the other hand is not about resistance but buoyancy.
It’s designed to help keep you afloat without getting in your way. Lots of water-users can use a snorkeling floatation belt, from snorkelers to those with mobility issues, to people doing water aerobics programs, and even water-skiers. Neither of these belts should be confused with either scuba belts or freediving belts.
Divers need negative buoyancy to stay underwater, so their belts usually have lead weights threaded into them, rather than foam. You’re really going to notice it if you get that wrong.
How do I keep a floatation belt in place?
Usually you keep a floatation belt in place by securing them with the belts that come with them. There’s frequently a PVC quick-release buckle which you use to attach the belt, and to detach it when you need to get out of the belt.
If you’re snorkeling and your floatation belt begins to shift, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s just the result of your body shape changing in the water. When the water supports some of your weight, parts of your body relax, and the belt might shift. If need be, just slide the belt back into place and re-tighten it.
Where do I buy a snorkeling floatation belt?
You can get a floatation belt from retailers (either bricks and mortar or online) or manufacturers. Shopping around to find the best fit for your body shape and snorkeling needs is a good idea because you can make sure of the feel of the belt.
But when it comes to actually buying, make sure to look online, because you may well find you can get substantial discounts on the belt you’ve chosen. We’ve listed our preferred floatation belts here, and given the reasons why they’re our favorites.
Check out the belts that offer the functions that meet your snorkeling needs, click a button, save some money. Then get in the water, and snorkel safe. Snorkel buoyant. Snorkel happy!
Are buoyancy belts safe?
Yes, buoyancy belts are safe in the sense that you can safely wear them. They will be very useful for snorkeling and scuba diving as they allow you to float around easily without having to tire yourself out treading water.
However, it should be noted that buoyancy belts are not intended for use as a lifejacket, and should not be treated as such.
Buoyancy belts will not stop you from drowning as they are not designed to keep you bobbing on top of the water. It is unlikely that a buoyancy belt will keep your head above water.
Any non-swimmers should not wear a buoyancy belt in place of a life jacket. Life jackets are always preferable over buoyancy belts when it comes to needing life-saving safety devices.
All a buoyancy belt is designed to do is to make it easier as you float using your own strength. This means that experienced swimmers should use them as they will be able to work alongside the belt, whereas non-swimmers will not be able to keep afloat themselves.
Do swim buoys slow you down?
Whilst it is thought that a swim buoy may slow you down, there is actually not much evidence to support this. Many users of swim buoys have reported only small changes in speed. Others have found no change!
They are not thought to slow you down by any noticeable amount compared to your usual swimming pace. The reason for this is because they do not cause sufficient drag on your body.
Your body should still be able to power through with it. This is because swim buoys are not usually very heavy. As well as this, they have so many other benefits related to safety that it would be silly to refuse to sue them just for the sake of a fraction of difference in speed.