What to Look for in a Snorkel Gear Bag
Fortunately, finding a good snorkel bag that will work for you isn't overly complicated, unlike more complex pieces of equipment like snorkeling fins. In the case of a snorkeling bag, the main thing is that you have a decent idea of when and how you will be using it. Otherwise, there aren't a ton of different features that go into snorkel bags. Here are a few things that may be beneficial to ask yourself when trying to find the right snorkeling bag for you:
- How much gear do you have?
- Do you want to put items in the snorkel bag that are supposed to remain dry?
- How big is your snorkeling gear, particularly your fins? The fins are usually the largest item you will have.
- How long do you plan on carrying it for?
- How often will you use it?
Regarding the first point of knowing how much gear you have, this is pretty straight forward. If anything, you may want to be a little more conservative when thinking of how much you will have. For example, in addition to a mask, snorkel, and fins, you may want to throw in some wet swimming gear or someone else's stuff, too.
The most basic snorkeling bags are basically just mesh sacks, which means everything is in one compartment. Think about whether or not you will have items that are supposed to remain dry as well. For example, if you have a phone that you want to carry in your snorkel bag, you will likely require something that has at least one additional compartment with some sort of barrier as to remain dry.
In addition to how much you have, think about how big your snorkeling gear is, especially the fins. Snorkeling equipment bags come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so just make sure the dimensions will accommodate all of the equipment you plan on putting in the bag.
How long you plan on carrying the snorkeling bag is another underrated factor in deciding on a product. For example, if you are hiking a long distance to a remote snorkeling spot, you may want to consider a snorkel bag that has two shoulder straps with padding. This also applies if you experience frequent back pain. However, if you just want something to carry your gear from the water to your car a short distance away, then perhaps a simple mesh bag with a drawstring will be adequate for your needs.
Lastly, how often you use the snorkeling equipment bag should matter. If you're only using it for one single trip, then a lower quality cheaper bag could be fine. On the other hand, if you plan on using the snorkel gear bag a lot and want one that will stand up to the test of time, chances are you will have to get something a little more beefy that is known for durability.
One more thing to note about durability of different snorkel bags: all snorkel equipment bags should be built with some form of mesh that allows for good ventilation. If you want mesh that's really durable, look for it to be coated. You can often get mesh coated with PVC, which is a rubbery material. This simply prevents water from being absorbed by the mesh material and also strengthens the material itself, making it more resilient to normal wear and tear. The cheapest snorkel gear bags typically don't have the PVC coating on the mesh, but lots of mid- to high-price snorkel bags do.
Making Your Own Snorkel Gear Bag
We don't really recommend this, at least as a convenient option, because there is some work involved. Moreover, the companies that make snorkeling gear bags know what they're doing, and since they can manufacture the bags on such a large scale, they aren't very expensive for what they are.You may end up paying close to the same amount for a manufactured bag specific for snorkeling as what you would buying the material and making one for yourself.
That being said, if you want to make your own snorkel gear bag with a specific pattern, it should theoretically be possible. We stumbled upon the following video fairly recently. This isn't specific to snorkeling, but shows how you can incorporate mesh with other fabric to make your own bag. You'll just need to know how to use a sewing machine, or find someone who does.
Overall, a general rule of thumb for snorkeling gear bags is that you get what you pay for. The cheapest bags that are a simple mesh sack with drawstring are convenient and cheap, but they won't last as long and may be uncomfortable or inconvenient for carrying long distances. On the other hand, there are lots of high quality snorkel gear bags that are durable, comfortable, and suitable for carrying long distance, but this will come at a higher price.
We have highlighted 10 different snorkel bags in the table above, each with their own unique features. For a more detailed overview of a select few of those snorkeling equipment bags, please check out the more detailed info below.