3 Best Snorkeling Fins for Travel: 2023 Snorkeler’s Review
My husband and I LOVE snorkeling and purposely seek out travel destinations with amazing marine life. My love affair with the underwater world all started in Hawaii in 2009. Our most recent adventures have been in the Maldives, which arguably has some of the best snorkeling in the world! I share all this to say I have had a lot of practice testing out gear to see what works and what doesn’t. After snorkeling at 39 different sites, here is what I consider the three best snorkeling fins for travel.
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Types of Snorkeling Fins
Full foot pocket vs. open heel fins
FULL FOOT POCKET VS. OPEN HEEL
Most gear guides will recommend full foot pocket fins for snorkeling because they weigh less, making it easy to kick around.
Plus, no dive booties/socks are required, so they are great for swimming around in warm tropical areas. They are super easy to slide on. It’s like putting on a pair of shoes.
I personally do not like them and much prefer open-heel snorkeling fins with a strap.
Why? 4 reasons.
#2- Customized Fit
In my opinion, the dive booties + open-heel fins give you more of a customized fit. When you find the right size, the combo fits your foot like a glove and feels super secure. I never have to fiddle with or adjust my open-heel snorkeling fins when I’m in the water.
#3- Eliminates Pressure Points
I tried wearing full foot pocket fins without dive booties/socks, and the fins would sometimes rub at certain pressure points on my feet. I never have that problem when I wear the dive booties + open-heel snorkeling fins.
#4- Great for Packing
The heel strap can be folded in, which is great for packing!
SCUBA DIVING VS. SNORKELING FINS
Yes, there is a difference!
Scuba diving fins tend to be longer and stiffer. These differences give you the thrust that’s needed to move your body (AND all that gear strapped on you!) in deep water, where the pressure is greater.
Now let’s go through my TOP 3 SNORKELING FINS!
Top 3 Snorkeling Fins for Travel
If you do not feel like reading all the details, here is the TL;DR version!
01- Cressi Palau Travel Snorkeling Fins
Best snorkeling fins: Cressi Palau Travel Snorkeling Fins
My favorite pair of travel fins for snorkeling shorter distances in calmer locations is the Cressi Palau Travel Snorkeling Fins. These compact fins have gotten a lot of mileage and are still going strong!
BEST FEATURES OF CRESSI PALAU FINS
Open Heel Foot Pocket
They have an open-heel foot pocket to easily accommodate dive booties.
The adjustable strap really gives you a nice, customized fit up to at least 3-4 consecutive sizes.
Cressi Palau Travel Snorkeling Fins in my Travelpro 21″ carry-on suitcase
02- Scubapro GO Travel Snorkeling Fins
Scubapro Go Travel snorkeling fins
When I was in St. John USVI snorkeling from Little Lameshur Bay to Yawzi Point, I noticed my husband was having no problem.
I was struggling a little with the longer distance. At that point, I knew I needed to get a pair of slightly longer fins for snorkeling sites that required a little more thrust.
That is when I was introduced to the Scubapro GO Travel Snorkeling Fins.
On a recent trip to the Maldives, I got to try them out. We snorkeled long distances at the Outrigger and Le Meridien house reef.
I have a few short snorkeling videos posted from those two resorts on my Best Snorkeling Resorts in the Maldives blog post if you are interested.
I also used my Scubapro GO fins when I had to keep up with a fast-moving whale shark during a snorkeling tour in the South Ari Atoll in the Maldives. They did not disappoint!
My husband even noticed the difference because I am easily keeping up with him now.
BEST FEATURES OF SCUBAPRO GO TRAVEL FINS
Open Heel Foot Pocket
I love the open heel, so I can wear my dive booties.
Self-Adjusting Bungee Heel Strap
This is the first time I had a pair of snorkeling fins with a self-adjusting bungee heel strap. This strap made it super easy to slide on and off and was very comfortable on the back of my heel.
The Scubapro GO Travel Fins are 22” long and 2.6 lbs. for the pair compared to the Cressi at 18” long and 2.2 lbs. Although not as small as the Cressi fins, they are still packable.
They are made from 100% Monoprene, which is supposed to be ultra-strong and can sustain heavy-duty use. I’ll see if that’s true the more I use them.
Oh, and they have positive buoyancy, so they float! I found that out when I was stepping down the ladder of our overwater villa in the Maldives, and I accidentally dropped one of the fins in the water. To my surprise, they floated resulting in an easy recovery.
Scubapro GO Travel Fins in my Travelpro 21″ carry-on suitcase
Scubapro GO Travel (top) and Cressi Palau Fins (bottom) in 24″ Travlepro suitcase
03- Mares Avanti Tre Full Foot Fin
Although I’m not a personal fan of full foot pocket fins, I realize some people will love and prefer them.
I wanted to include at least one highly-rated full foot fin in case you are in that camp.
BEST FEATURES OF MARES AVANTI TRE FINS
Made of Tecralene
These fins are made of Tecralene, so they are elastic but soft.
Orthopedic Foot Pocket
They also have an orthopedic foot pocket with open toe offering a very comfortable fit.
The 3-channel inserts on the blade move more water giving you additional thrust.
This design is great for both snorkeling and diving, so it’s quite a versatile fin. The Amazon reviews speak for themselves!
Top Tips on Finding the Best Fins
Try the fins on BEFORE committing. That means if you like dive booties or socks, try both on together to make sure they fit.
Purchase your snorkeling fins in one of two ways. Go to your local dive shop OR purchase the fins from a reputable seller that has an acceptable return policy.
Note any pressure points. If you feel the fins are rubbing in any weird way when you try them on, they are not for you. Move on to the next pair.
Make sure you purchase fins suited for snorkeling and not just diving! There is a difference. The Cressi Palau and the Scubapro GO Travel fins are both fantastic options. I use both depending on the type of snorkeling I’m doing.
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Questions about finding the right snorkeling fins?
Let me know in the comments below!