Best Swim Leggings for Snorkeling: A Snorkeler’s Review

by | Last updated Jun 18, 2024 | Snorkel Packing List

Quick intro (so you know the face behind these recommendations)! My husband and I are avid snorkelers and have been all over the world finding the best spots like Australia, French Polynesia, Maldives, Belize, Bonaire, and all over the Caribbean. I share this to say I have tested a lot of sun protective clothing for snorkeling during these “snorkations.” There are two brands of swim leggings I can confidently recommend that stand above the rest for superior protection but also still look great on. Let’s chat about both.

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01- Coolibar Swim Leggings

Coolibar Santa Cruz swim leggings

Wearing my Coolibar Santa Cruz swim leggings in Moorea, French Polynesia 

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WHY COOLIBAR CLOTHING

Coolibar is a highly reputable brand that has been around for a long time … nearly two decades! They produce high-quality sun protective clothing that has been RIGOROUSLY tested to guarantee that UPF50+ rating.

By the way, that “protection” never washes out.

It is the first apparel company to be awarded The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. There’s a reason why dermatologists recommend this specific brand!

I own the Coolibar Santa Cruz Swim Leggings in black and navy.

These solid classic colors allow me to pair them with fun brightly colored tops like my Hurley rash guard or the Coolibar Hightide sun shirt.

If you are serious about sun protective clothing, don’t miss my post on all of my favorite rash guards too!

On a recent trip to French Polynesia, we went on several snorkeling tours. It would have been near impossible to reapply sunscreen in between sites because there wasn’t enough time.

My Coolibar swim leggings kept me nice and protected all day. No sunburns.

Plus, anytime you can use less sunscreen, it’s better for the reef. Win win.

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WHY I LOVE COOLIBAR SWIM LEGGINGS

Wearing a Hurley rash guard at the Coral Gardens in Moorea

Wearing my emerald Hurley rash guard with the black Coolibar Santa Cruz swim leggings at the Coral Gardens in Moorea

→     #1- UPF50+ rating 

This should always by the #1 thing you look for in sun protective clothing.

→     #2- Wide, high waistband 

The leggings are super comfortable around my midsection because of the nice wide waistband that doesn’t dig into your sides. I also appreciate they are high waisted with medium compression keeping everything tucked in. No muffin tops!

→     #3- Aqua Helios fabric 

The fabric of the leggings is made of Aqua Helios, which is chlorine and saltwater resistant (similar to their sun shirts).

→     #4- Flatlock seams  

Another feature I love is the flatlock seams. This helps prevent uncomfortable chafing.

→     #5- Little pocket 

There is a little zipper pocket in the back where you could stuff some keys. Honestly, I never use that space because I put all my personal items in my Ugo when I shore snorkel. It’s still a nice feature though.

02- Tuga Swim Leggings

Wearing a Tuga rash guard at Rangiroa

Wearing my Tuga swim leggings in navy paired with their paisley rash guard 

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WHY TUGA CLOTHING

Tuga was a recent brand I discovered that makes snorkeling-specific clothing.

It’s a family-owned business that was started in 2001 in California. Their goal is to make high quality UPF50 clothing that also looks fashionable!

I love their prints and own their swim leggings in “Peaceful Hawaii” (pictured below).

I pair that print either with the black Coolibar Hightide shirt or the Hurley turquoise rash guard.

Another print I enjoy wearing is their navy swim leggings paired with the navy/paisley print rash guard (pictured above).

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WHY I LOVE TUGA SWIM LEGGINGS

Wearing a Hurley rash guard in Moorea

Wearing the Tuga swim leggings in “Peaceful Hawaii” and Hurley rash guard in Moorea, French Polynesia 

→   #1- UPF 50+ rating

It blocks 98% of UV rays.

→   #2- Lightweight and sporty 

These lightweight leggings are sporty and almost feel like I’m wearing athleisure wear.

→   #3- Double layered wide waistband

The double layered wide waistband is super comfortable and hugs your body in a flattering way.

→   #4- Little pocket

There’s a little pocket in the front to store small items like keys, but again I never use that space because I store everything in my Ugo.

→   #5- Super stretchy 

I love how the Tuga leggings move with me and don’t bunch up in any weird ways.

Snorkeling with a sea scooter in Moorea

Picture of my husband and I snorkeling with our sun protective clothing during a Sea Scooter tour in French Polynesia

Final Thoughts

I hope this brief review of my favorite swim leggings for snorkeling is helpful in finding the right pair that fits you and your style!

Happy snorkeling! 🤿

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