Best Waterproof Bag for Snorkeling: 2023 Snorkeler’s Review
Sorry, I am not going to give you a list of the top 10 or even 3. Why? Because there’s only ONE best waterproof bag for snorkeling that I will be using from here on out … because it’s that good. My husband and I are avid snorkelers and love to seek out the best “underwater” vacations around the world. After snorkeling at 39 different sites, I have tested out several waterproof bags at all price points. I am excited to share with you which one is my favorite.
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Here is the short and sweet version if you don’t feel like reading the rest of this article.
Meet Ugo, your underwater best friend who’s going to keep all your can’t-live-without items safe and dry.
Well if you are like me and research the heck out of anything to make sure you are making a smart purchase, then keep reading to find out why I love this little snorkeling bag.
Why You Need a Waterproof Bag
First of all, why do you need a waterproof bag? 2 reasons.
#1- OFF-SHORE SNORKELING
Off-shore snorkeling at Haulover Bay in St John USVI
We have done some incredible off-shore snorkeling like when we were in Haulover Bay in St. John USVI (as shown above). These outdoor excursions will require some kind of waterproof pouch to carry valuables like a phone, money, credit cards, and car keys.
Never leave these items in the car or on the beach. Car break-ins for these easy-target valuables do occur especially in the Caribbean islands.
We leave nothing in our rental car and often keep the doors unlocked.
Once on the beach, I strap on my snorkeling bag and then jump in the water ready to go.
#2- SNORKELING TOURS
Incredible snorkeling tour with nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley in Belize
There are some snorkeling sites you cannot reach yourself and must book a tour to access.
In cases like this, I still store all of my valuables in my snorkeling pouch. The bag keeps them protected from any water spray on the boat. Then I’ll just leave the bag on the boat while I snorkel.
Look for These 5 Waterproof Bag Features
When you are shopping for a waterproof bag, you really need to be looking out for these 5 features:
#1- IP RATING
IP (Ingress Protection) rating shows how well a device is protected against substances like dirt, moisture, and water.
Look for an IP rating of 68, which means it is protected from dust and from long-term immersion in water up to a certain pressure/depth.
Ha Long Bay in Vietnam: the last location I saw my phone
Does the snorkeling bag float?
Positive buoyancy is important just in case your bag gets accidentally thrown overboard or sneaks out of your hands before you can secure it in the water.
Learn from my mistakes!
We were in Vietnam several years ago. Unfortunately, my husband knocked my iPhone in the water while we were near the railing on our cruise in Ha Long Bay.
If I had owned an Ugo waterproof bag at that time, there would have been a chance I could have recovered my phone!
#3- RIGHT SIZE
Demonstrating the size of the Ugo 2.0 snorkeling bag by comparing it next to my iPhone
There are many waterproof snorkeling bags to choose from.
Some just fit your phone, others are slightly larger to accommodate keys, credit cards, etc, and others are big enough to fit a tablet or small electronics.
I feel the best one is somewhere in the middle.
If you do offshore snorkeling, you’ll need a pouch that not only will hold your phone but will also carry your keys for your rental car, driver’s license, and any cash/credit cards.
#4- SECURE SEAL
You do not want to be looking down every few seconds to make sure your bag’s seal is still holding. Especially when that beautiful eagle ray decides to zoom right past you.
There are some bags that have these triple seals + Velcro closure. Think of like a Ziplock bag that you seal three times and then Velcro over the top like the HEETA Waterproof Pouch.
I snorkeled with this bag for many years at many different snorkel sites until one day while we were snorkeling at Boca Catalina in Aruba, the bag leaked!!!!
My phone was destroyed, and I was devastated.
Use these types of bags with caution and change out frequently if you do purchase one because they do lose their seal over time.
A good seal is obviously the #1 feature to look for in a swimming waterproof bag!
The uZip zipper on the Ugo is what makes it so unique. More on that later!
#5- TOUCH-SENSITIVE SCREEN
Touch-sensitive screen on the Ugo 2.0: best waterproof bag for snorkeling
A touch-sensitive screen will be important to some but not me.
I use my GoPro Hero for ALL of my videos underwater.
If you do not have a GoPro and are not planning on purchasing a GoPro, then the alternative is to use your phone. You can slide it into a touch-sensitive screen bag to take all your underwater videos.
Why Ugo is the Best Snorkeling Bag
IP rating of 68
It has been 3rd party tested to make sure it holds up from long-term immersion up to 20 feet. Perfect for snorkeling! So far, I can attest to this rating!
Great feature in case you have an “oops” moment.
4 different sizes
Many options to accommodate any water activity. It comes in Slim, 2.0 (what I have), Tablet, and Tablet XL.
uZip waterproof zipper
My favorite feature! This zipper type is the same one used on dry suits, hazmat suits, and space suits! It is hardcore. I love when I zip it up, you actually feel it lock in place. Make sure you lock it completely! This feature is what sold me on the product to begin with.
uZip waterproof zipper on the Ugo snorkeling pouch
This bag has no glue. It has RF welded seams. There’s no water getting in here! Plus, it’s made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which is UV, saltwater, and chlorine resistant.
Small business and woman-owned!
I didn’t know this until the writing of this article. It makes me like this company even more. I love supporting incredible women with great ideas.
Fantastic customer service
When I received my Ugo, I noticed a missing anchor to hold the waist/shoulder strap in place. I contacted the company and Melanie (one of the co-owners) personally emailed me back. She sent a new strap with the missing anchor right away, and I got it days later. Talk about amazing service!!!
WHAT AN UGO 2.0 CAN HOLD
What an Ugo 2.0 snorkeling bag can hold: phone, keys, credit card/cash, and sunglasses
Here are the items I can comfortably fit into my Ugo 2.0 snorkeling pouch:
- My iPhone
- Electronic car rental keys
- Cash/credit cards/ driver’s license
Showing what the best waterproof bag for snorkeling can fit inside
Alternative Uses for a Snorkeling Pouch
Paddle boarding in Bora Bora
Snorkeling is my first passion, but my husband and I also love other water sports.
Another use-case scenario for the Ugo is paddle boarding.
Because of the included waist/shoulder strap, it’s easy to be hands-free but still keep your valuables close as you paddle through the water.
Self-guided kayak into Benagil Cave in Algarve, Portugal
On a recent trip ocean kayaking into Benagil Cave in Portugal, we accidentally tumbled into the water on our ungraceful attempt to dismount onto the beach inside the cave.
Luckily, Ugo to the rescue! It kept all my vital items dry.
I also used my Ugo on a recent kayaking trip to Pinel Island in St. Martin.
Luckily, we didn’t topple into the water this time, so I didn’t have to put my Ugo into action (but it was ready to perform if needed!).
Snorkeling Pouch Cost
Alright, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
The cost. $129. Ouch.
I get it. It’s expensive, especially when you see other waterproof pouches start as low as ~ $15 on Amazon.
I hate overspending for something. Value for the money is super important to me. So, I tried the $15 option, and it got me through many snorkeling adventures … until one day it did not.
Water leaked in and destroyed my phone. Like many of you, I use my phone for EVERYTHING. Having that lifeline temporarily taken away was debilitating not to mention the expense of buying another phone.
Now, $129 doesn’t seem too bad for peace of mind. I will never use anything else. Spending a little more money up front to potentially save money and my sanity down the road was worth it to me.
I research any possible purchase item extensively and always want to make sure I’m getting good value for my money.
I can say without hesitation the Ugo is hands down the best waterproof bag for snorkeling I have found.
I dare you to find something better.
If you are interested in what else you should be bringing on your next snorkeling trip, don’t miss my articles below! Happy snorkeling!
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Questions about our experience with Ugo?
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