Best Waterproof Bag for Snorkeling: 2024 Snorkeler’s Review

by | Last updated Mar 19, 2024 | Snorkel Packing List

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 numerous snorkeling gear including several waterproof bags at all price points. I am excited to share with you which one is my favorite.

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TL;DR Version

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.

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#1- OFF-SHORE SNORKELING

Wearing a Coolibar rash guard while snorkeling in Bonaire

Wearing my Ugo and getting ready to snorkel Angel City in Bonaire 

We have done some incredible off-shore snorkeling like when we were in Haulover Bay in St. John USVI and more recently while in Bonaire. 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.

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#2- SNORKELING TOURS

Incredible snorkeling with nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley in Belize

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.

Some of our favorite snorkeling tours are Shark Ray Alley in Belize and our Whale Shark Tours in Mexico and the Maldives.

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

Ugo in action at Pinel Island in St Martin

Showing off Ugo’s IP68 rating by fully immersing it while snorkeling at Pinel Island in St. Martin in the Caribbean.

When you are shopping for a waterproof bag, you really need to be looking out for these 5 features:

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#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.

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#2- BUOYANCY

Cruising along Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

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!

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#3- RIGHT SIZE

Demonstrating the size of the Ugo 2.0 snorkeling bag by comparing it next to my iPhone

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.

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#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!

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#5- TOUCH-SENSITIVE SCREEN

Touch-sensitive screen on the Ugo 2.0 waterproof swimming pouch

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

Snorkeling with Ugo in Bonaire

Snorkeling with Ugo in Bonaire

Remember all those features we just mentioned? Yeah, Ugo has all of them.

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STAR FEATURES

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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!

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It floats

Great feature in case you have an “oops” moment.

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4 different sizes

Many options to accommodate any water activity. It comes in Slim, 2.0 (what I have), Tablet, and Tablet XL.

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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 Ugo snorkeling pouch

uZip waterproof zipper on the Ugo snorkeling pouch

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Super durable

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.

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Touch-sensitive screen

If you don’t have your favorite underwater snorkeling camera, Ugo has you covered. You can use the screen on your phone to take underwater videos while it’s hanging out in the Ugo. If you are using your phone to take underwater videos, it’s best to purchase the Ugo Slim size.

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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.

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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!!!

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WHAT AN UGO 2.0 CAN HOLD

What can an Ugo 2.0 snorkeling bag 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
  • Sunglasses
Showing what the Ugo 2.0 snorkeling pouch can fit inside

Showing what the best waterproof bag for snorkeling can fit inside

Alternative Uses for a Snorkeling Pouch

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PADDLE BOARDING

Paddle boarding in Bora Bora

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.

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KAYAKING

Self guided Kayak into Benagil Cave in Algarve Portugal

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.

Final Thoughts

I research any possible purchase item extensively from the best snorkeling mask to the best travel fins. Getting good value for the money is really important to me.

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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