To Pack Snorkel Gear or Not to Pack?

snorkel gear in Hawaii
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > To Pack Snorkel Gear or Not to Pack?

Many travelers wonder if they should bring their own snorkel gear when coming to Hawaii. My advice would be to save space in your luggage and rent instead. It’s like renting a pair of gloves or goggles from a snow shop; it doesn’t need to be the high-end stuff, just as long as the gear does the job.

Snorkel Gear: What You’ll Need

Everyone has different needs for snorkel gear, but there are two essentials: a mask and a snorkel. 

Most people also use fins when snorkeling. This is definitely helpful if you plan to snorkel for any extended period of time or go somewhat far from shore (of course, only a safe distance). They help you make more use of each swimming kick so you don’t tire out easily. If you’re not used to wearing fins, you may need some time to adjust to this snorkel gear item. 

You may also want to have some kind of floatation device to keep your body at a good angle in the water. This can be a fancy belt or a simple pool noodle you’ll find at any ABC store in Hawaii. 

Other optional items include an underwater camera, water shoes, a sun protective rash guard, or a wetsuit. 

And make sure you wear reef-safe sunscreen. In Hawaii, it’s the law!

The Cost of Renting Snorkel Gear in Hawaii

Renting snorkel equipment (mask, mouthpiece, fins, and life vests) can be very affordable and easy to do in Hawaii. Many tour companies provide them free of charge; otherwise, check with your hotel. They may also provide complimentary use of underwater equipment.

If neither falls in your favor, then look for a rental shop, like Snorkel Bob’s or Kona Snorkel Rental. They offer snorkel gear rental packages for children and adults that include the mask, mouthpiece, fins, net gear back and t-shirt. However, if all you need are fins and a mask, then perhaps renting a la carte on a “per week” basis may be a cheaper route. Snorkel Bob’s offers nice and basic equipment starting at around $24 a week.

Don’t want to wear glasses or contacts while snorkeling? There’s special snorkel gear for that! Ask about prescription lenses for masks (Rx lenses from -1.5 to -10). You pay about $70 extra, but I would say the convenience and comfort are well worth the added costs.

Snorkel Gear

Cost to Buy

However, if you plan on vacationing in the islands for an extended period of time, then you may just consider buying a cheap set of snorkel gear. Walmart or Longs offers snorkel equipment for less than $15. You could leave them behind for another family to use or bring it back home with you as an island keepsake.

Snorkel Gear in Hawaii

Will you be spending most of your Hawaii vacation in the water? Many people spend endless hours snorkeling at different spots around the island. Other folks are content with a quick dip to see what lives beneath the surface. 

Where you fall on the spectrum may influence the quality of snorkel gear you’ll need and whether you should rent or buy. 

And remember, if you book a snorkel excursion with Hawaii Aloha Travel, they’ll provide basic snorkel gear, so it’s one less thing to worry about!