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One of the common problems with snorkeling is deciding what to do with your belonings when you’re in the water. If possible, your best option is to leave anything valuable in a safe at your hotel.
Of course, that isn’t always possible, so I’ve created this guide to help you choose a waterproof bag or case for your next snorkeling trip.
In this guide, I’ll first run through a couple of things you need to watch out for when you buy a waterproof bag or case. Then I will help you decide what you need from the bag or case. Finally, I have included four recommendations for different bags which are all great for different purposes.
Quick Look at Our Recommendations
What To Look Out For
If you’re going to be carrying valuables in the bag, your obviously going to want a watertight seal. Before purchasing a waterproof bag, make sure to check the reviews for any common problems with leaking.
The bags and cases we recommend further down the page all use a quality and reliable seal. The AiRunTech fanny pack, available on Amazon, has a triple seal if you want that extra peace of mind.
BONUS TIP: Test your bag or case with the tissue paper test. Take some tissue paper or anything else that will show when it gets wet, and place it in your bag or case. Make sure the bag is properly sealed and dunk it under water for a few seconds. If the tissue stays dry, the seal is watertight.
If you plan on using the bag on multiple occassions, you’re going to want one that won’t start to fall apart after a few uses. Again, be sure to check the reviews for any problems with the bag falling apart or starting to leak over time.
A long warranty is always a good sign. The Earth Pak dry bag, available on Amazon, has excellent reviews in terms of reliablity and comes with a 5 year warranty.
One thing to note is that there’s always a chance that any bag can become defective, especially if it spends a lot of time submerged underwater. If the bag has been sitting around for a while, we recommend doing the tissue paper test before you use it again to make sure the material and seals have held up.
Finding the Right Bag for You
What Do You Want to Carry?
There are a few different styles and sizes of waterproof bag that are ideal for snorkeling.
Larger bags like the Earth Pak are great if you want to carry all of your belongings with you.
If you just want to carry your phone or some small items like keys and a wallet, the JOTO waterproof pouch would be a better option.
And if you need something between the two, the AiRunTech fanny pack has you covered. This bag is great for carrying a few small items (phone, wallet, keys, etc.) at the same time.
Both the Pouch and the fanny pack allow you to use your phone and take photos underwater.
Another thing to consider is if you like to dive underwater to get a closer view when you’re snorkeling.
With larger dry bags (like the Earth Pak), its usually a good idea not to fully submerge them if you have valuables inside. Whilst is should be fine,there is a chance that some water will get in.
Waterproof pouches and fanny packs are generally fine to submerge and usually give you the option to use your phone and take photos whilst you’re underwater.
BONUS TIP: If you’re serious about getting high quality photos and videos from your snorkeling adventures, an underwater camera like a GoPro Hero 7 Black, available on Amazon, will give you much high quality results than a phone in a waterproof case.
Best Waterproof Bags & Cases for Snorkeling
1. Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag – For When You Need a Bag for Everything
- Single or Double Shoulder Strap (Depending on Size)
- Includes Waterproof Phone Case
- 5 Sizes
- Lots of Colors Available
Drys bags like the Earth Pak are made from plastic and seal by rolling up the top before clipping it together. To carry the bag, the smaller sizes have a single shoulder strap and the larger bags have double shoulder straps.
There are 5 sizes to choose from (10L, 20L, 30L, 40L, and 55L). There are diagrams on the Amazon page which gives you a better idea of the different sizes. There are also lots of different colors to choose from.
These bags are great if you need to keep a lot of stuff on you when you’re snorkeling. Perhaps if you’re travelling as a couple and you both want to snorkel together and need to keep all your belongings safe.
Whilst your valuables will probably be safe if the bag is submerged. A few users have found that a little bit of water can sometimes get inside when the bag is fully submerged. The buoyancy of the bag will make it difficult to submerge as well, so if you like to dive underwater when you snorkel, this bag will make it difficult for you to do that.
The Earth Pak will float due to the trapped air inside the bag. Make sure there’s plenty of air in the bag before you seal it or you might end up watching your belongings fall to the bottom of the ocean!
A nice addition to the Earth Pak is that it also includes a waterproof phone case.
The Earth Pak has great reviews and the company truly stands behind their product with a 5 year warranty, so you can be sure you’re getting a quality bag here.
2. JOTO Waterproof Phone Pouch – Great for Your Phone or Small Items
- IPX8 Certified Waterproof
- Wrist/Neck Strap
- Use Your Phone Underwater
- May Not Float with Larger Phones
- Lots of Colors Available
If you just need a something to carry your phone or a few smaller items like your wallet and keys, a waterproof phone pouch is a great option.
They create a watertight seal with a snap and lock mechanism and the JOTO is 100 ft. IPX8 certified waterproof. A strap is included that you can wear around your neck or wrist.
One of the great things about these waterproof phone cases is that they allow you to use your phone underwater whilst you’re snorkeling. Your touch screen will work through the case and both sides are clear so you can make use of your phone’s camera.
One thing I will note is that you aren’t going to get amazing results with this method and I would recommend an underwater camera like the GoPro Hero 7 Black if you want awesome quality photos and videos.
There are mixed reviews as to whether or not the JOTO phone case floats. It seems that with lighter and smaller phones, there will be enough air inside he case for it to float, but with larger phones, the case might not stay afloat.
If you want to ensure your case will float, you can purchase a floating strap from Amazon. A second benefit to a floating wrist strap is that they are brightly colored so if it does fall off your wrist, you should be able to spot it.
Although these cases generally hold up well, make sure you do the tissue test before you take it snorkeling for the first time, and whenever you haven’t used it for a while.
3. AiRunTech Waterproof Fanny Pack – For a Few Small Items or Ipad Mini
- Great for Storing a Few Little Things or an iPad Mini
- Triple Protection Seal
- Can Be Word Around Waist, Across Body, or Over Shoulder
- Touch Screen Friendly
- Floats & Fully Submersible
The AiRunTech waterproof bag is an ideal middle ground between the Earth Pak dry bag and JOTO phone case. It’s not too large and cumbersome, but it’s still big enough that you can carry around a few small bits and bobs (phone, keys, wallet, etc.) It’s also big enough to store an iPad mini (1/2/3/4).
The seal on this bag has triple protection. First there is a snap’n’lock, then you fold the top down before you velcro the top to keep it all together.
There is a strap that can be used to secure the bag around your waist, across your body, or over your shoulder.
It’s fully submersible which is great if you like to dive down when you’re snorkeling. The bag also floats due to air trapped inside. Make sure there is plenty of air trapped inside so there is plenty of buoyancy.
The AiRunTech fanny pack is touch screen friendly (except the black model which is designed with privacy in mind).
4. Speed Hound Swim Buoy – Bright Colored Buoy with Integrated Dry Bag
- Bright Colored Buoy & Bag in One
- Dry Bag Compartment & Phone Pouch
- Attaches to Your Waist
- 2 Sizes
- Available in Pink, Yellow, & Orange
The Speed Houd Swim Buoy combines a waterproof bag to carry your stuff with a bright colored buoy to help you stand out.
Although it isn’t an alternative to a life jacket, it can be useful to use as support whilst you adjust your mask, look at your camera, etc.
The speed hound attaches to your waist with an adjustable strap and floats behind you as you tow it along.
The bright color makes it easy to keep an eye on and makes you stand out to any nearby boats, jet skis, etc. as you are snorkeling.
Obviously this bag is very buoyant so you won’t be able to dive down whilst wearing it.
Wrapping it Up
Next time you go snorkeling, you can take your belongings with you. Whether you just need a waterproof case for your phone, or you need to take a lot more, there’s an option for everyone in this guide. Just remember to do the tissue test on any new bag or case to make sure it’s watertight!