Renting Snorkeling Gear vs. Bringing Your Own
snorkelers gearing up on boat

Deciding to just rent snorkeling gear versus bringing your own gear on a snorkeling safari can have its benefits, such as keeping your luggage weight/cost down. However, it can also have its disadvantages as not all snorkel and dive centers will have the exact sizes you may need. Packing your own snorkeling gear can add to your overall luggage weight, but it can also make life easier and more comfortable when you arrive as you have the added assurance that every piece of equipment fits here. Here’s a little pros and cons list—as well as our opinion—for those of you having a difficult time deciding on whether you should pack your own snorkeling gear or rent.

snorkeling gear being packed with cat in the bag

Renting Gear

Pro: Traveling light

Con: No guarantee the rental equipment will fit perfectly.

Pro: No need to wash or maintain equipment on tour.

Con: Rental equipment may be quite used and not in the best shape.

Pro: No need for pre-trip shopping.

Con: Who used this wetsuit last and why does it smell a bit funky?

snorkeler diving down to photograph coral reef

Bringing Your Own Gear

Pro: No need to need to worry about trying on gear at each location.

Con: Your luggage might be a bit heavier or bulkier.

Pro: If you’ve spent time sizing your equipment correctly, you know it will fit.

Con: You’ll have to spend the time researching equipment and sizing it correctly.

Pro: You know who had that snorkel in their mouth last…you!

Con: You’ll have to pack and maintain/wash/dry your equipment at each location.

As you can see there are a lot of valid arguments to be made for each case, however, after years of running snorkeling safaris with guests both bringing their own gear and guests renting, we can honestly say that bringing your own is the preferred choice of our guests. Nearly all the guests who do rent usually end up saying at some point in the trip, “next time I’m bringing my own gear.” The big reason being, the rental gear just doesn’t fit the same as your own gear. For those worries about bulky luggage, a mask & snorkel, a pair of fins, and a wetsuit really don’t weigh that much and as long as you aren’t packing excessively you should always be within the luggage limits for most flights. I personally travel with a big pair of free-diving fins, a full 5.5mm wetsuit, clothing, and a ton of camera gear and I’ve never exceeded the 50lb limit for flights.

snorkeler putting on fourth element thermal at sunset

About Author

Alex Lindbloom
Alex is a Snorkel Venture and Dive Safari Asia guide as well as the video and photo pros for both companies. Alex is also a field editor for a popular underwater photography magazine. Prior to joining Snorkel Venture in 2018 Alex lived and worked all over the world working as an underwater cameraman, with five of those years living/working on a yacht in Indonesia. Alex's images and videos have garnered many international awards such as Underwater Photographer of the Year and can be seen on NatGeo, Discovery Channel, the UN Building, and various magazines.