by Randy & Paula King – (Driftwood, TX, USA)
I have a question about packing snorkeling gear to fit in a carry-on. My wife and I always have to pack one half of a large checked suitcase to travel with our snorkeling gear. This prevents any option of using just carry-on luggage for a short trip.
How do you (all our snorkeling friends) pack snorkel gear to fit in a carry-on for driving or flying on a short trip? In our case, we like to travel on Carnival Cruises a lot, but have to drive and occasionally fly to our port of origin.
Thanks in advance and we hope to see you all somewhere warm, sandy, and sunny in the future…
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Nicole & Galen – Nov 26, 2018 – Packing Snorkeling Gear for Travel
Hello Randy & Paula, thank you for your question. We look forward to hearing other’s suggestions as we almost always check a bag with our snorkel gear.
We would think that one of the keys would be having a pair of fins that fits in a carry-on for those types of trips. You could also consider renting fins on the trip and that would save you space. A normal mask and snorkel does not take up that much room in luggage, but if you are using a full face snorkel mask, that will be more of a space hog.
We have written a page full of information about packing for a snorkeling trip including suggestions for fitting it all into a carry-on.
Pam – Nov 26, 2018 – Carry-on for Snorkeling Gear… Always!
My husband and I have only taken carry-on for all of our snorkeling gear for our last several snorkeling trips. You can replace clothes easily but not a custom fit mask or nice fins, especially in remote locations. In fact, we usually only take the rolling duffel and limit the amount of clothing.
Both my husband and I have Cressi Rondinella snorkeling fins and we are able to fit them into the Olympia 22″ Rolling Duffel Bag. Admittedly my husband’s fins are a tight fit but it works.
Susan B – Nov 27, 2018 – Swim Fins
We use smaller swim fins. For years my husband and I have traveled all over the Caribbean using ordinary swim fins like these.
These types of fins are easy to pack and fit in small carry-on luggage as well as a small backpack. We have been snorkeling for over 40 years and snorkel out to far reefs and back with no problem using these fins. We are both in our 70’s. Neither of us would trade these fins for the most expensive pair of hard, long fins available. Swim fins are comfortable, lightweight and let us swim faster than most other snorkelers we meet.
Jeff – Dec 2, 2018 – Folding Fins
We were in the dive shop today and saw folding fins for snorkeling. They fold by loosening an allen screw to about half the original length. They are not cheap but save a lot of space. We also tried Force Fins which are smaller but did not like the performance.
Anonymous – Dec 2, 2018 – Travel Light
Our fins fit in our carry-on because we do not take a lot of clothes. Also, we simply put them in our backpack that we carry on the plane. They stick out of the top but we have never been questioned.
Anonymous – Dec 2, 2018 – Layer
We never ever check bags. My husband has size 12 feet and he has fins with the straps on the heels. Mine are 30 years old, shoe type and I trimmed the fins slightly so they fit crosswise. Then I layer them filling every odd space and the fins themselves with items and clothing. I get all our snorkel and beach gear into one roller bag. When I pack up at the end of the trip, I don’t unpack at home but leave it ready for the next trip. Hope this helps.
Andy – Dec 3, 2018 – Soft Bag
I use a soft, gym bag style carry-on for two reasons. The first is that it allows me to fit in my 22″ fins, mask & snorkel (I detach the snorkel to find more room) as well as about five days of clothes. A rolling bag just doesn’t have that kind of room. It fits in long-wise into the overhead bins on the jet.
I put maybe two dive weights in my personal bag, which I can squeeze under the seat on the plane.
The second reason is that I can strap this bag to my motorcycle and ride to the airport and park for free. My personal bag fits inside my top box. It’s a bit of work securing my bike, covering it and locking everything up. But I save hundreds of dollars this way, don’t have to check my bag, or wait for my luggage.
The downside is that long walks carrying a heavy bag over my shoulder, like to get to the car rental area at MIA, can seem like death marches!