Make a Snorkeling Belt to Carry Valuables, Shoes, and More

Snorkeling belt with OtterBox and carabiners attached.
Homemade snorkeling belt with OtterBox and carabiners.

A snorkeling belt is a very useful tool. We have used them for years. Primarily, it attaches our waterproof valuables box to us so we can carry our keys, identification, cell phone, etc. and not worry about them being stolen out of our car or from a bag we leave on the beach. But it is also great for attaching snorkeling shoes to for those rocky water entrances. We also hang our cameras from the belt when we need two hands to swim.

Through trial and error, we have found that the best belt is an elastic one. It stays put instead of sliding up our bodies in the water. It has the added benefit of keeping our rash guards from floating up too.

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Make Your Own Snorkeling Belt

Snorkeling belt buckle and triglides.

The good news is, an elastic snorkeling belt is easy and inexpensive to make. You can probably get the supplies at your local sewing or crafts store, but you can also order it all on Amazon (links below).

You will need one inch Non-Roll Elastic (on Amazon). The Non-Roll type is a little less stretchy. The kind we got was by Dritz. It was 2.5 yards long and plenty for two belts.

Next you need a one inch plastic quick release buckle (on Amazon). To secure the ends of the belt you need two triglides (on Amazon), one for each side. You could sew one side and keep the other one adjustable with one triglide if you prefer.

Then just cut the elastic to the length you need for the belt and burn the ends with a lighter to keep them from fraying. You will need to make the belt tighter than you think because it stretches.

If a one inch snorkel belt seems too narrow for you, you can do this with two inch wide elastic, just make sure you buy your buckle and triglides in two inch sizes as well. You will also need to up-size the smallest carabiner so that it will fit on the belt.

How to Attach Stuff to Your Snorkeling Belt

Homemade snorkeling belt with Nite Ize S-Biners.

Your waterproof box needs to have slots for a belt to go through. If you size your belt up, make sure it can accommodate the wider belt.

Notice in the pictures the Nite Ize S-Biners we use. They are strong plastic with stainless steel spring gates. They don’t have the corrosion and failure problems in salt water that we have experienced with other carabiners. They also make all stainless steel ones that do tend to rust pretty quickly in our experience, so stick with the plastic.

The larger ones we use for attaching our snorkeling shoes are size #4 (on Amazon), and the smaller ones we use for attaching cameras, etc. are size #2. We have found that the #2 is too weak for holding the cameras while we swim, so we now recommend size #3 (on Amazon) for this purpose. The double s-gates are nice for keeping the carabiner from falling off when you attach things.

To the #4 carabiner for our shoes, we added a length of webbing (small rope would work too) so that we can loop it through the shoes and then clip the carabiner to the main belt. We leave that piece of webbing so that it can slide along the belt. It is useful to be able to move it to the front so you can see when you are hooking on your shoes, but then slide it around to your back when you start swimming so the shoes are out of your way.

This type of belt is not strong enough for attaching diving weight. Galen now often uses a snorkeling weight belt, and still attaches other items to it, like shoes and his camera, using the same carabiners.

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Keep Your Hands Free

Use a snorkeling belt to keep your hands free while snorkeling. It can carry your waterproof valuables box, your snorkeling shoes, your camera and other accessories when you don’t need them. Make your own for your next snorkel!

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