Choosing the Best Travel Fins for Scuba and Snorkeling (2023)
Planning any new travel and need to get your scuba gear packed? Yes, it’s that time that you think to yourself that you should have gotten a pair of fins that fit your suitcase instead of these oversized and heavy flippers you have now.
Well, it’s not too late. You can still get fins made for vacations. Which ones? Let’s dive into that by looking at the best travel fins for scuba diving (and snorkeling)!
Have you ever been awestruck at how effortlessly fish float through the water? The only real movement is the delicate fluttering of their fins.
If you’ve ever experienced the pleasure of being a part of their blue world, you know that the fins you use are what help you push around through the water as well. Your scuba fins have to fit you perfectly. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to glide through the water.
A great fitting pair of fins will make your scuba diving experience to be as effortless as the casual flitting of sea creatures around you. Your regular fins are typically quite large and not that easy to move around with. Therefore, let’s have a look at some of the best snorkel fins or scuba fins for travel that you can get. They make traveling a lot easier!
Why Do You Need Special Fins for Travel?
It’s easy to find great scuba fins and snorkel fins if you’re going for a dive close to home. Yet, if you’re traveling and have another scuba adventure planned, you need a pair of snorkeling fins or diving fins for travel that don’t take up 80% of the space in your suitcase.
It’s also a good idea to have scuba fins and snorkel fins that can be worn on their own without requiring other footwear or scuba gear.
What Your Ideal Scuba Fins Should Have
Different sea creatures have different fins or other mechanisms best suited for their body to allow for easy movement underwater. When you make the dive, you’ll want the diving fins that work best for you. Here are some things that you should consider before making your purchase:
You’re used to walking easily on land without thinking about the thrust of your feet, but underwater, you need to make sure you have the right diving fins to deal with the pressure. When you’re selecting your scuba travel fins, you need to consider how they’ll help you glide through the water.
Fins that are stiff and flat can help you swim through with greater speed and strength. However, the stiffer the fin, the harder it will become for you to turn or change your position in the water.
The ideal fins should have a bit of flexibility to allow for free movement.
When you’re packing for a scuba trip, you want to make sure you have all the essentials. Now with most scuba gear, weight can be an issue and you have to choose the right tanks, computers and so on to make sure they don’t exceed the weight limit.
With fins, its best to focus more on the ease of movement they offer, not how much they weigh.
There may have been times in your life where you opted for a size 0 dress, even if you’re a size 12. Don’t make the same mistake with your travel fins.
Scuba fins need to be of the right size for you to prevent you from getting blisters or feeling irritated throughout your dive. When you’re buying your fins, try them on with scuba booties to make sure there’s enough room for them.
Don’t just go for fins that are the same size as your regular shoes. Different fin styles have different sizes, so make sure you try them on to find the right fit for you.
When it comes to snorkel fins or scuba fins for travel, then size is not only related to your shoe size. Many of these fins are actually having shorter paddles. Some are wider instead and in that case you want to look for split fins as they will make it easier to navigate underwater when you have wide paddles.
If you’re a regular scuba diver, you know already that it’s a costly sport. You may have seen fins that can be as low as USD 40, and you may have seen some that can cost a whopping USD 200.
But when you’re on the lookout for scuba fins, don’t go with the price. The type of fin (also mentioned in the next section) and the quality are important.
Choose the dive fins that you are most comfortable in. There’s no point buying scuba diving fins that will later leave blisters on your feet or restrict your movement underwater, just because they were the cheaper option.
Good quality dive fins are an investment, which will last you a good few years.
Type of Fin
When you’re on the hunt for the perfect set of dive fins, you don’t just consider the price and the fit – you also look at the function.
Different fins offer different features, such as speed, balance, freedom of motion. Before you make your purchase, make sure you know which type of fin you’re in search of.
Open vs. Closed Heel Fins
Open heel fins are generally more spacious and have more room to fit your feet. They are usually meant to be worn with booties, which not only protect your feet from getting blisters and bruises but also keep them warm. Open heel fins are ideal for diving in cold water and for beginners still getting accustomed to the elements. These open-heel fins come with a heel strap to secure the fins around your feet. To accommodate different sizes the higher-end models do come with a bungee heel strap.
The closed heel fin, or full foot fin, is what divers initially started out with. While full foot fins are generally lighter on the pocket, these fins present the risk of causing blisters or even slipping off your feet since they’re basically just slip-on. These full foot fins have a foot pocket that you slip into as if it was a shoe.
Paddle vs. Split Fins
Paddle fins have no cuts or openings and allow for simple up and down motion. If you like a challenge and have greater body strength, then go for these.
As the name suggests, split fins are split down the middle, which helps you move around with greater speed. Unlike the paddle fins, they offer more flexibility in terms of movements and change in direction.
Both paddle and split fins can be gotten as open-heel fins or full-foot fins. Match the size of the foot pocket to your feet and then go for split or paddle as you desire and prefer.
Force vs. Flippable Fins
Force fins resemble the fins of whales and other fast-moving sea creatures to give you greater speed underwater. Flappable fins offer one main advantage where they can be flipped or folded to allow easy movement on land, but don’t let that be the only thing that guides your decision!
The Best 3 Scuba Fins for Traveling
A quick search on the internet will show you endless lists of endless different types of fins. We’ve picked out the top 3 fins of which any one can become your favorite companion on your next scuba vacation.
Aqua Lung Hot Shot Fins
The Aqua Lung Hot Shot fins offer everything you’re looking for in the ideal scuba travel fins. They’re slightly rigid, allowing for control and ease of movement underwater.
It’s an advantage that they are lightweight. You can easily carry them across the globe if you want, and they’re open heeled!
The Aqua Lung Hot Shot fins are a little more on the expensive side. They act as a solid investment because of the long-lasting silicon material and the diversity of use.
ScubaPro Go Travel Fins
The Scubapro Go Travel fins could become your ultimate travel companion. With its super lightweight and durable material, you can stuff it into any of your bags and get going!
The ScubaPro Go Travel fins have an adjustable strap so that it can fit your foot perfectly. You have the option to wear them barefoot, or with socks.
Pricing is middle of the road and they don’t completely break bank. Their great construction and material choice can make it so they last you forever.
Cressi Pro Light Fins
The Cressi Pro Light fins are famous for the balance they offer. With a little effort, these fins take you a long way in the water. Again, they’re also lightweight and easy to carry.
They’re also super comfortable as they have a large foot pocket and therefore a greater area of foot space. They are on the lower end of the price spectrum. The price point together with the travel-ready features make the Cressi Pro Light fins perfect for your next scuba vacation.
Why a Travel Fin is not the same as a Standard Scuba Fin
Standard scuba fins are designed to give you maximum thrust underwater so you can go with the flow. Since travel fins are lighter, the thrust they offer is not as great and you’ll need to make a greater effort to keep moving.
Scuba travel fins are generally more flexible, they don’t offer the type of rigidity regular fins have. This, to some extent, reduces the amount of control you have over your motion under the surface. The ease of transporting them means you have to compromise on some of the more technical aspects of the fins.
With your standard fins, you can choose from different features like speed, ease of changing direction, the material, the look. With travel fins, the choices are somewhat limited.
When Do You Really Need Travel Scuba Fins?
If you’ve gone scuba diving before, you already know that you can rent scuba gear. However, not only is this going to add to your already huge travel budget, you might also face problems if you don’t find fins of the right fit.
If scuba vacations are something that you enjoy, then invest in a pair of scuba travel fins and make every diving experience a memorable one. Once you have the right fins, just throw them into your bag, zip it up, and head out on your next adventure!
No more standing in rental lines or getting out of the water early because your fins fell off. Take your favorite fins out for a walk on the ocean floor.
Check out our reviews and recommendations on the best scuba gear!