What’s the difference between a life vest and a snorkeling vest?
A life vest is designed to keep you upright or on your back. It also keeps as much of your body above water as possible. While this is ideal for a man overboard situation, snorkeling has aims that are not compatible with this design. Firstly, to snorkel you want your body to be horizontal, and face/stomach down. Secondly your body should ideally be just below the surface of the water, not about it. To accommodate this, a snorkeling vest is adjustable to different inflation levels, and provides a more balanced buoyancy to keep you horizontal and slightly below the water level.