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Have you ever been on a dive holiday stuck wearing rental fins that just didn’t fit right? If you have, you know it isn’t much fun. Blisters and bruises can detract from your time underwater, and even ruin a dive trip. That’s why the best SCUBA fins for travel are one of the first pieces of gear that traveling divers buy!

No matter where in the world you’re planning to dive next, you’ll want to bring your own fins along. The best fins for dive travel are lightweight and compact but don’t sacrifice power or comfort. Unfortunately, that’s not always an easy combination to find. Rather than searching aimlessly for your perfect match, read on for the best models on the market, handpicked by The Adventure Junkies.

For more of our top scuba gear recommendations, check out the Best Scuba Fins.

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Quick Answer - The Best Scuba Fins for Travel

  1. Scubapro Jet Sport
  2. Mares Volo Race
  3. Scubapro Go
  4. Mares Avanti Quattro +
  5. Hollis F-2

 

Comparison Table - Best Scuba Fins for Travel

PictureNameHeel StyleFin LengthBlade TypePriceRating
Scubapro Jet SportClosedMediumVented$4.2
-Mares Volo RaceClosedLongVented$$4.5
-Scubapro GoOpenShortNon-Vented$$4.3
-Mares Avanti Quattro +OpenMediumNon-Vented$$$4.7
Hollis F-2OpenShortVented$$$4.5
PictureNameHeel StyleFin LengthBlade TypePriceRating

DIVE TRAVEL

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Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Scuba Diving Fins for Travel

Scubapro Jet Sport

Specs
  • Heel Style: Closed
  • Fin Length: Medium
  • Blade Type: Vented
Features
  • Pull Tab (for easy grip when pulling the fins on)
  • Flexible Panels (to give you a wider range of motion while flutter kicking underwater)
  • Non-Slip Sole

BEST FOR: DIVERS ON A BUDGET

If you’re new to diving or booking your very first dive trip, you might want to start with a budget set of fins. The Scubapro Jet Sport is a basic model, perfectly suited to warm water diving and snorkeling. And these fins won’t break the bank.

This entry level fin is lightweight and flexible, easy to don and doff, and ultra comfortable. Plus, they have one of the most simple and straightforward designs on the market, so even the newest of newbies will feel totally confident using them. The Scubapro Jet Sport also comes in a wide variety of sizes, making it a popular choice for growing children and female divers with smaller feet.

Mares Volo Race

Specs
  • Heel Style: Closed
  • Fin Length: Long
  • Blade Type: Vented
Features
  • Pull Tab (for easy grip when pulling the fins on)
  • Flexible Channels (to give you a wider range of motion while flutter kicking underwater)
  • Carrying Loops

BEST FOR: WARM WATER DIVE TRAVEL

When it comes to warm water diving, the Mares Volo Race is one of the best models for your money. It’s a lightweight and flexible fin that provides plenty of power both on the surface and underwater. And, its round vents (the opening at the back of the fin that allows for water to flow through it, increasing kicking efficiency) double as carrying loops for easy transport, perfect for shore diving and long walks with equipment.

The Mares Volo Race is also a top pick for daily wear thanks to its comfortable and durable design. And, no matter how fast a swimmer you think you are, this fin was built for racing and is sure to make you faster. Best of all, this fin is great for snorkeling and performs perfectly on the surface, too!

Scubapro Go

Specs
  • Heel Style: Open
  • Fin Length: Short
  • Blade Type: Non-Vented
Features
  • Bungee Strap
  • Solid Construction
  • Carrying Loops

BEST FOR: LIMITED LUGGAGE SPACE

Designed specifically for travel, The Scubapro Go is more lightweight and shorter than similar models. In fact, this fin is so small that it meets carry-on luggage requirements for all major airlines. Divers in the know claim this fin has just as much power as the original Scubapro Jet that it was modeled after, too.

This fin’s solid construction can take a beating and is ideal for a variety of environments including cold water and strong currents. And, its shape works well for divers who prefer the frog kick, or plan to dive in caves and wrecks.

Mares Avanti Quattro +

Specs
  • Heel Style: Open
  • Fin Length: Medium
  • Blade Type: Non-Vented
Features
  • Bungee Strap
  • Flexible Channels (to give you a wider range of motion while flutter kicking underwater)
  • Carrying Loops

BEST FOR: DIVERS WHO WANT A CLASSIC STYLE

Ask any experienced diver what fins they like and the chances are good you’ll hear them mention the Mares Avanti Quattro +. This fin style has been around for ages and remains one of the most popular models on the market. And, while it might not be the most compact option out there, this fin is still an excellent choice for dive travel.

These fins are flexible enough to shove in the side of your gear bag but strong enough that they won’t lose their shape. They offer plenty of power in a current, but feel light on the surface. Plus, their super straightforward design is strong, durable, and above all else, comfortable. If you have the spare room in your luggage, you won’t regret filling it with these Quattro+ dive fins.

Hollis F-2

Specs
  • Heel Style: Open
  • Fin Length: Short
  • Blade Type: Vented
Features
  • Bungee Strap
  • Solid Construction
  • Non-Slip Sole

BEST FOR: TECH AND WRECK DIVERS

If you want a high-performance travel fin that looks as good as it feels in the water, the Hollis F-2 won’t disappoint. Even though this fin was designed for travel, it’s appropriate for tech, wreck, and cold water divers too. Fashion-focused divers take notice – this is without a doubt one of the most stylish options out there.

The F-2 is short, lightweight, and highly maneuverable underwater. And, it offers one of the most modern takes available on the classic solid fin construction. Whether you plan to use them at home or away, these might be the last fins you buy for a very long time.

 

 

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THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING FINS FOR DIVE TRAVEL

USE

Not all fins are created equal, and if you’re serious about dive travel, your best bet is buying a fin that was designed for it. Snorkeling and freediving fins may not be powerful enough for SCUBA. This is especially important if you’re planning to dive in a current. And, if you plan to take on any advanced environments like caverns and caves, you’ll want fins that are appropriate for tech diving.

 

HEEL STYLE

While closed heel fins just slip on, open heeled alternatives use an ankle strap or bungee and dive boots to secure to your foot. Most divers agree that open heeled fins offer more power and are best for SCUBA. Closed heel fins are more lightweight and flexible, and are better for warm water diving with little to no current, and snorkeling. If you have sensitive skin, a hard to fit foot shape, or are prone to blisters, an open heel is your best bet.

 

BLADE LENGTH

When it comes to fins, size matters. Longer fin blades perform well in the open ocean and are best for SCUBA divers who prefer to use the flutter kick. Shorter, more compact fins are best for diving in enclosed environments and provide more power when combined with the frog kick. Keep your luggage size, dive environment, and kicking style in mind when shopping. Keep in mind that freediving fins are specifically for apnea, and do not work well for diving.

 

VENTS

Vents allow water to pass through your fin, reducing effort underwater and increasing each kick’s efficiency. This added propulsion makes a big difference when diving in a current. Vents can also be handy when it comes to dive travel because they make it easy to strap your fins to the outside of a gear bag. Some vents even double as carrying loops for easy transport when shore diving.

 

FIT

No matter what gear you’re buying, fit is the most important factor to shop for. A fin that fits well should be snug but not tight, and it shouldn’t slide around on your foot or create friction.

Full foot fins should be easy to don and doff, and shouldn’t squeeze any part of the foot. To try this fin style on, you should wear the fin and stand normally, then lift your heel off the ground while keeping your toe planted. If the fin slides during this “lift” test, you need a smaller size. Double check that the fin isn’t rubbing or chafing the tops of your toes or bunion area.

Open heel fins are worn with dive boots. They should fasten with an ankle strap, and your foot should not move around in the “pocket.” To try this fin style on, you should wear the fin and stand normally with the strap in place. Then, lift your foot and move it around to imitate kicking. Your foot should stay in place without any rubbing or pressure.

Some fins are only available in larger sizes because they aren’t designed for use by women and kids. If you have a small foot, be sure that your fins of choice are manufactured in a full range of sizes.

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

BUNGEE STRAP

Open heel fins are worn with booties and secure around your ankle with a strap. While there are all kinds of straps available, a bungee style is best for dive travel. This design has no moving parts or clips that could break in transit, and it is super easy to don and doff on the boat or the water’s surface. Bungee straps are also the most comfortable style because they automatically conform to fit your foot’s shape and size.

PULL TAB

Full foot fins are worn barefoot or with neoprene socks, so it’s important that you can grip them firmly to pull them on or off. Otherwise, you might wind up with uncomfortable blisters or painful rub spots. A pull tab is vital for donning and doffing your full foot fins, especially if you are putting them on in the water. This extra rubber to grab onto will also prevent splits and tearing on your fin’s foot pocket.

FLEXIBLE CHANNELS AND PANELS

Many fins have either flexible channels or panels to give you more power in the water. This style of fin is best for divers who use the flutter kick because it helps the fin bend, giving you a wider range of motion. These bendable sections also help your fins contour to the shape of a gear bag, making them easier to pack. Flexible fins usually weigh less than their solid counterparts, too.

SOLID CONSTRUCTION

If you’ve ever seen a video of cave or wreck divers, you’ve probably noticed that they wear a shorter fin made from solid rubber or Monoprene. This fin style is smaller and more compact than its traditional counterpart, though slightly heavier. Some models are even short enough to fit in carry-on luggage! Solid fins are perfect for dive travel if you’re planning to explore enclosed environments or take on tech diving. Keep in mind that this fin is best for divers who use the frog kick.

NON-SLIP SOLE

The soles of most fins are rubber, which helps you grip the ground. But, some fins have a textured bottom, much like a dive bootie for extra traction. This is an excellent safety feature to prevent accidental slips and falls. And, it’s an easy precaution to take if you are accident prone. A non-slip sole will definitely come in handy if you’re planning liveaboard dive travel or will spend most of your time boat diving.

CARRYING LOOPS

While it’s possible to carry your fins by their vents, it can eventually cause serious wear and tear and even ripping. If you’re planning to walk with your equipment over long distances or your dive travel includes multiple immersions away from shore, you’ll want fins with a built-in loop for carrying to prevent this. A sturdy carrying loop also makes it easy to strap fins to the outside of a gear bag if necessary and is handy for hang drying.

 

 

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