The Best Snorkelling Fins in Australia – 2019

Cheaps snorkel fins Australia

Author: The Adventure Lab Staff

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more here.


Whether you’re a casual holiday snorkeler, or a seasoned deep sea diver, you’re going to need a pair of good quality fins. After a good quality traditional or full face mask, they're the next most essential piece of your kit.

A great pair of fins will add immensely to your snorkelling experience, propelling you to harder to reach spots and allowing you to explore more of the magical underwater world. They also add a level of safety for any swimmer unlucky enough to get caught in a rip or other current. A poor pair of fins however, can result in cramp and muscle fatigue, and even nasty blisters. 

In this article we’ll provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision and the confidence to buy a pair of fins that will serve you well for many years come.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
OUR #1 RATED
Best snorkel fins
OUR #1 RATED

CRESSI PLUMA

  • Comfortable full foot fin design
  • Light polypropylene construction
  • Snappy rebound
  • Designed for less leg fatigue


Cressi Palau SAF

CRESSI PALAU

  • Soft short blade ​
  • Accommodates 3-4 consecutive foot sizes
  • Great for travel


Travel fins

WILDHORN TOPSIDE HYDRO

  • Unique walkable fin design
  • Premium comfort neoprene upper
  • Rugged adjustable strap system
  • Heat weld and stitch construction
  • Free-float technology


Best snorkelling fins

DEEP BLUE GEAR LATITUDE 2

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Comfortable rubber full foot
  • Medium length blade
  • Rubberised blade centre


Swimming flippers

DEEP BLUE GEAR AQUANAUT II

  • 100% Durable rubber
  • Comfortable soft rubber full foot design
  • Medium size provides good propulsion
  • Float for easy retrieval

How to Find the Best Fins for Your Needs

When choosing your snorkel fins, it really comes down to 2 key factors: comfort and performance. Below we look at the key things you’ll need to consider to ensure you tick the box on both of these.

Closed foot vs Open foot

Fins generally are either closed foot or open foot in design.

With closed foot fins, the silicone rubber covers your entire heel, much like a shoe or ankle sock. These are generally more comfortable than the open foot design, and provide similar power. Given they are also generally lighter than other varieties, they are generally the design recommended for snorkelling.

Open foot fins have a strap that goes around the ankle, meaning a lot of the heel and ankle are still exposed. The key purpose of this design is to allow them to be worn with diving boots, essential for diving in cold conditions.

Length

The length of general purpose snorkelling fins ranges from around 50 - 65cm. The longer the fin, the more thrust available to the user. However, longer fins are generally less manoeuvrable, and as they require more energy and force, they are more likely to result in cramp or fatigue. They are also harder to walk in.

We recommend going for something in the 40-50cm range for a travel fin, or 50-60cm for general use.

Split fins vs Regular fins

Split fins, as the name suggests, have a split down the middle, allowing water to pass through when the wearer kicks. If used correctly they provide increased efficiency with less energy required due to reduced resistance.

Regular fins, also called paddle or blade fins, provide increased power and manoeuvrability, but can result in fatigue or cramp if used at high intensity for extended periods. If however, you stick within the 50-65cm range you should be fine with this type of fin - the issues mentioned come into play more when talking about diving fins which are longer in length.

It’s really down to personal preference, and there’s definitely great options available in both the split and regular variety. It is worth noting that split fins do require a slightly different technique so if you haven’t used them before you may want a few practice sessions before taking them out for anything too challenging.

Size and storage

A final consideration you’ll need to make relates to your likely mode of transport for your fins. Are you going to throwing them in the back of the car for a short drive to the beach, or are you more likely to need to fit them in your luggage for a flight up to the great barrier reef or bali?

Naturally, the smaller the fins, the better they are for travel. Some brands are now producing smaller, more rigid fins specifically for the travel market, that are comparable in power to traditional styles but pack into a smaller space.


Snorkelling Fin Reviews

#1 Cressi Pluma Full Foot Fins Review

TOP PICK

Best snorkel fins

BUY AT amazon

​Utilising Cressi’s technology previously reserved only for their high-end diving and free-dive fins, the Pluma is one of the highest performing snorkelling fins on the market.

One of Cressi’s most popular models, these fins are super light-weight, comfortable, and responsive. The Pluma is a safe bet for anyone looking for a high-end fin at a budget price point.

Depending on your foot size, they range between 56cm - 63cm in length and weigh around 1kg.

Pros
  • Comfortable full foot fin design
  • Light polypropylene construction
  • Snappy rebound
  • Designed for less leg fatigue
cons
  • Don't float                                              

#2 ​​​Cressi Palau Short Snorkeling Swim Fins Review

Cressi Palau SAF

BUY AT amazon

​Another great option from Cressi, the Palau Short Fins are designed for a wide range of uses and given their compact size (41-46cm in length), are perfect for travel.

The back strap on these fins are comfortable, with or without thin footwear. Further, the option to adjust allows you to get the perfect fit, or for them to be shared amongst several people in a group with varying sizes of feet.

A super-versatile option for those that want a comfortable, reliable pair of fins for a range of scenarios.

Pros
  • Soft short blade and foot pocket means they are able to be put on quickly and easily
  • Accommodates 3-4 consecutive sizes and can be worn over thin footwear
  • Adjustable fin for pool or beach use
  • Great for travel
cons
  • Less power than larger designs
  • Some people may find back strap less comfortable than full foot design

#3 Wildhorn Topside Hydro Fins Review

Travel fins

BUY AT amazon

​From the brand that turned the snorkelling world on its head with their full face snorkel mask, comes the Topside Hydro Fin. Half reef shoe half fin, this offering from Wildhorn is revolutionising the fin market around the world.

Wildhorn have focused on hitting the “sweet-spot” in terms of providing fins that are comfortable, walkable, and portable, but still perform well in the water.

Pros
  • Unique walkable fin design
  • Premium comfort neoprene upper
  • Rugged adjustable strap system
  • Heat weld and stitch construction
  • Free-float technology means they don’t sink
cons
  • Expensive
  • Smaller than usual fins means less power generation
  • Some users find their buoyancy an issue when swimming

#4 Deep Blue Gear Latitude 2 Fins Review

Best snorkelling fins

BUY AT amazon

​A slightly longer and more rigid alternative to Deep Blue’s Aquanaut II, these fins provide a comfortable yet high performance option for multipurpose use.

The latest addition to the Deep Blue facility of fins, the Latitude 2’s have a medium length blade (58-61cm) and are designed for minimising fatigue and optimising efficiency.

Overall, a great option for those looking for a comfortable, traditional shaped fin, utilising the latest in design technology.

Pros
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Comfortable rubber full foot design reduces friction and chafing
  • Medium length blade provides more power than shorter fins
  • Rubberised blade center cups the water maximum propulsion efficiency and minimum fatigue
cons
  • Don't float                                                     

#5 Deep Blue Gear Aquanaut II Fins Review

Swimming flippers

BUY AT amazon

​A no fuss, super comfortable, soft rubber fin, the Aquanaut IIs are medium in length and designed for multi-purpose in use.

They are small enough to be stuffed in luggage for a flight but big enough in size to provide power when you need it. Coming in a large range of sizes, these fins are a great option for the whole family.

Pros
  • 100% Durable rubber
  • Comfortable soft rubber full foot design
  • Medium size provides good propulsion but minimises fatigue
  • Float for easy retrieval
cons
  • Less power than larger designs           

VERDICT

With improvements in technology and design over the past few years, there really are some great options for snorkelling fins on the market. We think the Cressi Pluma represent the best all around option here, but in the end, it's all about finding the pair of fins that best fits your needs and budget. Happing snorkelling!

The Best Hiking Pillows in Australia [2019]


Author: Gaby Pilson - Professional Mountain Guide

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more here.


Just because you’re sleeping out under the stars doesn’t mean you have to be ‘roughing it’. Instead, you can maintain a lot of the comforts of home while enjoying an amazing adventure with small pieces of gear like a hiking pillow.

To help you understand the ins and outs of hiking pillows we’ve made this dedicated review guide.

We’ll discuss what to look for in a hiking pillow and how to choose one. Then we’ll review a number of our top picks to make your decision easier. 

OUR #1 RATED
Best hiking pillow
OUR #1 RATED

Sea to Summit Aeros 

  • Light
  • Soft and durable pillowcase and synthetic fill
  • Hybrid for comfort and compressibility
  • Cradles the head

How to Choose A Hiking Pillow

There are a number of great hiking pillows available today, so it’s really about finding the one that’s best for your needs. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

Pillow type

Hiking pillows generally come in one of three types - compressible, inflatable, and hybrid. 

Compressible pillows are generally filled with some combination of down, foam, and synthetic fibres that compress to fit into a stuff sack. They feel the most like your pillow at home but tend to be the heaviest and bulkiest.

Inflatable pillows get filled with air and tend to be very light and compact. But, they are a bit firmer than your average pillow at home and can be more expensive.

Hybrid pillows, on the other hand, combine the best of both worlds as they have a compressible top layer for comfort and an inflatable bottom half for support and reduced overall volume compared to a fully compressible pillow.

Cost

Cost is always a factor when buying outdoor gear. When it comes to hiking pillows, you’ll either pay more for lightweight and compactness in an inflatable pillow or for a down compressible pillow and less for other options.

Size and weight

As mentioned previously, inflatable pillows tend to be the lightest and most compact, making them ideal for long backpacking trips. Compressible pillows are more comfortable, but that comfort comes with extra weight and bulk. It’s important to consider the weight and size of your pillow so you won’t have to leave it behind on your next trip.

Now that you know what to look for, let’s get right to reviewing some great hiking pillows.


Hiking Pillow Reviews

#1 ​Sea to Summit Aeros Review

TOP PICK

Best hiking pillow

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​Sea to Summit really brought their A-game with the Aeros. A hybrid hiking pillow, the Aeros maximizes comfort with its soft polyester knit pillowcase without sacrificing weight or compressibility.

The Aeros cradles the head for ultimate comfort and is easy to inflate with just a few breaths. Although it can't match the comfort of your home pillow, it's a great option for hikers who want comfort at night without the extra weight in their pack.

Pros
  • Light
  • Soft and durable pillowcase and synthetic fill
  • Hybrid for comfort and compressibility
  • Cradles the head
cons
  • Not as comfortable as a fully compressible pillow
  • Not as comfortable as a compressible 

#2 Nemo Fillo Review

Nemo hiking pillow

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​The Fillo is Nemo’s luxury hiking pillow. Made to be incredibly soft, yet supportive enough for side sleepers, the Fillo performs amazingly in the backcountry in a variety of circumstances. It even has a shock cord on the underside so you can add some spare clothing underneath the pillow to bulk it up a bit.

As a compressible pillow, the Fillo is relatively heavy, though it does pack down moderately well for a pillow of its type. It’s also quite expensive, but it might be worth the extra cost for people who really value a good night’s sleep.

Pros
  • Very comfortable
  • Shock cord for padding under the pillow with clothes
  • Luxury foam and microsuede
cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavy                                                            

#3 Eagle Creek Exhale Review

Eagle Creek Exhale Lumbar Pillow, Blue Sea (Blue) - EC041329137

BUY AT AMAZON

​Although Eagle Creek is best known as a travel accessories company, they didn’t disappoint the camping world with the Exhale. Lightweight and comfortable, particularly for an inflatable pillow, the Exhale is great for travelling and hiking alike!

The Exhale can be inflated to the right firmness for custom support. Plus, its super cozy poly microfleece cover can be washed to keep things hygienic. The Exhale is a great buy for people looking for a mix of value and quality.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Washable poly microfleece cover
  • Can be inflated for custom support      
cons
  • A bit more expensive than others            

#4 Marmot Cumulus Review

Hiking pillow

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​The Cumulus is a fantastic inflatable pillow for all your hiking needs. As an inflatable pillow, it’s relatively light and can be adjusted to get your ideal level of firmness. Plus, it has an ergonomic design to support your neck.

Our favourite part? The removable, washable pillow cover which adds comfort and helps you keep the pillow clean trip after trip. The Cumulus is a bit more expensive than other options, but it’s well worth the cost.

Pros
  • Relatively light
  • Removable and washable pillowcase
  • Ergonomic shape
  • Adjustable firmness
cons
  • Expensive                                                     

#5 Thermarest Compressible Small Review

best value

Thermarest camping pillow

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​The Thermarest Compressible is a nifty little pillow for hikers who want all the comforts of their home pillow.

The Compressible’s cozy fabric and urethane foam fill make it feel just like your pillow at home. Plus, it’s pretty light for a compressible pillow and can be machine washed and dried.

The only real downside is that the Compressible isn’t as compact as an inflatable pillow, but that’s to be expected. We’d recommend this pillow for people who prioritise comfort over everything else on the trail.

Pros
  • Light for a compressible pillow
  • Cozy fabric
  • Can be machine washed and dried          
cons
  • Isn’t as compact as other options             

VERDICT

​​Only one of these pillows can be the winner of our hiking pillow match-up. For its combination of light weight, compactness, comfort, and support, we declare the winner to be the Sea to Summit Aeros. But, at the end of the day, it’s about finding the pillow that’s right for your needs.

If you're in the market for lightweight overnight hiking gear, be sure to check out our self-inflating mattress buyers guide.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mountain guide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gaby Pilson

Professional Mountain Guide


A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales.

As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines.

She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure.

The Best Hiking Shirts in Australia [2019]


Author: Gaby Pilson - Professional Mountain Guide

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more here.


It might seem like a minor piece of equipment, but a hiking shirt is actually a critical piece of outdoor gear.

While you could just wear any old t-shirt, a proper hiking shirt is designed to protect you from the sun and the elements, keep you comfortable, wick sweat, and minimise that not-so-sweet mountain smell while you live your best life in the outdoors.

Our job here is to help you find the best hiking shirt out there, so we created this guide to do just that.

After the summary table below, we’ll walk you step-by-step through the ins-and-outs of hiking shirts and what to look for before you buy. Then we’ll finish up with detailed reviews of 5 of the best hiking shirts out there.

Note this article focuses on mens hiking shirts. Click here to check out hiking shirts for women.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
OUR #1 RATED
OUR #1 RATED

THE NORTH FACE ALPENBRO

  • UPF 50
  • Zippered chest pocket
  • Strategically placed shoulder seams
  • Quick dry


SALOMON TRAIL RUNNER

  • Lightweight
  • Sustainable and natural bamboo fabric
  • Odor resistant
  • Moisture wicking


ARC'TERYX ELAHO

  • UPF 40 protection
  • Gusseted underarms for mobility
  • Breathable material


KUHL AIRSPEED

  • Moisture wicking
  • Well ventilated
  • Zippered and buttoned pockets


MARMOT ACCELERATE

  • Affordable
  • UPF 30
  • Reflective
  • Breathable

How to choose the Best hiking shirt

Buying a hiking shirt might seem easy (it’s just a shirt, right?) but it turns out that these pieces of outdoor gear are actually loaded with a bunch of high-tech features to keep you comfortable as you charge uphill. Here are some things to look out for:

Material

The main characteristic that differentiates a hiking shirt from something you’d wear around town is the material. Here are some of the different materials you might see in a hiking shirt:

1. Cotton

Generally speaking, many of our urban-use t-shirts are made from cotton, which is cheap and comfortable. But, cotton can be dangerous outdoors because it has zero insulating properties when wet - in fact, it actually makes you colder! Thus, it’s best to avoid cotton t-shirts in most outdoor settings.

2. Synthetics

Many hiking shirts are made from synthetic fabrics, which are great at wicking moisture and keeping you comfortable, even when wet. But, they tend to trap odors and will smell pretty horrible after a few days in the mountains.

3. Merino Wool

This wonder fabric is all natural and is great at wicking away sweat on a hot day. It dries fairly quickly and stays warm even when wet. Plus, it is really good at repelling odors, which keeps you smelling fresh on day 10 of your backpack. But, all these features come at a cost: merino can be quite expensive.

Sun protection

Many high-end hiking shirts actually offer some semblance of sun protection, which is great for preventing sunburns and reducing the amount of sunscreen you need to use. Shirts that protect you from the sun will have an SPF (sun protection factor) or UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating.


hiking shirt reviews

Now that you know what to look for in a hiking shirt, let’s get right to the reviews!

#1 The North Face Alpenbro review

TOP PICK

BUY AT wild earth

The North Face is known for making outdoor gear that looks good, and the Alpenbro is no exception. Built for strenuous hikes, the Alpenbro provides style and protection in a long-sleeve button-up shirt design.

Made with FlashDry technology, which helps wick moisture away, and a UPF 50 fabric, the Alpenbro is designed to protect you from the elements. Our favourite part? The North Face strategically placed the shoulder seams a bit closer to the chest on the Alpenbro to increase durability and help reduce irritation when carrying a backpack.

Pros
  • UPF 50
  • Zippered chest pocket
  • Strategically placed shoulder seams
  • Quick dry                                                       
cons
  • Relatively expensive
  • Synthetics can smell bad                        

#2 Salomon Trail Runner tee review

BUY AT wild earth

The Salomon Trail Runner is a hiking shirt with a classic t-shirt design. Made out of a lightweight and breathable bamboo charcoal fabric, the Trail Runner naturally repels odours and dries quickly to keep you comfortable even when you’re moving quickly in the heat.

Since it’s a t-shirt, the Trial Runner doesn’t offer as much protection from the elements as other designs do, but if you like high-octane activities in the mountains, then the Salomon Trail Runner might be the hiking shirt for you.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Sustainable and natural bamboo fabric
  • Odor resistant
  • Moisture wicking
cons
  • Little sun protection
  • Not great for colder conditions              

#3 Arc'teryx Elaho shirt review

BUY AT wild earth

​A light, button-up long sleeve shirt that looks as good in town as it does on the trail, the Arc’teryx Elaho is a super versatile hiking shirt for the mountains. Specifically designed for trekking and hiking, the Elaho is made with a lightweight, airy, and durable technical fabric.

The Elaho's high-quality fabric breathes well to keep you cool on the trail all while providing you with UPF 40 protection from the sun. Even though this is a long sleeved shirt, it has gusseted underarms for a full range of motion, making it a great option for your next hiking adventure.

Pros
  • UPF 40 protection
  • Gusseted underarms for mobility
  • Breathable material                                 
cons
  • Synthetic materials can smell bad
  • Expensive                                                  

#4 Kuhl Airspeed shirt review

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​The Kuhl Airspeed combines all of the benefits and style of a button-up shirt with the functionality of a t-shirt. Made with AirVolution fabric, the Airspeed helps protect you from the sun while wicking moisture and drying quickly in the heat.

The Airspeed has knit panels on the back and on the sleeves to allow for natural movement while you hike. If that wasn’t good enough, even though it’s made from a nylon/polyester blend, it feels like cotton without any of the negative consequences!

Pros
  • Moisture wicking
  • Well ventilated
  • Zippered and buttoned pockets              
cons
  • Not as much protection as a long-sleeve
  • Synthetics can smell bad

#5 Marmot Accelerate shirt review

BUY AT WILD EARTH

​If you need a high-quality hiking shirt without the high price tag, the Marmot Accelerate might be the shirt for you. Perfect for high-output activity with its perforated AirExchange fabric, the Accelerate can accompany you on a quick morning trail run or a day out in the mountains.

The AirExchange fabric in the Accelerate is quick-drying and wicking with UPF 30 protection and a reflective covering to keep you visible even at dawn and dusk. The Marmot Accelerate is a great hiking shirt option for outdoor enthusiasts on a budget!

Pros
  • Affordable
  • UPF 30
  • Reflective
  • Breathable                                               
cons
  • Not as much protection as a long sleeve
  • Synthetics can smell bad

verdict

Since you can only wear one hiking shirt at a time, you better make sure it's a good one. If we had to choose one shirt out this line-up, it would be The North Face Alpenbro, which combines sun protection with fast wicking fabric and a smart, hiking-inspired design. See you on the trail!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mountain guide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gaby Pilson

Professional Mountain Guide


A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales.

As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines.

She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure.