Abstract Systematic studies were performed on SnCl 2-mediated carbonyl allylation reaction between aldehydes and allyl halides in fully aqueous media. Totally three valuable reaction systems were discovered, which were SnCl 2/CuCl 2, SnCl 2/TiCl 3, and SnCl 2/PdCl 2. They all provided good to excellent yields in the allylation of aliphatic and aromatic aldehydes under very mild and convenient conditions. SnCl 2, by itself, was also found to be effective for the allylation reaction when allyl bromide was employed. However, the SnCl 2-only reaction could only tolerate very small amount of water as the solvent. The SnCl 2/CuCl 2, SnCl 2/TiCl 3, and SnCl 2/PdCl 2-mediated reactions exhibited good regioselectivity favoring the γ-adduct when cinnamyl halides were employed as the allylation reagent. The same reactions with cinnamyl halides also showed good diastereoselectivity favoring the anti-product. Mechanistic studies using proton NMR techniques suggested that the additive (i.e., CuCl 2, TiCl 3, PdCl 2) could accelerate the formation of allyltin intermediate, but this step was shown not to be the most important for the allylation. Thus we proposed that the Lewis acid catalysis effect exerted by the additive was the main reason for the observed reactivity enhancement.