Scuba Equipment Buyer's Guide
Created with dedication, for the best experience selecting your diving gear.
When buying your own BCD, there are several things you will want to keep in mind - your gender, the compensator’s style and fit, air bladder placement, available accessory attachment options, and whether or not the BCD has an integrated weight system. In our guide, you can read more about all of these consideration points to make an informed purchasing decision.
There are currently a variety of dive computers on the market - ranging from simple budget-friendly options for beginners to truly innovative devices for tech divers. Regardless, a dive computer is a complex piece of technology that can include a number of different features, such as air integration, wireless connectivity, built-in compass, the possibility to use multiple gas mixes, etc.
Scuba Diving Regulators
Scuba regulators are what allow you to breathe underwater, so selecting the right one is paramount to your overall safety on a dive. Since regulators are so important, it’s no wonder that manufacturers have created them in an array of styles, designs, and shapes. We’ll walk you through all of these differences (as well as some similarities) and outline the most crucial things to look for in your new regulator.
While you may not need an octopus on your every dive, it is a vital part of your safety equipment. The octopus can supply you or your dive buddy with air in an event or any trouble with your regulator. This is why it’s extremely important that it doesn’t fail when you need it. Read this guide to learn more about the octopus construction and how to make sure you choose the high quality one.
Scuba diving masks are a deceptively simple piece of equipment. All scuba masks have one or more lenses, a strap which fits over the crown of the head, a nose pocket, and a skirt. Modern masks, however, vary widely in style and the new diver can quickly become overwhelmed. So, here is what you should look for in a good-quality scuba mask.
Snorkels are among those pieces of gear that can be found in just about every home. Many people give very little thought when buying one. In reality, a fitting high-quality snorkel can really improve your diving experience and vice versa, a poor snorkel will keep getting in your way and causing discomfort. So in this guide, we will go over the things you need to consider when choosing a snorkel for scuba diving.
Fins are another piece of gear that you can get from just about everywhere but they can vary widely in quality and style, so it pays to buy them from a reputable source. Fins help you move about the in water and can affect the overall quality of your dive, so it is vital to get the right pair of fins for your needs. This means choosing the right length, foot pocket type, blade type, stiffness, and material.
The dive tank is where your breathing gas is stored, so it is one of the most important pieces of gear you will take with you on a dive. Many divers choose to rent their cylinders – at least at first. While buying a tank means you will have to maintain it as well, owning one is useful if you want to dive far from the nearest rental shop. When you make a decision to buy your own tank, you will need to consider its size, material, working pressure, and coupling fitting.
Some dive gear is positively buoyant and the body generally tends to float rather than sink, which is why divers use weights to descend deeper on a dive. When choosing a set of weights you will need to consider two main points - what kind of weight system you want and how much weight you need. We will address both questions in the following guide and lead you through the process of dive weight selection.
Gear bags help to keep your equipment organized and protected. There is a variety of bag styles a scuba diver can use, depending on where they dive and how much gear they have. Scuba roller bags will be useful for traveling divers, who need to navigate through the busy airports or bus terminals; duffle bags or backpacks are great for transporting the gear to the dive site; dry bags are designed to protect your belongings from water and dust.
With an array of wetsuits available, choosing the right one can be a little daunting. You need to decide on a style, go through all the features, materials and suit construction details, select the proper thickness and find the right fit. To help you navigate through the process and choose a suit that will be ideal for your needs, we have put together this guide with everything you need to know to make your decision.
Gloves and Mitts
Wetsuit gloves are an essential piece of gear for those interested in cold-water diving. A good pair of gloves will keep your hands warm without sacrificing manual dexterity so that you can easily adjust your gear and generally enjoy the dive. To choose the gloves that will do the job, you need to consider the water temperature you will be diving in (to select the right material and thickness) and think about which closure type will be most comfortable for you.
Many divers use hoods primarily to stay warm during cold water dives. However, this is not the only purpose of the diving hood. Nowadays, there is a great variety of hood styles (beanie, headband, cap, hood ith a bib, zippered hood), and functions. This guide will help you understand which type of hood is best suited for your needs.
Wetsuit boots protect the divers chills, cuts, and slippery surfaces. This guide will go into detail about everything you should know when choosing diving boots. What is their purpose, and who might need them? What types of boots are there, and how to choose the right size? All this and more in the detailed instructions for choosing diving boots.
Even on a sunny day, the sun’s rays can penetrate only so far into the water, making diving lights a vital part of your scuba gear. Depending on what you mostly intend on using them for, you may need to get a primary, a backup, a marker or a photo/video light. You will also want to consider the light’s beam angle, depth rating, battery type, as well as light source and output.
A knife is am essential safety tool for every diver. It can help you cut through the tangles of seaweed, old fishing nets or ropes that can be a danger in the water. You can also use the knife to repair your dive gear or fillet that fish you caught (if you are into spearfishing). Depending on what you intend to use the knife for, you will need to choose the appropriate blade type, length and material. You can also consider getting a compact line cutter or some dive shears.
Scuba equipment cases are watertight, hard-shelled, hinged containers that come in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors. You can use them instead of dive bags or as a great supplement to your trusty dive bag. If you are in the market for a scuba case, consider its size, shape, water protection level and cushioning material.
Often used by wreck divers, cave divers, and technical divers, reels can come in handy for just about any diver who needs a little extra insurance on a riskier dive. Since reels are a safety item, you will want to select your reel carefully. When choosing your reel consider line thickness and length, reel winding mechanism, and tension control feature.
Dive Safety Equipment
There are a few items you can add to your gear set to make your dives safer. While some of these pieces of gear are the things you never want to need, if you do find yourself in trouble, they can help you salvage a dive gone wrong. Your scuba safety equipment can include visual and audible surface signaling devices, a tank banger for attracting attention underwater, a marine rescue GPS, and a first aid kit. Read more about each of these pieces of gear in the following guide.
Taking pictures is an important part of any trip, and when you go on dives, you will eventually want to be able to capture the images you see underwater. Your underwater photography kit may include a camera, housing, photo/video lights, camera lenses, color filters, ports, and trays. In this guide, you can find a short outline of what to look for when building your underwater photography kit.
The type of speargun you will buy will depend in part on personal preference and in part, on the type of game, you are hunting for. To start with, you will need to choose between a pneumatic or band-powered gun. You will alo need to consider the gun’s size, noise level, buoyancy and available safety features. Read more about how to choose the speargun for your type of hunting in this guide.