So, you want to travel the world. You want to scuba dive in exotic locations and get your slice of underwater ocean bliss? Well, scuba diving is a global game, and if you want a piece of the action, you are going to need global equipment. And while the importance of quality equipment cannot be understated, portability makes a diving holiday a lot more fun!
However, it can be incredibly daunting to select expensive gear for purchase with so many options available and so much science behind diving. The research is worth it. Diving using wrong or unfamiliar equipment can turn you off to the sport and can be detrimental to your overall safety. Luckily, we are here to assist you in crossing your dream holidays off your bucket list of Thalassophilic living. We’ve summarized all the research you were about to do, just for you. So, if there is anything you wanted to know about scuba travel gear, it will undoubtedly be here.
Please note, our author, has conducted an extensive investigation. She has collected opinions from catalogs, diving forums, and global scuba diving community at large. Apart from the travel gear guide for SCUBA divers ‘on the go,’ Anna has also included tips, tricks, and packing advice for all interested.
When choosing fins, think comfort, and performance. Be sure to remember sizing if you plan to wear booties along with your fins. Below are two travel fin options. Be sure to match your fin size to your diving bag. You wouldn’t want oddly bent fins or fins that are great with thrust but too big for easy travel.
While these are snorkeling fins, they will work great for any recreational scuba dive. The Cressi Palau Fins are made of high-quality material, are comfortable to wear, and provide decent thrust through the water. These fins come with an easily adjustable strap for comfort and a variety of colors for you to paddle with style.
The Mares Quattro Plus are one of the best and most popular fins. Reliable and robust, this model is also very flexible and efficient. These fins are perfect for travel – made of a light material and with a length of 15″ (38cm) these fins will fit perfectly in the Cressi Vuelo. These are a superb option for beginners and recreational divers.
Your Buoyancy Control Device is nota bene. It’s what puts you as a diver in control below the surface. It is not something you should skimp on, be unfamiliar with, or even rent. A personal BCD is an investment, and one made for your safety and comfort. Below are two options, which have been given high reviews by the diving world. Be sure to find a comfortable travel BCD.
The Aqua Lung Zuma is ultra-lightweight and perfectly suited to the class of travel BCD. Weighing 4.4 pounds (2kg) this soft scuba backpack rolls up tight to fit in any divers’ scuba gear bag. Easily adjustable size straps allow for multiple sized wearers. The right shoulder pull-dump and lower right pull-dump make it easy to release as you descend. With padded spine and lumbar support, you’ll be protected and comfortable throughout your dive.
This BCD is about as compact as they come. Less than 4 pounds (1.8kg), it can be packed uptight and was built for travel. This portability is made evident by its elastic mesh fabric and streamlined profile. Easy-to-remove weight pockets allow for safe and effective quick release if need be.
Now, what’s the best means of carrying everything? Your scuba luggage should be light as there are airplane weight limits. We would suggest having two bags: a scuba travel bag to carry your gear other major travel items during the flight and a scuba mesh bag for on-site travel.
We would suggest using the Cressi Vuelo paired with a simple mesh bag like the Mares Cruise Mesh Duffle Bag. The Cressi Vuelo is a lightweight carry-on dive bag that is specially designed for air travel. The added ease of wheels makes travel with this bag a piece of cake. The Vuelo has two main compartments, which is handy for separating your scuba equipment from the rest of your travel gear. Available in black, blue, or yellow. We would recommend a color that is easy to identify in baggage claim.
The Mares Cruise mesh duffle bag is perfect for carrying gear once you’ve reached your destination. This bag is a delight as the incredibly durable mesh material dries fast and makes it easy to hose off gear. Leave the carry-on in your room and pack up all you need and go. Large enough to hold all your gear but easy to roll up and store during travel time.
A wetsuit is your extra layer of protection from temperature, stings or abrasion. If you are diving in warm or cold water, you’ll want to be sure to keep your core temperature steady. Fit and comfort are factors numbers one and two. You’ll need to find a wetsuit bespoke for you. Everyone’s body shape is a little bit different. Depending on your diving destination, thickness will be a factor. Whatever your pick, be sure you’ve got a wetsuit designed for travel. We’ve made it a bunch and identified some of the best travel wetsuits out there. There are some fabulous options for ladies and gents of all budget.
The Seavenger is made to move and built to last. This 3mm neoprene full-body suit combines style and functionality, making it the ideal suit for any condition. Super stretch panels at the elbows and knees accommodate varying body shapes and relieve that ‘tight feeling.’ A back zip allows for a quick and secure donning. Anti-abrasion panels on the elbows and knees allow for movement without any fear of typical location wear. Other features include durable flat-lock stitching throughout, a beefy zipper, extra-long leash with neck double-tap hook and loop tie-down, and a flush-resistant collar, wrist and ankle closure design. This wetsuit is designed to keep you safe but also comfortable during your dives.
The O’Neil is set to keep you warm so that you can enjoy the beauty of scuba diving. This travel wetsuit is made of a 3mm neoprene composition, that hugs the body while remaining flexible. Sleeves and shoulders have extra stretch, keeping your range of motion as full as it can be. Chest and back areas have a thicker layer of neoprene – created for enhanced insulation. Back zipper, including a long leash, allows for easy self-donning. If you are looking to be extra flexible under the surface, this would be the wetsuit of your choice.
This full-body wetsuit is as stylish as it is useful for packing a lot of features for its price. The female version comes in 3 varying colors black, coral and silver. With a super stretch neoprene material, back zipper and adjustable neck loop, putting on this suit is a breeze. Made from Hydroflex this suit allows you to enjoy comfort and warmth in style. Added rubber knee pads will keep you safe and comfortable.
Cressi has proven itself as a dependable brand. Creating durable and lasting equipment since 1946. The Cressi Bahia falls right in those lines. With a frontal zip, this long 2.5mm wetsuit is perfect for diving or snorkeling. Wrist and ankle seals limit water exchange helping to keep that core body temperature right where it should be.
Your range of sight helps you feel comfortable under the water. Below are some of the options recommended by other divers for their comfort and field of visibility. We would suggest doing some research on your final choice of mask; it is, without a doubt, your most important piece of equipment. Side note: while it is not necessary, you may want to think of grabbing a dive mask hard case; this adds longevity and lens protection to your mask.
If you have dived before, you will recognize the need for a dependable mask. SCUBAPRO is the Nike of the diving world; recognized globally for their quality, high-end equipment. This dive mask upholds the brand’s reputation. Its large lenses give the wearer a high range of view, while its large straps offer easy adjustability. As always, SCUBAPRO provides a variety of colors to go with your unique style.
While a more economical option than our SCUBAPRO Spectra – the Phantom Aquatics ranks just as high in durability and performance. With a panoramic style – this mask is an excellent option for those who want a peripheral field of view. A split strap design helps to keep an even facial seal and eliminate any leaks.
This mask is a perfect option for the budding underwater videographer or photographer. Being able to capture a first-person video while diving adds to one’s travel vlog tremendously. The build of the mask is intelligent. Large lenses add easy visibility, and the full head strap keeps the facial seal firm. You won’t be disappointed with this product.
While many masks will come with a standard snorkel included. It is essential to get a flexible yet durable snorkel. We would suggest the Aqua Lung Nautilus. Its ability to be rolled up allows you some additional space for other scuba travel gear. The snorkel can be folded in half or thirds and can then fit comfortably in your BCD pocket. It can remain there until necessitated. Be sure to test it before putting it back to use. It is unlikely to pinch underwater, or come loose, but were either to happen; it could create panic underwater.
Here are a few tips and tricks as to how to pack your Scuba Gear Bag and a few extras you should get for your exciting scuba travels.
A personal towel can be too bulky to carry along. As well many hostels either charge for towels or fail to provide them at all. With this, we would suggest investing in a Quality Quick Dry Travel Towel to help save money as well as space. A quick-drying towel is crucial. The amount of times you use your towel throughout a diving getaway makes thick, wooly materials imprudent. Rei creates its towels from specialized synthetic material. Its microfiber texture helps get your dry quick – with its only downside being its compatible size – down to a 9″x5″ (23x13cm) zippered pouch. You won’t get enough coverage to hide your entire body as you run from the shower to your bedroom – if need be.
Be studious and learn your airline’s rules. It is never fun scrambling around the airport because you are a few pounds over the luggage weight limit. Also, repacking scuba gear is not a process you should expedite. Do some reading, pack diligently, and ensure your luggage is safe and secure. Why go on a holiday if you are going to stress yourself out? Remember to pack a smile. Smiling and being cordial makes a big difference to people who deal with irate travelers regularly.
The best way to pack a wetsuit in a suitcase is to put it down on its front side as flat as possible to avoid creases. Then fold the legs back at the knees and then tuck the arms in. Now fold the whole top half of the body back over the bottom half. This folded-shape make it easy to slide into a mesh bag that you might own or into a cargo bag. After travel or as soon as you can, be sure to hang the suit back up on a hanger. Be diligent about this – nobody likes miff stench!
Our last hack is for underwater photographers and videographers. If you plan to be traveling regularly but still want to capture great stills and videos – you should invest in a GoPro. We would suggest the GoPro Hero 8. This set of generic Starter Accessories is well priced and will get you up and running. The GoPro is the most user-friendly action camera out there. Its 4k video and 12MP photos allow quality capture of your adventures. You can also preview and playback your shots, change settings, and trim your footage. Pairing the GoPro with its underwater diving kit accessories adds tremendous functionality. The compact waterproof carrying case is an efficient space-saver which will make traveling a whole lot easier. The waterproof scuba LED light is a reliable secondary. And the handgrip monopod, hardcover housing, and floaty handle are a definite insurance policy for these underwater action cameras.
As a scuba diver, it is essential that you have familiarized yourself duly with your gear. Be sure that you have tested whatever gear you add to your arsenal and understand its functionalities. You don’t want to be 30m below the surface with something not working as it should.
Remember that weight limits are stricter these days, and it is vital to travel as light as possible. Double-check your weight at home before you set off to the airport and keep heavier items towards the top of your bag in case you need to rearrange anything. Investing in your dive equipment is of great importance to your safety. Feeling reassured of the dependability of your travel gear makes a scuba diving holiday all the more enjoyable. We suggest that you use the equipment we have recommended here as a yardstick, do your own research, and then grow your knowledge bases from there. Find what’s best for you and see all that the global scuba diving community has to offer.
As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!