In scuba diving there is a lot of equipment you'll need to dive under water. The equipment mostly revolves around safety since scuba diving can be a dangerous sport. Scuba equipment helps divers to breathe under the water. Other gear helps divers to see wildlife under the water and makes their dives more comfortable. You can rent gear at a dive shop or get gear as part of a dive package when diving with a divemaster. Buying new diving equipment can get very expensive so it is important to learn what is the most essential equipment. It is also important to buy high quality scuba equipment. Good scuba equipment can last for years without breaking or wearing down. This will save you from replacing or buying new scuba equipment more often than you need to.
Belts for scuba divers are an important piece of equipment. Scuba divers use belts to tie their weights to themselves and to hold other pieces of their equipment. Belts can come with compartments for knives, compasses, dive computers and other gear. You can buy belts with weights built in and belts separate from the weights. Belts will usually be about 40 inches long and made of strong canvas material. Belts can cost anywhere from $30 to $200.
Scuba boots are not a necessary item for diving but they can help with harsh conditions and add extra comfort for divers. Boots are worn with open-backed scuba fins and are not necessary with closed-backed fins. They can be worn with either depending on the diver's preference. Boots are based on shoe size. It is best to buy boots in person to ensure the perfect fit. Scuba boots are mostly made out of soft stretchy clothing material with hard plastic bottoms. You can buy scuba boots for $20 to $60.
Other than a scuba tank, a Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) is the most important piece of equipment to a scuba diver. A BCD is an inflatable vest worn by the diver to control their depth in the water. It is attached to the diving tank and has pockets to contain the secondary regulator, the pressure gauge, and other equipment. This is likely the most expensive item you will buy as a scuba diver. It is very important to buy a good one so that it won't break. A good BCD will cost anywhere from $300 to $2,000.
Scuba diving compasses, much like compasses used for hiking or any other above sea level activity, are used to tell direction. North, South, East and West are all marked on a diving compass. Underwater pressure could cause a normal compass to shatter. If you plan to buy a compass it is important to get one made specifically for scuba diving. You shouldn't need to buy a compass as a beginner but for upper level divers it is a useful tool. Compasses will cost from $50 to $150.
Defog is often called "anti-fog" by scuba divers. It is a liquid or a spray that divers use to clear up their mask. This helps them see things more clearly underwater. Another option to defog masks is just spitting in it and rinsing it out with water, but this is not as effective. If you don't want to do that, defog is easy to find online or in scuba stores. Defog will only cost $3 to $15.
Depth gauges are an important part of scuba diving; this is something that you should never dive without. They will inform you of how deep you are underwater. These can come in many forms. They can come on a wrist watch, or on a long tube that can be connected to the regulator and stored in a pocket of a BCD. Even though a lot of people are starting to use dive computers instead, you should still invest in a good depth gauge. A good depth gauge will cost anywhere from $60 to $100.
Dive computers are a relatively new, but very useful, tool. They do the same job as depth gauges, compasses, thermometers, and clocks all at once. Dive computers make it very easy to control your dives. Dive computers are a part of advanced diving certifications. If you ever dive on your own you should have a dive computer. A good dive computer is important so it will not lose battery or crack under water pressure. Dive computers cost $200 to $1,000.
A dive knife can help you to cut yourself free if you ever get tangled in some rope or seeweed. Diving knives are very similar to regular knives but they often come with a sheath to hold their knife. You can buy a dive knife online, at a dive shop or really at any store that sells knives. A dive knife shouldn't cost you more than $50 to $100.
Diving lights are essentially just flashlights that can be used under water. Much like a flashlight, they are good for dark dives. Once again, these are not at all necessary for beginner divers but are essential for cave diving or diving on really cloudy days. If you're going to buy one, buying a high quality light is important. A dive light that has a handle or a strap is best and you should get one with long battery life. A dive light can cost anywhere from $50 to $500.
Dive logs are an essential part of diving. However, you don't usually have to purchase these. Dive logs are where you keep track of dives and calculate how much rest time is needed in between dives. Dive logs are not important for casual divers who only go once in a while but become important for more experienced divers. You shouldn't spend any money on a dive log because you can use a free phone app or print them from online for free.
Diver tool kits are sets of tools that you can use to fix your equipment. Tool kits will contain wrenches, silicone gel, tape, glue etc. These are unnecessary for beginner divers but can come in handy for advanced divers who need to fix their own equipment if it malfunctions. Getting a tool kit will depend on the diver and what tools they need but you should be able to buy whole basic kits too. These basic kits will cost $50 to $100.
Diving masks are super important for divers. Diving masks help divers to see under the water. It is important to buy a good diving mask that prevents water from getting in and has strong, scratch proof glass. Usually they are made of silicone or another bendable plastic all around, with thick glass covering the eyes. A good mask can last for years. You should buy a mask that fits your face well and has comfortable, adjustable straps. A diving mask can cost anywhere from $20 to $100.
Snorkel masks are highly uncommon in scuba diving. However, there are some masks that come with an attached snorkel. These are usually for snorkeling or free diving only. If you want to buy a diving mask with a snorkel it is extremely important to check how much pressure it can endure before diving with it. It is probably better not to wear one of these for scuba diving. If you do buy a diving mask with a snorkel, it will probably cost $15 to $50.
Drysuits are an alternative to wetsuits that are highly recommended for cold water diving. Drysuits are different from wetsuits in that they are completely skintight, preventing any water from getting in and keeping a layer of air between the skin of the diver and the suit. You do not need to buy a drysuit unless you know you will be doing multiple cold water dives. If you plan on doing multiple cold water dives, buying a good drysuit that will stay skintight is very important. A good drysuit will cost $500 to $3000.
Gloves are another tool that help with the comfort of divers. These can be made with various degrees of thickness depending on how cold the diving will be. Some dive locations ask for divers to wear gloves to protect coral or marine life. Buying a pair of diving gloves is a good idea, though you should think about the water temperature of dives before deciding on the gloves to buy. A good glove will be very mobile so that you can perform any actions you would do with just your hands. Diving gloves cost around $30 to $50.
Hangers are used to dry any equipment used while diving. From wetsuits to gloves to BCD's, fully drying any diving equipment is very important. It can prevent damage to gear, molding, or anything else unsanitary that can happen to gear. For the most part, regular clothes hangers work just fine for scuba diving equipment. You can buy specialty diving hangers for $10 to $50 or you can just use regular hangers that you can get for $0.50.
Hooded vests are another cold weather piece of equipment that are not necessary but can be extremely beneficial. Hooded vests are usually separate pull-overs that can be worn above a wetsuit. The vests cover your torso and, more importantly, your head. They are usually sleeveless so if the water is cold it is important to wear it over a wetsuit. Some wetsuits come with built in hoods. A hooded vest will cost $50 to $130.
Mask strap wrappers are equipment that can help with the comfort of divers. A mask strap wrapper holds your mask and protects your head from the uncomfortable silicone straps of their masks. Mask strap wrappers are often made of cotton wool and other blends. They can be a good purchase because being comfortable under the water is very important. A mask strap wrapper should cost $10 to $50.
An octo regulator is another name for an emergency backup regulator. It is legally required to have an octo regulator as part of diving equipment in case of an emergency. An octo regulator can be shared with another diver and can be used in case the first regulator malfunctions. When you buy an octo regulator it should be a different color than a regular regulator, usually yellow, so other divers can see it. Buying a good octo regulator can be the difference between life and death. You should buy an octo regulator for $100 to $300.
Unless you are diving with a divemaster, you should bring a pencil or a pen to a dive site. Pens and pencils are used for dive logs and can be used for communication under the water as well. If you use a waterproof pencil or pen and waterproof paper, you can write messages that cannot be communicated via hand signals. Scientific divers will use pencils or pens to keep track of what they see under the water. An underwater pen will cost $5 to $15.
Pockets are used to carry equipment or other gear such as knives, pencils and pens, lights etc. Usually a BCD will have pockets, and sometimes you can buy a wetsuit or drysuit with pockets. Therefore it is not completely necessary to buy extra pockets. However, they are an option for someone who carries a lot when they dive. You can buy pockets to strap on to your legs or arm for around $50 to $100.
A pressure gauge is undoubtedly the single most important measurement tool a diver has. Pressure gauges tell you how much oxygen is left in your tank. Knowing how much is left is the best way of knowing when to end the dive. When buying a pressure gauge it is crucial to buy a good one that will not leak, and that will sustain bumping into rocks or oxygen tanks or other divers. Good pressure gauges will cost $75 to $100.
A reel is a long string with a removable clip that is wound around a wheel. Most commonly a reel will be attached to a surface marker buoy so that you can hold the buoy while it floats to the surface and indicates to boats where you are. Most reels are straightforward; a simple long one is perfect. Long reels will cost around $80 to $120.
A regulator is the breathing apparatus that a diver uses to get oxygen from their tank to their mouth and into their lungs. Regulators are extremely important so buying a good one is crucial to diving. You should buy a regulator that is solid and made of strong material that can withstand knocking into rocks and hard waves. You do not want to have a leaky regulator. That will shorten your dives and could be deadly. A good regulator will cost $300 to $700.
A save a dive kit is essentially the same thing as a diver tool kit. It is a collection of tools that can be used to prevent a dive from being cancelled. A save a dive kit is up to individual choice. You can have a big box and fill it with snacks, water or medicine. If you're diving without a divemaster, having some kind of save a dive kit is important. Save a dive kit prices depend on how much you put in it. A very basic kit will cost $30 to $50.
Scuba fins are useful purchases not only for avid divers but for casual divers, snorkelers and swimmers. Scuba fins are plastic shoe-like things that help divers swim during their dives. Some fins come with fully closed feet and some have straps. Boots are recommended for those with straps, but these can be adjusted while closed ones fit only a small range of shoe sizes. Some divers recommend buying brightly colored fins so that other divers and boats above the water can see the fins of a diver no matter the water visibility. A pair of fins will cost $30 to $100.
Without a scuba tank scuba diving would not be possible. Most people do not buy their own scuba tank, usually dive shops can rent tanks or provide tanks if diving with the shop's divemasters. However, it is possible to buy a scuba tank. When owning a tank it is incredibly important to fill it properly before a dive and check the pressure often to ensure it is still safe to dive. There are multiple sizes of tank, depending on the depth of diving. A tank will cost from $200 to $500.
Snorkels are inexpensive and are good to own, much like a mask, because it can be used even when not diving. Snorkels are used for surface breathing, you can swim under water while still breathing above it. Snorkels are not diving essentials but they can help in the case of being stranded at the surface for any period of time. Buying a snorkel is not necessary but can be helpful in many situations. A snorkel should only cost $15 to $20.
Surface marker buoys are key when boat diving to help the boat find divers in the water. The buoy, usually tied to a reel, is an inflatable object that shoots up to the surface of the water to alert boats of divers below. When buying a surface marker buoy color is everything. A neon color that stands out in the water like orange, yellow, or pink is crucial and it should be a buoy that only takes a few breaths to inflate or can be inflated by pulling a string. It also needs to be durable to withstand some underwater pressure. A surface marker buoy will cost $60 to $80.
A tank banger is another attention calling device used by divers. Usually it is a little ball on a circular string that is wrapped around the oxygen tank that can be pulled back and released so that it hits the tank and makes noise. Other variations include a simple metal stick that you can hit against the metal tank. A tank banger is good to own just in case of emergency to call divers who may not be within vision or may be looking away from you. You can buy a tank banger for $5 to $10.
Weights are what keep a diver under the water. The amount of weight needed depends on the density of the diver. You should consult with an expert or dive with a divemaster to know how much weight truly works for you. Once in the water you may need more or less weight than you thought. That's why you should know how much weight you need before you buy them, but you should also buy extra just in case you need more while diving. You can buy weights individually for $5-$10 each.
A wetsuit is the main clothing item worn by divers. When buying a wetsuit it is important to try it on to ensure proper sizing. Additionally, you should consider what kind of diving is going to occur as there are different thicknesses of wetsuits depending on the water temperature. Finally, for warm water diving there are shorites, wetsuits with short sleeves and short pants. A wetsuit should be comfortable and warm. A good wetsuit will cost $100 to $200.
A wetsuit changing pad is essentially a waterproof pad that you can stand on to take off a wetsuit, keeping the suit from touching the ground. In some cases the pad is made of synthetic grass, keeping the surface below it dry. A wetsuit changing pad is mostly useful when beach diving, as it keeps the wetsuit from touching the sand and having sand stuck to it. You should expect to spend around $30 or less on a changing pad.
Wetsuit shampoo is exactly what the name would indicate. It is a shampoo to help clean your wetsuits after a dive. This can be a good purchase to help protect the longevity of a wetsuit. Wetsuit shampoo is ideal if you're interested in keeping your wetsuit cleaner and longer lasting. It's $5 to $10 and can be found online.