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Scuba Diving Gear

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Every diver's life depends upon one thing – his gear. Diving is an equipment dependent sport. No matter how experienced a diver is, if his gear fails he could face a dangerous situation. The journey to safe diving begins with equipment selection. It is invalid ​​​​to describe a piece of gear as “good” or “bad”. Instead, divers need to consider whether gear works well for their individual needs and the conditions they expect to dive. Once a diver chooses gear, he needs to learn to use it properly. Divers should understand how their dive gear works, how to assemble and check it for fit and function, and how to manipulate it underwater. Here's what you need to know about scuba diving gear.

  1. Dive Gear Basics
  2. Buoyancy Compensators (BCs/BCDs)
  3. Fins
  4. Lights
  5. Masks
  6. Snorkels
  1. Tanks
  2. Regulators
  3. Wetsuits and Drysuits
  4. Scuba Gear Reviews
  5. Dive Gear Recalls

Dive Gear Basics

dive gear

Before you read in-depth articles about specific pieces of scuba diving gear, check out this quick links to dive gear basics, including what gear you need to scuba diving and the fundamentals of scuba diving equipment configuration.

Buoyancy Compensators (BCs/BCDs)

Cressi S300 Buoyancy Compensator

Buoyancy Compensators (also know as Buoyancy Control Devices, BCs or BCDs) allow divers to float on the surface of the water and to control their depth during a dive. The most common style of buoyancy compensator is a vest or jacket-style device that connects the scuba tank to the diver. However, many alternative styles of buoyancy compensators exist, such a the backplate/wings combination commonly used in technical diving and the classic horse-collar design. This section includes information to help you select and understand buoyancy compensators.

Fins

Image of Oceanic Viper Fins

Just like fish, scuba divers have a wide variety of fins. There are blade fins, split fins, open-heel fins and closed-heel fins. Divers can use free diving fins or turtle fins, fins with spring straps or fins with booties. For a relatively simple piece of gear, there is quite an assortment of scuba fin styles and features available to recreational divers. Here's some basic information divers should know about scuba diving fins.

Lights

Scuba diving lights come in a wide range styles, from hand-held to canister lights. Learn about the different purposes for carrying a dive light, as well as which type of light will work best for you. This section is intended to educate divers who are in the market for a light, or who simply want to learn more.

Masks

Scuba masks are our window to the underwater world. An extremely personal part of a diver's gear, a mask that fits well is one of most difficult pieces of equipment to find. A good scuba mask makes such a difference that people who have found their perfect mask frequently refuse to dive with any other. Here is basic information about scuba masks, as well as how to find and care for your ideal mask.

Snorkels

Cressi Delta 2 Snorkel Photo by Cressi

Snorkels are recommended safety gear for scuba diving. When the surface is rough, a snorkel can be used as a back-up breathing apparatus, allowing a diver to breathe even if he has difficulty getting his head above the waves. Divers can also use snorkels to scout dive sites, or enjoy a little extra in-water time between dives.

Tanks

yellow scuba tanks

Scuba diving tanks are designed to hold large volumes of air (or other breathing gasses) compressed to an extremely high pressure. A standard aluminum 80 cubic foot scuba tank holds about the same amount of air as a small phone booth. Amazing! Learn more about the features and styles of scuba diving tanks in this section.

Regulators

Zeagle Regulator Photo by Natalie L Gibb

Before there were buoyancy compensators, fancy dive computers, and pink fins, there were regulators. Scuba regulators are the piece of dive gear that enables a diver to breathe underwater. These complex little devices come in a variety of styles, and not every regulator is appropriate for every kind of diving. A diver should understand the basic parts and functions of a scuba diving regulator, and learn to select a regulator that fits his diving needs. Here is some basic regulator information to help you out.

Wetsuits and Drysuits

a diver wearing a wetsuit stands against a white background

Most scuba divers wear a wetsuit. Wetsuits provide thermal protection for divers and protect divers from injuries caused by accidental contact with the underwater environment. A wide variety of wetsuits are available, and choosing the perfect wetsuit can be tricky! Be sure to check out several wetsuits before purchase, and always try on a wetsuit before buying it.

Scuba Gear Reviews

a scuba diving couple enters the water using their diving equipment

Do you have a favorite piece of dive gear that you want to recommend to the world? Do you want to know what other divers have to say about their scuba gear? Review dive equipment using the simple Equipment Review Form below, or check out the links below to see what other divers have to say about their gear.

Dive Gear Recalls

scuba equipment recalls

Official recalls issued by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

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