If you have bought your diving gear or do some research about them, you’ll find out they aren’t exactly cheap. From scuba masks to BCDs, regulators, wetsuits/drysuits, and more, your diving gear is going to set you back a bit. And this necessitates the need to take care of your precious gear unless you are interested in replacing them now and then.
A dive bag is a worthwhile investment that’s going to provide ample space for your diving gear while allowing you to safely transport them. Depending on the type of dive bag you go for, you can use your dive bag for only storage purposes, for air and land transportation, or all of the above.
No matter how much or how little scuba gear you are intending to carry, you’ll find a dive bag that will meet your needs. This article contains a buying guide to help you choose the right dive bag. So here we go.
Why Use A Dive Bag?
I’m sure you must have given some thought to how you’ll carry your scuba diving gear, which is heavy and bulky. It’s obvious you’ll need a bag and not just any bag. You’ll need a bag that can contain all your diving gear, and protect them from potential damages with the bag itself easy to carry.
A dive bag fulfills all these requirements and will easily contain all your gear. Of course, you can’t put a scuba tank in a dive bag as scuba tanks are too heavy to transport. You are better off renting a tank at your destination.
Dive bags come in different designs such as roller bags, duffel bags, and backpacks so you can choose the design you like best.
Some Dive Bag Packing Tips
What to pack: As a scuba diver, you’ll need to pack a buoyancy compensator device (BCD), a diving mask, a regulator, fins, gloves, and accessories like a dive computer, a dive reel, and weight systems.
Most dive bags are designed to have several compartments so you can easily organize your stuff and retrieve them.
How to pack: It’s important you arrange your gear properly in your dive bag to protect them from damage during travel or storage. Dive bags have an organizational system thanks to their multiple compartments to make packing easy for you.
Pack your heavier dive gear first and then leave enough space for smaller items to go in. This way, the heavier (and most rugged) pieces of gear provide support for the more fragile ones. You should put your BCD at the top for easy access since you’ll most likely be reaching for it first.
How To Choose Your Dive Bag?
Below are factors to put into consideration when choosing a dive bag:
Your dive bag is going to contain several pieces of heavy gear, transported over long distances, exposed to harsh conditions, and carried over rocks or irregular surfaces. And all this means you need a very durable and rugged dive bag that can withstand all I’ve mentioned above. The seams must also be super-resistant so they don’t come apart.
Materials used to manufacture dive bags varied between manufacturers and you are better off going for a reputable brand with good reviews.
Design/Type Of Bag
As I mentioned earlier, dive bags come in various designs – backpack, duffel bag, hard case style, and roller bag styles – with each having its own advantages and disadvantages.
Backpack-style dive bags have the advantage of being the most comfortable to carry as the weights are distributed evenly on your shoulders. Your hands are also free and there are several pockets on the outside for storage and better organization. Also, backpack-style dive bags are very stylish and come in different colors.
However, it can be uncomfortable to carry backpack-style dive bags when you are packing your complete scuba diving gear. Backpack-style dive bags are also generally more expensive than other types of dive bags.
Duffel dive bags have a simple construction, are affordable, come in many styles and sizes, and are very spacious. Like the backpack designs, they are soft-sided which makes them easy to manipulate during traveling.
However, some duffel dive bags have just a single compartment and this makes organizing your stuff a bit difficult. Also, they can get heavy when you pack your complete dive gear.
Roller dive bags are essentially backpack-style or duffel dive bags that have wheels to make them more convenient. And this will make transporting your dive bags easier especially when it’s fully packed. However, adding wheels to a backpack means more weight.
Hard case bags are the most durable, capable of handling lots of abuse, and offer superb protection for your gear. They are very expensive and are usually used for sensitive dive equipment, like cameras and housing, computers, and so on, that can get easily damaged when packed in other types of dive bags.
Hard case bags are also the heaviest and can’t be manipulated for travel due to their hard cover.
Other types of dive bags included mesh bags that drains water out of the bags while allowing air in for quick-drying of your gear and regulator bags that are specially designed for regulators.
Compartments And Pockets
A dive bag with several compartments makes it easy to arrange your stuff and stay organized. You have a place for different items and be able to separate wet or dirty pieces of gear from other items.
Dive bags may or may not be waterproof depending on their designed purposes. Most dive bags (duffel and backpack dive bags) are designed to keep water out. However, mesh bags are not waterproof since the idea behind them is to let water drain out of them and allow air in for quick drying of the gear.
Zipper quality should be put into consideration as low-quality zippers will break in no time which may compromise your gear. Since your dive bag will be coming in contact with water, the zippers must also be resistant to corrosion to ensure their longevity.
Scuba diving gear is expensive and even going for the more affordable models will still set you back a bit. It’s in your best interest to take care of your gear to ensure they last long and one of the ways to do this is to invest in a quality dive bag.
Go through the reviews and the buying guide above and I’m sure you’ll find a dive bag that’s perfect for you.