Packing Guide for Scuba Diving

You just booked your first Scuba Diving Holiday since you started diving.

So what do you bring with you for the trip overseas?

Well, you’ll pack the usual: clothes, sun lotion, camera, toiletries…those kinds of things of course. But where do you fit all of your dive equipment?

Don’t worry! Here’s a step-by-step guide to all you need to bring and what you should just leave at home.

Traveling With Full Gear

Traveling With Full Scuba Gear

Dario Sabljak

First thing is to just let your dive tank and weights at home, unless you are going on a dive expedition to a deserted island. They are way too heavy and they are included in the dive trip.

Since diving with your own equipment is of course the way to go you can pack your wetsuit, BCD, regulator, fins, mask, snorkel, etc. Having familiar equipment doesn’t just improve the dive experience it also will save you money not having to rent that gear.

Good rule of thumb, pack two bags: one for your scuba equipment and one for your normal stuff.

Watch how much each of your bags weighs though. If you are traveling with full dive equipment some airlines will give you a 10 kg extra baggage allowance. But remember to check this before purchasing the ticket in case the airline doesn’t give the extra 10 kg. This could end up costing you a lot more.

Limited in Weight

A young woman wearing scuba gear

YOu cna bring mask, fin snorkel even on non-diving holidays - Jason Stitt

If you’re limited in weight you might need to cut back on some of the dive gear you bring. Baggage weight is normally 20 kg and 2/3 of this weight probably goes to the normal travel stuff.

The kind of diving and travel you are doing will help you choose which pieces of your dive gear you can rent and what you can leave behind.

Bringing your mask and snorkel is always a good idea, even if you are not on a scuba holiday. These are lightweight and you can use them to snorkel off any beach.

Read the Full Snorkeling Guide.

Your regulator and BCD are lifesavers, so if you can, bring them! The regulator is the most important piece of dive equipment and it’s very comfortable having your own BCD to use. Besides, having these two pieces of equipment will save you the most money not having to rent them for the dive trips.

Scuba Diving Tank

Would you bring your dive tank? - zhu difeng

There are positives and negatives to renting fins. Keep in mind there is nothing worse than a pair of fins that don’t fit right. If you are going to be using open heel fins you’ll probably be ok renting these because you can always bring your own boots.

Check what the water temperatures are where you’re traveling to before packing your own wetsuit. It’s no use bringing an 8 mm wetsuit to 29°C water or a shorty for 18°C water. If you get cold easily then bring your own wetsuit being it fits you nice and tight. However if getting cold isn’t a worry, then just rent one to keep the baggage weight down.

Always bring your computer, this is really expensive to rent. Besides it’s always nice to know how it works and know you can trust it.

Bottom line…the decision of what to bring is up to you. Ask yourself what you will need and what you can do without. It’s also a good idea to check with your dive operator if there are pieces of dive equipment they don’t supply for rental.

Dive Equipment Made for Travel

Diving equipment on tropical beach

Elena Yakusheva

Scuba gear is becoming easier to bring on a dive holiday these days.

Lightweight equipment is  easy to bring and weighing as little as 11 kg for a full set of dive gear.

Many of the big brands are now offering this type of dive equipment, at fair prices. This might be worth checking out if you need to buy new dive equipment.

What Not to bring

Diving weights

Don't bring weights - Zpyder

You don’t want to bring things along on your scuba holiday that you really don’t need, especially because a lot can be rented or borrowed from the dive centers. Make a mental checklist: 1) do I really need this or can I do without it and 2) could I borrow this at the dive spot without extra cost.

  • Once again remember you don’t really need to bring scuba tanks or weights for your trip. They take up a lot of space, weight, and due to security checks it makes it difficult to bring on the plane.
  • Also there probably isn’t going to be any need for a big box of tools. All dive centers have tools that you can use. If you feel the need to bring your own tools, just bring a small set and some basic spare parts like o-rings, etc.

How about you? Do you have a packing list that works for you? Share your ideas of the perfect packing with all of our readers! Leave a comment below!