Cut Costs Not Safety – Is It Safe To Rent Scuba Gear?

Cut Costs Not Safety – Is It Safe To Rent Scuba Gear?

Rent scuba gear that is safe


The equipment required for scuba diving can cost a fortune.

Renting equipment from a dive store is a great way to save money.

Buy the essential items for yourself first, then rent scuba gear for the rest of the remaining equipment that you need.

One thing you do need to know though is how to check the safety of your rented scuba equipment.

Shop Around

Rented gear has great value compared to buying your own dive equipment.

Before you go, just make sure you know how to check if your rented scuba equipment is safe when you get there. Try and use a store that has a pool where you can use to test their gear.

Ask the staff the right questions and know what to look for. Test the equipment out for yourself in a pool if you can before you agree to rent it. It is better to test on dry land before getting into open water and finding a problem.

Here's more on Dive Gear: When To Buy What?

What Questions should you Ask?

They will not mind you asking questions about their gear because they want you to feel safe. They will also be happy that you know how to make sure your rented dive equipment is safe.

  • Ask how often their dive equipment is serviced.
  • Ask if stored equipment is regularly tested.
  • Ask to see service records and test certification.

If they do get mad of the questions and don’t want to answer, choose a different dive center.

Ask questions before you rent scuba gear

Dive centers that refuse to answer your questions about scuba gear must be avoided - Credit: Dario Sabljak

Check the Dive Gear Yourself

Look over the equipment on your own too. If you need advice staff in the store may show you how to check your rented dive equipment is safe. Use your eyes and look for obvious features like:

  • Check the seams and seals on the wetsuit.
  • Check the suit is a good fit that gives you a good range of movement.
  • Make sure the weight belt and weights fit securely.
  • Check the seals on the air hose for corrosion or rusting.
Check wetsuit seams when you rent scuba gear

Seams, seal and a good fit are criterias for checking a rented wetsuit - Credit: Baloncici

Under Water Checks

Get into the pool if they have one and make sure the equipment does what you want it to. If you find a problem tell the staff and choose an alternative.

Pool test before you rent scuba gear

Getting into a pool for underwater checks - Credit: mikeledray

Why Make so Many Checks?

The checks are important as divers need to trust that their equipment will keep them safe. There is no enjoyment in a dive when all you can worry about is the condition and reliability of your gear.

  • Damaged or worn wetsuits can affect buoyancy and body temperature.
  • Damaged or worn weight belts or vests can break and cause dangerous ascents.
  • A corroded air hose could break loose in open water.
  • A faulty regulator could put your life at risk.

Here's more on Choosing a Regulator Mouthpiece.

Make a Deal

If you are happy with results of your checks and tests go ahead and rent your dive gear. You will be able to dive knowing you have safe equipment and be free from worry. You should now be proud you know how to check your rented scuba equipment is safe.

Do you have any good or bad experiences renting scuba gear? Tell us your story!

About The Author

Torben Lonne

Torben is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand - and dived most of his life in most of the world. He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of you can always catch him here [email protected]


  1. Martin Lind

    Is it even an option to own your own equipment? I mean sure the small stuff you can bring yourself and if you live close to where you dive then it makes sense but I you just travel a lot and dive on vacations then bringing a bcd, fins, wetsuit etc will take up all the space and weight limits for plane travels.

    So nice article as a to-do list for checking when renting, but imo it’s not a question if rented equip is safer it’s the only option.

    • Torben

      Hi Martin,

      First, Thanks for your comment.

      It all depends on how often you dive on vacations, and how often you go on dive vacations. Now a days there is light weight equipment available from most equipment brands. That could be an option if you often go on dive vacations. the light weight option is definitely a thing worth considering, it’s really cool gear, most of it anyway.

      Otherwise you could consider, as you mention, bringing only some of the equipment. for example only bringing your BCD and regulator. I would say, witch is the most important, including mask of cause.

      Also some airline companies offer extra weight allowances to sport equipment, including of cause dive equipment. It’s worth contacting them to check up.

      Hope that helps you in the future. And if you are renting it, make sure to check it if you are in doubt.

  2. Sadik B

    I’ve tried renting bad equipment for sure. Traveling with a backpacker you don’t bring your own dive gear, and then when diving a bit remote places more often than not, it’s bad rental equipment. To worn, and always visible dodgy repairs.
    I guss that what you get when you are on a budget, I advice: It works to demand some of the better equipment, if you don’t say anything they will give you the old gear. Enjoy your dive out there!! Sadik.

    • Torben

      Hi sadik,
      I’ve seen this as well. Many places out of the touristy place rental equipment is really bad.

      Hope you still had a lot of good diving, ven if it was with horrible equipment.

      Thanks for the comment.

  3. Thomas Petersen

    I bring my own regulator, computer, mask and fins. Next plan is to get a lightweight BCD. Then all I need to rent is a suit, weights and air. Worst case is a worn suit with holes that doesn’t keep me as warm as a new one. And when diving in waters with temperature of 25+ this is not really a problem. A faulty regulator that has not been maintained properly on the other hand would be a problem.
    Bringing my own regulator and computer gives me peace of mind.

    • Torben

      Hi Thomas, thanks for sharing.
      I can’t but agree in your comment, a wetsuite you can always rent with out problem. With the regulator, it’s more important that it works and you trust it completely.

  4. Julie

    My daughter died because of rental gear – her regulator hadn’t been serviced properly and she passed out due to CO2. Her buddy couldn’t get her to the surface (cold Pacific NW water so lots of weight). There were a lot of thngs that went wrong but it started with the regulator. Buying your own reg/computer and then getting it serviced annually is the way to go if you dive infrequently or don’t want to lug a ton of gear on planes. It’s the most important piece of gear we have in this sport. Always ask to see the shops service records prior to renting. It could save your life!

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Julie, I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter!
      I agree computer and regulator is the most important pieces of dive equipment! And having it services is a must!
      Thanks for sharing your story!

  5. Carl Hullo

    In by diving start I always rented equipment when I was on holiday, but after I started diving at home I had to buy equipment. So great to know what I’m using and I must say it makes me feel more safe! Would recommend at least bcd and regulator. Good diving you all!

  6. Johan

    Hi Julie, Thank you for a great piece of advice regarding the regulator. So sorry to hear about your daughter. Greatly appreciated.

  7. Mary

    Unfortunately i must rent my regulator and BCD at a resort for an upcoming dive trip. Although it is a reputable company i am wondering if there is any way to disinfect the regulator pre-dive.


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