Diving can be an expensive hobby or career so protecting the equipment is all too important especially as it involves being around saltwater.
- Size – Your scuba diving bag will help you carry everything while travelling so make sure that it can fit all your gear including wet or dry suit. PADI recommends to buy a dive bag 33% bigger than what you currently need as the extra space will come in handy.
- Dry bag or waterproof– A dry bag is completely watertight, a very useful item to have when transporting personal items and electrical equipment which mustn’t get wet. Waterproof is a terminology which implies that the material is water resistant so not watertight. Waterproof bags are ideal for all types of weather conditions.
- Quality – no matter what type of gear bag you are looking for it’s vital that all fasteners and zippers are non-corrosive and sturdy, materials used are waterproof or water resistant and they have good quality padded straps for carrying as dive gear can be heavy especially when wet.
Types of Dive Bags
It’s not unusual to have a few different types of dive bags as there are so many that have been designed for a specific job.
Watertight Hard Case – Completely watertight and with a reinforced hard casing this type of bag is intended for delicate items such as video or camera equipment.
Duffel Bag – Ideal for all different types of scuba gear and usually made out of waterproof material, the Duffle dive gear bag generally has one compartment with standard straps. This is one of the most popular of styles and is great for first time divers just looking for a standard bag with no specific requirements.
Mesh Bag – Made up of a thin mesh, these bags are ideal for wet gear or if you are transporting your gear from the boat to the shore. It lets water in and drains out easily so your gear is less likely to hold access water during transportation.
Dry Bags – Are watertight and keep your kit or personal items nice and dry when you are out on dives. They will even stay dry after a quick submersion in water if it is accidently dropped overboard or swamped by a big wave. Dry bags come in a different variety of styles from dry tubes to backpacks and it’s down to personal preference which style is preferred.
Backpack style – Many divers opt for the backpack style gear bag as the padded should straps allow this kind of bag to be carried, keeping your hands free to climb on to boats or walk to the beach for example.
Suitcase style – A comprehensive and often large suitcase, this style features wheels as well as an extended handle to aid in transporting your gear around. Mainly used for air travel.
Mask and regulator bags – Used to protect your individual gear during travel. For example; regulator bags are reinforced with a harder outer layer to protect from getting squashed and damaged by other items.
Along with protection and water proofing it’s important you look at how you will carry the bag. There are many choices with different handles and wheels and it is down to you which is better suited to your needs.
It’s worth noting that some bigger bags have a tendency to tip forward when they are fully loaded, not only is this an annoyance it can damage the diving equipment inside so it’s important to test this before purchasing.
Breathing materials allow for drying out if moisture builds up. Mesh bags are handy as they allow all water to drain out.
The more pockets and compartments the more organised you can be. This also avoids things like your Dive Computer getting damaged or scratched while in the same compartment as your fins, mask and BCD.
Reinforced bottom and sides are an added benefit as it can provide additional protection and lengthen the life of the bag.
Maintenance & Care
Every time you have used your gear bag it pays to rinse and wash it out with some wetsuit wash and rinse in fresh water. Keeping your bag clean and closed from water and sand will avoid the chance of you gear getting damaged inside.