Scuba Diving Gear List – The Complete Dive Equipment Guide
You might have wondered what scuba diving gear you need and what the best use for the different pieces of equipment is. If you are new to diving, then you most certainly will struggle to know what you should have and what different devices you need.
- 1 Basic/Essential Scuba Diving Gear
- 2 Breathing Equipment
- 3 Diving Gauges and Electronics
- 4 Exposure Items
- 5 Suits
- 6 Scuba Diving Accessories
- 7 Scuba Diving Safety Gear
- 8 Dive Gear Repair Corner
- 9 Maintain your Equipment
- 10 Final Thoughts
This guide will provide you with a list and explanation of the most commonly used scuba dive gear. Find out the essential pieces of equipment you need to have to dive safely and comfortably.
Scuba diving is a very gear-intensive activity. You can’t just jump into the water, hold your breath and hope for the best. It won’t be an enjoyable activity!
To make it easier for you, we separated the different pieces of equipment into categories. Everything you see in the Basic/Essential Gear section is what you should consider owning or renting.
The second area is called Exposure Items. Following this is a list of Accessories and then lastly the Repair Corner.
Let’s dive right into it… We picked the best-rated gear in each category to speed up your search.
Basic/Essential Scuba Diving Gear
This section covers the necessary gear that you should own when you go diving regularly.
Buoyancy Control Device – BCD
These devices allow controlling your buoyancy underwater. When you’re on the surface, they keep you afloat.
Check out all you need to know about buying a BCD here: https://www.deepbluediving.org/scuba-bcd-buying-guide/.
Our pick is the Scubapro Litehawk, which combines excellent quality at a reasonable price.
The diving mask is the most recognized piece of scuba equipment there is. And it’s probably the essential item too as it allows you to see underwater.
Our top pick is the Cressi F1 – Scuba Diving Snorkeling Frameless Mask. It offers everything you need at a great price.
Fins are the best way to get you moving through water. As we don’t naturally grow them, we need to attach them to our feet…
We’re not fish and we don’t have gills. Underwater we need gear that allows us to breathe.
Below is the list of breathing related gear that you should consider to have.
Allows breathing air or Nitrox from the scuba tank. You can check our in-depth guide on scuba regulators with the following link https://www.deepbluediving.org/regulator-buying-guide/.
Our pick for a regulator is the Scubapro MK21/S560 Regulator. High quality at a reasonable price.
The octo(pus) regulator allows sharing air with your dive buddy if necessary. Find out what types of octo’s you can find: https://www.deepbluediving.org/scuba-octopus-regulators/.
To go with the regulator, we thought it would be best to stick to the same brand. Our best choice is the Oceanic New Alpha 8 Scuba Diving Octopus Regulator.
You typically will rent a tank instead of dragging it with you on your travels. However, if you live close to where you dive, then you might very well own a tank.
Have a look at whether you should go for a steel or aluminum tank here: https://www.deepbluediving.org/aluminum-tanks-vs-steel-tanks/.
Our pick is the Faber 80 Cubic Foot Blue Steel Tank. It’s a steel tank with 80 cf capacity at a great price.
Diving Gauges and Electronics
Staying informed about where you are, how much time you have left, how deep you’ve gone is essential to keep you safe when diving. Different gauges and decompression calculators are required when you go underwater.
Depth & Pressure Gauge
The depth and pressure gauge lets you know how deep you are and how much air is still in the tank. Many modern dive computers have the option to integrate the air into the computer and will give you the same (or better) information.
Depending on the quality of your dive computer (see below), you can forego this piece of equipment if it is integrated into the scuba computer.
Our pick for the depth & pressure gauge is the ScubaPro Depth And Pressure Gauge.
Dive computers come in all different shapes and functionalities. You can pick a simple entry-level model or go high-end with air integration, etc.
If you choose a high-end unit, then you can save yourself a few other pieces of equipment, and the higher initial cost is entirely offset by not having to spend money on other gear.
Our pick for a dive computer is the Shearwater Research Teric Wrist Dive Computer. It’s a high-end model with air integration and all the bells and whistles you can ask for.
Even though it’s kept simple enough that even a beginner can handle it! You can check an in-depth review of the Shearwater Teric here: https://www.deepbluediving.org/shearwater-research-teric-wrist-dive-computer-review/.
In this area, we shed some light on items you need to keep yourself protected from the environment underwater. It also can help to protect you from scratches and injuries while you explore the world down there.
Gloves keep your hands warm underwater. They also protect them. If you’re diving in colder regions and/or in deeper waters, then gloves are essential to have.
Our top pick for scuba diving gloves is the NeoSport Neoprene Velcro Gloves.
Similar to the gloves, the boots are there to keep your feet warm and to protect them.
Our pick for scuba boots is the NeoSport Wetsuits Premium Neoprene 3mm Hi Top Zipper Boot.
Suits keep your body warm – at least somewhat. They also protect you from injuries and scratches.
Wetsuits come in many different shapes and forms. Mostly the difference will be the thickness of the material. They are also used to keep you warm and to protect you somewhat.
Be aware that they are not the best choice if you dive into freezing water. Also, remember that a thicker wetsuit will be stiffer.
Our best pick for a wetsuit is the Seavenger Men and Women 3mm Full Wetsuit.
A drysuit keeps you even warmer than a wetsuit. And, as the name states, you also stay dry. If you dive in cold climates, then use a drysuit instead of a wetsuit.
A thicker drysuit keeps you warmer but is also stiffer. Drysuits will also cost you a lot more than a wetsuit!
Here’s a comparison between a drysuit and a wetsuit if you want to dig deeper: https://www.deepbluediving.org/scuba-wetsuit-vs-drysuit/.
A recreational diver will typically never be in a diving situation where a drysuit would be needed. In case you disagree, though, check out the Scubapro Everdry 4mm Dry Suit.
In addition, there are many other clothing items that protect you from the environment. We have not listed all of them in detail, but you can get hoods, hooded vests, and undergarments for drysuits, etc.
Scuba Diving Accessories
Here we have a look at some items that are helpful, yet you will only require them in certain situations. For example, you don’t necessarily need a dive torch if you’re not going to dive at night or in bad light situations.
You need the ability to produce light if you dive during the night or if you need to look into cracks and crevices. A dive light should always be part of your dive gear.
We have a look at the best scuba dive torches here: https://www.deepbluediving.org/the-best-scuba-dive-lights/.
Our suggestion for your dive torch is the ORCATORCH D520 Diving Flashlight.
Another piece of equipment you should always bring with you. No, you won’t use it to fend off sharks, but in case you get entangled in kelp or a net, you can cut your way out of the entrapment.
Here’s how you can find the best knives for scuba diving: https://www.deepbluediving.org/best-dive-knives/.
Our top pick for a dive knife is the Promate Scuba Dive Snorkel Titanium Knife, which provides durability at a great price.
A compass is essential to help you navigate underwater. Higher-end dive computers often also feature a built-in compass. In that case, you can save yourself the money to buy another compass.
Find out how to use a compass when diving: https://www.deepbluediving.org/scuba-diving-compass/.
Our top pick for a wrist-mounted compass is the Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass.
It’s a great idea to have a snorkel to breathe in case you swim with your head underwater.
Do you even need a snorkel when scuba diving? Find out here: https://www.deepbluediving.org/snorkel-when-scuba-diving/.
Our pick for a snorkel is the Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkel for Diving and Snorkeling.
A dive bag lets you carry all your dive gear. There’s a ton of choices ranging from high-end rollers that look like suitcases to mesh backpacks.
Mesh is a good idea as it will let air get onto your wet gear to dry it out.
Have a look at the different storage and travel bags and what the best of them are at https://www.deepbluediving.org/storage-and-travel-bags-for-scuba-gear/.
Our top pick for a dive bag is the Mares Cruise Mesh Backpack Deluxe.
Scuba Diving Safety Gear
Let’s talk about safety. Below is a list of essential safety-related dive gear. Have a look at what would make sense for you to have.
Surface Marker Signal/Buoy (SMB) Kit
Mark your position for boats and other divers. Reel and whistle are included.
Check out the best ways of surface signaling: https://www.deepbluediving.org/best-ways-for-surface-signaling/
We picked the Seafard 4ft Red Scuba Diving Open Bottom Surface Marker Buoy (SMB). It includes the reel and clip, and you don’t have to try to find the different pieces one by one.
The nightmare of every diver is to run out of air. And it happens when you have to put in a safety stop to avoid decompression sickness.
The Spare Air device is the right item to have with you. It gives you the extra minutes of air you need to safely come up again without risking your health.
Find out what other alternative air sources you can find: https://www.deepbluediving.org/alternative-air-sources-spare-air-and-pony-bottles/
The best pick for spare air is the Spare Air 3000 3.0 Kit.
Marine Rescue GPS
A marine rescue GPS device can be a lifesaver if you get into an emergency. It can send a distress signal and allows you to be found through the signal and GPS location.
You can’t go wrong if you pick the Nautilus LifeLine Marine Rescue GPS Submersible Dive Alert Scuba.
Dive Gear Repair Corner
When you have a lot of gear, then something always breaks or needs maintenance. Below is a list of essentials to help you fix any of your equipment and to make sure it’s in great shape!
Nothing is worse than going out to dive and then finding out that some part of the gear is broken or just needs to be screwed in. This tool kit is designed to allow you to make quick repairs when necessary!
The best choice is the Deluxe Diver Tool & Repair Kit. All the tools you need in a handy package.
Have the most important replacement parts with you. Otherwise, you might end up not diving because of a little broken piece that you can easily replace yourself.
Have a look at our in-depth post on what a save-a-dive kit is: https://www.deepbluediving.org/save-dive-kit/.
For a quick repair, you can find the most common items you might need in the XS Scuba Save A Dive Kit.
Maintain your Equipment
A first step to preventing that you ever have to fix your gear is to maintain it. Keep it clean and store it correctly and it’ll last a lot longer.
Wetsuit/Drysuit Cleaning and Care
Like any other item you wear, a wetsuit or drysuit needs to be kept clean. Use special shampoos to get rid of algae, bacteria, etc. that get picked up in the water.
Have a look at some of our guides to cleaning your gear:
- Clean your snorkel and dive gear: https://www.deepbluediving.org/clean-dive-or-snorkel-gear/
- Clean your dive computer: https://www.deepbluediving.org/dive-computer-maintenance/
- Clean your dive mask: https://www.deepbluediving.org/clean-silicone-mask/
Best is to use a specialized shampoo like the McNett Wetsuit Shampoo. Be sure you have enough at hand as you need more than a small tiny bottle!
Wetsuit Changing Mat
The mat allows you to change on it instead of concrete or sand. It helps to prolong the life of your suit (wet or dry).
Check out the COR Surf Wetsuit Changing Mat / Bag.
Scuba diving is a gear-intensive activity. You will not get away with just buying the cheapest gear and then hoping for the best.
Buy all Scuba Diving Equipment at once?
Buy less equipment at first but get the proper gear. Rent what you can’t afford to buy and save money that way. You are better off with a few pieces of equipment that you own and that are of high quality.
Don’t forget that your safety depends on a lot of this gear. If you initially spend a little more to get higher quality gear and you take care of that gear, then you will enjoy it for a long time.