How to Travel Light With Scuba Gear

With lightweight scuba equipment for sure you have to make some compromises on what you normally prefer. You may consider it though, to avoid paying for luggage overweight on top of your plane ticket. Besides that, you travel more comfortable. Let's go through the different pieces of equipment to see where and how we can reduce weight.


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    Don't take a tank and weights. These items are the heaviest, and you definitely don’t take them on the plane. Most diving centers include this equipment in the price of the organized dives. If you go diving on your own, you should definitely rent these. Consider also renting the other equipment - just take a mask and a snorkel. There can also be a big difference in the quality of the equipment the different diving centers offer. Make sure you are informed before you arrive. However most divers prefer using their own equipment.
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    Take a mask and snorkel. You can also rent these. There are also soft foldable snorkels that even fit in the pocket of the jacket. Take a low-volume mask that fits in the foot pocket of you fins. It protects the mask and you don't have to bring a box. Replace the silicon strap with a neoprene Velcro adjustable strap, which is lighter and more comfortable. But make sure the strap is tight so water doesn't go into your mask.
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    Use full foot fins without boots if you go mostly boat diving in warm water. If you need foot protection, you may take a pair of neoprene socks with a larger sized fins. Carbon fins are an option, but most of them are the long type that free divers use. If you can’t do without your open heel fins, don’t use the metal spring straps. Normally, those are preferable, but the conventional ones are lighter. Don’t pull them too tight.
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    Pack a regulator. Plastic is recommended, although small light weighted metal second stages do exist. The first stage is always metal. Inform what valve system they use where you go diving - DIN or yoke. It avoids having to bring an adapter. The pressure gauge can be plastic. Use the modern braided hoses - they are half the weight of the normal type and more flexible.
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    Take the simplest BCD jacket you can get, without the integrated weight system. The back plate has to be small. Plastic D-rings and buckles are recommended instead of metal. Take the buckle of the weight belt in plastic.
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    Pack a suit with you. This depends on the water temperature. If the water temperature is below 18 °C (64 °F), consider a lightweight trilaminate drysuit. Take under-protection that you can also use as “normal” clothing. Use a full wetsuit about 2 mm thinner if you use a sleeveless 3 mm vest with hood under it.
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    Take a dive computer with you. If you don't dive too deep, you don't need it. If you do, you can buy one that is integrated in your wrist watch. Make sure the batteries are full and bring an extra pair of batteries with you. It can be expensive or impossible to change them on your destination.
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    Take a bag with you. For sure no hard case. Consider taking the trolley type with you - it is handy.
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    Use a logbook. Some models are bigger than a day-to-day office agenda. Pack your license and a few empty logbook sheets.


  • Be clever. Tell your travel agent in advance you are a diver and that you need a bigger luggage allowance. They are more likely to accept, before you pay. If they don't, ask the price for overweight. The moment you step up to the check-in desk on the airport, is too late.


  • Don't leave the safety sausage home if you go drift diving. There is a cheap orally inflatable model of two meters long, that is light and doesn't take up much space in the pocket of your jacket. This model is not intended for safe surfacing, but for being spotted easier by the boat crew to pick you up. It can save your life.
  • Scuba diving is a safe sport, but only after adequate training, using the right equipment and following the rules you learned, all related to the conditions you dive in. The vast majority of accidents happen for not respecting these basics.

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Categories: Scuba Diving | Travel Packing