Isabelle Barbier
Isabelle Barbier
Feb 20, 2018 • 6 min read

Traveling with dive equipment can feel challenging — it can be heavy, fragile, and often takes a lot of space. So how do well-travelled divers do it? We’ll tell you!

We selected six pieces of equipment that help make traveling with your gear a breeze.

With everything together weighing less than 10kg, including the 80L bag they fit in, you’ll even be able to pack some clothes around it. Follow our tips and you can fly with your travel gear while checking only one bag at the airline counter!

1. THE DIVE BAG THAT’S EASY TO TRAVEL WITH…FROM A NON-DIVING BRAND!

The right bag to travel is one that allows you to put your fins in - usually that’s the biggest equipment. Also, better if it rolls on wheels - because who wants to carry all this weight on their back? It should be solid enough to protect your equipment and have enough space so you can pack your “surface attire” - cocktail dresses anyone??

Deuter Helion 80L: with all these requirements in mind, we found the perfect bag. Yes, it’s an investment, but after a few years, it’s still rolling over the world - totally worth it!

Deuter Helion 80L

We like… the straps you can use to transform it as a backpack if you arrive by boat on to a sandy island!

Weight: 3,7kg (8.8 lbs) for 80L

Price: 289 USD

Where to buy: deuter.com

2. FINS YOU’LL FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH

Fins are key to good buoyancy and feeling confident in the water. We all swim and kick at bit differently and might have different preferences for warm or cold water. But the key is to find fins which feel best to you. Our two favorites are:

APEKS RK3, by Aqualung: yes, you’ve seen it for decades - it’s because it had originally been designed in collaboration with the US military. Compact, but does require more power to kick.

APEKS RK3

We like… their size, so easy to pack!

Weight: 2 kg for a medium size (4.4 pounds)

Price: 160 USD

Where to buy: AquaLung.com

Mares Avanti Quattro +: another all-time diver’s favorite. Less compact than the ones above, but very versatile. The four channels offer great thrusting power which is great for diving in currents.

Mares Avanti Quattro

We like… the versatility of the Mares and the choice of colors to help separate your fins from everyone else’s!

Weight: 2 kg for size medium (4.4 pounds)

Price: 129,95 USD

Where to buy: Your Nearest Mares Dealer

3. A COMPACT BCD THAT’S ALSO EXCELLENT FOR BUOYANCY CONTROL

Many divers wait years before buying a BCD… however when they have their own, they usually bring it everywhere. Once you have a BCD that suits you perfectly, it’s hard to go back to rental ones.

  • Our favorite is the lightest on the market: the Cressi Ultralight. The rear inflation offers good buoyancy control. It has lots of buckles (handy to clip a light or a camera) plus it features integrated weight pockets and a side pocket you can deploy or not.
Cressi Ultralight

We like… easy to fold, it easily fits into any travel bag

Weight: 2,1kg for a medium size (4,6 lbs)

Price: 419,95 USD

Where to buy: Your Nearest Cressi Dealer

4. A PERFORMANT REGULATOR YOU WILL KEEP FOR YEARS

Do not go cheap on this! Remember, it’s the primary life supporting piece of equipment you have. Again, you’ll see a big difference in having your own vs. rental. A good regulator provides good comfort when breathing at depth. Remember to service it every year.

We usually keep our regulator in our hand luggage as it is an expensive piece of equipment that needs care. If you ever fly within Philippines, you will however have to check it in as per local regulations.

Scubapro MK11/C350: very light and compact - it was designed for traveling - yet yields excellent performance. You’ll never go back to rental after trying it.

Scubapro MK11/C350

We like… how you can find ScubaPro parts everywhere in the world, especially in South-East Asia. That’s handy in case you need to have it fixed while traveling!

Weight: 1.09kg (2.4lbs)

Price: 429 USD

Where to buy: Your Nearest ScubaPro Dealer

5. A MASK THAT FITS YOUR FACE

There’s not much difference in mask volumes and weight so the primary objective should be how well it fits your face - having the proper size and shape to prevent leaks. Our two favorites are:

Oceanic Shadow: its sleek, 100% silicone skirt is molded directly to the lens. It’s slightly lighter in weight and provides excellent visibility. Super-compact and can easily be kept in a pocket.

Oceanic Shadow

We like… how compact it is. So small you could keep it as a spare too.

Weight: 385gr (0,848 lbs)

Price: 79,95 USD

Where to buy: Your Nearest Oceanic Dealer

Cressi Big Eyes Evolution: its shape makes you feel like you can see 360 degrees, even more with the crystal version of it.

Cressi Big Eyes Evolution

We like… its amazing visibility and the fact that you can also use it with prescription lenses

Weight: 399gr (0,879 lbs)

Price: 59,95 USD

Where to buy: Your Nearest Cressi Dealer

6. A WETSUIT (ADAPTED TO WHERE YOU DIVE)

We are slightly biased there as we have a preference towards diving in warm waters… 28C(80F) and above! Our favorite combination is a rash guard and board shorts. When it’s a bit cooler, I add a vest. Surfer brands do a good job at designing these.

Roxy 1 or 2mm vest: it can even be used above a rash-guard, and a board shorts can be a proper protection equipment for the conditions above stated.

Vest Roxy

We like… that it’s so easy to put on!

Weight: 500gr (1lbs)

Price: 99,95 USD

Where to buy: roxy.com

Aqualung Hydraflex 3mm wetsuit for women diving in slightly colder waters or who just want a full body protection is also an excellent choice.


We like… its cool style and flex parts - it is so easy to put on!

Weight: 900 grammes (2lbs)

Price: 199 USD

Where to buy: amazon.com

Remember, your wetsuit needs to be adapted to where you dive: most people in warm waters will still wear a shorty or a full wetsuit, both of 2 to 3mm. In colder water, use full protection and a 5 to 7mm wetsuit, sometimes you may even need a dry-suit. Talk with your dive operator before deciding what to pack.

SO…WHAT DOES THE BUDGET LOOK LIKE FOR ALL THESE?

We opted for some equipment that’s both excellent performance and reasonably priced. Should you have to buy this equipment, you would spend 1500 USD. An investment you will use for years to come.

We did not include Dive computer and Surface Marker buoy as these are compact by nature. But of course, they are essential items to pack! We do not get any commission for recommending this dive equipment. We just truly like these!


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