The right scuba equipment can make an incredible dive even better. Here's a look at some of the coolest and hottest products from our Editor's Picks from Sport Diver's Best Dive Gear Guide.
Scuba diving equipment is evolving in ways that make diving safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable, but how do you ensure you’re making the right choice? Start with these simple tips.
Do Your Homework
There’s no such thing as being too well informed. Ask questions of instructors, shop personnel and divers.
Consider the Source
Most divers have a favorite brand or product type. Ask why and see if their reasoning applies to you.
Determine Your True Needs
The most advanced gear in the world won’t serve you well if it isn’t matched to your needs. If your dive plans involve tropical vacations and relaxed tours of the reef, you don’t need to spend extra for “expedition ready” equipment designed for polar exploration.
Invest for Expansion
Just as you don’t want to buy gear that is overly complex for your needs, you don’t want to limit yourself if your aspirations might expand.
Go with a Name Brand
The big-name brands can be more expensive, but most devote significant resources to research, development and quality control. And it’s nice to know the brand you invest in has been around, and will continue to be around.
Even the best gear can fail without proper maintenance and service, which is a good argument for going with a brand represented by a local dive shop. Mainstream brands are also more likely to be supported by resort operators — something traveling divers should consider.
Every year it seems someone unveils the next big thing in diving. Some of these innovations stick, but others fall by the wayside. If it’s a brand-new design, complex, expensive or untested, you might want to steer clear.
The most important reasons to work with your local PADI dive pro are advice and service. Local dive centers are the epicenter for our culture, be it for air fills, service or the camaraderie of fellow divers.