You already own a mask, fins and snorkel but now it's time to fill your gear bag with the remaining gear essentials. From a color-display dive computer to the perfect-sized dive light, the following selections will help you put the finishing touches on completing your scuba diving kit.
Mares Quad Air
By constantly monitoring depth and bottom time, dive computers automatically recalculate your no-decompression status, and can also monitor your ascent rate, tank pressure and more. Look for user-friendliness — the most feature-packed dive computer does you no good if you can’t easily access the basic information you need during a dive. The Quad’s large, segmented display is incredibly easy to read thanks to its large characters and uncluttered layout, and provides necessary dive data at a glance. Navigation is a breeze thanks to intuitive menus.
With its bold, well-organized data display, there’s never any question what the Quad Air is telling you, plus its menus are a breeze to navigate.
Your BC holds your gear in place, lets you carry a tank with minimal effort and allows you to achieve neutral buoyancy. A good BC should be stable and comfortable, and the Carbon satisfies these requirements and more. This jacket-style BC holds the tank tight, while its padded shoulder straps, cushiony back pad and elastic chest strap provide a secure fit. It also has convenient integrated weight pockets and easy-to-find dump valves, including an integrated pull dump on the inflator hose. Its pockets and D-rings provide plenty of room for accessories.
Eight metal D-rings, an octo pocket and two zippered cargo pockets leave plenty of room for accessories; the weight pockets are easy to load and ditch.
Aqua Lung Calypso
A scuba regulator converts the high-pressure air in your tank to ambient pressure so you can breathe it. Look for a comfortable mouthpiece and have your local dive store select hoses of the right length for you. The Calypso delivers an excellent work-of-breathing, and the compact second stage sports a soft diaphragm cover and a Venturi control. The Calypso has been a trusted name for decades, and the latest iteration continues this legacy of reliable performance at a price point that won’t break the bank.
There’s more to the Calypso than a cool-looking second-stage cover. It’s an updated version of a smooth-breathing reg with a decades‑long heritage.
Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Hawkbill
The compact Dragonfly 2 is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but it packs the power of a much larger knife. The fully serrated hawkbill blade makes short work of most entanglements, and since it’s made out of Spyderco’s H-1 steel, it’s essentially rustproof. The folding knife can flick open single-handedly and stows securely when not in use. Although the handle is small, the knife features a finger groove at the base of the blade to provide a secure grip for maximum control and cutting power.
If you’re ever entangled by kelp, fishing line or other debris, you’ll be glad you’ve got this knife. The hawkbill shape of the blade makes short work of any underwater cutting job.
SeaLife Sea Dragon Mini 900
This tiny dive light is capable of producing a 900-lumen long-distance beam and has a single easy-to-operate button that cycles between four different power levels and an SOS strobe. It can run for 120 minutes at full power on a rechargeable 18650 Li-ion 3400mAh battery, or 60 minutes using two single-use CR123 lithium batteries, and features a color-coded battery-status indicator. The lightweight, rubber-armored light is conveniently sized for use as a backup light, but is dependable and powerful enough to be a primary dive light.
The ultracompact Sea Dragon Mini 900 cranks out brilliant illumination to bring out all the beauty of a coral reef and tropical fish.
Submersible Systems Spare Air
Diving within your limits and keeping a close eye on your gauge are effective ways of preventing out-of-air emergencies, but it never hurts to have a safety net. Spare Air is a redundant air source consisting of a 1.7- or 3-cubic-foot black anodized tank with an on-demand scuba regulator. Its small size allows it to easily and unobtrusively mount on your scuba kit in case of an emergency, and it can be used for self-rescue or passed to another diver. It can be easily refilled from a scuba tank using the included adapter.
The Spare Air has been the go-to backup air-delivery system for recreational scuba divers for decades; the 3-cubic-foot version (pictured) stows in its own holster.