Top 10 Swimming Gear You Must Have To Master Your Swimming Skills!

01/06/2019

Do you want to become a master in swimming? The process of becoming a master in swimming is very easy. Whether you take this decision because you are going to compete or interested to have a training partner who is good for you! Even though you know basic techniques of swimming, to become master, you need some important gears also.

If you love swimming but never try to go beyond beginner’s lessons, then set a goal. Setting goals to improve the swimming technique will help you in excelling. More than that let’s face it. The market is full of swimming gears and accessories. To become a master, you need little help to choose the best one.

If you always wanted to have swimming gears but not know exactly what all are important and how here we will help you to get that:

Top 10 Swimming Gear You Must Have To Master Your Swimming Skills!

Swimmer Snorkel

Recently, we saw a local swimmer doing freestyle kicking forth and back without a splash. We saw only one sign of disturbance brightly colored snorkels in the water that cuts silently from the water.

Even all have seen patented snorkels since 1994; a front-mounted snorkel recently came into popularity among pool decks. Today it is not hard to find this one in the best athlete collection of swimming gear.

We started with kick sets while doing long course swimming particularly, and it is helpful mainly to develop a balance and stroke fully. You may think why it is so important. The reason is there will be muscle imbalance in the shoulder during swimming. The best way to combat is mercilessly breathing bilaterally. It straps your face towards up to the snorkel of a swimmer.

A snorkel of swimmer can help in improving anything you want in the water. You may think how? It is like developing a more balanced stroke, to do kick works and mimic body position properly, to do scull properly but not with your head-up. One other best thing about this kind of snorkel is versatility that makes you a better swimmer.

Swim Caps

Swim Caps

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It may be difficult for you to choose the best swim cap when you see them at a sports store. Swim caps come in multiple shapes, size, color, and materials.

  • Silicone Swim Cap: While latex swim cap is still popular, some swimmers get an allergic reaction. A solution to that problem is that the manufactures brought silicone material in swim caps. Silicone never leads to an allergic reaction. Nowadays, silicone is the most popular swim cap. It is flexible, a bit thicker, smells neutral, shinier and comes in various colors.
  • Lycra Swim Cap: Lycra swim caps are made of the material that is used for making swimsuits. It is a mix of polyester and Lycra. Some come with additional coating outside to improve durability and also permeability. It is thick but the same as silicone, soft and gives a comfortable feeling. Also, it comes in different colors because it is made of Lycra fabric.

Kickboard

Now how we told we love kicking using a snorkel, the first love we should mention is the borderline green kickboard we use. She may not look pretty now but do its job perfectly. If you spend more time on a kickboard, then it can help in building bigger overall motor skill. Why is it?

The reason is our legs have the bigger muscles than other parts of our body. Therefore, it sucks up more of oxygen. Better leg fitness can help you in maintaining better body position and improves the ability to finish and execute much powerful pulling motion.

Usually, kickboards come in rectangular shape made with EVA foam. The commonly seen sizes are 1 to 1.5 foot large and 1inch thicker. But you will find a variety of colors. In my opinion, kickboard is best for isolating the leg movements while learning break stroke in swimming. Also, you can learn flutter kicks in the backstroke or front crawl using kickboards.

Also, you can become expert in front crawling and arm movement backstroke. For doing it, squeeze the board by keeping it between your thighs so that legs get supported. Now, give more concentration on arm motion while swimming.

Goggles

Goggles

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If you are a beginner, to choose the best goggles for swimming can be a little frustrating experience. There are many varieties available, but a new pair of swim goggles should not be uncomfortable or useless due to leaking.

Check the lenses whether it looks comfortable. First, leave the straps and push its lenses against our eye sockets. It helps in getting a better idea about the lenses. It should be comfortable enough that you can wear for how many hours you want in the pool.

Choose padded goggles with gaskets made of silicone or rubber. Then check it sticks on your face due to suction even without straps. If not, the goggles will fall off and lead water. Afterwards, put the strap and check it is still comfortable.

Fins

Strapping the swim fins can do great things to make you the best swimmer. It helps you in developing more flexibly and motioning in the ankles and feet. It can help you to swim faster and teach you to breathe properly. It maintains a proper technique to swim at high velocity.

We feel a lot of fun to swim and kick with fins. This temptation will get bigger if you pick the best pair of fins but choose only shorter ones. Why? Because massive diving fins with two-foot blades slow down your RPM of kicking too much.

Diving gins are used generally by scuba divers that are too long and used for regular swimming. They are used for years now. Short blades have become popular recently.

It provides less force than longer blades; as a result, your kicking movement becomes closer to those without fins. Positive drive fins are shorter, so they are used for swimming breaststroke. Also, it can be used for other swimming strokes.

Paddles

Swimming paddles

Via: http://www.feelforthewater.com/2017/12/iso-brilliant-new-paddle-from-finis.html

Swimming paddles are like a staple for every swimmer’s training. Maybe, as an experienced one, you have used paddles so many times. But, do you have noticed what will happen when it is a strap-on? You can swim longer and swim faster per stroke of distance.

To build strength and power, it is specific to get. I do not need to tell everyone that when you swim with paddles, you swim faster. You get a feeling of how efficiently you swim in the water, keeping the rigid torso to early catch and much more.

If you want to use paddles for swimming, you can buy a small variant that comes with holes. They may put less strain on your shoulders and allow you to feel better in the water. While you use it, try to focus on the correct stroke mechanics and feel water instead of force exertion.

Band

As long as low-technology goes, this simple rubber band is a super addition to your performance. If you want that serious power with torque to pull motion, you should have it.

The bands force your arms to move balanced and for no resting with gliding more. It helps the legs to sink, so you need to be more cognizant to keep the hips high swimming in the water and face down. However, you should avoid using swimming band if you have rabid in the shoulder and should progress into.

You should think it as high-level resistance training band. If there’s any deficiency in the stroke, then it can make it worse by using the band. The bands balance your stroke, reinforce critical needs to have high-elbow while your catch, stroke rate increase and work as a stark reminder in keeping your hip nice and up in the water.

Nose Clips

Most swimmers may snicker with the idea of putting nose clip during training or competition. There are many benefits of using a free-range legit nose clip. You get more resistant power during breakouts and will help to breathe and kick out on the walls more.

Nose clips are bent wire little piece made of rubber that can stick to your nose. It will squeeze your nose and keep nostrils shut and water out. If you are not using it now, you may wonder how we should wear it. It depends on the type of clip you buy.

A nose clip always becomes beneficial equipment for beginners because it controls the breath. It is something that many swimmers struggle while learning to work out breathing pattern and doing flip turns without the water getting into their nose. It also makes it easier to extend the underwater dolphin kicking. Everyone loves doing underwater dolphin kicks, but only a few are master in holding their breath repeatedly for a long time and improving each rep.

Pull Buoy

Using pull buoy correctly can greatly benefit swimmers who want to become masters. It is used to separate focus of their arms on the training of pull and arm. Pull buoys are kept in-between the legs either at knees, thighs, ankles or calves.

  • Learn and Sustain correct body position: Swimmers who stay higher in water and glides across the surface are said to be master when their legs and feet drop, dragging increase dramatically. So pull buoy keep your body elevated on the water with feet at or below the surface.
  • Better breath control: Pull sets are used often on breathes control technique. By kicking heat and respiratory rate increases without leaving energy to give focus on or to breathe. Generally, the swimmers use pull buoys for longer sets. Without kicking can leave swimmer less winded and more strength.
  • Focus on technique: Another benefit from cutting out kicks and saving energy will be the ability to focus on stroke technique energy. Arms get sloppy when a swimmer struggles to keep kicking strong and consistent.
  • Concentrate more on arm mechanics: As said pull buoy helps a body of a swimmer to mimic proper poster in the water. But the same may not be possible while doing the kicking. So a pull buoy is a time when a swimmer can give more focus on arm mechanics properly to become a master in swimming.

Drag Sox

Are you hearing DragSox for the first time? Don’t worry! I can explain. They are little mesh kind of nets strap to the feet. It allows you to increase resistance and drag in the water. The main purpose of this piece of leg muscle building equipment for swimming is else. It develops leg power and strength to increase the power of swimming.

Dragsox is also great for an overall improvement in leg power and conditioning; it may go beyond that also. It gives a remarkable effect on the feeling of your foot in the water. This may sound silly to you, but at the moment you take it off and make an effort to move you can exactly know what I am telling. It will feel like shaving down or tapering instantly without the cuts and jitters.

The versatility it offers is the best part, do some vertical resistance kicking in the deep water. Also, you can do sprinting and swimming regularly with them, and its design allows you to swim with proper technique as well as full range motion.

Even though swimming is a competitive sport and looks like all you need is a swimsuit and goggles. If you take a glance at the pool deck while practising, you will learn otherwise. The bulkhead of the pool will be filled with everything from swimming bags and swimming gear, and from paddles to fins, caps, band and other miscellaneous items.

Swimming equipment is the one that can make an experienced swimmer to be a master. It provides very important benefits for each ability level. When you use it correctly, it will improve your body position, isolate muscle groups and differentiate the intensity of your swimming sessions. They are only possible if you use gear purposefully and correctly.

Top 21 Water Sports Equipment You Must Carry To Enjoy Water Sports!

01/03/2019

If you love to take an active part in water sports, then you should make use of the right equipment when playing it. In this article, we will discuss popular water sports equipment, safety precautions during water sports, and some of the health benefits of water sports.

What are Water Sports?

There are several water sports available including windsurfing, spearfishing, boating, board diving, sailing, paddling, snorkelling, swimming, surfing, water polo, water skiing, and others. If you are residing in a city or town that has a popular beach, then you probably spend the weekend there.

Some water sports like surfing and kayaking require immense physical strength and skills. However, others like skiing and parasailing can be done by people of all ages. However, you will need to take extreme precautions and wear all the safety gear. Hence, we will be discussing a few important safety tips at the end of the article.

Many people like to go on vacations to destinations where water sports are commonly done. It is not surprising to see that several firms and companies have come up providing water sports equipment and training programs.

Top 21 Diving Gear Packages that You Must Have!

The first water sports equipment we will be looking at is the diving gear. Diving is a gaining prominence all over the world, especially in America. You can find diving training schools almost in all the beaches located in prominent cities throughout the country.

The ability to view the beauty of flora and fauna live, inside the sea or ocean is breathtaking. To be able to dive inside the sea safely, you need to be equipped with proper gear. We will discuss a few of them briefly:

Dive Computer

A dive computer is a waterproof device, which works as a computer system. You can view crucial data on it, like the depth, water density, and others, which enables you to drive safely. Professional divers need a dive computer to identify objects located beneath.

With the help of fins, you can swim better when inside the water. It helps to maintain your body balance, and you can direct your body by wearing fins on your feet. The fins enable you to either go deep inside the water or come up immediately when you want to.

It is ideal for situations when you feel that your oxygen supply is dwindling. Boots and socks are worn when diving. However, when deep sea diving, fins are necessary for rapid movements inside the sea or ocean.

Diving Suit

Diving Suit

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A diving suit is also called a wetsuit. It protects you from the freezing temperature beneath and helps keep your body warm. The material also protects your body from objects piercing your skin or causing cuts. A diving suit material is made up of 3mm in dimension, which is sufficient for use in any water body.

Pool Floats

Pool floats come round in shape and bright colors. They are ideal for swimming pools and a pool for kids, hence the name. A kid or adult can use a pool float. It helps the person to stay afloat in the water and prevents them from sinking. When you do not know how to swim and want to stay afloat, then a pool float is necessary. The product is ideal for kids.

River Tubes

A river tube is similar to that of a pool float. It comes in the form of a tube. Young children might find them uncomfortable to use. However, they are ideal for adults due to their large size. Teenage children and adults can use them for floating in a pool.

Knee Boards

Kneeboards are used when surfing on the water. Usually, you are towed by a boat at high speeds. Hence, you must be in a kneeling position for a better grip. In case of falls, you are less likely to get hurt. A kneeboarder must wear a life jacket and goggles for protection along with a proper swimwear.

Ski Life Jackets

Ski Life Jackets

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Ski life jackets like those that the name implies are jackets, which can be worn during water skiing. They are life jackets, which not only protect your body from the harsh sprays of water but also keep you afloat in case you fall. You can also keep items inside the pockets present in the ski life jacket. It is a must for all those who want to ski on the water.

Snorkelling Gear

If you love snorkelling, then you must ensure that you are equipped with all the gear for snorkelling. A snorkelling sets usually consists of masks, snorkels, and fins.

Snorkels

A snorkel is needed for breathing. When you are underwater, you have to come up to the surface and breathe. You can then go down again for a short while and again come up for breathing.

The idea is not to go in too deep inside the water. Shallow waters with beautiful sea life are what makes adventurers want to explore them through snorkelling. It is a popular water sport, and you can find people the entire world snorkelling in popular beaches across America.

Full Face Snorkel Mask

Full Face Snorkel Mask

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A full-face snorkel mask is used for snorkelling. The mask protects your face from debris hitting your eyes or nose. It also aids in your view. You can see things underwater with the help of a mask.

If you like to go on a spearfishing expedition, then do not jump inside the water without your wetsuit for protection from biting cold and debris inside the water. Spearfishing was one of the oldest forms of fishing dating back several centuries.

Ideally, you can do it in rivers, ponds, lakes, and streams. The water is shallow, and you can keep your posture through standing. Professional spearfishing experts like to do deep sea for hunting. People love to spearfish because it is not only thrilling but also improve your hand and eye coordination.

Spear Guns

Spear guns are used for catching fish. It forms a vital part of the spearfishing gear. The spear gun works similar to that of a bow and arrow. A spear is attached, and all you need to do is to pull the lever to shoot your target. Though it may look easy on television, it requires immense concentration and patience. Not to mention, you are underwater.

Floating water mat

A floating water mat is similar to a rubber tube to help people stay afloat on the water. It comes made from cell foam that is closed. It is designed using a foam material. When you are new to swimming, then you must seriously consider using a floating mat in the water.

Travel BCD

Travel BCD

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For deep sea diving, you need a travel BCD with you. It comes in more than 20 different sizes and excellent fitting. During your dive, you do not feel the presence of the BCD because you are flexible and free to move around. You can also add weight pockets for according to your needs. There are plenty of daisy chains, which help to hang items. The lock system present on the bag works in excellent condition for your requirements.

Water Skis

Water skis are made up of lightweight material, which enables the person to ski on water. Usually, the individual is pulled or towed by a motorboat in front. It is water to the surface sport and is widely enjoyed by people of all ages.

Surfboard Foamie

The surfboard foamie is called so because it is made from a soft material. The soft material gives you the ability to catch the waves without effort. Not to mention it is extremely buoyant. The dimensions of the foamie make it remain stable when on the water.

Surf Booties

The surf booties or boots are made from very high-quality materials. They help you to surf when in water. They are normally used when you take part in long sessions under the water in extreme conditions.

Body Boards

A bodyboard is similar to a boogie board. These boards are used to place your body on it when surfing. A bodyboard can be slightly longer than a boogie board. However, the usage is the same. They both are ideal for surfing.

Goggles

Goggles

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The goggles are safe items, which are enclosed on the eyes. These glasses help protect the eyes when worn underwater. They prevent particles, water, and other debris from causing damage or injury to the eyes. If you are deep sea diving, then a pair of goggles is necessary.

Water polo gear

Water polo is a popular water sport. You can find people of all age playing it in America and Europe. All you need is a large swimming pool and a net in between. It is similar to polo playing on the surface, except that you are in the water.

Why is it Important to take Safety Precautions during Water Sports?

Watersports, just like other sports come with its risks and injuries. Hence, you should take the necessary precautions by ensuring proper equipment and gear is used. If you are new to the particular water sport, then do not wade inside the water, without a trained professional.

He/she can help you if something goes wrong. Not to mention, the kind of equipment you use must be purchased from a reliable source. Whether you decide to purchase from a traditional store or online retailer, do not forget to research the product. Here is some bonus information for you.

What are some of the Health Benefits of Water Sports?

Health Benefits of Water Sports

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Water sports are prominent in all parts of the United States of America. You can find families consisting, of both young and old, playing around in the water. The sun and the fresh air give you an intense adrenaline rush. A good weekend trip to a popular beach sets the mood for the week. Not to mention, water sports helps your both stay in shape. The walking around under the sun and moving around gives your body what it needs.

  • It decreases the risks of chronic disease: The risks of chronic disease reduce water activities. It aids in burning calories and improves your body metabolism. The intake of fluids in your body is also increased, and so is your appetite.
  • It reduces the risks for diabetes: People with diabetes and chronic heart disease will need to have lifestyle changes to keep their overall health in check. Watersports or even just simply floating on water and doing light exercises will help lower stress levels and keep you relaxed, which is good for the heart and the body in general.
  • Useful for individuals who have arthritis: If you have arthritis, then water activities are the way to go about things. The gentle and mild flow of water hitting the body has a therapeutic effect. The bones and joints are immensely affected.
  • It improves your mental health: The mental health of the person is improved greatly. You feel excited and thrilled like a small child when entering the water. We all like to splash around the water. It also aids the stability of the mind.

If you feel that water sports are not worth your time, then you know the answer. Using the right set of equipment and safety precautions, you can about take part in all the activities. It enables you to keep a healthy mind, body and helps people with physical ailments to recover faster.

Water sports can fun and thrill. However, you must ensure the best water sports equipment used are of the highest quality and in working condition. This is required for activities like paragliding and surfing, snorkelling and others. Right from the kind of trunks and fins you are wearing, to the breathing equipment you use during diving, are crucial for safety and survival.

A Review Of The Best Scuba Diving Gear Packages This Year

11/02/2018

Beginner scuba divers know how time-consuming it is to buy the individual pieces of scuba diving gear. Often, you wonder if there are scuba diving gear packages that you can buy in a wholesome instead of buying piece by piece.

Of course, they are there but choosing between the numerous brands is another daunting task altogether. In this buying guide is all the information you need to know about scuba gear packages to get you started on your underwater thrills.

How to Choose Scuba Diving Gear Packages

The process of buying scuba diving gear packages is an easy one. All you have to do is identify the types of equipment you want to have in the package based on your skills level. When you have done this, you can then select a reputable online retailer.

There is also the option of buying the package yourself from a scuba diving store near you.

What are the Benefits of Scuba Diving Gear Packages?

  • They save you from having to rely on the gear provided by rentals. Although some rentals are great, not all are equal
  • Saves you the time you may have spent buying individual pieces
  • Guaranteed fit in every dive for most of the purchases made
  • Owning diving gear makes it possible to dive often
  • Packages are cheap in the long run

Things to Look for in Scuba Diving Gear Packages

Most of the scuba diving gear packages are equipped with almost similar pieces so that you get the best use out of your purchase. There may be more, but these should be the most important things to consider.

  • Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)

The BCD in the package forms the bulk of the expense. Having a package with a good quality BCD gives you the freedom to move effortlessly on or under water. If you are to enjoy your dive, then you should be able to float, stand on the ocean floor, and swim mid-ocean.

Your gas tank also attaches to the BCD, so you have to carefully select it. The feature you should be looking for is the sizing and fit. You want a BCD that is neither loose nor too tight on you once inflated.

  • Octopus

This is the part of the gear that connects the tank and your mouth. The connection is done through a mouthpiece that usually sits on your teeth. Because of the important role it plays, this piece of the gear should never be overlooked.

  • Dive Computer

Here is another important piece that should be available in the set you intend to buy. It gives you all the critical dive readings such as air pressure, diving depth and time among other things. Two styles are available in the form of either the wristwatch or external styled dive computers.

There are some packages without it, meaning you will have to spend extra money to acquire one. As a beginner, prioritize the ease of use and how legible the display is.

  • Regulator

The air in the tank is highly pressurized, making it impossible to breathe as it is. It is, therefore, the role of the regulator to convert the air into breathable oxygen. The most basic packages have a regulator that is compatible with oxygen. But if you go for those at higher prices, the air mix also increases.

Scuba Diving Gear Packages Reviews

1. Cressi R1 Scuba Diving Package

This scuba diving package from Cressi contains almost all the gear that a beginner may need to get started. It is also fairly priced. Inside this package is a Cressi R1 BCD with a weight system integrated into it. There’s also a Cressi AC2 compact regulator.

Also, a Cressi Compact Octopus with a hose, an air/Nitrox Cressi Leonardo computer, a regulator bag, and a gear guide are part of the package. Although it is a great option for beginners, the front to back zippers and the PSI gauges may be a little awkward.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compact size for traveling
  • BCD Adjustable for a perfect fit
  • Great gear for beginners
  • Manual provided for reference
  • The package is light
  • Usable on both cold and warm water
  • Available in different sizes

Cons

  • Lacks a dive light and a backpack or trolley
  • The PSI gauge is off on some products
  • Zippers difficult to manage

2. Cressi Travelight Scuba Diving Package

If you are looking for an upgrade on the Cressi R1, then the Cressi Travelight is an ideal option. This scuba diving package is designed to be as lightweight and portable as possible. All the pieces of gear fit inside the provided backpack, weighing about 15 pounds in total.

The package has diving gear such as a Cressi Travelight BCD with an integrated weight system, a Cressi MC9 regulator, Leonardo C2 console dive computer, and an iTorch (dive light). In addition, you get a Cressi mini SPG, a regulator bag, and a trolley.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable backpack holds fins and masks
  • Can be used for an array of styles
  • Fits divers of diverse sizes
  • High-quality construction
  • Balanced regulator
  • Great for beginner and intermediate divers

Cons

  • The BCD is reported to tear with ease
  • Pricey
  • Large fins do not fit in a backpack

3. Aqua Lung Pro HD Scuba Diving Package

The Aqua Lung Pro HD Scuba diving gear package is an incredibly durable set that is resistant to both chlorinated and saltwater use. The BCD jacket provided has weights integrated onto it.

A well-balanced diaphragm that eases your breathing is also part of the package. For the BCD, the set has a Pro HD jacket which you are supposed to wrap around you. The jacket is integrated with weights. A regulator, an Aqualung SPG, i300 computer, ABS, and a regulator bag are also available.

Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • Well balanced diaphragm
  • Integrated weight pockets
  • Octopus provides excellent motion ranges
  • Lightweight
  • The computer has nitrox and air modes
  • Holds up against salty and chlorinated water
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Lacks a dive light and backpack
  • Only for beginners

4. Mares Abyss 22 Scuba Diving Package

The Mares Abyss 22 scuba diving gear package is a set consisting of a Mares Hybrid Pro Tec BCD, a Mares Abyss 22 Navy regulator Yoke, a Mares air control alternate air source, and a Mares Puck Pro Plus Wrist Dive computer.

Also included are a Phantom Aquatics Impulse 600 Torch and the Regulator Bag from Mares. The BCD is engineered with its weights to save you the expense of an additional weight belt. While it may be great for beginners, it does not come with a pressure gauge. You have to buy it.

Pros

  • BCD easy to use
  • Folds up small for travels
  • High-quality construction
  • The wrist dive computer makes it easy to take readings
  • Alternating between air sources is a breeze
  • Octopus not integrated with BCD
  • Withstands rigorous dives

Cons

  • The pressure gauge is missing
  • On the expensive end

5. ScubaPro Equator Scuba Gear Package

For scuba divers looking for a high-end scuba diving package and willing to spend large, then the ScubaPro Equator would be a great choice. The ScubaPro Equator BCD in the package has its weight systems, while the ScubaPro Galileo Luna wrist computer is fitted with a transmitter.

The set also has a ScubaPro C200 octopus with its hose and a ScubaPro MK21/S560 regulator (Yoke). From the composition, you will notice that it does not have a dive light, an SPG, and a storage backpack for the gear.

Pros

  • Integrated weight pockets system
  • Padded BCD for comfort
  • Hoseless gas integration computer
  • Comfortable orthodontic mouthpiece on the OCTO
  • Different sizes for a variety of users
  • High-quality build

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Lacks some items such as a torch

What's The Best Way to Use Scuba Diving Gear Packages?

Scuba diving packages can be used for a wide range of underwater activities, but not above water activities such as water sports. You could use it to explore shipwrecks, flora underwater cities, or during scuba vacations.

Be sure to check the compatibility of the gear with the water you are to dive in. Some of the gear is meant for warm water, while others are for cold water or both. Also use a wetsuit that corresponds to the water temperature you are in whether warm, temperate or cold.

Prerequisites to Using Scuba Diving Gear Packages

In as much as the scuba diving packages will have most of the gear that you need, some of them might be inefficient. Therefore, before you set out to use them, remember to check for the availability of everything you need.

It could be a diving torch, weights or backpacks. Often, these packages do not include snorkel masks, compasses, safety reel, knives, and fins. You have to buy these separately for convenient diving. Also, a dry suit or a wetsuit should be in your packaging depending on your preference.

How to Maintain Scuba Diving Gear Packages?

The package you have will not last you longer if you don’t perform the required maintenance procedure on it. Here are helpful tips to ensure your big purchase lasts for long.

  • After a dive, soak the gear in fresh warm water for a couple of minutes. Then rinse them off with clean, fresh water to remove the salt water residues remaining after a dive. Note that some manufacturers recommend that you don’t soak the regulator in water in the first place. Check the manual for clarification.
  • Always examine the connectors for any signs of corrosion, making sure to remove these.
  • Examine the hoses for the development of nicks and cuts. Additionally, run your finger along the hoses to identify weak spots.
  • Clean the octopus with a non-alcoholic, but anti-bacterial wipe. This procedure keeps it clean and healthy.
  • After rinsing, hang the pieces to dry in a place with no direct sunlight.
  • Use an oral inflator to add a little water inside the BCD. Shake it a little to wash off salt deposits inside the BCD.

Frequently Asked Questions about Scuba Diving Gear Packages

Q: Do the BCDs have weights on them?

A: Yes. All the five products in this buying guide have a weight system integrated into the BCDs. Some have pockets for holding the weights and then using a handle to pull out the weights.

Q: How do I determine the sizes I need?

A: Manufactures and retailers provide a sizing chart to be used in the determination of the right size for you. In case the sizes are not that accurate, then the adjustability features of the BCDs come in.

Q: Can I use these pieces of gear in chlorinated water?

A: It depends on the specifications provided by the Manufacturers. There are products you can use in this type of water, while others are non-tolerant to chlorine. The best way to be sure is to check the manual for a directive on what waters to go scuba diving.

Q: What is the maximum depth that the regulators can still remain operational in?

A: Regulators differ in terms of capabilities. While some can sustain you up to the set depth of 130 feet, others can still hold up until you dive to a depth of 260 feet. However, if you are a beginner or a recreational diver, then staying closer to the surface is the safest option.

Q: How Much Should I spend on a Scuba diving gear package?

A: Scuba diving sports offer divers all the choices they want. And since you would be getting involved in a sport that you love, we wouldn’t want to put a cap on the amount of money you may wish to spend on it. It all depends on how much you are willing to pay, your diving level, and the features you want.

Tricks When Buying Scuba Diving Gear Packages

  • Buying online can be cheaper than buying from a retail store
  • Scrolling down to the reviews section gives you a good perspective on how the product performs in real-life
  • Check through multiple online sellers for the best deal when making a purchase. You will be surprised at the price disparity.

Conclusion

When well-maintained, scuba diving gear packages are some of the best investments you will ever make. The pride of owning your gear is an unrivaled feeling, unlike when you rent the gear.

Buying piece by piece may be great for customization, but it is time-consuming and requires a lot of skill to pull off. Your own gear also means being able to go diving whenever you feel like as it removes the restrictions put in place by rentals.

If you are a beginner, and you are looking for the best scuba diving gear packages, then we believe the Cressi R1 Scuba Diving Gear Package is a worthwhile option. It is affordable, has good quality features, is put together by a reputable manufacturer, and allows for customization.

The 5 Best Dive Computer For Beginners Available On The Market

10/03/2018

As a first time diver, I know how excited you are about getting your first dive computer. It is one dive gear that frees you from having to calculate the nitrogen levels using the ever complex dive tables. After completing your open water course, it is now time to make the big step up.

You, therefore, need the best dive computer for beginners. This task presents some kind of challenge, more so when there are lots of them and you might not know what features to consider. This buying guide would be a welcome relief for you.

How to Choose the Best Dive Computer for Beginners?

  • Have Your Level of Expertise in Mind

As a beginner, the best dive computer is one that you can comfortably use its provided features. There are certain features you might not use until you reach an advanced level. Paying for one with such would be like drying your hay while the sun shines. You can also think of the future and purchase one with features for a mid-range diver.

  • How Much Are You Willing to Pay?

First of all, if you can’t afford it, there is no point trying to buy it. Prioritize your budget as it helps you narrow down the available options. This will help in making for an easier choosing process. At the same time, do not have a fixed budget as it is an investment for the long run. If your budget is no issue, then feel free to choose from the available ranges.

What Are the Advantages of the Best Dive Computer for Beginners?

A dive computer accrues a beginner a lot of benefits. Here are some of the reasons to get one:

  • It guides you through a dive, ensuring your safety in the process. These computers allow a diver to configure their dives, based on preferences. As you dive, you get reliable feedback for confidence.
  • You are freed from the complex calculations. In turn, all you have to do is concentrate on your sight-seeing as you enjoy your underwater experience.
  • Provides a beginner with an easier way of recording and sharing adventures than when diving without one. With their logbook memories, you don’t need paper logbooks.

Things to look for in the Best Dive Computer for Beginners

  • Ease of Use

A dive computer that would take you minutes to decipher the information provided is not worth a penny from you. Look for one with basic features that you can use and figure out yourself.

Buttons need to be large enough to be pressed with gloves on. I recommend getting acquainted with how the system works before taking a dip into the water.

  • Readability

It doesn’t make sense to buy a product that you cannot read its digits with your mask on, does it? If you can find one with a multi-color display, the better for you. However, it doesn’t have to be so. Having a dark color but on a high contrast background eases readability under water.

  • Nitrox Compatibility

You may not need it at first, but you will need to nitrox in the near future. Choosing a dive computer that is nitrox integrated saves you on making the upgrade when you decide to use it. Alternating between nitrox and air is flexibility that every diver needs.

  • Digital Compass

Knowing where you are headed in a dive is very important. When you have a dive computer, there is no point of having an analog compass for the same. Having the digital compass in your gear conserves space.

  • Mounting

The mounting aspect of the computer is essential during a dive. Most of the options available are worn on the wrist, while other options allow you to attach them on your suit.

Either of them has its own advantages. So you can choose whether you prefer a simple wrist twist when taking a reading, or having a hands’ free operation when adding weights.

  • Gauges

There are certain gauges that you can live without when under water. These include the amount of remaining air and time spent underwater. Some computers have additional gauges such as decompression time and alert to inform you when you are descending too fast.

  • Audible Safety Alarms

The computer you choose should warn you when you are putting yourself at risk. You could be descending too fast or have little air remaining. The warning systems should be audible enough so that you can react accordingly.

What's the best way to use the Best Dive Computer for Beginners?

Before you use a dive computer, check to ensure that it fits well on your wrist. Having a sophisticated computer which has a terrible fit does not work well for you. Consider your wrist sizes and the material which it is made from before diving into your hobby.

Controversy Surrounding the Best Dive Computer for Beginners

In the past, there has been folklore surrounding the use of nitrogen during dives. Nitrox diving was considered some kind of a dangerous activity. Nitrogen gas was thought to be a harmful gas that could potentially lead to the death of divers.

Contrary to this belief, nitrogen is a safe gas unlike how it was portrayed in magazines before. Divers all over the world are safely using the gas for diving.

Prerequisites to using the Best Dive Computer for Beginners

  • Ensure you are physically fit to scuba dive in the first place. The high pressure your body experiences when underwater demands that you be of impeccable health and that your body functions as it should. The medical questionnaire you fill becomes essential.
  • You should be of the right age to dive. Essentially, you need to be at least 8 years and above to use your dive computer. No upper age limit exists at the moment.
  • Be well versed with the functionality of your dive computer. Don’t wait to figure things out in the course of a dive.

Best Dive Computer for Beginners Reviews

1. Cressi Leonardo

The Cressi Leonardo combines a fashionable yet simplistic design for use by beginner divers. It features an audible alarm, an easy to use on button, nitrox and air modes of usage, large readable digital outputs, and a backlit screen for use during the night.

Significantly, a safety feature designed into this dive computer automatically comes on when you are at a depth of 15 feet. Beginners have to take care not to hit the reset button accidentally. You would lose your hard set dive settings.

Pros

  • Decent max dive depth and hike altitude
  • Audible safety notification
  • Easy to reset for dive shops
  • Easy to use single button interface
  • Affordable
  • Can be used even at night
  • Lots of colors to choose from

Cons

  • Insufficient backlight
  • Bulky for some

2. Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer Wrist Watch

This entry level dive computer has the wrist mounting design that can be converted to a console-mounted computer. Its features include a special 4-button navigation, visual, and audible warning alerts. Usage modes are air, nitrox, free dive and off.

All these are displayed on a large screen, with all the data being visible at once. A strong enough backlight allows for night time or murky water reading. All the features are easy to use and include just about anything a beginner may require. There are minor quality issues you will have to deal with.

Pros

  • Great affordability
  • Easy to use
  • Great value for the price
  • Versatile usage
  • Great visibility of displays
  • Outputs convertible from metric to imperial
  • Executes orders impeccably

Cons

  • Small buttons difficult to use when wearing a thick pair of gloves
  • Quality issues with the mode button

3. Oceanic Geo 2.0 Air/Nitrox Computer Watch

Fitted with mid-range divers in mind, the Oceanic Geo 2.0 is a great choice for a beginner who does not want to do an upgrade soon. If you don’t mind spending extra on a dive computer, then this product would be a great option for you.

It is compatible with air and Nitrox modes, allowing you to switch between the two with ease. A digital display eases data reading. Data from the computer can be transferred through a USB. 4 usage modes allow for a standard watch, nitrox and air mix, run timer gauge, and free-diving mode.

Pros

  • Plenty of usage modes
  • Great for beginners upgrading to medium range
  • Data transferable through USB
  • Decent logs memory
  • Quite a powerful backlight
  • LED flashlight included
  • User algorithms can be switched
  • Single button access to last dive data

Cons

  • Complex for beginners
  • Stores up to 24 dives

4. Aqua Lung i770R Dive Computer

For a more tech-savvy beginner, the Aqua Lung i770R is an exceptional option. It offers a diver Bluetooth connectivity coupled with a TFT screen for high resolution. The robust and compact design meets most of the needs a beginner diver may have.

Features on the dive computer include a 3-axis, full tilt compass, an easy to use 3-button navigation system, and a multiple-gas usage capability. With the 4 operating modes and a hoseless integration, using this dive computer is made easy

Pros

  • Bluetooth compatible
  • High visibility screen display
  • Versatile for a range of uses
  • Allows for the planning of dives
  • Only requires to be paired once with the transmitter
  • User-friendly interface
  • Dives review makes for safe usage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Might be too complex to be used by a newbie diver

5. Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer

With its full continuous decompression algorithm, the Suunto D4i is a great choice for a beginner. There are 4 modes in which you can use this dive computer. There is the air, free, nitrox, and off modes. When in the air-nitrox modes, a timer comes in handy.

The firmware on this product can be updated to the latest one, with the option of having a wireless integration into the air system. The product is available in a wide array of colors. However, its fast battery draining rates can be a bit of an issue at times.

Pros

  • Waterproof for scuba diving
  • Dives easy to plan
  • User-friendly
  • Great value for the price
  • Stylish
  • Variable color combinations
  • High-quality construction
  • Works great

Cons

  • Seems overpriced
  • Battery drains fast at times

How to maintain Best Dive Computer for Beginners

  • After a dive, thoroughly rinse the dive computer with fresh water as you wipe it with a soft towel. This step gets rid of organic matter and salty water.
  • Occasionally clean it with a mild detergent and toothbrush. Give special attention to metallic surfaces to remove sunscreen, perspiration, and salt deposits.
  • Take it for calibration checkups, function checks, and seal checks after every 2 years
  • Pack the computer with padding when traveling
  • Protect from direct sunlight, heat, and harsh chemicals
  • Check for tears, wears or corrosion on the buckles and wristbands. Replace them as soon as necessary.

Frequently Answer Question [F.A.Q]

Q: In case my dive computer malfunctions in the course of a dive, what should I do?

A: Although it is rare, if the computer develops issues, the safest thing to do is stop the dive. I prefer to be safer than sorry.

Q: After buying a dive computer, do you still need the compression tables?

A: There is no need. Your computer does everything for you. Having the compression tables helps you in no way, maybe if the computer gets damaged.

Q: Can I integrate my air tanks with a dive computer?

A: Yes! Air integrated dive computers make this possible. You are then able to know how much air is remaining, as well as how to do the time, depth, and decompression calculations. A beginner would appreciate these safety features.

Q: I hear beginner divers do not need dive computers, is it true?

A: Unfortunately, that is an assumption that some people have had for some time now. However, all divers need a dive computer, regardless of the skill levels.

Q: Can you use a dive computer as an ordinary watch?

A: Yes. Some of the options available have various modes of usages. When out of the water, you can use them as stylish wrist watches.

Tip/Tick when buying Best Dive Computer for Beginners

When buying a dive computer, keep the following in mind:

  • You have to be able to take readings with your mask on
  • Consider the compatibility of the dive computer with your other diving gear
  • You have to be 100% sure that you understand the information being relayed.
  • The larger the memory capacity, the better
  • Low battery warning should not be ignored at all
  • Device accuracy is mandatory

Conclusion

For beginners, a dive computer is very important for your safety when deep diving. It is your digital lifeline, providing you with accurate real-time information for the perfect dive. If you have been searching for the best dive computer for beginners, then my top pick would be the Cressi Leonardo.

It is an affordable dive computer with most if not all of the features a beginner diver would require. With it, you get a nitrox compatible equipment, one that you can use a USB cable, adjustable units of measurements, a single button operation, a battery level indicator, audible alarms, and air conservation mechanisms.

The 5 Best Floating Water Mat To Buy In 2018

10/01/2018

Taking the plunge on the best floating water mat is a ton of fun. If you haven’t tried it out then you are missing on a lot. Using floating water mats will give you a chance to literally walk on water as you, your family and friends have endless hours of entertainment.

If you are looking to buy the best floating water mat, then you are in the right place. We have everything there is to be known about water mats including a review of 5 of the best products available.

How to Choose the Best Floating Water Mat

  • Outline How You Expect to Use the Mat

The first step is having a clear plan of how you expect to use the mat. Do you want to use it on a lake, ocean, river, or on a water pool? How many people will be using it? What kind of watersports activities would you be getting involved in? Answering these questions gets you the best mat out there.

  • Choose Your Preferred Size

Floating mats are available in small, medium, large to extra-large sizes. A common confusion is mistaking size and weight capacity. These two features are different as a small sized mat can sustain a larger weight than a large mat, depending on the construction.

Choose a size that you can comfortably roll and unroll for transportation as well as storage.

  • Visit A Watersports Store or Do Your Shopping Online

Your shopping convenience is what counts here. Whether you like the convenience of online shopping through the likes of Amazon or going physically to the nearest store and making your purchase, it is you to make the decision.

  • Consider the Product Reviews

Reviews are a great way of learning more about the product you are about to buy. They are mostly done by people who have had first-hand experience in using the product. Factoring in their input helps you make a well-thought-out decision.

  • Give A Thought On the Warranty

Before finally confirming your purchase, consider how favorable the product warranty is to you. A longer warranty gives you inner peace as well as guaranteeing you a higher quality product than a shorter one.

What Are the Advantages of the Best Floating Water Mats?

  • They are Non-Inflatable

Floating water mats do not require any form of inflation to remain afloat on water. They rely on the buoyancy properties of closed cell foam materials used to make them. You, therefore, don’t have to invest in an additional pump. Also, you are saved from the hassle of inflating one.

  • More Durable than Pool Mats

When compared to pool mats, floating water mats are made from a higher quality of materials. They, therefore, last for long despite their high prices.

  • Easy to Transport and Store

Floating water mats have Velcro straps for keeping the rolled mat in place after use. Moreover, they are relatively light which means that you can move them around with ease. Even if you require help, it would be minimal.

Things to Look for When Buying the Best Floating Water Mat

  • Material of Construction

One of the critical aspects of a water mat is the material used to construct it. It is what sets the best floating water mat apart from the rest of the mats. And if that’s not enough, the material of construction is what determines how long your mat will last while in service.

The floating mat you are considering buying must be made from high-quality grade foam materials. There should also be a tough outer membrane to protect it from scratches or accidental tearing.

To maximize on durability, look for an option with an Ultraviolet stabilization layer to shield the inner foam layers from the sun rays. Check for reviews from prior users on how the mat performs when subjected to rigorous use and whether you can have a pet on board.

  • Maximum Weight Capacity

Buy a floating mat based on the size of your family or based on how many people you intend to have on board. The rule of thumbs is always to consider the highest capacity so that you can always accommodate an extra person on board.

But then again, there is no point in buying the largest if you have a 2-4-person family. A quick check on the weight capacity specification should tell you roughly the number of adults accepted.

For large families, consider a 3-ply mat as they are thicker, float better and have higher weight capacities.

  • Mat Stability

How stable a mat is will determine the kind of activities you can perform on it. Some mats are only meant for lying down, while others can be used for more rigorous activities.

Although you will spend extra bucks on a mat that you can run, walk, fun-wrestle (for kids), and jump up and down on, these are always the best.

The Best Floating Water Mat Reviews

1. Rubber Dockie 18x6-Feet Floating Mat

The 18 x 6 feet sized Rubber Dockie floating mat is made from 100% closed cell foam for a non-absorbent water accessory. This type of material also makes the mat resistant to mold and mildew. It can be used in an array of water bodies such as lakes, oceans, and rivers.

Rubber dockies are provided for tethering the mat onto stationary objects such as an anchor, pontoon, and even docks. Weighing about 30 pounds, it can accommodate a total weight of around 1200 pounds. Just be watchful when using it as it tends to tear with ease.

Pros

  • Perfect for all ages
  • Slip-resistant surface
  • Easy to anchor with the provided 12’ bungee
  • High visibility
  • Large weight capacity
  • Available in two size options
  • Can take a beating from rigorous usage
  • Dust, mold, mildew resistant
  • Can be used as a launching pad for a kayak

Cons

  • Some users find it hard to roll back up
  • Reported to rip apart
  • Orange color fades after a while

2. Big Joe 2050ABW Water Pad

For your aquatic adventures, the Big Joe 2050ABW Water pad is an excellent accessory. It measures 15’ x 6’ and features a cross-linked Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) foam construction. A sea blue finish with a white splat print completes its impressive looks.

Along its widths are built-in grommets for anchoring the mat onto stationary objects. These grommets double up as holders for cups as you have fun. It weighs 7.3 pounds and can hold up to 4 full grown adults (1000 pounds). However, its buoyancy and durability are not that great at times.

Pros

  • Lots of room for relaxing
  • Generous max weight capacity
  • Works great for children
  • Rolls up nicely for transportation
  • Fit for both sea and lakes
  • Built-in grommets cum cup holders
  • Lightweight
  • Small storage space

Cons

  • Easily tears
  • Relatively expensive

3. Fedmax Floating Mat

For a higher weight capacity then the Fedmax Floating Mat would be a good idea. Apparently, it holds a total of 1540 pounds which translates to about 10 adults and children. A tether rope is included in the package. Its 3-ply design adds to buoyancy and tear resistance.

2 Velcro straps are availed to you for rolling up the mat either during storage or transportation. The weight is slightly heavy, registering a weight of 32.8 pounds. But if you consider the buoyancy and the increased maximum capacity, then the weight would be forgiven.

Pros

  • Excellent buoyancy
  • Resistant to tear
  • Easy to roll and store
  • Increased thickness to 1.3”
  • Tether provided to keep it from drifting away
  • Large enough to prevent cramping up of people
  • Fun for both kids and adults
  • Easy to handle

Cons

  • Straps could be longer
  • Not so great visibility
  • Tears cannot be repaired

4. Redneck Convent Jumbo Water Mat

The Redneck Convent Jumbo Water Mat allows for a whole family summer fun as it holds both kids and adults. An 18’ x 6’ size ensures every person on board has adequate space for doing their own activities.  What’s more, a color combination of vibrant yellow and bright orange makes it easy to spot.

12’ long bungee tether keeps it in place for a freestanding floatation. The cross-linked polyethylene foam used to make it is double layered for increased strength. Thickness is 1.25 inches. It needs an extra amount of care. Otherwise, it would sink or develop cracks.

Pros

  • Nice, longer storage straps
  • 1,200 pounds’ capacity
  • High visibility color
  • Great resilience
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Large in size
  • Interlocking grommets provides anchoring safety

Cons

  • Fades after a while
  • Difficult to roll
  • Flimsy after a while

5. Floating Oasis Lake Pad

The Floating Oasis Lake Pad is made from polyethylene foam to hold up to 1500 pounds of weight when evenly dispersed. 2 Velcro straps ease its storage after rolling up. It measures 15’ long and 6’ wide. That’s plenty of room for a relatively small family.

A proprietary foam lamination technique joins up the 2 foam layers for increased puncture and wear resistance. The polyethylene foam is non-toxic, making it gentle on kids’ skins. A potential drawback to watch out for is the tendency of the ends to curl when in use.

Pros

  • Easy to store
  • Can be moved around with ease
  • Holds lots of weight, provided it's well dispersed
  • Feels great to lounge on in water
  • Kids can jump on and off it
  • Sturdy for rigorous water activities on board
  • Stiff enough to hold a decent weight
  • Durable

Cons

  • Develops marks
  • Expensive

What's The Best Way to Use the Best Floating Water Mat?

When using the floating water mat, keep it lying in a horizontal position. Additionally, the mat has to be well anchored and tethered so that you don’t drift away with the waves. First of all, flip twist and turn the provided anchor ends. Insert the end without the bungee into the holes along the width.

Then flip the water mat and insert the second cap into the corresponding mooring hole. Make sure the caps click into place. From the hanging bungee, attach the clipped end to a weighted anchor to provide the needed stability.

Controversy Surround the Best Floating Water Mats

There is not much controversy surrounding the use of floating wat mats. Since they are made from non-toxic foam materials, they have little impact on the aquatic life below.

The only probable concern is the disturbance caused by the ongoing activities. However, if you keep it low-key without drugs and alcohol, then there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

Prerequisites to Using the Best Floating Water Mat

Everybody is always about fun in the water. While at it, you need to take your safety very seriously. Floating water mat manufacturers may design a no hassle fun water accessory that’s safe, but your good judgment and use of common sense are what enforces that safety. Before using your product, remember to:

  • Wear a lifeguard at all times when having fun or riding on any water mat. Ensure your guard in approved by the relevant authorities in your country.
  • Adapt the activities on the mat to everyone’s skill levels. Some of the key considerations should be age, fitness, competence in swimming, general health, and prior experience using a water mat
  • Constantly refer to your product manual for the provided safety tips and measures. Doing this improves your experience every time you are out and about for a family and friends get together.
  • Always be vigilant of the prevailing weather conditions and boat traffic, and adjust accordingly.
  • Desist from getting intoxicated while on a water mat. Drugs and alcohol increase the chances of accidents happening on the mat.
  • Team up with some people who do not exceed the weight capacity of the mat. Do not swim alone, and when you have kids on board, keep a watchful eye on them.
  • Keep the water mat carefully anchored in deep water, away from lanes used by boats
  • Tether the mat in a completely flat position. Also factor in the direction of potential drift. Avoid tethering behind a watercraft or tow your water mat

How to Maintain the Best Floating Water Mat

  • Use clean, fresh water to remove debris or grime that may be on your mat
  • Your mat is stain proof. But if it develops some stain, use a soft sponge and a mild detergent to remove the stain.
  • Rinse all soap from the mat before you store it
  • After rinsing with fresh water, allow drying before rolling it up for storage
  • Keep sharp and pointed objects from the mat. Any tear and puncture is difficult to repair and may necessitate returning the mat.
  • Minimize sunlight exposure when not on the water. UV treatment may degrade and cause fading of the color finish.

Frequently Answer Question about the Best Floating Water Mat [F.A.Q]

Q: Can I tow my mat behind a boat?

A: While you might do so, manufacturers explicitly state that you shouldn’t attempt to do so. If you can avoid it, then don’t tow your water mat.

Q: Should I mind wind flipping my mat?

A: No, you shouldn’t. I have never seen a mat flipped by wind as long as you keep it well anchored tied.

Q: Can my dog join in the play?

A: Yes. My dog joins us every time we are on the mat. These mats are given a finish that increases the tear-resistant properties of the mat.

Q: Should I let the mat dry first before storing it?

A: I recommended that you let it dry first before storing. However, some products have an anti-mildew and mold finish that allows you to store them without drying first.

Q: How much storage space do these mats take up?

A: Not much. Once rolled into a cylindrical shape and placed in place with the straps, even the largest mats form a nice cylinder that takes minimal storage space.

Tip/Tick When Buying the Best Floating Water Mat

Water mats are often confused for pool mats. Some scrupulous buyers may want to sell you a pool mat at the price of a floating mat. If you find a purported mat at a fairly low price, then don’t rush to buy it.

Do extensive research on the product, including what it is made from. The materials should give you a reflection on its quality.

Conclusion

When buying one, give preference to quality, durability, sizing, weight capacity, and the possibility of attaching a headrest. While using it, be vigilant and use common sense so that you don’t put yourself or your colleagues in danger.

In this review roundup, I think the Rubber Dockie 18x6-Feet Floating Mat is the best floating water mat. It fairs well regarding positive reviews in comparison to the other four products. It also has a matrix within its inner structure to make it tear proof; visibility too is great as well as an outer finish that’s easy to the skin.

The 5 Best Travel BCD That Money Can Buy In 2018

09/27/2018

Regular Buoyancy Control Devices are ill-famed for occupying too much space in dive bags. And since deciding on what to leave behind is not-so-fun, scuba divers turn to the best travel BCD instead.

Travel BCDs take up little bag space, weigh considerably less and perform just like the regular options. Better still, they are easy to pack and will cost you less regarding luggage fees when flying.

See also:

How to Choose the Best Travel BCD

  • Select one that corresponds to your gender

Most of the BCD models have unisex labeling on them. These are great for a cross family use but may sometimes fall short of meeting your needs. Most manufacturers are these days designing more gender-specific BCDs.

These account for the present anatomic variants in both female and male divers. For example, shorter torso lengths and narrower shoulder straps are common for females than males for the same models. To prevent excess pressure on the bust, some female BCDs lack the chest straps.

  • Choose your Preferred Style

Three common types of compensators are available. These are a jacket (vest), back inflation (wings), and hybrid. Each of these best suits a diver depending on their level of expertise, diving style or personal preferences.

Jacket (Vest) BCDs: This type is the most common among divers. They offer an all-round buoyancy after inflation. Inflation process can be done from the back, front, and the sides. This gives the diver total control of the compensator. Weight storage pockets are available too.

Wing BCD (Back Inflation): These are only inflatable from the back, just as the name suggests. Their bladder is at the back, giving more freedom. Also, the rider can easily stay in a horizontal position. These are meant for more skilled divers.

Hybrid BCDs: An alternative would be to combine both styles into a single product. These inflate a ¼ of the way in front, then ¾ from the back. The result is better buoyancy.

Advantages of Travel BCDs

  • They are Lightweight

One of the fundamental reasons for investing in a travel BCD is their lightweight nature. In this way, you can carry as much gear as you need without paying exorbitant excess luggage fees.

Most of the BCDs are not more than 3 kilograms, for lighter dive luggage. If you are a frequent flyer, then these would be a great option for you.

  • They are Compact

Your regular buoyancy compensator is typically bulky, thereby occupying too much space in your bag. With the compact sized nature of travel BCDs, you would have plenty of space remaining for fins, wetsuits, photo equipment, regulators, and much more.

  • Ideal for Warm Water

Because of their lightweight nature, travel BCDs are ideal choices for warm water recreational diving. Of course, some options can work well for even cold water, but you would be well-off diving in warm water.

Things to Look for in The Best Travel BCDs

  • Weight Integration or Not

Having weight integration in your BCD is a great feature. Some BCDs have compartments in the jacket where you can put the dive weights in. The quick release mechanism is provided so that you dump the weights when need be. Therefore, you don’t have to wear a dive belt at all.

  • Plenty of Pockets

Jacket pockets are necessary for storing dive accessories. You need to have a place for storing a dive knife, a torch, whistles, surface markers, or even cameras. Look for a model with enough space to accommodate most of your accessories so that nothing drags you in the water.

  • Lift Capacity

Every travel BCD indicates how much weight it holds up when inflated. Choose the lift capacity depending on the type of water you will be diving in and how thick your wetsuit is. Cold water means a thicker wetsuit, which adds to your buoyancy. The converse is true for warm water.

  • Fit

Nothing sucks than a BCD that doesn’t fit you properly. Having to adjust it every couple of minutes spoils the fun. Conversely, one that’s too tight becomes uncomfortable. Look for a gender-based option, or try out one that fits you like a glove.

  • Weight

As a frequent flyer, you aim at carrying light luggage as much as possible. If you can find a lightweight one that matches functionality and price, then that would be the best option.

  • D-Rings

Alongside storage pockets, D-Rings are other features that come in handy. The more you have, the better for you. The integrity of the rings is also important. In as much as plastic rings lower the overall BCD price, they are not as sturdy as stainless steel rings.

What’s the best way to use best travel BCD?

The best way of using a travel BCD is in warm tropical water. That is where most of them are suited. Unless it is specified that you can use it on cold water, then stick to warm water diving.

Also, limit the number of accessories you bring along and attach on the D-rings. More accessories mean more lift would be required, which might not be provided for by the travel BCD.

The controversy surrounding the use of Travel BCDs

Over the past couple of years, critics of scuba diving continue to lay blame after blame for some of the damages to coral reefs around the globe. Some of the reasons for this is in poor buoyancy control and dropping of accessories from either a standard BCD or a travel BCD.

While it may be true, the cases may be few. And it could be caused by a lack of training to scuba divers on the use of their equipment. Out of excitement, one might cut through a reef, drop a dive knife, weight, or camera.

So, let’s all take an oath to avoid careless diving to maintain our healthy reefs. We all would love to go back to the same spectacular spots and enjoy how awesome they are.  

Best Travel BCDs Reviews

1. Cressi Start Jacket Style BCD

The Cressi Start Jacket style BCD is a perfect blend of functionality and price. It is, therefore, no surprise that it is popular among those who buy their first travel BCD. The jacket is made from 1000 and 500 deniers Cordura. This material is rugged to make the jacket puncture-resistant.

Other high-quality materials are used in the construction of the other parts such as the D-Rings and releases. There are three relief or dump valves fitted on both the right and left shoulders. The third valve is located on the right side of the air cell on the rear.

An above average-sized bladder generates sufficient lift for beginners who need to stay afloat with ease. Despite its apparent impressive functionality, divers used to having an integrated weight system might be at a loss with this product.

Pros

  • Low price for first timers
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Durable construction
  • Excellent for both rentals and dive shops
  • Comfortable when in use
  • Great buoyancy
  • Variety of sizes available

Cons

  • Too basic for use by intermediates
  • D-Rings are made from plastic
  • No integrated weight system

2. Zeagle Focus Jacket Style BCD

Weighing in at about 8.85 pounds, the Zeagle Focus Jacket Style BCD is a decent choice for a travel compensator. This BCD features a soft back pad alongside a padded cummerbund for comfort. These features make it a great option for recreational scuba divers.

A high capacity bladder uses an Airplus technology to generate better lift while remaining streamlined. The bladder is made from a fade-resistant 500 denier Cordura material. Shoulder straps are made from 1000 denier nylon.  

Side release buckles feature a squeeze-style doffing and donning mechanisms for easier use. Six stainless steel D-rings act as attachment points for accessories and storage. A 20 pounds integrated weight system is in place. Because of these features, this BCD is relatively pricey.

Pros

  • Sturdy stainless steel D-rings
  • Easy to operate jacket style system
  • 2 integrated weight systems
  • Sufficient 36 pounds’ lift
  • Convenient dual position chest-strap
  • Unisex configurations
  • Soft, supportive backpad
  • Great snug fit

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Complex at times for beginners

3. Cressi Aquaride Pro BCD

If you are looking for travel BCD that combines style and convenience, then the Cressi Aquaride Pro BCD is a great option. This Compensator offers you a great deal of versatility since you can use it in either warm or cold water. Its 420 denier nylon construction is safer too on the skin.

Adjustable shoulder, waist, and chest straps allow for customization of fit. A total of 6 D-Rings made from stainless steel are great for attaching accessories without compromising on the gear integrity. Weights depend on the size you buy but do not exceed 8.5 pounds.

The lightweight nature and trimmed down gear style makes for an easy to use compensator. A hard-frame has generous padding for user comfort. It is not without a couple of issues such as the collar stitching rubs onto the back of the neck in some divers.

Pros

  • Incredible versatility
  • Large sized accessory pockets
  • Padded carry handle
  • Lock-aid integrated weight system.
  • Quick release buckles
  • Excellent fit customizability
  • Owner’s manual provided

Cons

  • Annoying scratching on the back of the neck without a wetsuit
  • Chest sizing leaves the waist size large
  • Expensive

4. Apeks By Aqua Lung Black Ice Back Inflate BCD

The Apeks Black Ice is a weight-integrated, rugged, back inflation Buoyancy Compensator. With these designs in place, it is indeed apparent that the designers had intermediate to advanced divers in mind when they were coming up with this product. Despite the heavy duty construction, it is surprisingly comfortable.

How does 5 pounds sound for a travel BCD? Impressive, right? Thanks to its Wrapture Harness system, it provides great comfort, stability, and a custom fit. The system comprises of swiveling shoulder buckles, thin backplate, all of which hold onto you when inflated.

With a modular design in place, divers can adjust individual parts of their gear to achieve that perfect snug fit. E valves on the BCD have easy grip pull pumps.

Pros

  • Superb buoyancy
  • High lift capacity
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Works great for advanced divers
  • Removable backpad
  • Innovative swivel shoulder buckles add comfort
  • Easy to load
  • One of the highest airflow rates in the industry

Cons

  • Complex for beginners
  • Finding replacement parts is a nightmare

5. Sherwood Avid Scuba Dive BCD

This 2013 model of the Avid 400 series has a cqr-3 weight release system. It’s a system that is highly regarded when it comes to making it easy to install and remove the BCD pockets. A jacket style of design provides comfort, dependability, and functionality.

Exhaust valves which lack in previous models add a newer and more practical look to this compensator. Trim weights pockets improve accessibility as they can be adjusted without a hassle. Sizes range from small to 5X-Large. It covers all sizes of divers with a 100 percent fit rate.

Using the integrated weights system is one feature about this BCD that you have to be well-versed with. Particularly, you have to be well aware of its limitations and how it operates. An operating manual is provided so that you refer to anything that you find confusing.

Pros

  • Pockets available for accessories
  • Great value for the price
  • Comfortable for recreation
  • Works great in warm water
  • Manual available for reference
  • You can achieve a good trim
  • Plenty of D-Rings
  • Good fit
  • Excellent stability and balance

Cons

  • A bit bulky for traveling
  • Falls apart with ease
  • Steep learning curve

Prerequisites to using the best travel BCD

Always be competent enough to scuba dive before using your travel BCD. If it is possible, go through training then get certified. You should also be well conversant with the parts of the buoyancy compensator you are using.

Refer to the provided manual every time you aren’t sure about anything. Any mishap can be disastrous and can even cause death.

How to maintain Travel BCD

You want your BCD to last, don’t you? Here are some measures to help you out

  • Use fresh water to rinse both the interior and exterior parts. This is meant to get rid of salty water.
  • Store the BCD when slightly inflated to keep the pieces from sticking to one another
  • Always store it in a cool and dry place
  • Keep away any pointed object from the gear as it may puncture it
  • Keep it away from intense heat for extended periods. Nylon tends to fade on prolonged exposure to sunlight
  • Do not use for a long period in highly chlorinated water. This water prematurely decays the fabric coloration
  • Never use paint or alcohol solvents for cleaning
  • Partially inflate the BCD, then immerse in a rise tank to check for leaks. Once spotted, repair the leaks
  • Rid zippers of gritty particles. You can apply zipper wax to them
  • Using a toothbrush, remove gritty, crannies, and nooks from Velcro

Frequently Asked Questions [ F.A.Q]

Q: Can I use a travel BCD for everyday use?

A: Yes. Provided the buoyancy and water conditions are right, then why not?

Q: Should I buy or rent a travel BCD?

A: It depends on the frequency of diving, and whether you are willing to spend on one. If you are a regular diver, then buying your own would be great. Otherwise renting would save you the space and initial cost on investment

Q: Are weights very necessary?

A: Yes, and no. Salty water is high in density and would support your weight easily hence making you buoyant. So, if you want to dive deeper, then you must add weight to offset the balance. You will then need to adjust the weights relative to air to maintain neutral buoyancy.

Q: How deep can you go with a travel BCD?

A: The depth depends on the weights and amount of air you have. Going deeper depletes your air reserve due to the increased pressure. A standard depth shouldn’t exceed 39 m (130 feet). However, 9-18 meters should be great.

Q: Are travel BCDs Expensive?

A: There is a price for everyone. It all depends on the features you want.

Tip/Tick When Buying the Best Travel BCD

Much like anything else you might want to buy, you tend to get “what you pay for.” The cheaper a BCD is, the lesser features it has, and there is every possibility that its practicality would be impaired.

It doesn’t mean you have to go high end also. There are lots of mid-range BCDs to choose from. Factor in your skill levels too. An expensive, more-featured product would be too complex for a beginner. A cheap alternative would also be too basic for an advanced diver.

Conclusion 

In this review, the Cressi Start Jacket Style BCD emerges top in my opinion as the best travel BCD. It weighs 7.65 pounds (3.5 kgs), which is quite low, just as you may love it to be. The pricing is another plus, meaning that most divers can afford it.

The whole construction is made from erosion and puncture resistant materials for durability. Two pockets and 4 D-rings provide decent storage spaces and accessories attachment points. Better still, this Travel BCD is certified to meet safety standards.