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.
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.
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.
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
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.
- 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
- Lacks a dive light and a backpack or trolley
- The PSI gauge is off on some products
- Zippers difficult to manage
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.
- 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
- The BCD is reported to tear with ease
- Large fins do not fit in a backpack
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.
- Great for beginners
- Well balanced diaphragm
- Integrated weight pockets
- Octopus provides excellent motion ranges
- The computer has nitrox and air modes
- Holds up against salty and chlorinated water
- Easy to operate
- Lacks a dive light and backpack
- Only for beginners
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.
- 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
- The pressure gauge is missing
- On the expensive end
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.