When traveling around the world with your scuba diving gear it's important to make sure it's well protected. You don't want to reach your destination, ready to jump into the water only to find out on the last moment that your BCD or regulator has been damaged. I have an older Mares suitcase myself with which I'm satisfied. But there are so many more options depending on your needs and wishes, but also dependable on your way of traveling. In this post a closer look at what's available and which criteria are important when buying your first scuba suitcase.
When do you need which type of bag?
Good question? Let's take a look and zoom in at out our options:
- Traveling abroad by airplane
- Traveling abroad by car
- 1 day of diving near your home
- Other protection options
1. Traveling abroad by airplane
It is well known that the luggage handlers on airports don't have any sensitive feelings toward your suitcase. So you'l need a sturdy suitcase or trolley, preferable made from resilient and lightweight materials, but with a hard bottom against wear and tear. Also you'll need quite a bit of volume as you'll need to bring other stuff (like clothes) besides your scuba equipment. Nice accessories are wheels, telescopic handle and backpack options.
Mares Cruise Backpack Pro
Volume: 128 L
Cressi Moby 5
Volume: 115 L
Volume: 135 L
Sometimes airlines offer enough baggage weight or offer discount fees on the extra weight for scuba gear. If you don't mind using rental equipment, always check if the discount from the dive center on bringing your own gear out ways the fees from the airlines. In some cases it's cheaper to use the rental equipment.
2. Traveling abroad by car
When traveling by car you don't have to worry as much about your gear. Probably it goes into to the back and it comes out when you reach your destination. You can use the suitcases described above, but you also have a different option here.
Mares Dry Box
Image from Dolphins webshop
The dry box is an easy and secure way of transporting your dive gear. Use the correct way of packing and your gear won't get hurt. As the box is made from a hard plastic you case use it to store your equipment before and after diving. Very handy when your not storing your equipment at a dive center when abroad.
3. 1 day of diving near home
I love to dive in Holland and not only when I'm on holiday. For me this means I load all my gear in the car and drive for an 1,5 hour. We usually dive on different locations throughout the day. So it's important to have a box in which you can store you wet diving equipment. As mentioned above an dry box is the best choice in this situation.
However, when I dive in Holland I have more gear with me then when diving abroad. Think about my weights, repair kit, slate, decompression buoy and much more. You can't all stow this in your dry box or it will damage your other gear. So I came up with an easy and cheap solution, an toolbox. I just went to a hardware store, bought an sturdy plastic toolbox and it's the best choice I have ever made.
4. Other protection options:
Besides the suitcases and dry boxes, which are available in many different seizes and materials, you have also specific gear protection.
- The Dry bag comes in very handy when you're on a boat. It keeps your phone and other important stuff dry.
- Regulator bags are specifically designed to encase your regulators and give just that little bit of extra protection in your suitcase.
- Meshbags offer an easy way of transporting your wet gear and in the meanwhile letting it dry.
- Fin and mask bags are specifically designed to give them extra protection.
What to take into account when making your choice of suitcase / bag
The choice in suitcases and bags is overwhelming. So which criteria are important when it comes to making your choice:
- Volume - Does the suitcase offer enough room for your equipment and other clothes
- Weight - The less your suitcase ways, the more you can pack
- Storage space - Sometimes it's easy to have multiple compartments for extra protection
- Handling - Does the suitcase have wheels, backpack straps, etc.
- Material - The more resilient the material, the less wear and tear
- Price - Depends on your budget.
It's clear that the choice in bags, suitcases and trolley's is dependable on what you want to use it for in combination with the criteria mentioned above. Hope this blog was helpful in making your choice...