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DIVE BAG

Best Dive Bags

How to Choose the Best Dive Bag

If you travel to dive, then you will likely end up owning two types of dive bag. Think about how you will use each style, what you need it to hold and how you like to organize your kit. Make sure it’s easy for you to manage; diving is great fun, but an unruly bag can make going diving a chore.

There are two different types of dive bag, one for travel and one for hauling your gear from dry to wet to go diving. Both do need to be comfortable for you to handle and large enough for your kit. Let’s look at the different types.

Review

This mesh duffle bag is large yet packs to nothing. The design means you can dunk rinse your kit while still in the bag. The handles wrap around the bag for maximum strength.

Things we like:

  • Mesh enables great drainage to easily release water and sand
  • Chunky durable zips
  • Large size can be used to carry other sports gear as well as dive gear
  • Packs down to very small size

Things we don’t:

  • Not suitable for air travel. The mesh and nature of the bag construction means that snagging and damage is very likely.

Specifications

Style Mesh / Holdall
Size 37in x 15in x 15in
Weight 1.48 Pounds
Suitable for air travel? NO
Wheels? NO

This backpack style mesh bag has both a drawstring top as well as a lateral zip which increases your access. The design also features a padded external pocket which could be useful for gauges, keys and other bits that you want to be stored separately.

Things we like:

  • External padded pocket
  • Backpack style for easy carrying
  • Mesh construction for easy drainage

Things we don’t:

  • Not suitable for air travel. The mesh and nature of the bag construction means that snagging and damage is very likely.
  • Doesn’t pack away as small as some other mesh bags

Specifications

Style Mesh / Backpack
Size 16in x 17in x 29in
Weight 2 Pounds
Suitable for air travel? NO
Wheels? NO

This bag is very lightweight yet roomy and durable. You can carry it as a duffle or a backpack. It has a large waterproof pocket and is made of a strong mesh which does allow for some airflow.

Things we like:

  • Tighter mesh construction with less chance of snagging
  • Very lightweight
  • Comfortable backpack straps
  • Full length zip
  • ‘Dry pocket’

Things we don’t:

  • More suitable for air travel than others due to tighter mesh – but still a risk.

Specifications

Style Mesh / Backpack
Size 15in x 15in x 29in
Weight 1.9 Pounds
Suitable for air travel? RISKY
Wheels? NO

If you travel light and hate waiting for your luggage, then this bag is the answer to your prayers. Granted it’s not going to accommodate the bulk of a dry suit, but for tropical destinations it’s great. If your gear is travel format, you’ll have even more room. You can pair this with the Akona Regulator Bag which fits neatly in the bottom, or you could carry the regulator bag as your handbag if airline restrictions allow this.

Things we like:

  • External straps for fins allows more internal space
  • Multi pockets
  • Backpack style makes it easy to carry

Things we don’t:

  • Non mesh style means no drainage

Specifications

Style Backpack
Size 12in x 14in x 21in
Weight 1.9 Pounds
Suitable for air travel? YES
Wheels? NO

This bag is large and tough. The main compartment zips open on three sides allowing very easy access, each side features large fin pockets, and smaller external pockets allow you to organize accessories. As well as the re-enforced telescopic pull handle the bag can be moved using padded backpack straps. The backpack straps pack neatly away when not in use.

Things we like:

  • Large enough to carry 2 lots of dive gear
  • Telescopic pull handle
  • Durable for rigours of air travel
  • Backpack straps can pe put away

Things we don’t:

  • Backpack straps are not so comfy

Specifications

Style Trolley Bag
Size 31.5in x 23.6in x 31.5 in
Weight 14.2 Pounds
Suitable for air travel? YES
Wheels? YES

This bag has a large main compartment plus a fin pocket at the side and another two zippered pockets to allow you to stash things you need to get to easily. Compression straps with plastic buckles allow you to tighten your bag and an external bungee gives you an extra place to store things to free up your hands too. The base has mesh panels for drainage and airflow which is useful if your gear isn’t dry when you pack it. Move it on wheels or with the duffle handles.

Things we like:

  • Large size
  • Durable, a check in bag suitable for air travel
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Telescopic handle

Things we don’t:

  • Some larger style fins won’t fit in the side pockets (but will fit in main bag compartment)

Specifications

Style Trolley Bag / Duffle
Size 28in x 18in x 14in
Weight 8.5 Pounds
Suitable for air travel? YES
Wheels? YES

This mesh roller bag is more suited to dive travel that wouldn’t involve airports. The mainly mesh construction allows you to throw your wet gear in and effortlessly pull it along the pier to your car. The bag comes with duffle handles and a shoulder strap and has an external pocket too.

Things we like:

  • Large 92L capacity will hold all your gear
  • Large open mesh construction for easy drainage and drying
  • Wheels to easily transport your gear
  • Perfect for boat trips

Things we don’t:

  • Not good for air travel, the mesh construction is easily snagged plus the visibility of all your precious gear makes it a prime target for theft.

Specifications

Style Mesh / Roller
Size 29.9in x 13.8in x 11.8in
Weight 5.5 Pounds
Suitable for air travel? NO
Wheels? YES

Travel Dive Bags

Travel bags are usually either roller bags, duffels, or backpacks but there are a few hybrids. The hybrids feature backpack straps alongside a duffle or roller bag set up or wheels married with a duffle style; either give you better manageability for different circumstances but will add to the overall weight.

A travel bag will typically be robust enough to be able to stand up to the rigors of travel and offer some protection for your kit. Look for tough high denier material and re-enforced stitching. For security reasons consider if you want your bag to be branded which might aid opportunist thieves.

  • Although it needs to be sturdy, do think about the weight the bag is adding to your allowance
  • If you opt for wheels, make sure they are strong
  • If you opt for a duffle style, make sure the straps are re-enforced and go all the way around the bag to avoid tearing.
  • Metal zips and salt do not mix; check the stitching for strength too
  • Look at how the bag opens and the access it gives you for ease of packing
  • Think about whether you need compartments and zipped pockets

Key Points About Your Dive Bag

For taking your gear to the boat or jump off point you need a bag that’s flexible and not bulky so that it can be stashed tidily away. The bag needs to be breathable and ideally have mesh drainage so that your gear doesn’t fester within.

Most dive bags are duffle style, but there are a few with backpack straps. Those with backpack straps balance the weight of your gear more comfortably and free you up to carry other things more easily, but if your gear is wet, it will drip down your back and legs.

Even though this bag is flexible it still needs to be strong, choose strong material and stitching
Make sure the zip is high quality, strong plastic.

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