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Lightweight Scuba Travel: Essential Tips for Divers

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Today, we’re diving into tips for lightweight scuba traveling. Traveling with all your dive gear can be challenging, but don’t worry – we have several tips and tricks to help you reduce the size and weight of your kit bag.

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1. Streamline Your Logbook

You don’t need to bring your entire diving history with you. Instead, just carry your highest certification card and any relevant specialties. For logging dives, consider using a digital app that syncs with your dive computer via Bluetooth.

2. Check Airline Baggage Policies

Before you fly, check if your airline offers extra baggage allowance for sporting equipment. Some airlines will double your baggage allowance for free if you’re carrying dive gear. Always check their website or call ahead to avoid surprises at the airport.

lightweight
Check if your airline offers free baggage allowance for dive equipment

3. Optimize Your Regulators

Swap out rubber hoses for braided ones, which are lighter and more flexible. DIN regulators are lighter than A-clamp alternatives because they contain less metal. For the lightest set-up, consider removing your SPG and using a wireless air transmitter if your dive computer supports it. An alternate integrated inflator can replace your octopus, reducing the number of hoses.

4. Travel-Specific BCDs

Invest in a travel-specific BCD made from lighter materials. Some are modular, allowing you to remove sections to reduce weight. If you’re using your home BCD, ensure it’s completely dry and deflate the bladder to save space and weight.

5. Lightweight Fins

Opt for shorter, lighter fins. Full-foot fins are generally lighter than open-heel fins and don’t require neoprene boots. Use your fins to protect other gear in your bag by packing them along the sides.

lightweight
Choose full-foot fins over heel-strap fins if you really want to reduce weight

6. Pack Your Mask Carefully

Avoid using the bulky mask box. Instead, place your mask in the foot pocket of your fins to save space and protect it from damage.

7. Carry-On Dive Computers

Wear your dive computer as a wristwatch or pack it in your carry-on. This way, you won’t risk losing it if your checked luggage goes missing. Remember that lithium-ion batteries must be in your carry-on due to airline safety regulations.

8. Rolling Your Wetsuit

Roll your wetsuit instead of folding it to avoid creases. Lay it zipper down, roll from the ankles up to the shoulders, and tuck in the arms. For thicker wetsuits, consider renting at your destination, but bring a rash guard to avoid direct contact with rental suits.

lightweight
Roll, rather than fold, your wetsuit

9. Pack Efficiently

Utilize the foot pockets of your fins to store small items like your DSMB and spool. Drain and roll your DSMB tightly, and choose smaller, lighter spools.

10. Dive Knives and Cutting Tools

Check your airline’s policy on carrying dive knives. Always pack them in checked luggage. Compact knives or line cutters are usually sufficient and less likely to cause issues during security checks.

11. Battery-Powered Gear

Any equipment with lithium batteries, like dive torches, must be in your carry-on. Check the airline’s policies on battery sizes to avoid confiscation at the airport.

Modern dive gear is designed with travel in mind, making it easier to find lightweight, durable options. Remember to handle these items with care, as they may be less robust than your home gear.

lightweight
Dive torches must be in your carry-on

For any new diving equipment, visit our sponsor, scuba.com, for a wide range of products. Safe diving, everyone!

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Picture of Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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