The next thing to know after determining the different types of dive gear is their uses. The great thing about diving gear is that they can be used at virtually any place where water is present. Depending on the diving environment, you must choose a particular type of gear set to ensure safety and maximum comfort.
There are various types of dive gear in the present market. There are currently four categories in which they belong to; all of which are briefly described on the list below.
Tropical Scuba Equipment
For diving in warm (24°C/75°F and up), clear water
As the name implies, this gear set is designed to adapt to warmer water. In this scenario, you will need little protection against coldness and other factors; thanks to the lovely warm temperature of the tropical regions. However, it still pays to be cautious when diving as water with temperatures lower than 98.6 can still draw warmth out of it.
The most important gear you want to have is a tropical skinsuit. This suit minimizes heat loss since they are quite stretchy and fit snugly to the body. Especially if you got the one with seals at the neck and wrists, you have the perfect tropical skinsuit that’s water flow-proof. But if water does seep in, it won’t move that much because of the suit’s snug fit.
When looking for a good one, it’s best to pick one with the stretchiest fabric. But, you want to know that only nylon suits have this, and not the neoprene ones. An ideal suit would stretch mostly on the arms and leg part, and has flat, smooth collar in the neck.
When it comes to buoyancy control, good quality is highly recommended. The ideal lift for tropical diving would be 12-24 lbs.
Temperate Scuba Equipment
For diving in moderate temperature (cooler than 24°C/75°F) water
Apparently, cooler diving environments require more protection from water flow. For temperatures lower than 75° Fahrenheit, it doesn’t take too long before warmth is taken off the body. Luckily, available wetsuits nowadays, particularly the 7mm versions, provide better insulation, protection, and fit compared to older types. A wetsuit can efficiently keep you warm if it is thick enough to shield you from the cold, it has seals, zippers, and seams that stop water intrusion, and fits like a glove.
In terms of material, neoprene with lots of stretchiness is the main thing presently. This most likely because stretchy fabrics fit snugly to the body and worn easily. But since stretchy neoprene compromises insulation, more and more manufacturers are producing compression-resistant neoprene instead.
As for BCD, you will need a lift of 20-40 pounds, given that you’re wearing a full wetsuit or drysuit as you go.
Cold-Water Scuba Equipment
For diving in water cooler than 15°C/60°F
Experienced cold water divers highly recommend wearing of a drysuit in this kind of environment. The reason behind this is that it enables your body to adjust its temperature through the undergarments included in the suit. But apart from this benefit, it also prevent shocks from cold water and keeps the skin dry even after a diving session.
In case drysuits aren’t your thing, there are other options such as wetsuits and semi-drysuits. However, there are quite a few differences versus drysuits. First is they are cheaper. Next thing is they are leak-proof, so you won’t have to worry about ending a dive too early. Both also provide impeccable thermal protection. However, wet and semi-dry suits compress at depth, so thermal protection might get compromised.
Technical Scuba Equipment
Used by very experienced, highly trained divers
Unlike recreational diving, technical diving needs a lot more than the perfect set of gear such as additional training and experience. Extra dive equipment is also required. This will act as your backup in time of need. Don’t compromise at all costs because this diving method could exceed the standards of depth and immersion time. For example, recreational divers usually use one tank alone, whereas technical divers normally bring twin cylinders along. Other important devices like computers and 2 or more regulators are also not to be missed. For technical diving, buoyancy lift of 40-80 pounds is crucial.
All types of dive gear are designed for a good reason. This is why we shouldn’t skimp on buying only the best kind in the gear market. Pay special attention to these three – BCDs, regulators, and dive computers. They are your life support, hence you would need nothing but the best in order to survive. At the moment, there are tons of resources that offer excellent dive gear at awesome prices. So don’t forget to do a solid gear check to make sure you are getting the best deal of all. Successfully done, you’re realize that the effort is all worth it. Now let’s get diving!