Taking good care of and properly storing your SCUBA gear is of the utmost importance, both for safety and the longevity of your gear. While there are some divers that do it, it’s not a good idea to just shove your gear into a bag and call it good between dive days. Saltwater has seriously damaging effects on neoprene and can crystallize in the smallest crevices of other gear, which accelerates deterioration. To get the best performance out of your gear, you should rinse everything in freshwater, and hang or lay flat to thoroughly dry before storing it in an appropriate location, away from sun and heat. If you dive often, every 10 dives or so you can wash and condition it with a wetsuit formula to keep it as good as new and not smelling funky. Once your wetsuit is dry, here are some bags and cases we think provide the best storage for your SCUBA gear.
Considering your regulator is your lifeline below the surface, it’s a given that you’ll want to keep it stored the most securely of all. Regulator bags are generally heavily padded to offer the best impact resistance, and some kind of internal tie-downs so the parts of the regulator don’t bang around inside the bag during travel. There will usually be external zippered pockets so you can tuck valuables away while diving, and most regulator bags will be compact enough to fit inside your main gear bag for easy packing. Whichever model you choose, it’s a step in the right direction — keep that regulator protected!
While most divers see the importance of having a separate case for your mask, some will scoff at the idea of having a separate bag for your fins and snorkel, but remember, we’re talking organization here. If you spend time snorkeling as well as diving, your life would be a lot easier if you could just grab a single bag that’s ready to go with what you need, rather than dig around in the rest of your SCUBA gear for it. Most combination mask/fin/snorkel bags are made of mesh, which makes it simple to dunk in freshwater to rinse and hang to dry once you get home. Individual mask bags will usually be constructed from something sturdier, like nylon, in order to protect it from impact, but will have grommets near the bottom to facilitate drainage. If you’re traveling and it’s the only gear you’re going to take, a mask/fin/snorkel bag will fit easily into a carry on bag and keep it nice and compartmentalized.
And now for the main event — your gear bag. This is where you’ll store all the other components of your SCUBA gear: wetsuit, boots, hood, gloves, BCD, and accessories, like dive computer, knife, slate, etc. Duffles are a popular choice for the ease of portability; they usually feature more than one way to carry, and some even have wheels. Many gear bags have external pockets for fins, so you could skip the extra fin bag if you really wanted to. There will usually be an internal or external zippered compartment for storage of smaller pieces of dive gear, like your computer, as well as other valuables you want to keep in one secure place while diving. If you can fit your entire set of SCUBA gear into your gear bag, congratulations! You have achieved SCUBA gear organization!