How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Reducing your dive gear overall weight for traveling is going to take a few adjustments, however, it’s well worth the effort!

I’m sharing some easy methods of reducing the weight of your dive gear. Some take a bit of investment, others employ “use what you have decorating” to accomplish the goal of reducing the weight of your dive gear for traveling.

Not only do you want to reduce dive gear weight to meet airline restrictions, but also to make it easier on yourself once you arrive at your destination.  

I’m a teacher, and a sailboat captain, cyclist, SCUBA diver, and runner. You could say I like being prepared. However, heavy bags in airport terminals are not my thing. I prefer to breeze through customs and avoid aching shoulders.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Number One Reduction: Heavy Bags

Akona Roller Dive Gear Travel Backpack: Akona says this weighs 10 pounds, 14.5 pound shipped. I weighed it at over 14.5 pounds bag alone. It’s fantastically sturdy and large, and perfect for dive cruises and road trips. However, for flying or anytime you will need to lift your bag frequently, here’s a lighter option.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Travelers Club Luggage Adventure 30″ Multi-Pocket Drop-Bottom Rolling Duffel, Blue. Weighs under 6 pounds, and wow, this even has two sections – perfect for damp dive gear! Plus, it’s crazy affordable, has a “down low” handle on the back for easy hefting around. The bottom compartment makes this absolutely perfect for dive vacations! I can’t praise this bag enough – lightweight, sturdy, inexpensive, outside pockets… Enough!

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Dive Lights AND Batteries

Princeton Tec Sector 5 LED Dive Light (550 Lumens): 1.4 pounds plus four C-cell batteries at .66 pounds total weight 2 pounds. It looks like a radar detector. It’s been my dive light forever, however, I was ready for smaller and lighter. If you are taking batteries with you, don’t forget to weigh them too.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Kraken Sports NR-1200 Diving Light 1200 Lumens: under 1 pound with batteries. And smaller, too! I can’t say enough about these lights – we went ahead and each got one. The battery does not need a separate charger; you plug the cable right into the battery! Low-battery indicators, several modes… plus these are so light and compact. We’ve now used them in Cuba and Florida, and so far, we are completely impressed.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Slightly Lighter BCD

Zeagle Ranger BCD: 9 pounds. This is still Bill’s first choice for dive trips by car, diving in the springs, cruises – anything except when we fly to dive. It’s got pockets and lots of spots to attach additional gear. Nothing wrong with it – but next is a lighter version.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Zeagle Stiletto BCD: 7 pounds. Fewer attachment points, but the same Zeagle quality and versatility. Some metal fittings eliminated or replaced with lighter-weighing synthetics.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Travel Fins!

Dacor fins: 2.8 pounds each, or, 5.6 pounds for the two. Nearly 20 years of use on these dependable fins – black ones above on the right – however, they are a bit heavy.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

ScubaPro GO Travel Fins: – 1.75 pounds each, or, 3.5 pounds for the two. That saves over two pounds! It adds up quickly!

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Camera Stuff

Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Stabilizer: 2 pounds plus it’s case: Hard Travel Carrying Protective Bag Cover Case for Zhiyun Smooth 4 Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer – Waterproof Shockproof Carrying Case: 1 pound, so, 3 pounds total. This is a tough one – it works so well, I think it’s worth the weight. I dragged it all over Cuba, and on those bumpy roads, I was glad I had it. Plus, you are shooting with your phone, so you can share video directly. But if you really need to lighten up, the next item is amazing!

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

DJI Osmo Pocket Gimble 3-Axis Stabilized Handheld Camera: 3 ounces. Yes, three ounces instead of three pounds. I ordered one to take to Cuba, it didn’t arrive in time. However, it works great and I’ve used it often. It is about the size of a hairbrush handle, so it fits in your pocket. Easy to grab and go.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Dry Sacks

Diver’s Alert Network Compact Dry Bag: 1 pound. This bag is easily recognizable on a dive boat, insanely sturdy, big enough for clothing and towels for two. DAN’s bag even comes with a side handle as well as a longer carrying strap.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack (Yellow, 13 Liter): 1 ounce. Not as sturdy as the one above, however, this crushes up to the volume of a zippered plastic bag, and is featherweight. So far, it’s been sturdy enough to keep everything dry, and the color is highly visible.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Things to Leave Behind This Time

Akona Regulator Bag: .75 pounds. I do love the bag! However, I can wrap my regulators in my wetsuit for padding. That does preclude popping it out of my bag quickly.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Huge tubes of toxic sunscreen! Instead, grab one of the travel kits from Stream2Sea – they are the only one tested reef-safe, and the only one with completely biodegradable tubes. The kits vary, with regular or tinted sunscreen, shampoo/bodywash, sting relief, leave-in hair conditioner, lip balm choices.

The volumes are TSA-approved, so pack one of these instead. Mineral sunscreens spread a lot further than chemical, so this tube will last you all week long. Stream2Sea has generously given me a discount code “KimW” for you to use at the checkout at checkout to save 10%.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Boxes of bulky personal hygiene items – not only difficult to dispose of while traveling, but also, harder to address unexpected cycles. Instead, carry a Diva Cup: one item instead of a box of supplies; less weight and space.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Cyalume ChemLights: 1 ounce each – 10 equal 10 ounces.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Instead, take one of these with you: Trident or Innovative New Water Activated Marker Light: 3 ounces but lasts 500 hours, eliminating 497 ounces! Seriously, this little bugger – it is so sensitive that the moisture in your fingers initiates the flashing light. It’s only slightly larger than a tube of lip balm, and you will eliminate so much plastic trash.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel
I know you are giggling at my impromptu drying station.

Wetsuits and Hangers

The key here is take what you need – but don’t overpack. Check ahead for the water temperatures; contact where you plan to dive, and ask. We’ve dragged 3mm wetsuits to South Florida only to dive in our rash guards, and flown 1mm wetsuits to Cuba and ended up diving in our t-shirts wishing we had our rash guards. It’s difficult to resist overpacking, so plan ahead.

Here are the weights of our suits for comparison. The 3mm are our oldest, and probably weight a few ounces less than when new due to washings and from scraping off some material. Men’s ScubaPro 3mm wetsuit: 5 pounds. Women’s Excel 3mm wetsuit: 2.4 pounds. Men’s Mares Coral 1mm wetsuit: 2 pounds. Women’s Bare 1mm wetsuit: 1.6 pounds.

Stream2Sea Rash Guards made from nylon waste such as fishing net materials: 8.2 ounces. Women’s and men’s styles, great colors. Discount code “KimW” will save you 10% at checkout.

XS Scuba Hangers: 4 times 12 ounces each = 3 pounds. WE LOVE our hangers, and now have three for wetsuits, three for bcd’s. Once home from travel, our gear spends at least a morning in the shower, an afternoon on the porch, and then several days in the laundry room drying completely before storing. While traveling, we rinse, inflate bcd’s, and dry equipment as we are able – cruise ship balcony, by the pool, wherever we can, for as long as we can, but we forego hanging for these shorter time periods.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel
Before we discovered the Water Activated Marker Lights above!

Surprisingly No Difference At All

Non Braided hoses: 6.1 ounces, three hoses, 1 pound total

Braided XS Scuba Miflex hoses: 6 ounces each, three hoses, 1 pound total. 

What?!?!?! Wasn’t that one of the main selling points of the Miflex hoses? Well, if it’s not that – what is it? Please comment below! Well, I suppose swapping to braided hoses actually saved me three ounces, allowing me to toss in the fantastic digital luggage gauge!

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Worth the Additional Weight

Atomic Aquatics Spring Straps: 1 pound versus Atomic Aquatics Fin Straps: 4 ounces. My “stock” straps were starting to slip after dozens of dives and some pretty good but normal wear-and-tear. I treated myself to an upgrade, and am so pleased. These are so much easier to get on and off, they never slip, and they are adjustable.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

TSA locks: added .25 pounds each, we used two each, so, 1 pound total. Worth it for peace of mind.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Luggage scale: added three ounces. These things are the bomb! No more jumping on and off your body weight scale holding then not holding your luggage! You put the strap through your strap, attach it back to itself, and instant answers. If you think you are going to pick up a lot of souvenirs or travel with wet wetsuits, maybe toss it in your bag to check on the way home. Those overweight baggage fees are steep.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Other Methods

Of course, for the most weight-savings, you can rent gear wherever you go, as long as it’s available and you trust it. I like being familiar with mine and its maintenance, so choose to go through the hassle of bringing my own. 

Some items you might be ok with renting could be wetsuits, dive flag, maybe even fins at your destination. 

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Bring These Instead

With all the weight you save, you can now add in the Naui Scuba Diver Open Water textbook. It’s been over 30 years since I got certified, and you won’t believe how much you have forgotten! Great review! – 15 ounces

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

The 2 Oz. Backpacker: A Problem Solving Manual for Use in the Wilds: 2 ounces. A fun read, and the author is so serious about saving weight, he suggests chopping off the margins if the printer used too much heavy paper! Perfect to slip in your dive bag pocket for in-flight entertainment.

, How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

A Couple Links and Savings

The NAS Jax Skin and Scuba Diving Club: Our “LDC!” Local Dive Club!

• Here’s an easy way to do your part in saving our oceans. Do your research! Then order reef-safe sunscreen and hair products at Stream2Sea.com, use my code “KimW” for 10% off. AD: affiliate links used. Stream2Sea Sunscreen for Face and Body SPF 20 or Stream2Sea Tinted Sunscreen for Face and Body SPF 20!

• For bleeding control training, I’m taking the Tactical Casualty Care from Crisis Medicine: with code “DeepWH” you save 20% on the TC2 course, which I highly recommend. You need more than basic First Aid when you are far from help, as we are when we head offshore to dive, or even in the springs. 

MyMedic also features Individual Bleeding Control Kits at this link, and my code “KimW” will save you 10% on your purchase. You should bring one to your dives! We do… It’s better to be prepared than to be unprepared. Add a CAT Tourniquet from North American Rescue to any kit, and you are ready.

• Use of my Amazon Affiliate links does not increase your cost, but may return to me a small percentage of your purchase, which helps me bring content to you, and purchase more supplies for my classroom. Thank you for your support!

What to Read Next: K.P. Hole State Park Diving Emergency Preparedness Plan

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