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My Top Picks for SCUBA Gear in 2021

Thanks to a focused global vaccination strategy, we are finally seeing Covid-19 numbers starting to decline and travel opening up again. For those of us who have a yearning for adventure, this is great news.

As I am planning future dives, I am also thinking about gear. This is the perfect time to assess your kit and decide what you need as well as what to add to it in order to make next year’s diving safe and pleasurable.

Different Needs for Different Levels of Divers

If you are a relatively new diver just starting to build your kit, you will want to add pieces that are critical, such as a buoyancy compensator (BC), regulator, wetsuit, fins, mask, and computer. For those of you who have been at it for a while and have a pretty good kit, this may be the year to add something fun to hone your skills and find new ways to enjoy the underwater world.

Sealife SportDiver Pro 2500 Set – Underwater Housing for Your Smartphone

This is a tremendous way for advanced divers who are looking for a new underwater adventure to get their feet wet, so-to-speak, with underwater photography. With the Sealife SportDiver Pro 2500 set, you have all you need to turn your iPhone or your Android into an underwater camera and test out a new hobby before making a big investment into underwater photography gear.

The SportDiver Pro is easy to use with a rugged housing that is large enough for you to maintain a comfortable grip on it underwater. It has a full-size rear screen for easy viewing and controls that are effortless to navigate underwater.

It comes with a 2500 lumen Sea Dragon Photo-Video Light, which uses flat panel COB light to create illumination similar to sunlight, giving underwater photos rich natural color.

The housing is tested to function at a maximum depth of 40 meters (130 feet), which is good for most recreational divers. The SportDiver app syncs with your phone for easy editing. (Note that depending on the model of your phone, some features may not be available).

Gil Smolinski - essential diving gear in 2021

SCUBAPRO Galileo 2 Dive Computer

From beginners to experienced divers, this is the best wrist-mount dive computer! If you are an intermediate diver who has yet to invest in a dive computer, you will never look back with the new generation Galileo (G2). It is easy to use and easy to read, with a full-color screen equipped with indicators that are quickly identifiable so you spend less time trying to navigate your screen and more time navigating your dive!

It is streamlined with three function buttons that transmit all the information that you need. The interface allows you to decide how much data you want to see. It holds 1,000 hours of dive profiles with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 50 dives!

Everything is customizable, so you can make this your own, from choosing display colors to configuring the amount of data you want to track. It has easy freediving, trimix, and closed-circuit rebreathing activation without any required downloading or upgrading.

BARE Wetsuits for Men and Women

Figuring out the right gear when you are getting started can be a lot to manage. A wetsuit can make or break a dive. If you neglect to don the right wetsuit on your dive, you risk diving cold and put yourself at risk of hypothermia. Many beginning divers can feel overly restricted and uncomfortable in wetsuits.

Gil Smolinski - essential diving gear in 2021

BARE has suits that are superbly comfortable and use a unique OMNIRED technology that has been lab tested and proven to maintain body heat. The fabric features 13 thermoreactive minerals in the fabric that convert outbound body heat into thermal energy and reflect it back to the body.

The suits come in three millimeters, five millimeters, and seven millimeters so that you can select the one that’s right for your dive environment. The men’s Reactive line offers flexibility, quality fit, and a high degree of comfort with double glideskin wrist and ankle seals.

Women will love the fact that BARE’s wetsuits for women have been designed by women who dive, taking specific care to fashion a wetsuit that has the right dimensions and comfort features that women need when diving.

Get Your Gear There Safely

Dive bags are an often-overlooked part of your dive kit, but moving your gear to your destination safely and comfortably can make or break your trip. A carry-on means that you can control your gear from point A to point B without having to rely on the baggage handling services of the airlines. Anyone who has dealt with lost luggage knows the importance of that.

SCUBAPRO Cabin Bag 4 Wheels

This durable carry-on bag meets the new IATA size requirements and fits easily into an overhead bin. It’s made from 500D heavy duty PVC fabric, which means that it will hold your gear and last for years. The bag has a nice, big center compartment with a double-sided U-shape coil zipper making packing and unpacking a cinch. The new addition of four wheels makes navigating airports and hotels easy, giving you peace of mind about your gear arriving when you do. With your gear updated and ready, your next call to action is to decide where your next dive will be. After this tough year, I know that the experience of diving new sites will be extra enjoyable.


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