View Full Version : Purpose of Diving Luggage

04-22-2010, 18:47
I have not traveled with my own gear yet as I am new to diving so I do not have this experience yet but what is the purpose of diving luggage? Could you not just use luggage that you already own? I have seen some nice looking bags online but they are just under or over $200 and so it seems like it could be a waste of money to buy a suitcase that is meant only for diving gear if a regular suitcase would work. Please let me know your thoughts on this.

ScubaToys Larry
04-22-2010, 19:11
Scuba gear is going to be wet... most standard suitcases or bags are not necessarily going to be rust proof. And dive bigs are setup for the different gear, like dedicated pockets that fit fins, etc.

fire diver
04-22-2010, 19:47
Yep, what Larry said.

My Oceanic bags have a plastic liner, vent holes, and large roller wheels on stainless steel rods. Saltwater and cheap luggage is a bad combo.

04-22-2010, 19:56
But you can also buy a lot of cheap luggage for what some of the even lesser expensive dive bags cost. Not to mention they almost scream "I have something really expensive inside me."

I have had no issues with standard luggage and packing dive gear. To travel though, I have to mix dive gear with clothes in the same bags in order to come in under weight...

Diver Kat
04-22-2010, 21:45
I've always used my standard Delsey suitcases for all my dive trips. Have never had a problem. The gear is usually fairly dry before I pack, but if I'm concerned, I just pack the dirty clothes around it anyway. The luggage gets a good airing when we get home, and a quick spray with Lysol.

Besides dive luggage being on the expensive side, I also don't like the idea of advertising what's in my bag with a big old dive company logo... I think it ups the chance of things disappearing in transit.

04-23-2010, 05:30
I use a nylon duffel bag. Lightweight and if it gets wet I can wash and dry it easily.

04-23-2010, 05:52
Agree with all here.

I am not prepared to buy all new luggage right now, so I
carry a good sized dry bag with me when I travel, put gear in there and put the dry bag in my suitcase.
Not ideal, and it adds weight and bulk of course, but will do for now.

The idea of paying for baggage on most airlines really gets to me, but I made the mistake of not packing my fins and a few other things on last trip to Carribean, big mistake, I should have paid for the extra bag and brought all my own gear!

04-23-2010, 06:53
At the moment I have a cheap walmart roller bag ($20) that fits my bc fins 3mm wetsuit, regs. This is a very handy bag for rolling onto a dive boat without taking up alot of space. I then pack it into a large suitcase when I travel by air. The inner roller bag seems to protect the outer case from water damage and the outside case protects the soft roller case from baggage handlers. I have only been using this set up for two years but so far so good.

04-23-2010, 07:31
agree with what many have said:

rolling duffel bags work great...and can be had for around 20 bucks. They may or may not last as long as some of the tougher bags, but they are easier to replace.

Typically when I go diving we are trying to get 2 x bc, 2 x fins, 2 x wetsuits, etc into one checked bag (and just under 50lbs). So to get 2 sets of gear into one bag I broke down and bought something, but not something dive specific...I spent about $1000 on a rolling duffell that is about twice as wide as most rolling duffels.

I've had it a couple of years - it's still working ok. Then again, I go on maybe 3 trips a year with it.

If I was only packing gear for one, I'de run down to target or walmart with one of my fins and find a 20 dollar rolling duffel that my gear fit in.

I guess it's worth mentioning, I don't use my rolling duffel bag anywhere near the boat or water. I pack a couple of mesh backpacks that we use to tote our gear on/off the dive boat daily. Now those things are worth the 20-30 bucks I paid for them.

04-23-2010, 07:32
LMAO - ummm, that's $100 spent on the bag, not $1000.

Jeez it's friday.

No Misses
04-23-2010, 07:48
*Side Note - Regarding Weight Restrictions*
Be Conservative when packing bags to be just under the weight restriction. Your gear and clothes will be wet on the return leg of the trip. Your bag will weigh more than it did on the outbound leg.

chilly willy
04-23-2010, 07:54
A cheap Costco rolling duffel is what I use for the same reasons listed above, it's best not to advertise that you have dive gear in the bag when checking bags at the airport.

04-23-2010, 08:23
Dive companies sell dive luggage because people will buy it, simple as that. They have some features intended for dive gear but various types of regular luggage work just as well or better. We've flown a fair amount with dive gear and prefer a rolling duffle with a hard bottom and good pull out handle, and good strap system to keep things under control. We used some cheap and simple rolling duffles for years that were quite durable but not nearly as nice to travel with. We started out using hard luggage but it was much less durable, better things bend then break - also heavy and not very suitable for a liveaboard or small plane.

I'm not concerned about the supposed wet salty gear issue. My dive gear is definitely not going to be salty when I pack it. It will be dry 99% of the time and close enough the other 1%. (It is an occasional new dive traveler mistake, but you do not take a gear bag intended for the plane onto a dive boat in a tropical destination. Buy a mesh bag and pack it for that need.)

Many feel having bags with dive logos that advertise dive gear is a bad idea. I don't know if in reality this is really an issue, but it's certainly not an advantage. So if I needed a bag and found a "dive" bag that met my needs I might consider it. But there's certainly no reason to go out of your way to buy special "dive" luggage either.

04-23-2010, 13:10
It seems to be a minority position on this subject, but I'm on the other end of the spectrum.

I'm a big fan of buying equipment designed for the need. I would rather spend a few more bucks upfront on what I feel is a long-term solution than periodically replace bags.

My current bag is a rolling dive gear bag that I bought 10 years ago for just under $150 and it is still going strong. It's a plain black Armor dive bag that does not have the "I'm a dive bag, please steal me!" logos on it so that's not an issue.

It has a hard bottom and back, pull handle, multiple pockets, drainage, heavy duty zippers and it checks in at the airport at 39 lbs. fully loaded for a 2 week trip.

From a cost perspective, my $15 per year stacked up against what others spend replacing bags might well be a wash. I think that the hidden value is that I've been packing the same bag the same way for 10 years with no worries about fit, weight, restrictions, etc. Just works for me.

04-23-2010, 17:13
i have an apollo black duffel. I put i plastic crate inside so things don't get crushed if other bags are placed on top of it.

some airlines charge extra if they find out that you have dive gear, and I think its better if you don't advertise it.

04-23-2010, 23:33
I love my big monster Akona dive bag. It's way too big and heavy to travel with, but it's killer for dragging a ton of gear up the ramp to local boats (the larger ones that have room for it, at least).

But I got it practically free with some expensive dive gear I was buying anyway... I'm not sure if I'll replace it with a similarly spendy bag (at full price) when it dies.

When I travel, the lightest possible bag is important, and frankly, that's rarely dedicated dive gear, which tends to be engineered to be durable... and heavy. I use my regular Victorinox luggage when I'm worried about weight limits, because it's way lighter than most dive gear I've seen. I pack a super lightweight mesh duffel to take into salty situations, not my good stuff.

Other standard luggage that I would give serious consideration to as travel gear, since I've had numerous reports of it making excellent dive luggage, is the Samsonite F'lite hard suitcases. Reasonably priced (for real luggage with real warranty), fairly lightweight, no liner to get wet, rot, or hold water, easy to clean, available in lots of colors and extremely rugged. Good stuff.

For the best sheer capacity + low price to weight ratio by far, though, a good old-fashioned duffel bag can't be beat. Just be sure to wrap the more fragile items in a wetsuit or towel, or carry them on. Most dive gear is rugged enough it's not a problem.