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Congratulations on buying your own SCUBA equipment. You’ll never regret it! But, how are you planning to carry everything to and from the dive site? The best dive bags are spacious, comfortable to carry, easy to organize, and will protect the gear you’ve invested in. And most divers agree, you don’t want to leave home without one.

What type of bag works well for you will depend on how much equipment you own, what conditions you’ll be diving in, and how far you’re traveling. But don’t worry, there are plenty of high-quality models to choose from perfectly suited to your needs. In this article, we’ll teach you what features and considerations to shop for, and share our favorite models from around the web. So, if you’re ready to start shopping, read this first.

For more of our top scuba gear recommendations, check out the Best Dive Knives.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Dive Bags

  1. XS Scuba Seaside Deluxe
  2. Mares Cruise
  3. Pinnacle Pacific
  4. Akona Globetrotter
  5. Armor Dry Duffel
  6. Fourth Element Argo
  7. Scubapro Mesh N’ Roll
  8. Oceanic Jetpack
  9. Cressi Moby 5
  10. Stahlsac Jamaican Smuggler

 

Comparison Table - Best Dive Bags

PictureNameStyleHandlesPocketsClosurePriceRating
XS Scuba Seaside DeluxeMesh Backpack2 Shoulder Straps, Top and Side Grab Handles1 Interior, 1 ExteriorDrawstring Top$5.0
Mares CruiseMesh Duffel2 Wrap-around StrapsNoneZippered Top$4.6
Pinnacle PacificFabric Duffel2 Wrap-around Straps, 1 Adjustable Cross-body Strap1 Exterior, Removable Regulator BagZippered Top$4.7
Akona GlobetrotterFabric Backpack2 Shoulder Straps, 1 Chest Strap2 ExteriorZippered Top$$4.8
Armor Dry DuffelDry Duffel2 Wrap-around Straps, 1 Adjustable Cross-body StrapNoneZippered Top$$4.6
Fourth Element ArgoDry Duffel2 Wrap-around StrapsNoneRolled Top$$4.5
Scubapro Mesh N’ RollMesh RollerRetractable Pull Handle, 2 Wrap-around Straps1 ExteriorZippered Top$$4.6
Oceanic JetpackBCD Dive Bag Hybrid2 Shoulder Straps, Top Grab Handle2 ExteriorZippered Top$$$5.0
Cressi Moby 5Fabric RollerRetractable Pull Handle, 2 Wrap-around Straps, Top Grab Handle3 ExteriorZippered Top$$$4.7
Stahlsac Jamaican SmugglerFabric RollerRetractable Pull Handle, 2 Wrap-around Straps, Top Grab Handle1 ExteriorZippered Top$$$4.8
PictureNameStyleHandlesPocketsClosurePriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Bags for Diving

XS Scuba Seaside Deluxe

Specs
  • Closure: Drawstring Top
  • Handles: 2 Shoulder Straps, Top and Side Grab Handles
  • Material: Polyester Mesh, Tarpaulin
  • Pockets: 1 Interior, 1 Exterior
  • Style: Mesh Backpack
  • Volume: 103 Liters
Features
  • Water Resistant Internal Zippered Pocket for Valuables
  • Padded and Adjustable Shoulder Straps
  • Top and Side Grab Handles for Easy Lifting
  • Mesh Design for Rinsing and Drying Gear in Bag
  • Lightweight Design Under 2 lbs

BEST FOR: BUDGET

Transporting and protecting your dive gear doesn’t have to be expensive. The XS Scuba Seaside Deluxe is one of the most affordable models on the market, and it performs just as well as other bags selling for twice the price. This mesh backpack’s top-loading design makes it easy to stuff your equipment inside while protecting small items in its water-resistant pocket. Its completely flexible exterior allows you to stuff it inside a larger bag or suitcase for rapid packing and unpacking. And, best of all, after a day in the water, you can pack up the Seaside Deluxe, rinse or dunk the entire thing, and let it drip dry.

Mares Cruise

Specs
  • Closure: Zippered Top
  • Handles: 2 Wrap-around Straps
  • Material: 600 Denier 72T w/PVC
  • Pockets: None
  • Style: Mesh Duffel
  • Volume: 109 Liters
Features
  • Mesh Design for Rinsing and Drying Gear in Bag
  • Collapsible for Easy Storage
  • Long Enough for Freediving Fins
  • Lightweight Design Under 2 lbs

BEST FOR: QUICK DRYING

Though it doesn’t earn many points for style, the Mares Cruise is easily your best option for a quick-drying gear bag. This mesh duffel features one of the simplest designs on the market, with one oversized and flexible compartment. When empty, it collapses into a small circle, weighing less than 2 lbs, so it’s completely travel-friendly. When expanded, it’s long enough for freediving fins and can accommodate more than one set of SCUBA equipment. The beauty of this bag is that after a day of diving, you can rinse or dunk all your gear, already packed, and hang it to dry.

Pinnacle Pacific

Specs
  • Closure: Zippered Top
  • Handles: 2 Wrap-around Straps, 1 Adjustable Cross-body Strap
  • Material: 600D Polyester, PVC Laminate
  • Pockets: 1 Exterior, Removable Regulator Bag
  • Style: Fabric Duffel
  • Volume: 109 Liters
Features
  • Collapsible for Easy Storage
  • External Fin Pocket
  • Grommet Drain Holes for Air Circulation
  • Removable Regulator Bag

BEST FOR: EASY ORGANIZATION

The Pinnacle Pacific is an ideal design for neat freaks and those who prefer to keep their gear bag ultra organized. An external pocket keeps fins horizontal and prevents unwanted bending while in transit. The removable regulator bag is padded to keep your breathing apparatus safe and separated from the rest of your gear and attaches easily with a zipper. This feature makes it a snap to remove before flying. And, grommeted drain holes allow for air transfer inside the bag, preventing trapped moisture. Though this model is bulkier than most in its class, it is perfect for protecting sensitive equipment during long haul travel. 

Akona Globetrotter

Specs
  • Closure: Zippered Top
  • Handles: 2 Shoulder Straps, 1 Chest Strap
  • Material: Polyester, Molded Plastic
  • Pockets: 2 Exterior
  • Style: Fabric Backpack
  • Volume: 58 Liters
Features
  • Padded and Adjustable Shoulder Straps
  • Top and Side Grab Handles for Easy Lifting
  • Collapsible for Easy Storage
  • Adjustable Sternum Strap for Weight Distribution
  • External Compression Straps for Fin Storage

BEST FOR: VERSATILITY

The Akona Globetrotter is perfect for divers on the go. Its unique cylindrical shape makes it easy to load a regulator bag in the bottom, and neatly stack the rest of your gear on top. Two zippered external pockets will keep all your odds and ends organized. Exterior compression straps will keep your fins safe, secure, and in the proper position without the need to jam them inside with everything else. The Globetrotter is easy and comfortable to carry, with padded shoulder straps and an adjustable chest strap for improved weight distribution. Keep in mind that this is a low volume design, best suited to warm water dive travel.

Armor Dry Duffel

Specs
  • Closure: Zippered Top
  • Handles: 2 Wrap-around Straps, 1 Adjustable Cross-body Strap
  • Material: Waterproof Tarpaulin
  • Pockets: None
  • Style: Dry Duffel
  • Volume: 118 Liters
Features
  • Top and Side Grab Handles for Easy Lifting
  • Long Enough for Freediving Fins
  • Completely Waterproof Exterior
  • Storm Flap Prevents Water Entering at Zipper
  • Outside Window for Luggage ID

BEST FOR: HARSH CONDITIONS   

Do you dive in challenging conditions? The Armor Dry Duffel will keep your gear bone dry on its way to and from the dive site, no matter what kind of weather you’re traveling in. This bag’s solid tarpaulin construction, welded seams, and storm flap lock water out, even when completely submerged. So, you’ll never have to worry about sitting your bag on a wet deck or out in the rain. If you need to pack your gear while it’s still wet, the Armor Dry Duffel’s interior won’t trap moisture, grow mold, or start smelling musty. And, it can easily carry an entire set of SCUBA equipment including a drysuit and accessories.

Fourth Element Argo

Specs
  • Closure: Rolled Top
  • Handles: 2 Wrap-around Straps
  • Material: 500D Cordura
  • Pockets: None
  • Style: Dry Duffel
  • Volume: 44 Liters
Features
  • Top and Side Grab Handles for Easy Lifting
  • Completely Waterproof Exterior
  • Outside Window for Luggage ID
  • Roll-up Changing Mat Included

BEST FOR: DRY SUITS AND ACCESSORIES

Most cold-water divers agree, there is nothing worse than diving in a damp dry suit. The Fourth Element Argo was designed with cold-water divers in mind, to keep your suit and undergarments dry no matter what surface conditions you encounter. Its heavy-duty Cordua exterior locks moisture out, even when submerged. A rolling top prevents water from entering and doesn’t rely on zippers or flaps that can wear out and break. Plus, its roll-up changing mat will keep your gear free from mud and debris during donning and doffing. Keep in mind that this is a low volume bag, meant for carrying exposure protection and a few dry accessories, not a full SCUBA setup.

Scubapro Mesh N’ Roll

Specs
  • Closure: Zippered Top
  • Handles: Retractable Pull Handle, 2 Wrap-around Straps
  • Material: PVC Mesh and Nylon
  • Pockets: 1 Exterior
  • Style: Mesh Roller
  • Volume: 92 Liters
Features
  • Mesh Design for Rinsing and Drying Gear in Bag
  • Collapsible for Easy Storage
  • Long Enough for Freediving Fins
  • Heavy Duty Wheels

BEST FOR: OVERALL VALUE

The Scubapro Mesh N’ Roll bag is one of the most versatile models on the market, and an excellent value, dollar for dollar. This allover mesh bag is easy to transport, with multiple carrying options including wrap-around straps, a retractable pull handle, and heavy-duty wheels. It’s large enough to hold two complete sets of gear while keeping small accessories organized, perfect for buddy teams that travel together. And, it allows equipment to dry even once it’s been packed, so you’ll never fly home from a dive trip with a sopping wet SCUBA setup. For its size, this bag is surprisingly lightweight and collapsible too, and can even fit inside larger rolling models.

Oceanic Jetpack

Specs
  • Closure: Zippered Top
  • Handles: 2 Shoulder Straps, Top Grab Handle
  • Material: 1000-D Cordura, 420-D Nylon
  • Pockets: 2 Exterior
  • Style: BCD Dive Bag Hybrid
  • Volume: 42 Liters
Features
  • Padded and Adjustable Shoulder Straps
  • Collapsible for Easy Storage
  • Adjustable Sternum Strap for Weight Distribution
  • BCD Bladder Converts Into Flexible Gear Bag

BEST FOR: BACKPACKERS

The Oceanic Jetpack isn’t a BCD or a gear bag, it’s both. This unique and innovative system is a low volume carry-all solution for divers who travel light. The buoyancy compensator unfolds and rezips into a travel bag, equipped with multiple pockets for storage, padded and adjustable straps for convenient carrying, and plenty of room for a full set of warm water equipment. Plus, because the BCD doubles as a bag, you’ll have one less bulky piece of equipment to carry around. The Jetpack is made from fast-drying materials so it can easily transition from buoyancy compensator to bag in a matter of moments.

Cressi Moby 5

Specs
  • Closure: Zippered Top
  • Handles: Retractable Pull Handle, 2 Wrap-around Straps, Top Grab Handle
  • Material: 300-D, 400- D Nylon
  • Pockets: 3 Exterior
  • Style: Fabric Roller
  • Volume: 115 Liters
Features
  • Padded and Adjustable Shoulder Straps
  • External Fin Pocket
  • Removable Regulator Bag
  • Outside Window for Luggage ID
  • Heavy Duty Wheels

BEST FOR: SENSITIVE EQUIPMENT

If you are traveling with delicate camera equipment or other sensitive gear, you’ll want a heavily padded bag with plenty of pockets. The Cressi Moby 5 will keep all your odds and ends safe and organized during even the roughest transit. This roller bag is bulky but spacious enough to hold two complete sets of equipment plus all the accessories. Unlike similar models, the Moby 5 can also convert into a backpack for easy carry in crowded airports and bus stations. Plus, its internal frame lends extra support when carried as a backpack, and keeps an upright position while being pulled on wheels.

Stahlsac Jamaican Smuggler

Specs
  • Closure: Zippered Top
  • Handles: Retractable Pull Handle, 2 Wrap-around Straps, Top Grab Handle
  • Material: Nylon
  • Pockets: 1 Exterior
  • Style: Fabric Roller
  • Volume: 106 Liters
Features
  • Designed for Air Travel
  • Molded Bottom for Added Protection
  • Outside Window for Luggage ID
  • Heavy Duty Wheels
  • Internal Compression Straps
  • Locking Zippers for Added Security

BEST FOR: AIR TRAVEL

If you fly with dive gear frequently, you know it can be a hassle. The Stahlsac Jamaican Smuggler was designed for air travel with TSA standards in mind. Its dimensions meet all major airline requirements for checked baggage, and its ultralight internal frame saves weight for where you need it the most. Internal compression straps keep your gear neat and tidy, and a padded external pocket makes it easy to stash away all your small accessories. Divers with delicate equipment will appreciate the molded plastic bottom, which adds an extra level of protection for sensitive gear like regulators and camera rigs. This model features TSA approved locking zippers for added protection against petty theft.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A DIVE BAG

 

STYLE

Dive bags come in three main styles; backpack, duffel, and roller. Which is best for you depends on how much gear you’re planning to carry and for how far.

Backpack style gear bags are best for divers who are traveling light. Because this style is worn on your back, much more than 25 lbs won’t be comfortable. But, it’s an ideal design for warm water divers and weekend warriors. When compared to bulkier duffels and rollers, this style is easy to carry through crowded airports and transit stations. 

Duffel style gear bags aren’t the most comfortable to carry, but they are spacious and easy to pack. Most duffels feature a full-length top zipper, so it’s easy to fit even the most oversized equipment inside. These styles can often fit more than one set of gear, so they are a top pick for buddy teams traveling together. 

Roller bags are typically more organized and protective than their flexible counterparts, thanks to interior frames and support. If you’re traveling with sensitive gear or lots of small pieces, this structured “luggage” style is probably your best bet. But, roller style gear bags weigh more than other types, so be prepared to travel with an extra pound or two.

 

SIZE

Size is a major consideration when choosing your gear bag. Too much room and you’ll be stuck with bulky and half-empty luggage. Too little room and you’ll be struggling to stuff everything inside. If you’re diving in warm water, a volume between 60 and 80 liters will likely fit your entire kit. If you plan to explore in cold climates or you want to fit two sets of equipment in the same bag, choose a model with at least 100 liters of storage capacity. If you’re flying with equipment, remember to research airline size and weight restrictions for your bag ahead of time.  

 

STORAGE

If you’re traveling with SCUBA accessories, you may prefer a dive bag that comes with built-in pockets or a regulator bag for additional storage. These design elements will help protect small and sensitive items while keeping you organized until you reach the dive site. Internal pockets are best for small valuables, while an external locking option is best for larger accessories. 

 

HANDLES

The most comfortable way to carry your dive bag will depend on how much it weighs and what you have inside. Whether you choose a bag with wraparound handles, shoulder straps, or a pull handle, be sure the hardware feels stable and secure. Avoid thin straps that might break or dig in during transit. And, if you’re traveling with more than 50 lbs, opt for a bag with multiple methods of carry. This will come in handy during long trips when you might find yourself fatigued after a long day on the road. It is also helpful if you are traveling in crowded or congested places where it may be challenging to move with a duffel or roller bag.

 

MATERIALS 

Your dive bag’s material will determine how quickly it dries and how much wear and tear it can withstand. Nylon mesh is the fastest drying option, and the most breathable. Fabric bags allow less air circulation and are sometimes prone to trapping moisture. But, these solid styles will do a better job of protecting your gear from outside elements and tend to last longer. Waterproof fabrics are the most durable and protective but are often heavy and expensive options. 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

 

DESIGNED FOR AIR TRAVEL

Dive bags that are designed for air travel feature extra protection against rough baggage handling. These travel-friendly extras typically included a solid molded plastic bottom to protect your bag’s contents from impact. TSA approved locking zippers, luggage tag windows, and heavy-duty wheels also come in handy if you are a frequent flyer. 

 

LONG ENOUGH FOR FREEDIVING FINS

If your travel plans include SCUBA and freediving, you’ll want a gear bag long enough to hold both types of fins. Freediving fins begin at around 38 inches (98 cm) in length. 

 

COMPRESSION STRAPS

Some dive bags feature compression straps to hold your equipment in place. Internal straps are helpful for compressing thick wetsuits and bulky BCDs, and keep gear from sliding around inside your bag. External straps are used to secure fins and other accessories to the outside of your bag. 

 

GROMMET DRAIN HOLES

These metal reinforced holes allow water and moisture to escape from your dive bag, even during transit. Air circulation cuts back on musty smells and reduces the need to wash your equipment a second time after travel. 

 

REGULATOR BAG

Detachable regulator bags offer extra protection around the most sensitive equipment you use. These additional compartments are usually cushioned and attach with a zipper. Some divers prefer to carry their regulators with them in cabin luggage to ensure safe and gentle handling. 

 

STORM FLAP

A storm flap is an additional piece of water-resistant fabric that lays behind your bag’s zipper. This strip prevents moisture that seeps through the zipper’s teeth from entering your bag unless it is submerged. 

READ MORE

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