So, you booked a liveaboard dive trip. That’s awesome! But, you still need to plan and pack for your voyage. Not sure what you need? Struggling to find the balance between overpacked and unprepared? Don’t worry. The Adventure Junkies are here to help with our handy packing list for liveaboard diving trips.
When it comes to liveaboard diving, the trick is to pack light and essential pieces. In this article, we’re breaking down the best gear and personal items for you to take along. Especially if this is your first liveaboard, you should shop and pack well in advance. Last minute options might cost more, and force you to settle on less than perfect purchases.
HOW TO USE THIS PACKING LIST
The items on this list were hand picked, keeping a few key qualities in mind. For each piece, we’re giving you a little bit of extra information. Focus on these factors when shopping and packing for your liveaboard dive trip, and you’re sure to have everything you need.
PURPOSE: We’ll let you know what the item is for and how to use it.
ESSENTIAL ITEMS: Not everything on this list is a must have. So, we’ve made a special note for which items are essential to help you shop smart.
PRICE RANGE: We’re giving you a wide range of prices with a fit for every budget.
LOOK FOR: Details can make a big difference. Here, we point out key features and design elements for top performing gear.
PRO PICK: Our dive pro’s top picks based on the value, quality, and durability of the item.
LEARN MORE: A link with more details on the product or shopping tips.
BEST MODELS: A link featuring the year’s best equipment.
1. EQUIPMENT BAGS
PURPOSE: Keep gear protected and organized
ESSENTIAL ITEMS: Vital for long distance travel
PRICE RANGE: $50 – $150
LOOK FOR: Quality construction, reinforced zippers
PRO PICK: Akona Globetrotter
BEST MODELS: Top 10 Dive Travel Bags
PURPOSE: Transport and rinse gear
PRICE RANGE: $25 – $100
LOOK FOR: Comfortable carry, quick dry
PRO PICK: Mares Cruise Mesh Backpack
PURPOSE: Keep valuables safe from water
ESSENTIAL ITEMS: The only safe place for electronics
PRICE RANGE: $15 – $150
LOOK FOR: Heavy duty, floats
PRO PICK: Dry Pak Roll Top Gear Bag
2. DIVE GEAR
PURPOSE: Maintain and control buoyancy
PRICE RANGE: $150 – $650
LOOK FOR: Plenty of lift, light weight
PRO PICK: Oceanic BioLite Travel BCD
BEST MODELS: Top 10 Scuba Diving BCDs
LIGHTWEIGHT REGULATOR SET
PURPOSE: Provide comfortable breathing underwater
PRICE RANGE: $400 – $1,700
LOOK FOR: Ease of breathing, light weight
PRO PICK: Atomic T3
BEST MODELS: Top 10 Scuba Diving Regulators
PURPOSE: Allow you to see underwater
ESSENTIAL ITEMS: This is the first piece of equipment you should buy
PRICE RANGE: $50 – $200
LOOK FOR: Proper fit, good seal
PRO PICK: Cressi Eyes Evolution
LEARN MORE: What Scuba Gear Should You Buy First?
BEST MODELS: Top 10 Scuba Diving Masks
PURPOSE: Propel you through the water
PRICE RANGE: $120 – $150
LOOK FOR: Sturdy design, easy to use releases
PRO PICK: Apeks RK3
LEARN MORE: Top 10 Scuba Diving Fins
PURPOSE: Measure depth and tank pressure
PRICE RANGE: $120 – $180
LOOK FOR: Imperial or metric, light weight, durable
PRO PICK: Oceanic Max-Depth SWIV Combo
BEST MODELS: Top 10 Scuba Diving Gauges
PLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST LIVEABOARD TRIP
PLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST LIVEABOARD TRIP
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PURPOSE: Plan, calculate and log dives
ESSENTIAL ITEMS: A computer makes you more self-reliant and adds to your safety in the water
PRICE RANGE: $200 – $2,000
LOOK FOR: Easy to operate
PRO PICK: Suunto Zoop
BEST MODELS: Top 12 Dive Computers
PURPOSE: Free you from entanglement
LOOK FOR: Safely guarded blade, easy to use
PRO PICK: Eezycut Trilobite
BEST MODELS: Top 10 Dive Knives
PURPOSE: Provide additional light underwater
PRICE RANGE: $80 – $200
LOOK FOR: Battery life, light weight, multiple settings
PRO PICK: Big Blue AL1200NP
BEST MODELS: Top 10 Dive Lights
4. EXPOSURE PROTECTION
PURPOSE: Protect your body from ocean environments
PRICE RANGE: $50 – $400
LOOK FOR: Quality construction, proper fit
PRO PICK: Scubapro Everflex
LEARN MORE: How Should A Wetsuit Fit?
PURPOSE: Keep feet warm and protected while using open heel fins
PRICE RANGE: $30 – $100
LOOK FOR: Firm but flexible construction, durable soles
PRO PICK: Cressi Isla
BEST MODELS: Top 10 Dive Boots
PURPOSE: Adds a base layer of warmth and sun protection
ESSENTIAL ITEMS: This multi-use piece of gear protects above and below water
PRICE RANGE: $20 – $150
LOOK FOR: UV Protection, 1 – 3mm Warmth
PRO PICK: O’Neill Long Sleeve Crew
LEARN HOW YOu Can HAVE INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCES WITH BIG OCEAN CREATURES
5. SIGNALING AND NAVIGATION
PURPOSE: Signal boats and mark your surface position
ESSENTIAL ITEMS: The DSMB is a life-saving piece of equipment. Do not dive without one.
PRICE RANGE: $10 – $100
LOOK FOR: Durable construction, reflective strips for night use
PRO PICK: Blue Reef 4′ Surface Marker
BEST MODELS: Top 10 SMBs For Scuba Diving
PURPOSE: Navigation above and below water
PRICE RANGE: $60 – $150
LOOK FOR: Wrist console mounted or retractable, easy to read
PRO PICK: Scubapro FS-2
BEST MODELS: The 10 Dive Compasses
PURPOSE: Audible signaling on the surface
ESSENTIAL ITEMS: Divers should always carry both visual and audible signals
PRICE RANGE: $5 – $10
LOOK FOR: Loud, submersible, easy to use
PRO PICK: Fox 40 Sonik Blast
- Quick Dry Shorts
- Quick Dry Shirt
Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/merlas
7. PERSONAL ITEMS
- Travel Towel
- Ear Plugs
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Hydrating Drinks
- Biodegradable Sunscreen
- Natural Insect Repelllant
- Motion Sickness Tablets
- Waterproof Logbook
- Fish ID and Diving Books
8. PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT
- Spare Parts
- O Ring Lubricant
- Silica Gel Packets
9. JUST IN CASE
- Dive Certification Cards
- Extra Cash
- Insurance Documents
- Save-a-Dive Kit