The evolution of dive equipment has come a long way.
Just like with cars, phones and computers there are better and there are worse. The technology changes continuously and same goes for dive equipment. One is better than the other, one is more expensive then the other. They are all good and a lot has to do with personal preference.
The biggest upgrade we have made to our dive equipment are our BCD’s. The standard is to have a normal BCD without a weight integrated system. When you have this, you have to wear a weight belt. A weight belt is just that, a belt with weight on, to make sure you can sink. When you have a weight integrated BCD, the BCD will have pockets.There is nothing wrong with weight belts, but pockets are just that little bit nicer.
You put the weight you need in the pockets and these special pockets will just slide in their spots in your BCD. Now you don’t have to worry about your weight belt sliding off or you dropping him when you try to take the belt off. Often they do sit a little more comfortable than when you wear a weight belt, especially if you do need a significant amount of weight. Another nice extra weight feature for these BCD’s is that they have small pockets on the side of the tank band. These small pockets are designed so you can put a little bit of weight in these as well. They are what we call trim pockets. By putting some weight in these pockets it will push your body forward, creating a better “trim”.
The main difference you will find when it comes down to fins is open heel versus full foot fins. Full foot fins is what most people know fins to be like. They are great for snorkeling, diving and traveling. They are light weight and therefor easy to take with you wherever you go. You don’t need anything else just your fin. Open heel fins on the other hand can sometimes have more power as they tend to be heavier. You do however need dive boots in them as otherwise they tend to rub your feet. This is of course great if you do use them for snorkeling to the Baths as you then also have water shoes when you take your fins off.
The latest hype when it comes down to masks is the low profile masks. Especially free divers love them as there is not a lot of air space in them and easier to clear.
Another thing more and more people are looking at when buying masks is to get mirrored lenses in them which acts similar to sunglasses. Especially when it comes down to masks, your main concern should be a good fit. Every face is different and not one mask suits everybody. Make sure you try it on, even keep using rental masks wherever you go, until you find that perfect fit, for you face. After all, a mask can make or brake a dive and is probably one of the most important pieces of dive equipment that you will ever buy.
For dive computers, the list is endless. You can go from straight forward, simple watches to computers with color screens and GPS systems build in. From watch models to integrated with your regulator on your gauge console. It really depends on how much you would like to spend on a dive computer and/or how often you use it. If you are in the water every day, you might want a smaller computer that you can also use as your daily watch. For us who are old school, we prefer to wear a watch, next to our dive computer. If your dive computer fails, you still have a watch with you to use to see your bottom time, safety stop and ascent rate. Having the computer on your gauge console, makes it one less loose item to carry and wear.
The latest thing on the market for dive computers, is to have one with a transmitter. The transmitter is a small device that connects to the first stage of your regulator and allows you to monitor your air. It sends the information from there to your dive computer. Your dive computer will be able to tell you how much air you have left and even how much time you have left under the water with that air.
For most dive computers these days you can buy a cable that connects to your laptop. This allows you to transfer your dive log, straight onto your laptop, into a dive log program. Once you transferred the details, you can now add information such as location, what you saw etc…
It doesn’t matter what dive equipment you buy. What matters is that you like what you buy. That it does what you need it to do. Make sure it is comfortable and suitable for the environment you will use it in.