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Scuba Gear: Renting vs. Buying

If you are an avid diver, then you probably have considered investing in your own scuba gear. But is buying scuba gear better than renting? Will it save you money, or end up costing more? Will it make your dive experience complicated or streamlined? These are all important questions that are worth considering.

Spoiler alert: I don’t have a hard-and-fast rule to help you answer these questions. Your investments are your decision, and everyone has different needs. However, I can provide some insight that can inform your decision. Here are the pros and cons of renting scuba equipment or buying your own. Read on:


Which is cheaper: renting or buying your scuba gear?

This is a great question, and one that depends on several factors: First of all, how often do you dive? If you live near a dive destination and dive regularly, it is probably cheaper to buy gear than to constantly add up rental costs.

However, if you live far from the water and only go once or twice a year, buying everything will definitely be more expensive. What if you go on destination dives many times a year? If you can drive, it will probably be cheaper to own your scuba gear.

But if you’re flying, all that heavy equipment will quickly rack up your luggage fees. In this case, you’d be better off investing in the lighter items – like a mask, snorkel, fins, and maybe a wetsuit – rather than the whole get-up.


Rented gear and personal gear both have their own convenient perks.

Rented gear is obviously convenient because you don’t have to do any upkeep. It’s ready for you when you arrive, and you get to leave it as-is when you finish your dive.

Personal gear, on the other hand, will have to be rinsed, packed, stored, and serviced. Regulators have to be annually serviced, cylinders have to be inspected, and dive computers need to be in good repair with charged batteries.

However, owning your own scuba gear does have one major perk. If you dive often, this might make all the work more than worth it! If you own your own gear, you don’t have to take the trouble to hunt down a rental for every dive. You can just jump right into the ocean whenever you like. Maybe that kind of freedom is priceless to you.


Of course, sometimes all of these factors pale in comparison to your comfort. If money is not an object and you don’t mind dealing with the responsibilities of owning scuba gear, then your comfort may be at the top of your priority list.

When it comes to comfort, personal gear wins every time. If you select your own scuba stuff, you can always be sure that your wetsuit fits properly and keeps you warm. You know your mask won’t leak, and your flippers won’t slip.

So what is the answer? Only you can decide that. Both owning and renting dive gear have perks. Which is most valuable to you?


Breana Johnson is a freelance writer, former Caribbean expat, and masters student at the University of London. She'd rather be under the sea in the Leeward Islands, but for now she's appreciating beach days at Lake Erie.

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