Scuba Gear – Buy Vs. Rent?

As with any sport or hobby , there is always the question of if it is better to buy or just rent equipment? For scuba divers it is no different.

As it goes,  there are definite advantages to buying your own gear. However you must decide if the advantages outweigh any of the disadvantages associated with purchasing and maintaining your own scuba gear.

U.S. Divers Snorkel Combo Set

Among the advantages are familiarity with the equipment, the comfort factor associated with properly fitting scuba gear as well as the safety associated with the known reliability of your own gear. All of these advantages comes along with the cost savings for frequent divers.

All of that being said, there is some scuba gear that you should really consider definitely buying.  The purchase of your own mask, snorkel and fins as well as your own wetsuit and BCD equipment goes a long way towards enhancing the quality of your diving experience while mitigating issues cause by poorly maintained and bad fitting equipment.

Scubapro LiteHawk BCD






Read on below for additional insights about buying vs renting scuba gear.

Advantages of Owning Your Scuba Gear:

  • Cost Savings: If you dive frequently and maintain your gear properly, you’ll save money in the long run.
  • Comfort: You know your gear will fit well so you can focus on the dive instead of chaffing, leaking or having your limbs impeded from normal movement.
  • Familiarity: You know where your dump valves are and how to unload weights quickly.
  • Safety: If maintained properly, you know your gear is safe to use, reducing the chances of an underwater gear failure.

Disadvantages of Owning Your Own Scuba Gear:

  • Cost: You pay for gear itself, but you also need to pay for yearly maintenance. In addition, you’ll pay for excessive baggage and weight fees when flying. If you’re renting a car, you’ll need a larger, more expensive car.
  • Maintenance Hassles: You, not the rental shop, are responsible for cleaning your gear after every dive and having your regulator, BCD, cylinders and computer batteries serviced yearly.
  • Proper Storage: You need a clean, large enough space to store your gear.

Advantages of Renting Scuba Gear:

  • Convenience: No need to buy, store, or lug gear around, just show up and rent.
  • Cost: If you don’t dive frequently, more than once or twice per year, you can begin diving right away and avoid a big, upfront cost as well as the overall cost of ownership.
  • No Maintenance Hassles: Once you’re out of the water, you hand the gear off to the rental shop staff and they rinse it, while you head to the bar or a shower. They also (hopefully) inspect and service it regularly.

Disadvantages of Renting Scuba Gear:

  • Safety Risks: You can visually inspect rental gear, but you won’t have any real way of knowing if the BCD, regulator and computer work properly.
  • Correct Size, Weight, and Buoyancy Problems: The rental shop may not have the correct size BCD, so you end up with ill-fitting gear at best and potentially dangerous gear at worst, such as a BCD that can’t sufficiently lift you to the surface or that impedes your movement.
  • Comfort: Rental gear can be uncomfortable, which can be distracting from the pleasure of the dive as well as potentially dangerous, such as a dry suit that leaks and you’re in frigid water.

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