Close banner

Support Outside Online

Love Outside?

Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today.

Contribute to Outside
Gear Guy

Should I rent or bring my own gear when scuba diving abroad?

I'm trying to decide whether or not to shell out on a bunch of new equipment for a scuba diving course in Turkey this summer. What does the all-knowing Gear Guy say: buy all and be ready before I go, or rent equipment once I'm there? Grant Washington, D.C.

A: Well, let me put it this way: Do both.

Here's what I mean. I'd rent all the mission-critical stuff—the regulator and tank in particular. Probably the buoyancy compensator, or BCD, as well. The reason? For one thing, this stuff is bulky and heavy and will make getting through airports a pain. For another, if you get it all over there and then have some sort of mechanical problem, you'll end up renting gear anyway. If you rent gear and need to swap something out, then that's not a problem. Plus, you might be able to try several brands of equipment, or different styles, and that will help you make a better buying decision when you do invest in your own gear.

In contrast, I'd be somewhat inclined to take all the "comfort" gear—mask and snorkel, fins, diving suit if needed. Sure, that stuff will be available in Turkey, too, but it's not hard to pack. Plus, it's stuff where fit and personal preference may make a difference in how much you enjoy the dives—maybe a particular kind of mask fits you best, or certain fins give you a favored propulsion level. And of course, if you have an underwater camera or anything, take that along.

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside