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'How Do I Travel with Scuba Gear as Checked Luggage?'

February 5, 2014 at 5:54 PM | by | ()

With each new season comes new questions about what passengers can and cannot take onboard a plane. Thus, we'll be addressing some of the most popular requests with a series called, "Got Baggage."

So, how to fly on a commercial airplane with SCUBA gear?

First, consider how much diving you'll actually do. Just a day or two of two-tank dives? Keep it minimal. A week of day-long diving on a live-aboard? Bring your best stuff. Rent your tanks at the destination, and even your weight belt unless your BCD is has an integrated weight system.

What we always take (carry-on):
· Mask in hard mask box
· Snorkel
· Dive log
· Small dry bag (for taking iPhone & dive log out on the dive boat)

The above list is, of course, completely cool to include in your carry-on or checked luggage without any problems. If you're traveling with many dives on the schedule, or going on a wholly dive trip such as on a live-aboard vessel, then you'll understandably have more gear.

What we would take for a serious tropical dive trip (checked):
· Mask in hard mask box
· Snorkel
· Dive log
· Small dry bag
· Dive computer
· Shorty wetsuit
· Fins
· BCD with regulators

Not all US airlines have clearly specified regulations for SCUBA bags, so you'll have to measure the weight and size of your bag against your airline's individual baggage rules. American Airlines is a nice exception, addressing SCUBA gear both with and without tanks:

DiveIDC compares the different types of dive luggage, while scuba diving.com had a great piece on the best bags of 2012. Sadly it hasn't been updated since.

For individual airline checked baggage or overweight fees, check with your carrier.

[Photo: @quinet]

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