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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

Scuba Gear Gift Ideas for 2011

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Scuba Gear Gift Ideas for 2011 Posted in: Dive Gear Tips

Shopping for a Christmas present or other gift for a scuba diver poses all the typical problems in choosing the right gift, plus a few extra dive-related complications. Most non-divers face the intimidating problem of not being familiar enough with their spouse’s/relative’s/friend’s scuba gear to even know where to begin shopping, let alone have the information to make an informed decision about what to buy, and simply asking a diver about what gear she needs tips her off and ruins the surprise value. Furthermore, premium scuba gear is expensive, and few budget for gifts with price tags running into several hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

To avoid these pitfalls, most shoppers need to focus on reasonably priced items that are either useful accessories or are easily identified in a diver’s kit, even by non-divers. What follows is a list of the five best scuba gear gift ideas, tailored with confused non-divers in mind and for budgets of $300 or less.

Intova IC14 Underwater Camera

Does your diver have an underwater camera already, and is he a hardcore shutterbug? If the answer to both of those questions is “no,” then the new Intova IC14 underwater camera is a solid gift idea. It’s a 14-megapixel camera with plenty of handy features and an underwater housing rugged enough to exceed recreational diving limits. The best part is the price, which is roughly half that of comparable cameras. Any camera-less scuba diver who is of the simple point-and-shoot mindset will be thrilled to have it.






Scubapro Fuego Dive Light

The Fuego is a dive light that straddles the line between a primary dive light and a back-up dive light, making it a safe buy for any diver. If your diver is an adventurous wreck diver, cave diver or night diver, having a back-up light (or three) is critical and a compact-but-powerful unit like the Scubapro Fuego will fit in nicely. If your diver night dives only occasionally and relies on rented lights, the Fuego is a good starter light. It is also small enough and light enough to travel anywhere, and doubles as a camping flashlight. Basically, whether your diver has an underwater flashlight or not, you can’t go wrong by buying a general purpose dive light like the Fuego.






Spare Air Pony Bottle

If you are concerned about your diver’s safety, the Spare Air pony bottle is the gift you want.┬áThe standard Spare Air bottle holds enough air for a recreational diver to make a controlled ascent from deep water, providing a solid back-up against equipment failures and negligent dive buddies. If your diver solo dives at all and doesn’t have a back-up system like Spare Air, buying him one is essential. It is also easy to see if your diver already has one. Simply inspect her BCD (harness) and look for what looks like a big yellow aerosol can in a holster.






Dive Alert Signalling Device

On the subject of negligent dive buddies, signalling other divers without a special tool is usually a clumsy and awkward business. Many divers resort to the low-tech, cheap option of carrying a spoon and striking their air tanks. On top of requiring a blind reach behind the diver’s own back, hitting a tank with a spoon doesn’t create much noise and is easily missed at a distance. Doing the same thing with a heavier dive knife is awkward and dangerous. That is where devices like the Dive Alert Signalling Device comes in. The device is installed as part of the BCD’s inflator hose, integrating easily into an existing set of equipment. At the push of a button, a diver has an air-powered horn that reaches hundreds of feet.





Mask Strap Pad

This is a pad that fits over the rubber strap bands of a dive mask, preventing them from becoming entangled in your diver’s hair and thereby making putting the mask on and taking it off much easier. This isn’t such a problem for diver’s with crew cuts, but a mask strap pad is a great aid for any diver with even moderately long hair. The pad is priced so it can serve as a modest gift or as a stocking-stuffer, and you can confirm whether your diver has one or not simply by looking at his dive mask. The big pad on the strap is obvious.