Log in

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.

Category Archives: Below $100

Reviews for dive gear priced under $100.

19
July

Oceanic Cyanea Dive Mask Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Oceanic Cyanea Dive Mask Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Masks

This mask from Oceanic/Aeris combines a minimalist frame with maximalist lenses to create a highly touted field of view. These start with those big lenses, but don’t end there. The lenses are tilted to increase downwards field of view, adding to the range of vision. At the same time, it is a low volume mask […]

19
November

SEAC L70 Dive Mask Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on SEAC L70 Dive Mask Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Masks

The SEAC L70 is a new entrant into the growing realm of micro-masks, or masks with an ultra-low interior volume. “Micro” is the right word, because this one is so small you might mistake it for a kiddie mask. Low interior volume has two potential payoffs, one major and one minor, and both are present […]

09
February

Scubapro X-Cut Dive Knife Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Scubapro X-Cut Dive Knife Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Knives

Dive knives tend to come in three categories: cutters, straightforward and simple; dive tools; and knives that aren’t that serious. The latter are identified by their cheapness, and dive tools are usually hefty things with the weight and pommel to stand in for hammers. Cutters, on the other hand, are modest things but tough and […]

09
February

Aqua Quick Release Coil Lanyard

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Aqua Quick Release Coil Lanyard Posted in: Below $100, Other Accessories

In terms of accessories, any diver with more than one piece of handheld gear — dive light, camera, tool(s) — needs something more than just a clip and a D-ring. To keep such items handy, it’s best to have them at hand. Having a camera, for example, floating several inches away is a lot handier […]

14
October

Gear Keeper RT5-5901Retractor Snap Dive Gear Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Gear Keeper RT5-5901Retractor Snap Dive Gear Review Posted in: Below $100, Other Accessories

The Gear Keeper Retractor Snap is the kind of useful, inexpensive little accessory that almost never appears in flashy scuba diving magazines. The “retractor” part of the snap refers to the tough, auto-retracting nylon line, which allows you to pull out a chosen piece of gear for easy handling without having to unhook it. Take […]

22
November

Body Glove Power Paddle Gloves Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Body Glove Power Paddle Gloves Review Posted in: Below $100, Other Accessories

Orthodox scuba techniques teach divers to not use their arms for swimming, instead instructing them to keep their arms tucked away unless needed for something other than propulsion. Ostensibly this is because the hands are very inefficient water shovels, so the increase in drag and energy/air consumption more than cancels out any benefit in speed, […]

22
November

Scubapro Spectra Trufit Scuba Mask Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Scubapro Spectra Trufit Scuba Mask Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Masks

The Scubapro Spectra Trufit is a dual-lens mask design that attempts to balance low interior volume against achieving a wide range of vision, while at the same time having a skirt that offers a snug, leak-free fit to most faces. If the consumer and professional reviewer feedback is anything to go by, they succeeded. Sport […]

16
September

Sherwood Onyx Dive Mask Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Sherwood Onyx Dive Mask Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Masks

The Onyx looks like a basic dive mask: it is a dual lens design that comes only in black. However, the skirt is super soft and form fitting, providing a no-leak fit for a wide range of facial profiles. The design is also low-profile, and thus low volume. The buckles are a simple affair, and […]

16
September

Aeris Accel Scuba Fins Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Aeris Accel Scuba Fins Review Posted in: Below $100, Fins

The Accel is short, compact, and lightweight open-heel fin meant to serve as a travel fin. Each fin is less than 21 inches long and weighs in at 1 lb and 5 oz, so it certainly lives up to the billing in the easy-to-carry department. The fin is of the paddle with vents design, cast […]

06
August

Aqua Lung Stratos Scuba Fins Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Aqua Lung Stratos Scuba Fins Review Posted in: Below $100, Fins

This offering from Aqua Lung is their new entry-level, paddle fin design. For something supposedly so pedestrian, it’s a pretty sleek-looking number. Basically it’s an open-heel paddle, and the only bell or whistle is the blade, which has a good balance between stiffness and flexibility. Scuba Diving gave it a Best Buy for 2013, and […]

16
July

Diving Bali: The Underwater Jewel of Southeast Asia Book Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Diving Bali: The Underwater Jewel of Southeast Asia Book Review Posted in: Below $100, Book and Film Reviews

The total bill for a dive vacation in Bali will run in the four digits, even on a backpacker’s budget, so why not go with a clear idea of what to expect by purchasing a dive guide. Some prefer to go by the seat of their pants, but books of this type stimulate and excite […]

24
June

Dive Movie Review: Dark Tide

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Dive Movie Review: Dark Tide Posted in: Below $100, Book and Film Reviews

In Dark Tide, Halle Berry plays a shark expert in South Africa’s False Bay, one who makes a habit of free-diving with great whites in open water. One expedition with her business partner and her underwater photographer husband, played by Olivier Martinez, goes horribly wrong, and her partner is attacked and eaten by a great […]

08
June

Intova Sport 10K Underwater Camera Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Intova Sport 10K Underwater Camera Review Posted in: Below $100, Underwater Cameras

Intova is well-known for it’s inexpensive underwater cameras, often providing the budget alternative in each category of dive camera. For a long time, the cheap, no-frills end of the Intova line was their CP series of camera, the latest being the CP-9. Now that line is joined by the Sport 10K, which although just as […]

24
April

Chums Camera Float Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Chums Camera Float Review Posted in: Below $100, Other Accessories

It’s an ugly scenario that has proven all too real for many divers: having the lanyard securing a dive light, camera, or other piece of gear come loose, and then watching as that gear drifts or plummets away. Some items have positive buoyancy on their own and might go to the surface, but once there […]

13
February

Watershot iPhone 4 Underwater Housing Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Watershot iPhone 4 Underwater Housing Review Posted in: Below $100, Other Accessories, Underwater Cameras

The iPhone4 Underwater Housing from Watershot is exactly that: an aftermarket housing that converts an iPhone into a workable underwater camera. This separates it from the Scuba Capsule, which comes with an app designed to covert your iPhone into a dive computer. The Watershot accessory is basically just like any aftermarket underwater camera housing, except […]

12
December

Subgear Steel Dive Mask Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Subgear Steel Dive Mask Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Masks

The Subgear Steel dive mask is sometimes referred to as the “Apnea Steel” mask, and for good reason. The mask has a very low profile and minimal interior volume, something that helps freedivers, since it reduces the need to exhale air through the nose and into the mask at depth. For a scuba diver, this […]

10
July

Tusa Freedom One Dive Mask Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Tusa Freedom One Dive Mask Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Masks

Tusa’s latest mask is the M-211 Freedom One, named for the use of Tusa’s “Freedom Technology” in the skirt design. This embraces a trio of features intended to increase comfort and sealing efficiency. The skirt has a pattern of dimples to improve the mask’s general seal, and a set of ridges above the cheekbones to […]

27
June

Magicshine MJ-810E LED Dive Light Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Magicshine MJ-810E LED Dive Light Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Lights

If you aren’t familiar with Magicshine (and you probably aren’t), they are a Chinese company that specializes in durable light systems for diving and cycling. In the MJ-810E, the company has produced a flashlight-style dive light that resembles nothing so much as a lightsaber, and performs like one underwater. The MJ-810E is about 8 1/2 […]

14
June

Tusa FF-19 X-Pert Evolution Scuba Fins

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Tusa FF-19 X-Pert Evolution Scuba Fins Posted in: Below $100, Fins

Tusa’s FF-19 Evolution fins offer an interesting package for divers shopping for gear in the bargain basement. What makes the fins so interesting is that they are split fins, even today a somewhat exotic creature in diving, yet at the same time they are very cheap. The FF-19 X-Pert Evolution is pretty basic as split […]

28
May

Tilos Saber Dive Fins Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Tilos Saber Dive Fins Review Posted in: Below $100, Fins

Tilos Sabers are inexpensive fins that pack some of the features one might expect to find on a fin that costs as much as $25 more. The paddle combines big rubberized side rails with an expansive rubberized center-section, plus a pair of medium-sized vent apertures below the foot pocket. This combination of traditional paddle stiffness, […]

27
May

Suunto SK7 Underwater Compass Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Suunto SK7 Underwater Compass Review Posted in: Below $100, Other Accessories

For divers who frequent murky water, dive solo or simply want to be able to self-help their way out of becoming lost underwater without surfacing, an underwater compass is a must-have piece of gear. Of course, using an underwater compass is not quite as simple as using a compass on land. Navigating by compass for […]

21
May

Mares Wave Scuba Fin Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Mares Wave Scuba Fin Review Posted in: Below $100, Fins

The Wave fins from Mares catch the recent craze in paddle fins for having a big, flexible center section. The design is fairly straightforward – a rubberized foot pocket and plastic paddle with thick, solid stiffening rails on the outside edge. A curved section dominating the center has been replaced by a rubberized insert. The […]

14
May

Mares Force Bat Titanium Folding Dive Knife Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Mares Force Bat Titanium Folding Dive Knife Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Knives

The Mares Force Bat is that company’s folding, titanium dive knife entry. It should not be confused with the Mares Force Knife or any other knife in the Mares line, because Mares (confusingly) puts “Force” into the name of all its knives. For the sake of simplicity, the knife will be called “Bat Titanium” for […]

10
May

Dive Book Review: Lost Wife, Saw Barracuda

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Dive Book Review: Lost Wife, Saw Barracuda Posted in: Below $100, Book and Film Reviews

Many or most of the dive masters you meet in Southeast Asia, the Red Sea, Central America and the Caribbean are made up of a rollicking caste of backpackers earning a living and saving for their next big push or folks who have dropped out from more “respectable” careers for a line of work that […]

07
March

Ocean Quest EZ Spring Fin Strap

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Ocean Quest EZ Spring Fin Strap Posted in: Below $100, Fins, Other Accessories

One of the simplest and most direct ways to upgrade your open-heeled fins is by replacing the rubber straps with metal spring straps. Instead of having to unbuckle the straps in the water to take the fins off, an awkward task even under the best of circumstances, to remove spring straps all you need to […]