Whether you are heading to a warm Caribbean destination or a temperate Mediterranean island, you will need diving equipment. It is worth noting that renting equipment while on holiday is costly. There are also limited options for buying it locally. A tropical holiday does not need suitcases full of clothes (you could be barefoot all day long) so it is always worth investing in warm water gear. Equipment for cooler destinations - like dry and semi-dry suits - are always going to be more expensive but there is nothing worse than renting a suit with ill-fitting seals or a leaky zip, especially when you are supposed to be relaxing! See our list of recommendations below, depending on the location you have chosen.
Malta and Gozo and Madeira
Flying short-haul often doesn’t give you a lot of luggage allowance so taking thick drysuits may not be practical. Because of the hot Summer topside temperatures in these destinations, you should consider a thick wetsuit that is easy to get in and out of to avoid overheating on dry land. The Mares Flexa Graphene Wetsuit and Scubapro Everflex 7/5mm Wetsuit both have glideskin seals to help with donning and doffing.
Alternatively you could layer up with a thinner wetsuit with something underneath like the Fourth Element Thermocline 2 Hooded Vest. It weighs less than a kilo but makes all the difference keeping your core insulated. Accessories like hoods and gloves will keep your extremities warm in Mediterranean or Atlantic waters.
If you are boat diving it is worth investing in a reel and SMB to make sure you are easily seen by the boat when you surface from a dive. Spools are lightweight for travelling and range from reasonably-priced plastic types like the IST Finger Spool to a longer-lasting coloured aluminium product such as the Apeks LifeLine spool. At Mike’s we now also package this with a marker buoy as an SMB bundle.
Finally, a dive computer is mandatory if diving without a guide in resorts such as these. We stock a massive range of both wrist mounted and smaller watch style dive computers that are fit for purpose in temperate water. You might choose an easy to read colour screen like the Suunto EON Core or air-integrated computer like the Mares Smart Air, depending on your budget. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to wirelessly transfer dive profile data to a compatible smart device so you can log all your memorable holiday dives like the reasonably-priced Aqua Lung i300C.
Turks and Caicos and Grenada
Our Warm Water Diving page has complete equipment packages as well as individual items to choose from. The equipment listed here is lightweight for travelling and some of it can even be disconnected to fit better in your luggage such as the Scubapro Hydros and the Aqua Lung Rogue BCDs.
If you are a fair-weather diver, you can happily breathe from a warm water regulator for ever more! The Aqua Lung Mikron Regulator and Octopus is a compact, consistently-performing reg set suitable for temperatures 10 degrees and above. However, it may be worth purchasing a set that can also be dived in colder temperatures should you enjoy the UK waters as well. The Apeks XL4+ Stage 4 Regulator Set with Bag ticks all those boxes.
Booties aren’t really needed on sandy tropical islands so lightweight open heel fins with spring straps are ideal. The Scubapro Go Travel Fin can be worn barefoot or with neoprene socks. They weigh just 1-1.5kg per pair (depending on size) but are stronger than closed heel fins if you come across any current.
Caribbean temperatures hover mainly around 27 degrees and above so you may choose not to throw a wetsuit in your dive bag. You are going to get a lot of sun, even under the surface of the waves. A Rash Vest or Lycra Suit with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) will reduce the harmful effect of the suns UV rays on your skin. They will also help protect against stinging marine organisms.
The Scubapro T-Flex Long Sleeve Rash Guards are available in a variety of striking colours and claim to have the highest UV protection rating available in the industry. Fourth Element’s Hydroskin Full Suit is constructed from a high grade lycra based fabric with a SPF of 50+ and is hypoallergenic. Alternatively, our range of Shorty Wetsuits will be ample for those that prefer a bit more thermal protection.
With temperatures rarely moving outside of 1-4 degrees, Iceland is definitely drysuit territory! Trilaminate suits tend to weigh less than neoprene suits when travelling but you will need to carry undergarments. The Fourth Element Arctic One Piece is one of our bestselling thermal undergarments. It is low bulk while providing remarkable insulation, maximum comfort and wicking properties.
It would be most divers’ nightmare to go to a bucket list destination only to find one of your drysuit seals is torn. The Scubapro Evertech and Waterproof D10 Pro ISS Drysuit (among others) have Si-Tech ring systems with exchangeable silicone seals at the wrists and neck which can be swapped out in a matter of minutes.
Diving at one of the most extreme places on earth requires an extreme cold water breathing system. The Apeks MTX-RC Stage 3 Regulator Set has been built with maximum heat-transferring ribs for better anti-freeze properties. The first stage end cap prevents ice build-up over its hydrostatic diaphragm, eliminating the risk of freeflow.