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You guys seemed to enjoy the chronic-overpacker reveal post that gave you a peek inside my toiletries. So I thought I’d keep the virtual unpacking going with this in-depth dissection of my scuba gear. Hold on to you dive hoods, ’cause things are about to get wordy.

Dive gear is painfully expensive. I think I snagged amazing deals on almost everything I use, and yet over the past four years I still spent a cool $900 (exactly!) out of pocket on my own set. For those who are just starting out, it can be confusing to figure out what to buy and what to rent, and what to look for and how much to spend when you do decide to start purchasing.

While I’m no expert, I can share what I use and how I came to make those choices. I’ve listed these items in the order that I personally would recommend new divers start accumulating their own gear in, but that may vary based on different diver needs (for example, someone who primarily dives locally won’t factor in size and weight of an item like someone who travels like I do.)

Oceanic Shadow Mask

1. Mask and Snorkel / Oceanic Mini Shadow

I believe a mask should be any diving enthusiasts’ first gear purchase. A good fitting mask is affordable, packable, and will make a massive impact on your scuba experience. And I love having a mask and snorkel with me whenever I travel as it gives me the freedom to jump into the water anytime and explore without having to hassle over rental gear.

Personally, I prefer a single frame mask with a clear skirt, so I have as much light and as little obstruction as possible. Typically, good masks tend to run between $30-130 and snorkels $10-40. My snorkel was snagged the day they emptied out the Lost and Found at my ex’s dive shop. My first mask was a gift, but when it started to yellow (the downside of clear skirts) I replaced it with the “Mini” version of the , which I paid $37 for in-store at Leisure Pro. I highly recommend it for a great quality mask at a wonderful price!

Buy for $54.
Buy for $75.

Mares Avanti Fins

2. Fins / Mares Avanti Full Foot

A lot of people don’t like packing fins because they are quite an awkward shape. Personally, I can’t imagine traveling anywhere tropical without them. First of all, as mentioned above, I love to be able to snorkel for free whenever I want! But also I have small, wide feet and I never want to be at the mercy of whatever a dive shop has in stock. However I do use full foot fins instead of open heel so I don’t have to carry dive booties as well.

Good fins tend to run in the $30-130 range. After trying on several in person, I asked for the for Christmas one year and I have loved them ever since — a great combination of price and quality.

Buy for $34.

Oceanic Geo 2.0 Dive Computer

3. Dive Computer / Oceanic GEO 2.0

For someone who is becoming a serious diver, or starting advanced dive education, a computer will typically be the first big purchase. Dive computers keep track of decompression limits and provide underwater data such as depth and time of your dive — so for those that want to be precise and in control and not rely on a dive guide’s computer, they are essential. While they are typically a fair financial commitment at $200-1200, dive computers are compact and easy to travel with.

Many computers are very bulky on the wrist and so my main priority was to get something small. I got lucky when I stumbled upon the on sale at Leisure Pro for $284. It’s a very liberal computer ( explains liberal vs. conservative computers well) and that suits my needs when I’m doing video. It’s simple, small, good looking, and I got a great deal — love.

Buy new for $450.
Buy new for $450, or used for $360.

Swish Suit

Dive-Gear
Dive-Gear

4. Wetsuit

Some people may laugh at my listing a wetsuit as a purchasing priority above BCDs or regulators, but those people probably look less ridiculous than I do in a typical shop-issued wetsuit (ironically, “shorties” look really terrible on short people.) When I finally made my big 3mm wetsuit purchase, I didn’t even consider not getting a .

Okay, so the most expensive thing that I wear on my body is this wetsuit, but I’m telling you — I don’t regret a single dollar. I’ve never gotten more compliments on a single purchase in my life. Wetsuits aren’t exactly known for being flattering to a woman’s body, but these are a welcome exception to that rule. I’ve seen chicas of all shapes and sizes rock a Swish, and I swear it’s like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Wetsuit — the thing flatters everyone.

I snagged mine on sale for $250, but it’s the rare item that I’d actually buy at full $350 price if I had to. As most womens’ wetsuits are in the $100-350 range, these are actually a good value considering the quality. Swish Suits are ultra light, use eco-friendly bioprene, and are just insanely stylish. So I’m extremely excited to announce that Swish has teamed with me to create an exclusive discount for Meihoukai in Wanderland readers! Use the code “Wanderland” at checkout and receive 10% off anything on the site. For size reference, I bought a size small.

Buy for $350 (only $315 with the discount code!)

Dive-Gear
Dive-Gear

5. BCD

Even travel-specific BCDs can be a pain to travel with, and they aren’t known for being cheap. Typically due to space constraints I do not travel with my BCD unless I’m going to be settled for a long time or specifically going on a dive trip, such as when I was doing my Divemaster course or went on a Bahamas liveaboard. That really bites me sometimes though — BCDs run large and so I wear an XS, which dive shops never seem to carry enough of. Diving with a too-big or too-small BCD is extremely uncomfortable.

BCDs typically run $250-1000, but fantastic deals can be found buying used. My first BCD, shown above left, was a cast-off from my exes’ dive shop, which he serviced and fixed up for me. I used it for years before the seals around the hoses started disintegrating. I knew I didn’t want to spend too much on a replacement, so I went into Leisure Pro with a max budget of $250. When the shop assistant pulled out the little number you see above right featuring the hottest neon pink the 80’s ever saw, the conversation went a little something like this —

Me: You can just turn right back around with that pink monstrosity.
Him: [Laughs.] Well I thought so but I just brought it up anyway as it’s only sixty five dollars.
Me: [Pause.] Actually, maybe just let me take one little look.

I was looking for something cheap, simple, and snug, and I got it — at a lower price than I ever could have hoped for. Unfortunately this model is not available online, as I’m pretty sure it was born before the internet was. However, BCDs are easy to find second hand and make up the majority of Leisure Pro’s — though keep in mind that the best deals are in the store rather than on the site.

Dive-Gear
Dive-Gear

6. Regulator

Regulators are a big investment of both money and weight in your suitcase — but they are also are what’s keeping you alive underwater. Due to the cost and weight of a regulator set, and the fact that they need regular maintenance, they are a purchase I would recommend only to an extremely enthusiastic diver. I only finally purchased my own upon receiving a Continuing Education grant from the Women Divers’ Hall of Fame, which included a $500 allowance for gear. Regulator sets tend to run between $350-1000, and thanks to the grant I was able to look in the middle of that range for something very high quality. Again, you can get great deals buying regulator sets used, though some divers feel uncomfortable buying such an important piece of machinery secondhand.

I went for the for the first and second stage, as well as a Scubapro octopus and a Cressi gauge (a full regulator set is comprised of those four parts, the first and second stage being the most important and expensive.) My full reg set was $650, so with the grant I paid $150. I still winced when I handed over my credit card, but the salesman assured me this regulator will last for decades. I occasionally wish that I had looked for a smaller, lighter travel reg — but then I remember how highly reviewed and reliable this one is (not to mention good looking) and I’m pleased with my big purchase.

Buy for $729 (first and second stage only.)
Buy  for $529 (first and second stage only.)

Dive-Gear
Dive-Gear
Dive-Gear
Dive-Gear

7. Rash Guards

In addition to my Swish Suit, I have both a 1mm wetsuit top and a basic rash guard by Ripcurl. These were total indulgences on my part (I can’t remember ever buying two tops that totaled this much), but I love them. The is fantastic for layering under my Swish on super cold diving days and will be perfect for what I hope will one day be a regular surfing habit! Note that sizes run very small — this is a size 6 and it is hard to me to get on and off.

When I ordered the jacket I also threw in a long sleeve rash guard for warm diving days, snorkeling, etc. The exact style I bought is no longer available, but this is this year’s model. Sizing ran a tad small as well — I wanted a loose fit and ordered a medium, but it’s fairly tight.

Buy the Jacket for $79.
Buy the rash guard  for $39.

8. Miscellaneous

My dive bag was a free hand me down similar to . When I’m ready to fly I fold it up and stick in inside my backpack, along with the rest of my gear (except my regs and camera, which due to their high value come along with me in my carry on.) Along with everything listed above, I also throw in some , a carabiner to clip things to my BCD, and to fight post-dive tangles.

Recently I bought a for my regulator. While it took a few dives to get used to, it seems incredibly sturdy and I’m sure it will last much longer than the usual cheapies that I gnaw through pretty quickly.

Underwater Camera

9. Camera and Accessories

Though it isn’t really considered dive gear, I couldn’t write this post without a nod to my underwater photography setup. I love my and and I can’t imagine diving without them. I won’t go on too much as I’ve already written nearly 2,000 words on the topic here!

A Note on Leisure Pro: As you can see, the vast majority of my dive gear has been hand-me-downs or purchased from s New York City showroom. Leisure Pro offers amazing selection with the lowest prices on gear anywhere — their in-store and over the phone prices are amazingly even cheaper than the ones listed online! However, many of their products are considered “,” meaning there are not authorized retailers of the brand and offer no manufacturer warranties, though they do match the warranties with their own in store versions. Also, they do take business away from struggling local dive centers by severely underpricing them (authorized retailers are literally not allowed by the manufacturers to sell at such low prices.)

As a nomad, I have no local dive center to feel loyal to, not to mention no spare budget to play with. So I shop at Leisure Pro — and I love it. There is no sales pressure, the staff are friendly, and returns are painless. The shop can get busy, so avoid peak times if possible and also note that the store is run by Orthodox Jews so their hours reflect religious holidays and the Sabbath.

I do think Leisure Pro is best either for those on a tight budget or for the experienced diver who already knows what they are looking for. If budget allows, I do encourage new divers to resist buying online and instead shop in person with their local dive centers, where they will find assistance in finding the best fit for masks and BCDs and also have loyal local service for regulators, etc.

Divers, what gear have you bought, and what do you continue to rent? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission from anything you buy through them. I have no affiliation with Leisure Pro or any of the brands listed here — these are just products I love. Thank you for supporting Meihoukai in Wanderland!

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71 Comments...
  • Amanda @ Adventure Year
    August 19 2013

    For some reason, it never occurred to me how much stuff you need to have for a dive! This was a really cool Inside my Bag. That jacket is beautiful!
    Amanda @ Adventure Year recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      Thanks Amanda! Yeah, whenever I get condescending looks from other backpackers about the size of my bag I want to scream, “Hey, you try fitting a whole set of dive gear in yours!” Somehow, I restrain myself.

  • Caty
    August 19 2013

    perfect timing!!!Since I am in the middle of planning everything for my open water course. =) I am beyond excited and your post is really helpful because I was wondering what stuff I should buy over time or what not.I have my own wetsuit (unfortunately not as stylish as yours) and mask,snorkel and fins. So I guess I am all set for the beginning and the bigger purchases just have to wait until I get to NYC again so I can shop at leisure pro. Good reason to visit my hostfamily again.

    • Caty
      August 19 2013

      btw I totally would have bought the pink BCD even it wasn’t such a bargain.totally love it!

      • Meihoukai
        August 21 2013

        I was definitely against it at first, but it has grown on me! And bonus, everyone always tells me how easy it is to find me underwater!

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      Glad this post was helpful, Caty! If I were you my next purchase would either be a Swish Suit or a dive computer 🙂

  • Divelicious Chris
    August 19 2013

    I’ve got at least the same amount of stuff as you and it’s a pain to travel with!! I love my bcd and regs but could I do it over I’d buy something made for traveling cause it’s so heavy.
    It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one with an Oceanic computer!
    Thanks for the look inside your bag 🙂

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      Yeah, my regs are the one and only thing I have some slight regrets over as they are quite heavy. I try to remind myself that heavy = durable and strong!

    • fati
      July 14 2016

      I’d like to recommend u the scubapro litehawk bcd and mares xstream fins, these two items are the lightest ever

      • Mike M
        December 27 2016

        Scubapro Hydros Pro – its quiet pricey piece of gear – just been released this year – its the most ultra portable pro bcd u can get. It weights next to nothing. you can remove side pockets and integrated weight system and only keep two slots around your bottles and weights on belt which you can get anywhere in the world.

        • Meihoukai
          December 29 2016

          Interesting… I’ll have to look into that! I love ScubaPro and sounds like a great piece of gear!

          • Mike M
            December 30 2016

            Imagine that I am going for 5 months to Asia on 21.02 next year to travel and do the IDC and I am taking all of my diving gear which will include: BCD (hydros pro), mask+snorkel, regulator, 2mm hooded vest, and it will all fit ALONG with all of my clothes and rest of the stuff I’ll need inside the 50ltr Osprey Atmos AG backpack!! No diving bags, no wheels bags! I might even attach my fins to the side using bungee cords:) the BCD weigts next to nothing, there is no metal backplate instead they used MONOPRENE construction just as lightweight as the fins (infuse the Scobapro NOVA), it rolls all together and you clip it into half a pillow size tube using the cylinder strap! I highly recommend that BCD. I was looking for a long time and thinking between buying comfy, but travel friendly diving equipment and this was by far the best choice I could have ever made! Good luck and nice blog:)

          • Meihoukai
            January 11 2017

            Nice! I also put all my dive gear into my backpack when I travel, though mine is an 80L. Very impressive with a 50L!

  • Heather
    August 19 2013

    Thanks for the advice Meihoukai, I’m hoping to take a divemaster course and the gear is kind of a big deal! Especially for me, who rents EVERYTHING all the time. Now at least I’ll know where to start! I also appreciate that you are probably about my size (XS) and it can be challenging getting stuff that actually fits; but once you get it, oh man does it make a difference. 🙂
    Heather recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      Yeah, I don’t know why but every dive shop I have ever been to/worked at runs out of XS and S sizes regularly and always has a billion L and XL sitting around. Take note, dive shop owners!

      • fati
        July 14 2016

        I dont think they run out of this size but they dont even stock it since very few divers ask for it

        • Meihoukai
          July 15 2016

          Actually I have not found that to be true. In the dive centers I have worked at, XS is very, very frequently requested and simply never carried as much as it should be.

  • Laura
    August 19 2013

    Thanks for such a useful post! I recently started my Open Water course and while I’m not ready to do out and drop 2K on all the fancy gear, it’s incredibly helpful to see in what order other divers have made their purchases and what sorts of gear they’re buying. I’m lucky to be able to work with a local dive shop who are great, but of course as a consumer I always like to compare and shop around. I appreciate your reasoning for shopping at Leasure Pro and the caveats you provide, as it seems to be a controversial topic in the community. Either way, it’s good to see that your gear acquiring experience is in line with my expectations as I become a more frequent diver!
    Laura recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      Thanks for this comment, Laura! That’s awesome that you have a local dive shop that you have a good relationship with. I know a lot of divers who buy their regs and BCDs at their local shops as those are the items most likely to need servicing and warranties. Masks, fins, and all the accessories… the best prices are often found online, as long as you know what you want, or find a shop with a good return policy!

  • Rika | Cubicle Throwdown
    August 19 2013

    You know I’ve been waiting for this post 🙂 I still can’t believe you get all of this in your backpack, everything else you’re traveling with! I have a separate dive gear bag, a big rolling duffel, and it’s stuffed just with dive gear.

    This is a great, informative post that I’ll be forwarding to lots of people who keep asking me these questions. Great suggestions on a mask and snorkel first – that’s what I tell EVERYONE. Also nice deal on the Swish wetsuit!! I always recommend ladies to get their own wetsuit as shops almost never have women’s suits. I bought almost everything online to try to save money as stuff is 3 or 4 times the price in Canada, but it backfired twice – I ended up having to pay TONS in customs and duty when it shipped in, and I already have stuff breaking and now no warranty, as you discussed. Poor choice, I’ll make a smarter decision now that I’m replacing half my stuff!

    And that BCD is just straight up gangsta. I love it 🙂
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      Ouch, that’s a bummer about customs and duty. I used to hear people complaining about that all the time in the Cayman Islands. And what a bummer that it’s all breaking down! I’ve been lucky, my only gear breakage was my first (free) BCD — and I’m pretty sure that thing was born before I was.

  • TammyOnTheMove
    August 19 2013

    Wow, I had no idea that you need so much gear. Your wetsuit looks sooo pretty. You look like a Bond girl! 🙂
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      Thanks Tammy! I get that comment a lot when I where that thing, and it never gets old 🙂

  • Jacquie @ MFW
    August 19 2013

    LOVE that wetsuit! 🙂 & even your Ripcurl tops, making me want to shop ahhh… Can’t wait to be in a destination where I can dive, xxx
    Jacquie @ MFW recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I am NOT a shopper, really… so the fact that I went so over the top with my aquatic wardrobe is kind of hilarious! Now, shop away 🙂

  • Becki | Backpacker Becki
    August 20 2013

    I LOVE, love, love that wetsuit…. so girly and flattering. You make diving more stylish and less…bulky! Very handy post!
    Becki | Backpacker Becki recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      Thanks Becki! From the moment I saw a Swish Suit, I knew I had to have one 🙂 Good excuse to learn to dive if you haven’t already, no?

  • Shaun
    August 20 2013

    Wow! Lots to lug around!! I didn’t even know all pieces it took to have your own kit and its nice to know the costs you’re looking at.

    I wonder when personal submarines will become commercially affordable.
    Shaun recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      Ha! I would sign up and be on the list for one of those… though I don’t think it would fit in my backpack!

  • Ron
    August 20 2013

    I feel your advice is excellent!

    Most scuba gear is VERY well made and will last a decade . Buying used is a very good way to save $$$. So many divers get certified, do one trip, and never dive again. Recognize a used reg will likely need servicing unless you know and trust the seller.

    The one exception, for me anyway, is wetsuits and booties. I am not interested in anyone’s stinky suits other than my own.

    Most of the diving community travels to dive, so weight is always a consideration. Unfortunately the words pack light and scuba don’t go together.

    Thanks for the post.

    Ron

    • Meihoukai
      August 21 2013

      I agree… I’ll buy almost anything used, but I think I’d prefer my own wetsuit 🙂 And I’m so happy that I dive without booties — one more thing to pack and lose!

  • Rachel
    August 24 2013

    Hey Meihoukai!! I’m about to head to Bali in ONE WEEK – EEK! I’m going to travel SEA for a few months. Do you have any major tips on what to pack in general (ie clothes and shoes?) Would love to know! Thanks.

    • Meihoukai
      August 25 2013

      Hey Rachel! Make sure to pack either a long skirt or a sarong to wear into temples and other religious sites. I always pack one pair of sneakers for running and hiking, one pair of dress sandals, and a pair or two of flip flops. I pack one nice lightweight dress that I can wear to nicer dinners and whatnot. And I do pack some knee length skirts and more modest tops to wear in cities and rural areas. Otherwise, lots of shorts and tanks and bikinis!

  • fionahutama
    June 6 2014

    Hi Meihoukai, I am a divemaster and about to start on a journey to Central America and beyond (no real plans really) and am researching on what to pack for a round the world journey (preparing for winter and summer), then adding the fact that I am an avid diver! Question please, do you carry your dive gears everywhere? What is your total luggage weight for all the gears the other normal packing? I am super petite so am worried about weight. thanks heaps!

    • Meihoukai
      June 8 2014

      Hey Fiona! I don’t always travel with my dive gear, just on trips when I know I’ll be diving heavily or for example am doing my divemaster 🙂 Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact weight of my dive gear but I do know I never paid an overweight baggage fee. Hope that helps!

  • fionahutama
    June 8 2014

    Thanks Meihoukai, been researching as well and seems like I will have to carry my dive gears with me if I plan to be working in the industry. so goodluck to my back!

  • Katie
    June 9 2014

    Hey Meihoukai – I know this is an older post (and super helpful – btw), but I can’t seem to get the coupon code to work for Swish Suits, is it still active? I’m so sick of the wetsuits I rent from dive shops – they have such an awkward fit! I just don’t know if I can justify the full price (with shipping – ouch!):)
    Katie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 10 2014

      Hey Katie, thank you so much for letting me know! I just shot the Swish team an email — I’ll get back to you as soon as I get a response!

      • Meihoukai
        June 18 2014

        Hey Katie, just got confirmation from the Swish team that the coupon code is still in effect! Give it a try again and please let me know if you have any issues!

  • Charlotte
    June 20 2014

    Hey alex!
    I was wondering if you can recommend some shops in bangkok or on koh tao/koh samui to buy some dive gear -in particular dive glasses, wetsuits and a rash guard! Love your ripcurl rash guard, but I don’t want to buy anything online (I really need to try stuff on as I’m a difficult size).

    Thank you!

    Charlotte

    • Meihoukai
      June 20 2014

      Hey Charlotte, unfortunately I’ve never shopped for those kinds of things in Thailand — I always order online when I’m in the US. I wouldn’t even know of where to recommend! There are some shops in Mae Haad in Koh Tao but I’m sure the selection is quite limited. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help — good luck!

  • Marie
    July 17 2014

    I became an advanced open water diver in Koh Tao and I totally feel you on the “shorties” on short people! The shorties they offered looked horrible on me (5’2″). Next time I go for a lengthy dive trip, I will definitely purchase a Swish suit. Thanks for the info!

    • Meihoukai
      July 18 2014

      You will never go back, Marie! Now that I’m occasionally diving in colder waters, I’m in the market for an equally stylish full suit 🙂 You’ll definitely hear about it here when I find one!

  • Becca
    February 20 2015

    After reading your blog I bit the bullet and ordered a Swish Suit!!! Problem is that I had it shipped to the Madre in North Carolina and I live in Germany, so she will have to ship it here with high hopes that it’ll fit. I talked to Chelsea from Swish Suits beforehand about which size I should get and I went ahead and ordered a Small, but when it arrived in NC yesterday my Mom said it was a size 4. Is yours the same? If so, do you feel like it can easily stretch around the hips? ahhhh I’m dying to wear it on a live aboard in May!

    • Meihoukai
      February 25 2015

      Hey Becca, I don’t currently have my suit with me but I believe it is a size 4 and yes, it is super stretchy material! And thanks to the high cut of the shorts it is easy to slip in and out of. So excited for you to try it on! I’m in love with mine and never stop getting compliments on it.

  • Chloe Rose
    April 16 2015

    Hey Meihoukai! Do you fit all of this in your backpack? If so, PLLEAAAAAASE tell me how you manage it lol! i am such a serial over packer and struggled to fit lightweight clothes on my last travels, this time im attempting to fit all other gear inside too?
    Any tips!
    Thanks! x
    Chloe Rose recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      April 17 2015

      Ha… get an 80L backpack?! And shove it in! Sorry I can’t be more helpful… I guess I just make it work 🙂 Oh! And also I specifically bought a small, simple, whistle-free BCD!

  • Kate
    May 16 2015

    Hey! I only recently discovered your blog and LOVE it!
    I was just reading this and realised we have the same regs and computer so now Im even happier with my choice but I think I’ve fallen in love with your wetsuit (despite the price) The only thing is I’ve never been diving in just a shortie and I’m worried I’d have cold legs! I’m doing my divemaster in the Philippines in August. Do you think the 3mm swish suit shortie would be sufficient? I should probably add, I’m from Scotland so probably quite warm blooded haha. Thanks! Kate x

    • Meihoukai
      May 17 2015

      Hey Kate! Personally I looooove diving in a shortie. I don’t like having my legs constricted and prefer to layer a rash guard under a shortie than struggle with a full length wetsuit — just getting them on and off is a nightmare! Perhaps try reaching out to dive shops in the area of the Philippines that you are headed to and asking what they wear. My Swish suit discount code is still active by the way 🙂

      • Kate
        May 18 2015

        Thank you for replying :). It’s malapascua I’m going to, I’ll maybe email the dive shop there. You’re wetsuit is so nice and you’re right there’s nothing worse than getting in and out of a wet wetsuit so I might treat myself to a swish suit! Although a long one might provide some extra protection from jelly fish stings!

  • Rachel
    June 18 2015

    Hi Meihoukai, same as Kate I just discovered your blog! Love it!!! You been to places I plan to go from the land in Peru to the sea…I live in the UK and am going to have my OW done this July and head off to Komodo for my first ever diving trip this August combining with trekking in Cambodia and Northern Vietnam! I absolutely love your Swish Suit. I am concern the shortie style may not be enough to keep me warm. I do not know how my body will feel once I am in the sea as it will be my first dive! I read reviews that in general its about 27-28degC in the north but cooler in the south of Komodo. Bought my mask, snorkel and soon my Mares fins and I thought that will it till I saw your amazing suit! Vanity vs hiring one and I choose the former! I wonder if I can fit my Mares Avanti Quattro + into my backpack for I want to travel as little and as light as I can! Your fins do look smaller than mine.

    • Meihoukai
      June 18 2015

      That sounds like an AMAZING trip you have coming up Rachel! Congrats! Personally I swing for a shortie whenever possible. I hate being cold, true, but I like having a full range of motion and I find that as long as my core is kept warm the rest of my body stays pretty toasty too. If anything, I sometimes layer a cute rash guard under there. Hope that helps 🙂 And don’t forget to use the discount code if you do go for a Swish!

      • Rachel
        June 19 2015

        I don’t mind being a little cold as long as I still feel comfortable with it. I never expect to spend so much time sourcing for dive gear that not only meets the practicality requirement but has to be pretty too! You have convinced me to invest in a Swish suit! Let’s hope the divemaster(s) at the resort will not ‘tell’ me off for wanting to be vain and not think about coldness and cover up in case I am stung by jellyfish! By the way, Swish is having their summer sale and is price at USD$315 currently without your promo code. I sent Vic a message asking if your promo code will still apply to the sales price (hoping to get further discount!). Will keep you posted on that.

        • Meihoukai
          June 21 2015

          Let me know how it goes, Rachel! Good luck! You’ll definitely never regret that Swish 🙂

  • Rachel
    July 8 2015

    Meihoukai, it works! I just input your code in addition to what is already applied during the Sales and I did get the extra 20%! VB was away and she confirmed after I placed my order! What a big saving for me! Yes, your code definitely still works! Just received my suit today. Love it except that I need to lose some weight on my legs! LoL!

    • Meihoukai
      July 8 2015

      Awesome! I am so excited to hear that for you, Rachel! I’m sure you look rockin’ in that new suit! xo

  • Rachel
    July 8 2015

    Meihoukai, I am going to follow your example to pack my Avanti Quattro + fins, my Swish, mask and snorkel in my backpack. Pray that it will fit! Did you get any freak out look when you tell people that you put your gears in a backpack? I really do not wish to bring a big luggage with me except that now I think I have to try to ask the airline for extra luggage allowance and cut down on clothing! LoL!

    • Meihoukai
      July 9 2015

      Actually, some airlines do allow extra weight if you are traveling with sporting goods! Call your airline and give it a go 🙂

  • Fred
    July 20 2015

    I agree with you about the order: first buy BCD, then regulator.
    (and I bought an used BCD, but still rely on dive centers regulators).
    From the photo it seems that you have only 2 second stages and the SPG. So if I am correct it means no direct system hose (to inflate BCD)? How do you connect your nice pink jacket?

    • Meihoukai
      July 21 2015

      It does indeed have a direct hose system! Must just not show up in the photos 🙂

  • Joel M
    September 29 2015

    Number 4 got me. I am also a petite and I look horrible in most of the wetsuit. I am taking a look at the website. Thanks for the recommendation! Btw, looking hot! 😉

    • Meihoukai
      October 2 2015

      Finding a good looking wetsuit it a serious struggle! I empathize — good luck!

  • Chloe
    March 3 2016

    How in the world do you fit your BCD into your backpack? I am on a struggle bus right now deciding how I am going to fit this in! Help me! Chloe?

    • Meihoukai
      March 7 2016

      Well, I do have one that’s pretty simple and so not many bells and whistles to work around. I just shove it in and pack around it? Sorry I don’t know if I have a magic answer ha ha. I make it work though!

  • Abbie
    May 20 2016

    I love this mask!! I was wondering if it has a part to attach your snorkel to? I have to have a snorkel for this course and just wanted to see what what is all about.

    • Meihoukai
      May 24 2016

      Hey Abbie! Most snorkels have an attachment to clip them onto any mask. If not, you can buy a super cheap little plastic attacher (technical term, ha ha) at any scuba supply store!

  • Ashley
    July 13 2016

    What size do you normally wear or how tall are you? It is so hard to tell in pictures but I am thinking about getting that wetsuit for before my advance diving cert next month and am trying to get a reference on sizing! I’m 5’8, like 125… not sure if the same or a bigger size would work! Thanks!!

    • Meihoukai
      July 14 2016

      Hey Ashley! I’m 5’1″ and was about 125-130lbs when these photos were taken (sadly I’ve packed on another five since then, ha).

  • Elli Törnqvist
    January 22 2017

    I found your blog just about a week ago, and I’m in love!!! Your writing is so good. It’s funny, easy to read even when English isn’t the first language, and entertaining! Just wanted to let you know that you’re doing a great job. Oh and I read your post on Lush’s shampoo bars and you totally convinced me to get one and I tried it for the first time yesterday. So far so good! And one more thing: your wetsuit is BEAUTIFUL!

    • Meihoukai
      January 31 2017

      You made my morning 🙂 Thank you! Isn’t Lush the best?! I can’t imagine ever going back to regular shampoo! And thanks for the wetsuit kudos!