Top Tips for Packing Dive Gear by the TSA


Boarding a plane to a remote destination can be tricky business.

It can be difficult to keep up with the varying rules and regulations. 

Being prepared is the best way to make sure you get through the security lines as well as the baggage terminal safely.

And a little forethought will go a long way in ensuring your vacation gets off to a great start as soon as you arrive at the airport.

So be sure and follow these tips from TSA Customer Support Manager and diving enthusiast for more than four decades, Charlie Foreman.

Packed in Carry-On

Packing your dive gear to ensure that it makes the trip without a scratch requires a little attention and consideration.

  • Pack your most expensive equipment and accessories in your carry-on. This tip is especially true if you are taking multiple flights and have short layovers.
  • Pack prescription masks in your carry-on luggage. If you need a prescription mask to see, then not having this item with you can ruin a whole diving trip.
  • Always pack your diving computers and regulators in your carry-on luggage. These items are some of the most sensitive diving items and can be damaged by rough transport.
  • Be sure and include all your prescriptions in your carry-on luggage. Like your prescription mask, finding replacements for prescriptions may be difficult.

Packed in Checked Baggage

Once you pack your carry-on bag, it’s time to start thinking about the rest of your dive gear that will be riding along with you in the baggage area.

  • Start by packing your dive jacket (your B.C., Stab Jacket, Buoyancy Compensators) into your dive bag first. Be sure and place this equipment in the center of the bag.
  • Once you pack your dive jacket, surround it with your fins to add an extra layer of protection during your flight.
  • If you don’t have room for your mask in your carry-on, then be sure and invest in a protective mask box.
    • Wrap it with your wetsuit or dive skins to keep it from getting broken, cracked or otherwise damaged.
    • You’ll also want to pack along a spare mask, even if your primary mask is in your carry-on.
    • Masks can be very expensive in vacation destinations, especially specialized ones. So it’s best to have a spare handy to save a noticeable amount of money if a mask gets lost.
  • Be sure and put your dive knife in your checked baggage. A dive knife is small and obviously will fit in a carry-on. But it is also considered a weapon and authorities will confiscate it.
  • Make sure you have plenty of repair or replacement items when possible. These items include extra fin straps, repair kits and other small pieces that can easily break.
  • Virtually all dive resorts or liveaboards supply tanks and weights, so forego bringing these items. Unless your specific accommodations provider, dive trip provider or liveaboard company says otherwise.
  • If you do decide to bring along your small emergency air source, check to make sure that the valve is out of the cylinder. Also be sure it can be inspected at the time of your departure.
  • Bring along a little motion sickness medicine, just in case. While this is commonly available at popular vacation destinations, it may be a little harder to find. It can also be a little more expensive in more remote locales.
  • Have your address listed both on a tag outside your bag and inside your bag as well. This way, just in case your name tag becomes damaged or disappears during your trip, your baggage can still find you.
  • Above all else, invest in a great lock! Some locks are “TSA Approved.”  This branding means they comply with security, and also prevent any of your dive gear from being stolen.

By following these tips, you can ensure your gear arrives at your destination fully intact.

Want to learn more about packing your gear? Check out our website to contact us. 

If you live in the Dallas area, swing by our shop in Carrollton. We’ll be happy to chat with you about scuba.

Article Name
Top Tips for Packing Dive Gear by the TSA
Boarding a plane to a remote destination can be tricky business. It can be difficult to keep up with the varying rules and regulations. Keep reading for more information.

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