Thinking of getting your fellow diver the ultimate holiday gift for their underwater hobby?! Carolina Dive Locker has the greatest gear selection to help you. As a PADI Dive Instructor and marine biologist, I spent 5 months diving in Indonesia, and gave my scuba gear a good work out. In Indonesia, the water has unpredictable, strong, and changing currents. I put this gear through extensive use during the 5 months for both recreational and scientific diving. Here is what I found true about the gear I’m sporting in this picture. Hopefully, it will give you some insight into that perfect gift idea for your diving sweetie or friend.
Sherwood Luna BCD: This BCD is one of the most comfortable I have used thus far (and I have tried a lot of different brands). This BCD is designed for the ladies, but it can also be used for children and smaller built males. The Luna has won distinctions for top women’s BCD for multiple years, and I’d have to agree. See below for some pros and cons about its performance:
Pros & Cons
+COMFORT: The quick release and trim weight pockets make it comfortable wear for hips, and eliminate the need for weight belts. The trim weights on the back also help with streamline horizontal swimming while underwater. Extra padding on the back of the BCD increases comfort when wearing as well.
+STURDY: The double tank straps on the back assure your tank isn’t going anywhere! It’s also very easy to quickly exchange your tanks.
+STORAGE: The zipper pockets on both sides of this BCD are great. I am always collecting marine debris underwater, and these 2 spacious zipper pockets allow me plenty of places to collect underwater trash.
+BALANCE: This is more a benefit for PADI professionals, but nonetheless, this BCD performs wonderful at the surface and underwater especially for skill work. The bladder is a hybrid jacket style, which helps keep your body upright and centered when needed at the surface for skills, but also horizontal and streamlined when swimming underwater.
-WEIGHT & LIFT: This BCD is a little heavy and bulky to travel with. It doesn't have the greatest lift either, so I recommend using it in warmer tropical waters where you need less weight.
Sherwood Wisdom III Computer (w/ compass & quick disconnect): Although not my first disconnect console computer, this is my first Sherwood dive computer. I previously dove with the Oceanic Pro Plus II quick disconnect with compass, and really loved it. But, I have owned two Oceanic Pro Plus II computers and both had the depth sensor fail on me after only 1 years use. Here are some things I’ve learned about my new Sherwood Wisdom III computer:
Pros & Cons
+LIGHTWEIGHT: Very lightweight, especially compared to the Oceanic Pro Plus II, which makes it ideal for traveling. The quick disconnect features allows you to carry your computer with you in your carry-on luggage.
+EASY TO USE: For those of us who are too lazy to read the manual (sometimes guilty of this, I admit), this computer is a breeze to operate. With only two buttons, it’s super easy to navigate through the settings and optimize your desired settings without even glancing at the user manual, although it does include one of those. The dive log feature is accurate, easy to read and navigate through.
-SCREEN: Compared to the Oceanic Pro Plus II, the screen on the Sherwood Wisdom III is smaller and harder to read (especially at night). But I must say, I would rather have a smaller screen which allows the computer to be a lighter design, than a larger screen that’s more of a burden for travel.
Trident Titanium Folding Knife: What a great knife! I used this knife every single day while on the dive boat, and would highly recommend it to any diver.
Pros & Cons
+COMPACT: Its compact size makes it easy to travel with (in your checked baggage of course). This knife comes in black or yellow colors, but I enjoyed the yellow color as it made it easy to find while underwater as well as topside.
+DURABLE: Multiple, long days with extensive use in the saltwater for 5 months and it still hasn’t shown a spec of rust. Take care of your knife and it will take care of you.
+VALUE: For the price, this knife is worth every penny. What a deal for such great quality!
-SHARP EDGE: The sharp curved edge for line/strap cutting makes it a better accessory for outside your BCD, as I was afraid it would poke a hole in the bladder of my BCD if I placed it in the pockets.
Mares Avanti Quattro + Fins: I saved the best for last; these fins are the best I have ever used! Previously, I have tried Sherwood Elite fins and Tusa Tri-Ex fins, but these Mares fins far exceed in comparison. Definitely worth the investment, they will not disappoint. I would own these in every color, if I could.
Pros & Cons
+MANUVERABILITY: This is essential when working underwater, such as scientific diving. You need to be able to stop, hover, and spin at a moment’s notice and these fins allowed me to do just that with only a tiny flick of my feet. These fins allowed for sharp movements with little effort. Excellent precision underwater.
+POWERFUL: The reason I purchased these fins was due to the wonderful reviews they had for performance in strong currents. Indonesia has some of the strongest unpredictable currents in the world, and these fins allowed me to fight the current when needed with less effort. I could finally keep up with the guys in these fins!
+EASY ON/OFF: Although this fin also comes in a full foot style, I opted for the open heel. I wasn’t sure I would like the elastic strap for the heel, but it proved great and easy to take the fins on/off quickly. There is also an option to replace the elastic straps to adjustable straps if you so desire.
+STYLISH: This may not be a big deal for all divers, but I must say, I love the design and color of these fins! This fin comes in many different colors (pink, yellow, white, green, black and blue). Wearing bright color fins makes it easy to spot you underwater.
+LIGHTWEIGHT: At about 2 kg, these fins are not as heavy as others known to be powerhouses in strong currents. For the power underwater, these fins are lightweight and great to travel with.
-SCUFF: The only negative I have is that the white color scuffed easily. I’m not sure what scuffed the color on my fins, but they scuffed almost immediately from use of many divers on the packed boat.