Whether for Christmas or a birthday, you may wonder how to please a scuba diving addict. You came to the right place, here is a selection of the best gift for scuba divers. This gift list is based on my favourite items. I personally own them, and I’m sure it will make another scuba diver happy. Let me guide you through different gift ideas to fit both your budget and the profile of the scuba diver you want to treat.
My top 4 ideas of gifts for scuba divers
Here is a summary of my list of ideas of gifts for scuba divers, with the profile of diver and the level of budget to spend. You will find all the details in the following paragraphs.
- A scuba diving coffee table book: for holiday planning maniacs – low budget
- The best lightweight scuba diving fins: for seasoned globetrotters – medium budget
- A high-quality dive computer: for advanced divers – medium/ high budget
- An affordable underwater camera: for social media addicts – high budget
A scuba diving coffee table book
Best gift for the holiday planning maniac
Books are an excellent choice of Christmas gifts for scuba divers. I have myself an extensive collection of scuba diving travel books at home. My favourite one remains “100 diving sites” that I bought it at Kuala Lumpur Airport for almost nothing on my way back home after my divemaster training, and it has remained the book I always make sure to consult before any trip project. It mainly focuses on recreational tropical diving, but it also features a good number of cold water diving destinations too.
I love the way the information is organised with beautiful large pictures. The map at the beginning of the book is convenient to see where all the best scuba diving sites are. It just crazy how cheap this book is now. It’s the best value for money gift for small budgets!
Here are a few other ideas from my library:
- “Ultimate diving adventures“: the perfect complement for advanced divers. This book focuses on more technical dives with the details of the best wreck dive sites in the world but also adventure dives including animal encounters or challenging scenic dives (not many books mention St Kilda in Scotland where you can dive a tunnel crossing below an island).
- “The place to be today“, by Lonely Planet: This is my reference book to check for marine animal migrations or cultural festivals all around the world. I also like reading it randomly to pick new ideas based on where I’d like to travel.
An affordable waterproof camera
Best gift for the social media addict
I own a G7X Canon camera with a Fantasea housing, a Fantasea wide angle dome and a Nauticam CMC macro lens. The results I now get adding to it the external light from my S-2000 Inon strobe are surprisingly professional for such a small compact camera. Its ability to be fully manually set and its low light capabilities make it one of the best and most versatile compact cameras for underwater photography on the market. However, the total budget for this set up was about 2000 € (about £1800). For information, the latest model available is the Canon G7X Mark II, prices start at 479€ (about £430).
So if you are looking to spoil a scuba diver who is longing to get seriously into underwater photography, I think it is a too pricey option. If you are looking for Christmas gifts for scuba divers that will impress but stay within a reasonable budget, please forget about GoPros. I bought one this year to have a back-up, and I was extremely disappointed with the results for underwater photography (it is only okay for wide angle videos). I used to recommend the Canon PowerShot D30, which was a super budget-friendly option for underwater photography beginners. However, Olympus has now convinced many divers around the world since its TG4 waterproof built-in compact camera with its astonishing results.
While I don’t own it myself, I had many dive buddies diving this year who were diving with an Olympus TG5 and a video torchlight. The results are not as good as of course than with my Canon G7X set-up but still amazingly good for the budget. Look below the nudibranch picture my dive buddy in Japan, Shengnan took with her Olympus TG5. If you are not looking to do deep diving and underwater photography (most of the interesting marine wildlife is usually quite shallow anyway – shipwrecks excluded), you don’t need to buy a housing (maximum depth is guaranteed to 15m, but most of my buddy take it to 20m without any problem). In this case, it becomes a budget-friendly option with a price starting around 400€ (about £360).
The best lightweight scuba diving fins
Best gift for the seasoned globetrotter
I couldn’t travel anymore without my Aqua Lung Hot Shot fins. When you rent fins, you usually end up with big, ugly and cramp-giving fins! This is why scuba diving fins were among the very first pieces of equipment I bought for my scuba gear. I had two other pairs before, and the massive advantage of these is their compact size: they fit in a carry-on suitcase! They are also very light, making them the traveller’s best friend. These adjustable fins can be used with or without booties, and the strap at the back makes them easy to put on. I used them in Scotland and Indonesia, and I can tell that even if they are shorter, they are very efficient fins. Thanks to their shape, they also perform well with frog-kick. A great and useful Christmas gift for scuba divers at a reasonable price.
A high-quality dive computer
Best gift for the advanced diver who is scuba diving frequently
If you are looking to spoil someone, a good dive computer is the best gift ever. Without getting in the insane price zone, I think my Suunto D4i offers the perfect balance: a stylish watch style computer you are not ashamed to wear during your holidays, and complete functions including freediving and nitrox modes. My favourite feature is the record of the dive profile. In the dive log of the computer, you can see a curve showing the depth at every minute of the dive. I also have the pressure transmitter fitted on my regulator. It allows me to check if I’m making progress on my air consumption and my depth management during the dive. Prices start at 449€ (about £405)
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Aqua Lung i100 is currently the best choice for beginners with prices starting at 159€ (about £145). It includes both Nitrox and Free diving modes, which is quite rare for entry range dive computers. Another key budget-friendly feature is the fact that the diver can change himself the battery and avoid high maintenance costs each year. This dive computer is the best gift for scuba divers this year!
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