Scuba gear covers a wide range of items that are all used for scuba diving and/or snorkeling. They can be sold individually or in package deals. While most scuba gear is marketed to recreational divers, there are also more specialized items for the military or for scientists. These include gear used in rescue operations and small computers that work underwater.
The beginning scuba diver will need such basics as a mask, fins, scuba tank, and exposure gear. The latter term describes things like wetsuits and gloves that keep the diver warm in the cold ocean waters. Wetsuits are snug garments made of neoprene that provide insulation and buoyancy. They can be a “shorty,” that covers just the torso and is designed for swimming in tropical waters or a full-body suit made of thicker material for diving in cooler waters.
A drysuit is used by divers who will be in waters with temperatures below 60° F. They are designed to prevent water from leaking in. As at least some of them are worn with thermal underwear, they are a lot less tight-fitting than wetsuits and can even look a bit baggy.
Gloves, boots, and hoods are also considered exposure gear. Hoods can be worn with either wetsuits or drysuits and they help the diver retain body heat, as a bare head loses a lot of body heat. Gloves, depending on type, can also be worn with either wetsuits or drysuits. They keep the hands insulated, flexible, and protected. Diving boots can be worn with either wetsuits or drysuits. They protect the feet and keep them warm.
A mask can range from basic swim goggles to a hi-tech job with a computer built into it. The price for masks ranges accordingly, from under $20.00 to several hundred dollars. A diver may also buy accessories for their mask like magnifier lenses that can be the stuck on the mask and allow the diver to easily see things like camera or computer settings. It is also possible to get masks with prescription lenses built into them, but those are expensive. Magnifier lenses are a much cheaper option.
Other accessories for the mask include spare straps and bags or pockets for storing the mask. Divers may also buy gels or liquids for cleaning the mask or preventing it from fogging. Sealants keep the mask from leaking. All of these are made from substances that won’t corrode the silicone or rubber support frames of the mask.