In a previous review I wrote about how the HangAir was a great product - very handy. This review was written because I was prompted by an email from Scuba.com to write another review after I bought a second one. This one was a Christmas gift. In other words, I liked it so much I bought it for a fellow diver who uses his drysuit a lot.
ive been using a hangair for more than a year now, so can give a report based on a lot of use. in michigan i dive every week in a drysuit from about september through december, then again once the ice clears until about june, so my hangair stays busy. in a nutshell, this product works as advertisedand it works great. i use it for my drysuit. the inside of my drysuit usually gets damp from condensation (or leaks) after a dive. before using the hangair, letting it air dry always seemed chancy. using my hangair, the suit fills with so much air it puffs out all the way down to the feet, and pours out of the wrists. it now drys in hours, vs. what seemed like days. the other great part about the hangair is that it gives great shoulder support to the suit. so it replaces my other drysuit hanger, making it an even better value. i definitely recommend this product.
The hard plastic snorkel keepers that come with my expensive snorkel broke. This inexpensive, flexible snorkel keeper put it back in commission. I got an extra for my save-a-dive kit. Its light weight and very compact, so it wont add to extra baggage charges. I discovered another advantage to this once I got it: since you can slide it anywhere on your snorkel (not just within a short channel), you may find that you can place it in a position that works better than the original.
I bought this case so I could have a safe place for my camera when going into headwaters of the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador. It worked great. The case has a padded back, so it protected both the camera and my chest when I hung it from my neck with the included line. The closure was easy to use and more positive than, say, a zip lock bag would be. It allowed the camera to be removed and replaced quickly. I didnt try to test it by submerging it deliberately, but the whole thing gave me a feeling of more confidence when we were in canoes on the river or walking in the rain.
Experienced divers know you should have two cutting devices with you if possible. The first, if you get tangled in line or another obstruction (NOT to fight off sharks or the evil guys from Thunderball), and the second, in case you cant reach the first due to entanglement or some other problem that limits your motion. Many people pick a knife for their first cutting device, but pick shears for their second. Why not pick another knife for a back up, second cutting device? Simple! Shears can be operated with one hand! If you have ever tried to cut line underwater, you will quickly realize that it often will "give" too much to enable cutting it with a slashing or sawing motion, unless you use a second hand to steady it. The other advantage with shears is that they seem to be able to cut right through some very thick stuff without a problem. Ive never tried to do so, but I bet they could cut some fairly thick wire. I dont think my knife would do so as quickly (or maybe even at all), realistically. These particular shears are a great value. They are stainless steel, have a lot of leverage, and their finger holes are large enough to accomodate thick gloves. The sheath is simple and can be mounted in a variety of ways, since it contains both a clip and a hole for a caribiner or belt-mount. You could easily use this as your primary cutting device, and get by with a folding or shorter knife as your secondary. And you cant beat the price. The only thing Id add is that you need to be sure to rinse these well after use, and let your sheath dry out before you put them back in. They will rust a little if you dont treat them like any other good tool. I found that the rust will wipe off for the most part. I like them so much I have two, to make swapping them between my BCs and a PFD I have a little easier.
I am farsighted and getting old enough so that I soon wont be able to hold a camera or gauge far enough in front of me to see without some sort of "underwater reading glasses." Nothing against this mask (they may all be like this), but I could not get used to it. Why? If I was holding my compass out in front of me, to use the magnifying part of the Look Down lens, Id have to lift my head way up in an uncomfortable position. It worked fine when I would hold a gauge down low, however. Then, the dilemma was that the lens portion blocked me from just looking down at the farther distant terrain below me, which Im used to being able to do with my regular mask. Its probably fine when used "as indicated," but I think Id rather have a correcting lens that allows me to look at things in more of a forward view.
I got a Lycra skin on the advice of one of the pros at Scuba.com., that it would help me slide into and out of a wet suit more easily, and have never regretted the decision to buy it. But I didnt get fin socks at the time. Now that I have them, I would not dive a heavy wet suit without them. With these covering my bare feet, the wet suit slides on more easily, by yet another whole order of magnitude. For less than the cost of a good pair of hiking socks, these things do a great job of reducing the chore involved in getting into my wet suit.
i dont like strapping on a big knife to my leg. somehow the straps always seem to loosen up and things end up sliding around too much. i personally like the remora for a a couple of reasons. first, it can be attached to a hose, so the configuration is very streamlinedone less thing to worry about. second, because i attached mine to a hose, it will always be close at hand if i ever need it. the serated blade would probably do a better job of cutting heavier line when needed, and i like the titanium for its lack of corrosion.
This light is very bright for its size and price. I was surprised at how well it illuminated the murk on a recent dive on a local silty lake. It includes a lanyard. There is a lock to prevent the on on-off switch from turning on accidently. It makes a great back up light.
this hanger works best if you have extra height to hang your drysuit upside down by its feet, since the arms will hang down below the shoulders. at the time of purchase, the ads didnt mention that, if you have a drysuit with neoprene feet (like me) instead of integrated boots, the sock-like feet slide through the hanger. i cured this problem by ing an empty water bottle in each foot, and it works fine. i couple this hanger with a broad neck and shoulder hanger, allowing me to store the rig in a regular closet once dry. it rated it five stars, taking into account the "adjustments" i describe here.
i got this crew pack for two reasons. first, i wanted a more thorough orientation to search and recovery mainly just for fun and "just in case." hey, what if i ever come across an anchor, or a row boat that could be salvaged? second, i wanted a head start on getting certified, before enrolling in the course. the materials accomplished both goals. compared to some other padi courses, id say this one is on the "lighter" side. dont expect any drama about recovering sunken galleons, bodies or bullet-riddled cars, either the materials say to leave those for the authorities and the officially sanctioned divers. on the other hand, i now feel pretty confident that, given the right gear (such as a proper lift bag) and something worth lifting, that i could recover it with confidence, and without hurting anyone. some may say that the program is filled with "just common sense," but ill tell you that it packs a lot of common sense into a small space. (before taking the program, would you even know to think about what could happen if you tried lifting something heavy, and somehow it slipped and fell half way up to the surface? hey, its hard to yell, "look out below!" underwater. or, have you ever thought you could recover something big, just by grabbing onto it and inflating your bcd to the max? dont! after you go through the program, youll know better!)
i got this crew pack to accomplish two goals. first, i wanted a more thorough orientation to wreck diving in order to improve my awareness of the hazards involved, and to get a better understanding of the skills and equipment that are necessary in this area. second, i wanted to get a leg up on getting certified, before i enrolled in padis course. the materials accomplished both goals. the dvd was very informative, and the book was, as wellshort but to the point and helpful. given the somewhat brief length of the book and dvd, dont expect an encyclopedia, and dont expect to become an expert just by going through them. that said, im very glad i made the purchase and went through the materials. i urge everyone reading this review to expand your skills and knowledge in this area for your own safety and enjoyment.
Hey, you can never have too many carabiners! Ive attached mine to just about everything that I would otherwise have to carry by hand so that I can easily clip them off when I need to. Dive lights, my folding knife, the end of my underwater measuring tape, slate you name it, they all get a carabiner. With the thicker gloves that I have to wear most of the year in Michigan, opening and closing a carabiner is much easier than having to manipulate a little clip!
I held off getting the download kit for my Wisdom until I could justify it as a "present" at a special occasion. Now that I have it, I wished Id gotten it sooner! The thing I liked most about it at first was the visual profile charts of my dives. Its fun to relive a dive as a chart unfolds. However, what I liked most about the software is that it is able to extract data that I wouldnt easily be able to get otherwise. I dont always remember the starting PSI of my tank, but the software captures it. I never take the time to note and jot down things like surface temperature, but the software gives me this as well. Like all software, there is room for enhancement (such as a better way to back up the files and the ability to automatically calculate surface air consumption rates), but all in all, Im very pleased with it!
This snorkel proves that there was room for improvement even in such a simple basic piece of equipment! Is it really 100% dry? In most situations, yes! In the rare case, where the angle of the sealing flap allows it to fall open and face an oncoming wave, no, not completely. But it does better than you would expect, and is definitely the way to go. I got one for my wife, a snorkeler who has complained (mildly) about water getting into her "standard" snorkel. I love it myself.