Best Surface Marker Buoy for Scuba Diving

Surface markers are a necessity for any diver who plans on drift diving, diving with a small group, or who simply wants an extra measure of safety. Having a surface marker, also known as a safety sausage or dive float, is great for alerting a boat that you have surfaced and making retrieval easy.

There are many instances where a dive flag float is necessary:

  • Coming up too far away from the boat and need to signal
  • Emergency surfaces
  • Surfacing around boat traffic
  • Rough seas making surface visibility tough

There are many dive markers available with some being better than others. With over 100 dives under my belt, below are the surface marker buoys I would recommend broken down for easy viewing.

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Product ImageNameFeaturesPriceRating
best diver down flag Scuba Choice Scuba Diving 6' Surface Marker Signal Tube+Most popular on the market
+Inflate with BCD or Mouth
+6 Feet long and high visibility
$5/5
scuba diving safety signalBright Pink 4 ft Scuba Diving Dive Signal / Marker Tube with Inflator, (safety sausage)+Pink for the lady diver
+4 Feet tall and highly visible
+Includes safety visible
+Extremely durable
$$4/5
best dive marker 2 Tone / 6 ft Scuba Diving Dive Signal / Marker Tube with Inflator+Two colors for high visibility
+Locking Ring
+Heat sealed and durable
$$5/5
ft Scuba Diving Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) Deployment Kit with 100ft Finger Spool Dive Reel (Stainless Steel or ABS), High Visibility Surface / Signal Marker, Whistle and Instructional Setup and Deployment Guide reviewScuba Diving Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) Deployment Kit with 100ft Finger Spool Dive Reel +Great full setup with reel
+Weighted bottom for stabilization
+Pressure relief valve
$$$5/5
dive marker review72" Signal Marker Buoy Tube & Safety Sausage with Inflator+BCD or mouth inflation
+High vis neon yellow
+Affordable
$4/5

 

Best Speargun Reviews 2017

Spearfishing is one of the most fun, and coolest, activities that is growing in popularity every day. I started nearly 5 years ago and have tried out close to 20 guns in all sort of environments. When considering a gun, think about the type of fish you will be hunting and the conditions you will be in.

A mid size 36-42 inch gun will do the trick for most nearshore and smaller offshore species. I have popped grouper with my 42 and have have never have a problem. However, for bigger species, and bigger grouper, stepping up into the 60’s+ is a good idea. For jetty and inshore hunts, a pneumatic or 24-36 inch gun can be a fun option. Easy to reload and quick to shoot, these guns are perfect for sheepshead, flounder, etc.

Spearfishing is a great sport and also a fun way to provide dinner. Just be sure to always know your limits and be safe. Let’s take a look at which guns made this years best of the best!

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PhotoBrand/ModelPro/ConsLengthPriceRating
best speargun 2016Cressi Geronimo Elite Mimetico Speargun+Lightweight
+Neutral buoyancy
+Groove for spear track
+Reel
+Customizable
85,95,
105,115
$$$5/5
best riffe gunRiffe Euro Series Speargun+Top brand name
+Hip loading feature on x-models (great feature)
+Magnetic track for easy loading
+Perfect beginner or advanced gun
-Can be expensive
55-130
(multiple)
$$$$5/5
ab biller speargun review AB Biller Wood Mahogany Special Speargun+Famous brand and wood finish
+Interchangeable shafts
+Size for every type of fish
-Wood finish can be scratched
24,32,36,
42,54,60
$$4.5/5
ab biller steel reviewAB Biller Stainless Steel Professional Speargun+Steel gun for AB Biller
+Personally own this gun and love it
+Strong punch
-Slightly flimsy
-Read up about safety mechanism
24,32,36,
42,48,54
$$$4/5
jbl speargun review JBL Super Carbine Speargun (D-8) (AP-350)+Good beginner gun
+Have owned 2 JBL carbines with great experiences
-May not feature as quality materials at price point
40.5$$4/5
best riffe spear gun Riffe Padauk Competitor Speargun +Two Build Options for your style
+Upgradeable
+Riffe is one of the best brands out there
-Could be pricey to some
27,39,
45,48
$$$5/5
pneumatic speargun reviewSEAC Asso S/R Pneumatic Speargun+Fun beginner gun or advanced
+Easy to reload
+Maneuverable
-Not as reviewed as others
30,40,55
,69,79
$$4.5/5

All of the guns listed above will do the job. Individual reviews of each of the listed guns are on the way as I have shot them all! Have any suggestions? Be sure to leave a comment!

Diving Mask Brands | Which Is Best?

Choosing a diving mask is one of the most important decisions a snorkeler or diver will make. After all, it will most likely be the first piece of gear you buy. So what makes a great mask and which brands offer the best? Let’s dive right in and then examine a few of the top brands and top diving mask brands.

What Makes A Great Mask?which dive brand is best

Manufacturer descriptions will always make things sound shiny and even little features seem amazing. However, there are key features to be aware of before purchasing your mask.

Materials

Buying a cheap mask may seem like a good idea at the time, but TRUST ME…you will regret it the moment you hit the water. Cheap masks are made from cheap materials which are prone to leaking, dry-rotting, fogging, breaking, and even complete failure. If you plan on using your mask more than once, I would highly recommend budgeting at least $30 towards your mask. Nothing will ruin a trip faster than having a less than stellar mask, so save up and buy great quality.

Price

It may sound odd talking about price in terms of what makes a great mask, but there is a huge difference between the $19.99 bargain bin masks…and a $40, $50, $60 and up mask. Dive masks consist of the lens, frame, buckles, and strap. As you can imagine, you could pretty cheaply throw these 4 parts together if you were trying to make a quick buck. However, the last thing you want is a leaky mask at 80 feet! Also cheaper masks tend to be made with cheaper rubber and flimsy plastic buckles, so watch out.

Bottom line: Spend at Least $30 on a mask if you plan on having a reliable product! 

Brand Name and Reviews

In today’s consumer market, it is easier than ever to create cheap products and flip them. However, brands such as Cressi, ScubaPro, Aqualung, and U.S Divers have stood the test of time and consistently make great products. I highly recommend any products from the above manufactures and have been underwater with each of their products.

It is also good to pay attention to user reviews, but with a grain of salt. Any dive mask with >100 reviews and still hovering well above 4 stars is a good bet. Let’s take a look at the best masks each brand has to offer. If you want to skip straight to the best of the best, check out my post on Best Snorkel Masks and Combos 2016.

Diving Mask Brands

Cressi
If you have ever visited this site, you know I am a huge Cressi fan. I have never had a bad experience with any of their products and am happy with their quality. In fact, the number 1 post on this website is a Cressi Product! (Check it out here) best cressi dive mask

The mask that come in this combo is actually perfect for both beginner and advanced users. Features to look for are tempered glass, silicon skirt, and wide field of view. This combination guarantees comfort as well as longevity of your dive mask.

A final factor that Cressi tends to be on top of is color options. While you may not be picky, the woman or children in your life will love the multiple colors most Cressi products offer. For instance, the mask featured on this post comes 10 colors!

Aqualung 

Known for their regulators, which are amazing by the way, Aqualung makes a mean technical diving mask. My favorite mask from them incorporates the elements of a well fitting mask with that of a freediving mask.aqualung best mask For freediving and scuba diving, you must equalize quite often which means a low volume mask is desirable. Low volume simply means having the least amount of air possible in your mask. Aqualung has spent years perfecting masks that fit well and have minimal volume.

I would highly recommend Aqualung for anyone who is looking to get into scuba and freediving. Per reviews, this mask (featured photo) also is great for fitting those of us with larger faces!

ScubaPro 

Just from the name, it is pretty easy to tell what ScubaPro specializes in. I personally own this ScubaPro BCD for diving and absolutely love it. They also make great masks of which I have owned a few. While typically aimed and feature rich for diving, ScubaPro masks make perfect snorkeling masks as well.best scubapro mask

Slightly smaller masks are perfect for diving and ScubaPro offers a few of their masks, such as the featured, in over 20 colors! Customization can be tough to find in the mask market but ScubaPro often has choices.

When the time comes you decide to start diving, I highly recommended revisiting ScubaPro for BCD’s and other essential gear. They have a reliable name and usually have great warranties on most products.

U.S. Divers

If there is a brand that creates products specifically for snorkeling, US Divers is it. I am a huge fan of their snorkels, but their masks can be found at nearly every dive shop in the world!best us divers mask For those interested, US Divers is actually the United State branch of Aqualung.. so it is good stuff!

The U.S. Divers Admiral LX is probably the most poplar model and comes with a snorkel. Choose between 9 colors and one of my favorite buckling systems and you can not go wrong.

Summary

I am aware that there are hundreds of brands out there and I have only reviewed 4. I will continue to add to the list as time goes on, but I personally have owned each mask brand above and can vouch for them. If you need more ideas about finding that perfect mask, head over to my Best Of post!

What brand mask do you use?