The Complete Guide to Scuba Diving Accessories

Essential Scuba Diving Accessories

When it comes to scuba diving equipment we usually jump right in at the main components that enables us to transform into a sea creature – the tank, BCD, regulator (and SPG), mask, and fins. But diving is more than just being able to breathe and swim underwater.

There are so many gizmos and gadgets on the market that makes diving more enjoyable, and more importantly safe.

So, let’s dive in!

Essential Scuba Diving Accessories 

  • First Aid Kit
  • Dive Computer
  • Underwater Compass
  • Reef Hook
  • Dive Torch
  • Dive Knife
  • Tool Kit
  • Mask Defog
  • Writing Slate
  • Whistle
  • GPS Locator/Underwater Lifeline
  • SMB (Surface Marker Bouy)
  • Finger Spool/Reel
  • Tank Banger/Reef Pointer
  • Mesh Bag
  • Dry Bag
  • Gear clips
  • Gear Bag

Why Do You Need Scuba Diving Accessories?

Some accessories are tools for additional safety, others can make you a better diver and some are simply toys that can make your dive more fun! As divers we do not need to be the Inspector Gadget of the underwater world, there is nothing worse than overstocking your D-rings and jamming so many ‘bits & bobs’ into your BCD pockets – but as a diver, some accessories are necessary in the diving world. 

In this article, we will cover the top essential accessories for scuba divers that are listed above. If you want to know more about all the basic scuba gear, we have an article on it here.

We will go into more depth about why these accessories are all important, so I recommend that you keep reading.

Essential Accessories

First Aid Kit

The obvious one for all divers (I hope) is a first aid kit. It doesn’t need to be a full medical kit, but one that has the basics. All dive boats and dive centres should have a first aid kit handy when you are diving, but if you are not planning on going on an organised dive, you should 100% bring your first aid kit along with you. 

So, what should be in your first aid kit?

  • Diarrhoea Tablets
  • Antihistamines
  • Motion Sickness tablets
  • Paracetamol
  • After-sun cream
  • Electrolyte Rehydration Powder
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antiseptic Cream
  • Waterproof plasters and a few bandages
  • Scissors
  • Gloves 
  • A pack or box to keep it all in with ‘FIRST AID’ written on it for you or others to find quickly!

Dive Computer

A dive computer is extremely essential. They provide you with real-time dive information, and that is why every diver should have one. Dive computers tell you your depth, time in the water, temperature and most importantly – your decompression time.

They are also the accessory that will help you fill your logbook out after the dive. 

They come in different styles, colours, and of course prices… One of the cheapest and most conservative dive computers on the market is the Suunto Zoop Dive Computer – this is probably what you used when you did your training if you were given one. 

The next most popular dive computers are: 

A dive computer is also great for snorkelling and free-diving, as they tell you lot’s of relevant information e.g. depth or how long you have been in the water. 

Hands reaching for the surface with a dive computer on left wrist

Diving Compass

As we cannot see above the surface once we are under the water, a compass helps us navigate underwater, especially if the conditions are not ideal such as poor visibility.

A reliable and sturdy compass is the Suunto SK-8 Dive Compass.

It comes in different styles: you can buy the watch, the compass that fits inside an SPG, or buy the mount with the bungee straps so you can decide to wear it as a watch or simply clip it to your BCD. 

Be aware though, that some dive computers have a compass function on them too, so make sure you don’t double buy!

Reef Hook

Have you ever been on a dive where it got a little ‘funky’? Dropping into what you thought were great conditions, and halfway through (sometimes even before) you have found yourself in raging current, struggling to kick against it. 

The reef hook is an incredibly useful (and cheap) dive accessory in strong currents, drift dives and even when you want to stay in one spot (maybe to take that perfect picture!)

A reef hook not only makes you look like James Bond underwater as others struggle without this handy accessory, but they are literal lifesavers!

If someone is struggling, reef hooks can support them too, they just need to grab hold of you. These ‘bad-boys’ come with single, double or triple hooks – personally, the double hook is my favourite for stability when hooking onto the reef. 

Dive Torch

A dive torch is not only great for night diving, they will help see better colourations of corals and help guide you in deeper and darker waters. You will want a dive torch that is durable, reliable and has a long burn time.

For recreational use, you want a torch with at least 200 lumens (the brightness of the lamp). 

The Scubapro Nova range is great! For a powerful spot beam, I recommend the Nova 850R. This torch is heavy-duty and also comes in a wide-angle version. 

If you want a less expensive, pocket torch, the XS Scuba LT360 is the way to go. It may be small but it has an impressive 1000 lumen output, plus it can be used above the water too. 

*Never shine your torch directly into the eyes of other divers and marine life. 

Diving Knife

There is nothing scarier than getting tangled underwater. They are also handy if you are skilled enough to set marine life free from entanglement. 

Dive knives are probably the least used dive accessory but you’ll be happy you have one if you need it, they could save your life!

Dive knives are essential if you are wreck diving, as it is likely you will encounter ropes and aquatic plants. Knives with blunt end tips are among the most popular, as you will not need to worry about puncturing any dive gear therefore they are called a safety-first blade.

If you do need a dive knife specifically for puncturing and cutting, you will want one with a sharp end.

Blunt-End Dive Knives:

Sharp-End Dive Knives:

Tool Kit

Sometimes something goes “ping” underwater, and usually, it is an O-ring.

That is why having a tool kit is always handy, as the boat or other divers may not have any spares – and there is nothing worse than having to miss out on the next dive because you couldn’t do a quick fix.

Also if you use a DIN regulator, the boat may not have an Allen key – which most dive tool kits contain. 

  • A knife
  • Adjustable spanners
  • Multi-driver with optional heads
  • Allen keys
  • Pliers
  • O-ring pick & tie wraps

So, what should be in your tool kit?

Picture of a tool

Mask Defog

If you are not a big fan of spitting in your mask, mask defog is the way to go!

Also with the latest coronavirus pandemic, most dive centres now recommend using theirs or your own defog. It is important you opt for a reef-friendly defog so that no harmful chemicals are released into the ocean – I highly recommend the Reef Safe mask defog

A Writing Slate

As we know we are unable to communicate underwater and are restricted to hand signals only.

That is why a writing slate is a perfect way to explain complex ideas to your buddy or students. They are easily attached to your BCD and will save you frustration when your buddy doesn’t understand what you are saying. 


There is nothing worse when you are on the surface and cannot get the attention of your dive boat or people on the land- especially if there is a strong surface current.

A whistle takes up very little space and can save you time and effort from shouting. The Beaver High Pitch Survival Whistle is great for grabbing the attention of people, and if you did your advanced course with PADI you may have got a free one with your learning package. 

Don’t Forget Your Dive Insurance!

Before you go out on any dive trip or holiday, it is essential to make sure you have insurance that covers you if something goes wrong. Check out our dive insurance article for more information.

Or go straight to these dive insurance company websites:


Diver Alert Network (DAN)

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GPS Tracker/Signal

As divers, we always hope we will never get lost at sea.

But with the ocean being unpredictable, it could happen at some point, therefore it is better to be prepared if it were to happen!

The Nautilus LifeLine Marine GPS is very small, it can fit in your BCD pockets easily or can be attached to the outside of the BCD using the coil lanyard. The GPS tracker can reach any boat equipped with AIS and you can also link it to your dive boat via a DCS message

An SMB A.K.A The Inflatable Safety Sausage

If you are a divemaster or instructor, the SMB, or safety sausage I am sure, has become your best friend!

Even if you are not there yet as a diver, the SMB is a must in my opinion. These inflatable devices are deployed under the water to signal and warn people of your presence under the surface. 

This accessory is extremely important in areas where there is a lot of boat traffic to give people a heads-up that divers will be ascending soon. It also lets your boat know you are coming up too – that’s why it is a great idea to put your name on it or draw something so the boat captain knows how to identify you and your group.

If you all have one, why not have an SMB party? – Just be sure you don’t all get tangled up in the lines!

Finger Spool/Reel

Once you have your SMB, you will need a finger spool or reel to attach it to. You can buy SMB and reel bundles, but you are limited to what reel you get.

They come in many different colours, sizes, and line lengths.

If you are looking for something very sturdy, go for either the MGE Divers Reel or the Scubapro Multi-Purpose Reel. However, they are very bulky, which is why I love the Apeks Lifeline Spool or on a budget, the ISC Finger Spool

Tank Banger/Reef Pointer

As mentioned, we cannot communicate underwater and are limited to hand signals.

A great way to grab the attention of your buddy or student is a tank banger.

These come in different styles. The most common tank banger is the ball on a ring of elastic, while others look like a magic wand – my favourite, as most of them also have a ruler on which is great for measuring small marine critters such as nudibranchs and doubles up as a pointer to show off your hunting skills underwater to your dive buddy!

An Underwater Mesh Bag

Everyone by now is aware of marine litter, whether it be on the TV, or physically seeing it in the ocean with your eyes.

That is why I cannot justify enough how essential an underwater mesh bag is to do our part and protect the oceans! 

Mesh bags are great, as they are small so can be shoved into any pockets, or tied onto a D-ring on your BCD. The trshbg Ocean Cleanup Bag is great as it comes with straps that are put around the diver’s thigh – I have personally used them, and they are easy to reach and do not get in the way! 

Dry Bag

Not essential for your survival, but the survival of your valuables is a good dry bag.

These come in different sizes – I like the 10L as it is not too big, yet it fits all my belongings in when I get onto the boat. A good durable dry bag that is not too expensive is the Mares Cruise Dry Bag. If you have a bit more money to spend, I recommend the 15L Acrodo Dry Bag which has been tested to float on water. 

Gear Clips

With all these ‘bits & bobs’ you will want to securely fix them to your BCD, which is where gear clips come in handy. They are also great at aligning your equipment such as regulator hoses so you have nothing dangling down that could damage the reef and marine life. 

They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. For the octopus, I like the Scubapro magnetic octopus holder, and for my other accessories, the Scubapro Hydros Accessories Bungee or a simple double-ended bolt snap. 

A Decent Dive Kit Bag

Now with all the accessories listed above, PLUS all the awesome dive gear you have (or soon will have!), you will want a durable, decent sized gear bag

A personal favourite for everyday use is the Scubapro Mesh N’ Roll Bag. This bag is strong, fast to dry, and has padded straps and wheels. When travelling abroad I prefer something a bit more sturdy – the Tusa Large Roller Bag is equipped with wheels and an adjustable handle, watch out people, this diver is travelling in style! 

Don’t Forget Your Dive Insurance!

Before you go out on any dive trip or holiday, it is essential to make sure you have insurance that covers you if something goes wrong. Check out our dive insurance article for more information.

Or go straight to these dive insurance company websites:


Diver Alert Network (DAN)

If you liked this article, please follow us on Instagram, Twitter and like our Facebook page


And that’s a wrap!

Hopefully, you have a clear idea and know everything when it comes to diving accessories. Most importantly, I hope we have answered any questions you have regarding which accessories are essential – because trust me going to diving stores is very overwhelming and tempting to buy every gizmo and gadget out there!  

For any other diving-related questions you may have, why not check out some of our other articles.

Please share this article using the social media buttons!

Darby Bonner

Darby is a marine biologist and PADI scuba diving instructor from the UK. With over ten years of diving experience, she has visited some of the best dive destinations in the world. Currently, Darby is living in Bali, Indonesia and regularly dives at some of the most beautiful dive sites in the Indian Ocean. Her passion for the ocean led her to study seals, publish a paper, and become a marine mammal medic. In the future, she hopes to complete her master’s in marine science, and of course, continue her love for teaching and diving!

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