Diving has become one of the most popular pastimes here in the Philippines, and you hear of people picking up the activity left and right. It is the perfect place to go diving, with the entire country surrounded by water on every front. Diving locations abound practically anywhere in the archipelago, although diving resorts in Puerto Galera, Mindoro Oriental are the most convenient spots for a weekend trip.
Now scuba diving may mean spending your time underwater in awe of nature, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go rustic and forget your love for gadgets. Truth is that you will find lots of cool gadgets you can take with you whenever you dive. While you’ll still end up looking like a manatee with your wet suit on, donning these gadgets will surely make you the envy of other scuba enthusiasts.
The ultimate in luxury dive watches is still perhaps Rolex’s Submariner line. Since the first Submariner was released in the fifties, this line of dive watches has retained its reputation for being the best of the best and was in fact even used by James Bond! Rolex Submariner watches are guaranteed to be water resistant up to as much as 1000 feet (for some models), making them perfect for professional deep divers. The only downside to getting a Submariner is the cost, since the price range of even used Submariner watches can be too steep for most people. Get ready to shell out several thousand dollars if you want one.
A good alternative to the Rolex Submariner is Garmin’s Forerunner 310XT. The reason why we like this watch is that it is perfect for those who like to train, or simply live a very active lifestyle. Whether you are a runner, cyclist, swimmer, or even scuba diver, you will surely like this GPS-enabled training device. Note though that the Forerunner 310XT is not really a dive watch but is water-resistant only up to 50 meters. Obviously, you can’t do any technical deep diving with the Forerunner 310XT, but if you are certified for basic open water diving anyway, then that shouldn’t be an issue. And with a price tag of only $349.99, this touchscreen watch is definitely more affordable than a Rolex.
Panasonic recently launched a new range of cameras in their Lumix line. The Lumix DMC FT3, dubbed as their “Stylish Tough” camera, is specially designed for outdoor activities, including scuba diving. It is shockproof, freezeproof (up to -10 degrees Celsius), and waterproof, although only up to 12 meters deep. This means that you can’t do any recreational deep diving with this camera. Another upside to this camera is that it allows you to record movies in full HD, making it perfect for capturing your underwater explorations. It also has an onboard compass and GPS and has a 3D shooting mode. Sounds really good? What’s even better is that you can get this cool cam for only $329.
Another camera that has already proven its mettle is GoPro’s HD Helmet HERO. The whole thing comes with a 5-megapixel camera that is able to record videos at professional HD resolutions (1080p/960p/720p), a waterproof quick-release housing (water resistant even up to 60 meters deep!), rechargeable batteries, and various straps and mounts that makes the camera easily wearable. Another really cool feature of the Helmet HERO is the ability to shoot videos in 3D when you hook two of them together using special mounting accessories. However, if you do decide to go with the GoPro Helmet HERO, be prepared for the lack of a viewscreen, which means that you really need to learn to tackle its not too friendly controls to be able to take good pictures. The GoPro HD Helmet HERO sells for $299.99.
Waterproof’s Hydra hoods feature their unique Hood Air Venting System (HAVS), which allows air bubbles to escape from small holes located at the top of the hood. The system allows you to dive more comfortably since you don’t have to deal with annoying air buildup anymore. Hydra hoods also feature double layer protection in critical heat loss areas to ensure that your head stays warm even in the coldest waters. And with the multi-section anatomic design complementing their venting system, even their 5/10mm hood is more comfy than conventional 3/5 and 5/7mm hoods.