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Whether you're looking for a new vacation idea or you're a diving enthusiast, scuba can be an unforgettable experience. Scuba diving can be peaceful and meditative as you float effortlessly in the water, surrounded by the calm and quiet of the underwater world. It is also a great way to stay active and healthy, as it provides a full-body workout while you swim and move through the water.
It's no wonder that scuba diving is a popular recreational activity. The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) reported that there were around 6.54 million active scuba divers in the US alone. It's not hard to see why, with beautiful domestic diving destinations like Florida, California, and Hawaii. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) also reported that over 27 million PADI certifications have been issued worldwide since 1966. That's a lot of certified divers!
Tuesday, June 6th
Dive Right In Scuba (DRIS) is an online retailer that specializes in scuba gear, catering primarily to customers in North America. They have an extensive inventory of scuba diving equipment, including snorkeling sets, scuba gear, technical diving equipment, and cave diving equipment. DRIS is an online retailer that also has physical stores, making it possible to go in and try on options if there is a retail location in your area. Further, Dive Right In Scuba also offers online courses to learn how to dive for both new and experienced divers.
Higher starting price, but competitive
There are several reasons to consider shopping at DRIS. They have a large inventory of high-quality scuba gear, and their prices are competitive. To compare those prices with other competitors we looked at the price ranges for three different products at Dive Right In Scuba (DRIS).
The site is well-organized to narrow down to the products you need. The options are all visible on the front page with helpful images so you know what their titles mean. For example, wetsuits are sold under the header "exposure gear" which might have been confusing without the wetsuit image to tell the shopper what to expect from that category. Additionally, once you choose what you want, you can further specify by thickness, the purpose of the wetsuit, gender, or child size. If you don't know exactly what you want, you can also scroll through all of the available wetsuits on the same page.
Website is sometimes slow
However, there are also some potential downsides here. DRIS' website design isn't the most aesthetically pleasing, and some products lack detailed photos of items on sale. Additionally, the website can have long loading times even with a fast internet connection, which can make shopping a little frustrating.
Free shipping on $75+
Customers can take advantage of free shipping on orders above $75 for domestic orders and $500 for international orders. But, sale items do not count toward the $75 total to get free shipping. And while you can earn loyalty points to make items cheaper, it's important to note that using loyalty points can keep you from getting free shipping if the loyalty points bring your cart total down below $75 after they're applied. So, if you're looking for free shipping, it's much harder to get it here than other sites in our review.
Easy returns for full refunds
Dive Right In Scuba has an easy return policy for customers. They offer a Satisfaction Guarantee for 60 days on all merchandise. If an item is returned within 60 days in new condition with original packaging, the customer can get a full refund. If the item is used, customers can get a 100% credit towards new equipment. The return policy for used or damaged products can vary.
One of the standout features of Dive Right In Scuba is that they provide online classes for customers who want to learn to dive and get a dive certification. Dive Right In Scuba is an excellent training destination, being one of the most reputable shops in the US. It is a PADI 5-Star Career Development Center and an SDI/TDI 5-Star Instructor Training Center. This means that they not only offer a wide range of courses but also produce instructors for them. Whether someone is a beginner or an experienced diver looking to expand their skills or teach students, they are in the right place. Additionally, they have special programs for military veterans, allowing them to utilize their VA money for the Instructor Program, and they offer online programs for distance learners.
Top-rated by customers
In terms of customer satisfaction, DRIS has a high rating on Trustpilot, with over 4,000 reviews averaging 4.8 stars out of 5. Further, they have an "A+" rating from the BBB for customer service. Most of the reviews for Dive Right In Scuba (DRIS) are about the top-notch customer service where shoppers had excellent response time to concerns or even had customer service reps who contacted them post-purchase to ensure items arrived safely and were satisfactory.
Great option despite website bugs
Overall, Dive Right In Scuba (DRIS) is a well-established and reputable scuba retailer with an extensive inventory and physical stores for customers to try on options. The site is organized and easy to navigate, and DRIS offers online courses for divers at all levels. While their prices may be more expensive than some competitors, their high-quality products and excellent customer service make them a top competitor for scuba retail. DRIS has a high rating on Trustpilot and an "A+" rating from the BBB for customer service, which speaks to its commitment to providing a positive shopping experience for its shoppers. Plus, if you want to learn about diving, and get ready to use the gear you've bought, DRIS is a great place for you to get started. For these reasons, Dive Right In Scuba is our top option in our review.
Scuba is a reputable online store that specializes in scuba diving gear and information. Their team of experienced Scuba Instructors has traveled to various locations around the world and is knowledgeable about the best equipment to use for each destination. The company has been in operation for over 20 years and also has physical locations in Southern California and New York City, where they offer PADI certification classes, guided tours, a dive club, and air refills.
Competitive and low pricing
To compare prices between Scuba and other options in our review, we looked at some of the most popular options for scuba gear purchases. For example:
Across the board, the prices at Scuba are competitive and they offer a large variety of brands and options that are available on other sites, sometimes at higher prices. Based on price alone, this site is worth checking out.
Resources for divers and shoppers
One thing we loved about Scuba is that it offers a comprehensive online resource for all things scuba diving outside of just buying gear. The company offers a variety of resources like gear purchasing guides or information on dive destinations locally and abroad. On top of that, Scuba hires staff with extensive knowledge and experience. Because the team has dived in so many different locations, they can provide expert advice on the most appropriate equipment for any destination, whether local or worldwide. Scuba stocks products from some of the most well-known and respected brands in the scuba industry, including Aqualung, Cressi, Mares, and Scubapro.
Physical locations for certification
If you're looking to get dive certified, Scuba has two physical locations, one in Costa Mesa, California, and the other in New York City. As a PADI 5 Star facility, the company offers PADI certification classes, guided tours, a dive club, air fills, and excellent customer service. The flagship Costa Mesa location is a favorite among locals, renowned as the go-to store for scuba and snorkeling gear. Both locations have a full-service repair facility with in-house, manufacturer-certified technicians who use genuine factory parts.
Used items and regular deals
If you're looking for savings, Scuba offers a variety of ways to find better deals on their website. You can buy many of the items for Scuba diving from their "used" tab, which offers a significant price reduction. Scuba also offers a "deals" tab where you can bundle items you need for savings to bring down the price of getting all your necessary items for the first time (or replacing a large number of dive necessities at once). There is also a "Deal of the Day" available on the landing page of the website. For example, at the time of this review, there was a deal of the day on a dive gauge, a dive computer, a jetpack backpack, and a dive weight.
On top of savings, Scuba offers a very flexible return policy, which they call the 60/120-day Satisfaction Guarantee. This means that you can return any merchandise within 60 days of the date of invoice for a full refund, and you can return it for store credit within 120 days. However, the original shipping charges are not refunded. On the other hand, if you receive a defective or incorrect product, Scuba will do its best to resolve the issue and cover the return shipping if notified before the return.
Make sure the fit is perfect
If you're buying a clothing item or something where you're worried about fit, Scuba offers a separate policy for those circumstances. The Pressure-Free Fit (PFF) Guarantee for diving gear like Suits, BCDs, Fins, and others is available if the purchased item doesn't fit well. This way customers can easily exchange it for a different size within 30 days of the invoice date. Scuba will cover the shipping cost for returning the item and delivering the replacement.
5% money-back price match guarantee
On top of great return options, Scuba also has a price match guarantee. If a customer finds the same product at a better price on another website, Scuba will match that price and give an additional 5% discount. The product being compared must be identical to the one sold by Scuba to qualify, and the product must be in stock at both Scuba and the other seller at the time of the request.
Highly rated but mixed reviews
With so many benefits, it's no surprise that Scuba has an "A+" rating and full accreditation with the BBB. However, the retailer only has an average rating of 3.4 stars out of 5 across different review sites, so it's in the middle range for customer satisfaction. Happy shoppers noted that returns were easy to process and the customer service representatives were extremely helpful throughout the process. Others said this was the most inexpensive option for purchasing scuba gear. Unhappy customers complained that they had difficulty getting items exchanged or refunded.
Great place for scuba
Scuba is a reputable online store that has been operating for over 20 years and specializes in scuba diving gear and information. They offer competitive prices on a variety of gear and have a comprehensive online resource for all things scuba diving. Additionally, they have physical locations in Southern California and New York City where they offer PADI certification classes, guided tours, a dive club, and air refills. Scuba also offers a variety of ways to find better deals on their website and has flexible return policies. While they have an "A+" rating and full accreditation with the BBB, their customer ratings are average with just a few negative reviews. Overall, Scuba is a fantastic place to shop for scuba gear.
Scubapro, a Wisconsin-based company that recently celebrated its 60th anniversary in business, prides itself on being "the world's foremost authority on diving gear," and it's hard to argue with that claim. The company has established a reputation for being a trusted outfitter of some of the most respected divers, militaries, and public safety teams.
Makes their own scuba gear
Scubapro meticulously crafts and tests all of its diving equipment, which makes it an attractive option for those who value quality and reliability in their scuba gear. Scubapro is part of the Johnson Outdoors family and the company's reputation speaks for itself as its equipment is often featured in other stores' inventory. Scubapro only carries its own brand of gear, so customers won't find any other manufacturers in their inventory. However, shoppers can choose from over 100 products in their dive-wear department, including boots, full-length wetsuits, and more.
Higher prices for top gear
In order to get a good idea of how Scubapro stacks up against other options in our evaluation, we checked their prices for wetsuits, dive masks, and dive equipment like pressure gauges. Especially since customers are limited to only Scubapro options on this site, the price comparison is essential to understanding if this highly-rated brand is worth the cost. For example,
Easy to use and find what you need
In terms of website usability, the filters are extremely helpful, and the site is modern and easy to use. So, shopping on Scubapro's site is simple and straightforward. Customers can either enter what they're looking for in the search box or browse the navigational links at the top of the page. Equipment can be found under the Gear heading, and the variety of filters - including unique options like "thickness" for the dive suits - make it easy to narrow down to what you need quickly. Customers can also shop by activity, including Recreational, Technical, Travel, Freediving, or Snorkeling, which is a convenient way to find the right gear for their needs.
Prices aren't listed right away
The only thing that wasn't ideal about the Scubapro site was the way pricing is indicated. For most items, you have to click on the listing to get the price, as prices will depend on where you get the item. So, instead of buying directly from Scubapro, it will connect you to a local distributor where you can either have the item shipped or you can go pick it up yourself. However, this was a little confusing at first, so customers might need to spend a little extra time figuring out how to buy their items.
Access to manuals and blogs
When customers find the scuba gear that interests them, they can expect to find a wealth of information at their fingertips. Scubapro does an excellent job of describing each product and providing specifications. Customers can even get product manuals in several languages, including Spanish, English, French, Japanese, Croatian, Dutch, and Russian, among others. If customers use the resources tab, they can also gain access to the Scubapro blog which offers a variety of helpful tips for divers and enthusiasts. You can also look at their sustainability initiatives and most sustainable products.
Free shipping on all orders
One of the best things about shopping at Scubapro is their free shipping on all orders. While scuba gear tends to be on the pricey side, customers will qualify for no-cost delivery on sites that have a minimum order amount. It's nice to know that Scubapro won't charge for shipping, regardless of the purchase size.
Favorite with professionals
Overall, Scubapro's online store is an excellent place to shop for Scubapro equipment. The parent company, Johnson Outdoors, has a fantastic "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Scubapro is recognized worldwide as a leading manufacturer of scuba gear. Customers love how reliable the items are and reviewers who are professional divers or dive instructors are particularly happy with this brand. Those who didn't love Scubapro had some problems dealing with customer service and complained about the higher prices than other sites or brands.
Scubapro's online store is an excellent place to shop for Scubapro equipment. The company has established a reputation for being a trusted outfitter of some of the most respected divers, militaries, and public safety teams. Scubapro meticulously crafts and tests all of its diving equipment, which makes it an attractive option for those who value quality and reliability in their scuba gear. Customers can choose from over 100 products in their dive-wear department, including boots, full-length wetsuits, and more.
Top option for pro gear
The site is modern and easy to use, with helpful filters and navigational links at the top of the page. Customers who love Scubapro noted how reliable the items are - and reviewers who are professional divers or dive instructors are particularly happy with this brand. Scubapro earns a very high rating in our review and is a top option among professional divers.
Divers Direct is a family-owned business that is dedicated to providing a wide selection of scuba gear and knowledgeable staff to educate divers on what they'll need to explore the underwater world. The company was founded in 1984 by Wayne Senecal, who initially offered dive excursions in Key Largo, FL. Today, Divers Direct is present throughout Florida and online, and ships gear all over the world. Additionally, they offer classes, workshops, and events to educate beginners and advanced divers on the best practices to discover the ocean.
Low prices compared to others
To compare prices we looked at three items most divers need to get started (or replace): wetsuits, dive masks, and pressure gauges.
Professionals stand behind the products
Though some of the brand options are more limited at Divers Direct, the customers have the benefit of knowing that all of the products are tested by real divers and dive instructors and are all highly recommended by professionals. However, if you're looking for a particular brand or style option, the smaller selection at Divers Direct might not be ideal for your needs.
Great rewards program
One of the benefits of shopping at Divers Direct is the rewards program. Customers can enjoy a variety of benefits, including free gear and other perks. The Direct Rewards program allows customers to earn points for every dollar spent, with a $10 gift card awarded for every 250 points earned. Members also receive exclusive half-price tank fills on Mondays through Thursdays, as well as early access to email offers and product releases. This program is a great way for customers to get more of what they love from Divers Direct.
110% price match guarantee
Divers Direct offers a guarantee to its customers that they will get the best gear at the best value. This is supported by their 110% Price Match Guarantee. If shoppers find the same product at another authorized dealer, either in-store or online, Divers Direct will match the price and offer an additional 10% off the difference. This guarantee is valid even after the purchase is made. If customers find a lower price for the same product within 30 days of their purchase, Divers Direct will still refund the difference plus an additional 10%.
Training and certification available
Another great benefit of using Divers Direct as a trusted scuba retailer is that they can provide a one-stop shop for products and training. With over 36 years of experience in the industry, their professional instructors in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando offer SCUBA Certification and Freediving Certification courses, ensuring that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to dive safely. Upon completing the SCUBA Certification Course, you'll receive your PADI Certification or SSI Certification for Open Water Diving.
Advanced certification also available
Divers Direct also offers advanced certification courses such as the Advanced Open Water Certification, Nitrox Certification, and Stress and Rescue Certification courses. If you're already certified but need a refresher course, they've got you covered. In addition to instruction, Divers Direct offers gear experts who can help you select the right equipment for your diving experience. The only downside is you do need to be able to attend classes in person. So, the location options might be a little limited.
Filters could use updates
One drawback of the site is the filters. It can make it a little hard to find what you're looking for, as the only options are price filters or brand filters. It was a little difficult to find wetsuits this way. The page will also reload completely before showing customers the filtered options, so it can make it a little clunky to use.
30-day return policy
If you're worried about returns, Divers Direct offers a 30-day returns policy. However, some items have restrictions. Hookah diving systems, air compressors, diving scooters, diving computers with logged dives, and camera equipment that has been removed from original packaging are subject to a 20% restocking fee. Items of personal hygiene like bathing suits, mouthpieces, and snorkels are non-returnable once used or worn, but unused items in original packaging can be returned.
Great ratings for online shop
In terms of customer feedback, Divers Direct has a good reputation both in-person and online. Third-party review sites show that shoppers have rated Divers Direct an average star rating of 4.3 out of 5. Additionally, Divers Direct has an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau. The positive reviews note that customers who ordered from Divers Direct received their items in perfect condition and with really fast shipping. Customers who didn't like Divers Direct complained that the in-person experience at the brick-and-mortar store was not as pleasant as online shopping, and that service took much longer in person.
Worth shopping for great deals
Overall, Divers Direct is a great option for divers who are looking for a wide selection of quality scuba gear at competitive prices, along with the benefit of professional guidance and instruction. The rewards program, price match guarantee, and easy returns policy are additional advantages that make shopping at Divers Direct a worry-free experience. While the filter options on the website can be a little clunky, and the in-person experience at the brick-and-mortar stores may not be as efficient as online shopping, the positive customer reviews and an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau speak to the high level of customer satisfaction that Divers Direct strives to achieve. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced diver, Divers Direct is a trusted and reliable source for all your diving needs.
Divers Supply is an online store that offers scuba diving gear and snorkeling equipment at discounted prices. The store has been in business for over 40 years and started as a small operation in Macon, GA.
One of the largest in the world
Despite not being located in an ideal spot for scuba diving, the shop has grown into a 35,000-square-foot store with a full training facility and an indoor heated pool. Currently, the store is one of the largest dive shops in the world but still maintains its hometown feel. Divers Supply is family-owned and operated, ensuring a personal touch. The store is an Authorized Dealer for every line of dive gear it carries, giving customers peace of mind knowing that they are buying the best scuba gear with the full manufacturer's warranty.
Highly competitive prices
In terms of prices, we compared the Divers Supply price ranges for wetsuits, dive masks, and pressure gauges to see how this company stacks up against others in our review.
Certified divers to help you out
One thing we loved about Divers Supply is that their staff are all certified divers. The store offers the largest selection of top name-brand scuba equipment on the market. In addition to the online store, Divers Supply has four full retail stores and a worldwide mail-order/internet team. All stores are equipped with fully trained and certified Instructors and SCUBA divers on staff, making them SDI, TDI, ERDI, and PADI Facilities.
Dive certification offered
If you're looking to learn how to dive, you're in luck. Divers Supply offers options for dive certification and classes. These courses are available in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina, with private diving courses available for a personalized experience. To participate, customers must be at least 10 years old and in reasonably good health as per the SDI medical statement. However, you do need to be prepared to go to one of these locations in person.
$25 minimum for free shipping
We also loved the low threshold to earn free shipping from Divers Supply: just $25+. This applies to delivery addresses within the 48 contiguous United States. Certain items may still incur shipping charges regardless of the $25 threshold. On the bright side, the free shipping options may be used in conjunction with a promotional certificate.
Easy user interface
The website for Divers Supply was also a breeze to use. The interface is clean and makes it easy to find what you want and apply a wide range of filters to narrow down your options. The photos are easy to see what you're buying at a glance, and prices (as well as sales) are easily visible on every product listing. Divers Supply also offers a comparison tool on each listing, so you can select multiple options and view them side by side.
60/120-day return policy
In terms of buyer security, Divers Supply has a competitive return policy. Customers have 60 days from the invoice date to return the merchandise for a full refund on their original payment method, or 120 days to return for store credit. If the item is unused and in its original condition, there will be no restocking fee. However, custom gear, moldable mouthpieces, used mouthpieces, and earplugs cannot be returned.
Not well-rated by some customers
Divers Supply doesn't have a huge presence online on third-party review sites. The company is listed as "Not Rated" by the BBB and only has a handful of reviews on Trustpilot averaging around 3 stars. However, the reviews on the Divers Supply site show feedback averaging 4.8 out of 5 stars from customers. It's important to note that the company has control over which reviews appear on its site, so shoppers might want to take positive feedback with a grain of salt. With that said, many customers appreciated the wide variety and price options at Divers Supply. On the other hand, some shoppers complained that customer service wasn't ideal at Divers Supply and felt their worries or problems weren't taken seriously despite the return policies.
Worth checking out
In conclusion, Divers Supply is a family-owned and operated dive shop that has grown into one of the largest dive shops in the world. Customers can also take advantage of dive certification and classes, and the online store is user-friendly with a low threshold for free shipping. While the company doesn't have a strong presence on third-party review sites, customer feedback on its site has been positive overall. However, some shoppers have noted concerns with customer service, and potential customers should consider this when making a purchase. Because of these concerns with returns and customer service, Divers Supply doesn't rate as highly as other options in our review, but the clean website and prices still make it a good option to check out for your next scuba gear purchase.
If you're looking for scuba gear, House of Scuba is a great place to start. Their online store offers a wide range of products, many of which have been personally tested by their team of experienced divers. These team members are all PADI-certified and can provide solid advice on the equipment you'll need for any dive conditions. One of the standout features of House of Scuba is its vast selection of wetsuits. With over 300 options available from brands like Akona, Bare, and Body Glove, there's a wetsuit for every type of diver.
Competitive prices, but a higher starting point
To compare prices with other options we evaluated, we looked at the selection of wetsuits, dive masks, and dive instruments to see where House of Scuba falls in pricing. For example, they have over 300 options for wetsuits including options for men and women, and for a variety of needs including hooded wetsuits and options suitable for triathlons.
Perks and sales
In addition to its impressive selection of gear, House of Scuba offers several perks for shoppers. For orders over $50 within the lower 48 United States, they offer free shipping (though some items like tanks and roller bags are excluded). They also have a price protection policy that credits 150% of the difference if you find the same product at a lower price from an authorized dealer within 30 days of purchase. On top of these deals, they often have promotions and sales. There is an entire tab on the top bar that just offers sale options for products at House of Scuba. For example, at the time of this review, the Sharkskin brand scuba suits were on sale including full suits and accessories up to 50% off and other options like masks were on sale for up to 75% off.
Great return options
Perhaps one of the most generous aspects of House of Scuba is its return policy. With their 30/60/120 policy, customers have multiple options for returning scuba gear. For used or unpackaged items, you can return them within 30 days for an in-store credit. For new, packaged items, you have 60 days for a 100% refund or store credit. Finally, items in the original packaging can be returned between 60 and 120 days for full-price in-store credit. This is great considering that the policy allows you to try items out before committing or returning them.
Customer rating took a dive
In terms of customer satisfaction, House of Scuba has a lot of positives, though its reputation has fallen slightly in recent years. The company has a "B-" rating from the BBB where it used to have an "A+" rating. It also only has around 30 total user reviews online. The total average is around 3 stars total, but some review sites have only one review. The positive reviews from customers speak to the quality of customer service at House of Scuba. Many customers praise the knowledge of their staff and the accuracy of the equipment purchased.
Worth it for sales and shipping
For scuba enthusiasts on the hunt for new gear, House of Scuba is worth checking out. They offer an extensive selection of products at competitive prices, especially when it comes to wetsuits. Shoppers can take advantage of several perks, including free shipping on orders over $50, a price protection policy, and regular sales and promotions. What's more, their return policy is very generous, allowing customers to test out items before making a final decision. While their reputation may have taken a hit in recent years, many customers still rave about their excellent customer service and the accuracy of the equipment they purchased. Overall, if you're looking for high-quality scuba gear with plenty of options, House of Scuba is worth considering.
Wetsuit Warehouse is a store that specializes in wetsuits for various purposes, including scuba diving, wakeboarding, kayaking, cold weather diving, and pool rehabilitation. They have been in business since 2002 and offer more styles, brands, and price points than many other scuba gear retailers on the market.
One of the fantastic aspects of shopping for a wetsuit at this retailer is the wealth of information available that you may not find in other stores. Wetsuit Warehouse makes it easier to find what you need by providing a clear explanation of the differences between various designs and manufacturers. They also offer brand-specific warranty and repair information to help you make an informed decision on your next wetsuit.
Wetsuit Wearhouse offers over 20,000 wetsuits that range from full-body wetsuits to boots, and they even have sizes for kids. However, it's worth noting that this store doesn't carry regulators or any other accessories. They solely focus on wetsuits, which is why they have a reputation for providing the best wetsuits in the market. To do a price comparison with other options in this review, we're just going to look at wetsuit prices overall. The prices range from $20 for a sun shirt to $429.95 for a full-length wetsuit. This is relatively inexpensive when compared to options at other sites in our review.
Guaranteed lowest price
One of the customer-friendly perks that Wetsuit Warehouse offers is a lowest-price guarantee. They promise to match the price if you find the same suit you want at a lower price elsewhere. In addition, if you live outside Maryland, you won't have to pay sales tax. On top of that, Wetsuit Wearhouse offers a variety of sale options on their "closeouts" tab that include accessories like dive booties and full-size wetsuits for prices that are often $100 cheaper than full-price options.
Reasonable shipping options
Shipping is also free for orders over $100, with a flat rate of $6.99 for orders below $100. They also ship most orders within 24 hours of purchase. However, their return policy is average, as they only offer a 30-day window from the date of purchase for returns. Moreover, the wetsuit must be in new/unused condition with tags still attached to be eligible for a refund.
Great reputation, but mixed reviews
Despite their limited focus on wetsuits, Wetsuit Warehouse has a great reputation. They have an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. This is a testament to their commitment to providing the best wetsuits in the market. However, across customer reviews, they only rate around a 3-star average out of 5. Some of the complaints about Wetsuit Wearhouse included comments that customers tried to buy listed items and found them to be out of stock. Customers also complained that customer service was hard to talk to. On the other hand, happy shoppers noted that it was easy to find a good wetsuit in all the available options and that exchanges were a breeze with Wetsuit Wearhouse.
Top option for wetsuits
Overall, Wetsuit Warehouse is an excellent retailer that specializes in wetsuits for various purposes. They offer a wide range of styles, brands, and price points, making it easier for customers to choose the perfect wetsuit. They also provide a wealth of information to help customers make informed decisions, plus customer-friendly perks like a lowest-price guarantee, free shipping, and quick order processing. Their return policy is average, but their reputation for providing high-quality wetsuits is outstanding. Unfortunately, they only earned a rating of 3 stars in this review because they don't offer other scuba gear besides wetsuits. If you need other scuba equipment, you'll have to look elsewhere. But if you're only looking for a wetsuit, Wetsuit Warehouse should be your go-to store.
Headquartered in Spain, Dive Inn is an online store that offers a diverse range of scuba gear for divers, which includes logbooks, instruments, masks, spearguns, and even underwater vehicles. Dive Inn is a sub-site of the Trade Inn website which sells active and outdoor gear for a variety of hobbies. There are options for adults and children, so the vast range of products available at Dive Inn makes it a unique store for divers.
Competitive prices, but missing a few options
To compare prices with other dive shopping sites, we looked at three key items for scuba gear: a wetsuit, a mask, and a dive instrument.
Website needs a better UI
While Dive Inn has a vast range of scuba products, the website is a little hard to navigate. There are plenty of filters that help you narrow down the products, but to find everything, you need to use the dropdown menu in the top left. The options across the top bar are limited to the most popular items, and it can be harder to find things like pressure gauges on the website. Across the board, it would be a better user experience if the site was a little more updated.
European options not compatible with all gear
While the options at Dive Inn are impressive at first glance, it's important to note that most of the brands the store offers, such as Metalsub, Tecnomar, and SEAC, are European manufacturers that may not be compatible with other scuba gear that customers might own. Since not all brands are carried with Dive Inn, it may take a little extra work for the customer to double-check compatibility with their other gear.
Dive Inn is headquartered in Spain, and this has some implications for shoppers in the US or Canada. Although Dive Inn does ship internationally, shipping fees will depend on the weight of the items bought, and the cost will be calculated as you add products to your online shopping cart. Though there is a return policy at Dive Inn that allows returns within 30 days, you will be responsible for the shipping costs back to Spain. Thus, if you live in the US, it may be best to consider other stores with more favorable shipping and return policies.
When it comes to customer reviews, Dive Inn has mixed ratings. Across three different review sites, the store has an average of just 2 stars out of 5. While some shoppers appreciate the quality gear and affordable prices offered by Dive Inn, others have had issues with stock availability, poor customer service, and communication difficulties. There are multiple 1-star reviews with customers complaining about being sent the wrong products or customer service refusing to process returns.
Not a top competitor
With over 700,000 products spanning 1700 different brands, Dive Inn could be a one-stop shop for all your scuba gear needs. However, the website can be a little hard to navigate, and most of the brands offered are European, which may not be compatible with other scuba gear you might own. Shipping fees will depend on the weight of the items bought, which makes your shipping here more spendy than most rival scuba gear shops. While some shoppers appreciate the quality gear and affordable prices offered by Dive Inn, others have had issues with stock availability, poor customer service, and communication difficulties. Therefore, it is important to do your research and read customer reviews before purchasing at Dive Inn.
Swim Outlet is a company that specializes in providing individuals and teams with affordable gear and swimwear. It has recently emerged as a reliable option for purchasing wetsuits, though it doesn't offer a large range of other dive equipment. The company offers a small but unique selection of wetsuits that are competitively priced. Despite having a relatively small inventory, Swim Outlet has a few designs that are not commonly found on other sites and that might be best suited for surfing.
Back to basics
If you are shopping for regulators or pressure gauges, you may not find what you're looking for at Swim Outlet. Although the company does carry some scuba gear, like fins, booties, and dive computers, they do not specialize in higher-end equipment. You will not find items such as tanks or masks except those used for snorkeling. So, to do the price comparison with other options in this review, we'll just look at the wetsuits for Swim Outlet. The online shop offers a variety of suits for women, men, and children as well as different options depending on water temperature, length, and one- or two-piece suits. The prices range from $37.99 to $799.99 for full-price adult wetsuits, with some sale options as low as $20.
Promos and free shipping
Swim Outlet offers pop-up discount offers when you browse the site, including 10% off for signing up for the email list and a seasonal promo code for a 25% discount at the top of the page. On top of these discounts, there are a variety of options already on sale across the site, offering extremely competitive prices overall. And to make it even more attractive, shipping is free on all orders over $49.
30-day return policy
If you're worried about returns, Swim Outlet provides a standard return policy that offers customers 30 days to return unwanted scuba gear. However, there are some limits to this policy. Swim Outlet requires that items are returned in brand-new condition to qualify. So, make sure you don't take any tags off anything if you want your money back. On the bright side, the company does provide 24/7 phone support. This way, if you have questions about things like the return policy, you can easily get a hold of support. This should make it easy for customers to get the help they need with their returns or any other inquiries.
Ratings have gone up
The company has received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau and the company has recently been upgraded from a "B+" rating to an "A" , which shows Swim Outlet's commitment to customer service and continuously improving their service. On top of that, Swim Outlet has appropriately responded to all complaints registered on the BBB website, and recent feedback from 3 different review sites shows that Swim Outlet has an average score of 4.6 stars out of 5. Overall, customers loved the variety of swim and beach-focused products at Swim Outlet. Still, it's important to note that many of the customers leaving reviews weren't purchasing scuba products specifically.
Good option for low-cost beach gear
Overall, Swim Outlet provides a good shopping experience for those looking to purchase scuba gear. Although the company's selection of scuba equipment is not the largest on the market, it offers a good option for some of the less technical items needed for dives. With its competitive prices, unique product offerings, and occasional discounts, Swim Outlet is a viable option for those looking to buy affordable wetsuits and some scuba gear. Unfortunately, Swim Outlet's lack of inventory for some of the most critical components of scuba diving (like tanks and regulators) keeps this retailer from earning a higher ranking here.
Simply Scuba is a company that is dedicated to providing scuba divers with the best equipment available on the market, ensuring that they can safely enjoy their diving experiences. They have been voted the top scuba retailer in the UK for ten consecutive years by the readers of Divers Magazine. However, their location overseas may provide complications for US buyers. Even just looking at the product options available in the US, it's clear that Simply Scuba just doesn't measure up to its competition. Though there are options for adults and kids to buy scuba gear, Simply Scuba simply isn't the best choice for most US buyers.
Limited options in inventory
To get a clear idea of where Simply Scuba's pricing falls compared to other options in our review, we compared similar items to those sold at other companies. However, unlike most companies in this review, Simply Scuba didn't have any dive masks in their inventory, so we were unable to compare that item. Instead, we looked at two other common items: wetsuits and pressure gauges.
Online guides available
One bonus we appreciated at Simply Scuba was the "Guides & Info" tab on the top bar. Here customers can find a range of helpful blogs and buying guides to help them make informed purchases and learn more about diving, equipment maintenance, or destinations.
Limited return policy
For returns, the company offers a 30-day policy, which is on par with many options in our review. Simply Scuba offers refunds but not exchanges. In case of wanting to receive a different size, the customer must place a new order online. Free returns are offered within the UK, and the company will provide instructions on how to complete the return after the returns form has been submitted. While this isn't ideal for customers in the US, if a customer receives a faulty item, the company will facilitate a free return regardless of the customer's location.
High threshold for free shipping
For shipping, the threshold is a little high to get free shipping at Simply Scuba. Especially compared to many options in this review, $100 is a high price point to get free delivery. If your order is below $100, the shipping cost will depend on the weight of the item(s). And since the company is based in Europe, the shipping prices will be higher for US buyers.
Middle-range service according to reviewers
In terms of customer satisfaction, Simply Scuba has a decent rating online overall. The company has an "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB, and a 3.3-star average out of 5 stars across third party review sites. Happy customers at Simply Scuba noted that the product videos and blogs were particularly helpful to them to understand how to use equipment and maintain it. Further, customers loved the quick shipping times, and getting items when they were promised. For the lower-rated reviews, customers said the opposite was true: some items took weeks to ship and they struggled to get a response from Simply Scuba to resolve the problems.
Not worth the time
Overall, there's nothing wrong with Simply Scuba, but it doesn't tick enough boxes. The low number of items in inventory wasn't impressive. On top of that, the high threshold to qualify for free shipping and extremely limited return policy means that Simply Scuba doesn't stand out as a customer-focused option for online shopping. With these things considered, Simply Scuba just can't stand out against other more exciting options in our review. It might be worth looking through, but keep in mind that you'll find many more options at other retailers. Only Simply Scuba's high rating with the BBB put this option at 1.5 stars instead of 1.
However, before diving, it is essential to have the right gear to ensure safety and comfort. Scuba gear typically includes a wetsuit, mask, fins, buoyancy control device (BCD), regulator, and tank. Each piece of equipment is vital to a successful dive, and it's important to know what to look for when purchasing scuba gear. Safety is everything, especially if you're diving in the open ocean, so you want to know you're getting the right equipment for your diving experience.
When buying scuba gear, it's important to first consider the type of diving you'll be doing. Scuba gear comes in different styles, each designed for different types of diving and individual preferences. The most common style is the traditional scuba gear, which comprises a wetsuit, mask, fins, buoyancy control device (BCD), regulator, and tank. Full-face scuba masks offer a wider field of vision than traditional masks and come equipped with communication systems to enable divers to communicate underwater.
Sidemount scuba gear, on the other hand, involves attaching tanks to the sides of the body for greater flexibility and maneuverability underwater. Or if you're going diving somewhere cold, drysuits provide insulation to keep divers dry and warm in cold water by keeping water out, usually made of neoprene or other waterproof materials.
With the rise in popularity for scuba diving as a recreational and vacation activity, there are a lot of different options for scuba gear. How do you know which one to choose for your scuba experience? Here are a few important factors to consider to help you get started:
Top Consumer Reviews is here to make the process of finding the best scuba gear a splash by reviewing and ranking the best scuba gear retailers out there today. We hope this information helps you feel ready to jump in the water and start making friends with the fishies!
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