Children need special consideration when it comes to scuba equipment. As well as their size, they are not as strong as adults and get cold and tired much faster. If you’re planning to share the underwater world with your kids, make sure they’re using the best dive gear in size, fit, and ease of use — and don’t forget to keep it colorful and fun and get them involved in the selection process!

Choosing scuba gear for children


A snug fit is essential for any wetsuit, but especially for children (they don’t have as much body fat to keep them warm). Don’t go excessively thick, as this will restrict mobility and cause discomfort. A full-length wetsuit with padded knees will help to protect limbs from scrapes.

Choosing dive gear for children - regulator


Choose regulators designed for travel or women, as they tend to be smaller and lighter, making it easier for smaller mouths to hold the demand valve in place. Molded mouthpieces will provide the best grip; keep a few spare, as kids are prone to bite through them. Shorter hoses proportionate to your child’s size will help reduce drag and snag hazards.

Scuba tanks for cylinders from shutterstock


A 7L or 10L cylinder is usually compatible with a child’s build. Adding a handle makes it easier and safer to carry, too. Check with your local dive center that they have tanks suitable for your child’s height and build before booking.



Jackets with plenty of straps, bands, and inserts will provide a secure fit without rising and will expand to grow with kids as they get older. Make sure it’s simple to operate; think quick-release buckles, velcro, and single-hand dumps. Integrated weight pockets also provide a more comfy option for smaller frames than weight belts – providing your child is strong enough to release them.

Choosing dive gear for children - Mask shutterstock_307950224


A child’s mask will provide a proper seal on smaller faces, and designs with low profiles are lighter and easier to clear. Look for a soft silicone skirt that’s hypoallergenic (great for sensitive young skin) and quick-release buckles for easy adjustment. Or, try a full face mask; they feature a wider vision and an integrated regulator that allows for easier clearing and a more natural way for kids to breathe without bitten mouthpieces or jaw fatigue.

children fins

Fins and Snorkels for Children

It’s worth choosing an open-heel design to allow more room for growth. Look for longer, softer blades, as they’ll provide more effortless propulsion, helping to prevent tiredness and cramp in little legs.

A child-friendly snorkel is better suited to smaller faces and lungs and is easier to clear. Look for splash guards to prevent water from entering the snorkel on the surface.

Don’t be tempted to buy bigger sizes because your child will ‘grow into them’; having the correct fit at every stage is essential for enjoyment and safety. Many manufacturers offer child-friendly gear, for example:

Alternatively, consider hiring equipment until they’re older; contact your local PADI Dive Shop for more advice.

Above all, make sure your kids are involved in choosing and maintaining their gear — it is, after all, part of being a diver!

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