Why pockets?

January 8, 2018 5:03 pm / Category: Business , Rebreather Diving

Why Pockets?

Why Pockets?

During a dive, clipping gear to D-rings provides easy access to items we use most often. Reels, lights, primary SMB’s and line arrows are good examples of items we use often on a dive.

However, we bring some items “just in case”. Many of these items could present an entanglement issue if stored externally. Pockets are often the best place to store these items.

For example, spare masks, gloves, secondary cutting tools, slates or notebooks, SMBs, lift bags, and spools are some of the items many of us carry on every dive, but are rarely utilized. Pockets are the ideal solution to these considerations.

In the past, adding pockets to exposure protection required costly custom tailoring. However, today’s diver has an easy “do-it-yourself” option. Virtually anyone can attach “off-the-shelf” options to wetsuits or drysuits.  Some pockets do not come with the adhesive required to attach the pocket, so be sure to order some Aquaseal if needed.

Pockets come in various sizes with optional closures, compartments, loops or D-rings.  The Highland pocket even has a strip of Velcro on the outside that holds the pocket flat, improving streamlining when the pocket is not in use.

Another option to “glue on” pockets is XS Scuba Pocket shorts.  These shorts offer a distinct advantage because they are simply worn over your existing exposure suit.  In addition, they offer the flexibility of not taking them with you, when your diving does not require the use of pockets.

Halcyon Bellow Exploration Pocket

  • Large compartment for spare parts

  • Can be sewn or glued to dive suit

  • Pocket flap with built in zippered accessory pocket

  • Internal divider


Halcyon BC Storage Pak

  • Available install or standard.

  • Attaches directly to backplate.

  • Stows lift device and the 6-ft long Diver’s Life Raft.


Highland Glue-On Thigh Pocket

  • A cost-effective glue-on pocket.

  • Includes 1″ D-Rings for securing gear.

  • Velcro tabs on sides keep pocket flat when not in use.

  • Includes 3/4 oz tube of AquaSeal adhesive.


Neoprene Pocket Shorts

  • Pocket shorts slide on over your wetsuit or drysuit.

  • For those who do not wish to glue pockets on their suits

  • Three 1″ 316 stainless steel D-rings per pocket

  • Large Velcro flap closure


Out of curiosity, I asked several staff members at Add Helium if they use pockets and what they put in them.

 Tony Land, General Manager

I use the glue-on style of pockets. I generally dive year-round with the same wetsuit, and I like how the glue-on pockets are secured to my thighs and don’t shift or move around. I also know I’ll never forget the pockets at home, as I could potentially do with pocket shorts.

I once had the misfortune of a catastrophic mask failure while underwater, and as a result, I now carry a backup mask in my right pocket on every dive, overhead environment or not. For ocean diving, I’ll also carry an additional surface maker or lift bag. For cave diving, I’ll carry an additional backup light in each pocket, along with a spare spool and line markers.

Emilie Voissem, Store Manager

I carry a spare mask, a spool, a jon line (if I’m doing a wreck), usually my gloves because I don’t like wearing them until I’m on the bottom, and a hood–same reason as gloves.

I use dive shorts because I can wear them over any suit and don’t have to worry about having pockets on each wet suit.

Ken Wesler, Customer Service Manager

I attach pockets to my wet and dry suits. For me, it’s one less thing to pack, unpack, don, doff, and clean.

I pocket my SMB and a spool if I’m shallow (I pocket my SMB and clip off a reel if I’m too deep for a spool).  I also carry gloves, EMT shears in a sheath, wet notes, and a whistle.

Note:  I just had to fix my mask underwater by touch on a dive, and it was a challenge, so I think I will add a spare mask like Tony and Emilie.

Installing pockets

For divers who might be interested in attaching pockets themselves, here is a summary of the steps:

  1. Clean the wetsuit or drysuit with isopropyl alcohol where the pocket will attach.

  2. Put on the exposure protection, and allow your hand to fall naturally to where you want to locate the pocket.  Then, with a special pencil, outline the pocket on the suit.  A quilting pencil sold by a fabric store or a grease pencil of some kind will work.  Having someone assist on this step is very helpful.

  3. Stretch the suit out on an ironing board until the pocket outline matches the size of the pocket.

  4. Use masking tape outside the pocket outline to prevent any adhesive from getting on the suit where it does not belong.

  5. Coat the suit location along the outline with a light application of Aquaseal or a similar adhesive.  Consult the instructions that come with the pocket for the recommended product.

  6. When the coating on the suit is almost dry, coat the back of the pocket with adhesive, and place the pocket on the suit.  Weigh the pocket down.  Soft weights are an excellent choice for this step.

  7. Remove the masking tape.

  8. Allow the adhesive to cure.  Four to six hours is typically enough, but overnight is ideal.  Environmental factors like temperature and humidity will affect the curing time.*

Looking for pocket solutions? Browse them here, and use coupon code ‘pocket’ at checkout for 10% off. Have questions? Contact us!