By August 12, 2014 3 Comments

How to Pack for a Dive Trip – Idea #2

Contico Storage Locker Post Dive Trip

Contico Storage Locker Post Dive Trip

IDEA #2 : Pack Gear in Hard-Sided Lightweight Waterproof Container

Pelican cases are very heavy and would be the best protection for camera, dive, and video equipment.  However with the current airline weight restrictions on baggage I look for the lightest weight sturdy container that will protect my equipment.

My Experience

I’ve used the Contico Storage Trunk for every dive trip in the last 15 years. The trunk is hard-sided thin rigid plastic with aluminum latches (photo above).
See example at Lowe’s.

Recently I found Sterilite Storage Lockers (photo below).

Sterilite Storage Trunks at Walmart

Sterilite Storage Containers at Walmart

I’ve purchased one to try this year. These are slightly smaller, have detachable wheels and are 30% less expensive (but both are quite cheap). See example at Walmart.

In the past I’ve chosen not to buy containers with wheels as I can normally use airport trolleys or porters to move my gear.  I can drag the container short distances if it is too heavy for me to carry.  I’ll try detaching the wheels and putting them inside in case they are useful.

On arrival at my liveaboard or dive resort I unload the necessary equipment, set up my camera & dive gear, then keep the container in my liveaboard cabin or room to use as storage for backup bits, extra batteries and chargers, and items I don’t need to access quickly.  The containers keep those items dry and organized.  They stack easily and can be used as a worktop or seat if needed.

The hinges on these containers will eventually corrode due to exposure to the salt air.  When that happens I retire the container for use as garage storage and purchase a new one. I’m now on my 3rd container.

They are not waterproof.  They will be dry as long as not immersed in water but if dropped overboard.. glug, glug, glug!  Rain, spray, a gallon of orange juice spilled on top – not a problem.


I’ve modified the container I use by adding 2 security straps to prevent it coming open if a latch fails.

I’ve also added a second hole for a brass clip (attached with a line so it doesn’t get lost and so that airport security remember to replace it) that helps to keep the locker closed securely.

Inside I line the edges with closed-cell foam sheets to absorb some of the shock.  Then….

Refer to How to Pack for a Dive Trip – Idea #1 – Organize Small Items for ideas on how to protect items inside the storage lockers.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer to spend my hard-earned money on getting the best adventure, not on fancy luggage.  This is the best I’ve found for cost and for getting my equipment to and from remote dive destinations without damage.

Posted in: Dive Trip Packing

3 Comments on "How to Pack for a Dive Trip – Idea #2"

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  1. Bruce Yates says:

    Great idea, Deb! I’ll have to check into these! (Of course, I’d have to be able to stencil “ACME Hose & Chain” on them!) ;-)

  2. IDEA #3: Stencil “Acme Hose & Chain” on Dive Gear Container.

    Thanks Bruce!

  3. Hilary says:

    A couple of comments at Lowe’s say that the Contico has been re-designed as of 5/15. The locks fall apart and it no longer has a handle.

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