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A four-wavelength low-power continuous-wave frequency laser reference system has been realised in the 935.4-nm range for water vapour differential absorption lidar (DIAL) applications. The system is built around laboratory extended-cavity and DFB diode lasers. Three lasers are directly locked to three water vapour absorption lines of different strength, whereas the wavelength of the fourth laser lies out of any absorption line (offline). On-line stabilisation is performed by wavelength modulation spectroscopy technique, while precise offline stabilisation is realised by an offset locking at 18.8 GHz. Offset frequency larger than 320 GHz has also been demonstrated at 1.55 μm, based on an all-fibre optical frequency comb. First steps towards the use of a photonic crystal fibre as ultra compact reference cell with long optical pathlength were realised. The developed techniques for direct and offset-lock laser stabilisation can also be applied to other gases and wavelengths, provided the required optical components are available for the laser wavelength considered.