A scuba regulator controls the flow of air from an oxygen tank, making breathing underwater possible. Packed with valves, this device is the most complicated part of a divers kit, yet it also is the part that must be absolutely reliable. Still, quality is often about need. A sport diver in Florida won't need the same kind of regulator as one diving ship wrecks in 220 feet of water. The following are some of the best scuba regulators for particular kinds of divers.
Mares Abyss 22 Extreme
Although it comes in at a pricey $900, this is a regulator for divers who are looking at adventures in cold water. One of the problems every diver is taught about in an Open Water course is that as compressed air leaves the cylinder, it decompresses and gets cold. Most of the time this is not a problem, but ice can form in the regulator in cold depths, chilly freshwater lakes or seas or in the high northern or southern latitudes. The Abyss 22, which is part of Mares's Dry Cold Water kit, is designed with Dynamic Flow Control to better control intermediate pressure and freezing along with it.
Cressi Ellipse Ti/MC-9
Recreational divers who aren't doing technical dives but medium-depth diving sites around the world would do well with this Cressi regulator. On breathing tests, it did very well within basic limits. It is an easy breather that clears easy so long as it stays in a normal swimming position and doesn't go past the normal 130 foot depth limit. Where it really comes on strong is that it is compact and lightweight and, therefore, good for travel. This is the kind of regulator an avid diver can pack away in their luggage with no hassles. At $459, the price tag is reasonable.
Aqua Lung Titan LX
When Scuba Diving magazine was testing regulators in 2009, Aqua Lung's Titan LX came in second overall and first in the Under $500 when it came to ease of breathing. This regulator breathes easily and keeps water out in all positions. It clears easy and has no problems with bubbles obscuring the diver's view. All this comes at $440, making it the all-around best balance between performance and price.
This regulator is the best of the cheap options. For an inexpensive breather, it has a lot of features. The LP hose has an in-line shutoff valve in case of a free-flow accident, when the regulator releases a constant stream of air through one or both mouthpieces. The primary mouthpiece comes with both a breathing resistance knob and a dive/pre-dive lever to control the ease and sensitivity of air flow. This regulator won't perform well under the rigors of a dive below 130 feet but will do fine in the recreational depths above that. Finally, the price is a mere $357.00.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.