Scuba tanks (or cylinders) are an often forgotten choice when it comes to collecting scuba gear. The attitude among some divers, and casual divers in particular, is that tanks of a given size are all basically the same, and their sole feature is how robust they are. However, some tanks come with special, thoughtful features that add a little more quality to the diving experience.
Catalina XS Scuba 80
The standard scuba air tank is the Aluminum 80, a tank made from aluminum that carries 80 cubic feet of air. These tanks are popular for recreational divers because they hold enough air for a good dive. A fine example of this kind of tank is Catalina's XS Scuba 80. You can use it as either a nitrox or regular air tank, and the tank is designed with more weight on the bottom, which helps a diver maintain a heads-up position while swimming in a neutral buoyancy. Plus, these tanks come in four colors.
Zeagle Pony System
Scuba divers rarely use pony bottles for back-up air. More commonly, divers use them to fill lift bags and for other utility applications. Still, it is nice to have a pony bottle that can be adapted to fit a specific need, such as taking a quick look above a murky dive site or extending a decompression stop. Zeagle makes a great pony bottle for that purpose. It comes with a regulator and mouthpiece, as well as a transfiller. The latter allows the bottle to be filled from another scuba tank, rather than from a compressor. Neither of those are standard features for a pony bottle.
Worthington X7 Steel 100
Some divers swear by steel tanks over aluminum. Steel is stronger, so less metal is used to make a steel tank, which creates a lighter tank with the same amount of storage capacity. Steel tanks also last decades longer, if given the same amount of care. These virtues really stand out for commercial and technical divers, who stay underwater for long periods of time and need all the extra air they can get. Also, these tanks have better practical buoyancy characteristics during a dive. The Worthington X7 Steel 100 is a good example of a big scuba tank made out of steel. Compared to its aluminum counterparts, it is a several pounds lighter and rated for slightly higher pressures, but is also more expensive.
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.