In this Guide
- Comparison Chart for the Best Air Integrated Dive Computer
- Best Air Integrated Dive Computer Reviews: 2019 Reviews
- Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing an Air Integrated Dive Computer
- Frequently Asked Questions About Dive Computers
- What’s Next?
Being able to see the tank pressure while diving is one of the newest dive computer trends these days and one you would want to add to your arsenal. It is much easier than finding your SPG hidden somewhere in your BCD.
There are a lot of air integrated dive computers these days and they tend to be more expensive than your average dive computer. But worry not because we have identified all your potential options. The dive computers below all have excellent and reliable air integration along with other key features that are helpful when underwater.
Comparison Chart for the Best Air Integrated Dive Computer
|Aqua Lung i300||$||beginners to advanced divers|
|Suunto D4i Novo||$||beginners|
|Garmin Descent Mk1||$$$||professionals|
Best Air Integrated Dive Computer Reviews: 2019 Reviews
1. Aqua Lung i300: Most User-Friendly
“This dive computer is ideal for both novice and expert divers and can be useful for recreational and technical diving.”
We think this air integrated dive computer is the best choice overall because it is not too expensive and has a couple of versatile and helpful features that novice to expert divers will find ideal. Everything about this is user-friendly including the way it is activated. It automatically self-activates the moment it is immersed in water, so it is ready to be used. This comes with Nitrox, Air, Gauge and Free Dive operating modes to keep track of your diving information.
We like that it has more operating modes than standard dive computers. The Free Dive mode is especially useful for avid divers because it allows you to switch from Dive and Free in just one day.
You can bring a spare battery with you when diving for hours. The battery isn’t built-in, so you can change it when needed. It doesn’t lose all the data either. It still retains the settings you have before, allowing you to change the battery without starting from scratch.
“The software can be updated, which means you have access to the latest programs and upgrades to make your air integrated dive computer more capable.”
We find it easy to use under dark waters. The face of the watch is big and it has backlighting that makes it easier to read under low light conditions.
There are a lot of safety features integrated in this dive computer such as the audible alarm. It will tell you when oxygen levels are low and other pertinent information you need to know. It also emits a bright LED warning light to further ensure safety.
It has yet to fail. The build is sturdy and it can seem to withstand a lot of heavy usage. The straps are also thick and resistant to damage.
There is one flaw to its computer mechanism. If you are already using your 2nd tank and it alerts you for nitrogen, the system goes into a lock up violation mode. This problem won’t clear until you get out of the water and stay out of the water for 24 hours. You can still use some of the features such as accent rate and depth but the computer will keep on telling you that you need to come up.
Although the price is just right for a good air integrated dive computer, it does have a pricey USB cable.
2. Suunto D4i Novo: Most Affordable
“We like this entry-level dive computer that is more suitable for people who are on a tight budget and who need an affordable air integrated dive computer to use.”
If you find the first one too expensive, get this one instead. It is just as reliable, especially for newbies but a few dollars cheaper. This air integrated dive computer is also available in 4 modes such as the Nitrox, Air, Off and Free. So, whether you like scuba diving or free diving, this is a great choice for you.
We like the design of this air integrated dive computer the most. It looks stylish enough to be worn with any design or color of BCD. It also has a comfortable silicone strap and an overall lightweight functionality that makes it easier to wear and bring.
Just like the first one, you can also update the firmware of this dive computer, so you can get the latest updates and features to improve the functionality of your dive computer. You can quickly download dives into your app.
“This dive computer comes with an innovative apnea timer.”
The apnea timer is a nice feature that will tell you if you are breathing properly. That way, you can practice proper breathing techniques while underwater, which is helpful in conserving valuable oxygen.
This dive computer is quite easy to use even without a lot of instructions. It is beginner-friendly. It’s also easy to read under poor lighting conditions. If you own a sensor, you will find that it syncs to the sensor automatically, so you don’t need to do any configuration.
It comes with two sizes of bands. If you have smaller wrist, go for the smaller bands.
The display on this is a little smaller than the previous one. It’s not such a deal breaker but if you prefer something bigger, this might not be the best choice for you. It is also lacking in some crucial functions like a navigation feature. Adding a digital compass would have been great.
Another reason why you might not find this the best is the battery. If you want to change it, you need to go to a service center and have it done there. That can be quite pricey.
3. Garmin Descent Mk1: Best Features
“This is the best air integrated dive computer for people who want it all as it is packed with essential and helpful features.”
If you don’t mind spending more money on the best air integrated dive computer, get this one. This has the most features out of all the dive computers in this list. We recommend this to professional divers who dive in salt or freshwater. It makes use of the Bühlmann ZHL-16c algorithm, which is considered one of the most reliable algorithms for dive watches.
Whether you prefer single or multi-gas, this dive computer can support that need. Like the first one, it also has an apnea function to check your breathing. With these features, you can make the best plan for every dive in order to maximize the use of your oxygen and to ante up your safety.
“This dive computer features a GPS capability through its integrated sensors.”
It comes complete with built-in sensors and many other measuring devices such as the 3-axis compass and a barometric altimeter, to name a few. The GPS capability makes this device a great option because not all air integrated dive computers out there have this function.
This isn’t just a dive computer, it can also be as a multisport GPS watch. You can use it for training in other sports and fitness programs.
We like how long the battery life is. When used in dive mode, it can last for as long as 40 hours. When I watch mode, it can last for as long a s 19 days. When using its smartwatch function, you can use it for as long as 10 days without having the need to recharge it.
It is a comfortable dive computer to wear as well. We like its QuickFit band that will allow you to adjust it to your preferred setting. Even when using it for training, it is comfortable as well.
The compass function of this air integrated dive computer does not let you choose between True North and Magnetic North. It only makes use of True North, so if you want to use Magnetic North, that won’t be possible.
Before any diving activity, you need to always remember to start it manually. Do this before immersing in the water. It won’t log the start point of the GPS if this isn’t done in advance.
If you are looking for the absolute best air integrated dive computer with all the bells and whistles, look no further than the Garmin Descent Mk1. It really does offer a myriad of features navigation sensors, heart rate gauge, smart connectivity function and multi-sport watch functionality. It is quite expensive though but if you dive multiple times in a year or you dive professionally, this is a worthy investment.
For those looking for something basic, the Suunto D4i Novoshould suffice. It is more ideal for beginner divers who don’t really need a lot of spiffy features and who really don’t know how to use them. But although it is not as replete in features as the Garmin, this is still a good choice.
Get the Aqua Lung i300 if you want something right in between. It’s not as expensive as the Garmin but it still has more features that is great for beginners to advanced divers.
It really boils down to personal preferences. If you think you need the additional features that the Garmin can offer, then go ahead and splurge on this best air integrated dive computer. If not, the Suunto and the Aqua Lung should suffice.
Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing an Air Integrated Dive Computer
Take the following factors into consideration when buying an air integrated dive computer:
Air integrated dive computers are not the same when it comes to features. Some only have 2-3 dive modes while others come in 4 different dive modes. Others have GPS, smart and multi-sport watch features while there are those that only provide basic benefits.
“Just make sure what you are buying comes with the most essential dive features that will ensure your safety. (1)”
Look for essentials such as audible and light alarms, good backlighting and easy water-activated features. These basic functions should not be missing.
The computer function of the watch logs in information like decompression schedule and dive times by calculating it through the perceived information like pressure, time and depth. There are also air integrated dive computers equipped with two or more algorithms. Compare the algorithms by how conservative they are. Beginners should opt for more conservative air integrated dive computers.
Is the battery replaceable or do you still need to take it to a service center, so they can replace it for you? The latter can be a hassle and can cost more. You also would want to buy a dive computer with a good battery life.
Check the straps to see if you can adjust it easily. Make sure it can fit your wrists. It should be made from materials that are easy and comfortable to wear even for extended periods of time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dive Computers
Learn more about the basics of dive computer buying with these frequently asked questions:
How Do I Choose a Dive Computer?
Choose a dive computer by first assessing your needs. Find out which features you should get that will fit your diving preferences. It should come with basic safety features. You can also read online reviews to determine the capability and reliability of the dive computers you are thinking of buying.
What is the Best Dive Computer for Beginners?
The best dive computer for beginners is any dive computer that has accurate calculations, a depth gauge, integrated memory and easy activation. But be sure to stick with popular names such as Cressi, Suunto, Mares and Garmin when it comes to dive computers, so you know that they will really last for a long time.
What is a Dive Computer Used For?
A dive computer is used for calculating the depth and time of every dive. This will then create an ascent profile, so that divers can plan their ascent in order to avoid problems like decompression sickness and pulmonary embolism.
Be sure to read our complete guide on diving accessories and gear. When you go underwater, you rely on your gears and accessories to keep you safe. This is why you should go the extra mile in comparing your choices and knowing which ones out there are the most reliable.