You should never go diving without a dive computer. It might be an additional accessory in the past but today, this is becoming more and more important, especially for novices who don’t have the skills needed to plan for their ascent.
Today, we will show you some of the best dive computers out there for beginners. We have chosen them based on how easy they are to use. We know how important it is for beginners to use gear and equipment that are a no-brainer to use.
In This Guide
- Comparison Chart for the Best Dive Computer for Beginners
- Best Dive Computer for Beginners Reviews
- Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Dive Computer for Beginners
- Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Dive Computer for Beginners
- What’s Next?
Comparison Chart for the Best Dive Computer for Beginners
|Oceanic Geo 2.0||$$$|
|Suunto Zoop Novo||$$$|
Best Dive Computer for Beginners Reviews
1. Cressi Leonardo: Best Price
This affordable dive computer has user-friendly functions that beginner drivers will find ideal.
It is truly beginner-friendly. From its design to its functionality, everything has been done to make it easier for beginner divers to use. Best of all, the price is accessible, perfect for recreational or novice divers who only need to use their dive computer a few times a year.
We like the one-button functionality of this dive computer great for beginners. Every piece of information you need is already on the screen. It does not need to be calibrated. Calibrating the dive program is also easy. All the information is displayed on its HD screen where the numbers are large and easily readable under water.
This thing is very safe to use. You can hear the audible alarm well. In fact, it is louder than you might expect, so it is hard to miss. The face is also quite large, larger than the others in this list, which is great for people who might have eye problems like astigmatism. It makes it easier to see the information you need when underwater.
The battery is changeable.
The battery isn’t built-in like some of the dive computers out there. Some have batteries that are difficult to replace and will need the help of a service center. It also comes with a battery life indicator, so it will tell you when you need to recharge or replace the battery.
You can reset it after using. If someone else needs to use it, this feature is useful. You can log up to 75 hours of dive information using this. There are also a lot of useful features such as an indicator for CNS oxygen toxicity.
The band is quite long. That can get annoying when underwater since it can loosen up from its grabber.
There are instances when you do a second dive and it suddenly starts beeping and goes into deco. It is also rather conservative, although you can set it up to not be too conservative. If you dive in shallower waters and a swell passes, the watch will constantly beep.
2. Oceanic Geo 2.0: Most Versatile
This dive computer is perfect for those who are looking for a versatile dive watch that can also be used as a regular watch.
This is our favorite amongst the other choices when it comes to design. We like how it looks just like a regular watch, so this can be used as an everyday accessory. It is slightly more expensive than the previous one and has a smaller and more compact design but it is jam-packed with features that will keep you safe underwater.
We recommend this dive computer for those who don’t want a clunky watch design. The face is just right, a bit similar to those of regular watches, but is still full of essential features such as nitrox dive program, audible alarm, gauge mode complete with run timer, ability to store data for up to 24 dives or 99 free dives and a long battery life.
Although this might be better for a recreational diver, it is actually capable enough for professional diving as well. Professional divers will like that they can set it up to 2 gas mixes and then change from one gas mix to another even underwater. You can breathe in nitrox or air and then switch it up to 80%-100% 02 bottle during your ascent.
This dive computer can let you see your PP02 while you are in the dive mode.
There are a lot of dive computers that tend to lock up when it is in decompression mode. You need to wait for about 24 hours for the system to reset. This one, however, does not have such a problem.
One issue we can see with this dive computer is that there is no confirmation every time you put details on your nitrox mix. If you want to do this, you still need to go to the dive mode and then select dive planning. You can see the dive mix in there and change it from there.
The audible alarms need to be louder. It’s hard to hear them underwater. However, it is backed by LED alarm, so you can still see if it is alerting you.
3. Suunto Zoop Novo: Most Basic
If you are looking for a dive computer with basic functions that can rely on for recreational diving, this is it.
This dive computer is reliable but it offers just the right number of features, nothing too fancy. If you hate complicated dive computers that tend to be difficult to use, you will definitely like this one. You can program oxygen mixtures from 21% up to 50%. You can use metric or imperial programming for this.
This is easy to use, ideal for beginners. The numbers are big and has a backlighting, so you can easily read them when you are underwater. Set-up is a no-brainer. Even beginner divers will find this easy to set.
The interface that features 4 buttons is highly useful.
This makes it easier to navigate the dive computer. It also isn’t as intimidating to use when underwater as there are buttons that will allow you to control and program it easily.
This watch is comfortable to use. You can even wear it over your gloves. It doesn’t slip off and the straps stay put.
It holds up well even against a lot of usage. Although it is not as full of features as more expensive dive computers out there, its durability makes this a great option if you want a dive computer that you can use until your diving skills improve.
Although the price is relatively accessible, it has a cable that you need to spend extra on. You also need to be careful when putting it into a mode and then it gets a surface interval. You could lock yourself out and have to wait for a day or two until you can set it back to nitrox or air mode.
It doesn’t come with a manual. You might need to look online for more information about it. However, that shouldn’t be a problem since it is fairly easy to use and its basic functions are similar to those of other dive computers.
For those who hate having to rigorously study their dive computer just to be able to use it, you will like the Suunto Zoop Novo. It has basic functions that are simple to understand, thereby cutting to the chase. It is bereft of complicated features, so you will find this beginner-friendly. Its durability is top-notch, so expect that you should be able to use this for a long time.
If you like something that you can still wear with your everyday clothes, get the Oceanic Geo 2.0. It is more compact and more wearable. It is stylish enough to be worn with everyday clothes but reliable enough to be used for diving.
We think the Cressi Leonardo is the best choice. It is the most affordable of the three options, so if you are looking for something that will not break the bank this should be it. It’s also ideal for anyone who is looking for features that are more than the basic ones that the Suunto can provide but nothing too complex that you will have a hard time navigating around its software if you are a beginner diver.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Dive Computer for Beginners
Make sure you pick the right dive computer for your needs as a beginner. Here are the factors you should keep in mind:
As a beginner, you would want to look for something that is easy to use. Stay away from those complicated dive computers that have a lot of knobs and buttons or that display too much information. You would want to get those that offer basic but essential information that you need to plan your safe ascent. The important information you should get from your dive computer for beginners are decompression status, time, depth and the pressure of the tank. It helps to buy a dive computer that will give you more flexibility when it comes to what is information is provided at a glance. Some can provide both graphic and numeric display in order to increase visibility when under water.
The most common dive computer option is the wrist type where you wear it like a watch. However, there are also other options such as hoses and the gauge consoles. You also have the option to attach your dive computer to your BCDs.
As a beginner, you would want to look for a dive computer that has conservative features. Conservative dive computers provide calculations that are below what is considered a safe margin. Many of these dive computers will still allow you to change the level of conservatism later as you improve your skills but for now, a more conservative basic function is better.
Dive computers can set you back by a few hundred dollars. But before you break the bank with an expensive model, you should evaluate your needs first. Be honest and understand what features you really need and will find useful underwater. If you don’t really have a need for that feature, you can go for a less expensive model.
Know how much dive computers out there cost and set a reasonable budget for it. (1)
Make sure the dive computer comes with a manual. For a safety device, it is important that you know how to use it properly. The manual can help you out with that. If it doesn’t come with a manual or it has a manual that is difficult to understand, it isn’t worth buying.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Dive Computer for Beginners
Make sure you learn more about dive computers out there with these frequently asked questions:
How Does a Dive Computer Work?
A dive computer works by automatically calculating the depth and time of a certain dive. These details are important to divers as it lets them plan their ascent properly, in order to avoid staying too long under water, which can lead to decompression sickness. Some dive computers also have additional features like tell you how much pressure is in the tank as well as navigation features to help divers determine where they are.
What is an Air Integrated Dive Computer?
An air integrated dive computer is the same as a dive computer. The difference is that it is capable of checking the tank pressure. Many air integrated dive computers out there are also equipped with more sophisticated features, which is why they are more expensive.
What is the Best Dive Computer?
The best dive computer is one that fits your needs.There are a lot of reliable dive computers today with a multitude of helpful features. You can find dive computers from reputable brands such as Suunto, Cressi, Aqua Lung, Oceanic and Mares, to name a few. If you are buying a new dive computer, better stick to these reliable manufacturers to ensure the safety of the dive computer you are using.
Do check out our reviews of the best diving computers. We have comprehensive guide and product reviews of different diving computers out there suitable for different skill levels of divers.