One of the best investments you will make as a diver is getting a scuba rebreather. It gives you so much freedom to explore more. A lot of people who have tried using a rebreather have never gone back to traditional scuba diving. Admittedly though, it can be tough finding the right scuba rebreather, so we are here to help you choose the best one.
Now find out what made these our top picks:
In This Guide
Best Scuba Rebreather Reviews for 2019
|1. Kiss Rebreathers Orca Spirit mCCR OW Package|
Smaller, More Compact
|2. Kiss Rebreathers Classic Explorer OW Package|
Ideal for Beginners
|3. Hollis Prism 2 Rebreather|
Streamlined Design But Expensive
1. Kiss Rebreathers Orca Spirit mCCR OW Package
Rebreathers aren’t exactly known for their affordability but if you are looking for a slightly more affordable choice, this shouldn’t disappoint. This is different from the others because this is missing the usual twin tank setup. What this has is one oxygen cylinder found at the base of the rebreather. The Diluent comes from a separate off-board cylinder. You can choose to mount it either on your right or left.
It is through a hose fitting that diluent gas travels to the Spirit. It eliminates the need for two cylinders as just one cylinder functions as both the bailout and the diluent at the same time. As a result, it reduces the usual heft that can be experienced from a typical rebreather setup.
- This rebreather has a smaller and more compact profile, great for divers who want something more lightweight and less clunky. It is only 13.5 inches in width and is 23 inches tall, so it is one of the slimmest profiles out there. Without the tanks, it only weighs 9.5 kg.
- Fewer parts mean fewer maintenance work.
- It already comes completely assembled. It is ready to be used straight out of the box.
- It comes with an easy-to-read display that will tell you about your oxygen levels. However, you can also make the necessary changes as needed.
- It is easy to make changes. Simply flip its level integrated on the unit’s mouthpiece and then switch to another regulator without having to disengage the brakes.
- Because it operates using MAV or Manual Add Valve, this rebreather allows the users to input more oxygen as needed to ensure that oxygen levels are within the recommended range.
- This can last for as long as four hours, which should give you plenty of time to do diving in one day.
- There is very little drag with this rebreather, contrary to popular belief.
- It operates quietly.
- You are also able to use less gas when diving.
- There aren’t a lot of negative reviews about this rebreather.
2. Kiss Rebreathers Classic Explorer OW Package
The Classic Explorer is a no-fuss rebreather that follows the standard setup of most rebreathers sold in the market today. Although it is lacking in the innovative features that are found in the products showcased earlier, its basic functionality is one of the reasons why it is a great choice. You can understand its controls and mechanisms easily.
It has a tank-like built, thanks to the counterlung case that provides support to the counterlungs. It makes way for more seamless installation and maintenance as it allows access from the top. Another thing that is different from this is its scrubber. It features an axial flow that effectively removes used gas through a center tube and travels to the back of the scrubber in order to effectively eliminate carbon dioxide. It is impervious to channeling and it is easy to lug around.
- It has simple and straightforward functions. Since it is user-friendly, this is one of the most ideal rebreathers to use for beginners.
- This is one of the most durable rebreathers out there. It can withstand even the harshest water conditions. You can even use it for cave diving as it has been equipped with systems suitable for deep cave diving. The materials are election-grade.
- The BOV has dual functions. You can quickly remove the breathing loop even while switching to an open circuit system. Simply twist its included knob and you are good to go. Its BOV is also a helpful tool when it comes to preventing panics.
- Since it is back-mounted, it eliminates obstructions in the chest area.
- It might be lacking in the bells and whistles some divers might look for.
3. Hollis Prism 2 Rebreather
One of the much-talked about rebreathers today is Hollis’ Prism 2 Rebreather. It has either front mounted or back mounted counterlungs. The front mounted counterlungs is beneficial for divers looking to get top-notch displacement. That is because it has a reservoir that mimics the displacement of the volume of your own lungs. This feature lowers down hydrostatic loading. With the addition of a manual and an automatic gas addition system, you can get control over your rebreather.
It can also be back-mounted, so you can free up your chest area in case you want to bring additional tanks, or you have more accessories to lug under water. Back mounting also reduces drag.
The Prism 2 is one of the most reliable scuba rebreathers out there with its ADV Upstream Valve that is impervious to free flow. This will, in turn, help in adding diluent gas. It features T-pieces that trap water and prevent water from getting inside the breathing loop. Draining excess water is also easier.
- It has the option to be front or back-mounted, which can cater to the needs of more divers. It also offers more flexibility as you get to customize your setup to the one that you need.
- The design is very streamlined. The hose fittings are kept close to the user, which prevents them from getting in the way when diving.
- The controls are also strategically designed and make way for easier access.
- This rebreather makes use of the radial 5.5lb CO2 scrubber. What is unique about this is that it is vertically mounted in between the rebreather’s cylinders. And made from a molded thermoplastic material, this is easily one of the most durable ones out there.
- A standard in your purchase is the Dive Surface Valve or DSV but the manufacturer gives users the option of customizing their rebreather to their specific needs. With this one, you have the option of getting a Bailout Valve or BOV. This is a more lightweight option compared t DSV. A
- The HUD or Heads-Up Display is well-designed. It comes with 3 LED colors that will tell you the status of your rebreather. This will let you know your oxygen levels through its built-in sensors. Since it is eye level, you can easily see if there are changes.
- It features the Shearwater Petrel computer system. This is one of the best and the most advanced today, especially when it comes to CCR operations.
- This rebreather is lighter in weight compared to other rebreathers out there. With only 47 lbs. of weight, it should be a great choice for people who don’t want to carry too much.
- The power switch is found externally, so it should be easy to turn on and off.
- It comes with an O2 calibration system that is easy to use and works with just a touch of a button.
- It has a long battery life as well. You can last for as long as 40 hours with this.
- There aren’t a lot of negative reviews about this, but the price might put off some people.
Which One Should You Get?
If You Like Something Lightweight: Kiss Rebreathers Orca Spirit mCCR OW Package. With the slimmer profile and the tank setup of this rebreather, it reduces some of the weight of typical rebreathers. It is one of the most lightweight rebreathers out there, which is advantageous as it reduces drag and it allows you more freedom underwater.
If You Like a More Durable Choice: Kiss Rebreathers Classic Explorer OW Package. This might be lacking in the stellar features of the previous ones, it is one of the most reliable ones out there. It also as a solid built, so you can be assured that it can be relied on for all sorts of diving conditions.
If You are Looking for an Ergonomic Choice: Hollis Prism 2 Rebreather. When underwater, we are certain you would want the most ergonomic rebreather around – something that is not just easier to wear but has controls placed in the most accessible place. This rebreather fit the bill. It is loaded with all the right features that bring convenience and comfort to the diver.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rebreathers
Now that you have decided which of the rebreathers out there to get, learn more about this apparatus. Here are the recently asked questions you need to know and their answers:
How much time can I spend underwater while using a rebreather?
The amount of time you can spend underwater with a rebreather depends on the model you are using. The bigger the tanks, the higher its capacity. However, good quality rebreathers out there should make you last under water for as long as 6 hours. The standard ones may last for about 4 hours, which should be enough time to enjoy diving underwater.
Is there are maximum depth you can dive under?
There are a lot of factors involved when it comes to determining how deep in the winter a rebreather can take you. The rebreather is just one of them but also take into account the type of water you are diving in and the water temperature. These things can affect how deep you can get into the water. The average rebreather is capable of taking you up to 130 feet underwater. However, with the more high-end ones, you can get as deep as 1,000 feet.
Are there potential risks when using a rebreather?
The products we mentioned above are some of the safest rebreathers you can get in the market. Of course, just like any other diving gear, there are always risks. Hypoxia is one of them. This is why you always need to check your oxygen levels. The above-mentioned products make it easier for you to check your oxygen levels as well as customize your oxygen input through its controls.
Do I need to train first before using rebreathers?
For your safety, you do need to train first. The training can depend on your particular needs and preferences. The training can last for days but there are those that can last for hours only. The cost will depend on how long the training will last. It is a good training to help you learn more about diving and how to operate your gear.
Is it okay to take my rebreather for travels?
There are rebreathers that are more streamlined. There are those that are less clunky and are lighter in weight. If you want to travel with it, which many divers usually do, consider getting those that can be checked in. Check the measurement and weight specifications.
Is it difficult to maintain?
They are no more difficult to maintain than your regular scuba diving setup. Expect that it will cost you some money, especially for repairs and for refills. However, you can try keeping costs down by opting for a simpler setup and those that have fewer parts. The smaller it is, the easier it is to maintain.
Also choose those that are more durable. If they are impervious to damages and corrosion, they are less likely to require too much repair and maintenance.
After checking the market for the safest scuba rebreathers, here are the ones we think are your top options:
- Hollis Prism 2 Rebreather
- Kiss Rebreathers Orca Spirit mCCR OW Package
- Kiss Rebreathers Classic Explorer OW Package
These are just a few of the things you should keep in mind. When it comes to scuba diving gear, you need to do a lot of research to determine which one would work best for your diving preferences. Get set up with the best scuba packages here!