We, humans, don’t have the capacity to breathe underwater. Thankfully for us, there are inventions like scuba regulators that will allow us to dive underwater, swim with the fishes, marvel at the beauty of marine life, without running out of oxygen.
A scuba regulator is this nifty piece of device that allows oxygen to be delivered to you in an ambient way. It’s a device that lets you breathe comfortable underwater.
When buying one, you would want to choose the best scuba regulator that does its job well and can last for a long time. With so many options out there in the market, you would probably feel overwhelmed and unsure which one to pick. We took care of that and made your work easier by looking for the ones with the best reviews and features.
Our Recommendations for the Best Scuba Regulators
Here are your best options:
- Atomic Aquatics Z2 Yoke Style Regulator
- Scubapro MK21/S560 Regulator
- Oceanic Alpha 8 Scuba Regulators
Check out what these best scuba regulators have to offer:
1. Atomic Aquatics Z2 Yoke Style Regulator
If you are looking for a regulator that won’t break the bank, this is your best option. Aside from being economical, it’s also a good buy because of its compact features. But even though it’s not as expensive as other high-end regulators, it doesn’t compromise on performance. It feels sturdy and gives the general impression that it’s built to last.
We like the high-pressure piston seal system. Unlike other regulators, this one has self-lubricating functions, so it doesn’t require rigorous and time-consuming maintenance unlike other cheaper scuba regulators.
Many first stage regulators tend to have sharp edges on their jet seat system but this one doesn’t. The Atomic jet seat system can last for a long time because there are no sharp edges to wear it down during usage. It also has one of the most long-lasting valve seats. The seats are crafted by a machine and made from a material with an aerospace specification, so it can last for more than 2 years even if you don’t take it out for servicing. Those who don’t like going out of their way to have their scuba regulator maintained will find this ideal.
Performance-wise, it’s a tour de force. Even when you are approaching low tank pressure, it still delivers well. It has been fitted with a high-flow second stage system. What this does is lower down your breathing effort no matter what the water conditions area.
Many users also like how stylish it looks. It’s one of the best-looking regulators out there.
There haven’t been a lot of complaints about this regulator, only isolated cases of the regulator not working properly. A customer said it blew out air even during its first stage and even before getting in the water. But otherwise, it’s a fairly reliable regulator worth the money.
2. Scubapro MK21/S560 Regulator
Here’s another economical regulator to look for. It’s a compact one that fits your luggage with ease. It can be the perfect regulator for people on the go and ideal for more avid scuba divers. Compared to another model from the Scubapro, which is the much-loved MK25, it is 20% smaller. It delivers in performance and quality and can give more expensive regulators a run for their money.
You will love how lightweight the second stage is. Made from techno-polymer barrel materials, this regulator is easy to lug around even underwater because of its weight. But even if it’s not as heavy as standard regulators, it doesn’t feel like it’s ready to fall apart any minute. It feels solidly built and has a good structure that seems to withstand some level of abuse.
It has external fins. With this added feature, one can get better thermal exchange.
It facilitates easier breathing underwater. With its VIVA feature and adjustable inhalation function, users can breathe well underwater without doing some major adjustments to the regulator. The delivery of airflow during the second stage is also seamless no matter what the water conditions are.
Stopping airflow is also effortless. No heavy resistance is needed. Some users said they previously used regulators that are difficult to stop and made them feel like they are being inflated like a balloon. This one doesn’t have such problems.
This regulator also withstands cold temperature really well. The first stage holds up well against freezing.
We also like how easy it is to position, thanks to the ergonomic layout of the hose. It also comes with 4 LP ports and 2 HP ports so it’s easy to configure a setup that matches the need of the user.
Users also like how the bubbles did not obstruct their vision underwater. It also works fluidly underwater – no drag or resistance when turning your head to look around.
We really couldn’t find something bad to say about this scuba regulator. However, although this is already a mid-range regulator, some might still find this a bit expensive for their budget.
3. Oceanic Alpha 8 Scuba Regulators
People on a tight budget will find this regulator one of the most affordable ones out there. It boasts of features and materials that are easy to maintain. It also has the capacity to work for up to 198 feet underwater. If you are looking for an entry-level regulator, get this.
It’s a budget-friendly regulator that doesn’t compromise on quality and performance. Apart from being easy, maintenance is also cheap. It doesn’t require regular servicing because the regulator can withstand some abuse. Replacing parts won’t bust the bank either. Parts are less costly to buy compared to those of competing brands.
It comes with an orthodontic mouthpiece. It’s good if you plan on doing scuba diving for a long time as the mouthpiece helps prevent jaw fatigue.
This has been given the stamp of approval by the European CE and Navy Class A.
It comes complete with a self-purge system, which is convenient for users.
You can also rest easy knowing that it comes with a warranty. Its 2 years of limited service warranty that is also backed by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee will put you at ease.
Some users wished it came with a balance adjuster. They didn’t like how it’s not as balanced as other scuba regulators out there.
The 2nd regulator also doesn’t come with a swivel, which might make handling this underwater a little cumbersome.
Choosing the right regulator is really important for your comfort and convenience while underwater. For novice drivers or those who don’t have the budget to splurge on fancier regulators, the Oceanic Alpha 8 Scuba Regulator should be your best choice. It’s not equipped with all the bells and whistles but for an entry-level regulator, it’s one of the most reliable and most functional out there. Despite being at the lower end of the spectrum, it’s still well-built and can last you for a long time with care and maintenance. If you also don’t like to spend money on maintenance, this regulator will match your needs well. Repairing or replacing its parts shouldn’t break the bank.
The Atomic Aquatics Z2 Yoke Style Regulator fits those who are looking for something affordable but packed with more features. It’s a mid-range regulator that has features you can find in more expensive models. It’s also one of the most reliable and well-built so you can be assured that this will last for a long time. If you are looking for something that strikes the perfect balance between price and functionality, go for this scuba regulator.
The Scubapro MK21/S560 Regulator is perfect for the avid scuba diver who wants something stylish, comfortable and functional to use. Its compact size makes this a great companion for those scuba diving trips. If you often travel light and don’t want something clunky to bring with you, this is definitely a sterling option. It’s a little more expensive than the others but the extra money you will spend on it is worth it given how reliable it is. Like many of those who have bought it, you will be hard-pressed to find something wrong with it.
If you’re looking for the best scuba regulator, we think it’s hard to beat the Atomic Aquatics Z2 Yoke Style Regulator. This model is affordable yet packed with excellent features that make it stand out from the crowd.
All regulators sold today live up to safety standards, so you can be assured that what you are buying, even the cheap ones, won’t put you in harm’s way. But when you are on the lookout for the best scuba regulators, here are a few factors you need to keep in mind:
Ease of Set Up
Don’t just go for the first scuba regulator you can find or the best one recommended by the seller. It’s important to think about the set up first. Ideally, you would want the hose of the second stage and the octopus to be of the same length. The octopus should also be kept near the torso. However, it can also depend on the personal preferences of the diver. Some divers might want the second stage hose to be shorter so that it doesn’t get in the way of the profile. Some might prefer having a long octopus.
You would also want to buy the same brand for the first and second stage. That way, you can be assured that all parts complement each other. Additionally, using different brands in your setup can also void the EN testing. Don’t choose a different brand of octopus just because it is cheaper.
Go to a shop that will allow you to test out what you are buying. If you already have an idea what to buy, you can give that a try or if you know someone else who has the same regulator, you can ask to borrow it and test it out underwater. You would want the regulator to provide a steady supply of air.
When buying an octopus or a second stage, you would want to choose something with a higher breathing resistance. Higher resistance is better in stopping free-flowing when you are underwater.
It’s better to choose a regulator with adjustable airflow features. Divers have different preferences, so an adjustable feature is a must to customize it to your needs.
Yoke style allows the regulator to be mounted over the tank valve. It’s the most common style these days. When you are taking diving classes, this is also what you will use. Most people look for yoke style regulators. On the other hand, there are also those regulators that are directly attached to the tank valve. When buying, make sure you understand what type you are buying so you don’t inadvertently buy one that doesn’t work with the setup you are familiar with.
Last but not the least, consider the price. As mentioned above, diving regulators are all reliable and most of them come complete with a first stage and second stage set up. Even if you are buying a cheaper entry-level one, you will still buy a safe one.
What makes more expensive regulators a better buy, on the other hand, are their comfort features and their reliability. More expensive models tend to have more customizable features, meaning you can adjust the airflow and the hoses to your liking. These features might be absent in entry-level offerings.
More expensive regulators also have low-maintenance and self-purge features. In the long run, they might be able to save you more money in maintenance.
Try determining how much you can afford to spend on a new scuba regulator first. Allot a comfortable budget for it so you can buy one that has the features you are looking for. If you only go scuba diving a couple of times in a year, entry-level ones might suffice. However, more avid scuba divers should invest in regulators that are priced higher but are more dependable when it comes to features and the materials used.
What did you think of these scuba regulators? We hope you found our reviews helpful and edifying. Do click on the links of the products if you want to learn more about their features and their current price on the market. We also recommend checking out our homepage to find more reviews, buying guides and product recommendations that you will find helpful.