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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

Mares Prestige 12S Scuba Regulator Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Mares Prestige 12S Scuba Regulator Review Posted in: Between $251-$500, Scuba Regulators

The Mares Prestige 12S regulator offers a winning combination of quality, performance and a low price tag. Safety is a very real concern with cheaper regulators, but as the name implies the only thing down-market about the Prestige 12 is the cost.

The Prestige 12S uses a time-tested balanced-diaphragm first stage, and many of the regulator’s features, such as dynamic flow-control, are standard on the more expensive regulators manufactured by Mares, so the regulator really does offer great bang for the buck.

It is also a simple regulator, with no venturi levers or knobs on the Prestige 12S second stage and octo. The only control is the purge valve, but this isn’t really a drawback. The Prestige 12S isn’t prone to free-flow accidents, so turning the air flow down isn’t really necessary. The system delivers so much air under recreational conditions that one might think they could such a golf ball through the hose, so turning the flow up isn’t really necessary either. The regulator’s basic air delivery is good for general conditions.

Dive wrote that the Prestige 12S had “the backing of one of the most respected valve makers in the industry,” and praised its smooth, easy breathing, while Scuba Diving awarded it a Best Buy award. On the downside, however, the Prestige 12S is not Nitrox-compatible, which limits its growth potential and poses a potential safety drawback for divers who take it on dive-intensive trips, such as liveaboard cruises with 3+ dives per day, day after day.

Price: $375