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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.

Category Archives: By Type

Index of dive gear reviews by type.

20
August

Mares Carbon 52 Regulator Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Mares Carbon 52 Regulator Review Posted in: Over $500, Scuba Regulators

 The Carbon 52 is the latest upgrade in Mares’ line of carbon fiber, lightweight-but-rugged premium regulators. The package combines the Carbon second stage from the earlier Carbon 42 with the MR52 first stage used in the Abyss 52 regulator. It should be noted right off the bat that the Abyss 52’s MR52 first stage is not […]

10
August

Best BCDs

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Best BCDs Posted in: BCDs, Dive Gear Tips, Scuba Product Guides

Updated September 16, 2013 The BCD sits in the same stratum as a regulator, in that its usually expensive and one of the two items a diver must have as part of their kit if they want to get away rentals. Today, BCDs come in many shapes and sizes, and in the last couple of […]

06
August

Mares Instinct 12S Regulator Review

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

The Instinct 12S is Mares’ upgrade and successor for the Prestige 12S, the latter of which is still widely available. What Mares has done is taken their veteran 12S first stage and put a new second stage on it, creating an updated regulator package. The old 12S first stage is a workhorse. It has been […]

02
August

Sealife ReefMaster Mini II Underwater Camera Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Sealife ReefMaster Mini II Underwater Camera Review Posted in: Between $251-$500, Underwater Cameras

Sealife’s new ReefMaster Mini builds on their solid pocket dive camera, the Mini II. The new version retains the same rubberized, shock-proof underwater housing, but now with distinctive red trim and, more importantly, an improved depth rating of 200 feet (60m). The Mini II’s depth rating is 130 feet (40m), so taking it on deep […]

30
July

Oceanic Alpha 9 Regulator Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Oceanic Alpha 9 Regulator Review Posted in: Between $251-$500, Scuba Regulators

The Alpha 9 is the latest in Oceanic’s “standard” regulator. It’s predecessor, the Alpha 8, was basically a no-frills, medium-performance reg aimed at divers with a only a moderate budget. The Alpha 9 keeps many of the same ideas, but while delivering a high-end air flow. Oceanic uses an unbalanced piston for the first stage, […]

24
July

Best Fins

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Best Fins Posted in: Dive Gear Tips, Fins, Scuba Product Guides

Updated July 15, 2013 Fins are another one of those critical pieces of scuba gear, so critical that they are always among the first pieces of gear a diver acquires when she starts to assemble her kit. At the same time, many divers are surprisingly careless when it comes to selecting their fins. Figuring one […]

15
July

Oceanic Probe HLC BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Oceanic Probe HLC BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Over $500

Oceanic’s Proble HLC is a high-end, tech-oriented, hybrid-design BCD. As such, it is a very heavy-duty rig with plenty of cargo-carrying capability and serious lifting power. In terms of cargo-carrying, the BCD comes with six steel D-rings, not counting rings on the end of the various adjustment straps, plus two over-sized, zippered pockets that are […]

10
July

Tusa Freedom One Dive Mask Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Tusa Freedom One Dive Mask Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Masks

Tusa’s latest mask is the M-211 Freedom One, named for the use of Tusa’s “Freedom Technology” in the skirt design. This embraces a trio of features intended to increase comfort and sealing efficiency. The skirt has a pattern of dimples to improve the mask’s general seal, and a set of ridges above the cheekbones to […]

09
July

Tilos Mission BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Tilos Mission BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

The Mission is the economy entry in Tilos’s BCD line, and in keeping with that intent, it is a simple, straightforward piece of gear with few frills. Fashioned from 420-denier nylon, the Tilos Mission is has only middling fabric durability. The rig has two big velcro-sealed pockets and six stainless steel D-rings scattered about for […]

05
July

Mares F-Light BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Mares F-Light BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

A travel-friendly jacket-style BCD, the Mares F-Light is exactly what the name implies: a BCD meant for flying, possibly even in your carry-on bag. As checked baggage becomes ever more expensive, super-light travel BCDs like the F-Light are set to become more popular. The BCD scores high in the travel-light category. It weighs only 5 […]

27
June

Best Dive Masks

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Best Dive Masks Posted in: Dive Gear Tips, Dive Masks, Scuba Product Guides

Updated July 1, 2013 Dive masks are at least as essential to diving as a regulator and an air tank, yet they might very well be the most overlooked piece of gear in the kit of many a scuba diver. Without the mask, you can’t see much of anything underwater. However, few divers invest much […]

27
June

Magicshine MJ-810E LED Dive Light Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Magicshine MJ-810E LED Dive Light Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Lights

If you aren’t familiar with Magicshine (and you probably aren’t), they are a Chinese company that specializes in durable light systems for diving and cycling. In the MJ-810E, the company has produced a flashlight-style dive light that resembles nothing so much as a lightsaber, and performs like one underwater. The MJ-810E is about 8 1/2 […]

21
June

Scubapro Meridian Dive Computer Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Scubapro Meridian Dive Computer Review Posted in: Dive Computers, Over $500

The Meridian is the latest and much-hyped dive computer from Scubapro. An advanced, high-end number cruncher in the wristwatch design, the Meridian has a brushed housing made from 316-L stainless steel, giving it a somewhat classier look than the typical wristwatch dive computer. Scubapro bills it as a computer that looks like a sports watch […]

18
June

Sherwood Avid CQR-3 BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Sherwood Avid CQR-3 BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

The CQR-3 is the latest evolution in the Sherwood Avid BCD, the company’s top-end jacket BCD, so don’t confuse it with the CQR-2. Also don’t be alarmed by blog posts and internet threads about recalls for Sherwood Avids. The recall dates to 2004, and therefore is completely irrelevant to a model introduced in 2012. The […]

15
June

Aluminum vs. Carbon vs. Steel Scuba Tanks

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Aluminum vs. Carbon vs. Steel Scuba Tanks Posted in: Dive Gear Tips, Other Accessories, Scuba Product Guides

For decades, divers shopping for their own air cylinder(s) have had two basic choices: aluminum or steel. Carbon fiber is a relative newcomer to scuba tanks, despite the fact that material has been used in high performance manufacturing sectors for many years. The old aluminum vs. steel debate is already out of date, and will […]

14
June

Tusa FF-19 X-Pert Evolution Scuba Fins

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Tusa FF-19 X-Pert Evolution Scuba Fins Posted in: Below $100, Fins

Tusa’s FF-19 Evolution fins offer an interesting package for divers shopping for gear in the bargain basement. What makes the fins so interesting is that they are split fins, even today a somewhat exotic creature in diving, yet at the same time they are very cheap. The FF-19 X-Pert Evolution is pretty basic as split […]

30
May

Best Dive Knives

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Best Dive Knives Posted in: Dive Knives, Scuba Product Guides

For most recreational divers, a knife is just an accessory, since the odds of such a diver needing to cut fishing line (or anything else) are minimal. Carrying a knife is a nice safety hedge, but in almost invariably such divers never need to pull the knife from its sheath. In this circumstance, the best […]

28
May

Tilos Saber Dive Fins Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Tilos Saber Dive Fins Review Posted in: Below $100, Fins

Tilos Sabers are inexpensive fins that pack some of the features one might expect to find on a fin that costs as much as $25 more. The paddle combines big rubberized side rails with an expansive rubberized center-section, plus a pair of medium-sized vent apertures below the foot pocket. This combination of traditional paddle stiffness, […]

27
May

Suunto SK7 Underwater Compass Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Suunto SK7 Underwater Compass Review Posted in: Below $100, Other Accessories

For divers who frequent murky water, dive solo or simply want to be able to self-help their way out of becoming lost underwater without surfacing, an underwater compass is a must-have piece of gear. Of course, using an underwater compass is not quite as simple as using a compass on land. Navigating by compass for […]

24
May

Best Dive Lights

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Best Dive Lights Posted in: Dive Lights, Scuba Product Guides

Updated April 3, 2013 Different divers have different needs when it comes to dive lights. Wreck divers and cave divers need more powerful, longer lasting lights than the typical recreational diver out on an infrequent night dive. Some divers never even partake of night dives or venture into caves, but still want a handy light […]

21
May

Mares Wave Scuba Fin Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Mares Wave Scuba Fin Review Posted in: Below $100, Fins

The Wave fins from Mares catch the recent craze in paddle fins for having a big, flexible center section. The design is fairly straightforward – a rubberized foot pocket and plastic paddle with thick, solid stiffening rails on the outside edge. A curved section dominating the center has been replaced by a rubberized insert. The […]

21
May

Spyderco Warrior Dive Knife Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Spyderco Warrior Dive Knife Review Posted in: Between $101-$250, Dive Knives

As the name might imply, the Spyderco Warrior is designed as a tactical fighting knife, but in reality the blade is so general purpose that it can function as a knife for hunters, backpackers and divers. If you are an enthusiastic, multi-sport outdoorsman, then this is the blade for you. The FRN handle with textured […]

18
May

Paddle vs. Split Fins

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Paddle vs. Split Fins Posted in: Dive Gear Tips, Fins, Scuba Product Guides

After open heeled vs. closed, the most basic distinction in dive fins are paddle vs. split. However, unlike the heel distinctions, which are about how the fin is attached to your foot and therefore usually a matter of comfort and lesser personal preferences, paddle vs. split fin issues can have a serious impact on your […]

14
May

Mares Force Bat Titanium Folding Dive Knife Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Mares Force Bat Titanium Folding Dive Knife Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Knives

The Mares Force Bat is that company’s folding, titanium dive knife entry. It should not be confused with the Mares Force Knife or any other knife in the Mares line, because Mares (confusingly) puts “Force” into the name of all its knives. For the sake of simplicity, the knife will be called “Bat Titanium” for […]

07
May

Open-Heel vs. Full-Foot Fins

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Open-Heel vs. Full-Foot Fins Posted in: Dive Gear Tips, Fins, Scuba Product Guides

Open-heel vs. full-foot fins are one of those gear issues that tends to produce clear preferences among divers. Where one diver will say that once he went open heeled he never looked back, another will tell you that old fashioned full-foot fins are more reliable and produce more thrust. Since a pair of fins is […]