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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.
19
November

Pinnacle Inferno V-Skin Wetsuit Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Pinnacle Inferno V-Skin Wetsuit Review Posted in: Uncategorized

Here is an idea: thermal protection for divers without adding the buoyancy from all those gas bubbles trapped in neoprene. Despite the nomenclature used above, that is what the Pinnacle Inferno V-Skin offers, and it therefore is not a wetsuit.

Think of this as a high-tech suit of tights for wetwear. It’s a laminate of a tri-lam base layer, merino wool and fleece in the middle, and Lycra outside. Thumb and foot loops help secure the tights (and presumably help a diver wriggle into it).

Outside the box ideas take a while to catch on, and some never do, but it should be easy to see the appeal of this suit. Recall that the reason divers wear neoprene wetsuits isn’t for buoyancy, but for thermal protection. Freedivers and anyone who wants to get a real grip on fine-tuning their neutral buoyancy should gladly seize the opportunity offered by the Pinnacle Inferno V-Skin. The same thinking make it a natural item for anyone looking to wear extra thermal protection under their neoprene.

It isn’t cheap, but new stuff in scuba diving rarely is. Look for the price to fall in the next year or two.

Average Price: $300

19
November

Scubapro Mk21/S560 Scuba Regulator Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Scubapro Mk21/S560 Scuba Regulator Review Posted in: Over $500, Scuba Regulators

Understanding Scubapro regulators means seeing them as paired units, rather than complete articles. This particular unit combines the Mk. 21 first stage and the S560 second stage. Although paired as a set, both halves are available separately and can be combined with other Scubapro parts. Many divers upgrade their Scubapro regulator systems by taking an old first stage and replacing the second stage or visa versa.

The Mk21/S560 combination is Scubapro’s major mid-range regulator system. The balanced Mk21 uses a smaller piston than th Mk25, but delivers the same performance. So, it’s smaller and lighter, but holds the line on quality. An added plus are the chrome fins on the body, giving the regulator better thermal regulation. That helps guard against freezing in cold water.

The S560 is a balanced mouthpiece with an inhalation control knob and a Venturi, on-off switch. The first adjusts air flow, and the second is the safety against free-flow accidents. Finally, the polymer casing keeps the weight down to just 6 ounces (172 g).

The Scubapro Mk21/S560 is compact and lightweight enough to count as a travel system, making it an ideal example of a piece of scuba equipment that bridges the gap between home area and vacation diving equipment. It was a 2014 Best Buy choice for Scuba Diving, and a 2015 Editor’s Pick at Sport Diver.

Average Price: $550

09
February

Scubapro X-Cut Dive Knife Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Scubapro X-Cut Dive Knife Review Posted in: Below $100, Dive Knives

Dive knives tend to come in three categories: cutters, straightforward and simple; dive tools; and knives that aren’t that serious. The latter are identified by their cheapness, and dive tools are usually hefty things with the weight and pommel to stand in for hammers. Cutters, on the other hand, are modest things but tough and very, very good at slicing through wires and lines. The Scubapro X-Cut is one of these.

“Tough” is the word to describe this knife. Whereas many titanium dive blades have a titanium coating to further resist rust, but are otherwise normal stainless steel underneath, the X-Cut is solid titanium steel. The blade is a joint serrated-standard edge, and the back side has a line-cutting notch. The hollow handle cuts down on weight and allows for the knife to be clipped simply to anything (although you’ll still want to keep it in the sheath for safety).

Finally, it has the winning, super cool look.

The whole package is just 5 inches long, from butt to point. However, pure cutters aren’t supposed to have big blades. You don’t need them to get through fishing line and crab pot mesh. Also, owners should keep in mind that one of the very qualities that make titanium so desirable — its hardness — make this a hard knife to swallow.

Average Price: $80

09
February

Aqua Quick Release Coil Lanyard

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Aqua Quick Release Coil Lanyard Posted in: Below $100, Other Accessories

In terms of accessories, any diver with more than one piece of handheld gear — dive light, camera, tool(s) — needs something more than just a clip and a D-ring. To keep such items handy, it’s best to have them at hand. Having a camera, for example, floating several inches away is a lot handier than having it attached to a D-ring at the waist, and having multiple items attached to your wrist by lanyards is anything but handy.

That is where items like the Aqua Quick Release Coil Lanyard come in. The design is simple, relying on tried-and-tested parts. A dive clip and key ring on either end serve as attachment points, and in the middle is a springy coil and a strap with a quick-release buckle. The buckle and strap restrains the coil until you need it. Push on the buckle to separate it, and the coil is free to be pulled out to a distance of 36 inches. For extra freedom, the dive clip is mounted on a swivel.

Owners have given this item almost uniformly high marks for ease of use, durability, and keeping things handy.

Average Price: $20