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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.
06
October

Regulators

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Regulators Posted in:

The minimum research for a review at Dive Gear Reviews is one review published by a credible magazine, a sampling of consumer commentary from both forums and online retailers, a sampling of pricing and insight from a diving expert. For an entry to appear on this scuba regulator reviews page, it must exceed that minimum. The reviews below are therefore the most extensively cross-referenced reviews for this type of gear on the website. To see a complete list of regulator reviews, click here.

Aeris ION LT/AT 600 Scuba Regulator Review

The ION LT/AT 600 is Aeris’ top of the line regulator, checking off boxes in both the travel and the high-performance categories. The latest installment of the ION series, the LT/AT 600 weighs in at a modest 2 lbs, 3 oz. (around 1kg), with a first stage so small as to be barely larger than the mechanism contained within. “Compact” and “lightweight” don’t begin to describe it.

The first stage uses an over-balanced diaphragm design, coupled with a pneumatically balanced second stage, a combination that has earned very high marks for air delivery in both field testing and in the laboratory. In terms of functionality, there is a discrete pre-dive/dive switch, a breathing resistance knob, a braided hose comes as standard, and the regulator is compatible with 40% Nitrox. Scuba Diving thought the orthodontic mouthpiece was outstanding, naming it the 2012 Tester’s Choice, and Scuba Gear Reports gave the reg solid praise as well. Thus far, consumer feedback has been universally positive.

On the downside, the first stage has 4 LP and 1 HP port, limiting the flexibility of a diver’s gear arrangement somewhat, but all items of travel-friendly dive gear have a compromise of some kind. Also, as a high-performance regulator, the venturi (pre-dive/dive) switch was not absolute in its ability to prevent free-flow accidents. However, that is a common problem with truly high-performance regs. Once again, sometimes doing one thing means making a compromise elsewhere.

Average Price: $420
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Aqua Lung Titan LX Scuba Regulator Review

Scuba regulator reviews

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Aqua Lung’s Titan LX Regulator is a small, light regulator with a reasonable price tag, but it received mixed reviews. On the one hand, Scuba Diving magazine praised its design and performance, awarding it’s a Tester’s Choice Award and labeling it their favorite Under $500 regulator for 2009. Sport Diver described its venturi lever as easy to handle, made much of its nitro compatibility and labeled it a great travel regulator. However, Dive magazine in Great Britain said that its second stage was uncomfortable in the mouth, and wrote that it was “not a popular choice.”

Price: $440
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Atomic Aquatics Z2x Scuba Regulator Review

This regulator shares many of the same parts as Atomic Aquatic’s T2x, but at 1/3 the price tag. That fact makes it a great bargain, and even though is not a truly inexpensive regulator, and Scuba Diving made it a Best Buy in 2009. The regulator is somewhat innovative in that it comes in two different models. One has a swivel built into the first stage with five LP ports, while the more normal regulator is conventional in design and has seven LP ports. Dive magazine gave it an overall rating of 87%. The “Z” in the name stands for the zirconium used to plate the valve assembly, which offers superior corrosion resistance to the more common chrome. The Atomic Aquatics Z2x is compatible with Nitrox mixtures of up to 40%.

Price: $499
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Mares Abyss Navy 22 Scuba Regulator Review

The Abyss Navy 22 was designed by Mares to build on past versions of the Abyss and create a rugged regulator capable of performing in the worst cold water conditions, and it certainly lives up to those specifications. The regulator passed the US Navy’s tests and has since been included on its list of dive gear authorized for Navy use. As you can see here, the regulator was turned into a veritable block of ice and still kept on delivering air.

The first stage uses an oil-sealed balanced diaphragm with the Mares cold water kit, plus a large metal surface to maximize the heat exchange of the regulator. The unit is a big, bulky chunk of metal and no one should expect it to be anything other than a lumpy weight when it comes to packing for dive travel, but that is the price you pay for a regulator you could take to Svalberg. The second stage is an all-black unit, and except for the shiny Mares logo it looks like the sort of thing a Navy SEAL might take into the field. Like previous versions of the Abyss, the Navy 22’s second stage is a mostly metal, but now it comes with a fluoropolymer-resin finish to further buttress the regulator against freezing.

The Abyss Navy 22 comes with 2 HP and 4 LP ports, all arranged at steep angles to better keep the attached hoses apart. As one would expect from a regulator designed to deliver air under sub-freezing conditions, its breathing performance under more conventional circumstances is superb, and it is compatible with nitrox mixtures of up to 40%.

Both Scuba Diving and Divernet gave the Abyss Navy 22 strong reviews. With a price tag of roughly $900, however, Dive Gear Reviews thinks the Mares Abyss Navy 22 is way too much regulator for the typical recreational diver. After all, how many sport divers ever venture into waters colder than the upper 50s F (14 C)? However, if your intention is to make a regular habit of winter diving in Scotland or New England and to make annual trips to dive in Alaska, Norway or Antarctica, then you absolutely want a regulator that will remain ice-free no matter what. By that calculus, the Abyss Navy 22 is a strong contender.

Average Price: $900
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SCUBAPRO MK25/A700 Scuba Regulator Review
This all-metal evolution of Scubapro’s MK25 design is a favorite among technical divers. The regulator is a smooth, dry breathing machine, and as one might expect for a machine meant to go into deep, dark places, it delivers plenty of air under extreme conditions. It is Nitrox compatible with mixtures of up to 100% oxygen. The second stage is a handcrafted, beautiful piece of work with a polished chrome exterior. The Scubapro MK25/A700 Chrome Regulator was roundly praised by Scuba Diving, Sport Diver and Dive, earning a 93% Overall rating from Dive, who went on to write that the regulator was “amazing” and would put Scubapro back on top of the regulator market.

Price: $775
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Zeagle Flathead 7 Scuba Regulator


Zeagle considers the Flathead 7 its standard-bearer scuba regulator. The design features a spacious internal structure which ensures a comfortable, easy-flowing air supply at recreational levels. That plus the dry-sealed spring chamber make the regulator reliable enough for technical diving, as it is rated to remain ice-free at temperatures as low as -40 F. With five LP and two HP ports, plenty of gear can be attached to the Flathead 7. The most delicate components of the first stage are sealed up and safe from corrosion, and the unit is compact and presents a low profile on the back of a scuba tank, which helps keep it tangle-free. Both Scuba Diving and Sport Diver loved it.

Average Price: $700