Best Scuba Regulators - Regulator Reviews
Looking to buy a new regulator? Or maybe even your first one... There are plenty of regulators out there on the market and it may be a bit daunting to have to make a pick, so we decided we will help you by narrowing it down to 6 popular, excellent quality regulators. Remember that while you may be able to find cheap regulators you should never compromise quality when your life is at stake.
Below, listed are 6 regulator reviews on some of the best regulators on the market.
Scubapro MK25/S600 RegulatorPrice: $600-$700
This regulator is one of the most commonly used high quality regulators around, mostly because of its reliability, its comfort and its even more comfortable price tag.
While it is likely to cause a noticeable dent in your pocket, so will any quality regulator. The Scubapro MK25/S600 can some times be found at sale prices hovering around $500 which is definitely a worth while buy.
The MK25/S600 of course includes the MK25 first stage and the S600 second stage.
The MK25 is known for its high performance and is widely considered the best moderately priced regulator around. The regulator provides excellent air flow which is coupled with great comfort. The design of the regulator consists of black plastic with chrome plated brass. These constructive materials make the regulator a little heavier than the MK25T, but still on par with other regulators. All of the MK25's come with a standard TIS (Thermal Insulating System) allowing ideal performance in colder waters, though there have been a few known issues in waters of about 35 and lower, so if you plan on diving water colder than that you may want to look elsewhere. It has five low pressure ports and two high pressure ports.
This regulator is divetime's number 1 recommendation.
Scubapro MK25T/S600T Regulator
For those who are a little bit more financially well off there is the Scubapro MK25T/S600T. This regulator is a carbon copy of the MK25, well actually a Titanium copy.
The MK25T is a Titanium based regulator which allows the product to be super light, but you pay for this- but the fact that it is light makes it the perfect travel regulator.
The MK25T sells for around $1100, almost double that of the regular MK25. The features are the same as those on the MK25.
The edge it has over the MK25 is taken away in my opinion by the fact that Titanium doesn't handle Nitrox as well as the regular Scubapro MK25, though I know many people would disagree and still prefer the MK25T. If you don't dive with Nitrox often and have the extra money to throw around, the MK25T is probably the regulator for you.
Oceanic Alpha 8 SP5 Regulator
The Oceanic Alpha 8 SP5 regulator is perfect for beginners and intermediates alike, overall the regulator is of sound quality and comes at an excellent price. Many people take up scuba diving as an every other weekend hobby and don't really live the sport the way others do- this regulator is ideal for the passionate but not yet obsessed scuba diver, and at a retail price of around $200 it is easy for the beginner divers to have their own gear.
Now I hope you have not skipped this regulator after you read the words 'beginners' and 'hobby' because this regulator is most certainly not restricted to the above, the Oceanic Alpha 8 SP5 is a great regulator overall regardless of the user and will please even some of the advanced divers with its performance. Sure it is no MK25T, but it's not THAT far off the MK25. Having spoken to some users of the Oceanic Alpha 8 they insist that it is a great regulator with clean airflow, solid design and ability to perform well in both cold and warm waters. Being made from anodized aircraft aluminum insures that this regulator is light weight.
The fact that the regulator is cheap, reliable and lightweight is the reason why you are most likely to come across the Alpha 8 regulator when renting gear from a dive operator.
Mares Proton 42 Metal Regulator
A highly praised regulator which comes at a good price. The Mares Proton 42 is another highly trustworthy regulator which is often noted for its ability for smooth air supply from out the box to depths in excess of 35 meters. Mares has been known to put out good diving gear and this is no different, the Proton 42 regulator is an excellent piece of gear no matter what your level of experience. It works well with Nitrox and while the fact that it's a primarily metal based regulator the weight tends not to be an issue when in the water.
The Proton 42 consists of a MR42T first stage device which runs dry, so no need for the oil hassles.
Overall it is an excellent regulator which offers great diving straight from the box in all sorts of conditions and depths. Many divers find this regulator a perfect item which offers all that a good regulator should. The general reviews for this regulator are almost all positive.
Sherwood SR1 Regulator
Another excellent regulator is the Sherwood SR1 which is moderately priced at between 600 and 700 dollars. If one is a Sherwood fan this is definitely the regulator to choose, Sherwood have some lower end regulators but one third of the price but those are definitely worth passing up given the inferior quality of the regulator.
Having personally dived one of the lower end Sherwood regulators in the past I was shocked by the contrast in quality between it and the SR1, the SR1 regulator was easy breathing all the way, right down to some pretty deep depths out the box.Technically the SR1 is really a piece of work, with a stated 0.5 joules per litre. Sherwood claims it is their most advanced regulator that they have come up with. It consists of 2 high pressure ports and 5 low pressure ports.
The Sherwood SR1 has received much praise from reviews by those diving it, with comfort and easy breathing being amoung the best features, though right up there is the reliability.
The Sherwood SR1 has the ability to perform well in warm and cold waters, in deep depths and also works well with Nitrox.
Apeks XTX50 Regulator
The Apeks XTX50 is an excellent regulator for the price, with an average retail price of between 500 and 650 dollars, though at the time of writing this the item is (was) on sale for a give-away price $399. Now while it's said that you get what you pay for, the Apeks XTX50 allows you to get quality without spending as much as other regulators. Intermediate divers especially can squeeze the most out of this regulator- it's a comfortable regulator with Nitrox compatibility and effortless breathing.
It contains an adjustable second stage and 4 low pressure ports and 2 high pressure ports. The Apeks XTX50 is another dry regulator eliminating the use of lubricants- making general maintenance a breeze. The Apeks XTX50 regulator contains an easy changeable exhaust system which allows the diver to switch between small or large exhaust tee's before diving. The Apeks XTX50 is also subject to great regulator reviews by users of this gear item.
If one finds spending over $650 too much but want to upgrade from a lesser regulator and would rather want to get a cheap regulator we suggest you try find one of these babies on sale as you can sometimes pick them up for around $400-$450 and rather shell out the extra $70 rather than get one of the other slightly cheaper regulators on the market. Though you may have some trouble deciding between this and the Alpha 8 SP5 listed above.
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