Best Scuba Regulators

Best Scuba Regulators: Tested & Reviewed

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You know, how the mountains call out to some people? Well, for me, it’s the sea.

I wasn’t always such a huge fan of the deep waters. In fact, my travels were restricted to better-known places and engaging in mild sports and activities. But ever since I took my first plunge in the Australian Reefs, something changed in me.

If you have been contemplating on whether or not you too should ‘take the plunge,’ I have just one piece of advice for you. Do it, and you’ll never look back. The biggest factor to keep in mind, however, is to get the right scuba diving gear for yourself.

Without the right gear, your experience could be completely ruined, and you might even find yourself in a risky situation. I cannot tell you how many horror stories I have heard of divers trying to deep water dive and facing problems with the air pressure in their mouthpieces.

The situation can quickly get out of hand and become fatal unless you have an excellent scuba diving regulator. The right one will ensure that you get consistent and correct air pressure, varying as you dive deeper into the sea.

But wait, I don’t mean to scare you off. In this guide, I have prepared a detailed review of the best scuba regulators. This essential gear will ensure that you have a safe, risk-free diving experience like me.

If you’re also in the market for other scuba diving gear, be sure to check out our other buying guides!

Now, let’s dive into the details without further delay.

Best Scuba Regulators

Regulator Best For Shop Now

Palantic AS101
All Divers

Palantic AS206
Budget

Mares Scuba Regulator Octo
Travelers

Cressi Intense Use
Beginners

Hanperal Explorer
Starter/Backup

Factors To Consider When Buying a Scuba Regulator

Before I tell you about the best scuba regulators, let me give you some guidance on finding the right one for your needs. Keep these factors in mind when making a purchase – whether you’re a first time diver or diving for the hundredth time.

Balanced vs. Unbalanced

As the name suggests, a balanced regulator is one that provides breathing assistance at various depths. Personally, I prefer to use a balanced regulator primarily because of my newfound love for deep water diving.

If you are just starting on your diving journey and reckon that you won’t spend much time in deep waters, an unbalanced regulator might work fine for you. It can be a bit harder to breathe in, as you’ll face more resistance.

My advice to you will be to opt for a balanced regulator if you dive below 18m.

Convenience & Ease Of Use

The mouthpiece of the regulator goes (and stays) inside your mouth throughout the scuba diving experience. So, of course, it makes sense that you’d want it to be as comfortable as possible. I would recommend testing out a few mouthpieces for more than just a few seconds to see if you’re satisfied with it or not.

That being said, don’t let this be a deal-breaker for you. If you happen to find the right scuba diving regulator but not the best mouthpiece, it’s okay. You can always buy another one and swap it out for the original.

Breathing Resistance

Since this is an entirely personal experience, I would advise you to be very cautious when testing the breathing resistance. Ideally, opt for a regulator that gives you the option to adjust the airflow on the primary air source.

A little tip: Pick a regulator with a high breathing resistance. This will prevent it from free-flowing during your dives.

Now, with these factors fresh in the mind, let’s take a look at my top picks!

Top Pick

Mares Scuba Regulator Octo

Here's the moment you've all been waiting for! Well, after extensively testing several scuba diving regulators, I have mixed feelings about most of them. While some of them were comfortable, they weren't affordable. Others, while being affordable, weren't of excellent quality.

Finally, I found my favorite one - the Mares Scuba Regulator Octo Dive Gear Package. The primary reason behind this being my top pick: it is a reliable, high-quality kit at an affordable price, ideal for beginners and professionals alike.

Each product in this Dive Gear Package has been developed to optimize a diver's experience. From the oversized purge button and balanced diaphragm to the hypoallergenic silicone mouthpiece, you’ll find everything ideal for a great scuba session.

After testing this product on several dozen dives, I can vouch for its superiority in terms of form and function.



Top 5 Best Scuba Diving Regulators

Palantic AS101

To begin with, I have chosen the Palantic AS101 Diving Regulator as my top pick. As I already mentioned, this device is a preferred choice, not just by me but also by several diving instructors worldwide.

This high-quality unit will not overwhelm you with its advanced features. The product comes with a 36-inch yellow hose attached to the octopus and a black hose on the second stage regulator. The color differentiation is something I liked, and you might find it impressive too.

It is protected with environmental sealing that prevents corrosion of the gear and the icing of the first stage. This superior sealing prevents bacteria and other contaminants from getting into the gear and injuring your system.

Several scuba divers report using this regulator as their go-to gear for years. Weighing just 537 grams, it did not weigh me down on my underwater journeys. Moving on to the mouthpiece, the silicone design is flexible and fits comfortably into the mouth. The large purge button is another functional yet straightforward feature that I loved.

Pros
  • 150PSI maximum intermediate pressure – 1.2 to 1.4 CIW
  • Stainless steel springs
  • Downstream demand valve with external air intake adjustment
  • Unbalanced flow-by piston regulator
Cons
  • Only one hose has high pressure

My Experience

I scoured the internet looking for the best scuba diving regulators and found several experts recommending this one. My next step was to ask around and find out honest feedback from diving instructors, and they told me the same thing. I finally decided to purchase the kit and try it on my own.

After using it for a couple of months, I can safely tell you that this diving regulator is something you can count on for your safety and comfort. The chromium-plated bass body is not quick to wear and tear, making it my go-to device for most dives. It has stood by me through several deep diving sessions and has never failed yet.

Although this isn’t a ‘budget gear’ so to speak, it is very reasonably priced, especially for its value. The one downside is that it is unbalanced, which might be an issue if you are deep diving. I prefer to use this regulator as my everyday gear rather than take it with me for my deep diving expeditions.

Verdict

This diving regulator will be ideal for most based on its value, performance, comfort, and affordability. You will just need to assemble the hoses on your own, and after that, you’re good to go. As for the hoses or mouthpieces, you can always buy new ones and replace the originals.

You won’t be restricted by the first stage provided by the manufacturer. I swapped mine out after a couple of weeks for my own first stage, and it worked wonderfully.


Palantic AS206

Next, I have selected the Scuba Choice Palantic AS206 Diving Regulator. I got a chance to truly appreciate its functionality when I went for a long diving expedition to the Reefs with my friend, James. We both got a weekend off from work and decided to explore this famous spot, where I learned a couple of things about this device.

I had just recently purchased it and was a little worried if it’d be comfortable enough for my long expedition. I’ve often had trouble finding the right mouthpiece, something that isn’t too large, uncomfortable, or has a “slightly too short” hose.

I noticed that the mouthpiece fit snugly over my mouth and was comfortable during the long periods of my diving experience. The exhaust system was strategically designed to ensure that the air bubbles being blown out didn’t disrupt my vision.

Something you need to keep in mind about it is that the second stage is non-adjustable. That being said, the gear is super comfortable, and provided me with an excellent diving experience.

Lastly, the large purge button is one of the most essential features, in my view. During my deep diving sessions, I have often faced the discomfort of having less air. The large and accessible purge button allows me to breathe comfortably, being able to reach it in an instant without fumbling around.

Pros
  • 36-inch 350 PSI hose
  • Bright, vivid color scheme
  • Super comfortable silicone mouthpiece
  • Lightweight and reliable
Cons
  • The mouthpiece sometimes fills up with water when upside down

My Experience

Once I earned my certification card, my next step was to take my new diving gear and head off to the spot which became my first love – the Australian coral reefs. I spent a few weeks there, exploring the beautiful reefs. All my skepticism about the new gear quickly vanished, except for one minor issue.

I noticed that the mouthpiece would sometimes fill up with a little water when I turned upside down. Now, this wasn’t a huge issue as long as I was careful enough not to swallow the water. Moreover, this happened just a couple of times till I worked out a way around it.

Once I adjusted the mouthpiece and modified the regulator settings, I noticed this issue disappeared. Moving on to the actual regulator, I was thoroughly impressed. It is easy to adjust the dial and air pressure, which is extremely important when diving into such depths as I did.

Verdict

If you liked my first recommendation but are looking for a budget option to begin your diving journey, this is your best bet. It’s incredibly affordable and performs excellently even on deep dives. Possibly the best budget scuba regulator out there.



Mares Scuba Regulator Octo

Now we come to my next recommendation – Mares Scuba Regulator. I must admit, I was instantly impressed when I came across this complete set. Of course, I couldn’t be entirely sure till I tested it on my own.

If you are just a beginner who isn’t entirely sure of all the scuba diving gear and its features, this complete package can be your best guide. The package includes a VAD (Vortex Assisted Design) by-pass system that allows you to breathe effortlessly under any circumstances.

The DFC or Dynamic Flow Control feature was developed to provide an improved experience, even at greater depths. It is especially crucial for deepwater divers like me who need to be aware and alert when diving in exceptionally low and high-pressure areas.

The second stage cover came with a special mesh grid, which was an incredible innovation. This simple addition to the regulator ensured no unwanted free-flow, no matter how intense the currents ahead were.

As I already mentioned, I often face trouble finding just the right mouthpiece for my particular needs. I felt blessed when I came across this one! The orthodontic mouthpiece was snug and comfortable, and the included carry bag allowed me to cart along all the gear without worrying about storage or space.

Pros
  • Nitrox compatible to 40%
  • Included carry bag
  • Mid-sized octopus
  • Soft hypoallergenic silicone mouthpiece
Cons
  • Can be out of budget for most people

My Experience

Honestly, I was ready to pay the price for this complete kit, simply because I knew I would be using it for years to come. I completely understand why this kit would seem like a hefty spend for most, but you’ll realize it’s a worthwhile investment once you use it.

This kit was complete with everything you could need, barring a dive computer. I liked the carry bag provided, as it allowed me a compact solution to take my gear with me during my travels. I often struggle with fitting everything into my bags and find out that I’ve left an item or two behind. With this kit and bag, that worry was eliminated immediately.

I was very impressed by how sturdy, and durable all the parts were from its design and build. I have already used the regulator kit a dozen times, and I have had excellent experiences with it.

Verdict

I understand why some people might shy away due to the price tag, but once you use this kit, you won’t be turning back. The set is relatively easy to put together and essentially contains everything a diver could need on their underwater adventures. And with everything in a nicely sized carry bag, this is an ideal scuba regulator for travelers



Cressi Intense Use

Everyone has the desire to buy products that they can trust. And when it comes to scuba diving regulators, the desire turns into a need. You don’t want to go deep-sea diving with a regulator that you can’t trust, right?

Well, Cressi is an Italian brand that has been developing and designing swimming and snorkeling gear for enthusiasts. The brand is known for its high-quality products and fantastic options. I decided to test this regulator when I went for a diving expedition at Shelly Beach.

First and foremost, the heavy-duty piston (first stage) exceeded my expectations. I was worried about diving too deep with this for the first time, but as I spent more time using it, I realized that it was, in fact, designed for intense use.

I recommend this scuba diving regulator for beginner scuba divers. It is affordable as well while providing the highest quality. Furthermore, the conical filter has a large filtering capacity. This is especially important during deep water diving, as it prevents the infiltration of contaminants and particles.

There are a number of outstanding features in this product that I know any diver will appreciate. From the calibrated inhalation mechanism to the frontal second stage cover drilling, everything is just the way I need it.

Pros
  • Excellent black and silver body
  • Reliable and robust
  • High-performance level
  • Compact size mouthpiece
Cons
  • The hose could fall a little short for some users

My Experience

Even though my previous recommendation was a complete kit, I wanted to find a product for those who don’t necessarily require all the other parts. That’s when I came across this excellent device from Cressi.

I have used Cressi products earlier and have been very satisfied with them. I also noticed James using the same brand, and upon asking him came to know that he has been a loyal customer for years!

Well, my experience using this regulator was great; I faced no issues at all that warrant a mention. My only gripe with it was that the hose was slightly short. I had to bite down on the mouthpiece a couple of times to ensure it doesn’t come out! Of course, the size might be completely fine for other users.

Verdict

The Cressi Scuba Diving Regulator is an excellent option for those looking for a quality product from a reputed brand. As for the issue I faced with the mouthpiece – it is easily fixed with a longer hose.

Since it is covered by a 2-year limited warranty, any issues I face will be taken care of by the brand experts. That’s a huge sigh of relief for me, anyhow! Definitely one of the best scuba regulators for beginners available today.



Hanperal Explorer

When I initially started scuba diving, I made a couple of judgment errors when purchasing my gear. I tried to look for affordable equipment and didn’t pay much attention to its design and build.

Well, I learned my lesson the hard way. One of the biggest mistakes I made was to deep water dive with an uncomfortable mouthpiece. Once I came up from my expedition, I felt like I had lockjaw and was sore for days after.

Another issue I faced was with the exhaust system – a design flaw would cause bubbles to be directed upwards, compromising my vision. I learned from my mistake and instantly looked for a replacement. That is when I came across the Hanperal Scuba Diving Regulator.

This product comes with a comfortable, snugly fit silicone mouthpiece. The under-chin exhaust system ensures that the bubbles I blow out are directed towards the side, rather than upwards. It ensured that my vision was clear at all times.

The regulator is mechanically balanced, which provided me with comfortable breathing at all times, even under intense underwater experiences. This is a vital aspect of any regulator, and I am glad that Hanperal took care of this.

I especially liked the color scheme of this product. The bright yellow and black colors are aesthetic and vivid enough to catch my diver buddies’ attention. Further, it’s free-flow resistant, which is a huge bonus. The 22-inch low-pressure hose was easy to attach and extremely functional.

Pros
  • Low-pressure hose
  • Vivid color scheme
  • Easy inhalation and exhalation
  • Comfortable, silicone mouthpiece
Cons
  • Slightly flimsy material

My Experience

This diving regulator is, by far, the most affordable option I’ve come across. It is an ideal product for novice divers who are new to this experience and want to experiment. However, I want to mention that for the bargain price you are getting it at, the quality is not as good as my previous recommendations.

I have used it a couple of times and faced no issues with it. It is easy to disassemble and clean – which is vital for any scuba gear.

That being said, it’s also not something that I can see myself using for a few years at a stretch. I would use this a couple of dozen times without fuss, but I recommend having an alternative option ready for longer or deeper diving sessions.

Verdict

For its super affordable and low price, the Hanperal Scuba Diving Regulator will give you value – for a few dozen uses. However, since it is not very high quality, I don’t expect to use it for extended periods. Could serve you well as a backup though.



Final Words on the Best Scuba Regulators

Phew, that was quite an in-depth review! Hopefully, it has told you everything you need to know about the best scuba diving regulators. If you are ready to dive in, then make sure you purchase the right one for your needs.

While I have talked about my top 5 recommendations, keep in mind that you might like some options more than others. I would strongly advise you to try on any gear a couple of times in a safe, controlled environment first. There is no point in taking a risk with this kind of essential equipment.

Before I sign off, I have just one little tip for you. Make sure that you clean your scuba diving regulator and gear thoroughly after every use. Most people avoid doing this, as they can get lazy. However, it’ll only result in the accumulation of contaminants and bacteria, and can potentially ruin your gear.

Be sure to check out our other buyer’s guides if you’re looking for more scuba gear!

On that note, off I go, ready for my next diving session!