Best Dive Computers of 2020: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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Selecting the best dive computer makes a significant difference for all dives. With one, you'll be able to have all of the most critical information available when you need it.

There are a ton of innovative features built into these technologically-advanced devices. And the key is finding the one unit that matches your every need.

For that, we’ve got you covered.

Best Air Integrated Dive Computer Reviews

1. Shearwater Research Teric Wrist Dive Computer

The Shearwater Research Teric Wrist Dive Computer is quite advanced and comes with several user-friendly features.

It's designed for your safety, but it's also useful for keeping you up to date with important diving information.

You'll love its versatility and high-end features that make it one of the best wrist-friendly dive computers.

Product Highlights

This wrist dive computer is well-rounded and packed with every feature that recreational divers are looking for.

It has a closed and open-circuit functionality, featuring Trimix multi-gas, Nitrox, and Air. One of its most exciting features is the built-in three-axis tilt-compensated digital compass.

There are several modes to choose from, depending on your dive. These include Gauge, Recreational, Freediving, Open-Circuit Tech, and Closed-Circuit.

With this, you gain full control over the computer's functionality, as you can change the configurations to your liking.

For example, divers can choose a specific button for certain tools, such as their timer, stopwatch, or the compass.

Not only will you have access to audible alarms, but it also features haptic feedback, allowing the device to vibrate.

If you wish, you can opt to disable the audible alarm for a more stealthy diving experience.

You'll easily be able to read all of the information displayed on the AMOLED display.

Divers can choose from a selection of gas definition presets that support helium, oxygen, and nitrogen mixes.

Plus, you won't have to worry about the dive computer locking you out if you miss a stop.

If you already own the Shearwater Cloud Dive Log Machine, you'll appreciate how this unit seamlessly syncs with it.

Using Bluetooth technology, you can connect your device to your computer or smartphone to download updates and dive logs.

This computer has plenty of additional capabilities, too, including monitoring the pressure of two tanks.

Divers will like the GTR (Gas Time Remaining) readings and seamless air integration across all modes.

You can also customize your computer's appearance by choosing what information you want to be displayed in specific spots.

What to Like About It

There are several impressive qualities of this device that makes it well worth the investment.

The screen is impeccably bright and clear above- and underwater, while the Bluetooth connectivity is always reliable.

With excellent battery life and a user-friendly interface, it's ideal for professional and intermediate divers.

You'll also love the number of features built into the computer, all available in a low-profile design.

What Not to Like About It

Although the Shearwater Research Teric Wrist Dive Computer is very customizable, the top and bottom sections are fixed.

This means that you won't be able to choose what information is displayed in these quadrants.

Another concern is that you should consider investing in the Shearwater laminate screen cover. Even though the screen is made of sapphire glass, it will show wear over time.

PROS

  • Highly customizable
  • Bright and reliable screen
  • Easily connects to your smartphone
  • User-friendly interface
  • Convenient low-profile design
  • Exceptional battery life

CONS

  • Will require a laminate screen cover
  • Fixed top and bottom screen sections

2. Oceanic Pro Plus x Dive Computer

The Oceanic Pro Plus x Dive Computer has a streamlined and straightforward user interface.

You will enjoy its several useful features and the fact that it is also designed to be used in multiple conditions.

If you need an air-integrated dive computer, this is a well-rounded model to consider.

Product Highlights

The most significant feature of the Oceanic Pro Plus x Dive Computer is its display. It is designed to provide users with the most accurate and most legible display on the market.

All of the digits are adequately sized so that you can see the most critical information immediately. The display easily adapts to both night-diving and bright and sunny conditions.

The information is color-coded, too, so you can get data without second-guessing. Also, the bar graphs feature higher resolutions that allow you to see underwater.

With the implementation of the dual algorithm system, you'll have one of the best decompression methods.

Divers can decompress between 10 and 60 feet while descending as deep as 330 feet.

Another important visibility feature is the ocean glow backlight, which allows the screen to adapt to current conditions.

The audible alarm is another essential addition, notifying you of changing conditions to pay close attention to.

It's designed to offer complete instrumentation, as well as a digital compass built into its design. You'll be able to take advantage of Nitrox mixtures between 21% and 50%.

What to Like About It

The main feature you'll love with this device is how easy it is to read above- and underwater. You'll love it's durability, especially if you like to travel for your diving excursions.

With the hose connection, you can easily attach and detach the dive computer when needed.

Divers can easily switch between black and white and color modes. Lastly, its large readout is essential for knowing imperative information immediately.

What Not to Like About It

The most considerable inconvenience with the Oceanic Pro Plus x Dive Computer is its battery life. Not only does it die quickly, but it can also overheat, which is concerning.

Also, the software isn't as intuitively designed as with other dive computers, which makes the setup challenging.

PROS

  • Easy to read
  • Durable exterior
  • Effortlessly attaches and detaches
  • Large readout
  • Black and white and color modes

CONS

  • Poor battery life
  • Challenging setup
  • Overheats easily

Best Affordable Dive Computer Reviews

1. Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer

The Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer is a highly functional and affordable device.

You’d be impressed by its low-profile design and the fact that it offers plenty of dive information in a small package.

Many of its features are highly intuitive and easily accessible, too.

Product Highlights

The accessibility of this dive computer is one of its most impressive features. Divers will love the sleek design that doesn't impact their freedom while underwater.

Also, the large display provides all of your most-needed diving information in one place.

Its one-button functionality adds to its intuitive design, too. You'll no longer worry about learning a ton of buttons and functions for recreational dives.

Divers will also like how versatile the software is, which keeps all of the readings accurate over time.

As new firmware comes out, you can connect the device to your computer for downloads. Plus, it features multi-gas capability, which helps to keep the gauge highly accurate.

With real-world applications, like monitoring residual nitrogen, it's fantastic for land and water activities. The total depth you can travel to with this unit is 150 meters or 492 feet.

When it comes to receiving alerts, this dive computer provides both audible and visual alarms.

The alarms will be engaged if you ascend too quickly, if your battery is low, missed a decompression stop, and more.

The software features many modes, such as choosing between fresh and saltwater and EAN, Air, and Bottom Time. It also has a built-in log that allows you to look at your dive records.

The computer will hold up to 35 hours of dive time and provides essential data like depth, temperature, Fi02, and more.

Compared to other dive computers, you’ll find that this model feels the most comfortable on your wrist. Its adjustable rubber band accommodates both large and small wrist sizes.

Lastly, because it’s customizable, it can be worn by anyone in your scuba party comfortably.

What to Like About It

You’ll love the rubber strap around the dive computer, which is comfortable and high-quality.

What’s more, the display is straightforward to read and doesn't inundate you with too much information.

Compared to other dive computers, this model is very similar in size with a large display.

What Not to Like About It

Unfortunately, some divers might find it challenging to navigate through the menus because of the single-button operation.

This unit also has limited customization compared to higher-end models. If you are connecting the device to your computer, you'll need to purchase a separate computer cable.

PROS

  • Quality rubber strap
  • Easy-to-read display
  • Provides essential information
  • Decently sized

CONS

  • Single-button operation
  • Minimal customization
  • Computer cable sold separately

2. SUUNTO Zoop Novo Wrist Diving Computer

The SUUNTO Zoop Novo Wrist Diving Computer allows you to use several crucial metrics for diving.

It boasts a heavy-duty design with plenty of convenient features that make it easy to use.

Still, with a maximum depth of 330 feet, it's more than powerful enough for recreational divers.

Product Highlights

On this dive computer, there are four different modes: Gauge, Nitrox, Air, and Freedom.

Divers will be able to program the computer between 21% and 50% oxygen mixtures. Also, all of the data can be displayed in either imperial or metric values.

The audible alarms are essential for knowing if there are significant changes in your dive. They are specifically designed to be easy to hear, even while underwater.

With the addition of the backlit display, you'll be able to scan important information. You'll find that nighttime dives will be far more comfortable with the illuminated display.

The straightforward user interface is another notable feature, making the device more comfortable to use.

You'll have access to four small buttons on the computer's surface. Each of the easily accessible buttons allows you to navigate through the various menus and programs.

If you're in the market for an introductory dive computer, this could easily be a well-rounded option for you.

With that said, because it's incredibly affordable, it is missing some of the high-end features from expensive devices.

You’ll find that this dive computer will be best used by beginners or those looking for a less-advanced option.

By lacking many high-tech features, divers can focus on the basics of learning how to use a dive computer.

Also, it helps to make using the device underwater far simpler and less time-consuming.

What to Like About It

There are a few benefits to the SUUNTO Zoop Novo Wrist Diving Computer, especially for beginners.

In fact, you can tell that this device is designed for entry-level users because it’s where its conveniences lie.

With this, you'll have access to highly visible numbers and essential information within a single glance.

What Not to Like About It

This dive computer is great for beginners, but it lacks plenty of essential features.

First, you cannot switch between imperial and metric values mid-dive. Instead, all diving information is available to recover within 10 minutes after finishing, which is inconvenient.

Another gripe is the quality of the instructions, which are missing important information. You'll likely have to use the company's online videos to set the computer up correctly.

If you are unable to find the videos, it’s recommended you contact their customer service department for assistance.

PROS

  • Useful entry-level device
  • Provides easy-to-read information
  • Large and visible numbers

CONS

  • Cannot switch values mid-dive
  • Poorly written instructions
  • Dive information is challenging to recover
  • Separate USB cable is expensive

Best Tech Dive Computer Reviews

1. SUUNTO Eon Core Wrist Dive Computer

As we get into tech dive computers, you're going to find an onslaught of fantastic features.

The SUUNTO Eon Core Wrist Dive Computer is a fantastic example, as it has plenty of dive modes.

Also, some of its other features make it exceptionally convenient for experienced and technical divers.

Product Highlights

Many features of the Eon Core are similar to SUUNTO's Eon Steel dive computer. While the screen is equal in size, this model is far more lightweight, comfortable, and compact.

Most divers will find that the intuitive design of this dive computer is its most significant selling feature.

The menu prompts are particularly notable, especially as the crystal-clear screen makes everything easier to see.

With excellent underwater readability, you'll be able to keep an eye on current metrics for the safest possible dive.

You'll have full control over the data displayed on the screen and change the information’s layout.

The available information is displayed on the backlit LED screen in contrasting colors. You'll easily be able to differentiate between your dive time and depth with its design.

All of the alarms will be visible in red, so there won't be any confusion between the other metrics.

Divers can easily toggle through the on-board log, gas consumption, and depth while underwater.

Its ergonomics are another impressive feature to note, as it feels sophisticated, sleek, and discreet. Also, you can quickly flip the screen for right- or left-arm wear.

You can get up to 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, and connecting it to a charger is quite simple.

Fortunately, it features a magnetic charger, and the device might take up to five hours to charge when drained.

With that said, if you're an active diver, you might have to charge it more often than expected.

It's important to note the Eon Steel is the perfect option for transitioning from recreational to technical dives. As its maximum depth rating is 80 meters, it cannot be dedicated solely to tech dives.

With that said, the customizable features allow you to get a better idea of how to use a technical computer before upgrading.

What to Like About It

When diving at night, you'll love having a bright display that is easy to read underwater. All of the metrics are readily available and color-coded for your convenience.

Also, its battery life is awe-inspiring, considering the size and features of the unit.

It might seem intimidating at first, but all of the features are very user-friendly. Recharging the device is exceptionally convenient, too, with the magnetic USB charger.

What Not to Like About It

The SUUNTO Eon Core Wrist Dive Computer is very big, especially when compared to compact computers.

You might even find the screen is substantially larger than other tech-friendly computers.

It's also incredibly challenging to read in direct sunlight, as the screen produces too much glare.

PROS

  • Readable in low light
  • Easy-to-read metrics
  • Impressive battery capacity
  • User-friendly design
  • Matches with DSAT computers
  • Convenient recharging

CONS

  • Challenging to read in the sun
  • The screen produces too much glare
  • Massive screen

2. Shearwater Research Perdix IA Dive Computer

The Research Perdix IA Dive Computer is a relatively new device from Shearwater. It's an upgraded version of the Perdix, featuring a larger display with easy-to-read features.

There are many other metrics that the Perdix IA provides, making it essential for technical dives.

Product Highlights

The upgraded screen size is essential for technical divers, especially as you'll need plenty of data. This dive computer now displays your tank pressure and gas-time remaining (GTR).

Divers can connect the device to two or one transmitters, depending on the number of tanks you have.

When you place your order, you'll receive one dive computer and one transmitter for your gear.

Unfortunately, this unit doesn't have a built-in rechargeable battery, as it takes AA batteries. You should also consider purchasing a second transmitter for longer dives.

The built-in digital compass will prove to be incredibly useful, together with the many modes it offers. You'll be able to choose between Nitrox, Air, and Trimix modes.

You'll also have access to its innovative tilt-compensated three-axis design.

One of the most exciting features of the Perdix IA is the fact that it is a smart dive computer with integrated Bluetooth.

To update the firmware, you won't even need to connect the device to your computer. Instead, you can upgrade it through your smartphone or other Bluetooth-compatible devices.

If you prefer longer dives, you'll love how the Perdix IA allows you to track up to 1000 hours of diving. The 260-meter depth rating is also essential for technical dives.

There are five open-circuit gas switch presets for you to choose from, and Buhlmann ZHL-16C gradient factors.

What to Like About It

The Shearwater Research Perdix IA Dive Computer is very well-rounded. You'll be able to use it in cold and warm conditions and during the day and at night.

The crystal-clear display is effortless to see regardless of the level of light.

Divers will love how versatile this unit is, making it perfect for rec and tech diving. Also, most of the information on the screen can be customized.

What Not to Like About It

When you review your diving logs on the wrist unit, specific metrics are missing.

For example, if you want to see consumed air, you'll have to look at the logs on a computer or smartphone.

Some divers also noted that the software is quite outdated, and patches are few and far between.

PROS

  • Customizable screen information
  • Designed for cold and warm water
  • Crystal clear display
  • Easy to put in different modes
  • Useful for tech and rec diving

CONS

  • Not rechargeable
  • Specific metrics unavailable in log

Best Wrist Dive Computer Reviews

1. Cressi Newton Titanium Diving Computer

The features packed into the Cressi Newton Titanium Diving Computer are incredibly useful for recreational divers.

You can guarantee you'll get plenty of use out of this wrist model, especially with its sleek and comfortable design.

What’s more, as one of the more prestigious diving brands, it's a surprise that this computer is quite affordable.

Product Highlights

The Newton is the third and most recently designed model in Cressi's line of dive computers.

It provides all of your most crucial dive-related information, like dive times, depth, ascent rate, decompression needs, and more.

Its software is quite sophisticated, ensuring different mixtures can be used.

With the dual-mixture Cressi-Wienke RGBM algorithm, you'll receive safe and reliable decompression calculations.

You can easily repeat the same formula for multiple daily dives and with several different mixtures.

The intuitive software ensures that divers can choose from two hyper oxygenated mixtures, which you can select while diving.

The available alarms are also exceptional, as they are both auditory and visual.

Divers will have a clear view of oxygen toxicity, thanks to the visual CNS indicator. You can also view a ton of dive data, including decompression, for air and nitrox dives.

As with most dive computers, the Newton is equipped with a built-in dive profile. You can log up to 70 hours of dives and transition them to your PC or Mac with a simple interface.

The dive computer’s overall build quality is equally as notable as its internal features. The outer case is made from stainless steel and is anti-shock.

With the addition of the lightweight materials, you'll find it won't interfere with your freedom underwater.

Also, the stainless steel helps to protect the computer from fall damage and extensive wear and tear.

Compared to other computers, this wrist model is very low-profile, with a maximum height of 14mm.

The hydrodynamic profile is wholly rounded and prevents you from potentially snagging it on your gear.

As an added advantage, the backlit display makes it exceptionally easy to read pertinent information in all lighting.

What to Like About It

The elegant design of the Cressi Newton Titanium Diving Computer is very impressive, as is its saltwater resistance.

Also, the perfectly lit screen makes it very easy to read the numerical values on the face. You'll love how apparent and loud the alarms are, too, alerting you to dangerous conditions.

What Not to Like About It

There are a few essentials this dive computer is missing, including transmitter capabilities. It also doesn't have a built-in compass, which would add to its versatility.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to recharge the unit; it requires replaceable batteries.

PROS

  • Elegant design
  • Saltwater resistance
  • Easy-to-read numbers
  • Highly functional
  • Alarms are bright and loud
  • Optimized for recreational dives

CONS

  • Not transmitter capable
  • Does not have a compass
  • Not rechargeable

2. Mares Quad Dive Computer

The Mares Quad Dive Computer is another intuitively designed wrist dive computer. It offers a clear display with incredibly user-friendly features, even for entry-level divers.

In fact, it could easily have one of the most evident displays on the market.

Product Highlights

You'll be surprised at the number of features you'll have with this computer for its affordable price.

Two customizable fields allow you to display ancillary information at your leisure. Also, the four accessible buttons will enable you to navigate through the user-interface intuitively.

You can opt to engage the mirrored button function while underwater so that you can easily view decompression alarms and dive times.

Divers will appreciate the multi-gas capabilities and the dive planner that allows you to adjust surface intervals with ease.

The computer is also designed to have superior battery life, although it's not rechargeable.

One of these device's primary objectives is to give you a dive computer that grows with you.

Even though it has a ton of user-friendly entry-level features, the interface always improves with software upgrades.

Divers will have access to crucial precise information within seconds. The information on the screen is perfectly placed so that you can easily read it from anywhere, too.

Another notable feature is the mineral glass display, which is also tempered to provide optimal scratch resistance.

The innovative screen materials help to reduce daytime glare, so you can easily read the numbers from any angle.

Divers can switch between one or more oxygen-enriched settings. Also, the display works up to 150 meters or 492 feet.

As you dive, the computer will log up to 38 hours of diving to review your previous excursions. You'll appreciate how it can be used in both saltwater and freshwater.

You can also adjust the values from metric to imperial measurements. Along with diving functions, you'll have access to plan modes, a stopwatch, and a power indicator.

What to Like About It

The user interface of the Mares Quad Dive Computer is straightforward to read and use. Each of the menus is easy to work through, and it features large text and numbers.

If you want a sleek and unobtrusive dive computer, this is a top-tier product to consider.

What Not to Like About It

The most significant issue with the computer is that it scratches exceptionally easy. It's recommended you find a screen shield or cover to maintain its high-quality appearance.

Also, it's inconvenient that you can't recharge the computer and will require replacement batteries.

Lastly, because this device doesn't have Bluetooth, you'll have to purchase a separate USB connector, making it costly.

PROS

  • Clearly designed interface
  • Intuitively placed buttons
  • Easily navigable
  • Feels sleek and stylish
  • Huge numbers

CONS

  • Face scratches easily
  • Not rechargeable
  • USB connector purchased separately

Best Console Dive Computer Reviews

1. Oceanic Pro Plus x Dive Computer

The Oceanic Pro Plus x Dive Computer is also a fantastic option for a dive computer. It boasts complete instrumentation with a highly intuitive user interface.

If you want a dive computer with Nitrox measures between 21% and 50%, this is a great option.

Product Highlights

Divers who need bright and easy-to-read information will love this unit. It also comes with a QD hose to quickly disconnect the dive computer from your gear.

With its complete instrumentation, you'll have plenty of exceptional features as well as a digital compass.

Compared to most other dive computers, you'll find that this unit is very legible. It's a fantastic option for individuals who typically wear glasses.

Also, the bright and clear display helps to keep you safer while you're underwater.

Interestingly, the display will adapt to both bright and lowlight conditions, whether on land or water.

Also, the interface is color-coded, so you can easily access pertinent information without second-guessing.

All of the bar graphs feature the same high-quality imagery for easy access.

Divers can choose their ideal decompression method with the dual algorithm system. Also, the depth rating is up to 330 feet with decompression between ten and 60 feet.

Finally, you'll like the audible alarms that are easy to hear, even while underwater.

What to Like About It

The Oceanic Pro Plus x Dive Computer is a fantastic entry-level console dive computer with an impressively large readout.

It's also easy to connect from your gear in emergencies or to pack away your scuba rig.

The user-interface is its most exciting feature, as it's easy for anyone to navigate.

What Not to Like About It

The battery is the most considerable concern with this device, as it can quickly overheat. Also, if you need a replacement, you'll have to contact the manufacturer.

PROS

  • Simple user interface
  • Easy to disconnect
  • Very large readout
  • Easily navigable features

CONS

  • The battery is factory replaceable
  • Battery can overheat

2. Suunto Cobra Dive Computer Console

The Suunto Cobra Dive Computer Console has mixed reviews due to its dated technology. It's an affordable and useful tool to have on-hand but will require a few updates.

If you're interested in switching to a console dive computer, this is a great transitional model.

Product Highlights

There are three different operating modes to choose from, which are Air, Nitrox, and Gauge.

Divers can customize their programming between 21% and 50% oxygen mixtures. On the screen, you'll be able to see oxygen partial pressures between 17.4 and 23.2 psi.

Another adjustable feature is the altitude, which can be managed up to 10,000 feet, or 3,000 meters.

This display features a maximum depth of 492 feet, or 150 meters, depending on if you choose imperial or metric values.

You can also decide to use a 12- or 24-hour clock display, depending on preference.

One of the exciting features of the Suunto Cobra Dive Computer Console is its temperature display.

Divers can take advantage of the temperature gauge, which is accurate up to -/+ one degrees.

The audible alarms are also notable, as they are quite loud when underwater.

With the addition of the logbook, all of your essential dive data will be stored. It has an average amount of storage, up to 36 hours, so you'll want to import the memory frequently.

The backlight display is another fantastic feature that makes the screen easier to see in low light and night dives.

What to Like About It

The Suunto Cobra Dive Computer Console is an excellent option for a primary console dive computer. It doesn't take a lot of knowledge to set it up correctly, and the display is clear.

The straightforward design is convenient for entry-level divers, too.

You'll also like the quick-connect feature that allows you to disconnect the computer to hold it separately quickly.

What Not to Like About It

Unfortunately, the screen on this computer isn't as bright as some others on the market.

It doesn't have a built-in compass, which is one of the many technologically-advanced features it lacks.

PROS

  • Requires limited setup
  • Clear display
  • Fundamental and easy design
  • Quick-connect is convenient

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a compass
  • Not especially bright

Buyer's Guide

Your dive computer is essential for your safety as well as your curiosity. If you want to track your diving metrics, it's definitely a must-have, especially when managing your air.

Below are some of the most important things to look for in a top-tier dive computer.

1. Air System Integration

There are two main types of air systems that dive computers work with: independent and integrated.

Independent computers work on their own as a compass, depth gauge, and more. However, they don't need to connect to your tanks.

You'll find most of these systems will be without transmitters. Most recreational divers aren't going to need integrated systems, after all, as you'll only need necessary information.

On the other hand, technical divers are going to need transmitter-capable dive computers.

These devices can connect to one or two tanks and transmit essential data to your dive computer.

By connecting to your air supply and regulator, the system will track your tank's air and give you accurate calculations.

Although this is a very convenient feature, you can guarantee it will add a substantial sum to your gear.

If you prefer to dive with dual tanks, you'll love the versatility of higher-end dive computers. Several models allow you to monitor dual tanks on the same screen with ease.

2. Algorithm

Did you know that diving computers are designed to have an algorithm? It is responsible for figuring your no decompression schedules and dive times.

Using plenty of metrics, like pressure, time, and depth, you'll receive accurate calculations.

With that said, different brands will use different algorithms, each with their benefits.

You'll find some algorithms allow for longer stops or fewer stops. Others will have different dive time allowances and changing no-fly recommendations.

If you're an inexperienced diver, you'll want a more conservative algorithm that doesn't allow for any changes.

Also, if you have health concerns, you'll want a more conservative dive computer. For example, if you're prone to decompression sickness, you'll want to keep yourself within safe limits.

A few of the most notable algorithms include:

Haldane

This algorithm is based on several dive tables that have slower ascension rates than others.

It was initially developed in 1908, with John Scott Haldane frequently referred to as the decompression theory father.

Most divers would agree that the Haldane algorithm is very conservative, which allows for extremely safe decompression.

You should be able to find Sherwood and Oceanic dive computers that boast the Haldane algorithm.

Modified Haldanian

Mares initially designed the modified Haldanian algorithm to allow for a little more liberalism with its programming.

It features a few updates compared to the original Haldane theory, making it more adaptable to tech divers.

Buhlmann ZHL-16C

You've likely heard of the Buhlmann ZHL-16C algorithm at one point or another. It was initially developed by Dr. Albert A. Buhlmann, a physician.

The principles of this model were designed using the Haldane algorithm, but with a few improvements.

Over the years, there have been several updates that allow it to be used in modern dive computers.

It's highly adaptable for technical divers, as you can easily manipulate it. However, it can also be used as a primary conservative dive computer.

Pelagic DSAT

If you're in the market for a more liberal dive algorithm, the Pelagic DSAT is a fantastic option.

With this, you'll have plenty of adjustable features, which is what makes it great for technical diving.

Some of the most mainstream brands that use this algorithm are Genesis, Aeris, Sherwood, Oceanic, and Tusa.

Pelagic Z+

Oceanic and Aqua Lung are the two primary manufacturers that use this algorithm. You'll find it's primarily based around the Buhlmann ZHL-16C algorithm.

Reduced Gradient Bubble Model (RGBM)

RGBM algorithms are prevalent among Suunto, Uwatec, Mares, and Cressi devices. It's one of the more conservative options, which makes it ideal for beginners.

There is very little room for adjustments, which is great for recreational divers. Overall, it's likely the most-used algorithm because of its unique methods of calculation.

The premise behind the algorithm is that the computer calculates microbubbles in the bloodstream due to nitrogen build-up.

You'll likely find models with some type of adaptation to RGBM, but the basic principles remain the same.

3. Alarms

Having access to urgent alerts is imperative for any diver, whether tech or rec. The built-in alarm system on your device should be audible as well as visual.

Some of the higher-end models also offer haptic feedback so that the computer will vibrate against your wrist.

Although it's essential to check your computer regularly, alarms will let you know when your attention is required.

The most exciting feature is that most alarms can be customized based on personal settings. You'll always know of changing conditions, whether by sound, vibration, or lights.

4. Display

There are a few essentials to think about when it comes to choosing the perfect display. It should be large, bright enough, and display pertinent information in an easy-to-read format.

You'll want to make sure the display is backlit with a high-quality resolution to read metrics in and out of the water quickly.

Also, the screen should be easy to view at any angle and whether you're in direct sunlight or not.

Most of the top-tier dive computers allow you to customize the information on your display. You'll be able to select what metrics to display in specific quadrants for easy access.

It's also essential you choose a display made from high-quality materials. Otherwise, the face could be prone to scratching and damage after just a couple of dives.

A great option is to consider purchasing a screen protector to preserve your computer's integrity.

5. Water Activation

If you're an incredibly forgetful person, water activation can be a superior feature to have.

What this feature does is ensure that your dive computer turns on as soon as it touches the water.

Even though it might sound like a convenience, it can be essential to guarantee your dive computer works when it's supposed to.

6. Size and Comfort

The last thing you want is to invest in a dive computer that's uncomfortable to wear.

Your chosen model should sit comfortably on your wrist without slippage. You'll also want to make sure it's hydrodynamic and low-profile, so it won't snag on your gear.

Make sure the dive computer has an adjustable wrist strap to accommodate your body at different stages.

Best Dive Computer FAQs

1. What is a dive computer?

Dive computers are important tools to have when you dive, mainly to keep you safe. They're responsible for tracking several metrics and will use dive tables to monitor your dive.

You'll also find that they contain several useful tools, such as alarms, a submersible pressure gauge, and more.

2. How does a dive computer work?

By using depth and time, it can track the nitrogen that dissolves in your body while diving.

Over time, you'll be able to refer back to the computer to let you know how much safe diving time you have left.

Every dive computer requires an algorithm that allows it to calculate your remaining time. Some algorithms are more conservative than others, depending on your experience level.

It's essential to choose the right algorithm so that you can have the most enjoyable dive.

3. How to choose a dive computer?

There are several important features to think about when choosing a dive computer, as noted above.

You'll want to take design, measured metrics, and the display into account. It's also crucial you opt for a dive computer that has the right algorithm for your needs.

4. How to clean and maintain a dive computer?

Fortunately, cleaning and maintaining your dive computer is relatively simple.

Like the other pieces of your diving equipment, you can use water and mild soap to keep everything sanitized.

You'll want to ensure that you use a soft cloth to clean the housing so that you don't scratch the screen.

You can follow these cleaning tips:

  • Always make sure that you rinse your dive computer first to remove any traces of sand and debris before cleaning.
  • Be sure to use a mild detergent to prevent the cleaner from wearing down your computer's materials.
  • Some dive computers come with a flushing mechanism, but ensure you check your owner's manual first.

Typically, you can hold all of the buttons down while the computer is underwater to flush out sand.

  • If you have caked-on dirt and debris, use a soft toothbrush to scrub through crevices.
  • Once you're finished cleaning, ensure you allow the dive computer to dry thoroughly before putting it into storage.
  • You can use the original packaging as a safe and convenient place for storing the dive computer during the offseason.

Otherwise, you can invest in a scuba gear bag with a special compartment for your dive computer.

Our Final Recommendation

There are a few top-tier models to consider when discussing the best dive computer.

We love the Shearwater Research Teric Wrist Dive Computer as the best air integrated dive computer with its distinctive high-end features.

For the best affordable dive computer, the Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer has a ton of reliable and easy-to-use features.

The crystal-clear display and supreme features of the Shearwater Research Perdix IA Dive Computer easily make it the best tech dive computer.

Also, check out the Suunto Cobra Dive Computer Console as the best console dive computer, as it's user-friendly and easy for beginners.

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