Best Scuba Regulators of 2020: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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Picking out all of the gear necessary for a successful scuba setup, such as a scuba BCD, takes time. There will also be a lot to learn along the way.

Whether you are an experienced diver looking to expand your collection or a new diver who wants to see what is available in the diving world, there are hundreds of different gear options.

In terms of the best scuba regulator for each diver, it will depend on budget, skill level, desired features, conditions, and many other factors.

The only way to find the right regulator is to learn about what each top-tier option offers. Then, supplement that knowledge with an idea of why specific features are necessary on a scuba regulator.

Best Scuba Regulator Reviews

To ensure you have options for your specific needs, let's look at some of the best regulators for general scuba diving and cold-water diving.

We'll also review models suited for those on a strict budget and want to make sure they won't exceed any airline weight limits.

Best Regulators for General Scuba Diving

1. Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator

The Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator is a well-known and well-awarded scuba regulator.

Available at a mid-range price, many divers of different skill levels consider it when shopping around.

Product Highlights

The Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator is a conventionally designed regulator that fits into the same style scheme as some popular Atomic Aquatics Regulators.

It includes a balanced first-stage piston design that most Atomic products have in them today.

Its brass body has thick chrome-plating, and you can fit this regulator with either yoke or DIN since it has two HP and five MP ports.

There is also an optional environmental seal on the regulator that you can use for cold water diving scenarios.

It also has a rapid adjustment knob designed for easier on-the-move adjustments necessary while scuba diving.

The Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator has five LP ports fitted into an end cap. You can rotate this cap to make housing and storing the hoses easier.

The popular Automatic Flow Control that the brand is known for is used in the second stage regulation of this regulator. The company's valve seat orifice is used, as well.

The Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator includes either two years or 300 dives worth of internal servicing with purchase. Upon purchase, you will also get a limited lifetime warranty.

The Good

Atomic is a well-known brand with a great reputation for making high-quality diving equipment, and for a good reason.

The equipment that they make can perform well even in high-stress diving situations, and the Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator is no exception to that rule.

One thing, in particular, that many divers enjoyed about this regulator is that it has a unique swivel mount design.

This design ensures limited jaw fatigue and sore gums after diving.

Another huge benefit of this Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator’s design is the turreted first stage and incredibly light second stage regulation.

Together, these parts give the Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator great, easy-to-use breathability to ensure user's safety and comfort.

The Bad

For some people, it is a good thing that the Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator comes unsealed. However, not everyone will be diving in murky or cold conditions.

Thus, the added service costs of needing to put in the optional sealing and then maintaining it can be a drawback for those who dive in such conditions.

Still, it is a good thing that the Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator includes the environmental seal that you can put in.

By doing so, you can use the Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator in different diving situations.

Pros:
  • Lots of port options
  • Dependable breathability
  • Reliable brand with included warranty
  • Comfortable swivel mount
  • Easy to set up
  • Includes optional environmental seal
Cons:
  • Pricey
  • The optional seal requires more servicing when installed
  • Servicing can be tricky

2. Sherwood Scuba SR2 Regulator

The mid-range Sherwood Scuba SR2 Regulator is another swivel-mount scuba regulator that many find to be the perfect blend of function and price.

Product Highlights

The Sherwood Scuba SR2 Regulator is a great regulator equipped with five low-pressure ports.

These ports are turret-mounted on a 360-degree swivel mount for easy storage and usability.

The regulator has a one-touch performance adjustment knob. It also has a balanced second-stage mechanism to ensure the best diving experience with consistent breathability.

The Sherwood Scuba SR2 Regulator is also Nitrox ready for up to 40%.

It also comes with a pre-installed, environmentally-sealed first-stage piston, while the second stage regulation has a compact design.

Finally, the Sherwood Scuba SR2 Regulator has a smart-demand lever.

It helps relieve any unnecessary pressure that might cause extra wear or problems with the second-stage valve between dives.

The Good

The effortless, multi-functional control capabilities of the Sherwood Scuba SR2 Regulator is what helps it stand out from other regulators at this price point.

The five LP ports are on a swivel turret that offers full rotation, and that enables divers like you route the hoses in any way that you prefer.

Since the Sherwood Scuba SR2 Regulator is dry-sealed and has a good purge system, you can keep breathing cleanly and easily.

That is no matter what type of depth or breathing rate you are dealing with during your dive.

Sherwood also designed this specific mid-range mask for straightforward usability. They only added features that truly benefit the overall use factor.

The Bad

The primary complaint that may become an issue for you with the Sherwood Scuba SR2 Regulator is some people found that the standard mouthpiece is too small to be comfortable to use.

What's worse is that this is not as simple as a fix as it might seem. Still, this problem might not be a dealbreaker depending on your particular fit.

Another potential issue is that the second stage on the Sherwood Scuba SR2 Regulator is heavier than the ones on more expensive regulators.

Of course, you would expect this problem at this price point and shouldn’t be a significant issue for most of you.

Pros:
  • Great breathing performance
  • Good value for the price
  • Fully balanced and sealed first stage
  • Includes a two-year limited warranty
  • Easy to service
Cons:
  • Small mouthpiece
  • Heavy second stage
  • May need out-of-box adjustments

3. SCUBAPRO Evo Scuba Diving Regulator MK25/A700

The SCUBAPRO Evo Scuba Diving Regulator is a high-end product.

It is an excellent fit for anyone ready to pay for the top-of-the-line features needed for the best dive imaginable.

Product Highlights

The SCUBAPRO Evo Scuba Diving Regulator (MK25/A700) is one of the most well-known and well-loved regulators that fall in this price range. For this review, we will focus on the carbon DIN model.

This regulator is known for being incredibly reliable, which is expected from a regulator at this price point.

This premium regulator uses SCUBAPRO's best technology to ensure a great experience through great design and materials.

It has two HP ports and five LP ports for easy hose management.

The A700 has a carbon fiber front, plated metal casing, and metal valve housing. It ensures that the second-stage can make it through many dives without being damaged.

The coating on the entire SCUBAPRO Evo Scuba Diving Regulator (MK25/A700) gives the whole piece a nice look.

It also helps prevent both corrosion and scratches from affecting the regulator as you use it on countless dives.

The first stage has a balanced, fully insulated design that allows for consistent and easy airflow regardless of the external conditions that might otherwise affect breathability.

The SCUBAPRO Evo Scuba Diving Regulator has a DIN 300 connector, and you can use it in both cold and warm water conditions.

The Good

The best part of this particular regulator is how simple and easy it is to breathe in the mask.

That is alll thanks to the regulator's fast breathing response design.

The first stage is balanced and sealed, and the entirety of the regulation parts are thermally insulated.

That will ensure they do not freeze up or slow down even as the conditions change while you are diving.

We also love the SCUBAPRO Evo Scuba Diving Regulator's swiveling first stage.

It is equipped with a large number of port options, making it very easy to get a comfortable setup in place as you make your way into the water.

Lastly, hose management shouldn’t be something that holds you back while using this high-end regulator.

The Bad

While this is a high-end regulator, it does not have as many features or add-ons as other high-end regulators in the same price range. For some, that will be a major drawback.

That said, there are actually benefits to the more limited feature scope of the SCUBAPRO Evo Scuba Diving Regulator.

That is, every single feature included is well-tested and works efficiently.

After all, SCUBAPRO focuses on releasing something that works exactly as it should with consistency rather than adding on features that aren’t required.

Pros:
  • Balanced and sealed piston design
  • Insulated parts
  • Swivel design with multiple ports
  • Great breathability
  • Warranty included
Cons:
  • Not many fancy add-ons
  • Limited features compared to others in this price category

4. Aqua Lung Core Regulator

The last option for general diving is the Aqua Lung Core Regulator. It falls on the more budget-friendly side, so does it still stand up to the other options?

Product Highlights

The Aqua Lung Core Regulator is a basic regulator that includes the first and second stages.

It also has regulator hose that you will need to set up your scuba equipment successfully.

As a diver, you must remember that corrosive water can wash away internal lubricants that are meant to extend the usable life of a regulator.

The good thing is that the Aqua Lung Core Regulator has a balanced, first stage regulator fitted with an ACD (auto-closure device).

This particular features helps prevent water from getting where it should not.

Regarding the second stage on this regulator, it is pneumatically-balanced to ensure smooth and easy breathing during every dive.

The Aqua Lung Core Regulator is available in either a yoke or DIN design. Both are great, depending on what your overall setup is like.

The Good

The Aqua Lung Core Regulator is great for beginners and experienced divers who want to keep their setup streamlined and simple.

The regulator provides great breathing through the inclusion of the ACD system.

It also has a Venturi system that helps keep unwanted free-flow in check.

The Aqua Lung Core Regulator's switch also has a good size that you can adjust even when wearing thick diving gloves.

Additionally, the system has several heat sinks in place. These heat sinks will ensure that the second stage regulation does not fail or slow down due to changes in the water temperature.

The Bad

While this is an excellent option for many beginners and mid-range divers, it doesn’t have all of the features that more advanced divers might want to see from their scuba equipment.

The venturi markings for “min” and “max” are unclear, making it difficult to get the right setup.

Additionally, there isn’t a way to simply adjust the Aqua Lung Core Regulator for needed inhalation effort.

That can be a big drawback for those who want to do more advanced and specific customizations.

That said, many divers will not notice or miss out on these features that are geared towards those with more experience.

Pros:
  • Great breathability
  • ACD system prevents corrosion
  • Good for beginners
  • Balanced first-stage regulation
  • Multiple ports 
Cons:
  • Advanced divers may lack customization options
  • Inhalation not adjustable

Best Budget Scuba Regulators

1. Palantic AS101 Yoke Diving Dive Regulator and Octopus Combo

The Palantic AS101 is a set that includes a second regulator and octopus, but does it make sense for most divers to invest in?

Product Highlights

With this set, you'll get a first stage regulator with a 36-inch yellow hose on the octopus, plus a secondary black hose on the second regulator.

As expected from a budget-friendly product, it has limitations. One is that you can't adjust the second stage regulator.

However, there is a level of piston control to ensure good airflow delivery.

The affordable Palantic AS101 Yoke Diving Dive Regulator and Octopus Combo also has built-in environmental sealing.

As such, it should be suitable to use in some cold water conditions without worries about freezing or ice in the hoses.

The Good

The Palantic AS101 Yoke Diving Dive Regulator and Octopus Combo is truly a scenario of the greatest value for your money.

It is what makes it an excellent choice for beginners looking for a reliable but not overly-outfitted regulator for their early diving experiences.

This regulator is built with an over-balanced first stage to ensure good breathability even though the second stage is not adjustable.

For new divers, breathability is more important than purging difficulties and other small annoyances that likely won’t come into play while they are learning the ropes.

The attractive price point and beginner-friendly design make this an excellent option for many.

The Bad

This combo regulator is built for limited dives up to around 30 meters. You shouldn't buy it for deep-sea diving or other deep dive uses.

While this is not a drawback for some divers, this regulator combo won’t be the right option for some divers.

Specifically, those with advanced diving skills or looking to dive in more challenging waters.

Pros:
  • Large purge button
  • Easy-to-use design
  • Combo includes much of what you need with a regulator
  • Intermediate pressure; helps with breathability 
Cons:
  • Non-adjustable second stage
  • Limited depth ratings

2. Mares Scuba Regulator Octo Dive Gear Package

Another great combo-option that is good for beginners is the Mares Scuba Regulator Octo Dive Gear Package.

This package is available at a slightly higher price point than the Palantic since it has more features for advanced dives.

Product Highlights

This package set includes two things: Mares Rover 2S Regulator and Mares Rover Octopus.

The Mares Rover 2S Regulator is a first-stage regulator that you can hook up to the Mares Rover Octopus by using the included hose.

This step is necessary to have a scuba regulator system that you can use for simple dives and limited depths with good breathability.

Since this system uses an octopus rather than a balanced second stage regulation valve, the air pressure is unbalanced.

Thus, it would not be safe to dive in deep depths or challenging conditions with this setup.

Both the 2S regulator and the octopus are compact, simple, and lightweight, making them very easy to use and understand.

In fact, the two are so compact that they make a great travel option for many divers who just want to take a simple setup with them on trips.

While the overall system is unbalanced, the first stage is a balanced diaphragm system. This helps keep the intermediate pressure for easy breathing in action.

The regulator pieces are made from marine-grade brass and then chrome-plated to ensure their durability.

The regulator pieces are also environmentally sealed for protection from both changing temperatures and the elements.

The Mares Prestige Octo included with this set is a mid-size octopus that helps ensure natural and easy breathing while using this regulator setup.

The system has an advanced air-bypass tube in place, which helps create the necessary pressure differences for simple inhaling and breathing at a variety of depths.

The Good

The simplicity and ease-of-use of the Mares Scuba Regulator Octo Dive Gear Package make it stand out.

Even as a highly reliable regulator, this type of setup could be very complicated if it wasn’t streamlined as it is.

However, the Mares Scuba Regulator Octo Dive Gear Package includes all the essential items you would need.

That will ensure you can set it up easily for your simple dives and learning experiences as you make your way in the world of scuba diving.

Additionally, it’s still a great option even for those who are more experienced but don’t feel the need to spend a ton of money on an expensive setup.

The Mares Scuba Regulator Octo Dive Gear Package works well even at its affordable price.

The Bad

The Mares Scuba Regulator Octo Dive Gear Package is an unbalanced system.

It only has a first stage regulator and then an octopus to use for conversions to breathable air.

Additionally, there are minimal diver customizations you can make to the entire rigging.

While this is a good thing for beginners who might not be sure how to set up a more advanced system, it is not going to be the best choice for challenging dives and advanced divers.

That said, this system makes for a great, affordable backup system for any diver who may want to have something reliable but do not have too much money to spare.

Pros:
  • Available as both yoke or DIN system
  • Simple and easy to figure out
  • Great backup regulator option
  • Reliable
Cons:
  • No diver adjustments
  • Unbalanced system

Best Cold Water Scuba Regulators

1. SCUBAPRO MK25 EVO/A700 Diving Regulator with INT/Yoke

This SCUBAPRO MK25 EVO/A700 Diving Regulator is the INT/Yoke version of the model we reviewed earlier.

Most of the SCUBAPRO MK25 EVO/A700 Regulator features stay the same when comparing the INT and the DIN models. The primary difference is in the hookup style.

The DIN model is more expensive because of the additional requirement of a hookup system, so this model is an excellent fit for cold water diving at a slightly lower price.

Product Highlights

This SCUBAPRO MK25 EVO/A700 Diving Regulator version is one of the best options for high-end regulators.

The first stage (MK25) is a balanced piston regulator made from chrome-plated brass, while the second stage (A700) is a balanced A series regulator with an all-metal casing.

The entire setup is suitable for temperate, cold, or warm temperature waters, and as the name implies, this particular model has the INT/Yoke connector setup.

In terms of its Nitrox, you can set this unit up to 40%.

The Good

This high-performance MK25 EVO/A700 setup ensures balanced breathability. It is incredibly resistant too freezing.

This resistance is necessary when diving in cold water conditions, and the overall design of the piston system in this regulator prioritizes that.

Both regulators are very durable and made to work in various conditions with an environmentally sealed setup for the first regulator, so cold water diving can be truly comfortable.

The Bad

While this regulator setup is an excellent option for many divers, it’s not made exclusively for cold water.

As such, it doesn't have some of the features found on regulators built explicitly for cold water situations.

That said, most of the features that you would typically need in a cold water diving situation will be similar to what you'll find in this device.

Likewise, only the most extreme conditions will require a cold-water-only specific setup.

Pros:
  • High-quality first and second stage parts
  • Great durability
  • Built for all water temperatures
  • Comfortable mouth design
  • Well-known brand
Cons:
  • Limited features that are specific to cold water diving
  • DIV model is more expensive than INT model

2. Atomic Aquatics ST1 Stainless Steel Regulator

The Atomic Aquatics ST1 Stainless Steel Regulator is another great cold water regulator option.

This high-end regulator offers some of the best technology that scuba giant Atomic has ever made.

Product Highlights

The Atomic Aquatics ST1 Stainless Steel Regulator is a device with great durability.

It is made from type 316 stainless steel, which is known to be more durable than brass and much less likely to corrode than titanium.

Atomic has implemented their patented “comfort swivel” second stage regulator hose on this model since it is one of their high-end models.

This comfort swivel makes it easier for the regulator to be used in a variety of hose configurations with less strain on the jaw and mouth while you are diving.

It also prevents dangerous binding and pulling.

This setup also includes Atomic Aquatics’ Seat Saving Orifice to ensure the second stage seat is less likely to ever leak or degrade in quality during the regulator's lifetime.

That can make a big difference in the long-term durability of this product.

Finally, the ST1 regulator has an AFC (automatic flow control).

Aptly named, it automatically adjusts to ensure comfortable and consistent breathing regardless of depth changes.

The Good

Different divers used the Atomic Aquatics ST1 Stainless Steel Regulator in many different water conditions and temperatures. They said that they have rarely, if ever, been affected by freeflow water bleeds that can happen on lower quality regulators.

The high-quality build and amazing features added to this particular regulator have ensured that it is easy and comfortable to use at any water temperature.

That makes it an excellent option for those who like to occasionally cold water dive.

The Bad

The biggest con of the Atomic Aquatics ST1 Stainless Steel Regulator is its price.

It comes in at a higher price point than models that seem to have similar features.

That said, it also includes a few patented features from Atomic that you can't find in comparable models.

The benefit of having some of those features cannot be set to a price.

The added value of using such a regulator from an advanced brand cannot be overstated if budget is not a concern.

Pros:
  • Effortless to breath
  • Incredibly resistant to corrosion
  • Lightweight second stage
  • Many port options
  • Comfortable mouth mount
Con:
  • Expensive

Best Travel/Lightest Scuba Regulator

For scuba divers who want to travel and try out different diving spots, we only found one that is worth considering as of the moment.

Cressi Intense Use Scuba Diving Regulator

When you’re seeking a lightweight or travel-friendly regulator, the Cressi Intense Use Scuba Diving Regulator is a high-quality, budget option that makes sense for a lot of adventures.

Product Highlights

Cressi is well known for both their scuba and snorkeling equipment.

This compact travel-friendly set is a great regulator option for many who wants to go on diving adventures that aren’t as close to home.

The overall built of the Cressi Intense Use Scuba Diving Regulator is very robust despite its low price.

It has one HP and four LP ports so that you still have several hose options.

It also offers a piston first stage and compact second stage regulator design that was made in Italy with the needs of both travelers and beginners in mind.

The two stages were designed with precision to ensure that the regulator will still be functional even though it is very limited in both size and weight.

The first stage piston setup is affordable, simple, and useable even at deeper depths.

The LP regulation is done with a hexagonal key to ensure easier maintenance.

On the other hand, the second stage has an asymmetrical design that helps create the right pressure balances necessary for easy inhalation and abundant airflow.

You can calibrate the inhalation mechanism to ensure that the airflow is enough when in use, and the changes can be done with a good degree of sensitivity.

Upon purchasing the Cressi Intense Use Scuba Diving Regulator, you'll enjoy a two-year limited warranty.

The Good

The primary feature that will appeal to beginners looking for a lightweight setup or travelers on the go will be the compact and lightweight design of the Cressi Intense Use Scuba Diving Regulator.

While the features of this setup are very paired back, they function incredibly well, considering both the size and the price point.

Another great thing about the Cressi Intense Use Scuba Diving Regulator is its easy-to-breath system.

With this, you can simply dive and use it to a variety of depths as long as you take the appropriate precautions to ensure your setup is secure.

The Bad

Though the Cressi Intense Use Scuba Diving Regulator has a lot of great features, its durability is somewhat limited.

That is because of its compact size, lower price, and overall lightweight build.

Some people have experienced free-flow issues when diving deep, and they had to surface as quickly as possible to avoid any hazards.

For that reason, the Cressi Intense Use Scuba Diving Regulator is best for recreational dives that do not exceed certain depths.

It is also best always to dive with a partner to ensure that you have support if needed.

Pros:
  • Limited warranty
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Good breathability 
Cons:
  • Longterm durability issues
  • Limited features

Scuba Regulator Buyer’s Guide

When shopping around for scuba regulators, there will be many different options that you can find as you try to complete your set.

Even among the regulators we reviewed for your consideration, the features that define scuba regulators are not always easy to break down.

To find the right scuba regulator for your needs, you will need to understand better what these features are and why you should care about them.

It is also best to know what you need to look for the most in these regulators when shopping.

1. DIN vs. Yoke

Every tank for scuba diving works with a specific type of regulator valve.

As such, you want to be sure that you choose a regulator that can fit the type of tank that you want to use or that will be available in the area where you will go diving.

A-Clamp regs will need to be used with an A-clamp type regulator. These regulators are also known as yoke, INT, and international.

Each of these terms is interchangeable, so they can all be used to refer to the same thing even though the terms can seem quite different.

You can also use DIN and yoke clamps with a limited degree of interchangeability as long as you use a converter.

However, you need to pay attention to some specifics if you will use a converter.

So what is the difference between DIN and INT?

  • DIN

DIN screws into the tank. The DIN valve regulator has a screw that you need to twist into the tanks fitted for this type of connection.

DIN regulators also have an O-ring in the regulator, and you can see this dust cap inside the regulator.

You need to fit the O-ring snugly inside when everything is screwed into place to ensure that you created a proper seal.

Some people feel that using DIN tanks is safer than A-clamp tanks because the O-ring is in a position where they can monitor it easily.

  • INT

A-clamp or INT clamps clamp on top of the opening valve of the oxygen tanks that you will use.

In an A-clamp setup, the O-ring is part of the tank on the A-clamp style tank, so this part doesn’t need to be on the regulator itself.

A-clamp tanks are more common than DIN tanks, but in recent years, both have been gaining some equal popularity.

Using a DIN Reg on A-Clamp Tanks

To use a DIN regulator with an A-clamp tank, all you need is a sturdy converter that will hook them up.

It is a straightforward conversion to make, so you don't need to worry about needing to hook up to an A-clamp tank if you are using a DIN regulator.

That is part of the reason why some people choose to use DIN regulators over INT regulators.

Using an A-Clamp Regulator on DIN Tanks

DIN-tanks have a higher pressure, so you need to be more careful whenever you are doing this type of converted hookup.

A-clamp tanks typically only go up to 232 bars, while DIN-tanks can have a rating of up to 300 bars.

For that reason, the DIN tanks you use with an A-clamp regulator should not exceed 232 bars, or else, you could be creating a dangerous situation for yourself.

2. Cost

The cost of a scuba regulator will depend on the specific level and type of regulator that you are shopping for.

That said, regulators are an essential part of the overall scuba diving setup, so it is best to make sure that the money is spent in a way to ensure that you prioritize safety.

Generally, you should expect to spend between $250 and $1200 on a scuba regulator.

3. Ease of Service

When choosing between different regulators, it is important to make sure that you get something with good breathability.

After all, the point of using a regulator is for you to breathe, so breathing needs to be easy when you are using the regulator in question.

Choosing a tested and trusted brand is an excellent way to ensure that you are getting a regulator that is more likely to work properly.

If you choose an untested brand for your regulator, you never know if it will meet the same safety standards for easy breathability compared to those that are well-tested.

Prices that are too good to be true might be just that; make sure that you consider what that price actually equates to in the actual regulator.

4. Seal

Another thing that you might want to look for when choosing a regulator is whether it has an environmental seal or none at all.

That seal is essential, depending on where you want to go diving.

Environmental seals are part of the first stage regulator parts to ensure that the changing water temperatures or chilly temperatures will not cause the hoses to freeze or lock up.

When hoses freeze, it prevents the airflow from moving quickly and evenly to you as the diver, and that can cause big problems.

For that reason, it’s always good to choose a regulator with a dry seal to ensure that diving is as safe as possible.

5. Additional Features

There are a number of more specific things that some scuba divers will also want to take into consideration while they are shopping.

These additional features will not be important to every scuba diver. Their importance matters most for those with specific diving needs or situations that they need to deal with.

Some of these features will be advertised when talking about scuba regulators. As such, it is good for all scuba divers to know more about them as they are shopping.

Miflex and Length of Hoses

The type of hoses included with the regulator and what length those hoses are are important.

Most regulators only include some hoses, and you will likely need to get more hoses after a while.

Many divers choose to use Miflex hoses because of their quality, but there are many great options to choose from.

Number of Ports

The regulator will also have a number of ports needed for hooking up the tanks for diving.

The location and types of these ports will differ from regulator to regulator.

Try to choose a regulator with a minimum of three LP (low pressure) ports on the first stage since this is very important when you are recreationally diving.

Those three are needed for you to hook the first stage up to the primary second stage. You need port number one to connect to the alternate, and the other to attach to the inflator hose.

Divers who choose to dive with a dry suit will want another port, as well, so that they can hook up the suit to the tank.

The regulator should also have an HP (high pressure) port so that you can hook up the console properly for you to have a transmitter in place.

Weight

Another thing to consider is the regulator's weight and whether or not that weight will be an issue for your travel plans.

Balanced or Unbalanced

Balanced regulators do not push or pull when it comes to the flow of air; instead, it is always the same under all conditions because the two stages are set up in conjunction with the sinks and hoses.

If using an unbalanced system, the breathing might not be kept even and regular when the tank pressure gets low.

Dives that will go deeper than 40 meters should be done with balanced regulators.

Scuba Regulator FAQs

1. What Is a Regulator in Scuba Diving?

A regulator is the part of scuba gear that controls the airflow that divers get while underwater.

Through the regulator, high-pressure air from a scuba tank is lowered to ambient pressure for you to breathe underwater safely.

2. What Is the Difference Between 1st Stage and 2nd Stage Regulators?

A first stage scuba diving regulator attaches to the tank valve and starts bringing the pressurized air to the diver.

The second stage of the diving regulator attaches to the mouth and gives the air to the diver.

As the regulators move the air from the pressurized tank to the diver’s mouth, it is depressurized so that the diver can breathe it safely.

3. What Are the Parts of a Scuba Regulator?

The scuba regulator is made up of many parts, and each of those parts has a specific use.

Without a regulator, it would not be possible to scuba dive, so it’s good to understand the parts that contribute to using a regulator.

Some parts need to be serviced regularly, so you need to be careful about how often you are having your regulator carefully inspected.

The standard parts of a regulator include a first stage, hose, second stage, mouthpiece, housing, purge valve, silicone diaphragm, exhaust valve, and demand lever.

Each regulator will have some type of different parts as well, so you will want to make sure that you become familiar with the specific parts of the regulator that you are actually using.

If you want to learn more about regulator parts, one good way to do that is to ask the person that you hire to do your scuba regulator to teach you more about it.

While you will still want them to do the official inspection to ensure that you are safe, it is good to be aware of what types of defects to search for when inspecting your gear after each dive.

4. What Is the Most Important Feature of Scuba Regulator?

You should worry about the most whether or not it is easy to breathe from the regulator.

If you can’t breathe from a mask easily, it will not be a good choice.

You will rely on your regulator to breathe when you are diving, so you must be able to breathe well.

Other important features include the regulator type, clamp type, hose length, durability, cost, and any other factors from our buyer’s guide above that stand out as relevant to you to consider while searching for the right scuba dive regulator.

In the end, the breathability factor is always going to be the most important since this is the core purpose of using a regulator.

5. How Long Does a Regulator Last?

How long a regulator functions will depend on how well you maintain it.

Most regulators need to be properly maintained at least once a year to ensure that they are inspected for their functionality.

At a minimum, you should replace the first stage valve every two years or 200 diving hours.

You can use regulators for a very long time as long as you replace the necessary parts; in fact, many people use the same regulators for decades.

Of course, this can only be done if you properly maintain the regulator's quality and use throughout its entire lifetime.

If you don’t take good care of your gear while it is being used, you cannot expect it to last for that long.

Which Scuba Diving Regulators Should You Choose?

As you can see, there are many great scuba regulator options available on the market.

When you’re choosing which regulator will be the right fit for your needs, always consider the different features that regulators can have.

You must also determine which of those will make your dives more exciting and safer.

For General Use

Overall, from our choices of the best scuba regulators, the SCUBAPRO Evo Scuba Diving Regulator is the best that you can choose for almost any type of scuba diving scenario.

For Those on a Tight Budget

For those looking for something more budget-friendly, the Mares Scuba Regulator Octo Dive Gear Package is a great option.

It gives you everything you need for learning and practicing recreational diving.

For Cold-Water Divers

Lastly, if you're into cold water diving, among the two options we reviewed, the Atomic Aquatics ST1 Stainless Steel Regulator would be a better choice.

Although it is expensive, its durability and safety features are top of the line.

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