best-dive-computer-for-the-money

Dive computers have come a long way in the last 5-10 years. It’s also become harder to choose the single best dive computer that meets your specific needs.

Beginners may look for something simple and intuitive, whereas more advanced Scuba pros may want something with a little more flexibility and additional features.

In this article, we will take a look at the top 5 rated dive computers on the market and review each in turn so you can make an informed decision when buying.

Diving Watch or Computer?

We all use different terminology when discussing diving equipment, and now more so than when talking about diving computers. Many believe that a dive computer is the same as a dive watch, and whilst the watch technology is far superior to what it once was, they are still nowhere near a true dive computer.

A dive computer has more features and can provide the diver with much more information about his or her dive. Whilst to can and do come in watch form, for ease of use, they also look and operate much differently.

With that being said, in light of what is or isn’t a dive computer, we will cover both wrist watch models and hand-held/console devices.

Ok, so we’ve established the difference, what else do we need to consider?

Depth

Obviously, an important element to consider. The max depth of a dive computer should be sufficient to the depths you would be diving too. I would err on the side of caution and opt for a device that covers a substantial depth, such as 100m+ your usual depth.

Most computers, however, will far exceed your needs, so as long as you buy a recognized brand we recommend that you buy once – buy right, you will be a-ok.

Dive Log

Most dive computers will allow you to record your dives and some allow for more recordings than others. Pay attention to how much storage the device has and decide if that is enough for each trip you take.

If you will be heading back home after a few dives, then this will be less of a concern for you since you can simply download that day’s data when you get back to your laptop and wipe the computer clean ready for your next dive.

Additional Features

This is down to personal preference, beginners may be confused by the array of features now available on these wonderful devices. However, those of you who are well versed in dive computers may have come to except a certain array of helpful tools to get the most from your dive.

We’re talking about dive planning, depth gauge, water temperature, oxygen levels and dive time remaining alerts. Not to mention audible and visual alerts for safety-stops etc.

If some of these features are what you need then be sure to read the reviews below to find out which one will be best for you.

1. Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer

The Mares Puck Pro is a wrist dive computer that provides easy access and visibility for your dive.

With ample storage space for recording your dives and a choice of colors to suit your tastes, you’d be hard pressed to find a watch as good as this in the sub $200 range.

Features and Specifications

  • Dive Log: 36 Hours / 50 Dives
  • Gauges: 1
  • Replaceable Batteries: Yes

Our Thoughts

We like the design of this dive watch which is made to fit slimmer wrists and it’s not so bulky that it gets snagged on other gear. It also has a large LED face which clearly indicates the current depth and dive time, along with a number of other features on of which is the water temperate and it’s multigas support.

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2. Icon HD Black Edition Scuba Diving Wrist Computer

The Icon HD is yet another wrist computer with an alluring full-color screen and a number of additional features that make this model a stand out computer for Scuba divers.

With a dive planner that is capable to plotting your exact dive pre-trip and over 100 hours of dive-recording time, you are sure to get a lot from this device.

Features and Specifications

  • Dive Log: 100 Hours
  • Gauges: 1
  • Replaceable Batteries: No (Rechargeable)

Our Thoughts

Whilst somewhat larger than the Mares Puck Pro, the Icon HD Black Edition does look the part. With it’s full-color screen and numerous ‘graph like’ properties such as dive depth, oxygen levels, and the hose-less tax pressure gauge means you are truly free to enjoy your dive without unnecessary pipes and tubes.

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3. Sub Gear XP Air Integrated Dive Computer Console

The Sub Gear XP Air is our first console dive computer reviewed in this top 5 list. This in-line device has a digital compass and supports up to 24 full dives in its memory bank.

One of the key features that impressed us was the ‘Dive Time Remaining’ features, which acts as a prompt to start your ascent process.

Features and Specifications

  • Dive Log: 24 Dives
  • Gauges: 1
  • Replaceable Batteries: Yes

Our Thoughts

Despite the memory capacity not being as large as some of the other devices, it is ample for most divers. What’s more, you also get audible and visual alarms from the device for fast ascents, which makes this a great dive computer for beginners.

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4. Aeris XR-1 Nx Computer Console

Our 2nd computer console, this time from the Aeris brand. The XR-1 NX dive computer is a double-gauge device that provides the diver with a number of vital pieces of information.

The computer can be both manually or water activated, so if you forget to switch it on it’s will do so automatically.

Features and Specifications

  • Dive Log: 12 Dives
  • Gauges: 2
  • Replaceable Batteries: Yes

Our Thoughts

The large gauge window allows for easy reading which is crucial when at depth and in low light. With a 12 dive log capacity in the internal memory and a safety-stop count-down timer, this dive computer ticks all of the boxes.

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5. Suunto Cobra 3 Black Diving Computer

Now Suunto is arguably one of the more prominent brands when it comes to Scuba Diving gear. The Cobra 3 is an excellent option if you are looking for a dive computer under $500.

With a sleek black design and large LED backlit face, the Cobra 3 provides ample dive information and has an electronic 3D compass to help keep your bearings.

The Cobra3 can monitor and display both air pressure and the rate of air consumption and simultaneously calculate the remaining air time in the tank.

Features and Specifications

  • Dive Log: 42 Hours
  • Gauges: 1
  • Replaceable Batteries: Yes

Our Thoughts

This Suunto dive computer console has a whopping 42 hours of dive log memory storage, meaning you should have ample space for multi-day dives. It is also USB compatible to downloading your date to a computer is fast and painless.

If you’re looking for a solid computer from a reputable brand then the Suunto Cobra 3 is a sure fire win for beginners and advanced divers alike.

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