Although scuba regulators may seem similar in design, some regulators will perform better than others. Others may feel like you have to breathe much harder to get air.
If you have rented an old scuba diving regulator you might know what I am talking about. You may struggle just to keep the regulator in your mouth by making that extra effort by biting on the mouth piece. When you exhale, the air bubbles may also flow directly in front of you, therefore restricting your vision. A not so good regulator will distract you away from the pleasures of diving.
Remember, the regulator is your lifeline underwater, so better get a good one that you can use in all types of waters. Within this page, you should find useful information which will help you in determining what you should look for when buying a good scuba regulator.
Let us first look at some of the features which form part of the design of the scuba diving regulator.
The first and foremost most important feature when choosing your scuba diving regulator is ease of breathing. So how would you know whether a regulator is better than an other when breathing underwater? Its simple really... Just ask around... Most divers will be more than willing to give their own opinion as to which scuba diving regulators provide the greatest performance.
Desirable features which make a good scuba diving regulator
When buying your new scuba regulator, ensure that it has at least some of the following features:
Piston better than diaphragm construction - Go for a piston first stage. This type of construction, although more expensive, has got less moving parts that its counterpart and therefore makes it much more reliable.
Balanced airflow - When buying your reg, choose the balanced type of scuba diving regulator. This will ensure that you will always have consistent airflow no matter how much air is in the tank or what depth you are. Unbalanced regulators require more effort to breath once your tank pressure decreases.
Sealed system - Sealed scuba regulators means that water does not enter the first stage. These type of regulators are usually used for cold waters, as they eliminate the possibility of water freezing up in the regulator, however if you are used to diving in warm waters, you might never know where you might be diving sometime in the future so might as well choose one which can be used in both warm and cold waters.
Self Adjustable second stage - You should understand that your scuba diving regulators breathing configuration will eventually change during the course of its use This is a great feature to have as it will allow you to fine-tune your breathing so that it is always at its optimum.
Other considerations when buying your scuba diving regulator:
- When buying your regulator, try and opt to get it as a package with all the accessories including the alternate second stage, Submersible pressure gauge (SPG) and hoses.
- Be sure to get clips and attachment devices for your SPG and alternate second stage so they will not be left hanging when you are diving.
- DIN or Yoke system - Regulators and tank valves come either as DIN (where the regulator screws into the valve) or Yoke (regulator bracket slides down over valve). Your regulator and tanks should both be either DIN or yoke system.
- Try to go for flexible hoses- The regulator will be easier to pack and fit in your scuba gear bag. Also get hose protectors to reduce the risk of corrosion at attachment points.