best scuba gear

Best Scuba Gear of 2022 (Tested by a Dive Instructor)

Whether you want reliability and functionality, or you want to look like an underwater fashionista, there’s something for everyone when it comes to shopping for scuba diving gear.

Most divers are nuts about their dive equipment, and we are no different! We’ve evaluated everything from regulators to fins and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly in the process.

In addition, enjoy the bonus little section on accessories!

Here are a list of our picks for best scuba gear in 2022, put together by a blend of quality, functionality, and affordability.

πŸ₯‡ Best Scuba Diving Gear

ProductDetails 
Scubapro MK2 EVO R195 Regulator
Scubapro MK2 EVO R195 Regulator

1st Stage: Non-balanced flow
HP Ports: 1, 7/16 thread
LP Ports: 4, 3/8 thread
Nitrox Compatible: Yes
Adjustable 2nd Stage: Yes
Warranty: Lifetime (systems), 1 year (others)
Apeks MTX-R
Apeks MTX-R

1st Stage: Over-balanced
HP Ports: 2, 7/16-20 UNF thread
LP Ports: 5, 3/8-24 UNF thread
Nitrox Compatible: Yes
Adjustable 2nd Stage: No
Warranty: Limited lifetime
Mares Loop Octopus
Mares Loop Octopus

Materials: Techno-polymer & polyurethane
2nd Stage Type: Downstream demand
Nitrox Compatible: Yes
Hose Length: 43.3 in.
Warranty: 2 years
Aqua Lung Pro HD BC
Aqua Lung Pro HD BC

BC Body: Jacket style
Releasable Weight: 20-30 lbs.
Non-releasable Weight: 10 lbs.
Valves: 1 cable activated pull shoulder dump, 2 over-pressure relief/dump valves
Pockets: 2 zippered, 2 octopus
Warranty: 5 years, limited
Zeagle Ranger BCD with Ripcord Weight System
Zeagle Ranger BCD with Ripcord Weight System

BC Body: Back inflator
Releasable Weight: 36 lbs.
Non-releasable Weight: 6 lbs.
Valves: Over pressure relief/dump valves
Pockets: 2-zippered utility
Warranty: 2 years
Mares Avanti Quattro Plus Open Heel Bungee Strap Fins
Mares Avanti Quattro Plus Open Heel Bungee Strap Fins

Materials: Tecralene, thermoplastic rubber
Blade Type: Non-vented
Blade Length: 15 in.
Fin Style: Open heel
Warranty: 2 years
Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquidskin
Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquidskin

Materials: Silicone rubber
Window Style: 2-front
Tempered Glass: Yes
Warranty: 2 years
Suunto D4i NOVO
Suunto D4i NOVO

Operating Modes: Air, nitrox, free dive, gauge & watch
Memory Capacity: 80 hours
Depth Display: 0 – 150m
Altitude Adjustable: 3,000m
Warranty: 2 years
Henderson Thermoprene Pro Men’s 3mm Jumpsuit
Henderson Thermoprene Pro Men’s 3mm Jumpsuit

Materials: Nylon-2 neoprene
Seams: Double glued & sewn
Closure: Back zipper w/ pull tab
Warranty: 10 years, limited
Cressi Morea 3mm Women’s Jumpsuit
Cressi Morea 3mm Women’s Jumpsuit

Materials: Nylon-2, 1 neoprene
Seams: Glued & sewn
Closure: Back zipper w/ pull tab
Warranty: 1 year, limited
Cressi Scuba Diving Mini Console
Cressi Scuba Diving Mini Console

Materials: Chromium plated brass
Face: Luminescent
Depth Gauge Scale: 230ft
Pressure Gauge Scale: 350 bar
Warranty: 4 years, limited

Completely new to diving? Check out our reviews of the best scuba gear for beginners here.

⭐ Regulators

Scubapro MK2 EVO R195 Regulator

Scubapro MK2 EVO R195 Regulator

Our Rating

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Materials1st Stage: Chrome plated brass
2nd Stage: Valve Housing: Techno-polymer plastic
First Stage TypeNon-balanced flow
HP Ports1, 7/16 thread
LP Ports4, 3/8 thread
Nitrox CompatibleYes, 40% max
Adjustable 2nd StageYes, dive or pre-dive switch
Warranty Limited lifetime (1st & 2nd stages, systems),
1 year (hose, mouthpieces & others)
Price$

An oldie but a goodie, the Scubapro MK2 EVO/R195 Dive Regulator bundle is value-for-money, reliable, and performs just as well as its more expensive counterparts. This set has been the industry standard for several years, and a common sight in dive centers around the world.

With a classic downstream piston with legendary reliability, the first stage needs minimal maintenance. The R195 second stage is built for maximum reliability and its durability makes it an excellent choice for use with new divers and students who might whack them around a bunch.

Even breathing on it diving underwater at 30 meters, we found that the patented diver-adjustable regulator with the patented Venturi Initiated Vacuum Assist system, or “VIVA”, delivered air with no increased resistance.

Key Features

  • Classic downstream piston 1st stage – known for reliability
  • eANx compatible up to 40%
  • Diver adjustable second stage
  • 3/8″ threaded low pressure hose
  • Marine grade chrome brass

Best for: Divers shopping for a durable, reliable regulator set, and dive centers worldwide with students.

Pros

  • Extreme reliability
  • Industry standard
  • Easy maintenance
  • Affordable
  • Easy breathing

Cons

  • Weighs in more than some
  • The unbalanced first stage might cause problems if tank pressure is low

Apeks MTX-R

Apeks MTX-R

Our Rating

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Materials1st Stage: Chrome plated brass
2nd Stage: Techno-polymer, chromed brass, silicone
First Stage TypeOver-balanced diaphragm
HP Ports2, 7/16-20 UNF thread
LP Ports5, 3/8-24 UNF thread
Nitrox CompatibleYes, 40% max
Adjustable 2nd StageNo
Warranty Limited lifetime
Price$$

Some regulators breathe so smooth that you forget that they are there. This is one of them.

For the more serious diver, the Apeks MTX-R might be for you. The DIN valve makes it suitable for colder waters and breathing control adjustments allows for precision control.

The MTX-R utilizes military-grade engineering and delivers a silky-smooth regardless of conditions. The first stage has two angled high-pressure ports and five intermediate pressure ports.

The balanced second stage uses a heat exchanger to draw warmth from the water in colder temps.

Key Features

  • Pneumatically balanced second stage
  • DIN valve
  • Excellent cold water performance

Best for: The cold water advanced diver or technical diver that maximum performance.

Pros

  • Superior performance at depths of 60 meters
  • Developed by the United States Navy Experimental Dive Unit
  • Excellent in cold water

Cons

  • This premium piece of dive equipment Might be an overkill for new divers
  • Relatively pricer
  • DIN valve might need an adapter for yoke tanks

⭐ Alternative Air Source and Octopus

Mares Loop Octopus

Mares Loop Octopus

Our Rating

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MaterialsTechno-polymer & polyurethane
2nd Stage TypeDownstream demand
Nitrox CompatibleYes, 40% max
Hose Length43.3 in.
Warranty 2 years
Price$

Just like your dive buddy will have one for you, you’re going to need one for him or her. The Loop second stage can be nicely tucked away and the shoulder hose positioning gives you freedom of movement without bugging you during your dive.

Your alternate air source doesn’t have to be the best scuba diving gear, but it must work reliable and require minimal maintenance. The Loop does just that!

Key Features

  • Vertical hose connection
  • Mid-size second stage
  • Reliable downstream valve
  • Comfortable mouthpiece
  • Durable, techno-polymer construction
  • Unique Vertical Hose Connection

Best for: Divers that need a durable alternate air source with minimal maintenance needs

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable mouthpiece
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Warm and moderate waters only

⭐ Buoyancy Control Devices

Aqua Lung Pro HD BC

AquaLung Pro HD BCD

Our Rating

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BC Body Jacket style
Weight Capacity20 to 30 lbs. (releasable)
10 lbs. (non-releasable)
Valves1 cable activated pull shoulder dump
2 over-pressure relief/dump valves
Pockets2 zippered, 2 octopus
Warranty5 years, limited
Price$

While I love diving in my back inflated buoyancy control device, a jacket style BCD is more suited to majority of the divers. This Pro HD jacket BC has fully integrated weight pockets that might appeal to a wide range of divers, negating the use of a weight belt.

The advanced Resistek material hold up well to the constant saltwater and chlorine, without having the colors fade under direct sunlight. It will suit all but the most precise of divers.

The single pull release on the integrated weight system is easy to operate, even for beginner divers, and this BC comes with non-releasable weight pockets that can be strapped to the cylinder band on the scuba tank for an improved trim.

Key Features

  • Integrated weights
  • SureLock weight release system
  • Durable ResisteK materials
  • Knife attachment points
  • Low profile valves to reduce drag
  • High air flow LPI for quick inflation

Best for: Divers of all levels looking for a quality, high performing jacket buoyancy control device that doesn’t break the bank.

Pros

  • Suitable for divers of all levels
  • Perfect balance of solid performance, function and affordability
  • Durable materials
  • Safe, efficient weight system

Cons

  • Might be tricky to fit
  • SureLock system has been known to slide
  • Some deliveries are missing small things like D-rings

Zeagle Ranger BCD with Ripcord Weight System

Zeagle Ranger BCD with Ripcord Weight System

Our Rating

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BC Body Back inflator
Weight Capacity36 lbs. (releasable)
6 lbs. (non-releasable)
ValvesOver pressure relief/dump valves
Pockets2-zippered utility
Warranty 2 years
Price$$

Another oldie but a goodie, the Zeagle Ranger has been a hot favorite with back inflated BCD fans for many years.

Made with top-quality, rugged materials, the Zeagle’s modular systems can transition easily between easy tropical diving in wetsuits and rugged cold water diving in dry suits. The additional bladders provide 2 x 85lb lift for the tech divers.

This back-plate BCD is known for its versatility and will take anything you throw at them. The only drawback for us is we cannot use it in pool sessions with our students. But we sure can dive in it!

Key Features

  • Easy trim adjustments with shoulder valves located on the shoulder straps
  • Versatile modular system
  • 36 lbs of releasable weight capacity
  • Additional 16 lbs of non-releasable trim pockets
  • Heavily reinforced 1050 denier ballistic nylon
  • Six stainless steel D-rings for all your accessories

Best for: The experienced diver that dives in a variety of conditions and is looking at getting into technical diving.

Pros

  • Modular system makes it suitable for almost all conditions
  • Capable of lifting some serious weight
  • Excellent customer service
  • Easy maintenance of the air bladder
  • Precise buoyancy control from the shoulder valves

Cons

  • Instructors can’t teach in them
  • Back-inflated BCDs have been known to be difficult to swim on the surface in
  • Pricier than many jacket-style BCDs

⭐ Fins

Mares Avanti Quattro Plus Open Heel Bungee Strap Fins

Mares Avanti Quattro Plus Open Heel Bungee Strap Fin

Our Rating

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MaterialsTecralene, thermoplastic rubber
Blade TypeNon-vented
Blade Length15 in.
Fin StyleOpen heel
Warranty 2 years
Price$$

The Avanti Quattro scuba fins use tough, composite materials like Tecralene, allowing for maximum efficiency. With greater responsiveness and propulsion, these fins are durable enough to take a beating and come back for more.

We found the bungee makes these fins remarkably easy to put on and take off while the channel thrust technology maximizes the power of these fins.

Key Features

  • Tecralene and thermoplastic rubber
  • Bungee straps
  • Channel thrust technology
  • Stabilizers to improve stability

Best for: Divers of all levels with good finning technique that want a powerful, performance pair of fins.

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Powerful
  • Super easy on and off
  • Greater responsiveness than other fins this size and thickness
  • Flexible and ideal for standard scissor kicks

Cons

  • Long, and inexperienced scuba divers might stir up the bottom
  • Will not suit frog kicks and backfinning
  • Tiring for smaller or weaker divers
  • Not good for technical or wreck diving adventures

⭐ Scuba Diving Mask

Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquidskin

Mares X-Vision Ultra Liquidskin

Our Rating

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MaterialsSilicone rubber
Window Style2-front
Tempered GlassYes
Warranty 2 years
Price$

I have been using my X-Vision for more than a decade and thousands of dives, and steadfastly refused to use any other scuba mask. The silicone skirting seals like a dream and allows peripheral vision.

The straps are easily adjusted and the huge field of vision is getting more and more with every upgrade Mares does on this model.

Many replicas exist for this product, so they must be doing something right! However, not every dive mask might be for your face shape, so make sure you check the fit thoroughly!

Key Features

  • Ergonomic buckles
  • Low internal volume
  • Clear silicone skirt for most colors
  • Dual tempered glass

Best for: All divers that want a larger field of vision and yet a low volume mask that is easy to clear.

Pros

  • Easy to clear
  • Comfortable fit
  • Wide field of vision

Cons

  • Like any dive mask, if it doesn’t fit your face shape, it will leak
  • Some durability issues with certain models
  • Higher-than-average price

⭐ Dive Computer

Suunto D4i NOVO

Suunto D4i NOVO Computer

Our Rating

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Operating ModesAir, nitrox, free dive, gauge & watch
Memory Capacity80 hours
Depth Display0 – 150m
Altitude Adjustable3,000m max
Warranty 2 years
Price$$

Talk about a one-size-fits most dive computer. The D4i is an excellent computer that can be used by novices to anyone other than the most advanced scuba divers that dive tech.

Air integrated dive computers tend to be way more expensive than those without. An optional transmitter can be purchased separately and installed on first stages, instantly turning the D4i into an air integrated dive computer, which is a nifty little feature that we feel gives the scuba diver the choice.

Key Features

  • Air, nitrox, freedive, and gauge modes
  • Wireless transmitter sold separate
  • Nitrox-compatible 21% to 50%
  • Suunto RGBM decompression algorithm
  • User updatable firmware
  • Downloadable log book
  • Depth rating: 100m/328ft

Best for: Anyone that wants a one-size-fits-all computer that will do all you need for recreational diving.

Pros

  • Sleek and stylish – wear it as a watch!
  • One of the more affordably priced dive computers for what it can do
  • Wireless transmitter and USB cable are sold separately
  • Comfortable straps for use above and underwater.

Cons

  • Straps can wear out
  • The transmitter can have problems linking if the tank was turned on too quickly. But this also affects other dive computers

⭐ Scuba Wetsuits

Henderson Thermoprene Pro Men’s 3mm Jumpsuit

Henderson Thermoprene Pro Men 3mm Jumpsuit

Our Rating

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MaterialsNylon-2 neoprene
SeamsDouble glued & sewn
ClosureBack zipper w/ pull tab leash
Thickness3mm
Warranty 10 years, limited
Price$$

You’re going to need thermal protection when you’re scuba diving. It is a joke among recreational divers that the hardest part about scuba diving is taking on and off your wetsuit!

Enter the Thermoprene. I was surprised how easy it is to take on and off, and this uber stretchy scuba wetsuit flexes nicely with your movements, restricting you way less than other similar models.

Guess it is because the new model is made from top-quality neoprene that has 250% stretch, compared to 180% of the previous model.

Key Features

  • 250% stretch
  • Double-glued and sewn seams
  • Adjustable collar
  • Duratex knee pads
  • Aqua Silk lining in the interior

Best for: Divers that dislike taking off and on their wetsuits and want more freedom of movement when they dive.

Pros

  • Easy on-off (and this is a HUGE plus!)
  • Stretchy and doesn’t restrict movement as much
  • Durable
  • Comfortable fit (depending on your body type of course)

Cons

  • Being 3mm, not suited for cold temperature
  • Not the cheapest suit for its type

Cressi Morea 3mm Women’s Jumpsuit

Cressi Morea 3mm Women's Jumpsuit

Our Rating

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MaterialsNylon-2, 1 neoprene
SeamsGlued & sewn
ClosureBack zipper w/ pull tab leash
Thickness3mm
Warranty 1 year, limited
Price$$

Since men and women aren’t built the same, we’ve got to include one for the ladies. This Cressi is one of our favorites, perfect for the tropics. Priced very affordably, the Morea is constructed with Ultraspan nylon II neoprene, making this suit also easy to take on and off.

With a back zipper closure, the suits are glued and sewn for strength, durability, and warmth. When diving, movement is unrestricted, free, and easy!

Key Features

  • Ankle and wrist overlock cuffs
  • Arms and legs are in Ultraspan Neoprene
  • Chest in rubberized neoprene
  • Knee pads offer protection against abrasions or impact
  • YKK zipped with Aquastop flap

Best for: The divers that want an affordable, reliable wetsuit to be used in tropical scuba diving

Pros

  • Chest is kept warmer while arms and legs are offered freedom of movement
  • The zipper has an Aquastop flap, preventing leaks
  • Ankle and wrists overlock cuffs also prevent leaks
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Like any wetsuit, won’t fit everyone
  • Might wear out after prolonged usage
  • Only for warm water diving

⭐ Submersible Pressure Gauge and Console

Cressi Scuba Diving Mini Console

Cressi Scuba Diving Mini Console

Our Rating

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MaterialsChromium plated brass
FaceLuminescent with colored sections
Depth Gauge End Scale70m or 230ft
Mini Pressure Gauge End Scale350 bar or 5000 psi
Warranty 4 years, limited
Price$$

This little console fits nicely in most BCD pockets. With a pressure gauge that tells you how much air you have left, and analog depth gauge, it will tell you all you need up to a maximum of 70m/230ft, and 350bar/5,000psi.

Both gauges are built with durable, chrome-plated brass and the rubber around the console allows for an excellent grip.

Many divers like to only use a pressure gauge, as their dive computers will show depth, but we like to tell our students to have both in an event that their dive computer fails while diving.

Key Features

  • Up to 70m/230ft, and 350bar/5,000psi
  • Chrome-plated brass case for maximum durability
  • Compact rubber boot
  • Two connection loops for attaching a clip or bungee

Best for: Divers looking for a two-in-one console.

Pros

  • Small and compact
  • Maximum durability
  • Color-coded for easy readability
  • Sufficient range for both gauges

Cons

  • Small numbers might be challenging to see
  • No room to attach a dive compass to navigate underwater

⭐ Best Scuba Diving Gear Accessories 2022

The best dive gear comes with scuba accessories! We’d like to share some of our favorites.

Dive Lights

Scubapro Nova 850 Diving Light

Our Rating

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MaterialAluminum
Lamp TypeLED
Depth Rating492 ft
Burn Time2-hours, full power
BatteriesRechargeable lithium-ion
Warranty 2 years
Price$$

Scubapro Nova 850 Diving Light is an excellent torch for someone looking for a reliable, durable light. With 850 lumens, it will illuminate any wreck or night dive.

The sleek, lightweight design fits nicely in your BCD pocket and the 50% mode allows you to save your batteries and increase your time. It IS pricier than the average light tho’!

Dive Knives

Cressi Skorpion

Our Rating

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Handle MaterialTechno-Polymer
Tip styleDrop-point or blunt tip
Blade SteelJapanese 420-stainless steel
Blade TypeFull straight-edge, partial serrated
Warranty 1 year, limited
Price$

The Cressi Skorpion is a tempered, stainless-steel knife that can cut through all kinds of stuff like nets, debris or fishing lines. I love how easy the sheath and leg strap can be quickly released with one hand, allowing me to pass the knife back and forth underwater even if one hand is occupied.

Surface Marker Buoy

OMS Safety Set

Our Rating

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SMB Nylon
Reel ABS Plastic
Clip Stainless Steel
Storage BagYes, zippered pocket
Inflation (Valve)Safety kit I & III: Closed bottom & Oral Inflator
Safety kit II: Open bottom & one way valve
Warranty 2 years, limited
Price$

This OMS safety set is a neat little safety bundle all tied up in one. It comes with a spool, a tube of varying lengths, and a convenient storage bag for easy transport and packing.

The tube lengths are from 3 to 6 feet (1m to 1.83m), and the nylon spool lengths are 50 feet to 100 feet (15.25 m to 30m)

Stay safe and keep yourself visible – always dive with a safety sausage!

πŸ“Œ Conclusion – Best Scuba Diving Equipment

We hope that this list helps narrow your choices down somewhat or at least helps you understand what you’re looking for in your scuba diving equipment. Thanks for reading and happy bubbles!

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