There’s something about deep diving that’s irresistible to divers. It provides this intensity that can’t be found on shallow dives, where the light rays flicker over white sandy bottoms. So as you look up and see a boat more than 50 metres above you, you get a perspective regarding your depth that you can’t get in shallower waters. Your regulator also sounds different and the exhaust bubbles chime in tones which only a deep diver can hear.
Speaking of scuba regulators, they’re one of the bigger investments for deep diving, and while you can do without them on shallow dives, deep dives are incomprehensible without them. There are literally hundreds of regulators to choose from, so how do you know which one’s the best for you? It’s not really rocket science, but there are a few factors to think about.
Type of Diving
The type of diving you do is a huge factor in the quality and type of regulator you’ll need. If you dive in clear warm waters, a lower end regulator can be sufficient. However, if you deep dive, cold water dive or cave dive, you’ll want a higher end model with some different features. A scuba regulator can last you for virtually forever if you consider all the factors carefully, and you won’t have to buy another one ever in your diving career.
How much are you willing to, or how much you can spend on scuba regulators? They run anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. You usually get what you pay for, as it’s the case with everything in life. However, you shouldn’t undermine the quality of inexpensive regulators, because if they didn’t work the way they are supposed to, the company manufacturing them would be buried in lawsuits and out of business. So while a $1000 regulator might be more comfortable to use and has some extra features, a $300 regulator will still get the job done.
Performance and Comfort
Some regulators will perform better than others. Some will breathe wet, some will force you to breathe harder while others will give you more air. Every regulator can have its own performance, or non-issues. Needless to say, the more you pay, the better probability the regulator will have to conquer most of these issues. The best way to find out about the performance of different regulators is to look for their reviews online, or rent one before buying.
Comfort is probably your biggest concern. As far as comfort and scuba regulators go, there are a few considerations to bear in mind. For starters, you shouldn’t have to bite down to keep the regulator in your mouth. It shouldn’t feel like the hose is short and is pulling your head, and the bubbles that come out when you exhale shouldn’t go in your face. And even though you can tackle all these problems by changing the hose or the mouthpiece, it’s still an extra investment you can avoid.