A dive computer can be mounted on the diver’s body gear or worn on the wrist. These devices provide an easy to read digital readout of diving conditions. They can also measure the dive depth and aid the diver in order to prevent decompression sickness. These devices include a wide range of important critical information in one small instrument. Consumers can choose from a variety of models from basic to advanced options.
The Buyer’s Guide for Dive Computers
Most divers rely on dive computers that work by continuously recalculating air supply and dive depth. They can also allow the user to remain underwater for a longer period of time while completing multiple level dives. These devices provide the diver with confidence and security and the freedom to change the dive plan at will, without the need of consulting diving tables.
Several years ago the diver was required to preplan and manually calculate the dive using dive tables. The diver would need to come back up whenever the table indicated. A decompression table helped to reduce the likelihood of nitrogen gas bubbles forming in the body, causing damage to the diver’s soft tissues including the organs and the brain. What causes these dangerous gas bubbles is a change in water pressure. The diving table provided the diver with a schedule to allow gaseous elimination during the ascent by reducing pressure. However, these tables weren’t always reliable.
A dive computer has the ability to quickly react to rapidly changing conditions, which allows the diver to move away from complicated plans and complex calculations. When used correctly, the dive computer will provide more security and increased dive times for the user.
The model you choose should be based on personal preferences. These devices are watch-sized and utilize wireless technology to monitor air consumption and tank pressure.
All models will alert the diver to their decompression status, which is definitely the most important function. Some information recorded is meant to be viewed at a later time, so computer software programs are usually included as part of the package.
An air integration system will allow the user to monitor air amount and quality in addition to decompression data. The system is designed to examine the user’s breathing rate based on the depth and how fast the user is using up the air supply. An air integration system is called so because it integrates air data into calculations, which will allow the user to learn how long they have before they reach the surface. This type of software program is also helpful because it works to learn the habits of the diver under a variety of water conditions and can adjust to allow the diver to remain under the water for a longer period of time.
A diver will most commonly use nitrox or standard air. Nitrox is an enriched air generally used by advanced divers. Purchasing a dive computer that can monitor these types of air is a good idea because it allows you to have more variety concerning the types of water you can dive in. Some models are even compatible with a wide variety of enriched air types and are also able to monitor standard air.
To aid in navigation, some models also feature a geographical compass. The compass will show a three axis geographical display, which includes the exact location and numerical bearing. The measurements will include both maximum depth and current depth.
Many models will only use one decompression algorithm while higher-end models offer dual algorithms. The ability to choose an algorithm allows the diver to plan a dive that will provide them with less or more time under the water.
Dive time is an essential feature because the diver needs to know how much dive time remains and how much time has elapsed.
Without an easy to read display a dive computer is pretty much useless. Because of this most manufacturers have made every effort to include a clear, large and easy to read display, in addition to intuitive controls for easy operation and programming. Extra features like graphs and charts allow the diver to easily monitor their progress.
You should choose a model that’s rated to operate at the depth level that’s suited to the areas you normally dive in, especially if you dive in deep and cold waters.
Some dive computers will allow you to record stats from each dive that can be stored on your personal computer for viewing at a later time. The log book will record important information about the dive conditions every time. This will allow you to analyze your dive in order to improve future dives.
If you’re a beginner we recommend purchasing a model that features safety alarms. These alarms will alert the diver using a loud buzzer and LED lights in the event of dangerous water conditions. Other alarms will alert the diver to maximum depth, too fast ascent rate and toxicity warnings.
In high altitude conditions, the schedule for decompression is different. In high altitude, the diver will need to ascend more slowly. Some models are enabled to automatically adjust the rate of ascent for high altitude dives.
Consumers who are searching for the right model should know that most models will carry out the basic functions of diver safety. Since most models will measure and monitor underwater conditions reliably, the consumer will be free to focus on which extra features they prefer. Keep your eye out for a model with a clear display and easy to navigate user interface. The ability to easily switch between menus and view critical information will allow you to get the most out of each dive, safely. Illumination systems and backlights will enable the diver to clearly read the dive computer even in poor lighting conditions.
The dive computer’s main goal is to prevent decompression sickness, but it shouldn’t replace experience and proper training. The computer is designed to aid a diver, however, you shouldn’t become dependent on this device. The latest dive computer will aid in providing the diver with more freedom to swim in a variety of underwater environments.
Oceanic Geo 2.0 Dive Computer Watch Review
The Geo 2.0 dive computer by Oceanic is equipped with a dual algorithm, large display screen, and easy user navigation. This is a multifunction model that supports in-dive gas switching, tracks decompression calculations and is equipped with firmware updates. It’s also equipped with a basic bottom time function and a number of safety features. This is a top-rated model that received a perfect consumer score of five out of five stars for the innovative features, easy to use interface and a wide range of safety features. This model allows you to choose your own type of viewing experience while also allowing you to make changes to your dive easily and quickly, even when you’re deep underwater. A must-have for safety and designed for both the avid professional diver and the recreational diver, this is a dive computer that’s fun to use and features the ability to download previous dive information and profiles. This model also comes with a lifetime warranty which is a huge selling point for consumers. While it’s easy enough for the beginner to use this dive computer comes with a number of innovative features which is what makes it the perfect diving accessory for the professional.
Mares Matrix Dive Computer Review
The Matrix dive computer by Mares features four buttons that operate the intuitive user interface and an alternate screen that allows you accurately keep track of your diving progress thanks to the wireless connectivity that updates every five seconds. This model is equipped with a ton of customization options, allowing you to choose two time zones, dual algorithms, and toggle audio alarms. It also features a built-in compass that assists with dive navigation. If you love to keep track of your dives in order to progress at this sport then you’ll love the fact that this model features a logbook that allows you to keep track of each and every dive for a period of thirty-five hours. The Matrix also offers a two-year limited warranty on certain parts. This product received a high consumer rating thanks to the fact that the screen allows for high visibility in any type lighting condition. The only issue with this computer is the short lasting battery life after a period of several months, which is caused by improperly charging the watch.
Suunto ZOOP Dive Computer Review
The Sunnto Zoop dive computer is equipped with a large LCD screen audio and visual alarms, an altitude setting and three navigation buttons. The automatic idle button displays the date and time on the display screen, for when the user is not on a dive and is in need of a traditional watch. The dive mode offers such info as depth and dive time, water temperature and battery level. This model allows you to store up to fifty hours of log time, so you can keep track of your diving progress. This information is designed to be viewed at another time, on your desktop. The used gradient bubble mode determines the amount of gas that’s accumulated, alerting the user when they need to make a safety stop. It will also tell you how long you need to rest in order to safely surface. The dual algorithms allow you to choose from standard air or nitrox. The water activation feature will turn the dive computer on as soon as it makes contact with water, which allows you to ensure that this model begins to record your diving experience from start to finish.
Suunto Vyper Dive Computer Review
The Suunto Vyper dive computer is made to withstand rough water conditions and basically be used and abused. This model is a large well-made dive computer that’s equipped with three operation buttons and dual algorithms modes. The dive simulation feature allows the user to plan their dive and provides a clear idea regarding compression stops that must be taken in order to safely resurface. It also features a large logbook of up to fifty hours, so you can track and view several hours of your diving progress on your desktop. The audio and visual alarms will notify you of the max depth during a dive and required safety stops you must make along the way. The auto safety countdown feature is crucial for new divers because it performs a countdown for the duration of a stop during ascension. This is a somewhat bulky model that may not be considered the most attractive, but its high functionality is what makes it such a big seller, that and the fact that it’s equipped with so many of the features that you’d normally expect to find on a higher priced model.
Oceanic VT 4.1 Dive Computer Review
The VT 4.1 Oceanic dive computer is the newest model released in this extensive line of best-selling dive computers. This model features a large display screen with a scrollable user interface. Models of the past only allowed the user to view each feature on a separate screen which can be problematic during a dive. With this new and improved viewing experience, you can enjoy fast menu navigation that will quickly lead you to the menu you’re looking for. The greyscale dot matrix viewing experience allows you to easily view features in a wide variety of settings. The new shortcut menu will let the user choose a custom subset for the most frequently accessed features for even faster access time. The 4.1 is also equipped with a dual algorithm for DSAT and Buhlmann, which is a great feature that provides you with more diving options. This model is a huge improvement over past dive computers produced by Oceanic in a sense that it’s more intuitive and new user-friendly.
Image Title Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer - Wrist (Black/Gray) Oceanic VT 4.1 Scuba Diving Computer with Transmitter Suunto Zoop Air/Nitrox Wrist Computer SS015964000 Oceanic GEO 2.0 Computer, Slate Blue Mares Scuba Smart Dive Computer - Black/Grey Scubapro Mantis (M1) Dive Watch/Computer Brand Cressi Oceanic Suunto Oceanic Mares Scubapro Color Black / Gray Black/Stainless Steel Yellow Titanium & Blue Black / Grey Black Feature Complete RGBM dive computer
Air and nitrox modes
Single easy button
Larger digits for easy reading
Powered by Oceanic’s Exclusive Dual Algorithm allowing you to choose the decompression algorithm that best suits your diving needs without compromising safety
Deep Stop with Countdown Timer
Switch between up to 4 independent wireless transmitters, tracking multiple Nitrox mixes
3-Axis Digital Compass with Full Tilt Compensation
Improved user-interface with Step Back allows for easy settings preview and for settings to be changed while viewing the menus
Air and nitrox modes
Super-bright phosphorescent LCD display
Robust and durable
Brand NEW with full Manufactures Warranty!
Super Sharp and Clear Display
Perfect Ergonomics and User-friendliness and Gas switching
Mineral Glass Display
Software Upgrade Ability
All dive computer algorithms factor in depth, bottom time and gas mix to calculate deco time.
These enable the adaptive algorithm to adjust for each diver's experience level, age and physical conditioning.
Heart Rate Monitor by visually monitoring your heart rate you can better assess your workload - real time - and promptly react to heightened stress or over -exertion.
This patent-pending feature provides yet another aspect of your physiology that can be factored into the workload algorithm.
Can be a valuable aid when exercising or lap swimming in shallow water.
ItemDimensions ListPrice $399.99 $1099.95 $325.00 $399.95 $450.00 $599.00 Manufacturer Cressi Oceanic Suunto Oceanic Mares Scubapro Title Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer - Wrist (Black/Gray) Oceanic VT 4.1 Scuba Diving Computer with Transmitter Suunto Zoop Air/Nitrox Wrist Computer SS015964000 Oceanic GEO 2.0 Computer, Slate Blue Mares Scuba Smart Dive Computer - Black/Grey Scubapro Mantis (M1) Dive Watch/Computer Price $199.95 $599.97 $239.95 $399.95 $399.95 $595.00 Height 4 inch 1.5 inch 3 inch 5 inch 5 inch Weight 0.45 pound 1.7 pound 0.5 pound 0.55 pound 2.2 pound Width 4 inch 1.5 inch 5.5 inch 5 inch 6 inch Rating Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews