purchasing or renting a regulator

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Posted by Karl S. on May 05, 2003 at 12:26:05:

In Reply to: I think I want my own regulator, butů. posted by Jeff on May 03, 2003 at 18:11:35:

If you travel to scuba dive, it is normally a good idea to own some of your gear and to rent the rest.

1) a dive computer is normally the best item to buy first, preferably nitrox compatible, since eventually you will probably start diving nitrox if you dive deeper than 60 fsw.

2) an exposure suit for the destination you are going to is normally the best item to purchase next; for warm water destinations, this means either dive skins or a 3mm wetsuit.

3) a regulator assembly (1st stage, two 2nd stages, SPG, LP inflator hose) is normally the best item to purchase third.

IF you already have your dive computer and your exposure suit, then I agree with you that it is time to buy your own regulator. Since your life depends on your regulator, it is definitely a good idea to buy your own.

I believe that ScubaPro, Apex, and Mares make the best regulators today. Atomic used to be good too, a couple of years ago, but I dont feel the same way about them today.

I own several ScubaPro Mark-20 1st stages, and several ScubaPro S-600 2nd stages.

Look for yourself to see what price range you are comfortable with, and get the best that you can afford. Your life and your buddy's life will depend on the quality of the reg you buy, so this is no place to skim on when it comes to price.

I recommend against an Air2 or a cheap Octo. Rather, I suggest two full service 2nd stages for your regulator assembly.

I dont like big multi-instrument consoles either. Just one small nice SPG without a boot on it, clipped to your B/C, is what I find best. If you clip it on your shoulder strap, you can always look down to read what your tank pressure is, enhancing your own safety.

It is also nice to have a regulator case with a shoulder strap on it, so you can carry-on your regulator (with your dive computer inside too) on the aircraft with you when you travel for diving.

I always carry the reg (also with the dive computer inside) in its own case, since the airlines allow a smaller second carry-on item on international flights. The shoulder strap makes it easier to carry too. Not all reg cases have shoulder straps, so look closely before you buy.

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