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The Best Scuba Regulators for Divers in 2021

Last updated: November 4, 2021
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vector graphic showing a handful of the best scuba regulators on the market today

Scuba diving is a wonderful activity that is consistently increasing in popularity, and everyone can take part no matter where you are in the world.

However, in order to participate in scuba diving, you need some special high-performance diving gear.

A scuba regulator is among the essential pieces of a scuba diver’s equipment.

The equipment links together various key components of the scuba gear, including the scuba tank.

It also transfers oxygen from your tank to you, allowing you to breathe effectively while underwater.

Using many elements, we took a look at some popular choices in the market today.

Below are our best picks for scuba regulators.

Our Favorite Picks

What We Looked For

It’s essential to examine all the safety and functional features of a scuba regulator before adding it to your scuba gear.

We compared the various features of these brands, how they measure up with cold water and diving depths, as well as diver comfort.

From antifreeze technology to diver controls, how scuba regulators operate can make all the difference in a useful product.

Some factors we examined when recommending the best scuba regulators for 2021 include:

  • Breathability
  • Balanced, unbalanced, overbalanced
  • Weight
  • Number of ports
  • Materials and construction

Is It Easy to Breathe Through?

Scuba divers need enough air while exploring the underwater world.

However, the amount of air one needs varies depending on the individual and the depth of the water.

The decision for unbalanced and balanced dive regulators will depend on your diving style and needs.

How quickly you descend into deeper water will also guide your choice of a regulator.

We tested each product below to ensure it’s easy to breathe through.

You can rest assured that you will have enough air supply while using any of the scuba regulators we list.

Whether you are a recreational diver or seasoned in the water, we have your breathability needs covered.

Regulators can vary between diaphragm models or piston styles.

Diaphragm types can cost you more than piston types and have more moving parts.

Piston regulators can freeze up more often but are cheaper to maintain.

The preference between diaphragm and piston regulators is typically a diver’s preference, although many individuals are partial to diaphragm styles.

Balanced, Unbalanced, or Over-Balanced

Balanced scuba regulators provide equal resistance in the shallow waters and assistance at low depths to ensure comfortable and consistent breathing while diving.

The breathing adjustment is automatic, and many beginner divers prefer balanced regs for ease of use.

Alternatively, unbalanced regulators are not automatic and may not suit all divers because of the increased inhalation effort required in deep waters or when the tank runs low.

Also, there’s another category of over-balanced regulators.

These first-stage regs come with a unique style of diaphragm, allowing a faster increase of interstage pressure in the hose than a traditional balanced regulator.

This should be your best choice for a scuba regulator in 2021.

How Heavy Is It?

You don’t want to add more weight than necessary to your body while scuba diving, as this will limit your enjoyment.

Your buoyancy rate should be positive enough to allow you to float to the surface effectively.

Scuba regulators are made with different materials which dictate their weight.

The total weight of your scuba gear should also reflect your diving intentions and environment.

While 10% of your body weight in scuba equipment is standard, the temperature of the water can also dictate divers to add or subtract four to six pounds of equipment.

Warm water divers should subtract four to six pounds of weight from their diving gear.

This adjustment can be in the form of a lighter wetsuit or one of thinner material.

Alternatively, cold weather divers should add an extra four to six pounds to help maintain core body temperature.

This adjustment will make your diving experience more comfortable.

Some regulators offer considerable weight savings but have some drawbacks.

It’s worth noting that the size and weight of the regulator should be compatible with the size of your face.

You can prevent jaw fatigue by choosing a lightweight regulator.

Titanium regulators are lightweight and allow you to move freely and effortlessly while diving.

Number of Ports

The location and number of ports a regulator has is an essential design aspect you should consider when looking for a scuba regulator.

The ports determine your options to adjust your hose routing.

This is an important feature for cave, technical, and wreck scuba divers.

Also, if you plan to use a pressure transmitter/sensor in place of a mechanical SPG, you should be concerned with the number and location of regulator ports.

Ideally, you need a regulator with more than one port (high-pressure port and low-pressure port).

Other regulators have medium-pressure ports instead of low-pressure ports.

Your choice depends on your needs.

Materials and Construction

Regulator materials will differ between the first stage and second stage.

Typically, the first stage regulators will consist of titanium or chrome-plated brass.

They are easy to service and can be less expensive than second-stage regulators.

Second stage regulators can sport a brass body, titanium, plastic, or a combination of brass and plastic.

They can be more compact than the first stage regulators, aiding in your diving experience.

You also need to consider the outside coating, also known as environmental sealing.

This coating uses alcohol or silicone-based coating to help seal regulators and protect them from salt, sediment, and prevents freezing in cold water temperatures.

This is why the regulator materials are coated to prevent corrosion and damage.

Here, you can consider titanium and chrome-plated brass.

Remember that hard materials like these will outlast plastic options.

Although, you need to thoroughly clean any scuba material after every use to ensure it lasts and continues to work as intended.

Proper cleaning and storage can help extend the life of your equipment.

vector graphic showing a handful of the best scuba regulators on the market today

Best Scuba Regulators(Budget-Friendly)

We’ve collected the best scuba regulators for budget-friendly divers.

ScubaPro MK2 EVO Regulator (Yoke)

Our Pick
Scubapro MK25 EVO/A700 Diving Regulator System, INT

Features We Love

  • Easy to breathe through
  • Quality, trusted brand known by most divers
  • Good amount of low pressure ports
Check Price
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The MK2 EVO regulator from ScubaPro is the epitome of simplicity and reliability.

This reg delivers top-notch breathing performance and comes with stainless steel removable orifice that makes it easier to maintain the regulator while extending its life.

The MK2 EVO also features an Extended Thermal Insulating System (XTIS) that delivers maximum airflow and a fast-breathing response with minimal effort, regardless of the water conditions.

  • Price: $459
  • Cracking resistance: Low
  • Venturi adjustment knob: Yes

Specs

  • Valve type: YOKE
  • First stage: Unbalanced
  • Max pressure: 3360psi/230bars
  • High-pressure ports: 1

Low-pressure ports: 4

What We Like

  • Easy breathing regardless of depth and temperature
  • Increased freeze resistance
  • Xtreme Thermal Insulation System

What We Don’t Like

  • No cracking-resistance
  • Less durable
  • Unbalanced first stage

Mares Journey 15X Regulator

Mares Journey 15X Scuba Regulator (Black)

Features We Love

  • Great price point for beginners
  • Lightweight - great for travel
Check Price

The Mares Journey 15X regulator comes with special features that allow for easy breath underwater.

This mid-range regulator combines performance and reliability to give you the best scuba diving experience.

Since it’s lightweight, you can travel with this equipment to great depths without any struggles.

The Vortex Assisted Design inhibits ice-crystal build-up while diving under extreme cold water.

What’s more, this dive gear is built to last for ages thanks to the Advanced coating technology valve.

  • Price: $269.95
  • Cracking resistance: moderate
  • Venturi adjustment knob: No

Specs

  • Valve type: YOKE
  • First stage: Balanced
  • Max pressure: 155psi /10.7 bar
  • High-pressure ports: 2 (7 /16”) threaded UNF
  • Low-pressure ports: 4 (3 /8”) threaded UNF

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly regulator
  • Reliable performance
  • Excellent and natural breathing

What We Don’t Like

  • No swivel
  • No Venturi control
  • No cracking-resistance

Aqua Lung Titan 3rd Generation Regulator YOKE

Aqua Lung Leg3nd Elite Regulator - Yoke

Features We Love

  • Very affordable for price range
  • 2 high-pressure ports
  • Open yoke screw for preventing water retention
Check Price

The Aqua Lung Titan 3rd generation regulator comes with revised innovation and a sleek new look while providing the same notable value to scuba divers.

This mid-range equipment combines rugged durability, a lightweight feel, and easy-to-breath functionality in a fresh new look.

The titan 3rd generation regulator comes with a balanced diaphragm to allow for easy breathing and excellent performance and a polyurethane purge cover that shields it from abrasions, shock, and tear while lowering inhalation efforts.

The cover also allows for easy water purging.

  • Price: $920
  • Cracking resistance: Moderate
  • Venturi adjustment knob: Yes

Specs

  • Valve type: YOKE
  • First stage: Balanced
  • Max pressure: 155psi /10.7 bar
  • High-pressure ports: 2 (7 /16”)
  • Low-pressure ports: 4 (3 /8”)

What We Like

  • Polyurethane outer skin protection
  • Open yoke screw for preventing water retention
  • One of the most affordable in its range

What We Don’t Like

  • No Auto-Closure Device (ACD)
  • Does not convert to snorkeling easily
  • First stage may begin to leak with extensive use

Best Scuba Regulators (Mid-Range)

Next up are the mid-range options for the best scuba regulators.

Mares Abyss 22 Navy II Regulator

Our Pick
Mares Abyss 22 Navy II - DIN Regulator - 1st and 2nd Stage

Features We Love

  • Meets diving conditions approved by the U.S. Navy
  • Great performance and reliability at an affordable cost
Check Price

Imagine how safe it feels having a regulator that conforms to the strict standards of the US Navy for extreme cold water diving?

That’s how it feels having the Abyss 22 Navy II regulator from Mares.

This mid-range regulator is constructed to meet extreme diving conditions and is approved by the US Navy.

The dynamic-flow control technology reduces intermediate pressure drop when you breathe, thus maximizing air delivery.

The mesh grid technology minimizes water flow impact onto the second stage diaphragm, eliminating free flows in weak and strong currents.

  • Price: $269.95
  • Cracking resistance: Moderate
  • Venturi adjustment knob: NO

Specs

  • Valve type: YOKE
  • First stage: Balanced
  • Max pressure: 155psi/10.7bar
  • High-pressure ports: 2
  • Low-pressure ports: 4

What We Like

  • Vortex-Assisted Design (VAD) technology for easier breathing
  • US Navy-approved
  • Better performance and reliability at an affordable cost

What We Don’t Like

  • Primary second stage isn’t adjustable
  • No DIN valve connections
  • Only recommended for diving in moderate temperatures

Aqua Lung LEG3ND Regulator

Aqualung LEG3ND MBS Regulator

Features We Love

  • Inhalation adjustment knob is simple to use
  • Modernized antifreeze properties make for great cold-water performance

Enjoy perfect precision and enhanced ergonomics with the Aqua Lung LEG3ND regulator.

Its modernized antifreeze properties allow for exceptional cold-water performance.

The dry chamber separates the inner components from the outside environment keeping them clean and dry at all times.

Impact and damage protection are achieved due to the specialized ACD dust cap connected to the regulator body.

A properly channeled YOKE valve screw helps prevent water retention.

  • Price: $720
  • Cracking resistance: High
  • Venturi adjustment knob: Yes

Specs

  • Valve type: YOKE
  • First stage: Overbalanced
  • Max pressure: 155psi /10.7 bar
  • High-pressure ports: 2 (7 /16”)
  • Medium pressure ports: 4 (3 /8”)

What We Like

  • Dry chamber and over-molded cap
  • Damage protection through Auto-Closure Device (ACD)
  • Inhalation adjustment knob

What We Don’t Like

  • No accessory
  • Cold water lip shield take a bit to get used to
  • Does not come with a pressure gauge

Oceanic Delta 5 EDX DIN Regulator

Oceanic Delta 5 + EDX

Features We Love

  • Great option for beginners looking to keep costs low, but not sacrifice performance
  • Easy breathing, even in cold water

The oceanic delta 5 EDX regulator is a top competitor in the field of reliable all-purpose regulators.

This regulator comes with a patented dynamic adjustment technology that provides for consistent airflow even at greater depths.

It also features an orthodontic mouthpiece and dive/predive controls to make your adventure more exciting.

The added heat exchange at the hose connection increases the cold performance of the dive equipment.

  • Price: $549.95
  • Cracking resistance: moderate
  • Venturi adjustment knob: Yes

Specs

  • Valve type: YOKE
  • First stage: overbalanced
  • Max pressure: 142psi
  • High-pressure ports: 2 (7 /16”)
  • Low-pressure ports: 4 (3 /8”)

What We Like

  • The added heat exchanger to improve cold-water performance
  • Suitable for recreational diving
  • Easy breathing

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be more challenging to breathe facing up
  • Has fewer features than other regulators
  • The DVT was recalled previously

Best Scuba Regulators (High-End)

Here are our top high-end choices for scuba regulators.

Atomic Aquatics T3 Titanium Swivel Sealed Regulator

Our Pick
Atomic T3 Scuba Diving Regulator 1ST and 2ND Stage Environmentally Sealed (Yoke)

Features We Love

  • This is the regulator I personally dive with
  • Lightweight, durable, and high-performing
  • Many high-pressure and low-pressure ports
Check Price

The T3 scuba regulator guarantees unprecedented performance and reliability for scuba divers.

The regulator is manufactured and designed with pure titanium.

This material is strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion in water which makes it perfect for a scuba regulator.

This high-end regulator comes with an ultra-modern patented airflow control system to ensure you get enough air while enjoying aquatic life.

Furthermore, its lightweight feature ensures you dive through the waters without carrying much weight.

  • Price: $1899.95
  • Cracking resistance: moderate
  • Venturi adjustment knob: Yes

Specs

  • Valve type: YOKE and DIN
  • First stage: Balanced
  • Max pressure: 3500psi
  • High-pressure ports: 5
  • Low-pressure ports: 4

What We Like

  • The lightweight feature
  • Freeze-protection
  • Durability

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s quite expensive
  • The thermal features of its titanium body are not best for glacier diving
  • Does not have a braided hose

I personally dive with this regulator. I have tried many others, and this is by far my favorite.

It’s light, reliable, and overall a great option if you’re looking to invest in high-end gear.

ScubaPro MK25T EVO/S620 XT-i Regulator

Our Pick
Scubapro MK25 EVO/A700 Diving Regulator System, INT

Features We Love

  • Easy to breathe through
  • Quality, trusted brand known by most divers
  • Good amount of low pressure ports
Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

ScubaPro has displayed its advanced technology in this high-end ultralight regulator system.

The MK25T EVO/S620 XT-i is expertly constructed from titanium which makes it light and perfect for diving.

Since the materials used to make it are corrosion resistant, you’re likely to enjoy years of trouble-free use even in concentrated salty waters.

The state-of-the-art design and airflow through the balanced piston allow the S620 XT-i to deliver smooth airflow in all dive conditions.

Not even your breathing rate, depth, or tank pressure can affect the flow of air.

  • Price: $2550
  • Cracking resistance: moderate
  • Venturi adjustment knob: Yes

Specs

  • Valve type: DIN
  • First stage: Balanced
  • Max pressure: 2900psi
  • High-pressure ports: 2
  • Low-pressure ports: 5

What We Like

  • Lightweight, corrosion-resistant titanium body
  • Balanced airflow
  • Suitable for use in all water temperatures and dive conditions

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s expensive
  • Some people complain of the mouthpiece causing blisters
  • The length of hose is slightly too short for some divers

Apeks MTX-R Cold Water Regulator

Apeks MTX-RC Scuba Regulator

Features We Love

  • Great option for diving in cold water
  • Double swivel hose makes pivoting and looking around underwater a breeze

The new MTX-R regulator by Apeks takes the form of the MTX regulator designed as per the US’s Navy experimental dive squad extreme cold water test.

This means you can comfortably and effortlessly breathe through this equipment at depths of more than 60 meters.

The MTX-R comes with a ribbed diaphragm clamp on the first stage, allowing for improved heat exchange in cold water conditions.

Angled high-pressure ports allow transmitter fitting and optimal hose routing.

  • Price: $899
  • Cracking resistance: Moderate
  • Venturi adjustment knob: No

Specs

  • Valve type: YOKE and DIN
  • First stage: Balanced
  • Max pressure: 300 bar/4351psi
  • High-pressure ports: 2 (7 /16” UNF)
  • Low-pressure ports: 5 (3 /8” UNF)

What We Like

  • Suitable for use under extreme freezing conditions
  • Double swivel hose
  • Excellent impact damage protection on both first and second stage

What We Don’t Like

  • It does not include a diver controlled inhalation resistance knob
  • Designed for military use and not recreational use
  • No venturi control

Wrapping Up

There’s more fun in scuba diving when you have the right dive gear.

A proper scuba regulator is a must-have for any person wishing to enjoy this amazing sports activity.

When choosing a scuba regulator, you need to consider the many factors, including the materials, ease of breathability, the weight of the regulator, among others.

Remember, the right equipment will protect your life while underwater.

If you’ve been looking for the best scuba regulators for 2021, you now have various options.

Get the right regulator, and let’s enjoy the aquatic life view.

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