5 OF THE BEST
5 of the best regs
Our choice of the best regulators for different divers
Manufactured from advanced lightweight composite materials the Apeks Flight is specifically designed for the travelling diver. Available in male and female versions in either DIN or yoke fittings with a high-flex hose to further reduce weight, this compact regulator is the lightest on the market making it ideal for... flight!
Machined from a block of solid titanium, the high-performance, corrosion-resistant Atomic T3 is made from seriously high-grade materials. From its sleek and compact environmentally sealed first stage to its redesigned second stage the T3 offers high quality features in a lightweight, compact package and is nitrox compatible with mixes up to 40%. Now with a 3-year/300-dive service interval this premium regulators offers premium performance – at a premium price.
Offering excellent performance and reliability the Alpha 9 CDX5 is ideal for both warm and cold water diving. The sealed, balanced first stage and unbalanced downstream second stage combine to give a smooth, effortless inhalation comparable with many of its
high-end competitors. Lightweight, functional and robust, the Alpha 9
offers the best of both worlds.
If sidemounting is your thing then this combo of 300 bar DIN Apeks DST first stages matched with a pair of XTX50 second stages should more than fit the bill. The environmentally sealed first stage swivel turret has a five-port low-pressure upgrade, appropriate length hoses, two pressure gauges and hose assemblies plus a stainless steel snap, and a variety of ties and bungee cords. Everything you need in one package for a bit on the side.
Approved to exacting US Navy standards, the Abyss 22 Navy uses the thermal transfer properties of an all-metal design and an oil-filled environmental seal to counteract the effects of cold water. The balanced diaphragm first stage delivers a high volume of gas at any tank pressure regardless of depth thanks to its Dynamic Flow Control and Vortex Assisted Design, making it the ideal choice for those hardy individuals who prefer a little ice with their diving.
TIPS FOR BUYING A REGULATOR
WARM OR COLD WATER?
If you intend diving in tropical locations your choice of regulator is unlikely to be as demanding as a diver descending to 50m-plus in icy seas. Many lightweight travel regs use composite materials that prevent their use below 10°C. If you want to dive in cold water, an environmentally sealed first stage is recommended to guard against freeflows.
FIRST STAGE TYPE?
Piston first stages are a simple design and have high performance and efficiency due to their low number of moving parts. This design is used on both entry level and flagship models. The more complex diaphragm first stage is generally found on mid to high specification regulators and is best suited for easy fitting of an environment seal.
Both designs can be split into balanced or unbalanced types. Unbalanced systems become marginally more difficult to breathe from as depth increases and cylinder pressure decreases. Balanced regulators offer consistent performance at any depth regardless of cylinder pressure.
SECOND STAGE TYPE?
Balanced second stages provide consistent performance and flow rates at any depth while unbalanced second stages do not maintain the same performance as depth increases. A Venturi lever is a means to control the flow of air inside the second stage housing. The ‘pre-dive’ setting is used for water entry to shut the valve to prevent freeflow and then set to ‘dive’ prior to descent for best performance. Typically seen on balanced second stages, an inhalation adjustment control can be used to alter breathing effort and is particularly useful for deeper dives where a comfortable resistance at depth may result in a freeflow at the surface.
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