When you finally decide to get a diving computer, you quickly realize that there are too many different types to choose from and you easily become confused and undecided. Regardless on the one you choose, your diving computer will be your best friend underwater so you have to be careful about the features that will help you dive deeper for longer keeping you safe while you enjoy yourself. Herein is an ultimate guide for you on how to choose a scuba diving computer.
Which type of dive computer is best?
This will entirely depend on your personal preference, diving capabilities, overall budget as well as the kind of gear you have. The first thing you should consider is how you are going to mount your dive computer which can either be console mount, wrist mount or mask mount.
Console mount– These dive computers combine with a compass and a pressure gauge. They are normally bigger with large displays and are designed to connect to the dive equipment. They must be connected to the tank through a hose in order to show pressure reading. The only disadvantage they come with is that they burn through batteries much faster.
Wrist mounted– True to their name, they are mounted on the wrist. They are similar to watches but larger and there are some that are designed as a watch and a dive computer. Dive watches are quite compact and they come with smaller digits so if you struggle with vision or dive in unclear water, these might not be a good choice. Their disadvantage is that you can easily misplace them but an extra advantage is that you can use them to gauge depth and to time while free diving. Some models can also be mounted on the console.
If you like the idea of a wrist computer that you can wear as an every day watch, the SUUNTO Zoop Novo is one of the most popular in the market.
Mask mounted– These are relatively new in the market and the advantage they come with is that they are mounted inside the mask. This frees up your hands to do other things.
Air integration or not.
Once you decide the type of mounting you want, you have to decide about air integration. When your computer is connected to the air source, it displays the air pressure on the dive computer. This allows you to view your breathing rate and tells you the amount of time you have left. Air integrated dive computers are more expensive but definitely worth it.
Hose Vs hose-less– Air integrated computers come in two different types, hose and hose less. The hose-less types are more expensive but are more practical because they make you so much more streamline while diving. Of course, the ones with a hose can be quickly disconnected.
Nitrox or not.
Divers who use a Nitrox mix of 36% consume more than 10% less gas than those who use normal air. This has led to the design of more dive computers with Nitrox capabilities and if you feel that you want to use Nitrox, you should get one like it. Even if these are future plans, in case you are a beginner, you will save yourself the expense of buying another one. Keep in mind that a dive computer with Nitrox capabilities can also calculate air but not vice versa.
There is really no right or wrong dive computer because all you have to consider are your needs then get one that suits you. The model will depend on your budget as well as diving capabilities.