Using the best dive computer is an essential piece of diving gear, but how do you know which one to choose? Here at BestPatrols, we’ve taken what can be a daunting question, combed through hundreds of reviews and spent hours upon hours – and condensed it all into these best dive computer reviews.
But we’ve not only reviewed what we consider to be the top 7 dive computers available on the market today. We’ll also give you our “best of the best”, “best budget” and “best dive computer for beginners” pick. Plus: we’ll take you through all the different options, features and benefits to help you decide what you really need before stepping foot into the ocean.
So, don’t delay, dive in today! 🙂
Best Dive Computer 2018: A Comparison
- Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer
- Mares Puck Wrist Dive Computer
- Suunto Zoop Novo Watch
- Mares Puck Pro Computer
- Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer
- Suunto Vyper Wrist Computer
- Mares Nemo Wide Computer
Leonardo Dive Computer, Scuba Instrument Package with Watch Stand
- Large digital display
- Single button action
- Reasonable price point
- 5 year guarantee
- The face could offer better illumination as it can be hard to read in very dark conditions.
Divers looking for a simple yet functional dive computer need look no further than the Cressi Leonardo Scuba package. Featuring a single button mechanism and high definition, digital display the Leonardo is the perfect dive accessory. A press of a button gives you two seconds of back-light to help you read the display. Beginners will love the battery life indicator which has an audible alarm to alert you when it’s time to come back up to the surface.
Easily programable modes allow novice divers to control and monitor Air and Nitrox mix. The stylish wrist band comes in a range of different colors so that you can choose one to your personal taste. You’ll want to wear it even when you’re not diving, just so that you can talk about it to your friends.
Ease of Use
The Cressi Leonardo is an excellent choice for divers of all levels. It’s easy enough for beginners to get the hang of but also has enough features to hold the interest of more veteran divers. Large digits on a high definition screen make it easy to read, while an audible alarm alerts the diver of critical information during a dive.
Available in a wide range of colors the Cressi Leonardo can be matched to suit the rest of your dive gear. The main wrist band comes in black or white, with an impressive selection of colored accent strip to choose from. For a romantic gesture, you could even get a matching his and hers set with a white band for her and a black band for him.
Do you prefer the metric system? Cressi Leonardo has the option to choose between feet or meters.
There is a clock to keep track of how long you’ve been under and thermometer to measure the water temperature. Depth sensor and compass give you peace of mind when exploring underwater wonderlands down to 390 feet.
The Cressi Leonardo is a stylish dive computer with a large digital display, however it can still be difficult to read in low light conditions. The reasonable price point and 5-year guarantee make it an excellent entry point device.
Mares Puck Wrist Dive Computer
- Simple to use
- Large digital display
- Backlit illumination
- Suitable for dives to depths of 492 feet
- 2-year warrantee
- The instruction manual is even more basic than the dive computer itself, which is fine while everything is working but not so helpful when it’s not.
Mares has introduced to the market the Puck Dive Computer for beginners and recreational divers. With simple to use features such as the one touch button function, large display screen and back-lit illumination, the Puck is a great choice for a casual dive. The Puck is reliable at depths down to 492 feet and features RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubble Model)-algorithm. Gas switching facility allow you to switch between air and nitrox with the press of a button. Batteries are able to be replaced easily by the owner, meaning that you don’t need to find a dealer or send it away when the battery runs out.
Ease of Use
The Mare’s Puck is easy enough to use even for beginners. Single button function and large display screen with back-lit illumination make it easy to use and read. The audible alarm provides peace of mind, so you can relax and take in the sights.
The extra-large face and bold digital display makes the Puck easy to read, however it also gives it a bulky look. Choice of color is limited to black or black, so at least you don’t need to waste time choosing which one to buy.
Available in a 2-gauge or 3-gauge console with a depth rating up to 492 feet. Single button ease of use with scrolling menu options. Integrated RGBM-algorithm calculates decompression statistics so that you can concentrate on your dive. All the other basic features you would expect are also included, such as timer, audible alarm and internal light.
If you’re looking for a basic, entry level dive computer then the Mares Puck will do the trick. It’s a simple, functional device without too many confusing bells and whistles.
Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer Wrist Watch
- Audible Warning Alarm
- Dive planner
- Easy to read display screen
- Changeable battery
- Suuntos RGBM algorithm
- The Novo does not have a free-dive setting. The software can also be a bit glitchy and not user friendly.
The Zoop Novo features 4 button navigation and Suunto’s RGBM algorithm. This is a great value dive computer with simple functionality. The Zoop Novo offers a larger, clearer screen than earlier models. The display can be set to feet or meters depending on your preference and is rated to 330 feet (100mtrs). The Li-ion battery is replaceable by the user which saves time and hassle as you don’t need to find a dealer when battery replacement is required.
There are 5 differing modes are available that you can switch between depending on your diving preferences;
- Free Mode
- Air Mode
- Nitrox Mode
- Gauge Mode
- Off mode
Ease of Use
The Zoop Novo has 5 easy modes that make your dive a stress-free experience. Water activation means that the dive computer will auto-activate once submersed and will automatically switch off upon resurfacing so you don’t need to worry about wasting your battery.
Comes in a choice of 3 colors; sky blue, lime green or sleek black face set in a black wrist band. The design is simple yet elegant. The large face and bold digital display make it easy to read at a glance.
The choice of 5 different modes takes the hassle out of your dive. Set your preference and enter the water. 4 button navigation with large clear numbers is simple to use. The computer is PC compatible so you can save your dive data.
For a mid-range, all-purpose dive computer, the Zoop Novo ticks all the boxes. Fully integrated air/nitrox function and a load of extra features, what more could you ask for?
Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer for Scuba Diving
- One button control
- Simple, easy to use design
- Slim line for a comfortable fit
- 24-month warranty
- The computer does not include a stop watch function or depth sensor alert.
Mares Puck Pro wrist dive computer is a full-featured RGBM nitrox computer is an improved version of the original Puck model. Featuring a slimmer design on the original concept was not easy, we did so by implementing a larger display with a larger upgradeable firmware and multi-gas capability. The computer also comes with a comprehensive user manual and a replaceable CR 2450 Li-ion battery.
Simple, easy to use functionality and intuitive user interface makes the Puck Pro a favorite amongst SCUBA divers from all over the world.
Ease of Use
One button control and a segment display make the Mares Puck Pro one of the most user-friendly wrist dive computers on the market today.
Slim line design with a large display give this dive computer a sleek look whilst still being comfortable to wear and being functional all at the same time. The face of the computer comes in a choice of 5 colors; traditional grey, royal blue, cherry red, lime green or sunshine yellow.
Multi-gas programming functionality allows the diver to switch between different gas rations in a single dive. Combined Integrated RGBM-algorithm and ascent rate digital indicator remove the need for the diver to make complicated calculations, in turn making deep dives, safer and more enjoyable.
This is a great device for the price point. It comes with everything you need without all the fancy accessories you don’t.
Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer
- High definition screen
- Large digital display
- 3 button interface
- The face of the computer can be easily scratched and the computer doesn’t come with a protective case.
The Cressi Sub Giotto wrist Computer features a dual-mixture Cressi RGBM algorithm that allows two different hyper-oxygenated mixtures, which can be selected during the dive. User replaceable protective display screen and battery means you don’t need to send it away for maintenance. A full history reset function and settings that can be switch between metric units (Meters/Celsius) or imperial units (Feet/Fahrenheit) make this a great dive computer for rental companies.
The back-lit display offers visual as well as audio alarms for peace of mind. A built-in clock, calendar and log book can be synced with your PC or Mac to record your diving history, (Connection cord is sold separately).
Ease of Use
The Cressi Giotto uses a 3-button interface which is simple to get the hang of. High definition digital display with back lighting is easy to read in most conditions. Switching between the dual gas function is easily done with the press of a button.
The wrist band and face of the computer is black with a highlight available in white, dusky pink, royal blue or bright yellow making it easily identified. It has a streamlined design making it comfortable to wear without being bulky.
The Cressi Giotto features a high definition screen with a large digital display that has a replaceable protection cover. The 3 button interface easily allows the diver to switch between modes. It also comes with all of the other features you want in a dive computer, including thermometer, clock, depth sensor and warning alarms.
The Dive computer is easy to use, looks good and works as described. Great option for dive-hire companies and frequent divers.
Suunto Vyper Wrist Computer
- Automatic shutdown
- Display shield
- Backlit screen with Audio and Visual Alarm
- Operating Modes: Air, Nitrox, Gauge and Free Dive
- The Suunto DM5 software for uploading to your PC is not as user-friendly as the dive computer itself is.
The Suunto Vyper features a deep Stop RGBM algorithm that permits continuous decompression and optimum ascent time. Air, Nitrox and Gauge modes and gas switching can be programmed in one percent increments for nitrox mixtures between 21% and 100% oxygen. The dive computer can be tank mounted or worn as a wrist watch style computer.
Wireless air integration allows divers to monitor tank pressure and air consumption conveniently from their wrist. An electronic, 3D compass allows the diver to read the display accurately through a range of angles. The Deep-Stop option programs a series of stops to ensure the divers safety and comfort down to depths of up to 450 feet (150 meters).
Ease of Use
A built-in dive simulator and dive planner makes your dive an easy and relaxed experience. A multi-step ascent rate indicator takes the guess work and complicated calculations out of making your dive safer.
For my taste the Vyper is rather plain looking, but if you are after function over fashion then it should fit your needs.
The Sunnto Vyper has all the features you need for a safe and easy dive without the over-complication of things that you don’t need. Audible and visual alarms, bold matrix display and integrated deep Stop RGBM algorithm plus loads more offer great value
Suunto have concentrated on ensuring the Vyper is a robust and functional dive computer to meet the needs of its customers.
Mares Nemo Wide Dive Computer Wrist Watch
- Huge, clear, easy to read display
- User replaceable battery
- Mares-Wince RGBM algorithm
- 492 feet (150 meters) depth rating
- The Nemo is definitely function over fashion. If you’re looking for something sexy and stylish, then this isn’t it.
Market leader Mares brings you another fantastic dive computer with the Nemo wide 2.
The Nemo wide 2 optimizes clarity and readability of the dive information.
New nitrox function allows the diver to switch between three different gas mixtures during single dive.
With a depth rating of 492 feet (150 meters), the Mares Nemo has integrated Deep-Stop safety programming. Separate stop watch and clock function help you keep track of your dive with the added security of power display and audible alarms.
Ease of Use
The large screen has 4 buttons that are easy to use to navigate through the various setting and functions of the watch. Power indicators, warning alarms, clock and log-book functions let the diver have full confidence in their dive experience.
A huge, rectangular shaped face makes this wrist computer easy to read, but detracts from its aesthetic appeal.
The Nemo 2 has been designed for those that need a little help reading their computer. Extra-large digits on a wider screen make it incredibly easy to read even at depth. Including deep stops and safety stop functions, user replaceable batteries, log book function, power indicators, calendar and audible alarms, the Nemo has everything you could ask for.
Feature packed with an easy to read display, this is a great wrist dive computer for all SCUBA divers.
Our dive computer reviews would only be half the story if we didn’t also tell you what we consider to actually be the best dive computer on the market. And since this depends on you purposes and budget, we’ll show you three different options:
“Best of the Best” Dive Computer
Our overall recommendation must go to the Cressi Leonardo. The Leonardo has all the features you need, without all the frills that you don’t, all packaged up at a great price. The simple one-button design, easy to read display and intuitive programming make this a dream dive computer. Experienced divers will agree that Cressi is a trusted manufacturer with great after sales service.c
Best Budget Dive Computer
Whether you’re just starting out or have been diving for a while and are looking for a budget dive computer, we recommend that you can’t go past the original Mares Puck. Mares know what they are doing when it comes to design and function. As Mares has launched newer and more premium models onto the market recently, the price of their original Puck has become quite competitive without sacrificing any of the vital functions that you need for a comfortable dive.
Best Dive Computer For Beginners
For beginner divers, the Cressi Giotto is a great option. Integrated with RGBM factors for safe decompression, the Giotto means that you don’t need to make important and complicated calculations whilst underwater, allowing you to concentrate on your dive and the amazing scenery around you. Audio and visual alarms let you know if you are ascending too quickly and let you know when to slow down or stop and acclimatize.
What To Look For In A Dive Computer?
SCUBA diving can be an enjoyable and exhilarating past time. When you first start out, you can rent the dive gear you need for a casual, recreational dive. As you become more experienced, you will need to start thinking about purchasing your own dive equipment. One of the most important pieces of equipment you will need to consider is a quality dive computer. Dive computers are complex and sophisticated pieces of equipment. You may be tempted to pick up a cheaper budget dive computer, but make sure you way up the pros and cons of what you are looking for in the device. BestPatrols has made it a bit easier for you and done the research on some of the top dive computers available on the market today.
First, you need to think about the way you dive. How often will you be using your dive computer? What depths do you intend on diving down to? What are the features you would like to have included? Maybe you only require a basic, entry-level, computer that monitors your oxygen levels, time, and dive depth. On the other end, you may like to consider upgrading to a more versatile, premium dive computer. Your goal should be to find a device that will do all the important calculations for you including time, depth, air and pressure, while you get to enjoy the underwater wonderland.
Technology has come a long way in recent years. Where diving instruments of the past were as basic as some weights and air hoses, today you have a variety of state of the art functions to make your dive safer and more enjoyable. A quality dive computer will have an illuminated screen, allowing you to be able to read it in low light conditions or murky waters. A clock or timer allows you to keep track of your time underwater and gas sensors ensure you don’t run out of breathable air without warning. Depth and pressure sensors make your dive safer by helping you stay within your limits and not resurface to rapidly when you need to acclimatize.
At the top end of the market you can get all the gadgets already mentioned and more. An Air or Gas integrated device will calculate your remaining oxygen/nitrogen levels based on your current usage. A dive computer that includes a RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubble Model)-algorithm is essential for deep water dives. The RGBM alerts the diver to pressure changes that can cause potentially serious health impacts of rapid decompression. Blue-tooth integration allows you to sync you dive computer with your other devices. A built-in compass is invaluable for cave diving or investigating ship graveyards and other sunken debris. Audible alarms for low battery, air, and time are essential so that you can enjoy your dive without fear of losing track of your vital resources.
Finally, when shopping for dive gear, you need to look for quality workmanship and a reliable warrantee. Why would you spend money on a low-quality dive computer just to save a few dollars, only to discover at 60’ft that your ‘bargain’ is not actually fully waterproof or your compass is not accurate? Diving is a serious sport and your safety is not to be taken lightly. If you take your diving seriously, then you will probably want to look stylish as well. A premium dive computer will not only feel comfortable but also look impressive. You’ll want to wear it all the time, just so you can brag about it.
Save yourself some time and take a look at some of the dive computers available on the market here….
A summary of the features to look for before purchasing a dive computer;
- Illuminated face for ease of reading underwater
- Clock and timer
- a RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubble Model)-algorithm
- Programable alarms
- Depth sensor
- Low Battery warning alarm.
- Blue tooth integration
- Brand name
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