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The modern alternative to traditional dive planners, dive computers calculate your dive profile in real time. They use complex algorithms to calculate decompression data according to your depth, dive time and gas mix, and in doing so, significantly reduce the chances of contracting decompression sickness. Options range from entry-level computers suited to basic air and Nitrox mixes to state-of-the-art computers intended especially for tech divers. Keep reading to see our picks for the best dive computers to buy today.
Best Overall: Oceanic Geo 2.0 Air/ Nitrox Computer Watch
The Oceanic Geo 2.0 is a great option for those in search of a mid-range all-rounder. Available in white or titanium, it can be worn as a wristwatch for everyday use. It has four operating modes, including Watch (with a countdown timer and alarm) and Norm (for Air and Nitrox dive modes). The computer’s Dual Algorithm technology allows for no-decompression and decompression profiles, and you can program it to switch between two separate Nitrox mixes.
The computer features an audible alarm and flashing LED lights that let you know when you are approaching your no-decompression limit or exceeding a safe ascent rate. It automatically counts your safety stop in minutes and seconds, and you can choose to activate the Deep Stop function for dives of 80 feet or deeper. The interface is easy to use and read, with a Step Back button and single-button access to your Last Dive display. Store up to 24 dives in the on-unit logbook or view your total number of dives in History mode.
Best Splurge: Suunto D6i Novo Dive Computer
Those in search of a versatile watch-style dive computer with flawless technology and fashion-forward aesthetics should consider the Suunto D6i Dive Computer. It’s not cheap, but its stainless steel bezel, steel casing and silicone strap all contribute to a durable design that should last for years to come. The sapphire crystal glass display features an anti-reflective coating that makes the backlit design easier to read than ever. Dive modes include Air, Nitrox, Gauge and Freediving.
You can switch between up to three gases, while an innovative apnea timer and the ability to withstand pressure up to 490 feet makes this an excellent choice for freedivers as well. Use the tilt-compensated 3D digital compass to find your way underwater, and the built-in dive planner to calculate multiple dive profiles and surface intervals. With the additional purchase of a transmitter, this computer also offers optional wireless air integration.
Best Budget: Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer
The most popular dive computer on Amazon for under $200, the Cressi Leonardo is a great choice for beginner divers. Although it’s not intended as an everyday wristwatch, it features a rugged, low profile design. Set your computer to imperial or metric, and choose between Air, Nitrox or Gauge modes.
The wide user-friendly display is exceptionally easy to read and navigate. The backlight is useful in limited visibility, while information includes your depth, dive time, decompression status and ascent rate with automatic safety stop and Deep Stop timers included. The automatic power on/off function helps save battery life. When the battery needs changing, you can do it yourself instead of paying a technician (as you would need to do for most higher-end models). The computer comes in black or white with a variety of different colored strap inserts.
Best Air Integrated: Aqua Lung i450t Hoseless Air Integrated Dive Computer
Available in black, blue or white, the Aqua Lung i450t computer pairs with a transmitter to deliver information about your remaining air time and cylinder pressure directly to your wrist unit. Without the need for a separate pressure gauge, your gear becomes perfectly streamlined. The computer is compatible with three different transmitters and gas mixes, making it ideal for tec divers who use more than one cylinder on a single dive. Modes include Air, Nitrox, Gauge and Free Dive.
The computer also automatically adjusts to different altitudes and can be set to salt or freshwater for flawless accuracy at inland dive sites. Other highlights include a digital compass, a pre-dive planning feature and an automatic safety stop countdown. You can also activate an optional deep stop countdown. The backlit display is exceptionally easy to read and includes audible alarms and a high-vis LED warning light.
Best for Tech Diving: Shearwater Research Perdix Dive Computer
Designed specifically for technical divers, the Shearwater Research Perdix Dive Computer is Trimix enabled and compatible with rebreather diving. It’s amazingly low profile and features a high-resolution, 2.2-inch color display that can be fully customized to prioritize the information that’s most useful for you. The two-button interface is easy to use, even in the most challenging conditions.
Make the most of the computer’s decompression dive planning and multiple dive modes. These include OC Recreational, OC Technical (for up to five gases including Trimix) and CC INT (for closed circuit diving with a fixed PPO2 and a quick open circuit bailout feature). Other highlights range from a tilt-compensated digital compass to a user-replaceable AA battery for increased battery life. The computer can be set to one of 10 different languages.
Best Console Computer: Suunto Zoop Inline Combo Dive Computer Console
The Suunto Zoop Inline Combo Dive Computer Console is a good alternative for recreational divers who prefer the idea of having their computer mounted on their pressure gauge instead of their wrist. The combo includes a 4,000 psi analog pressure gauge and an entry-level Suunto Zoop computer housed in an impact-resistant console boot. This is then connected to your cylinder via a high-pressure hose.
The computer includes Air and Nitrox modes, with audible safety alarms and a basic, easy-to-read screen. Information displayed includes your current depth, maximum depth, dive time, no-decompression time and water temperature. Meanwhile, the pressure gauge shows how much air you have left. The computer is automatically activated upon immersion and can store up to 50 hours of dive data.
Best for Freediving: Cressi Drake Titanium Freediving Computer
Designed exclusively for freedivers and spearfishermen, the Cressi Drake Titanium computer features a hardy stainless steel, titanium and ABS construction. The back-lit display is protected by scratch-resistant mineral crystal glass, while the computer itself is completely rounded to prevent snagging. Choose from four different apnea programs (including Static, Dynamic, Free and Pro), all of which allow for nine different alarm configurations. Free and Pro modes also indicate the recommended recovery time between each dive, according to the number and depth of your previous descents. The watch shows your dive time in minutes and seconds and includes a precision stopwatch with split time and lap time functions. Use the internal log book to save up to 500 numbered dives.