I tested dozens of products, and the Shearwater Peregrine came out on top as the best scuba computer overall.
I started out with some crappy rental computers from a dive center, and they have nothing to do with the ones you will find in this article.
If you’re new to scuba diving, those rental computers used by most dive centers are okay. They are basic, durable, and suitable for all divers. They may not be perfect, but they are an excellent starting point.
But once you get serious about diving, you need to buy your own scuba computer. So I’m going to make your life easier by listing the only ones you’ll ever need!
Table of Contents
Consider your personal factors and diving preferences, such as level, gas usage, or budget. Some scuba computers offer more features but can be quite expensive, while others are pretty simple for a much lower price point. Finding the right balance is crucial.
Different computers excel at specific diving styles, so it’s important to research them before making a decision.
In our buying guide section, you will learn what to look for when buying a scuba computer.
The best scuba computer overall
For any diver looking for adventure, the Shearwater Peregrine scuba computer is the best companion.
It has an easy-to-use layout that ensures an effortless diving experience. You can explore the depths with ease thanks to its various diving modes like Air, Nitrox, and 3 Gas Nitrox.
This scuba computer has a high-resolution, 2.2″ LCD display that provides vivid and clear information. It lets you prioritize the important data, making your underwater trip better.
The first thing that struck me was the seamless navigation through the menu, and the on-screen prompts made it simple to know which buttons to press. The screen displayed clear, color-coded information that gave me a full understanding of my dive and made the experience even better.
I really liked the quick charging feature, which was a huge help during long dives. The vibration alerts were a nice touch, working well underwater and without being annoying to others.
Even though the buttons move a bit, this dive computer is built to last and will be a reliable partner on many dives. This is a great option for recreational divers who want a dive computer with lots of features that is also easy to use and doesn’t break the bank.
Who is it for
If you are a diver who uses Air or Nitrox and wants a scuba computer that has easy-to-use features, try the Shearwater Peregrine.
This computer is great for people who like long dives because it has a simple menu and a fast-charging battery. Plus, it’s tough and you can customize the display.
In the end, the Shearwater Peregrine is the best choice for anyone who wants to go diving without any problems.
The best high-end scuba computer
The Garmin Descent MK2i scuba computer is the best high-tier choice because of its outstanding characteristics that serve both your underwater and above-water ventures.
It provides variety and adjustability for different diving circumstances through its different dive modes, like single and multiple gas dives, gauges, apnea, and closed-circuit rebreathers.
The Descent MK2i enhances your diving adventure with its features, including ABC sensors, a 3-axis compass, and surface GPS capabilities that keep track of your entry and exit points for a smooth experience.
Additionally, the SubWave sonar feature, paired with the Descent T1 transmitter, monitors integrated tank pressure for up to 5 tanks — great for group dives or instructors.
The improved display is 1.4 inches and can be read in sunlight, even underwater and in tough lighting. Its battery lasts for over a week without recharging, giving it an edge over competitors.
I appreciate the simple on-screen menus that let me change gas mix without any trouble. Also, the interface is user-friendly. The easy-to-read descent indicator hand is helpful during dives without reference points, making for a smooth descent.
The Descent MK2i‘s advanced features and sturdy yet elegant design make it an excellent choice for active divers seeking a reliable diving companion.
Who is it for
If you love diving and exploring different water activities, the Garmin Descent MK2i scuba computer is the best computer money can buy.
Its advanced tracking features, many dive modes, and durable design make it the ideal option for both recreational and technical divers. With its long battery life, easy-to-read screen, and extensive connectivity, this top-of-the-line scuba computer is perfect for global travel and diverse underwater experiences.
Get the Descent MK2i now and take your diving experiences to a new level.
The best scuba computer for tech divers
The Shearwater Perdix 2 stands out as the best scuba computer for tech divers.
It’s built tough, encased in armor with a precision titanium surround bezel. This rugged design means it can handle the harshest conditions of technical diving.
The aluminosilicate glass lens not only guards the 2.2″ bright screen but also offers superior clarity and impact resistance.
But what truly sets it apart is the strong vibration customizable alert system. In the world of technical diving, every moment counts, and these vibration alerts grab your attention precisely when you need it.
I’ve had the privilege of diving with the Perdix 2, and it’s been an absolute game-changer. It builds upon the legacy of the original Perdix, one of the best computers ever made, and refines it.
What struck me immediately was the vibration alerts. In the silence of the deep, the last thing you want is a disruptive audible beep. The Perdix 2‘s vibration alerts are a subtle yet incredibly effective way of keeping you informed without breaking your concentration.
After plenty of dives, I can attest to the durability of the titanium bezel. It’s taken its fair share of knocks and scrapes but still looks as good as new.
The upgraded screen is a real treat. The enhanced color range and sharpness make it a breeze to read in any underwater conditions.
The adjustable sensitivity of the piezoelectric touch buttons is a thoughtful feature that prevents accidental button taps, something I appreciate in challenging technical dives.
For tech divers, the Perdix 2 is a revelation. It’s not just about surviving the dive; it’s about excelling in it. If you’re someone who values durability and equipment that holds its value well, the Perdix 2 is your ideal companion.
Who Is It For
The Shearwater Perdix 2 is for tech divers who demand the best. It’s for those who recognize the importance of subtle but significant upgrades.
It’s ideal for individuals engaged in diving activities where silence and focus are paramount. The Perdix 2 is for those who appreciate durable equipment that can handle the toughest conditions and still look pristine after many dives.
If you’re ready to take your technical diving to the next level, the Shearwater Perdix 2 is your go-to choice.
The Best Easy-to-Use Scuba Computer
The Mares Puck Pro+ stands out as the best scuba computer for divers seeking an easy-to-use yet feature-packed companion for their underwater adventures.
It’s designed with the diver in mind, featuring a metal button for durability, a 3-level salinity function for different diving environments, and an intuitive interface.
With its larger display and multi-gas capability, the Puck Pro+ provides all the essential functions without unnecessary frills. This computer is your reliable companion for years of diving.
In my experience, the Mares Puck Pro+ delivers on its promises. The screen’s extra protection prevents scratches, and the strap’s flexibility is a game-changer, especially when wearing a dry suit.
The large, easy-to-read screen is a massive advantage underwater, ensuring you can check your data without straining your eyes. Despite its size, it’s not overly bulky, reducing the risk of snagging on equipment.
Navigating this computer is a breeze with single-button presses and holds. It caters to entry-level and mid-level divers with its features and excellent value.
What impressed me the most is the ability to set nitrox and multi-gas mixes, making it suitable for technical divers looking to explore beyond recreational limits.
Who Is It For
The Mares Puck Pro+ is perfect for divers who want an easy-to-use yet feature-rich dive computer. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate diver, this computer will serve you well.
It’s also a fantastic option for those who prefer diving with extra exposure protection like dry suits. Additionally, technical divers looking to explore different gas mixes will find the Puck Pro+ to be a versatile and reliable companion.
If you want a dive computer that simplifies your underwater experience without sacrificing essential features, the Mares Puck Pro+ is the smart choice for your next dive.
The best smartwatch scuba computer
When it comes to the best smartwatch scuba computer, the Garmin Descent G1 stands out as a top choice. It’s not just a dive computer; it’s a versatile companion designed for both land and sea adventures.
Whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner, this compact device offers a range of benefits. With support for multiple dive modes, GPS capabilities, and the ability to store up to 200 dives, it’s a reliable tool to enhance your underwater experiences.
Beyond diving, it also includes more than 30 built-in sports apps, allowing you to track your activities and performance above water.
The rugged build, high-contrast display, and sapphire lens make it a durable and impressive device for all your adventures.
Having used the Garmin Descent G1 extensively, I’ve come to appreciate its seamless transition between dive mode and everyday use.
The clear monochrome display ensures readability underwater, providing crucial information without distractions. The long-lasting battery life, lasting up to 2-3 weeks with regular diving, has been particularly impressive, allowing for extended underwater explorations without frequent recharging.
While the design might seem somewhat plain and less premium, the familiarity of the interface from other Descent models contributes to its user-friendly experience. However, the small screen can be a drawback when reading outside of water, especially without glasses.
Who is it for
If you’re a diver who wants a smartwatch that can also function as a dive computer and is reasonably priced, the Garmin Descent G1 is the right choice.
Its extensive feature set is great for those who desire full functionality on a budget, ensuring you can seamlessly transition from your daily routines to exhilarating underwater adventures.
However, it’s important to note that it’s best suited for casual recreational divers rather than those engaging in complex technical or closed-circuit rebreather diving, considering its limitations in these advanced areas.
The best budget scuba computer
The Cressi Leonardo scuba computer stands out as the best budget-friendly option for divers looking to explore the depths without breaking the bank. What sets the Leonardo apart is its simplicity and functionality.
It’s the ideal choice for beginners and divers who prefer an easy-to-use device. The single-button interface makes programming air, nitrox, and gauge modes effortless, ensuring a stress-free experience for those just entering the sport.
One of the standout benefits of the Leonardo is its clear and spacious high-definition LCD screen. It provides large numerical displays that are easy to read underwater, enhancing safety and peace of mind during your dives.
The computer also offers a handy battery life indicator and distinct audible alarms to keep you informed throughout your underwater adventures. With its affordable price and straightforward design, the Cressi Leonardo is perfect for divers on a budget who want a reliable and user-friendly scuba computer.
Having used the Cressi Leonardo extensively, I can confidently say that this scuba computer is a gem for budget-conscious divers.
The clear and spacious display is a real game-changer, especially underwater. The ascent rate indicator at the center of the screen, along with arrow indicators, ensures you maintain proper ascent rates, which is crucial for safety.
One aspect that truly impressed me is the flexibility it offers in dive planning. You can adjust the computer for more or less conservatism, tailoring your dives to your experience and comfort level. Plus, the availability of different color options allows you to choose one that suits your style.
I would recommend the Cressi Leonardo primarily to beginner divers. Its one-button operation and easy-to-read display make it a great companion for those just starting their underwater journeys.
The presence of a battery indicator and ascent rate indicator is a bonus. Moreover, its budget-friendly price tag is hard to beat, making it an excellent choice for divers who are mindful of their expenses.
Who Is It For
The Cressi Leonardo is the perfect scuba computer for novice divers on a budget. If you’re just starting your underwater adventures and want a reliable, user-friendly computer without all the bells and whistles, this is the one for you.
Its simplicity and clear display make it an excellent choice for those who value ease of use and affordability in their scuba gear.
Whether you’re taking your first plunge into the depths or looking for a backup computer, the Cressi Leonardo won’t disappoint. Dive confidently without breaking the bank with this budget-friendly scuba computer.
The Best Scuba Computer for Beginners
The Cressi Donatello stands out as the best scuba computer for beginners due to its intuitive interface and durable build.
The Donatello model is considered an upgraded version of the Leonardo, known for its durable build and simplicity. With a high contrast display and easy-access menu, this computer ensures clear visibility even in bright sunlight.
Its versatility extends beyond scuba diving, making it ideal for other water activities with its ability to deactivate dive functions for snorkeling or swimming.
The robust construction, along with a replaceable battery, adds to its user-friendly design, making it an excellent choice for those new to the world of diving.
Having extensively used the Donatello, I can confidently vouch for its longevity and simplicity. The device has demonstrated exceptional durability, enduring up to 500 immersions for some divers without any malfunction, and requiring only a self-replaceable battery.
Its intuitive navigation and straightforward menu structure make it easily accessible for divers of varying experience levels.
I’ve found it to be equally efficient for both technical diving and recreational dives, thanks to its reliable performance and user-friendly design. The large screen with high contrast and the durable construction contribute to its seamless handling and practicality.
Who Is It For
The Cressi Donatello is particularly well-suited for beginners and those looking for a reliable and easy-to-use dive computer.
Its straightforward interface, durable build, and long-lasting battery make it an excellent choice for dive centers, clubs, and individuals who value simplicity and dependability in their diving gear.
Whether you’re embarking on your first dive or seeking a robust device for technical diving, the Donatello offers a seamless, hassle-free experience for all skill levels.
What to Look for
✔ How do we review
When reviewing scuba computers at Geardventure, we took a careful approach that relied on our deep knowledge and direct involvement in scuba diving. Our process is based on extensive testing, complete research, and direct communication with experienced divers.
We carefully assessed each scuba computer’s performance, strength, usability, fit, and suitability for different environments. Our divers tested these computers in various conditions, from calm warm waters to difficult deep-sea explorations, to give you the best recommendations.
We also value user feedback and take into account the experiences and insights of divers all over the Internet. We listen carefully to reviews and experiences from verified users in online stores, forums, YouTube, and real blogs. This approach allows us to provide a complete review that incorporates not only our own insights but also the knowledge of the wider scuba diving community.
We combined technical expertise with practical know-how to produce these reliable reviews. As a result, you can confidently choose the best scuba computer for your needs and preferences.
Check out or Review Guidelines if you want to know more.
When it comes to scuba diving, you need a dive computer. It’s a must-have from the start of your underwater adventures. You may have borrowed one from a dive shop for your first dives, like I did, but it’s essential to own one.
Your scuba diving computer is not just an ordinary device. It’s an advanced tool that does much more than you think. The dive computer computes RGBM dive tables, guides your diving plan, and monitors every aspect of your dive — from your current depth to your ascent rate, and more.
As you become more experienced, you’ll gain access to more features like nitrox gas switching, NDL planning, and dive profile analysis.
One main benefit of a dive computer is its precise depth measurement, which is better than analog gauges. Plus, it eliminates the need to guess about important factors such as decompression stops, surface intervals, and post-dive flying safety.
In this guide to purchasing, we’ll explore the qualities of a great scuba computer, making it easier for you to pick the ideal one to improve your diving experience.
Choose a scuba computer with a simple, easy-to-read interface, even in low-light settings. Clear, well-arranged displays are crucial for swift data comprehension during dives.
Ease of Use
Opt for a model with straightforward menus and navigation, especially if you’re new to diving. An intuitive design makes it easier to focus on your dive experience.
Prioritize a computer that alerts you about low battery levels and offers a user-replaceable battery for hassle-free maintenance. Ensuring power during dives is essential for safety and peace of mind.
Set a budget and focus on safety features that fit within your range. Look for a reliable dive computer that meets your requirements without compromising your budget limits.
Consider your future diving aspirations and select a computer that can adapt to your advancing skills. Investing in a versatile device allows for seamless progression in your diving endeavors.
Choose a robustly built computer capable of withstanding underwater pressure and potential impacts. Opting for a durable model ensures longevity and reliability during challenging dives.
Dive Computer Types
When searching for the top scuba computer, you’ll find different types designed to fit your diving requirements.
Wrist dive computers, similar to oversized watches, are preferred by most casual divers. They can easily connect with different scuba gear, making your underwater explorations more comfortable and adaptable.
When choosing a wrist computer, prioritize comfort and ease of use, and make sure it fits snugly on your wrist for everyday wear and dive expeditions.
Console dive computers are a cheaper option connected to scuba gear via a hose and often come with a pressure gauge.
In some cases, the larger display provides better visibility, even in challenging underwater conditions.
Your scuba computer’s ability to adjust dive plans in real-time based on depth and time is a must. This makes your diving experience safer and more adaptable.
Before choosing a device, make sure it supports your intended dive modes and is compatible with the gases you’ll be using. Choose an algorithm that accurately calculates decompression limits and ascent rates to increase your safety standards during dives.
Nitrogen Exposure Management
A reliable dive computer not only monitors your current dive data, but also calculates surface intervals, which are critical for repeat dives.
By taking into account the residual nitrogen levels in your body, it ensures greater safety on subsequent dives. Look for a unit that prioritizes this aspect, protecting you from potential risks and allowing you to explore the underwater world with peace of mind.
Say goodbye to the hassle of keeping wet logbooks. Your dive computer doubles as a digital logbook, meticulously recording detailed dive information.
Some advanced models even sync with your computer to create comprehensive e-logbooks, complete with detailed dive statistics and visually informative graphs.
Choose a dive computer with a comprehensive logbook feature and connectivity options for seamless post-dive analysis and data export.
Stay informed and maintain safe diving practices with personalized alarms tailored to critical moments during your dive. Features such as the “5 minutes of bottom time remaining” and “ascent rate” alarms provide invaluable support, especially during training sessions.
Be sure to choose a computer with both audible and visual alarms for depth, ascent rate, and decompression limits to enhance your overall safety awareness during dives.
In addition to its role in dive-related data management, your dive computer serves as a reliable timekeeper. Its ability to withstand pressure at depth makes it a versatile tool for both underwater activities and regular surface use.
Prioritize a unit that efficiently performs both functions, providing you with comfort and reliability throughout your diving adventures.
Your diving level
When shopping for the best dive computer, it’s important to consider your level of diving experience, your budget, and your personal preferences.
These considerations will pave the way for a choice that perfectly aligns with your needs.
For those who are relatively new to the world of diving, opting for a straightforward, dependable, and user-friendly scuba computer is paramount. You should prioritize a device that boasts a crystal-clear display and offers intuitive navigation.
Look out for key features like depth measurement, time tracking, ascent rate monitoring, and the essential no-decompression limit (NDL).
Additionally, having a feature that records your diving activities is beneficial for tracking your progress and enhancing your overall diving experience.
For added ease and convenience, consider selecting a dive computer equipped with dive planning functionality and Bluetooth connectivity, enabling seamless data sharing and synchronization.
For experienced divers or professionals seeking a scuba computer, it’s critical to set your sights on more advanced features that can complement your refined diving skills.
An integrated digital compass can be a game-changer, providing enhanced navigation capabilities underwater.
Prioritizing a model with wireless air integration allows you to keep a close eye on your air supply, facilitating a safer and more efficient diving experience.
Furthermore, opting for a device that supports multiple gas mixes and offers CCR mode can be instrumental for managing complex diving scenarios. Look out for options that boast trimix compatibility, particularly if you’re engaging in advanced diving endeavors that demand meticulous gas management.
For enthusiasts passionate about freediving or spearfishing, it’s essential to select a scuba computer that caters specifically to these pursuits.
Opt for a device that features a dedicated Apnea mode, enabling you to fine-tune your performance during breath-hold diving activities.
Customizable alerts can add a layer of personalization to your underwater escapades, ensuring that you stay informed and engaged throughout your dives. Choose a model that allows you to tailor these alerts to your preferences, thereby enhancing your overall underwater experience.
If you are about to start diving, head over to my guide on becoming a certified scuba diver. You will find valuable insights and recommendations to kickstart your underwater adventure. You can even join initiatives such as PADI Awareness and SSI Blue Oceans.
When it comes to scuba fins, the Shearwater Peregrine is the best scuba computer overall. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a pro, this is the top pick for divers of all levels.
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