The best Scuba Regulators in 2024

By Julius
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Aqualung Calypso

It’s super important to pick the best scuba regulator for your diving needs as your life literally depends on it! With so many options to pick from, however, this may seem like a daunting task, especially as brands are coming up with new models all the time.

That’s why we’ve tested and reviewed A LOT of them so you can make a good decision on which regulator to purchase.

Here is our list of the best Scuba Regulators in 2024 with suggestions for any budget:

  1. Best Overall: Apeks XTX200
  2. Luxury Choice: Atomic Aquatics TFX
  3. Budget Beast: Cressi XS Compact AC2
  4. Best for Travel: Aqualung Calypso Classic
  5. Design Award: Atomic Aquatics T25 Limited Edition
  6. Best for Sidemount: Apeks XTX50
  7. Most Durable: Sherwood Scuba Brut Pro
  8. Best for Cold Water: Aqualung Leg3nd Elite
  9. Best Mid-Range: Oceanic Delta 5 eDX
  10. Eco-Friendly Option: Apeks Ocea

Below, you find reviews for each of them, as well as all the others we have tested so far.

At the end of the post, we have added a scuba regulator buyer’s guide that takes you through what you need to look for, the types available, the materials used, and the pros and cons of each.

From new divers starting their introductory course to instructors with thousands of dives, using the right scuba regulators underwater is absolutely crucial. After all, our life depends on it while diving. Nobody wants a freezing or free-flowing regulator or one that doesn’t support the kind of environment they wish to explore.

The best scuba regulators make it easy to breathe underwater, work flawlessly even at deeper depths, are light enough to not cause jaw fatigue, are certified for your intended diving environments, and come with the right valve type.

In this guide, we have tested and reviewed the best scuba regulators from inexpensive warm water regs for reef divers to heavy-duty cold water ones that withstand even the most extreme environments. With so many different models and specs, this can make it hard – especially for beginners – to find the right one at a decent cost. But no worries, we’ve tried them all so we can compare them here for you.

With strong options available at all price levels, you can either pick from among the top flagships or opt for a solid midrange one with all the features you need at a fraction of the price. We also have super-budget versions that still work great. Our picks for the best Scuba Regulators offer something for everybody, with rankings that reflect both our testing and real-world use, as well as the opinions of other users.

The 10 best Scuba Regulators in 2024

These are the 10 best Scuba Regulators in 2024 for every budget that we have tested so far:

  1. Best Overall: Apeks XTX200
  2. Luxury Choice: Atomic Aquatics TFX
  3. Budget Beast: Cressi XS Compact AC2
  4. Best for Travel: Aqualung Calypso Classic
  5. Design Award: Atomic Aquatics T25 Limited Edition
  6. Best for Sidemount: Apeks XTX50
  7. Most Durable: Sherwood Scuba Brut Pro
  8. Best for Cold Water: Aqualung Leg3nd Elite
  9. Best Mid-Range: Oceanic Delta 5 eDX
  10. Eco-Friendly Option: Apeks Ocea

Keep reading for our reviews. At the end of this list, you can find all the Scuba Regulators we have tested so far!

Apeks XTX200

Best Overall

Our pick for the best overall scuba regulator, no matter if you want to dive in warm or cold water.

  • Cold water certified
  •  Never freezes
  •  100% reliable
  •  Great hose routing for backmount
  •  Rubber turn knob (good for your hands)
  • Hose routing could be better for sidemount
Apeks XTX200

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The Apeks XTX series is one of the best scuba regulator series 2024 and the XTX200 is its flagship model.

Cold water, cave diving, dirt, scuba tanks, or being dropped out of a driving car, the Apeks XTX200 can do it all.

It looks cool, works flawlessly, and if you dive backmount, the hose routing is super clean, as well.

Atomic Aquatics TFX

Luxury Choice

The best premium scuba regulator on the market if you can afford it.

  • The best breathing experience ever
  •  Swivel stage
  • 100% quality
  •  3 years (!) service intervals
  •  Titanium material makes it virtually indestructible
  •  Ultra-lightweight & perfect for travel
  •  Good for cold water
  • It's prohibitively expensive for most
  •  Replacement parts hard to come by outside of Europe
  •  Nitrox/EANx limited to 40%
Atomic Aquatics TFX

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Every scuba gear list has an Atomic Aquatics product among its top choices and the Atomic Aquatics TFX scuba regulator is our luxury choice in 2024. It is a superb regulator for both warm and cold water that stands out for its great build quality, top-notch design, and smooth breathing experience. It also comes with a swivel port which we loved!

It ticks all the boxes you could want in a recreational regulator but the price will make it too expensive for most. That said, you get what you pay for and whether you are looking for a lightweight travel option or a cold-water reg that should take a beating, the TFX has it all.

The Atomic Aquatics TFX is our favorite high-end regulator and absolutely worth it for seasoned scuba divers.

Cressi XS Compact AC2

Budget Beast

An inexpensive, no-nonsense warm-water regulator that makes it stand out as our budget pick.

  • Excellent value for money
  •  High quality build
  •  Very beginner-friendly
  • Durable enough for most
  • Smooth and consistent breathing experience
  •  Compact and lightweight, great for traveling
  • Some might prefer a more rugged aesthetic
  •  Not balanced
  •  Heavy Not suitable for cold water diving
  •  Only 1 High Pressure (HP) port

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The Cressi XS Compact AC2 follows Cressi’s long-standing tradition of building quality gear that wins in terms of price-value ratio. It’s a beginner-friendly all-rounder mainly built for beginners and warm-water enthusiasts. Breathing is smooth, consistent, and effortless even down to 30-35m / 90-110ft although we wouldn’t recommend it for any technical diving adventures.

A drawback is that it’s relatively heavy and not balanced, but that’s to be expected at this price range.

What we liked a lot was that it’s absolutely foolproof which is great if you’re just starting out: Just plug it in and dive! If you’re looking for an inexpensive scuba regulator that will get you started after your course, the Cressi XS Compact AC2 is a great choice.

Aqualung Calypso Classic

Best for Travel

Super cheap, easy to use, and very reliable, the Calypso Classic has everything you need for a travel scuba regulator.

  • Breathes flawlessly
  •  New design looks great
  •  Easy to service & find replacement parts
  •  2022 version is cold water certified!
  • Unbalanced 1. stage
  •  Not for ice diving
Aqualung Calypso Classic

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The Aqualung Calypso Classic is in use at thousands of dive centers around the world so you will have no issues finding replacement parts or help when it needs fixing.

Super cheap, easy to use, and very reliable, it has everything you need for a recreational scuba regulator.

In 2022 it even got the EN250A certification for cold water diving!

Atomic Aquatics T25 Limited Edition

Design Award

Simply the most beautiful scuba regulator we have ever tested.

  • It looks AMAZING!
  •  Very lightweight
  •  Exceptional build quality
  •  Ultra-smooth breathing experience across various depths
  •  Advanced features like AFC and environmental sealing
  •  Gosh, it looks so beautiful
  • Ultra expensive
  •  Not suitable for highest Nitrox levels
  •  Prone to scratching

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Crafted with an exclusive titanium alloy and featuring the coolest coating in the industry, the Atomic Aquatics T25 Limited Edition wins our design award by a large margin. Beyond its sleek and polished appearance, the regulators offers an amazing underwater experience with smooth airflow and intuitive controls. While it comes with a premium price tag, its advanced features like Automatic Flow Control and environmental sealing make it an investment worth considering for the passionate diver. Even more so if you love the brand and want to show that off.

A drawback to the amazing look is that it’s rather prone to scratching on boat decks, pool floors, etc. The titanium material also makes it unsuitable for Nitrox over 40% (which is still more than enough for recreational diving).

The Atomic Aquatics T25 Limited Edition is the most beautiful scuba regulator we have ever used. If you can afford the massive price tag, you can be sure that you stand out among all the other divers in your group.

Apeks XTX50

Best for Sidemount

Great like all other XTX models but with a swivel port for sidemount and tech diving.

  • Perfect for sidemount
  •  Rotating swivel port
  •  5 ports
  •  Absolutely indestructible
  •  Cold water certified
  •  Perfect hose routing
  •  Breathes flawlessly
  • Why is the turn knob not rubber like the XTX200 one?!?!
Apeks XTX50

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The Apeks XTX50 is our top choice for sidemount diving due to its excellent hose routing and rotating swivel port. Paired with extreme durability and the fact that you will easily find replacement parts anywhere you go makes it an amazing regulator also for recreational divers. Its core is actually identical to the Apeks XTX200 with the same specs and ratings (which makes it our top choice in 2024.

What makes the Apeks XTX50 stand out (and qualifies it as one of our primary regulators personally) is the rotating swivel and extra 5th port which makes it the best sidemount and technical scuba regulator on the market.

That’s besides all the other features like being totally indestructible, cold water ready, breathing like a charm, etc. Get the Apeks XTX50 if you want one of the best regulators on the market at a very acceptable price.

Sherwood Scuba Brut Pro

Most durable

A regulator built like a tank with a good blend of dependability, functionality, and value, making it a solid choice for divers across all skill levels.

  • Virtually indestructible
  •  'Free Parts For Life' Warranty Program
  • Rugged look
  • Environmentally Sealed
  •  Consistent and comfortable breathing experience
  •  Great value for its price point
  •  Easy maintenance reduces long-term costs
  • Its design may not appeal to those wanting a sleeker look
  •  Bulky
  • Relatively heavy
  • Mainly geared toward North American market

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The Sherwood Scuba Brut Pro is a scuba regulator that doesn’t compromise on reliability. That’s the reason it is widely used across the US (and the world) as rental and working gear at dive shops and aquariums alike. With a balanced piston design, easy maintenance, and a very affordable price tag, it’s ideal for those who want consistent performance without the premium cost.

It won’t win any design awards and is one of the heavier regs we have tested, but it’s environmentally sealed with lots of ports.

The Sherwood Scuba Brut Pro is a scuba regulator built like a tank. Its “Free Parts for Life” warranty makes it a low-budget choice for those who live by the “form follows function” credo.

Aqualung Leg3nd Elite

Best for Cold Water

One of the best regulators on the market that excels at cold water diving in harsh environments.

  • Great for extremely cold water
  •  Built like a tank
  • Exceptional breathing experience across various diving conditions
  •  Balanced diaphragm first stage
  •  Pneumatically balanced second stage
  • ACD system seals off first stage to prevent flooding
  • On the pricey side
  •  Heavy and large
  •  Some might prefer a more minimalist design

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Aqualung’s Leg3nd Elite scuba regulator is a masterpiece in the world of scuba regulators and an optimal choice for those diving in cold water. With its sleek design and a plethora of advanced features, it makes diving with it a joy. It comes with an over-balanced diaphragm, a pneumatically balanced second stage, and adjustable controls. We really liked the Auto Closure Device (ACD) which makes sure your first stage cannot flood when it isn’t connected to a cylinder.

All these features make it the best choice if you like diving in cold water, even under ice, but make the entire kit bulky and large. If you like the rugged look, it’s an amazing piece of technology, however.

For divers who seek the very best and are willing to invest in top-tier equipment, the Aqualung Leg3nd Elite stands out. Its consistent and elite performance, coupled with its robust yet stylish build, make it one of our go-to scuba regulators at Social Diving.

Oceanic Delta 5

Best Mid Range

A great mid-range scuba regulator that delivers a top-tier diving experience at a reasonable price.

  • Sleek design
  • Lightweight 2nd stage
  •  Very reliable
  •  Consistent and smooth breathing experience
  •  Environmentally sealed 1st stage
  • Good price-value ratio
  •  Over-balanced diaphragm
  • Some quality issues in the pastSome kits come without hose/only 2nd stage
  • Heavy 1st stage
  •  Difficult to get it serviced

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Another entry into Oceanic’s reliable line of dive gear, the Oceanic Delta 5 eDX scuba regulator has carved a niche for itself with its stellar performance and affordability. Its contemporary design (loving the silver finish) is matched by a host of features like the adjustable Venturi switch and an environmental seal while not breaking the bank.

It features an over-balanced diaphragm in the 1st stage, but getting replacement parts is a bit tricky. Oceanic also recalled its so-called dry valve technology (DVT) after some quality issues.

For those in pursuit of a middle-tier regulator that doesn’t compromise on performance or reliability, the Oceanic Delta 5 is an exceptional choice. Its adaptability to various diving conditions and user-friendly controls make it a favorite among both novices and experienced divers.

Apeks Ocea

Eco-Friendly Choice
Apeks Ocea
4.8 / 5

A regulator made from recycled materials and bioplastics that performs great and protects the environment.

  • Eco-friendly build from recycled materials and bioplastics
  •  Great performance
  •  Multiple color options
  •  Great design
  •  Over-Balanced diaphragm
  •  Environmentally sealed 1st stage
  •  Lots of ports
  • Lightweight
  • Hard to get outside of Europe
  •  A bit pricey
  •  Unknown longevity of recycled materials

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Out of all the dive gear we review, we always love eco-friendly options the most, and the Apeks Ocea scuba regulator is one of our favorite pieces so far. It is the first environmentally-conscious regulator made from recycled materials and bio-plastics, manufactured in a solar-powered facility. We already were Apeks Fangirls and boys, but this new rendition of the proven XL4+ cements their position as a super innovative scuba brand.

It delivers the usual high-class we have become accustomed to from Apeks, including great cold water performance, over-balanced diaphragm design, environmentally sealed 1st stage, lots of ports, and multiple color options!

The Apeks Ocea is our top eco-friendly regulator option and also wins the prize for “most innovative”. It comes at a price, however, and as with all innovations we cannot know the longevity of new materials, but it’s well worth the money!

Other Scuba Regulators We Have Reviewed

Besides our 10 top choices from above, we have also reviewed and tested a lot of other scuba regulators.


4.4 / 5

Great budget choice for cold water diving.

  • Great value
  •  5 ports
  •  Rotating swivel port
  •  Cold water certified
  • Hard to come by replacement parts outside of North America
  •  Faceplate of 2. stage hard to rinse
  •  Short bubble exhaust

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HOG makes some of the best “budget” scuba gear on the market and has long left the “secret champ” status. Their equipment is rock-solid, built extremely well, and will last you for years.

Their prices are very competitive, especially if you are from North America. The only drawback I see with HOG equipment is that replacement parts are hard to come by in other parts of the world.

If you are willing to bring your own small spare parts kit on a dive vacation, the HOG D3 is a super well-made piece of equipment for any beginner.

It looks cool, works in any environment, and will last forever. What’s not to love?

The HOG D3 is one of my favorite regulator sets out there.

Atomic Aquatics T3

This is not a Tesla or Mercedes…it’s a scuba regulator Lamborghini. It’s outrageously expensive but so worth it.

  • The best breathing experience ever
  •  It looks so cool!
  • 100% quality
  •  3 years (!) service intervals
  •  Titanium material makes it virtually indestructible
  •  Ultra-lightweight & perfect for travel
  • It's prohibitively expensive for most
  •  Replacement parts hard to come by outside of Europe
  •  Mainly a warm water regulator
Atomic Aquatics T3

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If money really is not an obstacle…and you want an ultra-smooth breathing experience while reef diving…then the Atomic Aquatics T3 is the one.

This is not a Tesla or Mercedes…it’s a scuba regulator Lamborghini. It’s outrageously expensive but so worth it.

From the looks to the feel, the packaging, the materials, and the breathing…it’s flawless.

What is a scuba regulator?

A scuba regulator allows a scuba diver to breathe from a scuba tank underwater. The first stage of the regulator lowers the tank pressure of 200 bar to medium pressure between 7-15 bar, while the second stage releases ambient pressure that is ready to breathe in.

The scuba regulator is the central piece of your dive equipment that helps us breathe underwater from our scuba tank.

The first scuba regulator was built by famous explorer and scuba diver Jacques Yves Couteau who called it “aqualung”.

It looked different from today’s regulators, however, the underlying working principle was the same.

The parts of a scuba regulator

Every scuba regulator consists of at least a so-called first stage, a medium-pressure hose, and a second stage with a mouthpiece.

In addition, we need a submersible pressure gauge to indicate the current tank pressure, as well as an inflator hose for our BCD.

Let’s look at all the pieces that make up a scuba diving regulator kit individually:

First stage

The first stage is essentially a pressure regulator (hence the word “regulator”) which is screwed into the tank valve and lowers the pressure from tank pressure (200 bar max) to medium pressure (7-15 bar).

All first stages feature several high and medium-pressure (HP) outlets through which we connect the other parts of our regulator setup to the tank.

DIN vs INT valve

Just like scuba tanks, regulators either feature a DIN or INT valve.
The easiest approach is to just pick the one that’s more common in the area you plan on diving in the most. In Europe or North Africa, for example, this is DIN, while INT is prevalent in North America and most parts of Asia.
Don’t worry about it too much though. There are plenty of adaptors from DIN to INT and vice versa.

Medium-pressure hose

The medium-pressure hose connects the first stage through a medium-pressure outlet with the second stage and the mouthpiece.

Medium pressure is around 7-15 bar, depending on the regulator.

Second stage

The second stage is usually what most people have in mind when thinking about a scuba regulator, with its iconic mouthpiece and front-button design.

The job of the second stage is to lower the medium pressure from the hose to ambient (surrounding) pressure at each depth and provide us with air by breathing from the mouthpiece.

The purge button allows us to depressurize the entire regulator once we disconnect the first stage from the tank.


The Octopus is a second medium-pressure hose and second stage used as a backup and for emergencies. It often has a different color than the main one, usually yellow or similar, but otherwise works identically.

Submersible pressure gauge (SPG)

The submersible pressure gauge or SPG indicates the current tank pressure and is connected to the first stage through one of the high-pressure outlets.

Scuba diver checking pressure
An SPG is an essential part of the regulator set.

Inflator hose

The inflator hose aids us in inflating our BCD with medium pressure coming from the first stage.

BCDs usually ship with their own inflator hoses, so if you buy a BCD, you don’t need to get one when buying your regulator.

Warm water vs Cold water

Cold water is defined as anything below 15°C and requires special cold water diving equipment.
Only scuba regulators with a DIN250A certificate may be used for cold water diving. You will also need a second first stage in order to dive with double-valve tanks that are also required.
Such regulators are a little more expensive, however, they’re much safer than freezing regulators and voiding your dive insurance policy.

Tips for buying a scuba regulator

Now that we have looked at what scuba regulators do, and what they consist of, let me give you a few more tips for buying your own

Pick a cold water diving regulator

Even if you never dive under ice or in lakes at home, I recommend going for a cold water-certified regulator.

They are usually very well made, not a lot more expensive than their warm water siblings, and allow you much more flexibility if you do choose to dive at colder dive spots.

Choose a DIN valve

DIN is much safer and more convenient than Yoke/INT regulators by definition.

If you are unsure what to use, pick a DIN valve and get an extra adaptor to connect it to INT or Yoke valves if necessary.

Unless you live in an area where INT is the type of valve available, of course. In that case, pick that.

Scuba tank at beach
INT valves like this one work fine, however, DIN ones are less error-prone.

Replacement parts available

This is important, especially for those in rural areas or regularly diving at exotic places.

Get a regulator that is well known and for which replacement parts are readily available. Apeks, Aqualung, or ScubaPro are well known around the world, whereas most dive bases do not have parts for Atomic Aquatics, for example.

Don’t fall for hype

Go for what works for you and not for anyone else (including me).

Marketing is great and all, but look if you really need the marketed features or whether they even make sense…Looking at you here, integrated mouthpiece/inflator hose combo…

Set a budget

By any means, if money is not a limiting factor, go and buy that titanium regulator with diamond encasing now! However, it’s always a good idea to set a fixed budget +-a little buffer and stop yourself from looking at pricing tiers that are beyond your scope.

You do you

I personally have a great distaste for Poseidon regulators, for example. They are built like tanks and always work, however, they are really really uncomfortable, and releasing water from them is a pain.

If they are exactly what you want though, don’t be put off and go for it. You are the one who needs to dive with it and will feel much better if you select something you are 100% convinced of.

Scuba regulators for beginners

Picking the right model for your first scuba regulator can be tough.

Check out my recommendations on the best scuba regulators for beginners to help you with your decision.

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