The best Scuba Tanks in 2024

By Julius
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Stacked scuba tanks

It’s an easy concept: No scuba tank, no scuba diving.

The scuba tank which we sometimes refer to as a diving cylinder or even bottle, holds the compressed air we breathe underwater.

If you have gone diving before, you know exactly how they look like.

Buying a scuba tank is usually only relevant for dive instructors, dive base owners, and divers who like to dive at home year-round.

Here, we have collected the best scuba tanks in 2024 for any configuration. Steel, aluminum, single or double tank setup.

Below the recommendations, you find a buyer’s guide to scuba tanks and what you should look out for.

The best scuba tanks in 2024

These are the best scuba tanks in 2024 for every budget:

  1. Luxfer Aluminum 80 cf Tank: Popular due to its reliable construction and ideal size for most recreational divers.
  2. Faber FX Series 100 cf: A steel tank that offers a larger air capacity for longer dives.
  3. Sea Pearls 80 Aluminum Tank: Known for its durable construction and consistent buoyancy characteristics.
  4. Catalina Aluminum Tank 63 cf: Suitable for shorter dives or smaller divers who don’t require as much air.
  5. XS Scuba High Pressure Steel 100: Combines the benefits of steel with a high working pressure for increased air capacity.
Best Aluminum

One of the most popular and time-tested aluminum tanks for good reasons.

  • Reputable brand with long history
  •  Good quality
  •  Both DIN & Yoke versions
  •  Different colors available (check if they are legal in your country though!)
  •  Great price
  •  Easy to use and no setup time
  •  Best image stabilization of all action cameras
  • Hard to get in Europe
  •  Tend to get a little floaty (but that's to be expected)
Catalina S80 Aluminum Tank

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Catalina is one of the most prominent makers of scuba tanks in the industry and the Catalina Aluminum S80 tank is arguably one of the most used cylinders in existence.

No matter where you dive, you will find it in nearly all dive shops around the world that use aluminum tanks.

Besides its popularity and great quality, it also comes in a bunch of different colors which all look pretty sweet if you ask me.

Specs & Features

Weight14.2kg (31.3 lb)
Working Pressure200 bar (3000 psi)
Capacity2,192L (77.4 cu ft)
Dimensions (height x diameter)73.2cm x 18.4cm (28.8″ x 7.25″)
Buoyancy-816.5 g (-1.8 lbs.)
Other Features

What is a scuba tank?

Scuba divers use scuba tanks or cylinders with compressed breathing gas underwater during their dives. They come in many sizes from 5L to 15L, different materials like steel and aluminum and need to be sturdy enough to hold pressurized gas of up to 200 to 300 bar.

Types of scuba tanks

There are different types of scuba tanks on the market:

  • Mono tank
  • Double Tanks
  • Pony bottles
  • Stage tanks

Should I buy my own scuba tank?

Owning your scuba tank is a little different from buying the rest of your scuba gear.

Unlike a regulator, scuba mask, BCD, or dive computer, the scuba tank will most likely not go with you on your next diving trip. Even if you buy one, you most likely still require a dive shop or dive center for filling up for you and incur gas charges.

Similar to your regulator, there are regular service intervals you need to observe and pay money for.

Last but not least, they take up A LOT of space…and somehow…magically…they seem to reproduce. And within a couple of years…there are 2,3,4…10 of them! 😉

Now that you saw some of the downsides to owning your scuba tank…let’s do a quick calculation to see if it’s worth buying your own scuba tank:

  • Purchase price 12L tank: €400
  • Rental charge per tank: €15
  • Filling fee: €7
  • Rental charge empty tank: €8
  • Number of dives to amortize purchase: 50
  • Servicing: €70 / 3 years

Total for 10 years to buy: €400 + €210 = €610

So in essence, this means it will cost you €610 in 10 years to own the tank, which means if you do at least 90 dives with it in 10 years…it is worth it.

For those who hate maths, that’s a mere 9 dives per year you have to do to make the scuba tank worth it.

Of course, this leaves out the fact that owning your own scuba tank saves a lot of gas money and time in which you do not have to return or rent scuba tanks from someone else…as well as the freedom and independence off of dive shops when it comes to diving.

That alone is priceless to me!

I would say if you like diving in your home country, owning your own scuba tank is definitely worth it.

Scuba tank materials

The most popular materials for scuba tanks are steel, aluminum, and sometimes carbon. Aluminum tanks are the most common type of scuba tank as they are the cheapest and easy to maintain. Steel tanks are lighter and thinner, but more expensive and most often used in coldwater diving. Carbon and other materials are usually reserved for stage and pony bottles.

Scuba tanks can primarily be categorized based on the materials they’re made of. Here are the pros and cons of aluminum and steel tanks:

Aluminum Tanks:

  • Pros: Lightweight and resistant to internal rusting. They’re ideal for divers who are on the move or those who prefer buoyancy underwater.
  • Cons: They are prone to external corrosion and dents. Over time, they may lose their buoyancy and become negatively buoyant.

Steel Tanks:

  • Pros: More durable than aluminum tanks and can hold more air, allowing for longer dives. They are often more compact for the same air capacity. Steel tanks remain negatively buoyant even when empty, which can be advantageous for maintaining underwater weight.
  • Cons: Vulnerable to rusting both internally and externally. Maintenance is crucial to ensure their longevity.

Scuba tank sizes

Scuba tanks come in all sizes from 5L to 15L, as well as in different configurations.

10L and 12L tanks are the most common, while 15L tanks often come at extra charge at many dive bases around the world.

Smaller scuba tank sizes like 7L or 8L are often reserved for stage bottles while decompression diving.

The smallest scuba tanks of around 5L are very rare and are usually only used for diving with very young children or as pony or bailout tanks.

Technical Considerations

Before buying your own scuba tank or cylinder, look at the following features to decide which one is best for your diving requirements:

Tank Volume: Commonly measured in liters or cubic feet, the volume determines how much gas the tank can hold. A common size for recreational divers is the 80 cubic feet tank.

Working Pressure: Measured in psi or bar, this indicates the maximum pressure to which a tank can be filled. Common pressures are 200 bar (2900 psi) or 232 bar (3365 psi).

Valves: The two main types are DIN and yoke. The DIN is considered more secure but requires a compatible regulator, whereas yoke is more universally accepted.

Check out our guide to DIN vs. Yoke to make an educated decision!

Scuba tank service intervals

Scuba tanks need to be serviced regularly like the rest of your scuba gear and other gas tanks. The service interval depends on the material, your usage, and local regulations. In most countries, the normal scuba tank service interval is 3-5 years.

There are different types of servicing, testing, and inspections that you can do in between:

Hydrostatic Testing: Ensure your tank undergoes hydrostatic testing every 5 years. This test checks the tank’s integrity under pressure.

Visual Inspection: Yearly visual inspections can help identify potential issues before they become major problems.

Weight: If transitioning from aluminum to steel or vice versa, remember to adjust your weight system accordingly.

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