The 10 best Underwater Scooters in 2024

By Julius
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Freediver with underwater scooter

Finding the best Underwater Scooters is important! But with new models coming out all the time, it can be hard to find the right one, especially for beginners.

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

These are the best underwater scooters in 2024 with suggestions for any budget:

  1. Best Overall in 2024: Lefeet S1 Pro
  2. Most Popular: Sublue WhiteShark Mix
  3. Budget Beast: Nbjalin TD02
  4. Best Value: Divex BlackTip Travel
  5. Best for Underwater Photography: Windek Sublue Navbow Scooter
  6. Best for Travel: Waydoo Subnado Underwater Scooter
  7. Best for Scuba Diving: Bonex Aquaprop L
  8. Best for Technical Diving: Subgravity Bonex Ecos S Scooter
  9. Best for Kids: Yamaha Seal Seascooter
  10. Most Powerful: Subgravity Bonex Discovery RS

When it comes to Underwater Scooters, it sometimes feels like we've tried them all.ūüėÖ Every week, we spend a lot of time in our lab and in the real world testing the top models so that we can compare them here for you! All our tests were done by our staff and specialists at Social Diving. There are always at least 2 people involved in a review!

Keep reading for our reviews for each of them, as well as all the others we have tested so far! ‚¨áÔłŹ

We also added a underwater scooters buyer's guide that takes you through what you need to look for before buying, the available types and the pros and cons of each.

The 10 best Underwater Scooters in 2024 - Table of Contents
(Click to expand)

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!

The 10 best Underwater Scooters in 2024

Lefeet S1 Pro

Best Overall in 2024

The LEFEET S1 Pro has taken the world of underwater scooters by storm for good reason. It combines great specs and a compact design with a good price-value ratio. It comes with 3 speed options and is light enough for travel. In comparison to some of the cheaper models on Amazon & Co, the S1 pro feels valuable and well thought out.

For the price you get a lot of power albeit a short run time and it’s an excellent choice for snorkelers, freedivers and even divers. It is modular and can be equipped with a second engine to increase power. We like that it’s very easy to attach to anything: Your wrist, a BCD, your paddle board…you get the idea. The small battery is also allowed as a carry-on so you never have to worry about TSA.

The LEFEET S1 Pro underwater scooter is an excellent choice and the best underwater scooter in 2023. The pro version comes with a nice starter package and no matter what kind of watersport you love, the S1 Pro has got you covered!


Sublue WhiteShark Mix

Most Popular

The Sublue WhiteShark Mix is the most sold underwater scooter in the world and we can see why. The price is good and if you are fine with the basic version you will get an absolute budget beast. It’s fun and easy to use, customer support from Sublue is excellent and the scooter itself is also appropriate for kids. The newer Pro version even comes with a camera mount included!

It’s a great choice for travel and weighs near to nothing. What stands out is the amazing starship design of the pro version, however, sadly the budget version looks a bit bland. The WhiteShark Mix suffers from relatively short runtime and that the battery cover comes loose easily, so please watch out.

The Sublue WhiteShark Mix offers a lot of bang for your buck and if you are willing to go for the pro version, the design is super cool!


Nbjalin TD02

Budget Beast

The Nbjialin TD02 underwater scooter is a new addition to our list and immediately makes its mark to win our Budget Beast Award in 2024. At a fraction of the price of others, this DPV offers a lot of fun at a compact size. The detachable handheld grips and the camera mount are well thought out and the scooter looks good. It’s suitable for snorkeling and freediving but a bit too weak for serious scuba diving.

It is not compatible with all paddle boards, however, this may change as the new version comes out. Its biggest weakness is the slow charging and the limited run time. But then again, it’s really really cheap!

If you want the cheapest still useable underwater scooter around, the Nbjialin TD02 is an excellent pick!


Divex BlackTip Travel

Best Value

After quite a few dives with the Divex BlackTip Travel, we think it might have the best value of all scuba diving DPVs on our list. It looks great, has a great depth rating of 300ft / 100m, is durable in any environment, and really easy to handle. While it won’t replace the more expensive tech diving scooters anytime soon, it also only costs 20% of those.

We like the safestart feature that comes standard and prevents accidental triggers of the motor when you least want it, like at narrow cave intersections or close to the boat. It’s great for beginners but don’t be fooled, the BlackTip DPV still requires that you learn it!

The Divex Blacktip Travel is a robust, versatile, and user-friendly underwater scooter for scuba divers. It’s not just for technical divers but also an excellent choice for anyone looking to expand their diving experience with a reliable and affordable DPV.


Windek Sublue Navbow Scooter

Best for Underwater Photography

The Windek Sublue Navbow is an underwater scooter aimed at photographers and action cam enthusiasts. It comes with an integrated action camera mount and an OLED display and can be handled single-handedly. Despite the small size, it is REALLY powerful and can easily outrun most other non-scuba diving DPVs on the market. It has 60 minutes of runtime which is good considering the speed rating and its relatively high weight.

The Pro version looks absolutely stunning and we love the style. However, quality comes at a price and the Sublue Navbow is a bit pricier than others on this list. But you get what you pay for. Customer support is also very quick.

The Windek Sublue Navbow is the best scooter for underwater photography and is very fast and durable.


Waydoo Subnado Underwater Scooter

Best for Travel

The¬†Waydoo Subnado¬†is the most compact underwater scooter that still delivers¬†speed at 3 settings¬†without breaking the bank. While it‚Äôs aimed at¬†snorkelers¬†and freedivers, it¬†works for mono-tank scuba diving!¬†1 hour of runtime¬†is a bit limited but considering the size we are happy. It‚Äôs our¬†travel pick¬†for 2024 and will fit into your pocket. We like to joke that it fits into a wine bottle at the beach! ūüėĄ

We don’t like that the safety cover for the motor is a bit useless and that no extra charger is included! Daisy chaining is limited and you have to control both of them separately, still. If you skin dive, we think the one-arm mounting is amazing, however! Also interesting: The product was financed with a Kickstarter campaign so there is a lot of interest in the development of the product!

The Waydoo Subnado is one of the most innovative underwater scooters in recent years and at the current price, it’s a steal!


Bonex Aquaprop L

Best for Scuba Diving

The Bonex Aquaprop L is a true scuba diving scooter and is our top choice for divers. Its run time is at least twice as long as the non-diving DPVs and the thrust is enormous. Its lightweight design leads to a top speed of around 50m/min | 280 ft/min that we measured in our tests. It is also much more maneuverable than some of the other high-end scuba scooters we have tried in the past.

The Aquaprop L is meant for divers and will be overkill for weak swimmers. While we think the price is absolutely justified, it will probably be too high for casual snorkelers. On the other hand, serious technical divers might want more thrust if they use multiple stages on every dive.

The Aquaprop L is the best underwater scooter for recreational diving and a true powerhouse. It is popular among the scuba diving community for good reason and we can recommend it wholeheartedly!


Subgravity Bonex Ecos S Scooter

Best for Technical Diving

If technical diving is your thing, the Bonex Ecos S is a great choice for you! This is a true powerhouse of a DPV that excels at nearly everything. We love the 5-stepless speed settings which blow nearly every other underwater scooter out of the water (no pun intended). It’s very popular, especially in Europe and you will love it. Durability, design, maneuverability, thrust…you will love all the specs.

That said, it comes at a very high price. There is no way around it, this thing is equivalent to a small used car. But you will get exactly what you pay for. If you choose the Ecos S, you will arguably never have to upgrade.

The Bonex Ecos S is the best underwater for technical divers who still cherish a good value for their money. It is a premium product but meant to last.


Yamaha Seal Seascooter

Best for Kids

If you want to buy your kids an underwater scooter, the Yamaha Seal Seascooter is a solid choice. It comes in different colors that are easy to spot from the beach so you won’t lose it out of sight. The propellers are well-guarded and the DPV is super simple to handle. The speed is slow but that’s usually what parents want. Considering this, the Seascooter is perfect for families.

Yamaha probably needs no introduction as a brand and we like the build quality of this thing. Please note, however, it is not meant for scuba diving or carrying large adults at high speed. The price reflects this, however, and this is a steal!

The Yamaha Seal Seascooter is a great value purchase for families with kids and will be a lot of fun during your next trip to the beach!


Subgravity Bonex Discovery RS

Most Powerful

If you want the absolute best underwater scooter for divers money can buy in 2024, the Bonex Discovery RS is the number 1 pick. It is a big, powerful DPV that can carry your technical diving equipment and your buddy, as well. It has more than 6 hours of runtime(!!!) and is by far the most powerful underwater scooter we have ever used.

And man‚Ķthis thing is fun! If you are a¬†speed junkie¬†or just want to never worry about falling behind your diving group, the Discovery RS will make sure you are ahead of the game. Bonex is known for its¬†great build quality¬†and the ‚ÄúEmergency Drive‚ÄĚ feature is just one of the many aspects we love.
One thing: Let’s not talk about the price.

The Bonex Discovery RS is the most powerful underwater we could find and if money is not an obstacle, get this one and never look back!


Other Underwater Scooters we have Reviewed

We’re testing new underwater scooters for you right now so stay tuned for more reviews shortly!

What is an Underwater Scooter?

Underwater scooters, also known as diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs), are handheld electronic devices that help divers navigate underwater more quickly and with less effort. They consist of a motor and propeller encased in a waterproof shell with handlebars or grips for easy handling.

Think diving and snorkeling is fun? Think it should go faster though?

Then it’s time to try out an underwater scooter or DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle) on your next dive! They are REALLY fun and allow you to glide through the water with ease, cover more ground, and conserve energy.

You have surely seen them before, arguably in an action movie like James Bond, an underwater documentary, or maybe even in passing by other divers.

Military personnel are known to use them, as well, and they are a frequent companion of cave divers and expeditions.

Recreational divers, freedivers, and snorkelers can use them to cover great distances underwater with relative ease.

Underwater scooters come in a variety of shapes, sizes, speeds, and configurations and there isn’t one size fits all. Some are meant more as toys for children and snorkelers, while others can carry heavier loads and go even faster.

They are usually held in hands, however, many feature hooks or other means to attach them to a Buoyancy Control Device directly.

Here is a cool orca video that shows you how convenient an underwater scooter can be:

Why use an underwater scooter?

Underwater scooters help divers and snorkelers move faster underwater, consume less air, and explore larger areas on each dive. Most people just use them for fun, but they can also help those with disabilities move in the water without facing physical barriers.

Underwater scooters are not for everyone and not meant to be used on every dive. Rather, they offer a unique experience that should fit the environment you plan on diving in.

For example, when exploring a small house reef at a dive resort that boasts plenty of fish even in its shallowest parts, a DPV will probably not do you any good.

Likewise, when trying to dive with shy creatures like whale sharks, manta rays, etc. leave the scooter at home.

On the other hand, if you want to explore a deep cave system with kilometer-long cave systems, or the parts of the shore far away from your entry point, a scooter is just the right tool for the job.

Last but not least, enjoy it! Even if there is nothing special to see underwater, an underwater scooter is super fun to use and feels a bit like taking a motorcycle for a spin underwater.

Snorkeler with underwater scooter
Even snorkelers can use underwater scooters!

Tips and Tricks for Using Underwater Scooters

Scooters require a bit of practice and care before they can be used to their full potential. Here are some tips and tricks for safe handling of DPVs:

Start in Shallow Waters

Before taking your scooter into deeper waters, practice in a pool or shallow area.

Mind Your Buoyancy

Good buoyancy is essential. The thrust from the scooter can affect your stability underwater and it’s easy to underestimate its force.

Even if you are a snorkeler using a scooter, good swimming skills are still required.

Stay Aware of Surroundings

To avoid collisions and protect marine life, always keep a lookout. A scooter hitting a coral reef can have devastating effects so please be careful.

Monitor Battery Life

Always check the battery status to prevent being stranded without propulsion at a far-off place.

Remember to check your pressure

Even though your air consumption will drastically reduce since you don’t need to swim against currents, etc., always keep an eye on your pressure gauge.

It’s easy to get carried away and we all know…that’s definitely not what we want!

Pros of Underwater Scooters:

  1. Extended Range: They allow divers to cover more ground in a single dive.
  2. Energy Conservation: Reduces the effort and energy needed to swim long distances.
  3. Increased Bottom Time: Less energy exerted means reduced oxygen consumption, potentially leading to longer dive times.
  4. Enhanced Dive Experience: They provide a fun and thrilling way to explore the underwater world.

Cons of Underwater Scooters:

  1. Battery Life: Most scooters have limited battery life, which can restrict dive time if not managed correctly.
  2. Buoyancy Control: Handling a scooter requires proper buoyancy control.
  3. Environmental Concern: Careless usage can disturb marine life or damage coral reefs.
  4. Added Weight: They add to the gear divers must manage, both in and out of the water.
Scuba diver with underwater scooter

Underwater Scooter Buying Guide

Buying your first underwater scooter can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are dozens of models out there by just as many manufacturers and you definitely want to invest in a quality one!

Various technical aspects must be taken into account to ensure your choice meets your diving needs and preferences.

Here is a quick buyer’s guide that hopefully makes the choice a bit simpler.

First off, these are the technical considerations you should be aware of:

  1. Depth Rating
  2. Battery Life & Type
  3. Run Time
  4. Weight & Portability
  5. Speed & Thrust Settings
  6. Buoyancy Control
  7. Construction & Durability
  8. Safety Features
  9. Attachment Points & Mounts
  10. Noise Rating

1. Depth Rating

The depth rating tells you the maximum depth at which the scooter can operate without facing any performance or structural issues.

As you know, the deeper you go, the higher the pressure. An underwater scooter built for shallower depths might not withstand the pressures of deeper dives, risking malfunction or damage.

Tip: Always ensure the scooter’s depth rating suits your diving habits. If you’re a recreational diver, a standard depth rating of 30m might suffice. However, professional or deep divers will need/want a lot more than that usually.

Freediver with underwater scooter
Freediving in style!

2. Battery Life & Type:

The battery type decides the duration the scooter can operate on a full charge. At the same time, bigger batteries usually means longer charging time.

The charging time also varies based on the battery type. While Lithium-ion batteries might offer longer operational times, they can also take longer to charge. Ensure you factor in both dive time and preparation time when considering battery life.

Tip: Consider how long you plan to be underwater and choose a scooter that provides ample battery life for your dives. Additionally, understand the type of battery (Lithium-ion, NiMH, etc.) as it can influence the scooter’s weight, power delivery, and charging time.

3. Run Time

Based on the battery type above, each scooter has a nominal run time.

Trust me…you don’t want to be a mile away from the beach when that dreaded “low battery” warning comes up.

The longer the better of course, however, this is also reflected in much higher prices.

Tip: Snorkelers and freedivers can usually get away with shorter run times as they come up to the surface frequently, anyway. Recreational or technical divers should opt for at least twice the average duration of a normal dive.

4. Weight & Portability:

Who wants to carry heavy equipment? No one does.

The lighter the scooter, the easier it is to transport it to and from the dive site. However, if it’s too light it might not withstand bumps or scratches as easily.

Weight also affects buoyancy underwater. A heavier scooter might require additional buoyancy aids, making the dive more complex. Ensure you test or research buoyancy implications when considering the weight.

Tip: A lighter scooter may be easier to carry and transport, especially if you travel frequently. However, lighter scooters may sometimes compromise on power or battery life, or might not be super durable. Balance your need for portability with performance.

5. Thrust & Speed Rating:

The thrust or speed rating tells you how fast you can go with the DPV underwater. It is usually given in kmh (km per hour) mph (miles per hour) or knots.

The higher the better…I think. Well…This one is similar to buying a car, the faster it goes, the higher the price and the faster you drain the battery.

Thrust also directly affects the scooter’s ability to handle strong currents. If you frequently dive in areas with strong underwater currents, opt for higher thrust levels.

Tip: Depending on your needs, you might want a scooter with multiple speed settings. This provides flexibility in navigating various underwater conditions and terrains.

6. Buoyancy Control

This is a big one.

Neutral buoyancy ensures that you neither sink nor float while diving and is what we want in most cases.

A scooter that doesn’t fit your diving style can exhaust you quickly as you constantly adjust your position, leading to higher air consumption.

Many underwater scooters come with buoyancy options which can often be set to negative, positive, or neutral. On the other hand, cheaper models are set to either negative or positive buoyancy by default and offer no controls.

Therefore, it’s crucial to understand which kind aligns with your requirements.

Scooters with a negative buoyancy design can pose challenges for novice divers, as they tend to pull the diver downwards. If you lose your grip, they can quickly sink. An easy way to prevent that is by using a lanyard or other connector.

On the other hand, scooters with positive buoyancy pull you upwards which can make them hard to control.

Premium models come with buoyancy control settings that make it easier to achieve and maintain neutral buoyancy.

Tip: Pick an underwater scooter that fits your buoyancy preferences. Models with buoyancy settings can make this a lot simpler.

7. Construction & Durability:

The materials used in the scooter’s construction and its resistance to wear and tear influence its durability. Better materials mean you can use your DPV for a longer time than cheaper ones.

Durability also influences long-term costs. A robustly built scooter, although pricier initially, can save money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

Tip: Look for scooters made with high-quality, corrosion-resistant materials. This ensures the scooter can withstand regular exposure to saltwater and other underwater elements.

Military divers using diver propulsion vehicle
Military divers use a very different kind of DPV.

8. Safety Features

Safety is paramount when diving. An underwater scooter with robust safety features can prevent potential hazards like getting stranded underwater due to battery drainage or diving deeper than planned.

Safety alarms and indicators should be clearly identifiable and noticeable even when using your scooter at full thrust.

Please also make sure to understand what you’re doing! Read the PADI course manual on DPVs or take a diving course with an instructor first.

Tip: Consider models with auto shut-off functions, depth alarms, and battery level indicators. These features can be crucial in ensuring a safe diving experience.

9. Attachment Points & Mounts:

Many scooters offer points or mounts where additional gear, like cameras or torches, can be attached.

However, attachment points are not just for cameras. They can also be used to attach torches, dive computers, and other essential equipment. Consider the versatility of attachment options when making your choice.

For cave or technical divers using high-powered DPVs, an attachment point to the BCD is super important to not lose your scooter during the dive.

Tip: If you’re keen on underwater photography or videography, ensure the scooter comes with reliable mounting points or is compatible with popular camera mounts.

10. Noise Rating

The amount of sound the scooter makes during operation is reflected in its noise rating or level.

Excessive noise can also disrupt the serenity of the dive experience and -quite simply – scare the fish away.

For those who dive to enjoy the tranquility of the underwater world, a quieter model can significantly enhance the overall experience. It’s also good etiquette to not disturb the marine life underwater.

Tip: A quieter scooter is less likely to disturb marine life, making it an environmentally friendlier option. This is especially important for divers keen on observing wildlife.

What happens if I let go of my underwater scooter?

Many underwater scooters/DPVs offer an auto shut-off that stops the motor when you lose contact. Others have different safety systems. If the model doesn’t offer these features it might sink or rise to the surface.

If you let go of your underwater scooter, what happens next depends on several factors, including the scooter’s buoyancy, the depth you’re at, the surrounding currents, and whether or not you have safety mechanisms in place (we’ll look at those next).

Factors affecting the result

Negatively Buoyant Scooter: If your scooter is negatively buoyant, it will sink when you let go. Depending on the depth and the bottom composition (sandy, rocky, or coral-filled), it might get buried, damaged, or lost.

Positively Buoyant Scooter: A positively buoyant scooter will float upward when released. If you’re deep underwater, it could ascend rapidly to the surface, which might pose a hazard to boats or other surface vessels.

Neutrally Buoyant Scooter: If your scooter has neutral buoyancy, it will likely remain at or near the depth where it was released, drifting with the current.

Surrounding Currents: If you’re diving in an area with strong currents, even a neutrally buoyant scooter can be carried away quickly once you let go of it. This can make retrieving the scooter difficult and potentially risky.

Safety Mechanisms

Wrist Lanyard: Many divers use a wrist lanyard attached to the scooter. This ensures that even if they accidentally release the grip, the scooter remains attached and won’t drift away or sink.

Auto Shut-off: Some advanced scooters have an automatic shut-off feature that turns off the scooter’s propulsion if you let go, preventing it from zooming away.

Battery Drainage: If the scooter continues to operate after being let go (assuming it doesn’t have an auto shut-off feature), it will drain its battery. If not retrieved in time, you might find yourself with a powerless scooter, which can be especially problematic if you’re relying on it for long distances.

For safety and to prevent loss, it’s always recommended to use a lanyard or similar tethering device when operating an underwater scooter. This way, even if you accidentally release your grip, the scooter remains within reach.

Conclusion

Choosing the right underwater scooter involves a blend of understanding your needs and having a grasp on the technical considerations. Whether it’s for casual exploration, underwater photography, or professional diving, ensure the scooter you select aligns with your intended purpose and offers the technical specifications necessary for a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Hopefully, this guide helped you and if you have any questions, send us a message or comment!

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