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Buying a scuba diving regulator for beginners

Two divers checking air during buddy check.

By 5 Min Read
Scuba diver breathing through regulator underwater

In part 7 of my “Ultimate guide to buying scuba gear for beginners” series, I will give you tips, tricks, and recommendations on buying a scuba regulator when you’re new to diving.

Use the table of contents to read to the sections you are interested in most or jump to another part of the series.

Best scuba regulators for beginners

These are my personal recommendations for the best scuba regulators for beginners in 2022. I’ve used all of them before and only recommend what I would dive myself and with my family.

All of these recommendations are available in DIN and INT versions.

Apeks XTX200

Apeks XTX200

The best regulator for any diver

The Apeks XTX200 is the best scuba regulator for beginners and experienced divers.

Comfortable, coldwater-certified, indestructible, and time-proven, this regulator ticks all the boxes.

The Apeks XTX series is the best scuba regulator series out there and the XTX200 is its flagship model.

It has been around for a long time and seen some design changes, however, it is one of the most-sold diving regulators ever made for good reasons.

ALL regulators at Social Diving are XTX200 and we will probably never get anything else for our students or staff.

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

If you want the best regulator for any diver, get the Apeks XTX200.

HOG D3

HOG D3

Great value for recreational to technical divers

The HOG D3 is one of my favorite regulator sets out there and breathes super smoothly.

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

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.

Why buy a scuba regulator for beginners?

A regulator kit is really the central piece of equipment and no matter where you dive, how often, or how experienced you are, you will need one.

Regulators can last for many years and the technology has essentially remained the same for ages now which makes it look like a no-brainer decision to purchase a diving regulator immediately.

However, there are some obvious drawbacks to buying a regulator as a beginner so let’s compare pros and cons:

Pros of buying a scuba regulator as a beginner

You always need one

No matter what, you WILL need a regulator in order to dive underwater. Therefore, this is arguably the most important piece of equipment to buy.

There is no “expert” option

Let me be fully honest with you here, despite what marketing might tell you: Most basic regulators from a manufacturer work the same as their premium offerings with only minor differences in cosmetics and build quality.

Therefore, you can buy one that fits your requirements and have the peace of mind that you don’t ever have to upgrade unless you feel like it. Just make sure to consider whether you will need a coldwater regulator, and which valve type you use more often.

Even if you ever upgrade, your old diving regulator can still serve as a backup.

Save rental costs

Similar to dive computers, regulators are often the most expensive rental pieces at every dive base. So in the long run, owning a scuba regulator can definitely save you money.

It is safer

Your life literally depends on well-maintained and functioning equipment, and none as much as the regulator.

Therefore, it is very obvious to me that owning my scuba regulator and making sure it is well-maintained is much safer than renting one at a new place.

Two divers doing buddy check at Social Diving.
You always need to be able to rely on your scuba regulator, no matter what.

It is more hygienic

You put the mouthpiece…well…in your mouth in order to breathe from it. Of course, we always clean our equipment after using it, however, it is pretty obvious why it is much nicer to have your own.

Cons of buying a scuba regulator as a beginner

It can be expensive

Regulators can be expensive, especially if you want good quality. The high price tag certainly puts off many beginners when they check for scuba regulators for the first time.

When you consider the additional cost of SPG, replacement mouthpieces, or a second first stage for coldwater diving, this cost rises quickly.

Regular servicing required

Regulators need to be serviced every year or two in order to keep the manufacturer’s warranty and not void the insurance provider’s security.

If you aren’t a regular diver, I think it’s better to use the money on other pieces of your scuba gear.

Where to buy a scuba regulator for beginners?

These are my top picks for buying scuba diving boots for beginners online.

Dive Right in Scuba

My top pick for buying scuba gear online

Based in the US, Dive Right in Scuba offers a large inventory, super great support, and will be your one-stop shop for anything scuba diving.

Scuba.com

My top pick for buying scuba gear online

Another large retailer based in the US, Scuba.com (previously LeisurePro) offers very competitive prices and carries all major scuba brands and items.

Amazon

Perfect for scuba gear and electronics

No introduction is needed on this one. Amazon carries a large inventory of scuba diving equipment, most notably accessories, ABC sets, and dive computers.

Conclusion

This concludes this beginner’s guide to buying a scuba diving regulator in 2022.

If you have any questions or need help finding the right one for you, leave a comment below.

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Always dive with friends and happy bubbles. 😃

Cheers

Julius

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