Atomic T3 Review: The Best Regulator Money Can Buy
The T3 is Atomic Aquatics’ new signature regulator and is an upgrade of their popular T2 model. It’s considered to be the highest specification regulator currently on the market.
Its all Titanium body and components, precise machining, and clever designs come together to deliver a smooth breathing, high performing, scuba regulator in a compact and lightweight package any traveling diver would envy.
In addition to being the lightest full-sized regulator, thanks to new and improved components and features, you don’t need to get it service for an unheard of 3 years or 300 dives, making it also one of the most reliable. On top of that, it is nitrox compatible to 40% right out of the box.
Simply put, if you’re looking for the best regulator, and money is no object, the Atomic T3 is as close as you’ll ever get. Considered the Ferrari of scuba regulators it was ScubaLab’s Tester Choice in 2013 by a far margin.
In This Atomic T3 Review, You Will Find
- A complete video overview of the regulator
- Key features of the first stage and why Atomic Aquatics decided to develop an all titanium regulator.
- Key features of the second stage and why it is one of the most comfortable regulators you can own.
- What other divers how have used this regulator are saying
- And my rating and the bottom line.
Atomic T3 Video Review
Below is a complete video overview of the Atomic Aquatics T3 regulator, it was done by the guys over at SimplyScuba.com. In the video, you can get a closer look at the regulator and some of its most important features.
Let’s Look At The Atomic T3 First Stage
Atomic claims this exotic metal was their first choice when they sat out to design the lightest, highest performance, best corrosion resistant, and best-looking regulator – period.
The major difference between this version and the T2 is the focus on reducing weight, making an already light regulator even lighter.
Atomic looked at very piece and component of the regulator, stripping unnecessary metal to reduce the weight. Even the yoke and DIN thumb wheel have been designed to make them lighter. The result is a regulator system that weighs under 1.7 Lbs (Yoke) including the second stage and hose.
The narrow and sleek first stage also uses Atomic Aquatics’ patented “Jet Seat” high flow balanced piston to produce the highest performance at the quickest response times, resulting in smooth natural breathing.
Unlike many piston regulators, it is also environmentally sealed with O2 compatible grease to keep sand, silt, and other contaminants out of the first stage. Apart from keeping the regulator working flawlessly, this also helps it from freezing up in cold water.
The first stage is equipped with 2 high-pressure ports on both sides, and 5 low-pressure ports on a swivel cap. To get the absolute best performance Atomic recommends using the 5th low-pressure port on top of the swivel cap.
Now Let us Look At The Second Stage
Following the same principles of the first stage, Atomic’s T3 second stage has also been designed to save weight while delivering the best performance possible.
It uses a balanced valve system to ensure breathing resistance is kept to a minimum while all internal components are made from titanium to help reduce weight and resist corrosion.
To provide better comfort and reduce tug on the second stage, it is equipped with a full titanium comfort second stage swivel. Unlike your average aftermarket swivel, it offers far much easier moment. It is also coated with a PVD finish which better resists scratches that might impede movement of the swivel as well.
An awesome feature of the second stage and one of the reasons why it can go so long without being service is Atomic’s ‘Seat Saving Orifice’.
Unlike tradition second stage valve systems where the seat is always under tension on the orifice, even when the regulator is not being used, Atomic valve lifts the orifice away from the Seat when the Regulator is not pressurized.
This greatly reduces wear on the seat allowing the regulator to deliver consistent performance over longer periods of time.
In the rear chance, you need to de-tune the regulator, there is also a rapid adjustment knob. In the Min position it helps reduce free-flows on the surface or when the regulator is not in use, and in the Max position, it will deliver the most air and best performance.
Another cool feature of the second stage is the ‘Automatic Flow Control’ which eliminate the need for a Venturi switch (Dive/Pre-Dive Switch).
The AFC basically controls the flow of air inside the second stage, directing air directly to the mouthpiece or onto the diaphragm to help close the valve quickly. What makes this so awesome is that all of this is done automatically as you descend and ascend, eliminating the need for any manual interaction.
The front cover of the housing is made from dual materials which make the entire front usable for purge, this makes purging much easier when wearing thick gloves.
The mouthpiece is also constructed of Dual Silicone to increase comfort. The majority of the mouthpiece is made for softer silicone to help reduce wear and chafing of the gums, while harder density silicone is used on the bite grip.
What Are Other Divers Saying?
The feedback from other divers is overwhelmingly great. It got perfect ratings across the board. Diver over at Leisurepro.com rated it 5 out of 5, and a 10 out of 10 at SimplyScuba.com.
Many divers report their appreciation for a very lightweight regulator, especially while traveling. Almost all also liked how easy the regulator is to breathe from, and that it outperforms their current regulator.
Below are a few snippets of what other divers are saying. They have been rewritten for uniqueness but maintains context.
Graham Hewitt – Says he cannot afford a Rolls Royce, but feels the T3 is the Rolls Royce of regulators. He let his wife try it and she wouldn’t give it back, so now they have two of them. He goes on to say that the T3 delivers superb breathing, is unbelievably light, you can hardly notice the second stage is in your mouth, and great house routing due to the swivel on the first stage.
Hondawg – Says he has always had good regulators, but the Atomic T3 is by far his favorite. He travels a lot and meeting the 50lbs limit is always hard. He went on to say that the regulator was very lightweight and breathes very easily. He is very happy with it and have not found anything that he dislike about it yet.
Dr. Cade – He and his wife owns Atomic T2x and ST1 for 2 year now, and both are excellent regs. However, he purchased the T3 so he can lighten up their travel set up. He continues by saying after lugging the regulator bag around for a day and sometimes more when traveling, you will soon appreciate the lighter weight. Not to mention dive locations with no gear locker and a few flights of stairs back to your room. He went on to say that the fact that you don’t need to service the regulator for 3 years more than makes up for the cost.
Terr – Say the reg is very easy to breathe. Don’t have to make air adjustments. Replaced his Aqua Lung Legend.
The Bottom Line
If you are a diver looking for the very best regulator and money is no object then you should defiantly pick up the Atomic T3.
It delivers all the performance and more you would expect from a high-end regulator. Lightweight and corrosion free it is also a great companion for the traveling diver.
It is quite expensive but you definitely get what you pay for.