Reviews and Comparison Chart of the Top 3 Best Regulator for Traveling
Carrying around all that heavy diving equipment can be a pain. You’re already paying higher than normal rates to travel, now you have to pay even more since airlines are increasing weight restrictions and adding insane surcharges.
You try everything to get your dive equipment light and compact when traveling and finally dive manufacturers are keeping pace.
They’re now making much lighter and compact dive equipment especially targeting the traveling diver, and one of the main places they looked at was the scuba regulator.
But, with so many regulators to choose from, what is the best travel scuba regulator?
What You’ll Find:
- A comparison chart of the top 3 diving regulator for traveling.
- What to look for in the ideal travel scuba regulator
- A quick review of the regulators and what makes them great for traveling
Travel Scuba Regulator Comparison Chart
Use the table below to quickly compare some of the best travel regulators on the market today. You can easily compare their most important features, ratings, and price.
|Regulator||Atomic Aquatics T3||Aqua Lung Mikron||Apeks Flight|
|5 Reviews||4 Reivews||N/A|
|27.2 oz Yoke||26 oz. DIN|
31 oz. Yoke
|20.8 oz. DIN
25 oz. Yoke
|Construction||All Titanium||Composite Materials||Composite Materials|
|Nitox||Up to 40%||Up to 40%||Up to 40%|
What To Look For In the Best Travel Regulator?
Many divers say that the best travel scuba regulator is the one you’ve got now. While I don’t disagree with that, there are a few characteristics to look for when selecting one that you will use specifically for traveling.
Weight and Size
Now that airlines are decreasing the weight of carry-ons and charging even more for checked luggage, weight and size have become a major factor for the traveling diver. To cut down on your overall travel cost, you need a regulator that is both lightweight and compact.
As a result, many manufacturers are designing models that are made from a wide range of composite materials to make them both lightweight and very compact.
However, one of the major disadvantages to this is that they are normally not rated for diving in water colder than 50ºF (10ºC). This is mainly because the composite materials used does not have very good terminal conductivity allowing the first stage to freeze up in these conditions.
The more expensive titanium regulators also make an excellent choice for traveling. Out of all the metals used to make scuba regulators, Titanium is by far the lightest. You can expect the same or better level performance from a titanium regulators as you would from its brass counterpart, but in a much lighter package.
Unfortunately, some of the most exotic diving in the world is often found in some of the most remote places. Places where you might not be able to properly rinse your regulator for days on end.
Some of the same composite materials that are used to make a travel regulator lighter, such as polymers, also assist in making them corrosion resistant.
Titanium also has the best corrosion resistance properties than any metal used from manufacturing regulators, and an all titanium regulator would be a great choice for diving in these types of condition.
However, due to the high cost of titanium, many regulators manufactures only uses titanium components to help keep the cost of the regulator at an affordable price.
Reliability and Durability
Let face it, when traveling you are not going to be in places where proper servicing is going to be readily available if your regulator malfunctions.
You want to have a regulator that is both reliable and durable. Many travel regulators have longer servicing intervals, especially those made from titanium.
It is always a great idea to have your regulator looked at and tuned by a certified service professional before starting your trip.
Quick tips to travel lighter with your regulator
- Use plastic second stages, the first stage will always be metal (or metal based) but you can save some weight by using only plastic second stages.
- The new breaded hoses are much lighter than traditional regulator hoses and can be coiled tighter without kinking, saving you valuable space as well.
- Find out in advance whether or not your dive destination uses DIN or Yoke system, this way you can avoid bringing along a DIN to Yoke Converter.
The Best Travel Regulator Reviewed
Any of the 3 regulators would make a great buy and a perfect travel companion for your next dive adventure. The one you choose will basically be determined by your personal preference and budget. You can get a top of the line regulator if you are willing to spend a little bit more, but there are very good regulators at every price range.
Atomic Aquatic T3 Regulator Review
The Atomic Aquatic T3 is the ultimate travel and all-around regulator. It’s all titanium construction make this regulator completely corrosion resistant, lightweight, durable and virtually indestructible. Weighing in at under 2 lbs, it is one of the best regulators that money can buy.
It utilizes a balanced piston first stage to deliver constant airflow at any depth or tank pressure. It has 2 high-pressure port on either side of the first stage and 5 low-pressure ports on a swiveling turret for optimum hose routing and customization. The first stage is also sealed, which makes it ideal for cold water diving conditions.
The second stage is also balanced and packed full of proprietary features. All of the internal components are made from titanium so you can rest assured that it will always deliver the best performance, time after time.
It features an automatic Venturi system that adjusts itself as you go deeper underwater. It also has a user adjustable inhalation knob for the rear chance that you need to detune the regulator. A really unique feature of the second state is that it also has a swivel (also made of titanium) which greatly reduce jaw feature.
The Atomic T3 is Nitrox compatible right out of the box, and you don’t need to take it in every year for service because it has a 3 year 300 diver service interval.
One of the only drawback to this regulator is its high cost, but if money is no object then you simply cannot go wrong with this regulator as a travel regulator or any type of regulator for that matter.
Aqua Lung Mikron Regulator Review
The Mikron is the most compact and lightest regulator in the Aqua Lung line of Regulators. Weighing in at a combined weight of 26 oz in the DIN and 31oz. in Yoke, it is the perfect companion for the traveling diver.
Aqua Lung did not sacrifice any performance while designing an extremely compact and lightweight regulator. It’s balanced diaphragm first stage and second stage ensure exceptional breathing performance.
They were also still able to fit 2 high-pressure ports and 4 low-pressure ports on this very compact first stage, which is more than enough port for you to customize your regulator setup.
The second stage is also very small as well, comfortable fitting into the palm of your hand. It also has a user adjustable inhalation knob, which in the Min. positions help prevents free-flows on the surface, and in the Max. position delivers optimum performance.
It is also available in a women version which is black/pink. It features a smaller comfo-bite mouthpiece designed for smaller mouths and the silicone brace that fits across the upper palate is now detachable.
Apeks Flight Regulator Review
Apeks Claim by choosing composite materials for both strength and lightweight, they were able to create the lightest scuba regulator in the world. Geared specifically for the traveling diver, it is very compact, durable, and lightweight, weighing in at a combined weight of only 20.8oz. DIN and 25.0 oz Yoke, including the hose.
Despite its compact size, its breathing performance is exceptional. It features a balanced diaphragm first stage with 2 high pressure and 4 low-pressure ports for optimum hose routing. As well as, a balanced second stage with a Venturi Switch.
The second stage is very compact and neutrally buoyant underwater which helps reduce jaw fatigue. Although it is very compact, it still channels your exhaust bubbles to the sides of your face and not in your direct line of view. It also utilizes a balanced system which makes breathing smooth and effortless.
It is compatible to 40% Nitrox right out of the box, so there is no need to get a Nitrox kit. The only drawback to this regulator system is the lack of thermal conductivity from the composite materials. Because of this, it is not recommended for diving in the water below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.