Reviewed by our experts:

The best Dive Computers in 2017

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Our experts at work

We gave our 2 dive computer geeks a job: test 32 different dive computers and write reviews of the best. The result is 16 of the best dive computers out there:

Torben Lonne

Torben Lonne

This guides review judge

Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for dive gear and especially dive computers. 

Simon stutwick

Simon stutwick

Dive computer expert

Simon is a dive computer geek. Loves the tech and algoritmes. 

Buying a dive computer is a jungle of seaweed - no matter if it's your first dive computer or if you're an advanced tech diver looking for yet another dive computer - you want to find the right one.

We've put our experts to work and they've compiled a thorough list of the best dive computer available in 2017.

To make it easy for you, we've made it possible to compare prices and features across all the different top dive computers. This way, you'll get the best computer for your needs (at the best price too).

Think about your needs for a dive computer!

Listen

It's easy to buy a computer that's much to advanced for you needs, or one that will quickly become insufficient.

What's your level? Are you new to diving or long past the first 100 dives? Or somewhere inbetween? 

Below you can find a selection based on your needs, pick the one that fits you: 

Suunto d4i Dive computer

Pro's and Con's of the SUUNTO D4i dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry Level and advanced dive computer
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Wireless air integrated, Downloadable dive logs, built in dive planner, freedive mode
  • Pros: Watch sized, and comfortable to use in and out of the water. Short press to activate backlight
  • Cons: No "off" mode, quick battery drain, no integrated compass

 

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto D4i:

Our recommendations:

 

I have been diving with Suunto computer more than a decade, and upgraded to the D4i to get rid of an additional hose when diving in cold water with a dry suit. The D4i feels more like a watch than a dive computer, which is nice, because I can comfortably keep it on my wrist during surface intervals. I love the free dive mode, as it helps me in my free dive depth and bottom time training.

Suunto ZOOP Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the SUUNTO ZOOP dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry Level 
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Bright phosphorescent display, learning mode, downloadable dive logs, wrist or console mountable
  • Pros: Very simple to learn and use, easy to ready even in low visibility, multiple mounting options make the computer more versatile
  • Cons: Larger face makes it less comfortable to wear on wrist, a little confusing to access logged dives, overly conservative dive table algorithms.

 

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto Zoop:

Our recommendations:

 

I wanted an easy and inexpensive dive computer to kick off my diving adventures. I wanted something simple and easy to read. The Zoop does the job very well. The only problem I had was learning to use the computer to access my dives, but once I got the system down it was easy.

Cressi leonardo Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Cressi Leonardo dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry Level 
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: Oxygen toxicity indicator, user adjustable conservatism levels, easy to program single button interface
  • Pros: High-definition screen, has a battery save mode, the lower price and ability to reset are great for rentals or classes
  • Cons: The Cressi Leonardo is large and has a super long wristband

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Cressi Leonardo:

Our recommendations:

I picked up this dive computer to give to students and dive tourists. For my students it is easier to keep track of their dive times, ascent rates, and helps them understand how their time effects how long they can stay underwater with multi-level diving. The ability to reset the computer was the deciding factor to buy this for my classes. The oversized case is a little annoying, but not terrible.

Suunto ZOOP NOVO Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto Zoop Novo dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry Level 
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Easy four button navigation, gauge mode, altitude and personal conservatism adjustments
  • Pros: Can be placed on wrist or in modular console, large display that is easy to read, low price that has great performance.
  • Cons: PC integration is a separate purchase, large size is uncomfortable outside of the water.

 

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto Zoop Novo:

Our recommendations:

 

The Zoop Novo was a great purchase for my wife; she hasn’t been diving for long, so I wanted an easy to read computer to help her monitor her no dc time and ascent rate. The only down sides are that it is not comfortable for her to wear during surface intervals, and the lack of integrated air means she has to monitor two separate gauges.

Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Mares Puck Pro dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry Level 
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: Stopwatch, fresh and saltwater settings, altitiude adjustment, calendar
  • Pros: Out of water "auto-off" saves battery life, large and easy to read face, user changeable battery is easy to replace
  • Cons: Single button interface, and no depth alarm

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Mares Puck Pro:

Our recommendations:

I love the simple interface of the Puck Pro. Sure it made be a little big, but that translates to being easy to read in almost any situation. I dive as often as I can, and the battery definitely gets a work out. So, the user changeable battery is an amazing feature.

Shearwater Perdix Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Shearwater Perdix dive computer:

  • Best for: Advanced divers, Technical & Reabreather
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox, Trimex
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: 5 open-circuit gas switch presets, full color screen, 850 ft operating depth, bluetooth connecivity with iOS devices.
  • Pros: Mountable on either wrist, features for use with a rebreather, full information provided for decompression diving

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Shearwater Perdix:

Our recommendations:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping

All I need to say about this computer is wow. At its price point it seems a little high to be not air integrated, but once I got the computer I wasn’t the least bit disappointed. The large size isn’t comfortable out of the water, but is perfect in the water. I love that it is comfortable on either wrist which allows me more flexibility with the tools I take with while working underwater. The abundant information available makes me feel safe and more at ease on my deeper and gas-mix dives.

Suunto D6i watch sized Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto D6i dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level and advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox to 99%/3 Mixes
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Steel casing, 3D digital compass, free dive mode, anti-reflective coated glass face
  • Pros: Can be worn as a watch out of the water thus keeping your dive info with you, strong and durable steel case
  • Cons: Dive algorithms are conservative, the strap is not metal like the computer housing, expensive

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto D6i:

Our recommendations:

There is something to be said about a dive computer that is as beautiful out of the water as it is in the water. Plus, the D6i has all the features I need for my recreational diving. The display is still easy to read and manipulate even though it is watch sized. The Suunto algorithms are more conservative than other computers, but I’m ok with that because it keeps me further away from dcs.

Suunto Vyper Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto Vyper dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level and advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox to 50%
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: 3 dive modes; built-in dive simulator, display shield and protective rubber boot
  • Pros: Optional air integration for more accurate air reading, ability to download dive profiles to computer, the Vyper includes altitude and personal conservatism adjustments.
  • Cons: Large size is a bit cumbersome

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto Vyper:

Our recommendations:

The price is good and it's a dive computer that will fit you at entry level but still work once you get more advanced. It's really easy to understand, and use on any recreational dive. 

Suunto D4i NOVO Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto D4i Novo dive computer:

  • Best for: Beginner and advanced recreational divers
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox to 50%
  • User Changeable Battery: No
  • Features: Apnea timer, 4 modes - air, nitrox, free, and off, multiple color options, Wireless air integrated
  • Pros: Perfect sized watch for underwater and on surface, ability to use with wireless transmitter, multi-sport usability for snorkeliers or free-divers
  • Cons: Small display can be difficult to read, price is high (But still god value for money)

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto D4i Novo:

Our recommendations:

For a multi-sport diver, scuba and free diver, this watch works very well in all situations. The small form and low profile don’t cause additional drag. For scuba, I love that it is air integrated so I have one less hose, and I don’t have to worry about a gauge dragging. It is great for traveling because I can easily put it on rental regs and don’t have to carry as much with me while on international trips.

Suunto EON STEEL Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Suunto Eon Steel dive computer:

  • Best for: Advanced and Technical
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox, Trimix - Gas Swithching up to 10 gases
  • User Changeable Battery: No, but  rechargeable
  • Features: Digital Compass, wireless air integrated, color screen, rechargeable battery, 150 m depth
  • Pros: Compass is tilt compensated to 45 degrees, easy to navigate menu, customizable data screens, wireless up to 10 tanks with Suunto Tank POD
  • Cons: High price

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Suunto Eon Steel:

Our recommendations:

The EON steel is everything a diver could possibly want in a dive computer. The large color display is easy to read and decipher the different information for the diver. I loved that I can custom the data I see. The price is high, but is worth paying for. I have never felt better protected when diving with a computer, and the durable construction dissolves fears of dropping or damage from falling tanks.

Mares Icon HD Wrist Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Mares Icon HD dive computer:

  • Best for: Advanced divers
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No, but  rechargeable
  • Features: Digital Compass, wireless air integrated, lcd full color screen, altitude adjustment, fresh and sea water settings, color coded tank pressure
  • Pros: Features and underwater menu to allow setting changes underwater, in depth graphs show estimated tissue saturation, interface is usable on MAC and PC
  • Cons: Large size, lcd display can be tough to read in direct sunlight.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Mares Icon HD:

Our recommendations:

The Icon HD was a great purchase for many divers. t's a full feature wrist-mount computer that is affordable. While the computer is big, and not easy to carry around on the surface, it is perfect when underwater. The display is the easiest to read that I have dived with. The color coded tank pressure lets me know at a glance where I am on available air. Perfect for the diver who wants it all.

Aqualung i300 Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Aqualung i300 dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: Backlight, switch between scuba and free diving on same day, Gauge mode when using it for timer,
  • Pros: It's a simple and user friendly dive computer
  • Cons: Large and bulky

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Aqualung i300:

Our recommendations:

This is a simple and easy to use computer. You get good value of money, a realiable computer, that is perfect for a brand new diver, but will meet your needs for many dives. 

Mares Matrix Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Mares Matrix dive computer:

  • Best for: Advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: No, but  rechargeable
  • Features: Digital Compass, full watch capability including daily alarm, dive profile visable during dive, PC and MAC interface
  • Pros: Very easy to use and the size is just about perfect
  • Cons: Rubber wrist strap is cheap for the cost of the computer

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Mares Matrix:

Our recommendations:

The Matrix is almost the perfect size for a watch dive computer, and the weight is great. Diving with the Matrix is as easy and it's very reliable.  The digital compass is fool proof. The only down side is that I still have to have an analog pressure gauge.

Oceanic Geo 2.0 Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Oceanic Geo 2.0 dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level & Advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: 4 modes including watch mode, audible alarm with flashin led light, Dual dc algorithim
  • Pros: Great for scuba and free diving with easy navigation through menus.
  • Cons: Light color display can be difficult to read in low vis.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Oceanic Geo 2.0:

Our recommendations:

The Geo 2.0 is a nearly seamless integration between watch and dive computer. I have to sneak in dives where I can, so being able to see the current time underwater allows me to make sure I don’t enjoy myself for too long. The menus are a little confusing, but they are easier enough to learn and navigate. Overall this is a great dive computer watch for any diver.

Shearwater Petrel Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Oceanic Geo 2.0 dive computer:

  • Best for: Technical & Advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox, Trimix
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: The battery is standard AA, large 2.4" display, bluetooth integration, Digital Compass
  • Pros: 35 hour battery life with a standard AA battery, and a full color led/lcd display.
  • Cons: Case is little bulky and has a definite industrial look

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Shearwater Petrel:

Our recommendations:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping

Two huge features stood out to me when I picked up the Petrel. 1) The AA battery option makes my save-a-dive kit much easier to maintain. I use rechargeable AA’s which further decreases my cost of having to replace. 2) The 1000 hour memory is amazing. I use this computer for work and play, but being able to record every dive makes sure I am covered and backed up if there are ever any questions or issues with work. Diving with the computer is beautiful and easy. The large and bright screen never leaves me guessing on my air or dc times.

Oceanic VTX Dive computer Review

Pro's and Con's of the Oceanic VTX dive computer:

  • Best for: Entry level & Advanced
  • Gases: Air, Nitrox
  • User Changeable Battery: Yes
  • Features: Digital Compass, Full Color OLED display, Bluetooth connectivity, 30-40 hour dive time battery
  • Pros: Bluetooth allows user to modify settings from phone or tablet
  • Cons: Short divelog memory does not have option for metric units.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Oceanic VTX:

Our recommendations:

I really enjoy the Oceanic VTX. The led display and Bluetooth integration make this computer feel futuristic and high class. The menus and setting are very easy to learn and modify, and the bright screen is very clear while diving. The only downside is that the screen dims automatically making it harder to read, and in bright sunlight the display gets a little washed out.

Buying A Dive Computer: Tips And Tricks

13 comments

Dive computer prepared by diver

- Sergiy Zavgorodny

A dive computer was not something I really thought I would need at first.

I was quite happy to plan with my dive tables and logbook and spend the money on more dive trips.

So What's The First Dive Equipment You Need To Purchase?

When I started working and diving every day, sometimes 4-5 times, my computer became one of my favorite things.

Here’s why.

Here are a few Common Features you’ll like about your dive computer:

It’s on my wrist

Actually my first computer was built into my console, but that’s not so common these days. It is a lot easier to look at my wrist to get information about my depth and bottom time than to have to bend down and check my gauges all the time.

Heck, some computers even replace all your gauges and console entirely.

Having mine on my wrist means I tend to look at it a lot more often too. Some computers are even built into masks, giving you a heads-up display so you don’t even have to look at your wrist. Another win for streamlining!

Dive computer worn on the wrist

Checking information on the wrist is easier than to bend down on a guage console - Credit: Stubblefield

Constant recalculation

Tables assume that you go straight down and stay at that level (or series of levels) for the time you planned exactly. But what if you spend a lot of time looking at a turtle at 18 metres (60fsw) and spend half the time at 24 meters (80fsw)?

It seems like a small thing but your computer will tell you how much more (or less) bottom time you will get and change your dive plan as you go.

Nitrogen Exposure

Your computer does not simply let you know the bottom remaining time for the current dive. It will also let you calculate your surface interval and plan your next dives.

A table does this great when doing only a few dives, but when you are doing a lot of repetitive diving every day you have to remember you still might have nitrogen in your body the next morning.

Here's more about Decompression Sickness.

I never seriously thought about the 10 hour ‘surface interval’ I did overnight until my (then new) computer told me I was starting my first dive in pressure group ‘C’.

Checking dive computer at a safety stop

A dive computer check on a safety stop - Credit: Chris Dag

Logging

Your computer will remember details about your last dives just like a logbook.

This is great for people like me who don’t like to get their logbooks wet and prefer to write it all down with a beer at the end of the day.

Some will even connect to your computer, automatically filling in an e-logbook and giving you detailed graphs and statistics.

Alarms

There are various alarms that you can set on some computers to let you know when stuff happens.

I never want to hear the 5 minutes of bottom time remaining alarm, but it has been helpful sometimes when I was distracted. I use my safety stop one a lot, which I have set to let me know when I get to 5 meters (16fsw) and then counts down 3 minutes.

I also find the rate of ascent alarm useful, which lets me know when I am going up too quickly. This is especially good when I am teaching students to do a controlled emergency swimming ascent “if you start to hear beeping, slow down”.

It tells the time

Yep, whether I’m timing a student breathing from a free flowing regulator or trying to figure out when the bar will close I know my dive computer is there.

Not all watches work very well when regularly exposed to pressure at depth and not all computers can be worn around town. Is it useful to you having one device that does both?

A dive computer and a watch

A dive computer doubles as a time piece - Credit: Nart

Other Features

Air Consumption

Some computers wirelessly connect to a transmitter in your first stage and can give you information about remaining air pressure.

They will also tell you how quickly you are consuming your air and will calculate how much time it will take you at your current depth before you use it up.

Gas mixes/Oxygen Exposure

Another great feature available on some computers is keeping track of different gas blends and oxygen exposure when diving with enriched air and Nitrox. Some will even manage multiple blends and allow you to switch between them during a dive.

Compass

Some computers have an electronic compass.  They are supposed to be a little less sensitive to having to be perfectly level and can remember headings for you. I have heard mixed opinions about how useful and accurate they are.

Some computers have built in GPS allowing you to tag a specific coordinate to navigate towards – such as your dive boat.

User replaceable battery

Does your computer have to be sent in to a dealer to have the battery changed? These computers will cost you a bit more in the long term as you will have to pay each time.

If you’re not near a service shop when the battery goes be prepared to live without it for a little while whilst you wait.

Choosing your computer

Computers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, have different features and big cost differences.

In some parts of the world they can be a status symbol (like the sexy Suunto titanium range) and in other places they almost never see them.

I always read reviews and talk to people about their equipment before buying anything. Think about whether looks are important, what features you need, how often you will use it and how much you want to spend.

Safety advice

Remember that your computer is only accurate about your own dive. Your buddy might go a little deeper or enter the water sooner than you. Always use the most conservative computer and have a backup plan just in case.

Buying A Dive Computer: Tips And Tricks
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Which Dive Computer do you use? Do you have any personal advice to share with others? Leave a comment below!

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