Reviewed by our experts:

The Best Underwater Scooters For All Budget 2019

Z

Our divers at work

We gave our two scuba geeks one job:
Test 17 Underwater Scooters and write reviews of the best.

The result is 12 of the best Underwater Scooters on the market today.

Summer Worsley

PADI instructor & Writer

Summer has been teaching scuba for the last 10 years

Torben Lonne

Underwater Scooters geek and editor Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for dive gear and especially Underwater Scooters.

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Underwater Scooters, also known as DPVs or Diver Propulsion Vehicles, are an exhilarating piece of technology that entices all types of divers.

Whether you are a snorkeler wanting to zip around the shallow reefs or a techie looking for that little bit extra oomph, then there’s a model on the market for you.

So, what is an Underwater Scooter?

All in all, it's a scooter that'll help move you forward in the water. Divers hold onto the handles from behind and allow themselves to be pulled through the water at speeds of up to 9 mph.

Scooters can mean the end to long, tiring swims and high air consumption, ideal for those of you who want to experience the underwater world without added the effort. For those who are looking for an adrenaline boost to your favorite sport, DPVs have that covered too.

Depending on the model they can be used by children snorkeling all the way through to technical and commercial diving applications. They can allow the circumnavigation of a large wreck in a single dive, and far away reefs become accessible.

If you’re ready to purchase your first underwater scooter or upgrade your existing model, this guide will help. We’ve broken down our list of scooters into budget, mid-range, and high-end categories so there’s sure to be something for everyone.

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Best Mid-Range Underwater Scooters

You're diving alot and you want a Underwater Scooters that meets your needs. Here's the best mid-range Underwater Scooters.

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Best High-End Underwater Scooters

Best high-end Underwater Scooters needs to be durable, reliable and easy to operate. Here's the best choices in the tech Underwater Scooters selections:

Best Budget Underwater Scooters

Underwater scooters are used for a diverse range of diving preferences and therefore the money you spend really depends on what you want it for.

For short, shallow dives, snorkeling, and beginners, there is really no need to buy a top of the range product with features enabling divers to reach depths of 165 feet or more. You will still have lots of fun riding around the reef on well-priced subaquatic transportation!

There are some great budget options available which are more than capable of fitting your needs. We have chosen our favorites below, all of which are safe and easy to use.

Yamaha RDS 200

Yamaha seems to have the budget market fully cornered. Well known for their motorbikes and outboard marine engines, the company sets new standards in portable, affordable DPVs. They make models for all pockets and have a professional range, too. A great starter for those buying their first scooter.

The RDS series goes up in increments, with additional features for the higher prices. The RDS200 is the cheapest of the range but still offers some great specs for your money.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Yamaha RDS 200:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: Up to 2 mph
  • Depth: 65 feet
  • Run time: up to 1 hour
  • Size: 612 x 385 x 312 mm
  • Weight: 13 lbs (including the battery)
  • Battery type: Sealed lead-acid
  • Buoyancy: Neutral
What we like:
  • Lightweight
  • Good value for money
What we don't like:
  • The lead-acid battery needs occasional maintenance
  • Not suitable for children under 16 years

Yamaha Seal Seascooter

This lightweight and compact model is perfect for kids playing in the pool or snorkeling in the sea. Its many safety features include a dual-trigger operation and auto cut out. The propeller is well guarded so little fingers can’t get hurt.

The Seal Seascooter is not a model that you should consider for scuba diving but it offers great reliability and hours of fun for the family. For that reason, it may be worth purchasing an additional battery as it’s a guarantee that the kids won’t get tired of zooming around in a lagoon or lake.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Yamaha Seal Seascooter:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: up to 2 mph
  • Depth: 15 feet
  • Run time: Up to 1.5 hours
  • Size: 286 x 286 x 483 mm
  • Weight: 12 lbs (including the battery)
  • Battery type: Sealed lead-acid
  • Buoyancy: Positive
What we like:
  • GoPro mount included
  • Low weight
  • Suitable for kids
What we don't like:
  • Slow speed
  • May not have enough power for large adults

Yamaha RDS250

The next model in the RDS range really starts to get more serious for scuba. It is usable up to Advanced Open Water depths and can really keep you going at a decent speed for a significantly longer time. Longer dives are possible with all that extra air in your tank saved because you’re not finning, something we can all get used to.

The RDS250 is ideal for large, shallow wrecks or for circumnavigating a coral island and admiring the fish along the wall. Yet it’s still very portable and lightweight for the traveling diver and older kids.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Yamaha RDS250:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: Up to 2.5 mph
  • Depth: 98 feet
  • Run time: Up 2 hours
  • Size: 612 x 385 x 312 mm
  • Weight: 18 lbs (including the battery)
  • Battery type: Sealed lead-acid
  • Buoyancy: Neutral
What we like:
  • Great run time
  • Rated to advanced diver depths
  • A solid DPV for the price
What we don't like:
  • Battery type not as good as lithium-ion options

Yamaha RDS300

The top model of the RDS series features two speeds and can cruise comfortably at a very decent pace. Its impact-resistant heavy duty hull is also sleekly designed and offered in different color combinations, just in case you wish to coordinate it with your wetsuit. After all, diving in style is always an option on these attractive looking scooters.

The extra price comes with additional safety features, including an auto shut-off thermal switch function and water leakage sensors to prevent the unit from getting damaged, allowing you to dive another day.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Yamaha RDS300:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: Up to 3 mph
  • Depth: 98 feet
  • Run time: Up to 1.5 hours
  • Size: 612 x 385 x 312 mm
  • Weight: 18 lbs (including the battery)
  • Battery type: Sealed lead-acid
  • Buoyancy: Neutral
What we like:
  • Very sturdy build
  • Great safety features
  • Leak sensors
  • Thermal cut off
What we don't like:
  • Slightly less run time than the RDS250

Best Mid-Range Underwater Scooters

For those of you who are seeking a more advanced model, we have found some of the best mid-range scooters on the market today offering faster speeds, greater depths, and some interesting designs.

SUBLUE WhiteShark Mix Underwater Scooter

This is certainly going to turn heads underwater — it looks somewhat like the Starship Enterprise. It might be great for Trekkies but despite its very decent specs, it’s not suitable for techies. It’s the only model in our selection to feature dual props, giving it this unique look. This model is ultra-light and easy to carry for children and adults alike. The depth rating is the limit of recreational diving, so perfect for short, deeper dives.

It is available in many combinations of colors so you can personalize your propulsion style by matching it with your, now rather unused, fins. Hold on and let the props do the work.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the SUBLUE WhiteShark Mix Underwater Scooter:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: 3.35 mph
  • Depth: 131 feet
  • Run time: 30 mins
  • Size: 465 x 230 x 230 mm
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs (including battery)
  • Battery type: Lithium
  • Buoyancy: Neutral
What we like:
  • Funky design
  • Very portable
  • Camera mount included
What we don't like:
  • All sizes have the same lift capacity because of the lightweight, travel-ready design.
  • Relatively short run time

Torpedo 3500

This model is part of a range of similarly designed torpedo-style DPVs. The higher the price the better the ratings as a general rule and this one is a fine example of a mid-priced scooter.

Its sturdy and streamlined design features a double handrail, which can also assist in transporting it when out of the water. This durable piece of kit is not light compared to many of the other DPVs featured, so maybe flying travelers will need to pay extra for luggage.

The depths that you can achieve on this slick machine are beyond even extended range diving, so it’s suitable as a first purchase for burgeoning tech divers. It can also be fitted with a flotation device allowing snorkelers to enjoy those higher speeds.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Torpedo 3500:
Our recommendations:
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: 3.5 mph
  • Depth: 170 ft
  • Run time: 45 minutes
  • Size: 889 x 254 x 305 mm
  • Weight: 50 lbs (including battery)
  • Battery type: Sealed lead-acid
  • Buoyancy: Negative
What we like:
  • Serious depth rates for extended range diving
  • Handrail design makes attaching gadgets easy and assists with carrying the unit on land.
  • Very streamlined and fast for the price
What we don't like:
  • The weight makes this a serious costly prospect if traveling
  • Short run time

Yamaha Professional 220 Li

Yamaha produces the goods yet again. This time we see the same great design as the RDS series but with the much preferred lithium-ion battery. These batteries don’t require the ongoing maintenance other batteries do and are well worth the additional cost, in our opinion.

This range of more advanced DPVs has superior safety features to protect your substantial outlay. Yamaha still manages to keep the weight down, making this versatile scooter ideal for children and country hopping.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Yamaha Professional 220 Li:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: up to 3.1 mph
  • Depth: 98 ft
  • Run time: Up to 1 hour
  • Size: 319 x 300 x 610 mm
  • Weight: 18.9 lbs (including battery)
  • Battery type: Lithium
  • Buoyancy: Neutral
What we like:
  • Flood prevention system
  • Lithium battery
  • Auto buoyancy
What we don't like:
  • Hard to find anything wrong for the price… a good piece of kit.

Yamaha Pro 350 Li

For the next model up for the Li series, Yamaha has produced a speedy scooter with a good depth rating and run time. The recharge time on these models is a swift 3 to 4 hours, making them among the fastest available on the market today. It also features an automatic buoyancy system that makes for a comfortable ride.

If this baby isn’t fast enough for you, its bigger sibling, the Li500 is capable of speeds of up to 4.35 mph. As fast as the money leaving your bank!

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Yamaha Pro 350 Li:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: 3.7mph
  • Depth: 130 ft
  • Run time: 75 mins
  • Size: 319 x 300 x 610 mm
  • Weight: 18.9 lbs (including battery)
  • Battery type: Lithium
  • Buoyancy: Neutral
What we like:
  • Better run time than comparable models
  • Great speed at 3.7 mph
  • Pay more for the 500li and go as fast as 4.35 mph
What we don't like:
  • Not suitable for deeper tech divers

Best High-End Underwater Scooters

If you want something that is going to turn heads or have specific requirements such as a DPV that is tech-ready, here are some of the higher end models currently available on the market. We think that they all offer something special, whether it’s a slick design or greater depth limits.

With the exception of the first model, which we couldn’t resist, if you are serious about scuba then these models are sure not to disappoint.

Jerry Rat Underwater Scooter

This DPV shows that even a high-end model can be more suited to snorkeling. Looking more like an eagle ray than a rat, this retro shape can pull you through the water at an adrenaline-inducing rate for up to two hours. This is not one we would recommend to divers on scuba, but if money is no object, imagine what a blast you could have with a couple of these.

The Jerry Rat also features an automatic buoyancy thrust when the battery is low, making it much easier to surface in style.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Jerry Rat Underwater Scooter:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: up to 5.6 mph
  • Depth: 16 ft
  • Run time: Up to 2 hours
  • Weight: 30 lbs (including battery)
  • Battery type: Lithium
  • Buoyancy: Neutral
What we like:
  • Impressive design that makes us feel like we’re in Top Gun’s scuba squadron
  • Speedy
  • Long run time
What we don't like:
  • Depth use is very limited although it is rated waterproof to deeper
  • Entirely unsuited to scuba diving

Apollo AV2 Evolution

This machine is certainly designed for serious divers, hosting a massive operational range and substantial run time, this is perfect for exploring large wrecks at depths. Where speed isn’t an issue, this machine is perfect for helping you pull around those extra tanks, extending bottom time effortlessly. The progressive acceleration on this scooter makes maneuvering smoother and easier.

This is also a seriously priced bit of kit, made to last and very sturdy. With that comes the extra weight, so you would have to purchase an extra baggage allowance if you want to take it to your bucket-list destinations.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Apollo AV2 Evolution:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: Up to 2.8 mph
  • Depth: 230 ft
  • Run time: Up to 1.5 hours
  • Size: 724 x 343 mm
  • Weight: 46.2 lbs (including battery)
  • Battery type: Lithium-ion
  • Buoyancy: Neutra
What we like:
  • A serious piece of diving kit that won’t let you down
  • Variable pitch propeller
  • Safety features
  • Progressive acceleration
  • The run time at cruising speed is 190 minutes, great for deep wrecks
What we don't like:
  • Not great speeds
  • Heavy

Aquaprop L Scooter Subgravity

Despite this torpedo-shaped DPV being aimed primarily at technical divers, it can be used for any diving or snorkeling experience. Its single-handed control feature means that you are free to carry out tasks such as gas changes with ease.

This is rated for use to the deepest depth of any scooters listed here, but the price reflects this. Speed clearly isn’t a priority with this design as it rates among the slowest.

The weight and size of the Aquaprop L are well suited to travel. The battery isn’t the fastest to recharge, but with enough juice for two dives on one charge, recharging can be done after your day’s diving is over.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Aquaprop L Scooter Subgravity:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: 2 mph
  • Depth: 262 ft
  • Run time: 200 minutes
  • Size: 118 x 230 x 565 mm
  • Weight: 13.8 lbs (including battery)
  • Battery type: Lithium
  • Buoyancy: Neutral
What we like:
  • Deepest depth rating on our list
  • Great run time
  • Single hand controls
  • Lightweight
What we don't like:
  • Slow recharge time (6 hours), but still capable of doing two dives on one charge

Tusa Sav7 EVO3

You’ll be tempted to splash out on this versatile, winged offering from Tusa. I’s features enable it to be configured to carry up to three divers without any significant loss in performance. Although it’s a pricey initial outlay, this could be a significantly cheaper option than buying three separate units.

Everything about this scuba-orientated vehicle is solid and extremely well engineered. Progressive acceleration helps synchronize divers’ positions. This model works somewhat like a motorbike; you can adjust your speed easily. Many models just have two set speeds, which means that if you're with other people and one of you is ahead or behind it can be difficult to stay at the same pace.

With plenty of safety features to prevent your scooter from getting damaged and a strong impact-resistant build, it’s not the lightest of machines. If lugging it around is no object though, you can’t go wrong with this solid investment from Tusa.

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Tusa Sav7 EVO3 :
Our recommendations:
Specs & Features:
  • Speed: 2.8 mph
  • Depth: 229 ft
  • Run time: 80 mins
  • Size: 720 x 340 x 340 mm
  • Weight: 44 lbs (including battery)
  • Battery type: Lithium
  • Buoyancy: Neutral
What we like:
  • Saddle wings can mean it can pull 3 divers with very little change in performance
  • Saddle for more streamlining (one diver)
  • Responsive accelerator
What we don't like:
  • It’s on the heavier side and could do with some more ergonomically designed handles

Things to Consider Before Buying an Underwater Scooter

Before we look at the scooters themselves, let’s go over some of the things to keep in mind before buying an underwater scooter.

What Type of Diving Do You Do?

Prior to buying any piece of diving equipment, you need to first consider what it is you want if for, if it’s up to the job, or way too advanced. The same applies to underwater scooters and you need to be sure to do your research before making that investment.

Ask yourself some questions including:

  • How deep do you want to go
  • Do you want to travel and therefore have a more lightweight model?
  • Is variable speed important?
  • Do you want to be able to take more than one diver?
  • How often will you use it and is the charge time quick enough?

Or perhaps you want children to use it and need it to be focused on ease of use and the scooter’s stopping capabilities. Each scooter comes with its own unique specs and features, once you have answered the above questions, you’ll be better equipped to make the right choice.

Maintenance

Scooters are a rather technological advanced piece of equipment and you should never attempt to fix or alter one if you are not capable of doing so. Ensure that your new scooter comes with a warranty and that if something goes wrong, you are within easy reach of a reputable service facility.

To avoid any damage to your scooter, make sure that you read the instruction manual carefully before use and that it is assembled correctly. Look after it properly by rinsing it with fresh water after each dive.

If your battery is of the lead-acid variety, there will be required routine maintenance. This is why Lithium-ion types are preferable, although considerably more expensive.

Buoyancy

All scooters offer different buoyancy options and you’ll need to know which type and whether this will suit your needs. Some scooters are set to negative or positive buoyancy. Others offer a buoyancy control system, allowing you to change it yourself.

Negatively buoyant scooters could be a problem for beginner divers because they will pull the diver down and the DPV is easily lost if the diver drops it. For that reason alone, a lanyard is a sensible option when using these scooters.

Equally, positively buoyant options can pull you up and may make the scooter harder to control. More expensive models give the options of buoyancy adjustments, allowing you to maintain neutral buoyancy easily. This option also makes it easier to change from salt to fresh water.

Battery and Run Time

The length of time that a scooter will last underwater is anything between 30 mins to 4 hours. Many popular scooters have a run time of 2 hours which is sufficient for most dives. The 30-minute models are really aimed at short, shallow dives and snorkeling. However, these are a much cheaper option. If you go down this route, it’s probably worth having at least a spare battery or two. This will increase the weight when traveling, though.

It is also important to note that the more charge cycles your battery goes through, the shorter your run times will gradually get. Lithium batteries with a large blade reduce the drain on the battery more so than the other DPV battery types.

 

Top Tips for Diving With a Scooter

Zooming around underwater for the first time? Before you jump in, enlist the help of an instructor who is licensed to teach DPV diving and read over these helpful tips.

Safety

The standard pre-dive safety check applies while diving with an underwater scooter, too. You just need to add in a few DPV-specifics.

These pre-dive checks include both generic safety measures, which apply to all scooters, as well as model-specific checks. Make sure you know exactly what you should be looking out for before taking your scooter on a dive. You don’t want to end up with a power failure or a flooded scooter mid-dive!

Don’t ever distribute the weights you need on your scooter in case you become separated from it.

Training

Underwater scooters need to be taken seriously by any user whether you are snorkeling in the shallows or taking it on an advanced tech dive.

Ensure that you get some thorough training before diving with a scooter so that you are fully prepared. Check out your local dive center or find a training facility on the web to see what DPV specialty courses they offer. This can also help you choose your own scooter if the center stocks a number of models to try.

What Will Happen If I Let Go of My DPV?

If you are thinking about diving for the first time using a scooter, this question has probably crossed your mind. So, what does happen if you let go of the scooter? Some scooters have a trigger which simply cuts the engine if you let go. With other models, which can be used hands-free, they have unit-specific systems.

Being Streamlined

Make sure that your equipment is streamlined. The last thing you want is a loose hose dangling on top of your scooter as this is not only dangerous but may also damage your expensive equipment. A sensation you may experience when using a DPV is the whirring of your regulator hose, this is something you get used to very quickly, but another reason to hoses tucked in.

Maintaining Trim

How much distance you will cover while using an underwater scooter has a lot to do with your trim. Make sure that you are weighted correctly and have the right amount of air in your BCD. If your BCD is overly inflated, this will create drag, resulting in a higher air consumption and a shorter dive time.

Make sure that you are positioned correctly behind your scooter with your arms slightly bent. Straight arms will cause back issues and holding it to close to you will make you very cold from the water flow.
Don’t somersault! Although this looks like a lot of fun, it could end up with a trip to the hyperbaric chamber.

Equalizing

Equalizing with one hand can be a problem with some models, which require both hands to stay stable on the scooter. You need to know what are the best equalizing techniques that suit the scooter you buy. Hands-free (on a lanyard or leash), or single-hand-operated DPVs do not come with this issue.

That concludes our list of 2019’s best underwater scooters.

Did we miss your favorite brand or model? If so, drop us a comment and let us know what you love about your scooter. And if you have any specific questions, we’d be happy to answer them below.

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3 Comments

  1. Victor Rene

    I feel like flying when I dive but with this it’s like being a fighter pilot.

    The coolest child dream coming through! If you haven’t tried it yet Go for it!

    Reply
  2. kim otto

    I did a few dives with a dpv and i was disappointed because I was so focused on steering the dpv that i couldn’t really enjoy the underworld world to its fullest. Perhaps I just need a few more dives and a higher skill level with a dpv.

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Yes, it’s hard to enjoy the dive when using a DPV for the first time. Will properly need some getting used to. Or use it to and from the dive site, or just for the fun of it on a dive site without anything to see.

      Reply

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