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People always ask us, “what is the one piece of dive gear I should buy first?”

Our answer is always the same: a dive computer!

You can always get away with renting the fins, BCD, and almost everything else from the dive center you are diving with, but you always want the monitoring of your depth and no-deco times, etc, to be your responsibility.

Besides that, if you are diving with a new dive operator, you really don’t know how responsible they are as guides, and you should really never rely on someone else to keep track of your dive limits and safety.

Every diver should have their own dive computer and know how to use it.

On top of that, many dive shops simply do not have extra computers, so you would be forced to dive without one, and hope your guide keeps you safe. So if you have to choose what piece of dive gear to buy first, go for a computer.

BEST DIVE COMPUTERS 2021

That’s what this guide is for. There are a lot of dive computers out there, and this guide is meant to make it easy to find your best possible match, based on budget, skill level, preference, and more.

If you can’t find something perfect for you here, we don’t know where else you will!

Quick Answer: Top 5 Best Dive Computers

1. Suunto D5
2. Shearwater Teric
3. Oceanic Geo 4.0
4. Aqualung i450T
5. Mares Matrix

TOP 5 DIVE COMPUTERS OVERVIEW

HIGHLIGHTS: The top dive computer from one of the best manufacturers in the world. Awesome computer to have. Read our full review of the Suunto D5 


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HIGHLIGHTS: A new and amazing computer that is becoming all the rage for pros. Read our full review of the Shearwater Teric.

 


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HIGHLIGHTS: A little more advanced than some, great for tech.

 

 

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HIGHLIGHTS: Aqualung is one of the top manufacturers in the world, and this is their best computer.

 

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HIGHLIGHTS: In true Mares style, this great SCUBA regulator is built for any condition, specifically for under-ice dives.


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If you want to review some other options or take a deeper look at the top 5, then keep reading…

The Full List of the Best Dive Computers for 2021

Price: $929
GASES: Air & nitrox
FEATURES: Watch style, made in Finland, loved by beginners & pros
PROS: One of the best companies, customizable.
CONS: Expensive


THE COMPUTER

The new Suunto D5 is designed to be so clear and easy-to-use that you can just enjoy and focus on exploring the wonderful underwater world. Play with style by changing the strap to match your looks. After diving, connect wirelessly to the Suunto app to re-live and share your adventures with friends.

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Price: $1100
GASES: Air & nitrox, trimix
FEATURES: A favorite company for tec divers
PROS: One of the best companies, customizable, tec capable
CONS: Expensive


THE COMPUTER

Intuitive controls and menu navigation along with a bright, vivid color display. With a high degree of customization, the Teric brings divers a timepiece and dive computer of unprecedented capabilities.

Though it’s made by a company renowned for its technical diving gear, the Shearwater Teric combines all the functionality needed for technical divers with a simple design, sleek enough to be worn every day by a recreational diver.

This Shearwater dive computer has technical diving features like 2 transmitter connectivity, configurable audible and haptic alerts, and nitrox, trimix, and rebreather capabilities.

The display is clear, bright, and simple to navigate. It is fitted with Bluetooth Smart technology, making connecting with your phone app easier than ever. The battery is user rechargeable and it also features a 3D, tilt-compensated compass.

The internet is flooded with fantastic reviews of the Shearwater Teric and it’s easy to see why – everything about it is slick, clever, and oh-so functional.

The only downside we can see is the price – at around $1000 without the transmitters, it is definitely at the luxury end of the market.

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Price: $1000
GASES: Air, nitrox & trimix
FEATURES: Watch, dive, gauge, and freedive modes
PROS: Smartwatch, GPS, vibration alarms, supports trimix
CONS: Expensive

THE COMPUTER

If you want a dive computer that can do more than just dive, then Garmin is a perfect choice. This innovative dive watch does it all.

The Mk1 builds upon Garmin’s formidable reputation as a maker of GPS systems, smartwatches, and activity trackers and combines it all into a small, easy to wear form factor that can withstand any type of diving thrown at it.

Garmin has recently released their newest version of this dive computer, the Garmin Descent MK2. Check out our full review of the Garmin MK2 and find out how it compares to its predecessor.

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Price: $400
GASES: Air, nitrox
FEATURES: Freediving mode, Deep stop with countdown timer
PROS: Affordable, easy to read
CONS: Not really user friendly


THE COMPUTER

It took me a while to learn all the settings on the Geo 4.0, even simple things like changing the time, but in the end, I really liked this computer, and it was a LOT cheaper than a Suunto equivalent, and accordingly, to instructors I know, it is preferred for tec divers over more simple Suunto computers.

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Price: $700
GASES: Air, up to 3 Nitrox mixes
FEATURES: Multiple transmitters, digital compass, 4 dive modes
PROS: Easy to use, tons of features, great manufacturing
CONS: Expensive


THE COMPUTER

Designed for the active diver, this computer by the world’s top dive gear manufacturer is one of the best on the market. It’s great for lots of diving, as well as daily wear as a watch. There are a ton of great features and modes.

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Price: $400
GASES: Air & nitrox
FEATURES: Single button navigation, large display
PROS: Affordable, user friendly, lots of color choices
CONS: not too bright display light


THE COMPUTER

Now you can get a computer from Mares, if you love that brand and their other gear. It’s one of the best for the price, and it’s pretty good-looking as well. Mares is well known for great tec gear, so this should be a popular computer for them as well.

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Price: $200
GASES: Air & nitrox
FEATURES: Single button navigation, large display
PROS: Affordable, user friendly, lots of color choices
CONS: not too bright display light


THE COMPUTER

The Cressi Leonardo is a great computer for beginners, and you can wear it daily, unlike a Zoop. It might even be cheaper than a Zoop, and looks a lot better. The Cressi Giotto is one step up from Leonardo, and about $100 more.

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Price: $850
GASES: Air, nitrox, trimix
FEATURES: Multiple dive Modes, 2 button interface
PROS: Durable design, large display, big drysuit straps
CONS: No wireless air integration, huge & uncomfortable. Only for tec divers.


THE COMPUTER

The Perdix AI. Offering all of the same great features of the Perdix, the Perdix AI uses its large, easy-to-read screen to clearly display the tank pressure as well as your gas time remaining (GTR). The Perdix AI is capable of connecting to either one or two transmitters giving the diver the option to monitor both tanks or dive sidemount.

The Shearwater Perdix AI is THE top of the line dive computer. This computer does it all and does it with style, reliability, and user-friendly interfaces. It boasts an easily readable 2.2” screen with full color and adjustable brightness settings.

The technical mode offers multiple user-programmable gas mixes including any mix of air, nitrox, trimix, and oxygen, with the ability to toggle during the dive.

Offering perfect options for recreational, technical, and rebreather divers, the Perdix AI is truly a cutting-edge and top-performing computer with easy usability, dozens of features, and simple reliability.

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Price: $800
GASES: Air, Nitrox
FEATURES: Wireless Integration Capable, Free Diving Mode
PROS: Easy to use, lots of colors and wrist bands. Wear daily.
CONS: Expensive


THE COMPUTER

Suunto is a top-of-the-line manufacturer and my personal favorite brand for dive computers. They are easy to use and come in many colors and styles. The D6i is the stepped-up version of the cheaper D4i that is super popular for divers of all levels.

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Price: $500
FEATURES: Wireless Integration Capable, Free Diving Mode
PROS: Can Be Worn As A Watch, Lightweight
CONS: Expensive, No Digital Compass


THE COMPUTER

Suunto D4i with air wireless integration is what I personally use the most. It has/does everything a recreational diver needs, and is cheaper than a D6i. I love this computer. It is super user-friendly, and easy to use, and widely available.

Check out our full review of the Suunto D4i and find out why it’s one of our all-time favorites.

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Price: $700
GASES: Air & nitrox
FEATURES: Watch, dive, gauge, and freedive modes
PROS: Nice display, free diving mode
CONS: Slightly complicated, not trimix capable


THE COMPUTER

This is my favorite Oceanic computer, and I really like it. It is slightly cheaper than a Suunto D6i at around $650, and has a lot of great features and looks good. Tec divers prefer it over Suunto a lot of the time.

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Price: $350
GASES: Air & nitrox
FEATURES: Watch, dive, gauge, and freedive modes
PROS: Cheap, simple to use, long lasting
CONS: Big and bulky, not trimix capable

THE COMPUTER

This is the most popular dive computer for beginners. It’s super simple to use, offers all the features you need and it’s very affordable. Plus, its rugged design means it’ll last you a very long time. The only downside is how big and bulky this computer is compared to the others on our list.

Check out our full review of the Suunto Zoop and find out why it’s one of our top dive computers for beginners.

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Price: $250
GASES: Air & nitrox
FEATURES: Watch, dive, and gauge mode
PROS: Cheap, easy to read display
CONS: Big and bulky, only one button navigation, not trimix capable

THE COMPUTER

If you’re on a tight budget, this simple yet robust dive computer is a great choice. Although it’s not the best looking on our list, for its low price and easy to read screen, it’s ideal for new divers who want a safe and reliable computer without spending too much.

Check out our full review of the Mares Puck Pro and find out why it’s a great beginner dive computer or those on a tight budget.

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Before Buying a Dive Computer

Still not sure what one to go with, with all these great options? There are a few factors to consider when choosing the perfect computer for you, so let’s go through those, and then I will just give my recommendations and all-time favorites, that you can’t go wrong with.

Your Budget

Obviously, you should think about your budget, check the prices in the links above, and that will be a big factor. But obviously, since there are a lot of options around the same prices, there will be more factors to think about.

How often will you dive?

If you are diving frequently, are a Divemaster or instructor, you are going to want a good watch that will last, as well as one that will log a lot of dives. If you are diving a few times a year, you don’t need the most top-of-the-line.

What is your qualification level?

Most of you reading this will be recreational divers, and do not need something very technical. Do you do mix gases? Do you use air integration? Will you need to be able to plan a dive table on your computer for tec diving? If not, don’t get something like the Shearwater Research. It is complete overkill, way too big and uncomfortable to wear, and too expensive for what you need. But if you are tec diving, it doesn’t get much better than that one.

Easy to use and set up

This also goes with how much you dive and how much experience you have with computers, but if you are like us, and DO have a lot of dives and experience with computers, yet still prefer something simple and user-friendly.

We have tried a lot of computers, and always seem to revert back to a Suunto. We’d rather not have to spend time figuring out a complicated computer, so we tend to stay away from most Oceanic or Shearwater, unless for tec.

But that’s just our opinion, and a ton of divers love Oceanic computers, with more options and settings.

What Are Dive Computers?

dive computer

Dive computers are one of the most important components of any divers arsenal. Each year the features they provide become more and more advanced.

Through an easily visible display, divers are able to keep an eye on all of the most important variables during a dive.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Current Time
  • Dive Time
  • Depth
  • Decompression Models
  • Ascent Rate
  • Remaining Air
  • Dive Logs
Best For Beginners
SUUNTO Zoop Novo Wrist Scuba Diving Computer
$299.95

A budget-friendly dive computer that's rugged, reliable, and super simple to use.

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Why Get Your Own Dive Computer?

A dive computer allows you to track your limits over multiple days and even multiple operators. If you rent a computer from more than one place on vacation, then it won’t be accurate, as you’ll already have tissue loading from previous days of diving.

Having your own dive computer allows you to accurately track your limits, regardless of where you go. In addition, having your own computer allows you to be more familiar with its operation and readout.

Rental computers that you don’t know how to use may make it difficult to scroll through menus or read what it is saying. A personal computer offers not only safety benefits but also quality of life benefits.

Conclusion

And there you have it!

These are the top dive computers on the market and depending on your needs, you can pick the best one for you!

Do you have a favorite that’s not on our list? Let us know in the comments below!

Austin Tuwiner Administrator

Austin is the website owner, and began scuba diving at just 16 years old. After traveling and diving all over the world, he is dedicated to bringing the hobby to more people.

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