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Here are our Picks of the Best Beginner and Recreational Dive Computers
Unless you're one of the few lucky ones that has just been Open Water certified and already know that you're taking your diving all the way, then picking a new dive computer can be tricky work.
Dive computers are a technical piece of equipment. Manufacturers are improving on the features they're including more rapidly now than in the past.
Features that were considered high-end a little while ago are now becoming more common on the entry level dive computers as their prices also come down. This give new divers the opportunity to get a reliable and safe piece of dive equipment at a very reasonable price.
Below is my list of recommended dive computers for both beginners and recreational Scuba divers.
Click on the link below to take you to the answer of your most pressing question or keep scrolling to read the entire article.
What is Recreational Scuba Diving?
The main purpose of Recreational diving is to safely enjoy and discover underwater reefs, dive sites, and locations of interest that are within easy reach of the coast. Many Scuba agencies class a depth of 130 feet (40 meters) as the limit in depth for Recreational diving.
PADI Open Waters (OW) training provides certification to a depth of 18 meters. Advanced Open Waters (AOW) will give training to keep you safe to a depth of 30 meters. Both of these fall into the definition of Recreational Diving.
How to pick an Entry Level and Beginners
Open Waters Scuba classes don’t help much when it comes to how to pick a good diving computer from all the different options available. Advanced Scuba classes aren't much help here either. Let's face it, they are there to provide training, and not sell dive equipment.
Once you know you want a big part of your free time to be spent diving, you'll want to own your own gear, rather than hiring equipment from the local dive shop. A big advantage to owning your own dive computer, is that you'll quickly become familiar with its functions.
All dive computers are suitable for beginners, and also for virtually all Recreational diving.
Don't get too worried about picking the wrong one. Entry-level dive computers are always in demand and generally hold their resale value well. They will also serve you well as a backup dive computer if you decide to extend your training later on.
All you really need to do is work out what features you want, and then just go for it.
Beginners Scuba Dive Computer Pricing
The first consideration is generally your budget. The higher your budget, the more features the dive computer will have. The prices of popular entry level dive computers start around $200 and go through to the mid to high $300's.
Beginners Dive Computer Comparison Table
All of these dive computers have the basic features and functionality to keep you safe while diving. Their differences are listed in the comparison table below.
Recreational Dive Computers
The next step up from entry level dive computers are the Recreational dive computers. These have a little more functionality and this is reflected in their price.
Suunto discontinued the Zoop although these are still available to buy online. This leaves the Zoop Novo as Suunto's only entry level dive computer. The Zoop Novo has more functions and this is reflected in its higher price. It retails for between $300 - $400 online.
Oceanic Geo 2.0 is a firm favorite with divers, but it's not user-intuitive. It takes a bit of effort to get to know how to set up this dive computer, but divers love it once they put in the effort and get past this.
Recreational Dive Computer Comparison Table
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