As a first time diver, I know how excited you are about getting your first dive computer. It is one dive gear that frees you from having to calculate the nitrogen levels using the ever complex dive tables. After completing your open water course, it is now time to make the big step up.
You, therefore, need the best dive computer for beginners. This task presents some kind of challenge, more so when there are lots of them and you might not know what features to consider. This buying guide would be a welcome relief for you.
How to Choose the Best Dive Computer for Beginners?
- Have Your Level of Expertise in Mind
As a beginner, the best dive computer is one that you can comfortably use its provided features. There are certain features you might not use until you reach an advanced level. Paying for one with such would be like drying your hay while the sun shines. You can also think of the future and purchase one with features for a mid-range diver.
- How Much Are You Willing to Pay?
First of all, if you can’t afford it, there is no point trying to buy it. Prioritize your budget as it helps you narrow down the available options. This will help in making for an easier choosing process. At the same time, do not have a fixed budget as it is an investment for the long run. If your budget is no issue, then feel free to choose from the available ranges.
What Are the Advantages of the Best Dive Computer for Beginners?
A dive computer accrues a beginner a lot of benefits. Here are some of the reasons to get one:
- It guides you through a dive, ensuring your safety in the process. These computers allow a diver to configure their dives, based on preferences. As you dive, you get reliable feedback for confidence.
- You are freed from the complex calculations. In turn, all you have to do is concentrate on your sight-seeing as you enjoy your underwater experience.
- Provides a beginner with an easier way of recording and sharing adventures than when diving without one. With their logbook memories, you don’t need paper logbooks.
Things to look for in the Best Dive Computer for Beginners
- Ease of Use
A dive computer that would take you minutes to decipher the information provided is not worth a penny from you. Look for one with basic features that you can use and figure out yourself.
Buttons need to be large enough to be pressed with gloves on. I recommend getting acquainted with how the system works before taking a dip into the water.
It doesn’t make sense to buy a product that you cannot read its digits with your mask on, does it? If you can find one with a multi-color display, the better for you. However, it doesn’t have to be so. Having a dark color but on a high contrast background eases readability under water.
- Nitrox Compatibility
You may not need it at first, but you will need to nitrox in the near future. Choosing a dive computer that is nitrox integrated saves you on making the upgrade when you decide to use it. Alternating between nitrox and air is flexibility that every diver needs.
- Digital Compass
Knowing where you are headed in a dive is very important. When you have a dive computer, there is no point of having an analog compass for the same. Having the digital compass in your gear conserves space.
The mounting aspect of the computer is essential during a dive. Most of the options available are worn on the wrist, while other options allow you to attach them on your suit.
Either of them has its own advantages. So you can choose whether you prefer a simple wrist twist when taking a reading, or having a hands’ free operation when adding weights.
There are certain gauges that you can live without when under water. These include the amount of remaining air and time spent underwater. Some computers have additional gauges such as decompression time and alert to inform you when you are descending too fast.
- Audible Safety Alarms
The computer you choose should warn you when you are putting yourself at risk. You could be descending too fast or have little air remaining. The warning systems should be audible enough so that you can react accordingly.
What's the best way to use the Best Dive Computer for Beginners?
Before you use a dive computer, check to ensure that it fits well on your wrist. Having a sophisticated computer which has a terrible fit does not work well for you. Consider your wrist sizes and the material which it is made from before diving into your hobby.
Controversy Surrounding the Best Dive Computer for Beginners
In the past, there has been folklore surrounding the use of nitrogen during dives. Nitrox diving was considered some kind of a dangerous activity. Nitrogen gas was thought to be a harmful gas that could potentially lead to the death of divers.
Contrary to this belief, nitrogen is a safe gas unlike how it was portrayed in magazines before. Divers all over the world are safely using the gas for diving.
Prerequisites to using the Best Dive Computer for Beginners
- Ensure you are physically fit to scuba dive in the first place. The high pressure your body experiences when underwater demands that you be of impeccable health and that your body functions as it should. The medical questionnaire you fill becomes essential.
- You should be of the right age to dive. Essentially, you need to be at least 8 years and above to use your dive computer. No upper age limit exists at the moment.
- Be well versed with the functionality of your dive computer. Don’t wait to figure things out in the course of a dive.
Best Dive Computer for Beginners Reviews
The Cressi Leonardo combines a fashionable yet simplistic design for use by beginner divers. It features an audible alarm, an easy to use on button, nitrox and air modes of usage, large readable digital outputs, and a backlit screen for use during the night.
Significantly, a safety feature designed into this dive computer automatically comes on when you are at a depth of 15 feet. Beginners have to take care not to hit the reset button accidentally. You would lose your hard set dive settings.
- Decent max dive depth and hike altitude
- Audible safety notification
- Easy to reset for dive shops
- Easy to use single button interface
- Can be used even at night
- Lots of colors to choose from
- Insufficient backlight
- Bulky for some
This entry level dive computer has the wrist mounting design that can be converted to a console-mounted computer. Its features include a special 4-button navigation, visual, and audible warning alerts. Usage modes are air, nitrox, free dive and off.
All these are displayed on a large screen, with all the data being visible at once. A strong enough backlight allows for night time or murky water reading. All the features are easy to use and include just about anything a beginner may require. There are minor quality issues you will have to deal with.
- Great affordability
- Easy to use
- Great value for the price
- Versatile usage
- Great visibility of displays
- Outputs convertible from metric to imperial
- Executes orders impeccably
- Small buttons difficult to use when wearing a thick pair of gloves
- Quality issues with the mode button
Fitted with mid-range divers in mind, the Oceanic Geo 2.0 is a great choice for a beginner who does not want to do an upgrade soon. If you don’t mind spending extra on a dive computer, then this product would be a great option for you.
It is compatible with air and Nitrox modes, allowing you to switch between the two with ease. A digital display eases data reading. Data from the computer can be transferred through a USB. 4 usage modes allow for a standard watch, nitrox and air mix, run timer gauge, and free-diving mode.
- Plenty of usage modes
- Great for beginners upgrading to medium range
- Data transferable through USB
- Decent logs memory
- Quite a powerful backlight
- LED flashlight included
- User algorithms can be switched
- Single button access to last dive data
- Complex for beginners
- Stores up to 24 dives
For a more tech-savvy beginner, the Aqua Lung i770R is an exceptional option. It offers a diver Bluetooth connectivity coupled with a TFT screen for high resolution. The robust and compact design meets most of the needs a beginner diver may have.
Features on the dive computer include a 3-axis, full tilt compass, an easy to use 3-button navigation system, and a multiple-gas usage capability. With the 4 operating modes and a hoseless integration, using this dive computer is made easy
- Bluetooth compatible
- High visibility screen display
- Versatile for a range of uses
- Allows for the planning of dives
- Only requires to be paired once with the transmitter
- User-friendly interface
- Dives review makes for safe usage
- Might be too complex to be used by a newbie diver
With its full continuous decompression algorithm, the Suunto D4i is a great choice for a beginner. There are 4 modes in which you can use this dive computer. There is the air, free, nitrox, and off modes. When in the air-nitrox modes, a timer comes in handy.
The firmware on this product can be updated to the latest one, with the option of having a wireless integration into the air system. The product is available in a wide array of colors. However, its fast battery draining rates can be a bit of an issue at times.
- Waterproof for scuba diving
- Dives easy to plan
- Great value for the price
- Variable color combinations
- High-quality construction
- Works great
- Seems overpriced
- Battery drains fast at times
How to maintain Best Dive Computer for Beginners
- After a dive, thoroughly rinse the dive computer with fresh water as you wipe it with a soft towel. This step gets rid of organic matter and salty water.
- Occasionally clean it with a mild detergent and toothbrush. Give special attention to metallic surfaces to remove sunscreen, perspiration, and salt deposits.
- Take it for calibration checkups, function checks, and seal checks after every 2 years
- Pack the computer with padding when traveling
- Protect from direct sunlight, heat, and harsh chemicals
- Check for tears, wears or corrosion on the buckles and wristbands. Replace them as soon as necessary.
Frequently Answer Question [F.A.Q]
Q: In case my dive computer malfunctions in the course of a dive, what should I do?
A: Although it is rare, if the computer develops issues, the safest thing to do is stop the dive. I prefer to be safer than sorry.
Q: After buying a dive computer, do you still need the compression tables?
A: There is no need. Your computer does everything for you. Having the compression tables helps you in no way, maybe if the computer gets damaged.
Q: Can I integrate my air tanks with a dive computer?
A: Yes! Air integrated dive computers make this possible. You are then able to know how much air is remaining, as well as how to do the time, depth, and decompression calculations. A beginner would appreciate these safety features.
Q: I hear beginner divers do not need dive computers, is it true?
A: Unfortunately, that is an assumption that some people have had for some time now. However, all divers need a dive computer, regardless of the skill levels.
Q: Can you use a dive computer as an ordinary watch?
A: Yes. Some of the options available have various modes of usages. When out of the water, you can use them as stylish wrist watches.
Tip/Tick when buying Best Dive Computer for Beginners
When buying a dive computer, keep the following in mind:
- You have to be able to take readings with your mask on
- Consider the compatibility of the dive computer with your other diving gear
- You have to be 100% sure that you understand the information being relayed.
- The larger the memory capacity, the better
- Low battery warning should not be ignored at all
- Device accuracy is mandatory
For beginners, a dive computer is very important for your safety when deep diving. It is your digital lifeline, providing you with accurate real-time information for the perfect dive. If you have been searching for the best dive computer for beginners, then my top pick would be the Cressi Leonardo.
It is an affordable dive computer with most if not all of the features a beginner diver would require. With it, you get a nitrox compatible equipment, one that you can use a USB cable, adjustable units of measurements, a single button operation, a battery level indicator, audible alarms, and air conservation mechanisms.