Guide To Buying A Dive Computer

16.07.2018 by ricardo
dive computers, boyle-mariotte law

Guest Post by Torben Lonne, Editor in Chief at

Throughout the career of a diver, working out dive tables can be an extremely long process and to some divers, the bane of their life. Dive Computers offer a great solution to this issue.

What do they do?

By constantly monitor your depth and bottom time; dive computers have the ability to automatically recalculate your no-decompression status. This allows you to have a longer dive time, whilst keeping you safe from decompression at all times.

Not only do computers allow you to have a longer dive time, some also have the ability to monitor your ascent rate, tank pressure, alert you when it is safe to fly as well as log your dives. Due to their huge range of features, they have become more and more popular amongst seasoned divers.

What to look for in a dive computer


There is nothing worse than buying one of these pretty expensive gadgets and realising that you have no idea how to use it. The best and most feature-packed computer will be no good to you if you have no idea how to access those features. A dive computer should be fast and easy to access the basic information you may need during a dive, such as depth, time, bottom time, decompression status and tank pressure.

Two Types of Display

Some models offer both numeric and graphic displays making it easier for a diver to glance at their dive computer mid-dive allowing them to see the information they require easier than some computers that only have a numeric display.

Mounting Options

Dive Computer

The most modern dive computers come in two basic set ups. These are a wrist or console mounted option. Wrist diving computers are individual and stand-alone consoles. They are sealed in a waterproof boot that connects to your wrist via a strong and durable watchband.  Wrist consoles can come in a standard large size, or you can now get them in a smaller, more stylish watch style that you can use everyday. If you already have a diving computer, but want to modernise, then these wrist styles can be perfect for that. Additionally, some wrist computers have the option of buying a transmitter that will allow you to measure your tank pressure via a wireless link.

The console computers can be attached to your regulator with a high-pressure hose, this means that they usually take the place of a depth and air gauge.

Air Integration

The majority of dive computers being created nowadays have a feature called Air Integration. These computers tell the diver the pressure that’s in their tank and means that that diver no longer needs a pressure gauge. This also means that the computer can now work out exactly how much air is left in the tank; it also has the ability to measure the breath rate of the diver and therefore will be able to work out how long the tank will last for.

Due to the fact that air integrated computers can measure the current no decompression limit on top of the remaining air pressure in the tank, it can therefore work out which time is the limiting factor and show the diver that information, allowing them to dive for the maximum time possible.

It is important to remember however, that air integrated computers come with a slightly higher price tag, divers believe that this is offset by the many other features they have such as the quick release assemblies, loud ‘low on air’ alarms and transmitter connections.

Other Features

Other features to consider when buying a dive computer are, whether it fits your style of diving, does the computer have the ability to connect simply to a PC and download information directly from the console? Can the computer be used if you plan to dive with enriched air? Does the computer have the ability to measure gas pressures for you as well as other divers? Can it track and log dive histories and does it have visual and or audible alarms?

There is so much to consider when buying a dive computer, so make sure that you follow the guidelines above and you’ll sail through the process.

Find the best Dive Computers in 2018 here: