The Best Dive Computers in 2023

There is no diving without a dive computer in 2023! The advantages are numerous and the models are able to satisfy beginners, experts and also technical or commercial divers. Let’s see together why we should use a computer, how to find the right one and what the best dive computers are in 2023.

3 Reasons Divers Use a Dive Computer

A Dive Computer Improves Safety While Diving

As every certified diver knows, dive computers are a huge asset to our safety and health while diving. We learn in our dive classes how to use them to plan or monitor our dives, as they basically record the levels of nitrogen we take in during a certain dive and warn us if we are getting too close to our limits, or calculate decompression if necessary. Dive computers in 2023 operate based on several up-to-date algorithms, they can work on different gas blends, at least air and nitrox, and have a plethora of functions and options. Dive computers are nowadays part of the basic diving equipment, they are one of the first items that divers will purchase, even before BCDs and regulators, as they are an extremely personal piece of equipment.

A Dive Computer Gives You a Better Experience in The Water

A dive computer will not replace what you learn in class. You’ll still need to remember all the basics of diving measurement and plan your dive properly. But the dive computer will make your experience more enjoyable by simplifying things. For example, a dive computers’ advanced automated functions can save your from a more lengthy calculation of Nitrox mix.

A Dive Computer Records Your Dive in a Dive Log

Most computers will also allow you to keep a log of your dives. That’s a great way to keep records on your dive experience, depth, the marine life you’ve seen, etc.

Difference Between a Dive Computer and a Common Diving Watch

Many people call dive computers dive watches, not realizing there is a substantial difference between the two products. This is common between non divers or beginner divers. While dive watches are mostly watches that are not only waterproof but can go in-depth and are safe to dive with, they don’t provide the gas absorption information and do not calculate tour exposure to pressure and gases as a dive computer does instead. Dive watches are a good accessory to have, especially as a backup for computers: in recreational diving, for instance, if your computer fails during your ascent but you have a depth gauge and a dive watch, you can easily still perform your safety stop at 5 meters – 15 feet – for the required 3 minutes, as per standards. A dive computer is much more than a dive watch. It calculates your current depth, the bottom time, it tells you in real-time how long you are allowed to stay at that particular depth and when it’s time to ascend. It will monitor your ascent rate and warn you if you are going too fast, which could cause decompression sickness and end up in hospital. It’s an instrument that strongly contributes to your safety underwater.

What About Air Integrated Dive Computers

What is an Air Integrated Dive Computer

Air integrated dive computers are advanced diving watches that give tank and decompression information to the diver. Air integration means that the computer can factor in your air usage rate and calculate how long your air supply will last. A dive computer will display how much air/nitrox is left in your tank; your time to bottom, and current PSI readings. Once you’re back on shore, your dive computer can inform you about remaining desaturation and no-fly times.

How do Air Integrated Dive Computers Work

Wireless air integrated dive computers are the most popular type; they use a wireless plug-in transmitter or a hose attachment that sends information to the dive computer. So they come in two parts: the computer and the regulator attachment. The signal is sent to the dive computer via Bluetooth or radiofrequency.

What do Bluetooth Dive Computers Do

You can plan several aspects of your dive and upload the relevant data and settings onto your dive computer: water type, air, certain safety factors, etc. Post-dive, you can sync your Bluetooth dive computer with your phone or tablet, or connect your dive computer to your computer with a cable to load your dive log onto your device of choice.

Do Beginners Need an Air Integrated Dive Computer

Although air integrated dive computers are not a requirement for beginner divers, we recommend them for a few reasons. First, they take the guesswork out of air consumption. Second, they provide reliable, safe diving support. Finally, a lot of dive guides require dive computers for beginners.

What Are The Two Types of Air Integrated Dive Computers

The two main types of air integrated dive computers are wrist-mounted and console-mounted. Both are advanced diving computers and the main difference between them is where and how they’re worn. Wrist dive computers are popular because they are easy to wear and, being a watch, they can be of use outside the water. However, console dive computers are generally less expensive and therefore a good option for beginner divers. One thing to consider is that dive computer consoles that are hose-mounted have more parts at risk of wearing out.

Best Dive Computers in 2023

Suunto D5

Suunto D5 is one of those extremely fashionable dive computers, testifying to the modern need for reduced-size watches that can be worn on a daily basis. While the Finnish Suunto is one of the top brands in the world of dive computers and sports watches in general, the Suunto D5 is one of its top products thanks to its easy access, its sleek appearance, and its full-color LCD screen.
A top product by one of the top dive computer brands in the world​.
  • What we like about Suunto D5
Its interchangeable straps, similar to those for the Cressi Neon, the integrated digital compass, its wireless connectivity reading tank pressure in real time, the vibration alarms.
  • Other considerations
Suunto D5 is widely considered the best air-integrated dive computer by the diving community. It’s a little on the pricey side but definitely worth every cent. Check Price on Amazon

Cressi Neon

The new Cressi Neon is a fashionable wristwatch-sized dive computer that can be worn everyday thanks to its relatively small size – only 48 mm diameter – and colorful frames. Reading both air and nitrox – with oxygen up to 99% – it includes multiple level safety factor configurations and, as in the best Cressi tradition, is a wonderful tool for free diving, too.
A good dive computer and scuba diving watch for everyday use.
  • What we like about Cressi Neon
Its reduced dimensions, its high contrast 37 mm display, its battery easily replaceable by the user, its colorful frames.
  • Other considerations
Diving sensor can be disabled for other in-water activities such as swimming or snorkeling. The innovative soft liquid silicone display protector can be purchased separately. Check Price on Amazon

Oceanic Geo 4.0

Oceanic computers are among the most beloved ones by professional and tech divers. The Oceanic Geo 4.0 combines quality, functions and style with its upgraded and elegant look. Thanks to its dual algorithm and the deep stop option, second nitrox blend and auto-update, it is an extremely reliable and complete device.
A combination of quality, functions and styles – great for tech divers and professionals
  • What we like about Oceanic Geo 4.0
The possibility of switching between two different Nitrox mixes up to 100% oxygen – perfect for tech dives – and its firmware auto-update options.
  • Other considerations
Dual algorithm allows you to select the one you need – either more or less conservative – allowing you also to synchronize with your dive buddy’s computer for a more similar profile. Check Price on Amazon

Garmin Descent MK1

Unlike the previous more recreational computers, the Garmin Descent MK1 watch is an amazing and intuitive dive computer specifically studied for experienced divers, suitable for Nitrox and Trimix as well as free diving and closed-circuit rebreather diving. This is a superior product, certainly not the best fit for recreational diving only or for beginners: it’s a premium full-featured dive computer coming in a wristwatch size and an elegant shape that make it one of a kind.
A premium Garmin watch that will please the most experienced divers​
  • What we like about Garmin Descent MK1
The elevate wrist heart rate technology with smart notifications, the long battery life, the modes for single and multiple gas dives, the built-in compass, GPS and barometric altimeter.
  • Other considerations
The logbook can contain up to 1000 hours of memory or up to 200 dives. Check Price on Amazon

Mares Puck Pro

The Mares Puck Pro is a compact and easy-to-use wristwatch-like dive computer that is perfect especially for beginners and younger divers due to its simplicity, its slim design with colorful exchangeable wrist bands and highly readable display. The interface is absolutely intuitive and clear. On the downside, it might be a little conservative, which once again becomes an advantage at the earliest stages of diving.
Best budget buy, simple to use and just perfect for beginner divers​
  • What we like about Mares Puck Pro
Its intuitive and user friendly interface, its bright screen, the battery power indicator and the stopwatch.
  • Other considerations
Best budget buy, the Mares Puck Pro is a computer you’ll find in dive shops and dive centers for rent. Check Price on Amazon

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