The Best Dive Computers of 2020

LAST UPDATED:

November 1, 2020

It’s not easy to know what will be the best dive computer for you. Not only are there numerous models out there with a variety of specs, price ranges and features; these days most models are designed with a specific kind of user in mind – whether that be a beginner, advanced diver or budget saver. 

Plus, things like button layout, data display and user interface vary considerably also; due to variation in diver’s preferences. 

It’s therefore essential that you consider a range of options before choosing your ideal dive computer, in order to pick one that is truly suitable for your needs.

For this reason, we have honestly reviewed the very best dive computers on the market and presented our top five picks for five types of diver, with further links to more dive computer reviews after each. Let’s take a look!

Quick Answer:

Keep reading below or check out any guides we have at the bottom HERE.  

#1 - Cheapest Option

4.3/5

Cressi is an established and beloved scuba diving brand. They are renowned for making some of the best scuba diving computers on the market. Their entry-level Leonardo model is a great option for beginner divers whom are looking for a simple yet all encompassing dive computer. 

It has a single button interface which makes it very easy to use. To navigate through the menu, the user uses short and long pushes on the button.

The watch can be set up to use either the imperial or metric system, making it easy to understand for the diver. The display is large and clearly visible underwater, with a light option for even more visibility.

Cressi’s Leonardo is perfect as a beginner’s dive computer. It also gives more advanced divers all the information they need. Current depth, dive time, temperature, bottom time, no decompression time (NDL), and ascent alarms are all included.

Dive planning as well as the standard dive computer features (keep reading to find out more about these) are available. The extra-long strap is perfect for fitting over dry suits.

The dive computer watch covers everything its user needs and also comes at an excellent price point.

You can also check out our main page on Cheap Dive Computers.

PROS:

  • Easy to use and functional

 

  • Winning price point

 

  • Comes in a variety of colors

CONS:

  • The long strap may need to be trimmed if you’re not into it

  • The menu can jump on consecutive dives

  • The ascent rate is very conservative (a problem for some)

#2 - TOP PICK

4.3/5

This mid-range dive computer not only keeps you safe during your dive; it also doubles as a watch when you’re out of the water. 

Above the standard three modes, air, nitrox, and gauge, the watch also has an free dive mode – an ever more popular, but still not terribly common feature among dive watches. 

The read dot matrix screen makes the display easy to read underwater. The temperature, dive time (and current time), and decompression time are all there for smooth and easy viewing. As well as your current and maximum depth.

For me, this really is one of the very best watch dive computers currently on the market. The scuba computer watch connects to your devices wirelessly for you to download and log your dives. 

It’s a little more pricey than some of the other options, but with the extra settings and the extreme compactness of this dive watch, you’ll definitely know where your money is going. 

PROS:

  • Free dive mode

  • Small and compact (doubles as a watch)

  • Optional wireless air integration (great for upgrading)

CONS:

  • No compass

  • Can’t change the battery yourself

  • The strap doesn’t last as long as other brands

#3 - Beginners Option

4.5/5

The Puck Pro is very similar to the Cressi Leonardo Diving Computer (option #1) in terms of functionality.

Both models have a single button navigation menu as well as the same three modes: gauge, Nitrox, and air. Both have replaceable batteries and large display screens.

The difference is that the Mares Puck Pro has a graphic tissue loading bar. This is an image display of the amount of nitrogen being absorbed into the body, a seriously handy safety feature.

 The Puck Pro also allows you to turn off audible alarms or adjust algorithms to be more or less conservative.

While the Puck Pro may be one of the simplest dive computers on the market, it remains supported and loved by beginner and advanced divers alike. However, the simplicity of the watch also makes it perfect for novice scuba divers.

The software is updatable so that your dive watch can be up to speed in all of its capacities. For me, this is one of the coolest dive computer options out there, perhaps highlighted by it’s extremely cool aesthetics!

We’ve written a full page on Beginners Dive Computers as well as an article on How to Use a Dive Computer 

PROS:

  • All necessary entry-level features

  • Big display screen

  • Decent logbook capacity

CONS:

  • No depth alarm

  • No air integration function

  • No built-in compass

#4 - Console Dive Computer Option

4.8/5

Unlike a dive watch computer that is positioned on the wrist, console dive computers are attached directly to your tank via your regulator hose.

The advantage is that you can view all your data at once, without having to flip between modes as you would on a wrist dive computer. 

Console Dive Computers are usually air integrated, calculate remaining air time and feature compasses, whilst being on the lower end of the price spectrum compared to wrist dive computers with the same features.

Without a doubt, the best quality console dive computer currently trending the market is the Oceanic Pro Plus X – it has all the features above and uses a unique and intuitive colour coded system to clearly display data – in the form of extremely legible digits and bar graphs that are shown on a large, thin film transistor.

The screens brightness can be adjusted to maximum visibility whether in bright or dark diving conditions. 

There is a 3D Digital compass which can be accessed with one button touch on any dive and has three modes (North, Reference and Reverse Reference) as well as an oceanglow backlight, automatic altitude adjustment and wireless bluetooh connection technology allowing you to sync up the diving logbook and dive planner to a computer, tablet or smartphone. 

If Console Dive Computers are your thing, this is a stellar option!

Or, check out our Main Page on the Best Dive Console Computers. 

PROS:

  • Complete Instrumentation with Digital Compass

  • Thin Film Transistor Display with Adjustable Brightness

  • Intuitive User Colour Code Interface with Graphs and Highly Legible Figures.

  • Air Integrated

  • Shows Diving Time Left

  • Wireless Bluetooth Connection

CONS:

  • Expensive

  • Some Users prefer a Dive Computer on their Wrist

#5 - Air Integrated Option

4/5

The Mares Icon computer is the ultimate piece of kit for technical divers. The HD screen allows for advanced viewing of graphical information. It’s like the smart TV of the scuba dive computer world. 

The colorful 3,5-inch screen doesn’t only look incredibly sleek but is also functional and practical. The innovative software includes map and picture functions for an easy to read display.

The storage on the computer is both impressive and dynamic. It records over 100 hours of diving along with diver’s site maps and images!

The air integrated dive computer uses a wireless transmitter to monitor your tank pressure. The information is displayed on the dive computer and is easy to read along with all your other necessary diving information.

There are so many fantastic extra features on this dive computer. The night time function is perfect for adventurous divers who enjoy exploring the waters in the dark. While the ICE (in case of emergency) feature leaves divers feeling an extra sense of security.

For me, this is easily the best wrist dive computer that money can buy, although only experienced divers will get the full benefits!

For more reviews, you can also check out our main page on the Best Air Integrated Dive Computers. 

PROS:

  • Rechargeable lithium batteries

  • HD screen and colorful display

  • Mares warranty

CONS:

  • Not suitable for beginners

  • Pricey

  • The battery lasts for approximately four dives

Things To Consider When Buying A Dive Computer

The best thing about choosing your own dive equipment, rather than using what is provided at dive centers, is that you get familiarized with your gear.

You get to choose things that will meet your specific needs and then get to nerd out and learn everything about the equipment.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the key considerations to take into account when trying to decide what kind of dive computer you want to buy. 

Considerations:

#1 - Price range

Everybody’s budget is different and it is important to consider how much you are able to afford on a new piece of equipment.

#2 - Type of diving (needs)

The difference between recreational and technical diving changes the type of dive computer you will want to invest in. For recreational diving a basic, entry level computer, like the Cressi Leonardo, does the trick. For technical diving a computer with more advanced features is needed. The Mares Icon is an excellent choice.

#3 - Type of computer: watch, normal, console

If you are a frequent diver you may want a dive computer which doubles as a watch. If you dive more infrequently then this feature may not be important to you. Scuba computers can most commonly be worn around the wrist or attached to your tank. This is a preference thing and up to you which you enjoy most.

Features/Specs Explained

 

  1. Trimix Diving– A breathing gas consisting of oxygen, nitrogen, and helium used for deep diving (commercial and technical).

  2. Gas switching – The ability to change the gas mix that you are breathing mid-dive.

  3. Air integrated – allows the diver to check how much air remains in their tank.

Diving Squad Debriefing

Shopping for a dive computer, like looking for the perfect BCD, can be like searching for a needle in the beach sand. Overwhelming and confusing to say the least.

This list of the best dive computers is a helpful guide to set you on the right path. Our dive computer reviews will ensure that you find a high-quality, awesome computer perfect for your needs on your diving journey.

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