It’s all very well having a regular old dive computer for deco time, depth and safety stop readings…
…but an air integrated dive computer also tells you how much air remains in your tank (tank pressure) via a wireless transmitter.
This can be an absolute changer – it’s so much easier checking your remaining air on your dive computer than it is having to fiddle around with your pressure gauge.
Some air integrated dive computers even show your air consumption rate as well as using this to provide an AI prediction for how much air time you have remaining. Hot dayum!
In this guide of awesomeness, we’ve provided personal reviews of our very own air integrated dive computers. We’ve included original photos, pros, cons and honest user feedback.
We’ve also scoured the seven seas and included information on every other model of air integrated dive computer worth having.
The affiliate links we’ve provided send you to the buying page for packages that include the dive computer and wireless transmitter – which you’ll need for the air integration info. Let’s dive in!
The Best Air Integrated Dive Computer in 2023 is the Garmin Descent MK2i in terms of overall quality and features, whilst the best air integrated dive computer in terms of value for money and popularity is the Suunto D5. Or, if you’re a tec diver, then your best option will be the Shearwater Teric.
But these are just our opinions! Maybe you’ll come to a different conclusion, based on your own needs and preferences, about which is the most ideal air integration dive computer for you. For that reason, we strongly recommend checking out the reviews below:
The Suunto D5 takes the best qualities from the previous two dive computers we’ve reviewed; it’s as light and compact as a watch (at 5.3 x 5.3 x 1.65cm) like the D4i core and has a powerful, colour coded display like the Eon Novo.
With it’s stainless steel bezel, reinforced composite casing and range of colour options; it’s a beautiful looking dive computer – in terms of shape it follows a traditional design but the powerful display is modern and high tech.
Featuring an inbuilt compass, gas-switch compatibility, audible and vibrating ascent alarms as well as the option to adjust the algorithm to be more or less conservative, there’s plenty of features for more advanced divers.
That said, you can keep things simple; this is an extremely intuitive to use piece and with it’s three button menu navigation; it maintains the simple, straightforward usability that Suunto are so popular for.
It features a rechargeable battery that should last you from 6 – 12 hours; this is going to be a feature that’s popular with some divers but less so with those who are more forgetful!
As with all the previous dive computer’s, the Suunto D5 gives your tank pressure when used with the wireless transmitter – however it goes a step further than most by calculating your remaining air based on your current breathing rate. Nice!
It’s a simple truth that air integrated dive computers are more expensive than regular ones.
That said, we’ve scoured the seven seas for the cheapest air integrated dive computer available and the Oceanic VTX is the most affordable option by far.
At 8.5 x 6.2 x 3.2 inches and 770 grams, it’s quiet a bit bulkier and heavier than pricier options. Also at only 24 hours long, the dive log is a little short.
However, considering that the Oceanic VTX costs over fifty bucks less than the next cheapest option; a little bulkiness and short dive log seem a fair trade off!
The air integrated tech works in the same way as all the more expensive options: via a wireless transmitter that you plug into your tank. With this, you get tank pressure data via numerical and graphical figures.
This along with all the other standard dive computer info is displayed on a high contrast OLED screen with an extremely easy to understand colour coding system. It’s operated via three buttons. There’s also a 3-axis digital compass!
The Garmin Descent Mk2i was designed foremost with scuba diving in mind but it also doubles up as a SmartWatch.
Sailing, backcountry skiing, skydiving and kayaking are just some of the many extract activities it can also track with enhanced wrist-based heartbeat estimates and other vital stats info.
With a titanium bezel and backplate for excellent durability and an exceptionally comfortable silicone strap; it’s as compact and light as a regular wrist watch.
The 1.4″, sapphire crystal full-colour display is sunlight readable, setting it apart from other dive computers which can often be hard to read in shallow water or on land.
The colour coded data is intuitive to read and you can select from a range of layouts, including a classical watch style layout with moving hands for telling the time on land.
There’s six dive modes along with multi-GNSS support and ABC sensors along with an underwater compass and a logbook capable of storing up to 200 dives.
Battery life is a whopping 80 hours in dive mode – longer than that of any other dive computer and it can last for up to 16 days in smartwatch mode!
The TI transmitter provides advanced air integration and ultra accurate pressure with remaining dive time and air consumption rate.
There’s no denying that the Mk2i is one expensive air integrated dive computer – but it’s also so much more than that; with it’s smartwatch capabilities, traditional watch screen and gorgeous design.
With it’s backlit LED display, prominent three buttons, 3D, tilt compensated digital compass and sleek design, the Suunto Eon Core is a perfect option for anyone who prefers a more modern style of dive computer.
The 5 x 3.8 cm LED display’s brightens can be adjusted and it’s also possible to flip and even re-program it, in order to have data presented exactly how you want.
Data on the display is presented in an intuitive colour coding system, with large and clear digits. When everything is within normal parameters data is in blue and white; notifications are in yellow and alarms are given in red.
Some users have commented on the display being a bit faded in shallow water but for other divers this isn’t a problem.
Despite it’s futuristic design and appearance, the Suunto Eon Core is a surprisingly easy to use and setup piece of kit. The buttons are easy to press and the setup menu itself is more straightforward than that of most dive computers.
The Eon Core features a magnetic charger with which it takes 5 hours to charge and provides 14 hours at the brightens setting.
Although it’s a significant jump up in price compared to the previous two options, the Suunto D4i Novo is still the third cheapest option that made it to our best air integrated dive computers list.
At 6 x 5 x 5 inches and 230 grams, the D4i Novo is also the first dive computer on this list that’s as compact and lightweight as a watch, meaning you can wear it all day long; knowing that you look damn good!
It’s sleek and comfortable to wear, with a silicone strap that is more flexible and comfortable than cheaper models.
There is a four button interface that allows for decent flexibility when scrolling settings, which more experienced divers will appreciate.
The wireless transmitter air integration tech displays your cylinder pressure on screen and in addition to this can also calculate remaining air time based on current depth.
It has a whopping dive log memory of 140 hours, which is substantially more than most other dive computer models on the market. It would be nice to see an integrated digital compass to but you can’t have everything at only mid-price!
Suunto are an extremely popular brand, well known for making superb mid to high range dive computers…we’ll look at some of their more expensive options next…
The Mares Smart Air is only around fifty dollars more expensive than the Oceanic VTX, but the next price jump after these two dive computers is way more significant (think a couple hundred bucks!).
At 7.5 x 5 x 3 inches; the Mares Smart Air is a little less bulky than it’s cheaper counterpart; the Oceanic VTX and at 570 grams it’s also a little less heavy. The result is a somewhat more streamlined, subtler piece of dive gear.
It doesn’t have the fancy colour coded OLED screen like the Oceanic VTX – for some this will be a dealbreaker, but others will prefer a more traditional, minimalist look.
The Mares Smart Air is certainly a very simple and easy to use dive computer with it’s two button interface that makes navigating controls simple and fast, even for beginners.
Make sure you purchase it with the wireless transmitter (just follow the affiliate links we’ve provided) to get the air integration tech.
Ultimately, buyers looking for a cheap air integrate dive computer should choose the Mares Smart Air or Oceanic VTX – both are similarly priced and have more or less the same functions but are quiet different in terms of style and data display.
I’ll start by saying that I’m not a huge fan of the outward appearance of the Scubapro G2 – the shape seems clunky and whilst it’s rubber construction makes it highly durable, it just doesn’t feel as nice as stainless steel.
That said…this is a very high quality air integrated dive computers with some extremely impressive specs that none of the other dive computers we’ve so far reviewed can compete with.
For starters it has an insane logbook capacity of 1000 hours, can go to 393ft deep and the battery life is up to 50 hours per charge; which is way more sensible than the puny 6 – 12 hours charge offered by some of the Suunto models.
As I’ve said, I’m really not a fan of the shape but it is quite ergonomic and fits comfortably on your arm.
The 2.2 inch TFT display is split into four screens which makes it extremely easy to quickly glance at the info you’re looking for. Also it doesn’t have to be in green! There’s four screen configurations, including a full colour option.
With the wirelss transmitter, you get your true remaining air time based on your current level of air consumption; again a very nice feature, that cheaper dive computers rarely have.
The three buttons feel a little odd being at the top but the user interface is easy to use, even for beginners.
The Shearwater Research Teric is a highly sophisticated dive computer that’s been designed specifically with the technical diver in mind.
It features open-circuit and closed circuit Air, Nitrox and Trimix multi gas functionality as well as recreational, gauge, freediving, open-circuit tech and closed-circuit/bail-out modes.
Multiple gas definition preset can be supported with any combo of oxygen, nitrogen and helium. At 500 hours storage, the dive log is rather substantial!
It’s also one of the very few models of dive computer that WON’T lockout after a missed stop or ascent rate violation!
You can configure the settings so that a single press of one of the four buttons will provide access to the many tools it features including a compass, stopwatch, countdown timer.
Data is displayed on the full colour AMOLED display which measures 5.5 x 1.8cm and weighs just 120 grams – the Shearwater Research Teric is as light and compact as a regular watch and it looks damn good on your wrist!
Air integration is optional for all modes from OC Rec to CC/BO. Tank pressure can be displayed to the customisable slots on the main screen or accessed through the underlying info screens.
It may be pretty expensive by recreational dive computer standards, but if you’re a serious tech diver, then the Shearwater Research Teric is probably the cheapest air integrated dive computer option that will suit every last one of your needs.
In case you’d like to know a little more about what it means for a dive computer to be air integrated – you’re in the right place!
Not all dive computers feature air integration technology. But of those that do, they still require a (separately purchased) wireless transmitter – also known as a tank pod, air integration pod or air integration transmitter.
The air integration transmitter communicates information regarding tank pressure (how much air is in the tank) with the dive computer – it usually does this through radio frequencies although it can also be via sonar technology.
Let’s take a look at one of those air integration transmitters below, in this instance a Suunto air integration transmitter aka Suunto Tank Pod:
Seems kinda unassuming don’t it?! Almost a surprise you pay several hundred bucks for it, but this is the very thing that allows your dive computer to show you how much air you have left in your tank – and more!
That serial number at the bottom is pretty freakin’ important by the way. When it comes to pairing your dive computer with your air integration transmitter, you’ll want to pair it with the right serial number – otherwise you could end up pairing it to someone elses transmitter – awkward!
Some air integrated dive computers boast of being able to pair to multiple transmitters – in theory this would allow a dive instructor to keep tabs on multiple students air. However, in reality it’s highly unlikely that a dive centres is going to fork out all that money just so their instructor can monitor everyone’s air like that.
Generally speaking, a transmitter produced by one scuba diving gear manufacturer – e.g. Suunto can be paired with any of that brands dive computers (so long as they’re models that feature air integration). For example the Suunto Tank Pod can pair with a Suunto D4i, Suunto D5, Suunto Eon Core, etc. But it can’t to be able to pair with a Garmin MK2i dive computer.
After the air integration transmitter is connected to your dive computer, it’ll usually automatically do this every time you turn your dive computer on. But be sure to check this in settings before you dive!
Let’s backtrack and take a quick look at the sort of box-content you can expect to receive when you buy an air integration transmitter – in this case a Suunto Tank Pod:
So – you get the wireless transmitter / Suunto Tank Pod, an information leaflet, a warranty and in that little clear baggy you see there are a pair of flow restrictors – the long one is for when you’re connecting the air pod to a high pressure hose (if you have a console dive computer).
The short one is for when you’re connecting the transmitter directly to the first stage of your regulator because you have a wrist dive computer – this is more likely as most dive computers are wrist dive computers.
We’re glad you asked! Check out the little movie below for a full demonstration. With catchy electro.
So…if you’re going to use an air integration transmitter, you’ll want to have your own scuba regulator as it’s a little fiddly to attach and most dive centres probably won’t want you to do this to their own rental regulators. If you don’t yet have your own scuba regulator – check out our best scuba regulator reviews here!
The information leaflet explains how you can connect the tank pod to your regulator (or high pressure hose) but there’s also an online guide on attaching a Suunto Tank Pod here.
Check out the image below to see what it looks like when an air integration pod is connected to the first stage of a regulator:
After attaching your tank pod to your regulator or high pressure hose, you’ll really want to avoid it getting knocked – it’s not flimsy but it also ain’t ultra tough. I highly recommend buying a hard case for your scuba diving regulator to keep everything safe – here’s a link to the one I use!
By the way, most air integration transmitters run on user-changeable lithium batteries that normally last 150 – 200 dives.
Ok, moving on… once you’ve attached your wireless transmitter to your regulator (or possibly high pressure hose), and connected it to your dive computer, you will be able to view the air integration information on your dive computer. Let’s take a look at several screenshots of air integration info displayed on the might Suunto D5:
On the lower third of the Suunto D5’S display it’s showing 100 tank bar remaining. If you’re wandering where that beautiful coral in the background was taken by the way – I snapped these photos with my Suunto D5 whilst diving in the red sea – it was awesome! Ok – next photo:
Now the lower third shows air consumption. This is really cool because not only does it let you know how fast you’re getting through air on a dive, it’s also recorded in the logbook. This means you can go through your various dives and see if your air consumption is improving – or getting worse! I love this!!
To cycle between different sets of air integration info – e.g. how much air remains or air consumption rate, you up simply press the lower button of the D5. However, the manner in which you pull up different air integration info will vary between dive computers – but it’s usually ultra simple. Let’s check out yet another photo:
Now we see that in the lower third of my Suunto D5’s display, it is giving remaining air time – i.e. how long before my tank is totally empty! In this instance, it’s telling me I have 25 minutes of remaining gas time – which is based on my air consumption so far throughout the dive.
This is another super handy feature! It uses intelligent Ai to give this prediction. Of course, it can’t account for unforseem circumstance. Perhaps a horny mermaid is about to swim out of the abyss and grab my leg to pull me down – this will likely elevate my heart-rate somewhat and cause me to get through my remaining air quicker than the D5 anticipated. The remaining gas time is just an estimate.
And that’s pretty much it in terms of air integration tech. Depending on which model of dive computer you have, you’ll find that navigation through different air integrated related sets of data may vary whilst very simple air integrated dive computers may only give you remaining and air consumption but not show remaining air time. We’ve mentioned which models of air integrated dive computer can and can’t do this in the reviews above.
In this mighty article we’ve reviewed the absolute best air integrated dive computers on the market whilst also providing a breakdown at the end of everything you need to know about air integration technology.
Diving Squad content is constantly being reviewed and updated so you can rest assured that what you’ve read today reflects the very latest information regarding air integration dive computers in 2023.
We tried to keep things fun and fresh with original photos, real-life user feedback and a lighthearted, friendly approach – we really hope you’ve enjoyed reading and that you feel ready to go forth into the world and purchase your dream air integrated dive computer.
If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to reach out to us on the Contact Page. Chow for now!
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David Attenborough said, “I wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored.” For many of us, this is true. The world is double its size and the parts that are waiting to be explored by us are under the water’s surface.