Dive computers have become essential equipment for divers. With information at your fingertips, you can calculate your ascent rate so that you can avoid decompression sickness.
Here we will point out our top 3 diving computers for under $500 and a couple of “worthy contenders”! We are confident that our top 3 are the best dive computers for the money.
If you’re in a hurry, our top choice for the best dive computer under 500 is the Mares Puck Pro Scuba Diving Computer. Click the text or image for best price.
There are many quality options with varying price tags. However, before you spend several hundred dollars on a diving computer, you should compare your options. Here are the best three Dive computers under 500.
At the top of the list is the Mares Puck Pro Scuba Diving Computer. It is a compact, reliable dive computer with several useful features.
EASE OF USE
The Mares Puck Pro has a large interface with a single button. The single button simplifies the operation, whether you need to change between operating modes or adjust the settings.
With this dive computer, you also get a stopwatch, calendar, and the ability to adjust the altitude. These features are not typically included with an entry level dive computer.
MAX. DEPTH: 492 FEET
The Puck Pro is a wrist mount dive computer and has a max depth of 492 feet (150 meters). This should suit most divers.
You also get a 36-hour logbook that you can easily upload to your computer. However, you need to purchase the USB cable separately.
Besides the details described, the ascent rate indicator is one of the best features of this dive computer. It is large and easy to read. You can easily monitor your ascent rate with a quick glance at your watch, instead of having to look at your watch and focus in on the indicator.
It is hard to find any disadvantages to using the Mares Puck Pro. It works great and is available at an affordable price. However, it does not include a depth alarm.
If the alarm is not a major issue, the Mares Puck Pro should be at the top of your list of considerations.
The Cressi Leonardo diving computer is a great choice for your first diving computer. It has a large digital screen that is easy to read when you are in the middle of a dive.
You get the standard features. It can calculate your ascent rate and display your depth and time. It also features air integration, allowing you to monitor your pressure.
Besides the basic details, the Leonardo has a few extra features. It comes in a wide selection of colors and designs to suit your tastes.
It can also connect to your computer so that you can upload your dive tables after each dive.
HANDY RESET FEATURE
One of the best features of the Cressi Leonardo is the ability to reset the computer. Some diving computers make you wait 24 to 48 hours before resetting, which can be a hassle when you accidentally use the wrong mode.
EASE OF USE
The Leonardo also has a single-button interface. An easy-to-use interface is exactly what you need for an entry level diving computer.
Other highlights include a battery life indicator, replaceable battery, and user adjustable conservatism levels.
The only drawback to this computer is the wristband. The wristband is long, causing the tip to stick out when you place it on your wrist. Some people may find that they are extra careful to avoid snagging it on equipment.
Overall, the Cressi Leonardo is a top choice for those on a budget. For less than $200, you get a reliable diving computer with a large, easy to read face.
BACK LITE DISPLAY/MAX DEPTH 330 FEET
The Suunto Zoop Novo is a popular dive computer with a back lite display and maximum display depth of 330 feet.
AIR INTEGRATION/ MULTIPLE OPERATING MODES
This dive computer features air integration and multiple operating modes. You can switch between air, nitrox, and gauge modes. The computer also allows you to switch between Imperial and metric measurements.
EASE OF USE
The Suunto Zoop is easy to learn how to use. It also has a large, clear display, ensuring that you can read the screen in low visibility.
You can also switch between wrist mount and console mount. As it includes air integration, it can replace the depth gauge and pressure gauge on your SPG console.
While the Suunto Zoop is easy to use during a dive, the interface for accessing your dive logs can be confusing. Some divers also believe that the algorithm is a little too conservative.
The Suunto Zoop Novo does not include a user-replaceable battery. When the battery dies, you need to get it replaced by a technician so that the pressure can be tested.
Despite a couple of minor drawbacks, the Suunto Zoop Novo is still a top choice for entry level dive computers. It has one of the best screens available. You can view it in almost any condition and easily check your depth, air, or oxygen.
The following dive computers may not have made our top 3, but are worthy contenders when considering the best dive computer under 500.
If you’re looking for the best scuba dive watches with depth gauge, click here to read our post!
Besides the top three options discussed, there are a couple of alternative choices that are worth considering. These runner-up options include the Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer and the Oceanic Geo 2.0 Wrist Computer.
The Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer is comparable to the Cressi Leonardo and includes many of the same features. However, the Giotto has a 70-hour logbook and the detailed Dive Program for analyzing your dives after downloading the data to your computer.
The Oceanic Geo 2.0 doubles as a standard wristwatch. It has a stylish design and multiple operating modes, making it one of the most versatile dive computers.
The Cressi Giotto and the Oceanic Geo 2.0 are great options, but they cost more than the top three choices.
Before you make your final decision on the best dive computer for you, consider the most important features that will make a difference to your specific diving.
Ease of use
Finding the right dive computer may depend on your specific needs. If this is your first dive computer, your primary concern should be finding a computer that is easy to use.
Air integration is an important feature, as it allows you to monitor your air or nitrox levels. With air integration, the dive computer can also provide more accurate calculations.
A user-replaceable battery is also useful. You can replace the battery yourself, instead of needing to find a qualified technician.
For more advanced divers, there are dive computers with additional features. For example, you may want a computer that allows you to turn off the deep stop or adjust your altitude settings.
As you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have your dive specs. at your fingertips. There are a good number of quality dive computers with all the necessary features available for under $500.