5 Best Cold Water Regulators: Reviews & Buying Guide

Can you imagine the adrenaline rush that comes from diving in icy cold waters? As a scuba diver, one of your most challenging environments will be icy-cold waters. Diving in cold waters requires a thick dry suit or wetsuit and a specialized regulator.

A cold water regulator is a diver’s best friend underwater. Without your regs, you’ll be limited to breath-hold dives and surface level. For this reason, underwater gear brands have specific models for regulators.

In this post, we’ll dive in with five unique and top-rated cold water regulators. There’s also a buying guide so all divers can get to know their gear a bit better. Let’s explore.

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The Top 5 Cold Water Regulators

There are typically hundreds of cold water regulators out there, but which one is the best? In this section, we break down each product’s pros and cons for convenient comparison. Without further delay, let’s get to our top picks.

1. Cressi  Ellipse Titanium MC9

If you are running on a shoestring budget for cold water regulators, this is it. This Cressi cold water regulator sets pretty high market standards.

Photo credit: Amazon

It is an entry-level gear that has an easy-to-adjust airflow. It has all high and low-pressure ports for your scuba accessories.

It’s also worth mentioning that this product is extremely light-weight. Besides, you can carry it along for diving in all sorts of climates.

The mouthpiece does not cause jaw fatigue. Also, the device employs a brass body for additional durability. The balanced diaphragm makes sure that you have all the features to embark on your aqua adventure safely.

 

Pros
  • It includes a total of six ports.
  • The gear is suitable for budget-conscious buyers.
  • It is perfect for all diving climates.
  • This cold water regulator weighs just 2 lbs.
  • You can buy it in two different colors.
Cons
  • The white color gets dirty quickly.
  • It might not satisfy professionals.

2. ScubaPro MK25 S600

The ScubaPro MK25 S600 is a blend of the high-performance balanced second stage and a flagship balanced piston first stage. The first stage in the MK25 is capable of diving up to 8500 litres per minute. Even at such a diving rate, the pressure drop is minimal.

Photo credit: Amazon

The piston shaft and mainspring have special protection that prevents the formation of ice crystals. This attribute makes the ScubaPro MK25 be an exceptional cold water regulator. Besides, the components are very light-weight.

The orthodontic mouthpiece reduces jaw fatigue. The inhalation adjustment allows the divers to customize the breathing.

 

Pros
  • The model has mostly positive user ratings.
  • It performs well even in extreme diving conditions.
  • You’ll notice a superb breathing performance.
  • This unit is suitable for all climates.
Cons
  • The first stage does not have environmental sealing.
  • The product is a tad costly.

3. Apeks XTX40

This list would be incomplete without the Apeks XTX40. The XTX40 is one of the company’s most affordable offerings. Despite the low price-point, the product does not compromise on performance or quality. It has a diver adjustable breathing resistance control.

Photo credit: Amazon

These adjustable features allow the user to minimize bubble interference. The first stage of the reg has four medium-pressure ports. There is also an option 5th port for cylinders or side mount.

The device is available in both Yoke or DIN configurations. You can use it for cold waters below 10-degree Celcius. The great thing about buying this product is that it allows mixed gas diving.

 

Pros
  • The regs are environmentally sealed and balanced.
  • It is possible to make a left to right-hand conversion.
  • The braided flexihose is unique.
  • The breathability feature is exceptional.
  • It also allows mixed gas diving.
Cons
  • You may notice a few bubbles escaping from the joint.

4. Oceanic Alpha 10 with Spx First Stage

Durable, sleek, and simple is the best way to describe the Oceanic Alpha 10. It has a high-grade marine chrome construction and weighs only 2.5 pounds. You’ll also notice that the owner’s manual is very comprehensive.

Photo credit: Amazon

Divers will find the durable design of the equipment to be very user-friendly. You must also know that it holds an EN250A certification. This certification approves the reg for use in waters below 5-degree C.

The reg also allows two different first-stage settings – Yoke or DIN. It’s also worth mentioning that this equipment harbours an orthodontic mouthpiece, which is very comfortable.

Pros
  • The cold water regulator is very light-weight.
  • It also includes a cracking adjustment knob.
  • The new updated structure has a sleeker body.
  • It has four ports, which makes it handier.
  • Its marine brass construction is of superior quality.
Cons
  • It has no significant cons.

5. Zeagle F8 Regulator

Zeagle is one brand belonging to the water sports industry that people associate with top-notch quality. This Zeagle F8 regulator is one of the best offerings from the brand. The brand claim that F8 is a better breather and more long-lasting than most regs in the market.

Photo credit: Amazon

The new inhalation diaphragm has superior tear power and a better breathing response time. The enhanced exhaust valves ensure lower exhalation and dryness.

Why is it suitable for cold waters? It is because it has a heat sink and Zirconiumplated tube to avoid freeze-up. The mouthpiece employs silicone for a better fit and to reduce fatigue.

 

Pros
  • Even after 1000+ hours of use, it offers smooth breathing.
  • It provides value for money.
  • The regs perform well in warm and cold waters.
  • You can expect reliability and durability from these regs.
  • The exhaust valve ensures dryness.
Cons
  • The unit is slightly bulky.

 

Cold Water Regulator Buyer’s Guide

Knowing all the best selling and quality cold water regulators is no enough. To figure out what’s best for you, it’s also mandatory to understand the features. In this buying guide, you’ll learn all the features that ensure a good-quality cold water regulator.

Temperature

Several regulators are apt for cold climate diving. If you play to dive in icy or extremely cold conditions, you should choose a regulator restricting freezing and freeflow. The good news is that the cold water regulators also work well for tropical climates.

Weight

If you are considering buying cold water regulators adequate for dive travel, we have good news. In the current day, there are plenty of models that weigh as little as 2.5 lbs. Generally, most travel regulators use carbon fiber and titanium to reduce overall weight.

However, these are not the ideal material to sustain cold waters. If you want a quality cold water regulator, look for a regulator which equips insulating and sturdy metals like nickel or brass.

Even if you choose a light-weight model, it should not feel flimsy. Durability and weight are very critical if you are venturing in a freezing climate.

Balanced or Unbalanced

In short, if you will use the regulator for cold water diving, better go for a balanced regulator. The difference between a balanced or an unbalanced regulator is the way they breathe.

The balanced regs will offer the same air amount per breath until the tank is empty. On the flip side, it is challenging to breathe from unbalanced regulators when your tank is low on air.

This flow change is an excellent reminder to check the pressure gauge and prevent air emergencies. However, for cold waters, a dramatic shift of flow is risky and impractical. It is also worth mentioning that balanced regs are better for deep diving.

Piston or Diaphragm

The main difference between piston and diaphragm is the method why which you consume the air. Gas from your tank passes into the regs first stage, where it may force a diaphragm or a piston to open and shut with each breath.

Piston first stages have a higher flow rate and allow easier breathing. The diaphragm offers a lower flow rate which disables freeflow. However, the divers might find the diaphragm first stage to be challenging to breathe.

Always opt for an environmentally-sealed diaphragm. The environmentally-sealed diaphragm does not freeze quickly.

Number of Ports

If you dive in cold or warm waters, you’ll need more ports on your regulator’s first stage. Most regulators include one high-pressure port for computers with wireless transmitters or pressure gauges.

Additionally, they’ll also have four low-pressure ports for dry suits, BCD inflator hoses, and second stages. However, if you are diving in cold waters, five ports will not be adequate. Many cold-water divers use several gauges for redundancy.

Also, for some climates, a drysuit is essential. It is not possible to add extra ports to your regs first stage. Therefore, choose a model with more ports.

 

Wrap Up

Diving in cold water or ice diving is a thrilling experience. However, if you wish to enjoy your cold diving time to the fullest, it’s better to get a cold water regulator. A cold water regulator can come in handy in various situations.

When you are picking a cold water regulator, make sure to consider your preferences as well. All of the cold water regulators on our list have pretty positive user reviews. We hope that this review and buyer’s guide helped you pick the perfect gear.

Best of luck with your cold diving experience!