ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST SMBS FOR SCUBA DIVINGCOMPARISON TABLE – BEST SMBS FOR SCUBA DIVINGDIVE SMBs REVIEWSZEAGLE DELUXE SIGNAL TUBEOMS SAFETY SET IIIDIVE ALERT DELUXE SURFACE MARKERXS SURFACE MARKER BUOYXS SCUBA SAFETY TUBEAQUA SAFETY SAUSAGE MARINE RESCUE TUBECARTER PERSONAL FLOATHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST SMBS FOR SCUBA DIVINGSEA CONDITIONSREFLECTIVE STRIPAIR DUMP VALVEDIMENSIONSLINE/REEL ATTACHMENTBUDGETTOP ATTACHMENT A surface marker buoy, or SMB, is an important safety accessory for every dive. It’s basically a buoy with a line that indicates your location to your dive boat or other boats that may be in the area. Choosing the best SMB for scuba diving will give you confidence to ascend without fear of dive boats passing overhead or become separated from your boat skipper. SMBs can also be used as a visual reference when ascending, which can be especially important during safety stops in a strong current when you may drift further away from the boat. In some destinations, like Colombia’s Malpelo Island, using an SMB is compulsory, while in others it’s still said to be a crucial accessory for divers so they don’t get separated or lost, or have boats pass over you during your ascent to the surface. One of our big goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to choosing scuba diving gear. In this article, we’ll walk you through what to consider when choosing a SMB and show you our selection of the best models of the year. For more of our top scuba gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: BCDs | Regulators | Gauges | Masks | Fins | Dry Snorkels Wetsuits | Boots | Gloves | Drysuits Travel Bags | SMBs | Knives | Lights | Compasses Rebreathers | DPVs | Tanks | Watches | Computers Cameras | Housings | Lenses | Strobes LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR AFELLOW DIVER?Check out our gift guide that includes 100 ideas to surprise your diving friends.From big ticket presents to stocking stuffers, there is something for everyone. VIEW NOW QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST SMBS FOR SCUBA DIVING 1. ZEAGLE DELUXE SIGNAL TUBE VIEW AT AMAZON 2. OMS SAFETY SET III VIEW AT AMAZON 3. DIVE ALERT DELUXE VIEW AT AMAZON 4. XS SURFACE MARKER BUOY VIEW AT AMAZON 5. XS SCUBA SAFETY TUBE VIEW AT AMAZON 6. AQUA SAFETY SAUSAGE MARINE VIEW AT AMAZON 7. CARTER PERSONAL FLOAT VIEW AT AMAZON COMPARISON TABLE – BEST SMBS FOR SCUBA DIVING PICTURESURFACE MARKER BUOYAIR DUMP VALVELENGTHREFLECTORPRICERATING PICTURESURFACE MARKER BUOYAIR DUMP VALVELENGTHREFLECTORPRICERATING Zeagle Deluxe Signal TubeYes5 ft.No$$$4.9 OMS Safety Set IIINo6 ft.No$$4.7 Dive Alert Deluxe Surface Marker Yes5.4 ft.Yes$$4.5 XS Scuba Surface Marker BuoyYes7 ft.Yes$$4.3 XS Scuba Safety Tube No6 ft.No$4.2 Aqua Safety Sausage Marine Rescue Tube SignalNo6.5 ft.No$4.0 Carter Personal FloatYes6 - 10ft.No$$$$4.5 DIVE TRAVELPACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free dive gear packing list to prepare for your next adventure.Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time underwater!UNLOCK THIS LIST* You will get weekly emails with practical diving advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. You can always opt out of these emails. DIVE SMBs REVIEWS ZEAGLE DELUXE SIGNAL TUBE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: Daytime diving, all levels SIZE: 7″ X 60″ LINE/REEL: Can choose 65′ or 115′. Comes with thumb reel. SIGNAGE: Neon yellow one side, neon orange the other PROS: Compact and easy to deploy, air dump valve CONS: No reflective strip. Requires separate ties for non-Zeagle BCDs OMS SAFETY SET III Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: Rough seas SIZE: 6’ LINE/REEL: Comes with plastic finger spool and 100’ line SIGNAGE: Red and yellow PROS: Comes with own storage bag. Height, closed bottom and power/oral inflator makes it better suited for rough seas CONS: No reflective strip DIVE ALERT DELUXE SURFACE MARKER Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: Advanced divers, night diving SIZE: 65” x 8” LINE/REEL: None attached SIGNAGE: Bright yellow and orange with reflective strips at the top, handle at top to attach light PROS: Easy to use, solid construction, over-pressure valve CONS: Large and a bit bulky, reel and line need to be purchased separately XS SURFACE MARKER BUOY Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: All divers including technical, cold water and recreational SIZE: 7’ + 22” circumference when inflates LINE/REEL: None attached SIGNAGE: Yellow or orange, vertical reflective strip at top, light attachment PROS: Tall, includes reflective strip, over-pressure and manual dump valve CONS: The size makes it bulky to carry while diving XS SCUBA SAFETY TUBE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: New divers SIZE: 6’ x 9” circumference LINE/REEL: None attached SIGNAGE: Bright orange PROS: Tall, easy to be seen, lightweight CONS: No reflective strip, not as durable as other SMBs, oral inflation only AQUA SAFETY SAUSAGE MARINE RESCUE TUBE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: New divers, calm, tropical waters SIZE: 6’5 LINE/REEL: None attached SIGNAGE: Bright orange PROS: Tall, easy to inflate with 2nd stage, lightweight, ideal to signal location at the surface. Extremely affordable. CONS: No reflective strip, not ideal in rough seas, thin material. CARTER PERSONAL FLOAT Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro BEST FOR: Advanced divers, night diving SIZE: Choose from a range between 72″ and 120″ LINE/REEL: Not included SIGNAGE: Neon yellow, removable 12″ dive dive flag on top PROS: Extremely visible from surface, large lift capacity CONS: No reflective strip, does not include a bag for carrying PLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST LIVEABOARD TRIPPLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST LIVEABOARD TRIPEnter your name and email to get instant access to the Quick Starter Guide to Liveaboard Diving, which has been used by hundreds of people to plan and prepare for their diving adventures! Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your scuba safari!UNLOCK THIS GUIDE* You will get weekly emails with practical diving advice that complement the information contained in the guide. You can always opt out of these emails.LET US HELP YOUGET YOUR SCUBA FIXFor more email-based advice and inspiration, select additional areas of interest below. GET STARTED DIVINGLIVEABOARD DIVINGDIVE TRAVEL DEALSDIVE DESTINATIONSGEAR UP FOR SCUBA UPDATE PROFILE SKIP FOR NOW HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST SMBS FOR SCUBA DIVING SEA CONDITIONS Knowing what sea conditions you plan to dive in will help determine what size SMB you should be looking for. In calm conditions, smaller SMBs are perfectly adequate however in choppy or rough seas, you’ll need a bigger and longer tube in order to be clearly seen from a distance. REFLECTIVE STRIP All SMBs are brightly colored usually in orange or yellow to attract attention. Some have a reflective strip on them to increase visibility. If you’re doing lots of night dives then it’s best to choose an SMB which has at least one reflective strip either at the top or down the sides of the tube. AIR DUMP VALVE Mastering the inflation of an SMB takes care and practice. Over-inflation can send the buoy promptly up to the surface. This brings two risks – forcing the diver to ascend too quickly if they are holding onto the buoy, or it could rupture. An air dump valve will release air if it is over-inflated, reducing this risk of accelerated ascent and any possible rupture. DIMENSIONS Another thing to consider is the size of your SMB, not only the length when inflated but also when packed away. You need to be able to carry it with you on your dive, such as tucked into a pocket of your BCD or attached somewhere that won’t get in the way during your dive. Either way, you need to have it on you for the duration of your dive. If you are a newer diver, you won’t want anything too bulky or heavy which might affect your buoyancy or get in the way of you being streamlined. LINE/REEL ATTACHMENT Some SMBs have a line and reel attached so you can deploy it at depth and follow it to the surface. You don’t want to send up a safety tube in a strong current, for the dive boat to arrive at the scene and find that you have drifted miles away! Some SMBs come with a spool or reel attached while others you may have to purchase separately. BUDGET The most basic safety marker buoys cost a little more than a couple of coffees while the top-of-the-line SMBs can be well over $100. Consider your budget along with your dive experience. The top options may be more suited for a Divemaster or Dive Instructor and those who are comfortable inflating SMBs at depth as they may be heavier and bulkier to carry. The good thing is there’s a range of options to suit all levels of diving and all budgets – so there’s no excuse not to have this safety accessory in your dive kit. TOP ATTACHMENT This is another important feature if you do lots of night diving. A d-attachment is a hook at the top of the SMB which allows you attached a dive light or strobe to the top of the tube. If your SMB doesn’t have any reflective strips on it then you will need to have this feature in order to attach a light to it to signal your dive boat skipper in the dark. SCUBA DIVING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSSCUBA DIVINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BASICS 5. SCUBA EQUIPMENT 2. DIVING COURSES 6. UW PHOTOGRAPHY 3. SPECIALTY DIVING 7. LIVEABOARD DIVING 4. DIVE SAFETY 8. DIVING DESTINATIONS 1. BASICS 2. DIVING COURSES 3. SPECIALTY DIVING 4. DIVE SAFETY 5. SCUBA EQUIPMENT 6. UW PHOTOGRAPHY 7. LIVEABOARD DIVING 8. DIVING DESTINATIONS Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.