No matter what climate you plan to take the plunge in, your regulator is, without a doubt, the most important piece of equipment you’ll dive with. It serves as your lifeline, safely delivering air on demand throughout every immersion. So, you’ll want to shop smart. In this article, we’ll guide you through our top picks for the best warm water regulators on the market, best suited to water temperatures 75ºF and up. Plus, we’ll break down all the essential features and considerations to look for while shopping.

For more of our top scuba gear recommendations, check out the Best Scuba Regulators

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Quick Answer - The Best Warm Water Regulators

  1. Zeagle Onyx II
  2. Aqua Lung Calypso
  3. Scubapro MK21/S560
  4. Apeks XTX50
  5. Atomic B2 Swivel

Comparison Table - The Best Regulators for Warm Water

PictureNameWeightFirst Stage TypePortsPriceRating
Zeagle Onyx II2.6 lbsBalanced Diaphragm5 Low Pressure, 2 High Pressure$$4.8
Aqua Lung Calypso2.5 lbsUnbalanced Piston4 Low Pressure, 1 High Pressure$4.4
Scubapro MK21/S5602.1 lbsBalanced Piston4 Low Pressure, 2 High Pressure$$4.7
Apeks XTX502.7 lbsBalanced Diaphragm4 Low Pressure, 2 High Pressure$$4.7
Atomic B2 Swivel2.5 lbsBalanced Piston5 Low Pressure, 2 High Pressure$$$4.8
PictureNameWeightFirst Stage TypePortsPriceRating

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Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - Best Warm Water Regulators

Zeagle Onyx II

Specs
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs
  • Ports: 5 Low Pressure, 2 High Pressure
  • First Stage Type: Balanced Diaphragm
Features
  • Adjustable Flow (allows you to control how much air you receive in each breath)
  • Pre-Dive Switch (reduces flow to conserve air on the surface)
  • Turreted First Stage (more versatile than a traditional valve)
  • Wireless Air Integration (an extra port for Bluetooth transmitters)

BEST FOR: VERSATILITY

If you’re shopping for a moderately priced regulator packed with features, look no further. The Zeagle Onyx II has it all. This regulator boasts a balanced and environmentally sealed first stage; so it’s safe to use in cold water as well as warm, chlorinated pools, and unclean or contaminated conditions. The first stage’s swiveling turret comes with enough ports to accommodate a wireless dive computer and a dry suit.

Aqua Lung Calypso

Specs
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Ports: 4 Low Pressure, 1 High Pressure
  • First Stage Type: Unbalanced Piston
Features
  • Travel Weight (2.5 lbs or less)
  • Adjustable Flow (allows you to control how much air you receive in each breath)
  • Pre-Dive Switch (reduces flow to conserve air on the surface)

BEST FOR: BEGINNERS

Are you new to diving? The Aqua Lung Calypso is a budget-priced regulator, perfect for beginners. This model has been on the market for years and remains a top pick for rental equipment thanks to its sturdy and reliable construction. Its piston first stage is simple and affordable to maintain, and its unbalanced design makes it easy to tell when your tank is running low. This model is lighter than most similar designs too, so it’ll make an excellent addition to your travel bag.

Scubapro MK21/S560

Specs
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Ports: 4 Low Pressure, 2 High Pressure
  • First Stage Type: Balanced Piston
Features
  • Travel Weight (2.5 lbs or less)
  • Turreted First Stage
  • Wireless Air Integration (an extra port for Bluetooth transmitters)

BEST FOR: OVERALL VALUE

The ScubaPro MK21/S560 is a compact version of the classic MK25, one of the best selling regulators of all time. This model’s balanced piston first stage breathes easily regardless of depth or air pressure, and it’s one of the easiest on the market to service. Features like a turreted first stage and ports for a dry suit and air integration make the MK21/S560 a top pick for divers undergoing advanced training. This regulator features ultra lightweight construction and is rated for cold water as well as warm. So, it’s perfect for dive travel, no matter where in the world you’re planning to explore.

Apeks XTX50

Specs
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs
  • Ports: 4 Low Pressure, 2 High Pressure
  • First Stage Type: Balanced Diaphragm
Features
  • Turreted First Stage (more versatile than a traditional valve)
  • Adjustable Exhaust System
  • Wireless Air Integration (an extra port for Bluetooth transmitters)

BEST FOR: ADVANCED APPLICATIONS

Have you ever tried technical diving? The Apeks XTX50 is a mid-range model built strong enough to use below the recreational diving limit (130 feet) and in both warm and cold climates. Its turreted first stage and optional extra ports are perfect for sidemount and double (two back mounted tanks) setups. This is especially important for divers exploring overhead environments like caves and shipwrecks. While this is hardly the most lightweight regulator around, its bulletproof construction and near perfect performance makeup for a little extra weight in your gear bag.

Atomic B2 Swivel

Specs
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Ports: 5 Low Pressure, 2 High Pressure
  • First Stage Type: Balanced Piston
Features
  • Travel Weight (2.5 lbs or less)
  • Swiveling Joints
  • Turreted First Stage (more versatile than a traditional valve)

BEST FOR: DIVE TRAVEL

If you’re planning on warm water dive travel, the Atomic Aquatics B2 is one of the best models on the market. Its turreted first stage and swiveling joints are super ergonomic and make routing your hoses a breeze, no matter what equipment configuration you’re using to dive. The B2 is as lightweight as competing designs explicitly designed for travel. And, this is one of the only regulators around that can go 2 years or 300 dives before its first service. Though it costs more than similar designs, this regulator is worth every penny.

 

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THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A WARM WATER REGULATOR

These days, the internet is full of prebuilt regulator sets offered for sale. Promising low prices and the simplicity of one-stop shopping, these packages often look like good deals. But, you’ll be happier with your purchase if you individually select your regulator’s components. Buy your first and second stages together, and add on the right pressure gauge and octopus (backup regulator) to create your perfect setup.

 

DIN OR YOKE VALVE

Most regulators are available for sale with either a DIN or Yoke valve first stage.

Regulators with a DIN valve screw directly onto the tank, forming a more stable and secure seal than a yoke valve. That’s why tech, wreck, and cave divers often prefer diving with DIN. This type of valve performs better in cold conditions, too.

Yoke valves attach to the tank using a rubber O-ring. While less stable than the DIN valve, this style is a top pick for recreational divers in warm water. This valve type is easier to set up and break down, and far less fragile than DIN. Yoke valves are more commonly found in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

 

BALANCED OR UNBALANCED

The primary difference between balanced and unbalanced regulators is how they “breathe” when your tank is low. A balanced regulator will deliver the same amount of air per breath up until the point that your tank is empty. An unbalanced regulator becomes more difficult to breathe from as tank pressure drops. This noticeable change in flow can serve as a good reminder to check your pressure gauge and can prevent out of air emergencies underwater. But, balanced regulators perform better in cold conditions and during deep dives.

 

PISTON OR DIAPHRAGM

Piston and diaphragm regulators work the same way. The only real difference between the two is the mechanism by which your air is delivered. Gas from your tank passes into the regulator’s first stage, where it forces a piston or diaphragm open and closed with every breath you take. If you’re diving in warm water, you won’t notice much of a difference in performance between the two. But, each type has pros and cons.

Piston first stages offer a higher flow rate and are generally considered “easier breathing” than their counterparts. Because they have less moving parts, they are easier and more affordable to service.

Diaphragm first stages are less likely to freeflow because they offer air at a lower flow rate. These regulators are often environmentally sealed (in an airtight, insulated exterior) which makes them good for cold water diving as they are less likely to freeze over.

 

WEIGHT

As technology advances, scuba diving regulators continue to become more and more lightweight. And, if your plans include dive travel, you might want to take advantage of this trend. Regulators that weigh under 2.5 lbs are considered travel weight. Most travel regulators use materials like titanium and carbon fiber, making them far lighter than their brass, bronze, and aluminum counterparts.

You should never compromise quality to find a lighter regulator. Even the most lightweight options should feel strong and sturdy, with no flimsy plastic parts.

 

NUMBER OF PORTS

When it comes to ports (your regulator’s attachment points for hoses) you can never have too many.

Many standard models include 4 low pressure ports (for second stages, BCD inflator hoses, and dry suits) and 1 high pressure port (for pressure gauges and computers with wireless transmitters). This basic setup is enough for an entry-level diver. But, you may want to use more attachment points in the future. Because extra ports cannot be added to your regulator’s first stage, your best bet is to buy a model with more ports than you need.

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

ADJUSTABLE FLOW

Sometimes, you just need more air. Adjustable flow regulators allow you to increase and decrease your regulator’s airflow. This feature can help fight fatigue and will leave you breathing easy in difficult diving conditions. It also allows you to conserve air when you aren’t working as hard underwater.

PRE-DIVE SWITCH

Your second stage is prone to freeflow on the surface, which can waste a lot of air. A pre-dive switch allows you to reduce your regulator’s flow to prevent this issue while entering the water or waiting to begin your descent.

SWIVELING JOINTS

Some regulators use a swiveling joint to attach the second stage to its hose. The rotating ball in this type of connection gives your head and neck a greater range of motion underwater. It also reduces jaw fatigue by keeping the regulator from tugging while in your mouth.

TURRETED FIRST STAGE

Some regulators use a turreted (vertical tower shaped) connection point instead of a traditional horizontal valve. Many divers find this setup more comfortable, and ergonomic for routing their hoses. This is especially true if you are diving with a dry suit. Turreted regulators are also a better bet for anyone interested in technical or sidemount training.

ADJUSTABLE EXHAUST SYSTEM

An adjustable exhaust system allows you to control the stream of bubbles that you exhale underwater. This feature is especially important for underwater photographers. Reducing the disturbance in the water around you can decrease backscatter and turbidity in your photos.

WIRELESS AIR INTEGRATION

If you want to dive with a wireless air integrated dive computer, you’ll need a regulator with 2 high-pressure ports. This type of computer uses a Bluetooth transmitter attached to your regulator’s first stage. The transmitter reads tank pressure just like a traditional gauge. Then, it relays this information to a wrist-mounted display.

 

 

READ MORE

For more of our top scuba diving gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: 

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Watch Style Dive Computers | Scuba BCDs

Cold Water Regulators | Regulators for Travel

Dive Masks for Large Faces

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