Scubaverse Group Equipment Test: Regulators between £295 and £465

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The Scubaverse Group Test Team

The Scubaverse Group Gear Testing Team are a diverse bunch, with recreational divers, instructors & tech divers in the mix. The team tested these regulators over a 40min dive at Capernwray Diving Centre in Lancashire, UK with a max dive depth of 18m.

Group Test Team Members

  • Yo-Han Cha: Yo-Han is a PADI Divemaster Candidate and a BSAC Sports Diver. He has been diving for 13 years, is a committed club diver and dives throughout the year in the UK.
  • David Pilgrim: David is a PADI Master Instructor, a PADI Tech Deep Instructor, a TDI Advanced Trimix Diver, and has been diving for 20 years.
  • Tom Tyler: Tom is a PADI MSDT, a BSAC Instructor and has been diving for 12 years.
  • Andy Ciaramella: Andy is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, a BSAC Instructor, an AIDA Level 2 Freediver and has been diving for a very long time!
  • Alex Tasker: Alex is a PADI Rescue Diver, an SDI Solo Diver and an IANTD ART, and has been diving for 8 years.
  • Mich Gillian: Like Alex, Mich is also a PADI Rescue Diver, an SDI Solo Diver and an IANTD ART, and has been diving for 8 years.
  • Nick Barrett: Nick is an experienced recreational diver who has dived all over the world.

The Scubaverse Group Test Team met up to put seven mid-price range regulators through their paces. All retail between £295 and £465 for first and second stage, and all the regulators we tested were DIN versions, set-up straight from the box.

Zeagle Onyx II

Scubapro MK17 EVO/G260

The regulators included in this test were:

Aqua Lung Core Supreme: RRP £295

Zeagle Onyx II: RRP £365

Mares Abyss 52X: RRP £395

Beuchat VR200 Soft Touch

Cressi T10-SC Master: RRP £399

Scubapro MK17 EVO/G260: RRP £399

Apeks XTX50: RRP £453

Beuchat VR200 Soft Touch: RRP £465

Cressi T10-SC Master

What the makers say

Aqua Lung Core Supreme

A regulator that offers divers a mix of high-end technology at a pocket-friendly price. It features a balanced first and second stage for optimal performance underwater and Aqua Lung’s patented Auto Closure Device on the first stage to avoid water ingress. The Core Supreme is a cold water regulator that stands out from the rest.

Zeagle Onyx II

The sealed version of the Onyx. With the same attractive finish and outstanding performance as the Onyx regulator, the Onyx II fills the need for those that find themselves in cooler water.

Mares Abyss 52X

The king is dead, long live the king! This could be the motto for the rebirth of this iconic regulator. Looking closely, though, you’ll find that it’s about much more than mere image cultivation. At the heart of the new system is the completely redesigned first stage MR52T, which will raise the bar for regulators considerably.

Cressi T10-SC Master

This reg has been made for high-level scuba divers for performance, reliability and ease of maintenance. The T10SC 1st stage is environmentally sealed and balanced with a PVD coating so it will work in both warm and cold waters.

Scubapro MK17 EVO/G260

If you dive deep, dive cold, or often find yourself on silty bottoms, the MK17 EVO/G260 is the regulator for you. While you don’t need to dive less-than-pristine waters to appreciate this system, it’s a great choice for cold water or harsh conditions, which is why tech divers and cave explorers just love this reg.

Apeks XTX50

The XTX50 is for the discerning diver who wants the benefits of a feature-rich regulator at a moderate price. This popular regulator has four medium-pressure ports all mounted on a rotating turret, resulting in optimal hose routing while eliminating sharp bends in the hose.

Beuchat VR200 Soft Touch HF

A top of range regulator which combines advanced technology and cold resistance with elegance. It is entirely made in the Beuchat factory in France. And each Beuchat regulator is checked and adjusted individually on a specialised hyperbaric test bench.

Aqua Lung Core Supreme

The Review

European regulations mean that all regulators bought in the UK have to have a CE mark and so a basic minimum standard has to be reached to make it to market. These regulations are strict and so gone are the days when unsafe equipment might hit the market. Our team put each regulator to the test, looking at performance, looks and value for money. We put each one through a series of tests that included breathing whilst inverted, regulator recovery and purging, mouthpiece comfort, exhaust bubbles and hose length.

All these mid-range regulators were expected to perform well, regardless of position in the water. While we still had some hoses that seemed a bit short, as with the budget regulators we tested, many of these regulators included a lighter braided style hose, which pleased our test team. These were the Beuchat, Zeagle, Mares and Apeks models.

Here are the team’s results from each reg tested:

Aqua Lung Core Supreme

  • Mouthpiece has a skirt that takes getting used to, but should be great for cold water
  • Hose length good
  • Dry breathe when inverted
  • Bubbles – some in front but not many

Zeagle Onyx II

  • Mouthpiece very soft – maybe even a bit too soft
  • Hose length good
  • Dry breathe when inverted
  • Bubbles – quite a lot in field of vision

Mares Abyss 52X

  • Mouthpiece – really comfortable, weighty and substantial
  • Hose length good
  • Dry breathe when inverted
  • Bubbles – very few in field of vision

Cressi T10-SC Master

  • Mouthpiece fairly standard, but works fine
  • Hose length a bit short
  • Dry breathe when inverted
  • Bubbles – mostly to the side, with very few in field of vision

Scubapro MK17 EVO/G260

  • Mouthpiece seemed a bit small but was actually very comfortable
  • Hose length good
  • Dry breathe when inverted
  • Bubbles – very few in field of vision

Apeks XTX50

  • Mouthpiece size was good – maybe a little on hard the hard side, but good
  • Hose length a little short
  • Dry breathe when inverted
  • Bubbles – mostly to the side, with very few in field of vision

Beuchat VR200 Soft Touch

  • Mouthpiece seemed a bit rough round the edges, but was actually very comfortable
  • Hose length OK
  • Dry breathe when inverted
  • Bubbles – mostly to the side, with very few stray ones in field of vision

All of these regulators performed really well. You can certainly get some seriously good kit without breaking the bank for the more expensive models. But the ones singled out by our test team and given 5* in performance, looks and/or value for money were:

Apeks XTX50

Apeks XTX50

Excellent overall performance. No bubbles in view with this mask and a lovely breathe.– Yo-Han

 

Mares Abyss 52X

Mares Abyss 52X

Mouth piece really comfortable, hose routing really good; cool bolt snap possibilities for second stage. You can feel the build quality.– Alex

Final Thoughts

This price range offers a whole lot of regulator for your money. Whilst a few of our testers had some niggles, overall performance was good. These are some of the most popular regulators on the market and you can see why, with good solid performance and build quality without breaking the bank. Next up with be the high-end price range regulators. How will they perform? Find out on Scubaverse.com soon.

Team Scubaverse

Team Scubaverse

Team Scubaverse manages the Scubaverse website

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