View Full Version : Gear suggestions

05-27-2008, 23:14
So my wife and I are starting to shop for our own gear ... after reading / searching around on the forum (thanks to everyone for providing such helpful knowledge!) we thought we had a pretty good idea of what to go for. I asked a co-worker that dives for some advice today and he suggested this setup based on ScubaToys store ...

Mares MR12 Abyss
Mares Brigade Viper Octo
Aeris XR1 Console

I don't see a whole lot of feedback on the regulator / octopus setup so I was just wondering what everyone's take on this setup is? His reasoning was that the Abyss and Viper Octo would not need to be upgraded anytime soon and based on our goals not including nitrox anytime soon we could save some money but still get a quality computer.

Our goals are to do AOW soon and then do the Rescue Cert this year. Our diving locales are Arizona, Mexico, etc ... with Hawaii in the near future.

Thanks for any and all advice yet again!

05-27-2008, 23:42
Lots of people are going to tell you this... don't buy gear before taking the class. Try out various regs, BCs, etc, to find out what you like. Then, worry about what to buy.

ST has packages that sell everything together, that may be an option. For now, worry about getting a mask, fins, etc.

05-28-2008, 00:01
Lots of people are going to tell you this... don't buy gear before taking the class. Try out various regs, BCs, etc, to find out what you like. Then, worry about what to buy.

Sorry - to clarify ... we are certified open water. Did our confined with one set of equipment, then open water with another. Did a couple other dives later with two different sets of equipment. None of it was Mares though so I am unfamiliar with their stuff.

05-28-2008, 02:37
If you are going to get a computer get one that is nitrox compatible. Or at least hold off until after your AOW. Once you go deep a couple of times you may rethink nitrox. It's really is not voodoo science or anything. Otherwise It is more than likely that you will be replacing that comp soon. Or just get analogue gauges and use them for a while for the price they can't be beat and if you learn how to use them with your tables and you are diving singles, you don't really need the air comp.

For what its worth I still dive gauges and though I am saving up for a comp now I will still likely continue to keep mine on the octo.

05-29-2008, 09:27
Anyone else have any input?

05-29-2008, 09:58
Anyone else have any input?

IMO - at least step up to a nitrox computer - you never know when you might get nitrox certified, but at least you will not have to upgrade your computer if you do

no opinion on the reg set - never used mares regs

we purchased oceanic GT3's about a month ago and are getting them wet for the first time this weekend during our nitrox course

05-29-2008, 13:13
I'd have to agree with if you are going for a computer make it a Nitrox ready computer.

05-29-2008, 13:15
Agreed about the computer. I don't know anything about those regs, so won't comment. A few questions might help, though:

(1) Where do you plan to dive in the future (other than that nice trip to HI)? Just warm water, or also cold?
(2) How often to you plan to dive?
(3) What kinds of dives are you doing now, what kinds of dives do you see yourself doing in the future?

05-29-2008, 13:28
I have the MR2 reg and it's pretty similar to the MR12. I love mine. I also have the brigade octo. The pro is that it is never upside down. If you have to offer it to your buddy, you don't have to flip it around. The con is that mine tends to leak a very small stream of bubbles. I've read different posts on how to fix that, just haven't tried it yet. PM me if you have more questions on that. As for the computer...I don't own one yet, so I can't comment much. But as far as the reg set goes...for an plain ol' diver...it should work great! Good luck with your selections and let us know what you decide!

05-29-2008, 13:29
Most of the gear I had 4 years ago I bought as product that was upper middle of the road....I still have it all and much of it is still in service in one form or the other today. My point is buy quality...does not have to be the most expensive or have the big time names.....work with other local divers and an LDS to help you. Good luck and have fun!

05-29-2008, 13:32
To add to what Tex said, also make sure to do your research ahead of time, and try to get a sense of where your diving will progress, and buy with that in mind. Of my original gear, the only things I still use are my original regs.

05-29-2008, 14:53
I remember purchasing my first set of gear a few months before I took the AOW class. At the time, I had determined that I really liked to dive...and getting more gear would enable me to do just that. My girlfriend and I researched several brands and models. We eventually purchased 2 identical reg setups. There are a lot of opinions out there, and the marketing can make things pretty confusing. It's useful to look at what features are most important to you...and see what matches up with your budget. For me, the most important questions to ask were:
- Is the first stage environmentally sealed? (good for cold water diving and easy maintenance)
- Can the reg be serviced at your LDS? (simplifies minor tuning issues and annual servicing)
- How much will annual servicing cost, including "overhaul" parts + labor? (some manufacturers provide free parts for life so long as the reg is serviced at regular intervals, e.g., annually; labor is usually $50 - $70)
- How does it breathe...especially at depth? (borrow from buddy or rent the gear to investigate this)

From talking to fellow dive buddies and perusing online SCUBA-related discussions, I learned that some 2nd stages have more built-in user-adjustable features. Some have Venturi switches (+ or -), while others may have a "cracking pressure" knob that you can use to tune/detune the reg on the spot. The regs without the adjustable knobs/switches will perform perfectly fine as long as they are tuned properly to begin with.

In the end, I learned a great deal from talking to local divers about their gear. Most divers will be pretty honest about what they like and don't like about their gear.

Here's a tip to put in your memory banks: Make sure that you do a couple of test dives after getting your regs serviced. There are several o-rings that are replaced during the overhaul...and incorrect installation can lead to annoying leaks. I almost didn't get to dive during an overnight dive charter because of a malfunctioning, recently-serviced reg.

Personally, I would have a really difficult time buying a reg online that I've never tried out...but that's just me. :-)

I wholeheartedly agree with the comments regarding the dive computer. Get one that is nitrox-capable. I haven't used nitrox much in local diving, but it can come in handy on vacations. When I took my first trip to Bonaire, I was very happy with my decision -- free nitrox was included with the dive package. :-)

Have fun and dive safe.

05-29-2008, 15:06
I use an Abyss MR22 and have for 8 years, love it. I also agree with others about the nitrox compatible computer although as long as you know your depth limits you can dive nitrox set to air but you don't benefit from the increased bottom time.