View Full Version : Breathability

09-05-2007, 14:11
I haven't had a chance to try out any primary regs other than the Mares Rebel I used for OW class. Can anyone explain to me the difference between a top end and low end reg, as far as user interface is concerned? I get balanced vs. unbalanced and sealed vs. unsealed and other technical concepts. I'm talking about "breathing ease" which I often see in the ad copy for regs. I assume the issue is how hard it is to inhale and exhale at various depths, right? Is there really a big difference at the different price points? Using the Rebel as a baseline, where would that fall on the spectrum of easy or hard? It seemed to me like the Rebel was pretty comfortable on the inhale, but required a somewhat unnatural exertion on exhalation. Also, does easier breathing result in lower consumption rate?

One of these days I need to stop by and ask my new best friends Larry and Joe if I can test drive a few samples at both ends of the spectrum in their pool.

Thanks in advance.

09-05-2007, 14:36
after all is said and done, and you have an idea what kind of diving you will primarily will be doing, and pick what specs you need. than it comes down to how well the reg works for you., you really have to go and try the ones you are lookin at out in the water and most importantly the depths at which you will be diving. it may take some time and may need to go and chat with a few different divers, but it is worth it.

09-08-2007, 22:12

09-13-2007, 21:09
Yes, different regulators have different breathability characteristics. Where or if it is cost based is a question best answered by Larry or Joe, who probably have a chance to dive more regs at dfferent price points than most of us ever will.

That said, I can tell you there is a significant difference between my wife's $350 Sherwood Maximus and my $500 Aqualung Legend XL. The AL is noticable easier to breathe from at every depth that I tested them at.

Does that mean that I don't think the Sherwood Maximus is a good reg? No, of course not. It's a very good regulator and I trust the most precious thing in the world to it. The Legend is just easier to breathe off of.

ScubaToys Larry
09-13-2007, 21:16
There are so many other factors... Mainly on how the reg is set up. You can tune a reg to "crack" at very low inhalation pressures, but then it can run into some free flow problems... but with an adjustable reg, if it has a tendency to free flow a bit... you just adjust it down.

Then some regs, while they crack easy, don't feel as smooth throughout the entire inhale.

Trying to explain the difference in words of something you have to "feel" is very difficult... but since you are in town - do stop by and we can let you check a few things. You can even tell dry that there is a pretty big difference between some regs. And no problem hopping in the pool either!

09-14-2007, 02:11
One of these days I need to stop by and ask my new best friends Larry and Joe if I can test drive a few samples at both ends of the spectrum in their pool.

You will not see much difference in a pool. The differences will show up below 60 to 100 feet. At pool depth the air is not yet dense. Thereg has to "work harder" the deeper it gets. The people who can really tell the difference are tech divers. I know a few divers to do a bit of diving under 200 feet and they claim a huge difference. I cannotice the difference between my Apex and an Aqua lung Titan at only 60 feet but near the surface anything would work well.

09-14-2007, 02:32
High end regulators can usually be tuned to slightly lower cracking pressures than low end models - but not always. However, high end models should be more stable at these lower cracking pressures and smoother breathing as a result of better engineering and designs. They should have less of a tendency to freeflow (or leak) and should breath more consistantly under a variety of conditions. You should not be able to sense as much modulation as valves open an close duting inhalation and exhalation. The store and the pool are not the place to experience the differences unless it is really big. Look around for folks who will let you try their high end models at depth, even if it is just a share air drill.

09-14-2007, 02:53
I have noticed difference the few times I have tried a low end, even on dry land. Sticking with my OMS workhorse