Scuba equipment is an expensive investment, so each item of gear should be carefully and thoroughly researched prior to purchase. That raises the question of what the best sources for dive gear reviews and other information are. Plenty of data regarding scuba gear is available on the internet, but not all of those sources are complete or reliable.
Scuba Diving magazine make the biggest investment in scuba equipment reviews. Reviews of dive gear are a standard feature of each and every issue, with equipment reviews serving as the big feature in one issue annually. These reviews are often expansive, and reviews of many gear articles such as regulators and dive computers contain the results of extensive testing in the field and in the magazine’s Scuba Lab. Overall, these reviews are excellent.
However, there are two issues with Scuba Diving’s dive gear review choices. First, the magazine has a substantial bias towards reviewing expensive gear. One is hard-pressed to find a review of a regulator priced below $250. The other issue is that the magazine does not clearly state how it selects the dive gear to be reviewed.
Other magazines, such as Dive and Sport Diver, also have scuba equipment reviews. However, these are not as detailed as those of Scuba Diving magazine, and often consist of a few comments. Dive, however, does offer consumer reviews on their website.
Consumer reviews are suspect because the author could be anyone. A particular dive gear review might be rewritten by the owner of a dive shop in Aruba, a man who owns dozens of sets of scuba gear and has 10,000 dives under his belt. It might also be written by a guy fresh out of Open Water training with only six or seven logged dives. While useful, consumer reviews should never be relied upon as the sole source of information for evaluating scuba equipment.
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