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Most Popular Cold Water Regulators

With this particularly bad diving season coming an end and the cold soon to start setting its time to think about diving in the cold conditions. If you plan on diving in the UK during the winter months and you haven’t already got yourself a suitable regulator we have compiled a list of our most popular cold water regulators and also a great similar specification alternative.


Scubapro MK25 S600 Regulator

1. Scubapro MK25 S600

The MK25 S600 is a combination of a flagship balanced piston first stage and a high performance balanced second stage. With the exception of a few cosmetic tweaks here and there the MK25 S600 has been around for years which goes a fair way to proving that these are great regulators.The MK25 first stage is capable of delivering over 8500 litres per minute at a very stable rate and minimal intermediate pressure drop. Although the first stage isn’t environmentally sealed, like most other cold water regulators, the main spring and piston shaft are specially treated and protected to help prevent ice crystals forming that could lead to a freezing first stage. The S600 second stage is a perfect match for the MK25 with it’s high performance balanced valve, adjustable inhalation and venturi control.

The S600 was built using lightweight components and fitted with an orthodontic mouthpiece to help reduce jaw fatigue but Scubapro kept a full metal valve assembly to help dissipate the cold generated by the compressed air as it enters the second stage. The venturi and inhalation adjustment allows the diver to customise the breathe to their own personal preferences and needs.

Atomic M1 Regulator

2. Atomic Aquatics M1

Atomic believe in making the best diving equipment and the M1 regulator is no exception. Similar in specification to the Scubapro MK25 S600, the M1 uses a very high performing balanced piston first stage with the added protection of an environmental seal to keep water out from around the piston shaft and main spring.The second stage is fitted with with a hose swivel to improve the positioning on the mouth and prevent pulling of the second stage. A few further specification improvements can be found in the second stage including a specially designed front cover that prevents strong currents activating the diaphragm which could cause the valve to flutter, a low pressure seat saver that disengages the valve when the regulator is depressurised, heat sinks and auto venturi control.

Apeks XTX 50 DST Regulator

3. Apeks XTX 50 DST

Apeks will always feature high in a cold water popularity contest due to their utter reliability and bomb-proof construction. Even the most poorly treated Apek regulator will likely come back from a service performing like new.The DST first stage is a high performance balanced diaphragm first with a swivelling low pressure turret and an environmental seal for extra cold water protection. The XTX 50 second stage continues the cold water approach with a heat sink on the inlet to help raise the incoming air temperature to reduce the risk of ice forming due to extremely low component temperatures and moist exhaled air interacting. The balanced valve and barrel is made from metal to dissipate the heat through to the external hose heat sink. Inhalation adjustment and a very effective venturi lever gives the diver plenty of control over the regulator settings. The second stage exhaust cover is interchangable between a wider version to force the bubbles away from the face or a cut back version for a more streamlined profile (both are supplied)

Hollis 212 DC1 Regulator

4. Hollis 212 DC-1

The 212 DC-1 is the current flagship of the Hollis range and is an incredible light and responsive regulator. Like the Apeks DST the DC-1 first stage has a low pressure swivel turret and is environmentally sealed with the added bonus of a fifth direct flow port on top of the turret and the first stage uses an over balanced diaphragm design that increases the intermediate pressure the deeper you go to improve performance.The 212 second is very light and you’ll hardly know you have it in your mouth. The venturi and inhalation very effective and have a particularly nice clicking motion to them. The front cover gives the diaphragm effective protection from strong currents that may cause the valve to flutter otherwise. Hollis regulators are also covered by a lifetime warranty that includes free servicing parts, click here to find out more.  

Apeks XTX 40 DS4 Regulator

5. Apeks XTX 40 DS4

The XTX 40 DS4 is a scaled back version of the XTX 50 DST with the same basic components and reliability but without the swivelling low pressure turret and one less low pressure port on the first stage and the inhalation control on the second stage. The XTX 40 DS4 still provides a high, stable flow rate and easy breathe that you can expect from Apeks.

Oceanic GT3 CDX5 Regulator

6. Oceanic GT3 CDX5

The GT3 CDX5 is a similarly specified regulator with an environmentally sealed over balanced diaphragm first stage that delivers a steadily increasing intermediate pressure as the depth increases to improve performance. Although the Oceanic GT3 second stage does not have any venturi control it is fitted with inhalation adjustment to provide control and customisation.The GT3 is lighter than the XTX 40 so divers that suffer from jaw fatigue will want to check this out. Once the regulator has been registered and as long as it is serviced annually this Oceanic regulator is covered by a lifetime warranty, click here to find out more.

Apeks XTX 200 Regulator

7. Apeks XTX 200

The XTX 200 is the flagship of the Apeks range and uses the high performance FSR first stage which features an environmentally sealed balanced diaphragm design. The high and low pressure ports are orientated at pre-configured angles to provide optimal hose routing.The XTX 200 second stage is very similar to that of the XTX 50 with inlet heat sink, full metal valve and barrel construction, venturi control, inhalation adjustment and interchangeable exhaust covers but with some minor cosmetic enhancements.

Mares Abyss 22 Navy Regulator

8. Mares Abyss 22 Navy

The Mares Abyss 22 Navy has been specifically designed for the extreme cold. The MR22 first stage has been given an oil filled environmental seal kit to prevent water interacting with the main spring which could otherwise allow ice crystals to start to form. The unique cut away shape of the MR22 also helps to dissipate the cold generated by the first stage by increasing the overall surface area that is in contact with the surrounding water.The Abyss second stage also makes the best use of its full metal body to dissipate the cold. Mares haven’t fitted any form of controls to the Abyss, instead they use a design that allows a certain amount of the incoming gas to bypass the housing and flow directly to the mouthpiece which effectively creates a vortex of low pressure in the housing, drawing the diaphragm in and producing a low breathing resistance. The Abyss 22 Navy was designed to surpass the rigorous US Navy tests and did so spectacularly.

Scubapro MK17 C300 Regulator

9. Scubapro MK17 C300

The MK17 C300 fills up the middle of Scubapro’s regulator range but still provides a reliable environmentally sealed, balanced first stage with fixed position low and high pressure ports. Large heat sink fins on the balancing chamber help the first stage transfer the cold away into the surround water for extra low temperature protection.The C300 second stage is unbalanced but features a new style of valve mechanism that improves performance to a level similar to other balanced second stages. The new valve design also allows for inhalation adjustment which is normally only reserved for balanced designs. A venturi lever is also fitted for extra peace of mind. Its compact size and lightweight construction make it a popular choice for travelling divers as well.

Mares Abyss 22 Regulator

10. Mares Abyss 22

The Abyss 22 is the slightly less extreme version of the Navy but only loses the oil filled environmental kit and the black finish. The high surface area first stage and full metal housing second stage that provide great thermal transfer properties still remain to combat the cold.