Scuba diving is an exciting, life-changing experience that brings you, the diver, into the world of Loggerhead turtles, Clownfish, Black-Tipped Reef Sharks, Pillar Coral, and so much more. You can take in the wonders of an aquatic world that is only accessible to a few.
And every dive is worth all the hours, the money invested, and the risks you take to get down into the glorious depths of Poseidon’s kingdom.
Today, we’re looking into diving regulators, and how they can help you dive deeper, and safer than ever before. To help in that process, we’re looking at one particular high-end diving regulator, the Apeks Flight.
What is Scuba Diving?
Scuba diving is a type of underwater diving in which a diver uses a breathing apparatus. This breathing apparatus is independent of a surface supply of air, which means that the diver has independence of movement.
In scuba, divers carry their own air supply in scuba cylinders, or scuba tanks, which hold breathing gas under high pressure.
This breathing apparatus allows the diver to breathe under water for up to 60 minutes with an air reserve remaining in her tank. Having an air reserve is highly recommended by all safety standards, to avoid suffocation beneath the water.
The amount of time a diver may remain beneath the water will be determined by a number of factors, including tank volume, depth dived, and air consumption rate.
There are a variety of different scuba systems available, so it’s important to study up on which option might best suit your needs.
It’s also important to note that there’s at least a minimum level of fitness and health required for safely participating in scuba diving activities. Unfortunately, anyone with breathing difficulty, such as asthma or bronchitis, will likely be discouraged from scuba diving.
Necessary Equipment for Scuba Diving
Your scuba gear set up is vital for your successful advent into this awesome exploration of the oceans and lakes around the world. A critical list of scuba gear includes the following items.
The right fins are important for having the smoothest, most comfortable experience possible while diving. There are a number of styles with different lengths and flexibility levels of fins, which is why many divers believe it’s vital to own your own pair, rather than renting.
If you do choose to buy your own fins, try renting a few different pairs with varying lengths and stiffness to determine which options best suit your diving style.
Your diving mask is another key component to the right gear set up. These need to fit perfectly for the best comfort and safety. If you can only afford to purchase one piece of equipment, this is the one you need.
Snorkels are vital for safety when diving. They can help a rescue team or boat identify your location. Snorkels also enable exhausted, injured, or otherwise indisposed divers to breathe more easily because they prevent the divers from needing to lift their heads to breathe at the surface.
4. Buoyancy Compensator
Buoyancy compensators are necessary for stabilization when you dive. They are usually bulky and awkward, so a lot of divers rent them from companies, rather than purchase and haul their own.
5. Scuba Tanks
Another item you may wish to rent instead of purchase is the scuba tank. Generally speaking, tanks are included in the price of a dive. They’re bulky, sometimes hard to re-fill properly with breathing gas, and may be difficult to store. Since they’re generally included in dive costs anyway, most divers don’t both buying their own.
6. Wet Suit
Something that you’ll want to purchase for yourself is the wetsuit. You’ll want your own for the right fit, right warmth level, and sanitary reasons. Wetsuits keep the body warm enough to safely swim around in the oceans and rivers and lakes without being inflicted with hypothermia.
Finally, the regulator is an absolutely mandatory piece of equipment for scuba diving. These devices allow divers to breathe under water via partnership with many of the other pieces of equipment we’ve talked about already.
Regulators connect to the scuba tanks, and supply the breathing gas to divers as they go under water.
Divers can rent regulators from most dive shops, but this is one of those items that many divers highly recommend owning yourself for optimum quality and assurance.
What is a Regulator?
A regulator is a part of the scuba diving breathing apparatus equipment. This diving regulator is the part of the breathing system that pressurizes breathing gas and delivers it to the diver. This gas is what allows the diver to breath under water, and is stores in the scuba tank that’s carried by the diver.
The regulator is the part of the breathing system that has a mouthpiece.
There are two stages of a regulator, which are simply referred to as first stage and second stage.
The performance of a diving regulator is measured by the capacity of the regulator to deliver breathing gas at peak inspiratory flow rate, the cracking pressure, and the work of breathing.
Diving Regulator Care
There are a bunch of things you can do to take care of your diving regulator to help make sure it functions safely while you’re diving, as well as lasts for a number of years between dives.
For your gear to keep you safe and last many years, it’s important to take proper care of each item. Because we’re looking at diving regulators in particular, we pulled together these tips for both predive and postdive care.
1. Connect Your Scuba Tank to the Regulator
As you prepare for your dive, you should connect your regulator to the tank. Take a couple of breaths from the regulator, and check your submersible pressure gauge. Make sure everything is in order before you proceed.
2. Give a Visual Inspection
Next, you need to look over your hoses and mouthpiece, and make sure that there are no cracks, tears, holes, or other damage in either of these.
3. Slide Your Hose Protectors
Next, if you use them, you should slide the hose protectors away from the first stage so that you can check beneath. Look for corrosion or any other damage on the first stage.
4. Disconnect from Your Scuba Tank
Now disconnect your regulator and replace the dust cover. Inhale forcefully on every regulator being used on your dive, and hold a vacuum to fully test their condition. There should be a tiny trickle or air, or none at all leaking out. If more than a tiny amount of air comes out, your gear needs some help and is unsafe to use.
5. Check the Second Stage
Finally, check the second stage for any housing cracks or damage.
1. Rinse the Regulator
Rinse your regulator with clean, clear water. Be sure the purge valves in the second stage don’t get depressed in the process. Then, remove the dust cover on the first stage.
2. Dunk the Octopus
Now, you’ll dunk the whole thing and rinse out the second stages with running warm water. Run this water through mouthpiece and exhaust diaphragm.
3. Rinse the Fitting
Finally, rinse the fitting that connects to your low-pressure inflator. Slip the coupling back and forth a few times as you hold it under warm running water.
How to Choose a Diving Regulator
Of course, before you will be ready to decide whether or not the Apeks Flight diving regular we’re looking at is right for you or not, you’ll want some tips on how to best choose the right regulator for your personal diving needs.
1. Balanced Versus Overbalanced Versus Unbalanced Regulators
To know which regulator is suited to your needs, you’ll want to know what these terms mean, and how they affect the use of the diving regulator.
A balance regulator uses more parts in the first stage of the regulator than other types of regulators. These parts help ensure that the regulator delivers the same amount of air at all depths and pressures. That means the performance of balanced regulators is consistent throughout the dive.
An unbalanced regulator has fewer parts in the first stage. That means this type of regulator sacrifices a bot in the performance area at lower tank pressures and greater depths. This kind of regulator is really only good for basic diving.
An overbalanced regulator incorporates technology that makes breathing get easier as you go deeper. This type of regulator is going to be your top-end models generally speaking.
2. Diaphragm Versus Piston Regulators
Diaphragms or pistons are used to lower pressure from the scuba tank. They both perform about the same, and work perfectly fine for pretty much everyone.
Piston regulators are the simple, basic models that have a slight performance edge over the others at greater depths. Overbalanced regulators cannot use pistons.
Diaphragm regulators are more resistant to water with silt and other particles, and colder temperatures.
Generally speaking, most people do not choose the type of regulator based on this particular aspect of the regulators.
3. DIN Versus Yoke or A-Clamp Regulators
Two types of fittings exist for attaching your regulator to your scuba tank.
DIN stands for Deutsches Institut fur Normung. This type of regulator fitting screws directly into the scuba tank. This is the more common model used in Europe.
Yoke regulator fittings screw over the tank instead. This type of fitting completely encircles the tank, and is attached with the yoke screw to keep it in place.
Both types of attachment fittings are commonly used and reliable. This particular aspect is more of a preference than quality choice.
High Pressure and Low Pressure Ports on Regulators
Another key component that determines the quality of a diving regulator is the number of pressure ports. These ports connect with parts of your regulator, like an octopus, inflator hose, dive computer, pressure gauge, or other extras.
Low Pressure Ports
Low pressure ports are used to connect low pressure items like your buoyancy compensator inflator and your alternate breathing source.
High Pressure Ports
The high pressure port connects high pressure things like your dive computer, or analog pressure gauge.
If you want some extras, you’ll need to choose a regulator with a number of high pressure ports for connecting those extras on.
At some point, you may choose to dive nitrox, so if you’re going to invest in a regulator, you may wish to choose one that is nitrox compatible for your future endeavors.
Apeks Flight Diving Regulator Review
The Apeks Flight regulator is ranked as one of the top ten diving regulators of 2018 by The Adventure Junkies. The Apeks Flight diving regulator has also received excellent ratings from Scubadiving.com, as well as a number of other scuba diving related sites.
The Apeks Flight diving regulator is a yoke regulator.
Our Verdict: If You’re Ready to Invest, the Apeks Flight Diving Regulator is a Top-Quality Choice
Of the various diving regulators we’ve looked at, the Apeks Flight is one of the absolute best options on the market today. The price is pretty steep, but if you’re committed to scuba diving, we think the price is well worth it for this regulator.
The super lightweight, sturdy structure, ease of breathing, and features to diminish jaw fatigue make this an excellent, high-end diving regulator.