With so many dive computers on offer it can be difficult to choose the best one, and with new scuba products releasing all the time we know it’s hard to keep up. We’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up the best dive computers for 2021, from the beginner friendly Shearwater Peregrine to the feature-packed Garmin Descent MK2.
Many of the products included in this post are new releases, updated editions of older dive computers, or soon-to-be-released new dive computers for 2021. If you’re looking for more options for beginner divers or budget dive computers, be sure to check out our list of the best dive computers based on votes from within the GTS Facebook group.
Looking for the all time best dive computers? We've included our latest poll (March 2021) at the end of this article, from our 51,000 strong female dive group. The results are super interesting!
Best Dive Computer for Scuba and Freediving - Suunto D5
We selected the Suunto D5 as our best pick for scuba and freediving the last time we rounded up the best dive computers, and we’re standing by that decision! We’ve bought it back in this 2021 update to share the release of the gorgeous Copper version of the Suunto D5, following on from the popularity of the D4i Novo in Copper.
It’s not all about the snazzy colour, though. This powerful computer is bright and easy to read in all conditions, with an intuitive colour display showing your most important information at a glance. The bright, clear screen is what makes this our favourite pick for freediving, alongside the ability to illustrate your dive profiles for freediving with a high sampling rate to ensure accuracy.
The D5 can be paired with up to three Suunto Tank Pods for air integration, allowing you to see the cylinder pressure for yourself and your buddy, students or group. Weighing in at 90g, the D5 is lighter than many similar watch-style dive computers making it a fantastic travel companion. The battery life also makes it a great option for travelling divers, offering easy charging via USB cable and up to 12 hours battery in dive mode (or 6 full days in time mode). The D5 can store 200 hours of data or 400 dives (whichever comes first) in the internal log, and can be connected to Suunto’s app for easy dive logging.
Best “Future Proof” Dive Computer - Shearwater Peregrine.
If there’s one dive computer everyone’s talking about in our Facebook community at the moment, it’s the new Shearwater Peregrine. Shearwater computers are widely considered the gold standard for technical diving, but with the launch of the Peregrine they’ve now broken into the recreational market too.
The Peregrine is simple and intuitive, yet powerful enough to support more advanced diving if you choose to do so in the future. The four modes - air, nitrox (up to 40% O2), 3 gas nitrox (up to 100% O2), and gauge - cover everything from simple everyday diving to decompression diving. The large, coloured display is bright and easy to read, with a customisable interface to ensure your most important information is displayed first. The built in dive log can store up to 200 hours of dives, and the computer is easily connected via Bluetooth to the Shearwater Cloud on Mac, Windows, iOS and Android for more detailed logging. It’s not just the dive log uploads which are wireless - the Shearwater Peregrine also features wireless charging via the included USB wireless charging station. On medium brightness, you can expect this computer to last 30 hours on a full charge.
Whilst it’s not the cheapest option on this list, many experienced divers will tell you to buy once and buy well when it comes to a dive computer and the Peregrine is certainly a great buy. The ease of use for new divers combined with the functionality for experienced divers makes it our pick for the best “future proof” dive computer which will see you through many years of underwater exploring.
Best Dive Computer for Fitness Lovers - Garmin Descent MK2
Powerful technical dive computer? Check. Smartwatch? Check. Fitness tracker? Check. If you’re looking for a dive computer that can do it all, the Garmin Descent MK2 well and truly ticks every box.
Underwater, the Descent covers every type of diving you can imagine; from open circuit to CCR (depth rated to 100m) to freediving, it even includes a dedicated “apnea hunt” mode for spearfishing. A feature which truly sets it apart is the GPS tracking to mark your entries and exits for dives, making it easy to return to your favourite dive spots. As you’d expect from an advanced computer, the Descent MK2 functions seamlessly with the Garmin Dive app on iOS and Android whilst the internal log stores up to 200 dives on the computer itself. The battery life is unrivalled, boasting up to 80 hours use in dive mode, an impressive 50 days on land in battery saver mode, 16 days as a smartwatch, or 35 days in “Expedition GPS Activity” mode.
Above water the Descent is extremely powerful as a fitness tracker, supporting a broad range of activities including yoga, golf, cycling, swimming, hiking, and even offering the ability to map whilst skiing. The health monitoring goes beyond the basic heart rate tracking to include a pulse oximeter which can adapt based on heat and altitude. We recommend checking out the full specifications on the Garmin site to see how this fits into your land-based activity needs. Starting from £1,199.99 (or £1,749.98 for the air integrated model with transmitter) it’s definitely a splurge, and whilst the features go well beyond the needs of the average diver this would be a great pick for an all-round activity junkie or gadget lover.
Garmin Descent MK2S Dive Computer
May 2021 edit: But wait, Garmin have just released a brand new dive computer - and this one is definitely for Girls that Scuba! Have you always gazed fondly at the Garmin Descent MK2 dive computer, maybe even tried one on but thought it was just a bit big to use as an everyday watch despite the huge list of surface / fitness functions that Garmin also pack into the smartwatch? Well, fret no more. Garmin have now released a smaller version, the Garmin Descent MK2S, that is lighter, slimmer and has a smaller diameter. It was developed mostly for women that don't want such a chunky watch but also for anyone that just wanted a smaller model.
From a function point of view, the Descent MK2S is exactly the same as the standard MK2. On the outside the titanium bezel and back have been replaced with high strength composite components that all colour match to the straps and also make the watch lighter.
The MK2S is still a full on dive computer that supports air, nitrox, trimix and CCR diving but, just like the standard MK2, the MK2S isn't air integrated so if that is an issue the MK2i is the model for you.
The Descent MK2S really does work seamlessly with your everyday life. For most, diving takes up a small percentage of your time, so having a dive computer that also connects to your smartphone, tracks your fitness efforts, sleep and so much more just makes complete sense.
Best Technical Dive Computer - Shearwater Teric
We couldn’t call them the gold standard for tech diving and then not include one of Shearwater’s more technical computers, could we? The Shearwater Teric is the perfect choice for tech divers who dabble in other diving disciplines, and the stylish watch makes a change from most chunky, boxy technical computers.
The Teric is the first Shearwater computer to offer a freediving mode as well as the expected recreational and technical modes - open circuit recreational, open circuit technical (including Trimix), CCR and gauge. Up to two compatible transmitters can be connected for air integration, and as with most newer computers the battery is rechargeable via an included charging dock. A full charge provides up to 30 hours battery life in dive mode and 60 hours in watch mode.
The bright, AMOLED display can be customised in multiple ways - both to show your most important information up front, and also to match your equipment with a wide array of colour options. The rugged strap can also be changed to complement your gear. As with the Peregrine, the Teric integrates with the Shearwater Cloud via Bluetooth to back up detailed dive data, whilst the computer itself can log up to 500 hours of dives in the internal memory.
The outstanding feature for many Shearwater fans in our GTS community is the brand itself, so this benefit applies to both the Teric and the Peregrine mentioned above. The customer service is second to none, and their global network of retailers means it should be relatively easy to get a replacement should something go wrong with your computer. Shearwater are also known for leading the way in research, so you can dive safely in the knowledge that their algorithms are grounded in many years of decompression theory. Shearwater Teric 2020 Limited Edition Dive Computer £1,060 or Shearwater Teric Dive Computer £1,023
Best dive computers as voted by Girls that Scuba members
The facts are in the figures!! We asked our community of 51,000 women what their favourite dive computers are in here are the results! The Shearwater Perdix came out strongly on top, and you can find more about the Perdix here (RRP £866).