The Best Scuba Pressure Gauges (SPG): 2024 Buyer’s Guide

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Monitoring your air is paramount when you go scuba diving. But how do you know how much is left in your tank?

Enter the submersible pressure gauge (SPG). A SPG constantly reads your tank throughout the dive. In this guide, we’ll show you the best scuba pressure gauges on the market and highlight some things to consider when choosing the best SPG for you.

The Best Submersible Pressure Gauges: Overview

  1. Mares Mission 3
  2. Scubapro In-line 3 Gauge Console
  3. TUSA Platina Analog Console
  4. Scubapro 2-Gauge Console
  5. Apeks SPG and Depth Gauge Housed
  6. Aqua Lung 2-Gauge Console
  7. Sherwood Genesis SPG with Boot and Hose
  8. Dive Rite Mini 2″
  9. XS Scuba Highland Brass & Snap SPG
  10. Oceanic SWIV Pressure Gauge

The Best Submersible Pressure Gauges: Reviewed

1. Mares Mission 3

Functions: SPG, Depth Gauge, Compass
Reading Options: Metric & Imperial

This popular three-gauge console comes with both imperial and metric readings. For the SPG, it has a readout from 0-360 bar (0-5,000 psi) with a low on air red color zone starting at 50 bar (1,000 psi). Both imperial and metric versions have a luminous face and dial that can be charged with the beam of your underwater torch.

For the depth gauge, it has a readout from 0-70 m (0-230 ft). Both versions have a maximum depth indicator which stops and remains at the greatest depth of your dive. At the top end of the console is an underwater compass that has a rotating bezel, lubber line, and a numerical mark at 30° interval and dotted marks at 10° interval.

Check price: Scuba.com

2. Scubapro In-line 3 Gauge Console

Functions: SPG, Depth Gauge, Compass, Thermometer
Reading Options: Metric & Imperial

The Scubapro In-line 3 gauge console comes in at 0.4 kgs (1 lb), and is another all-in-one SPG console to consider as a primary instrument. This console has an SPG with a readout from 0 to 6,000 psi (410 bar) which is one of the highest readout ratings for SPGs. While it has clear numerical markings, you will appreciate the large red color code for low on air which is conservatively set in this SPG at 1,000 psi (70 bar).

At the middle section of the console is the depth gauge. It has a readout from 0-200 ft (60 m) with a red color zone starting at 140 ft (42 m) which indicates that you have reached the maximum depth limits set for recreational scuba diving. The depth gauge also has an internal thermometer that can read from 0 to 120°F (0-28°C) with a 20°F interval mark.

Found at the tip of the console is the oil-filled underwater compass. It has all the basic features for navigational ease like a lubber line, rotating bezel, and numeral markings at 30° interval. All the instruments in this console are encased in a durable impact-resistant boot that has multiple lanyard attachment points.

Check price: Scuba.com

3. Tusa Platina Analog Console

Functions: SPG, Depth Gauge, Compass, Temperature
Reading Options: Metric & Imperial  

Considered as one of the best all-in-one SPG, the Tusa Platina looks like a 2-gauge console but actually has 3 gauges. The front face of the console is made up of a SPG and depth gauge. The SPG has a readout from 0 to 400 bar (0-6,000 psi) with an internal thermometer that reads from 0 to 40°C (32-40°F). The SPG markings are color coded with blue from 100 to 400 bar and red from 0 to 50 bar. Likewise, the depth gauge has a readout from 0 to 60 meters where a blue-coded zone is presented from 0 to 20 meters (the maximum depth for open water divers) and a red-coded zone from 30 to 60 meters which indicates that you are too deep.

When you flip the console, you will see an underwater compass. It has a lubber line, rotating bezel and the markings are in a 30° increment with 10° dotted interval marks. The 3 gauges are encased in an impact-resistant rubber that is rated to be one of the toughest SPG cases in the market.

Check price: Scuba.com

4. Scubapro 2-gauge Console

Functions: SPG, Depth Gauge
Reading Options: Metric & Imperial

If you are looking for a lightweight SPG console that is both rigid, efficient and ideal for frequent travelling, then you may look at the Scubapro 2-gauge console. Weighing only 0.8 kilograms (1.7 pounds), this 2-gauge console is composed of an SPG and a depth gauge that is encased in an impact-resistant boot.

The SPG uses the imperial system that has a readout from 0 to 5,000 psi. The markings in the SPG are clearly indicated and marked out with 500 and 1,000 psi increments. It has a luminous dial and face that grows brightly in the dark and can easily be charged with an underwater torch. For the depth gauge, it is oil filled and has a readout from 0 to 150 feet. Aside from the bright orange indicator mark at 10 and 20 feet which gives you an indicator for decompression and safety stops, it also has a maximum depth indicator (MDI) that will record the greatest depth of your dive.

Check price: Scuba.com

5. Apeks SPG and Depth Gauge Housed

Functions: SPG, Depth Gauge
Reading Options: Metric & Imperial

Considered one of the toughest, this SPG has a nickel-plated brass case that ensures durability. It has a corrosion resistant and anti-splinter polycarbonate window that enhances it shock resistance. Adding more to its toughness is its protective housing that guards both the SPG and the depth gauge, including the HP hose fitting.

Check price: Scuba.com

6. Aqua Lung 2-gauge Console

Functions: SPG, Depth Gauge, Thermometer
Readings Options: Metric & Imperial

If you are fond of equipment rental, then most probably you have used the Aqua Lung 2-gauge console. This popular and best-selling instrument has 2 gauges: the SPG and the depth gauge.

The SPG used in this instrument uses the metric system and has a readout from 0 to 350 bar. Aside from having a large face, the markings in the SPG are clear and large with a marking interval of 1,000 psi and a red color zone for low on air starting at 50 bar. The SPG also has an internal thermometer that can measure anywhere from 0 to 40°C.

At the tip of the console is the depth gauge. It has a readout from 0 to 60 meters with a needle that indicates your maximum depth. With regards to the markings of the depth gauge, you have to be aware that it is not equally divided. The markings are progressive which initially starts at a 3-meter interval and increases to a 10-meter interval.                

One more thing, try to flip over this dive console and you will find a white circular plastic sheet that also acts as a writing slate.

Check price on Scuba.com: Imperial / Metric

Check price on Amazon: Imperial / Metric

7. Sherwood Genesis SPG with Boot and Hose

Functions: SPG
Readings Options: Metric & Imperial

If you’re looking for a SPG setup as a standalone instrument, then consider using the Sherwood Genesis SPG that comes with its own boot and high pressure hose. This SPG has an all brass case, a dual scale reading up to 5,000 psi (350 bar). For easy reading, its face is color-coded where you can easily determine if you still have a lot of air or low on air.

Check price: Amazon / Scuba.com

8. Dive Rite Mini 2″

Functions: SPG
Readings Options: Imperial

If you’re into technical diving and looking for a standalone SPG, then consider using the Dive Rite Mini 2″. Despite being small, it is easy to read its imperial measurement with 100 psi increments and up to 5,000 max reading. This SPG is also great for SPG redundancy, especially if you already using an air integrated dive computer.

Check price: Amazon / Scuba.com

9. XS Scuba Highland Brass and Snap SPG

Functions: SPG
Reading Options: Metric & Imperial

If you are into technical diving and looking for a non-booted and exposed standalone SPG, then you may look at the XS SCUBA Highland Brass and Snap SPG. This Italian made SPG uses the imperial system with a readout from 0 to 5,000 with clear numerical marks at 1,000 psi intervals. It also has bolded linear marks at 500 psi interval and plain linear marks at 100 psi interval. (Bar readings also available).

This SPG is encased in a nickel-plated brass housing that has a bolt snap with an integrated 360° stainless steel swivel. The only downside on this SPG, which you should be aware of before diving, is that the markings are NOT color coded and do not expect a red color code for a 500 psi low on air reading.

Check price: Amazon / Scuba.com

10. Oceanic Swiv Pressure Gauge

Functions: SPG, Temperature
Reading Options: Metric & Imperial

Standalone and booted: those are some of the descriptions of the Oceanic SWIV Pressure Gauge. Recommended for technical diving, this standalone SPG has a readout from 0 to 5,000 psi.

While it has a small size, the markings are highly visible and is complimented by the white luminous face with black numerical marks at 1,000 psi interval and linear marks at 200 psi interval. The 500 psi low on air zone is also highlighted with a red color code. This SPG also has an internal thermometer at the bottom that can measure anywhere from 0 to 100°F.

Check price: Amazon / Scuba.com

HOW TO USE A SPG

A fully-filled scuba tank that has 3,000 psi (207 bar) of compressed air. Divers should ascend towards the surface once they reach low air, which is around 500-700 psi (34-50 bar).

Determining air pressure in your tank requires the use of a submersible pressure gauge (SPG). SPGs are a precision instrument that reads the exact pressure of your tank. While diving, you should monitor your SPG every few minutes. This way, you will know how much air is left in your tank and avoid a catastrophic out-of-air situation while underwater.

As a rule, never dive without an SPG or with a broken SPG.

BUYING A SUBMERSIBLE PRESSURE GAUGE: THINGS TO CONSIDER    

Shopping for SPG may sometimes give you a headache for one reason: there are a lot of choices. Some scuba gauges solely have SPG capabilities, while others come with all the bells and whistles of a compass, depth gauge, thermometer, and more.

BASIC FEATURES

The SPG that you should choose should have at least these basic features. First, the marks should be color coded. Usually, green indicates full, yellow for midway and red for low on air.

Second, the needle or dial should be fluorescent. This makes it easy to see in low-light conditions.

And lastly, the internal face should be luminescent. The second and third features mean that your SPG will glow in the dark and this is very important if you’re exploring gloomy areas or during a night dive. This also means that both the dial and the face can be easily charged by pointing the beam of your underwater torch at the gauge.

STANDALONE OR CONSOLE

The most common set-up of SPG is the console type. Generally, a console has 2 displays: a depth gauge and an SPG which is attached to a high pressure hose. Similar configurations would involve a 3-display console where an underwater compass is usually attached at the top-most end.

For technical diving, SPGs are used as a standalone instrument or as a back-up to compliment the usage of either dive computers or air-integrated computers.

STRIPPED DOWN OR BOOTED

SPGs are packaged in 2 forms: stripped down or booted. Console SPGs are the booted type where they are covered with either plastic or rubber. Stripped down SPGs are usually standalone instruments used in technical diving. While it creates less drag than the booted SPGs, stripped down SPGs are exposed and may need extra care against hard objects like rocks or during transport.

METRIC OR IMPERIAL

If you are used to the metric system (in this case “bars”), don’t be surprised to see SPGs using the imperial system (in this case PSI or pounds per square inch). Typically, SPGs manufactured in the US use the imperial system while European made SPGs use the metric system. You should choose the system you are most familiar with or the system that matches the area you’ll be diving in most often.

Although we had already mentioned, you should know that a fully filled tank should have 3,000 psi or 207 bar and low on air is set at 500 psi or 34 bar, although this is conservatively raised to 50 bar or 725 psi.

SAFETY NOTES

Before we end this article, divers have a tendency to configure their equipment so that they can achieve comfort, fit, trim and balance while underwater. While this can easily be done in other scuba equipment, please do not configure your SPG (except only for lanyard and swivel attachment). SPG are precision instruments and handle high pressure air. If you think you need adjustments or check for calibration, do not attempt to do it yourself. Always have it serviced to an accredited dive shop or service center.

FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SCUBA PRESSURE GAUGES (SPG)

What does a Scuba SPG stand for?

SPG in scuba diving stands for submersible pressure gauge.

What is gauge pressure in scuba diving?

Gauge pressure in scuba diving is the amount of air or breathable gas left in your scuba diving tank. A pressure gauge measures this gas/air in bar or psi.

Do I need to use a SPG in scuba diving?

Yes, using a SPG is essential in scuba diving to reveal how much air or gas is left in your scuba tank. How fast you consume air differs from dive to dive and from day to day, there is no way to obtain an accurate reading without this pressure gauge. Sometimes, the air pressure gauge can be linked to an air-integrated diving computer.

IN SEARCH OF MORE SCUBA GEAR?

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