The Best Freediving Computers: 2024 Buyer’s Guide

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Before I got my freediving computer, I found it stressful to rely on lines and buoys to know just how deep I was diving. Once I got a freediving computer, my diving was much more relaxed and I was able to train more efficiently by targeting depths in minor increments and knowing exactly when my contractions started. This made a massive difference to my diving once I started going beyond the 15-20m range.

I’ve spent hours researching all the latest freediving computer and find the best models on the market. While I personally use the Garmin Descent MK2S freediving computer, one of the best value freediving watches, I’ve also had a chance to test out many other options from some of the larger brands. All other computers included in this guide come from the suggestions of 500+ freedivers in a recent poll.

In this guide, we’ll cover the 10 best freediving computers on the market, why you should own a freediving computer, the key features to look for, and our in-depth reviews of each freediving computer. And please read along until the end since the last on our list is the latest in the market.

Feeling impatient? Here’s our top four verdict:

  1. Best value freediving computer: Suunto D4F
  2. Best freediving computer overall: Garmin Descent Mk2S
  3. Best budget freediving computer: Seac Partner
  4. Latest in the market: Apple Ultra 2

The 10 Best Freediving Computers

The Best Freediving Computers: At a Glance

FREEDIVING COMPUTERSCUBA COMPATIBLEDEPTH LIMITPRICE
Suunto D4FNo100m$$
Mares Smart ApneaNo150m$$
Garmin Descent Mk2Yes100m$$$
Suunto D4i NovoYes150m$$$
Aqua Lung i200CYes100m$$
Oceanic F10No100m$
Seac PartnerNo100m$
Oceanic Geo 4.0Yes100m$$
Cressi NeptoNo120m$
Apple Ultra 2Yes40m$$

The Best Freediving Computers: In Depth

1. Suunto D4F

Measurement readings: Depth, time, CO2/O2 tables
Display: Backlight electro-luminescent
Data storage: Lifetime
Alarm readings: Audio and visual
Max depth: 100 meters

Suunto D4F Black Freedive Computer
$449.95

An accurate and minimalistic option for freedivers who stick to one-breath diving, rather than those who dabble with tank diving. Easy-to-customize timers and its small size add to its appeal.

Pros:
  • Comfortable and stylish to wear
Cons:
  • Lacks a compass
  • Display numbers are on the small side
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02/18/2024 09:38 am GMT

In a recent poll among 300+ freedivers, the Suunto D4 was voted the most popular freediving computer on the market. Does this mean it’s the best? Potentially not, but it’s worth noting that some of the world’s top tier freedivers trust it on their wrist. The Suunto D4F is Suunto’s answer to a freedive specific computer.

2. Mares Smart Apnea 

Measurement readings: Depth, dive time, temperature, descent/ascent rate, surface interval
Display: Segmented LCD
Data storage: 30 hours of dive memory
Alarm readings: Audio and visual
Max depth: 150 meters

Mares Smart Apnea Dive Computer
$299.95

A no-frills freediving computer that's famously reliable with enough customizable options to take you through your full freediving career.

Pros:
  • Simple and intuitive
  • Great value
Cons:
  • Not the best for scuba diving
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02/19/2024 12:58 pm GMT

A favorite freediving computer among regular divers, the Mares Smart Apnea is easy to customize and has a unique take on its alarm systems. Alarms can be set to notify divers of depth, time, speed and recovery time, as well as trigger a reminder to hydrate. Pacing is including in its features and the watch has a profiling sampling rate of one second.

3. Garmin Descent Mk2

Measurement readings: Depth, time, temperature, descent/ascent rate, surface interval, GPS, heart rate, health readings
Display: Color MIP display
Data storage: 200 dives
Alarm readings: Audio and visual
Max depth: 100m

Garmin Descent Mk2S
$799.99

The ideal freediving computer for a multi-sports athlete who wants an everyday watch with ocean sports, gym, and hiking capabilities.

Pros:
  • Smart and sports watch means it's a computer that can do it all
Cons:
  • High price point
02/18/2024 08:34 am GMT

The Garmin Descent Mk2S is one of the newest scuba diving computers with freediving capabilities on the market. It also has an Mk2 model, a larger variation for the Mk2S and potentially a better freediving watch for divers who want a little more screen space. It also comes with scuba diving air integration capabilities. I have been using my Mk2S for over two years now and love it! I’ve gone on 100+ dives plus hiked through the Himalaya with this watch — it’s my everyday wear.

This high-end freediving watch is on the pricier side, but comes with features that really turn it into all all-around smart watch with massive sports watch capabilities (running, skiing, cycling, surf watch features, etc). Dives are uploaded into the Garmin Dive app, a digital logbook that syncs with other divers.

4. Suunto D4i Novo 

Measurement readings: Compass, depth, time, all scuba-specific measurements, CO2/O2 tables
Display: Backlight electro-luminescent
Data storage: Lifetime
Alarm readings: Audio and visual
Max depth: 150 meters

Suunto D4I Novo
$499.95

Great freediving watch for scuba diving professionals who cross over sports. Has a vast logging capacity and can measure nearly everything you would want in a freediving watch--a popular pick among pros.

Pros:
  • Durable
  • Extensive logging capabilities
Cons:
  • Can take a while to get used to
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02/18/2024 09:20 am GMT

The Suunto D4I Novo is the ideal crossover freediving watch for those who scuba dive just as frequently. The computer has five modes, one of them being freedive specific and can navigate with 3D compass capabilities. It also has wireless air integration for scuba diving. One of the more discretely sized and stylish computers on the market, the watch comes in seven colors and has a smooth, chic appearance.

5. Aqua Lung i200C

Measurement readings: Time, depth, temperature
Display: Segmented LCD
Data storage: 24 dives
Alarm readings: Audio and visual
Max depth: 100 meters

Aqua Lung i200C Computer
$399.00

A simple but effective freediving computer with four operating modes that is easy to switch between; great for scuba diving as well. 

Pros:
  • Unrestricted switching modes
Cons:
  • Capacity maxes out at 24 logs
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02/18/2024 09:43 am GMT

Although it can only hold 24 dives, its Bluetooth features allows you wireless connectivity, uploading your freedive profile over their free DiverLog+ app and share your experience on social media.

6. Oceanic F-10

Measurement readings: Depth, dive time, surface interval, lap timer, up to six max depths alarms
Display: LED LCD backlight
Data storage: 99 dives
Alarm readings: Visual and audio
Max depth: 150 m

Oceanic F-10 V3

A beloved pick among dedicated freedivers thanks to its easy-to-customize modes.

Pros:
  • Freediving specialty computer
  • Easy to use
Cons:
  • Bulky on small wrists
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The Oceanic F-10 was crafted by freedivers for freedivers, with easy to customize modes. The computer can be set for salt or fresh water, has a history mode with total dives and max depths reached, and has a lap timer for dynamic free-swimming.

7. SEAC Partner

Measurement readings: Dive time, depth, ascent time, temperature
Display: LED lit LCD
Data storage: 99 freedives
Alarm readings: Audio and visual
Max depth: 100 meters

Seac Partner
$129.16

This is an ideal freediving computer for those on a budget, as it clocks in well below many of its competitors, while still offering great quality.

Pros:
  • Budget friendly
  • Great for everyday wear
Cons:
  • Lacks wider freediving community reviews
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02/18/2024 09:48 am GMT

The SEAC Partner was created for freedivers who want a freediving watch with minimal bells and whistles that will have enough features to monitor the essentials of each dive. It comes in black or red.

Pros: The SEAC Partner is perfect for divers who want a watch for everyday wear, budget-friendly
Cons: Not many reviews or test trials have been published

Price Check: Amazon

8. Oceanic Geo 4.0

Measurement readings: Nearly all scuba-related measurements, depth, time, temperature, timers
Display: LED LCD
Data storage: 24 scuba dives, 99 freedives on unit
Alarm readings: Audio and visual
Max depth: 100 meters

Oceanic Geo 4

An ideal computer for those who are primarily scuba divers, though it'll hold its own when freediving as well.

Pros:
  • Great value for money
  • Durable
  • Easy to read display
Cons:
  • Can be confusing to set up at first
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The Oceanic Geo 4.0 is the upgrade to its 2.0 predecessor. Interchangeable straps means that it comes in dive different color variations. Its large size may seem like a downside, but it’s ideal for those who want prefer to have an easy-to-read display rather than a smaller, more chic freediving watch.

9. Cressi Nepto

Measurement readings: Depth, temperature, surface interval
Display: 35mm high-contrast display
Data storage: 32 hours
Alarm readings: Audio and visual
Max depth: 120 meters

Cressi Nepto
$249.95

An easy-to-use freediving watch for beginner or infrequent freedivers who want an accurate computer from day one.

Pros:
  • Great value for money
Cons:
  • Experienced freedivers might find it limiting
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02/18/2024 10:10 am GMT

Coming from the Cressi line of computers, the Nepto is one of the few in the market specifically designed for freediving. Measuring only 48mm in diameter, the Nepto is a compact watch-computer that measures and display relevant freedive data.

Pros: Conservative algorithm
Cons: Ideal only for newbies

Price Check: Amazon | Scuba.com

10. Apple Ultra 2

Measurement readings: Compass, depth, temperature, surface interval
Display: Retina 410/502 high brightness display
Data storage: 64 GB
Alarm readings: Audio and visual
Max depth: 120 meters

Apple Watch Ultra 2
$749.00

An ideal pick for those of us who love to have an all-in-one watch for everyday life from freediving to surfing to scuba diving to hiking.

Pros:
  • All-in-one smartwatch with freediving capabilities
Cons:
  • Touch display can be challenging to use in water
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02/18/2024 10:15 am GMT

Launched last September 22, 2023, the Apple Ultra 2 is one of the latest freediving-smartwatch hybrids. After upgrading the firmware with Oceanic+ and activating the Depth app, the Ultra 2 becomes both a freediving and scuba diving computer. Dual speakers allow for clear underwater notifications.

Why You Need a Freediving Computer

Freediving computers make you a safer diver.

As you become a better diver, you’ll be diving deeper and longer. Our brains are not great judges of time, so even though it might feel like you’ve taken a proper surface interval break – your timing is likely to be off. Since freediving computers display when you should break and when it’s okay to dive, you can focus on your breathe-up and relax knowing that your computer is keeping track of your time.

Freediving computers also have audible alarms that set at certain depths or once a specific amount of time has elapsed. Freedivers often become too relaxed in the water, and can overshoot their target depth and time that they should be spending on their dive. Sometimes, depending on visibility, 30 meters can feel like 10 meters or 10 meters can feel like 30 meters.  Setting an alarm helps you relax – you’ll know when it’s time to turn – and ensures that you stay on-target with your goals.

A freediving computer is also more accurate than relying on a marked rope as a depth gauge. Mismarked ropes have cost freedivers their lives. When you dive with a computer, you can verify that the rope is set up correctly, or check if the rope has stretched.

Freediving computers help you progress.

Freediving without a watch is like training for a marathon without mile markers. How do you know if you’re progressing, or how long you’re staying under? Our mental state, what we’ve eaten, our body temperature, and our health all play massive roles in how well we dive. There’s no way to know how long you dived or how deep without a gauge and clock.

Freediving computers keep a long-term record of your dives.

Most scuba divers keep a dive log that details where they dived, how deep, how long, what they saw, the gear they used, etc. Since freedivers usually complete many more dives per day than scuba divers, it’s not practical to keep a paper log. Many freediving computers let you upload your dive information to a PC, where you can keep track of hundreds – or even thousands – of dives at a time.

What to Look For in a Freediving Computer

Easy-to-read display

Beginner freedivers often make the mistake of buying a freediving computer that is more stylish than useful. Ideally, you want a display that is backlit, has easy-to-change functions, and large numbers. A freediving computer that isn’t backlit or has small numbers will be hard to read in low visibility and at deeper depths.

Your mind should be focused on the freedive, not if you are reading the correct numbers or not.

Note that some watch-style scuba diving computers with easy-to-read displays often are meant to be gauge mounted. They’re much less hydrodynamic and much heavier than strictly watch style dive computers.

Depth limits

How deep can your freediving watch go? Most recreational scuba divers will rarely go deeper than 30 meters because of decompression limits and risk of nitrogen narcosis. Freedivers, however, are capable of diving much deeper without these risks, even as recreational divers.

You’ll want a computer that can grow with your depth goals. There’s no point in buying a computer that only has a depth limit of 30 meters if your target goal is 35 meters. Fortunately, almost every watch on the market dive deeper than 50-100 meters. If you’re looking to go beyond that, then there’s a good chance you have a watch in mind already. Fortunately, even freediving record holders rarely reach beyond 100 meters. All computers featured on this post can stretch to 100 meters in depth.

Memory capability

Dive computers vary in how much dive information they can store. Most dive computers can keep a record of at least 100 dives. Since most dive computers offload their data to your PC, this might not be a major deciding factor unless you plan to go on a long trip where you won’t have access to a PC.

Scuba vs. freediving computers

If you’re a scuba diver, you might assume that your scuba dive computer can double as your freedive computer. This isn’t always the case. Many scuba-specific computers will sound an alarm if your ascent rate is too quick. Since freedivers can ascend as quickly as they want, often much faster than a scuba diver can, the alarm will sound nearly every dive. Obviously, a blaring alarm going off on your ascent isn’t exactly the best aid for relaxation.

Scuba diving computers also often have different triggers to when the dive starts. Freedivers want the most accurate data possible, so double check that your scuba diving computer is freediving compatible as well.

If you’re a freediver who also throws on a tank, it makes sense to buy a dual computer. One dual computer is sure to be better and cheaper than buying one computer for scuba, and a separate one for freediving.

Alarm settings

One key function in a freediving computer is an alarm. You can set an alarm to trigger at a certain depth or at a certain time. This helps keep you focused and signals where exactly you are in the dive.

Materials

Like with many things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to buying a dive computer. You will want a wrist strap made of comfortable rubber or silicone. Metal or canvas is not a great choice for freedivers because the strap will not shrink under pressure like your body tends to. Budget computers tend to require more maintenance, might not have a warranty, and typically require a battery replacement at least once per year.

FAQs about freediving computers

What equipment do I need for freediving?

Recreational freedivers will need a few pieces of equipment on every dive including a mask, snorkel, wetsuit, weight belt, and freediving buoy. Of course, one of the best things about freediving is that you can choose to use more or less based on your diving preferences.

What is the best entry level freedive computer?

The best entry level freediving computer is the Mares Smart Apnea computer as it’s well built, intuitive to use, great value for money, and you’ll be able to progress quickly with it.

Do you need a dive computer for freediving?

You do not need a dive computer for freediving. However, it is helpful to have one if you’re looking to dive deeper or hold your breath longer. You can dive along a freediving line to know how deep you are, but it’s much easier to simply check the bottom time on your wrist.

Searching for more freediving gear? We can help you find the best freediving fins, mask, and tell you more about the ins and outs of freediving equipment.

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