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If you are a scuba enthusiast, you know how important equipment is to the overall success of your dive. Without the right gear, you simply can’t have a safe, dynamic experience under the waves. Since scuba gear usually lasts a long time when properly maintained, investing in high-quality equipment is a good idea.
With so many scuba regulators on the market today, finding the right one can be challenging. We are here to help. In this review, we take an in-depth look at the Atomic Aquatics T3 regulator. Continue reading for comprehensive information about this impressive piece of scuba equipment.
What Is a Scuba Regulator?
When you dive, a scuba regulator provides you with air. To carry oxygen with you beneath the surface, you must bring a tank. As you probably know, the air in the tank is stored at a high pressure. Breathing pressurized air is extremely difficult. A scuba regulator lowers air pressure to allow you to breathe it naturally. It also helps to disperse the carbon dioxide you exhale during dives.
If you plan to stay underwater a significant amount of time, you must think about air supply. Since tanks are pressurized, oxygen supply depletes rapidly if you don’t control airflow. As its name suggests, a regulator regulates airflow. Not only do they make breathing underwater comfortable, but they also help conserve air.
Scuba regulators have the following components:
- A first-stage regulator attaches to the storage tank. The purpose of the first-stage regulator is to reduce air pressure to a consumable level. The first-stage regulator also conserves oxygen supply.
- A second-stage regulator connects to a mouthpiece inserted into the diver’s mouth. The second-stage regulator continues the process of reducing air pressure. With a good second-stage regulator, the air feels natural to breathe.
- An alternative regulator works as a backup for the second-stage regulator. If the second-stage regulator stops working underwater, the diver relies on the alternative regulator to supply a steady flow of breathable air. Alternative regulators are also useful for assisting other divers in emergencies.
- Hoses are not actually part of a regulator. Still, without them, regulators are essentially useless. As such, when describing regulator systems, most divers include hoses.
Scuba regulators come in a variety of styles, shapes, sizes and materials. They also sell at many different price points. When you are looking for the right diving regulator for your scuba adventure, you must think about your diving style. Once you know where you plan to dive, how much air you need, what type of air you want to breathe and a few other things, you can begin to look for the best scuba regulator to help you stay safe and comfortable during your dive.
What Is the Atomic Aquatics T3 Regulator?
The Atomic Aquatics T2 is one of the most popular diving regulators ever made. The T3 is an upgraded version of that model. As far as construction and technical specifications go, there is no more advanced regulator than the T3 on the market today.
The major selling point of the Atomic Aquatics T3 regulator is its titanium construction. The first stage is entirely made of titanium, while many of the components in the second stage are also titanium. The regulator is appropriate for either cold or warm-water dives.
The T3 is not cheap. Still, it is lightweight and durable. It is also low-maintenance. In fact, after purchasing this regulator, you don’t have to worry about servicing it until after you’ve completed 300 dives. If you can’t complete than many in three years, you should have your T3 serviced then.
Atomic Aquatics T3 Specifications
The technical specifications of the Atomic Aquatics T3 are remarkable.
First and second-stage weight: 794g (1.75 lbs.)
First-stage weight: 430g (.95 lbs.)
Second-stage plus hose weight: 358g (.79 lbs.)
Type: Balanced, flow-through piston
Intermediate pressure: 125 to 145 psi (8.6 to 10 bar)
Maximum-pressure rating: 3,500 psi (241 bar) with yoke connection; 4,350 psi (300 bar) with DIN connection
Materials: Titanium, Monel, fluorocarbon/nitrile
Standard hose length: 32-inch swivel
The first thing any diver is likely to notice about the Atomic Aquatics T3 regulator is its lightweight construction. At just 794g, the regulator is one of the lightest on the market. This isn’t by accident. The designers of the T3 used titanium to make most parts of the regulator. In fact, all parts of the first-stage regulator are made from titanium. Many of the second-stage regulator components are also lightweight corrosion-resistant titanium. It isn’t only the metal that makes the T3 such a light piece of equipment, though. The designers cut as much bulk from the device as possible. For example, the regulator’s thumb-wheel has notches cut out of it to help save a few grams.
The T3 has a maximum-pressure rating of 3,500 psi with a hole connection. If you use a DIN connection, the regulator is capable of accommodating air pressure up to 4,350 psi. The balanced-piston design makes breathing underwater easy. Moreover, the first-stage regulator is environmentally sealed. This helps saltwater and other contaminants from damaging the inner workings of this exceptional piece of equipment. Additionally, the oxygen-sensitive grease used on the first-stage regulator makes the device compatible with nitrous oxide out of the box.
The sleek, elegant design of the T3 makes agile diving possible. The regulator stays out of your way when you are underwater. Likewise, the 32-inch swivel hose keeps all of your equipment in the right place, regardless of diving conditions.
Versatility is excellent with the Atomic Aquatics T3 regulator. The first stage has two high-pressure ports on both sides. A swivel cap includes five low-pressure ports as well. While the fifth low-pressure cap works most effectively, all deliver adequate performance.
The second-stage regulator is even lighter than the first. This regulator relies on a balanced-valve system to facilitate natural breathing underwater. The second-stage swivel helps reduce pull for a comfortable dive. Perhaps the best feature of the second-stage regulator, however, is its seat-saving orifice. This capability separates the orifice and seat when the regulator isn’t pressurized, extending the life of the second-stage regulator.
While the second-stage regulator does not usually require detuning, it has a quick-turn knob that makes the process simple and accurate. Likewise, you don’t need a Venturi switch with this second-stage regulator, as it has an automatic flow control. As you descend or ascend, the automatic flow control directs air to different parts of the system. You don’t have to do anything except concentrate on your dive.
Finally, the T3 has an impressive mouthpiece that is made from dual silicone and fits comfortably inside your mouth. The hard-density silicone reduces bite marks and extends the life of the mouthpiece. Softer silicone prevents chafing and sores from forming in your mouth.
Atomic Aquatics T3 Pricing
As noted above, the Atomic Aquatics T3 is not cheap. Given the regulator’s titanium construction, exceptional performance and overall design, we don’t expect it to be. If you want to buy the T3, expect to pay around $1,800. This price is significantly more expensive than many other regulators on the market today. Still, with the innovative design and lightweight construction, this regulator is worth the expense.
How the Atomic Aquatics T3 Compares to Other Diving Regulators
To fully understand the Atomic Aquatics T3, you must compare it to some other regulators on the market. In this section, we compare the T3 to another regulator from Atomic Aquatics. We also compare it to regulators from Sherwood and SCUBAPRO.
Atomic Aquatics ST1 Regulator
The Atomic Aquatics ST1 is an affordable regulator from Atomic Aquatics. While the T3 is mostly composed of titanium, the ST1 primarily has a stainless-steel construction for the first-stage regulator. The second-stage regulator is titanium, like the T3. While a bit heavier than the T3, the ST1 is still lightweight. The ST1 works well for deep dives in either warm- or cold-water environments. While the ST1 is definitely not as good as the T3, it is an excellent scuba regulator.
Ease of Use: 5/5
Assembly Time: 5/5
Build Quality: 4/5
Sherwood SR2 Regulator
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on your next diving regulator, you may want to look into products from Sherwood. The company’s SR2 regulator is customizable. As such, you can hook up hoses in many different configurations. The closed-valve system on the Sherwood SR2 is an excellent choice for divers who venture into murky or contaminated water. Still, this affordable regulator does not compare to the high-quality construction of the Atomic Aquatics T3. On the contrary, it is both heavier and flimsier than the T3.
Assembly Time: 4/5
Build Quality: 3.5/5
SCUBAPRO M25 A700 Regulator
Outside of Atomic Aquatics products, the closest you get to a high-quality regulator is the SCUBAPRO M25 A700. While it is expensive and made from a heavier material than the Atomic Aquatics T3, the SCUBAPRO M25 A700 is an excellent regulator system. The stainless-steel construction is durable. Moreover, the air delivery system provides a consistent supply of breathable air. You can also customize the SCUBAPRO M25 A700.
Assembly Time: 4/5
Build Quality: 5/5
While SCUBAPRO and Sherwood make some good scuba regulators, neither company produces a higher-quality breathing apparatus than Atomic Aquatics. Both the ST1 and T3 impress us. When comparing those two, however, the T3 is clearly better.
Atomic Aquatics T3 Pros and Con
Perhaps the best thing about the Atomic Aquatics T3 is its construction. Made from lightweight titanium, the regulator is durable. Even better, the small, sleek design of the T3 keeps the regulator out of your way during dives.
Another great feature of the T3 is its usability. The device is simple to hook up. Also, it has seven ports that make customizing your dive simple. The automatic flow control also allows you to focus on your dive instead of tinkering with equipment when you are underwater.
Finally, the maintenance-free nature of the Atomic Aquatics T3 regulator is remarkable. With its environmental seal, this regulator doesn’t require service until you have completed 300 dives. You should also service the regulator every three years. Properly maintaining the T3 isn’t difficult. The technician at your dive shop can likely take care of everything your Atomic Aquatics regulator requires. Moreover, if something breaks due to a manufacturing defect, you benefit from the excellent warranty that Atomic Aquatics offers.
We had to search for something negative to say about the Atomic Aquatics T3. Simply put, the regulator is one of the best we have ever seen. Because we didn’t want to leave this section blank, we have identified the T3’s price tag as a disadvantage of this otherwise perfect device. At around $1,800, the T3 is out of reach for many divers. Nonetheless, the price tag isn’t artificially inflated. Instead, if you can afford to buy this regulator, you get a well-made device that functions extraordinarily well.
The Verdict: The Atomic Aquatics T3 Regulator Is the Best of the Best
We have reviewed several regulators in our time. While we usually find features we love about each piece of equipment, no regulator is as complete as the Atomic Aquatics T3. This titanium-made regulator system is durable, strong, sleek and effective.
With its many features, the T3 is not cheap. We don’t mind though, as with this regulator, you get what you pay for. Specifically, if you choose to purchase the top-end Atomic Aquatics regulator, you get peace of mind that you will always be able to breathe comfortably underwater. You also get the pride of knowing you have purchased the best scuba gear possible. If you plan to dive for years, investing in top-notch equipment is an excellent idea.
Overall, we can’t say enough good things about the Atomic Aquatics T3 regulator. Whether you are looking at the first-stage regulator, the second-stage regulator, the mouthpiece or the hoses with this system, you see quality everywhere. If you are like us, you probably won’t be able to find a single thing wrong with the T3.
Simply, the Atomic Aquatics T3 regulator is the best of the best.