• Made in: USA
• Weight: 2.5 pounds
• First Stage: Balanced piston
• Ports: 2HP, 7LP
• Second Stage: Pneumatically balanced, with swivel
• User Adjustments: Breathing-resistance knob
• Warranty: Lifetime
•MSRP: $529 ($569 with sealed first stage)
• Info: www.atomicaquatics.com
First there was the Z1, then the Z2/ Z2x, and now comes the Z3. While the T3 holds the title of most expensive reg in Atomic’s line, the Z3 holds down the opposite end of the pricing spectrum. This is due to less-exotic metals in its construction and fewer convenience features. However, what is not lacking is performance. The Z3 can hold up quite well to its pricier cousin both on the breathing machine and out in the ocean. Delivering top scores for ease of breathing in the swimming position and rated high for dryness, test divers found the Z3 to be a comfortable, easy reg to breathe due to an efficient breathing- resistance knob, a very cool second-stage swivel, and a dual-compound mouthpiece, all of which test divers deemed to be among the best of this test group.
Turning in performance stats that rank right up with the T3 — and coming in at about a third of the cost — earned the Z3 this year’s Best Buy nod in the Over $500 category.