UNDER $500 - TESTERS' CHOICE: AERIS Ion LT/AT600
FEATURES: One of the lightest models in this year’s shoot-out, Aeris’ flagship reg is a pocket-size breather designed for the traveling diver. The second stage offers both a dive/predive switch and a pneumatically balanced valve that maintains preferred breathing resistance throughout the dive. Set it once; from then on it will automatically adjust to deliver a consistent flow of air regardless of depth.
PERFORMANCE: For such a small reg, the Ion LT delivers quite a punch. It turned in stellar breathing-machine performance across Scubalab’s standard test levels. In ocean tests, divers loved this reg. It breathed dry and easy in all positions, and the full-cover purge got the job done. The dive/predive switch was small and unmarked, so finding the proper position was confusing. The multicompound mouthpiece was rated the undisputed favorite in this year’s roundup.
BOTTOM LINE: With some of the best scores on the machine and in the water, plus the top of testers’ favorites lists, the Ion LT/AT600 earned the Testers’ Choice in the under $500 category.
SPECS Made in USA | WEIGHT 2 lb., 3 oz. | FIRST STAGE Over-balanced diaphragm | PORTS 1HP, 4LP | SECOND STAGE Pneumatically balanced | ADJUSTMENTS Dive/ predive lever, breathing-resistance knob | WARRANTY 2-year limited | MSRP $419.95 | CONTACT diveaeris.com
TEST STATS BREATHING SIMULATOR PERFORMANCE: Very Good to Excellent | REAL-WORLD PERFORMANCE: Good to Very Good