Of 13 scuba diving regulator models tested for 2012, four models stood out as Testers' Choice or Best Buys. Check out complete info on these models from Aqua Lung.
OVER $500 - TESTERS' CHOICE: AQUA LUNG LEGEND LUX
FEATURES: the new-generation Legend Lux is a head-turner, with its gold accents and sculpted gold port plugs. The second stage is smaller and lighter than earlier versions, and it is equipped with Aqua Lung’s new Master Breathing system knob that both controls the direction of air and adjusts breathing effort.
PERFORMANCE: On the breathing machine, the Lux outpaced other models in its price category, racking up perfect scores. Up-shifting into muscle mode, it easily handled the extreme bonus breathing rate while reaching the deepest depth in its price category. The Lux really shined in ocean tests, turning in above-average scores in all ergo categories. Divers found the reg to be an effortless breather in all positions, dry and easy to purge. The Comfo-bite mouthpiece was a favorite.
BOTTOM LINE: Aqua Lung hyped this reg when it first hit the market, but we have to admit, it does not disappoint. For sheer breathing performance, reserve capacity and comfort in the water, the Legend Lux was this year’s undisputed Testers’ Choice in this price category.
SPECS Made in France | WEIGHT 2 lb., 12 oz. | FIRST STAGE Balanced diaphragm | PORTS 2HP, 4LP | SECOND STAGE Pneumatically balanced | ADJUSTMENTS MBS knob | WARRANTY Limited lifetime | MSRP $995 CONTACT aqualung.com
BREATHING SIMULATOR PERFORMANCE: Excellent-PLUS | REAL-WORLD PERFORMANCE: Very Good
OVER $500 - BEST BUY: AQUA LUNG LEGEND
FEATURES: Compared with the Lux, the Legend is plain-Jane with a typical polished chrome over brass first stage, and a second stage that eschews color accents and uses a standard venturi switch.
PERFORMANCE: Although the Legend isn’t as exciting to look at as the Lux, when it comes to performance, it's no shrinking violet. It was virtually identical to its costlier cousin on the breathing machine, and although it couldn’t go quite as deep when subjected to extremely high breathing rates, it got pretty darn close. Rated “one of the nicest breathers of the group,” it was able to match the ocean performance of the more expensive Lux, except when it came to the mouthpiece. While the standard version was deemed “OK,” testers preferred the Comfo-bite that was used on the Lux.
BOTTOM LINE: With the exception of the first- stage coating, color accents and second-stage user controls, the Legend is basically the same reg as the Lux. This is especially true when it comes to performance, which is top drawer. Match that to its price, and you’ve got a Best Buy.
SPECS Made in France | WEIGHT 2 lb., 11 oz. | FIRST STAGE Balanced diaphragm | PORTS 2HP, 4LP | SECOND STAGE Pneumatically balanced | ADJUSTMENTS Venturi switch | WARRANTY Limited lifetime | MSRP $585 | CONTACT aqualung.com
BREATHING SIMULATOR PERFORMANCE: Excellent-PLUS | REAL-WORLD PERFORMANCE: Good to Very Good