Best Scuba Tanks

Samuel Blake
Written by Samuel Blake

When it comes to scuba diving, there are few things quite as important as your scuba tank. As it is so critical to survival, it is vital that you choose the best scuba tank for the job. The first time that I had to make my first decision, I was overwhelmed. I had gotten really used to just renting one out that I really didn’t give the actual purchase process much thought. This is not a simple process and shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, you need to choose a tank that is able to sustain you underwater. If you are wondering what some of your choices may be, read on to find out.

Last update on 2018-06-16 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Scuba Tanks 2018

1. 80cf Aluminum Tank Regular Valve

Last update on 2018-06-16 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In terms of safety, this Sea Pearls diving tank is highly regarded and what I would consider purchasing. This is because it has taken all of the necessary strides to ensure that the cylinder is as tough and as secure as it can be. It has an up to date VIP sticker and has also received a Hydro stamp. These, combined together, assure you that you are getting the highest quality cylinder.

Adding to the safety factor is that the tank is made from aluminum. This means that you will not have to be worried about corrosion as aluminum tanks are not overly prone to corroding.

This 80 cubic feet cylinder boasts 3,000 PSI of pressure. As such, it comes equipped with a 3/4 – 14 NPSM thread, which is standard for a tank of this pressure.

For simplicity sake, this tank has a high compression K-valve that is stainless steel but chrome plated. Not only is the simpler to use, it is also a great deal more efficient, too.

The tank weighs in around 35 pounds, which is not too bad considering. As a diver of average size, I found it comfortable enough, strapped to my back.

Although it may not seem like much, I also like the fact that this tank comes in bright yellow. This is definitely something that can be seen from far away, even in water that is murky.

This is useful if you are diving in groups or want to make sure that someone can keep tabs on you at all times.

Specs:

  • Current VIP sticker and Hydro stamp
  • 3/4 – 14 NPSM thread
  • K-valve
  • 80 cubic feet, 3000 psi

2. Luxfer Compact Brushed Aluminum 80 CF Tank

Last update on 2018-06-16 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are a bit on the petite side or just aren’t used to carry extra weight, then this Luxfer Compact Brushed tank is probably a good choice for you.

This is because it is about three inches shorter than many of other cylinders that are capable of managing such a capacity. It is also on the lighter side, weighing in at under 35 pounds.

While this may be a more compact tank, this doesn’t in any way affect just how much it can hold. The max fill pressure for this tank is 3300 PSI or 228 Bar.

Still, this is not even what makes this tank so notable – there are a couple of things. First off, it is made from high strength aluminum alloy 6061-T6. This gives the tank an edge over many of its aluminum counterparts. It also ensures that this is quite a sturdy tank as well.

This is important as many aluminum tanks are known to be somewhat fragile.

The other great thing is that it comes with a Pro Valve. As a result, this tank works equally well with both yoke as well as DIN attachments.

You can also be reassured that the necessary safety tests have been carried out. All of these tanks have a VIP inspection sticker and a fresh Hydro stamp as well.

The Luxfer tank is also neutrally buoyant. This means that without any effort on your part, you will be able to remain submerged at a level that you are comfortable with underwater.

Specs:

  • High strength aluminum alloy 6061-T6
  • Pro Valve
  • 80 cubic feet, 3300 PSI
  • Compact size

3. Faber FX Series 100 cu ft High Pressure Blue Steel Tank

Last update on 2018-06-16 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Faber Blue Steel FX tank is the most expensive scuba cylinder on this list. It is also the only steel scuba tank here too.

At this price point, I would suggest that it is best suited to those who are experienced divers or who plan on diving quite frequently.

This is because as long as you take good care of your steel tank, it is bound to last you for a long time. This does require effort on your part as well.

The other thing that I like about this tank is that for its weight – 34.3 pounds, it is actually capable of holding a great deal of air. At 3442 PSI, this tank is ideal for those who like to go on long dives. Also, on these longer dives, you are less likely to have to contend with positive buoyancy and will just be less likely to sink than before.

The FX tank is also Nitrox compatible up to 40 percent. The 3/4″ – 14 NPSM is expected for a tank of this capacity.

It has already been rigorously tested – and passed – all of the safety requirements. This includes getting the VIP sticker and the Hydro stamp. It has even received a seal of approval from the Department of Transportation.

This means that the tank is safe for travel and transport as long as it is not subject to overfilling.

As it is a steel tank, there is always the propensity for corrosion. Due to this, it is important to stay on top of your maintenance as well as future inspections.

Specs:

  • Steel tank
  • Suitable for Nitrox use
  • VIP and Hydro inspected

4. IORMAN Original 6.8L Scuba Diving Air Tank

Last update on 2018-06-16 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Iorman Original scuba tank was certainly one that I was interested in checking out. This is because it boasts a construction that is unlike many of the other tanks.

The exterior of the tank is composed of carbon fiber. The interior liner of the cylinder, however, is made from aluminum. The carbon fiber layer is wrapped in a protective fiberglass layer.

As you can imagine, one of the main features of this scuba tank is the fact that is incredibly light. In fact, it weighs about 4 kilos in total. Despite this, the pressure capability stands at 4500 PSI, which is quite incredible.

To balance this, the tank is fitted with a high-pressure gas cylinder valve. I can’t speak to its durability as I didn’t use it for very long.

According to the manufacturer’s, this tank will be able to last you about fifteen years as long as it is well maintained.

Also, as it is made from carbon fiber, there is no concern of the tank corroding.

The lightness of the tank doesn’t reflect just how strong the cylinder is, either. The tank has been designed to withstand not only shock but also to prevent the material from distorting when under immense pressure.

It should be noted that this is an international brand and as such, doesn’t have the same safety tests performed on it. This means that there is no VIP sticker or Hydro stamp. However, it is CCS/CE certificated.

Specs:

  • Carbon fiber construction
  • Lightweight
  • Durable

5. Cyl-Tec 80CF Scuba Diving Tank

Last update on 2018-06-16 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Cyl-Tec scuba diving tank is the cheapest option on this list.

However, if you are looking for a no-fuss tank that you can rely on, this is the one for you. This is a cylinder that even beginner scuba divers can appreciate due to its simplicity.

This tank has an air capacity of eighty cubic feet with 3000 PSI. This is more than enough for most dives. The tank is Nitrox ready and so therefore, able to accommodate mixes of up to 40 percent.

This dive tank is constructed from high strength aluminum alloy 6061-T6, ensuring that you can trust the durability of the tank.

It has been made according to the standards set by both the American and the Canadian Departments of Transportation. It has also been verified to be safe by other safety departments as well.

This tank has received a VIP sticker as well as the Hydro seal of approval.

The other thing that I like about this tank is that it consists of a combo valve which caters to both the K-valve as well as DIN.

To make the change, it is simply a matter of removing the center plug with an Allen wrench.

If I had to complain about anything at all, it would be that this tank seems a bit heavier in the water than most others. For those who are shorter, it may be a bit long as well. At this price point, however, these faults are easily forgiven.

Specs:

  • Aluminum construction
  • 80 cubic feet, 3000 PSI
  • Combo valve
  • Nitro ready

6. 80cf Alum Scuba Tank, Catalina

Last update on 2018-06-16 / Affiliate links, Prices, Reviews & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The brand as well as this particular Catalina scuba tank is one of the more popular options on the market, especially among dive centers.

If you have ever rented out scuba equipment, it is quite like that your tank was a Catalina model.

There are several reasons why this tank is quite so widespread. I favor it because it is so light, especially compared to other tanks. This tank weighs in just over 31 pounds.

Made from high-grade aluminum, the tank is fitted with a Pro Valve. This means that you can switch between yoke and DIN with ease.

In addition to this, the tank is also equipped with a high flow capacity valve. The working pressure of the Catalina tank has been measured at 3000 PSI. Its capacity stands at 80 cubic feet.

This tank is also Nitrox ready at forty percent.

Like all of the Catalina scuba tanks, this tank has passed all of the safety measures and inspections. It has received both the VIP sticker and the Hydro stamp.

For an aluminum made tank, this particular model is actually quite hardy. While it won’t offer you the same type of resistance as steel, it will be able to stave off a little bit of damage.

Also, you will not have to worry about rusting.

Specs:

  • 80 cubic meter, 3000 PSI
  • High-grade aluminum construction
  • Nitrox ready
  • VIP and Hydro sticker

Types of Scuba Tanks

It can be difficult to decisively divide scuba tanks into types or categories. While they can differ in material, size, and the type of valves, it is not always so clear cut. Here are some tips that you can follow to help you find the scuba tank that you want.

First things first, let’s start off with what the scuba tanks are actually constructed from. There is a long-standing debate between the two most common materials – aluminum and steel.

Steel

In the eyes of most professionals, steel would be the clear winner in this race. This is because tanks made of steel tend to be lighter on land and more durable. The main reason why steel tanks are lighter than aluminum one is because the former material is stronger. Therefore, there is less of the material required to create a sturdy, reliable tank. This is also the cause of steel tanks having some of the highest capacities. As they weigh less, companies have the freedom to create tanks that are slightly larger.

Therefore, for divers who are looking to spend a considerable amount of time in the water and want tanks that are durable will look to steel. As long as these tanks are well maintained, they can last you for up to fifteen years at a time. There are a few limitations when it comes to these tanks, nonetheless. The first, of course, is cost. Steel tanks tend to cost quite a bit more than their aluminum counterparts. As such, if you are not a serious diver, this investment may not seem worth it. The other issue is internal corrosion. Steel tanks are prone to rust, particularly in the internal portions of the tank. This can be quite dangerous and therefore it is imperative that the tanks are well cared for.

While steel may be lighter on land, it becomes heavier in water, making it negatively buoyant. This means there is less effort involved in staying underwater. Now, the more air that you use up, the lighter that the tank gets. Instead of becoming positively buoyant, however, steel tanks simply become less negatively buoyant. Therefore, you sink less than you did before instead of getting closer to the surface.

Aluminum

Moving onto aluminum tanks. Aluminum tanks have their own set of perks but there is one drawback that is frequently mentioned. This is the fact that aluminum tanks are known to be quite weak. Therefore, any dings can cause serious damage to the tanks. Aluminum, by itself, is quite light, but brittle. To make the tanks safe enough, more layers of aluminum need to be added. This makes them a bit heavier with a lower capacity.

One of the main reasons that people prefer aluminum, however, is that it resists metal corrosion a great deal better than steel tanks. Rather than rusting, this metal experiences oxidation. This means that a protective layer is formed, reducing the creation of even more corrosion.

As a result, it is often safer although it, too, requires maintenance in order to stay in good condition. Considering that you will be spending so much time in saltwater, this is a handy characteristic. The other plus point of aluminum tanks is that they are a bit cheaper as well, which makes it a more sensible choice for new divers or those who dive only occasionally.

You should be aware that aluminum tanks go from being negatively buoyant to positively buoyant as they empty. This means that you will find yourself slowly rising to the surface. This is easily corrected with the help of weights but it does tend to be a bit annoying.

Carbon Fiber

While aluminum and steel may be conquering the markets at the moment, there is a third option that is slowly emerging. This is carbon fiber tanks. The main reason that they are not more widely used is because they have yet to be approved for underwater use by governmental agencies such as the American Department of Transport. The other is that in most instances these carbon fiber tanks are insanely expensive, although there are some exceptions to this rule.

There are three main advantages to using carbon fiber tanks. The first, of course, is that they are very light which does make it more comfortable to scuba with. The second is that it is not prone to rust or corrosion so there will be less amount of maintenance. They capacity is also greater which allows for a considerably larger PSI, sometimes up to 5000 PSI.

Buying a Scuba Tank

There are four points that you should consider when you are shopping for a scuba cylinder, they are as follows:

Price

Unarguably, this is going to factor into your decision the most. As mentioned, the steel ones often will cost more than the aluminum tanks. Therefore, if you aren’t going to be using it all that regularly or your dives aren’t too long, the aluminum options make more financial sense.

Size vs. Air Capacity

Size is not the same as air capacity. When you are thinking about size, you need to figure out how this tank is going to fit on your body. Of course, if you prefer to go on longer dives, air capacity is undoubtedly important. At the same time, a tank that is too long for you is going to be quite a nuisance underwater. Therefore, make sure to look at how the tank lines up with your torso before buying it.

Valves

This depends on the type of valve that you prefer – K-valve or DIN. Therefore, it is a great deal to do with preference. In case you don’t have a preference, you can always get a combo valve that is also sometimes referred to as a Pro Valve. This way, you can use both yolke and DIN, depending on the situation. It is a good idea to make sure that your valve has a burst disk as a safety precaution. This will make sure that you will be safe in the event that the tank pressure gets too high.

Maintenance

The first thing that you should be aware of is that regardless of whether you choose a steel scuba tank or an aluminum tank, the result is the same. You are going to need to maintain it well, especially in terms of safety inspections such as VIP and Hydro. That being said, it is up to you to decide the type of maintenance involved. With aluminum tanks, the main concern will be the exterior of the tank. With steel tanks, on the other hand, you will have to worry about the corrosion on the inside.

How Scuba Tanks are Made

This is a great video if you are interested in how scuba tanks are made:

Bottom Line

There are many scuba dive tanks on the market all with different specs. If you are someone who plans to dive very frequently then the Faber Blue Steel FX tank is best. If you prefer extremely light weight tanks then the Iorman would be a great purchase. For smaller divers the Luxfer Compact would be ideal. Overall this post covers the key considerations and highlights the best scuba tanks on the market. This, in turn, will help you pick out the one that is just right for you.

 

About the author

Samuel Blake

Samuel Blake

My name is Samuel Blake. I am the founder of this scuba blog. I have been a diver for over 5 years. I care about helping you choose and decide on the best diving products.

Leave a Comment