Best Scuba Tanks 2020 : 6 Critical Criteria to Know Before Purchase

If you don’t have a lot of time the best scuba tank is the XS Scuba Faber High Pressure Steel Tank

Once you have  your scuba suit , mask and fins as well as dive watch, you then need to make sure that you have the right kind of tank to go scuba diving. The scuba tank is one of the most vital pieces of equipment for when you’re diving, since it essentially is you life blood with it’s air supply.

But there are various different types of scuba tanks on the market, let alone their various individual characteristics like their size, functionality or type. This can make finding and purchasing the right type of scuba tank extremely difficult, especially if you’re not aware of the features you should be looking for.

That’s why this complete guide will help you in your buying process. Here are some of the most vital information that you should be considering before you purchase a particular scuba tank as well as five of the best scuba tanks on the market.

The Best Scuba Tanks go as Follows:

  1. XS Scuba Faber High Pressure Steel Tank
  2. Faber Low Pressure Steel Tank
  3. Faber Hot Dip Galvanized High Pressure Steel Tank
  4. Catalina Aluminum Tank with Pro Valve
  5. Luxfer Aluminum Pony Tank with Pro Valve

Best Scuba Tank Reviews

The best scuba tanks that have the highest customer ratings go as follows.

1. XS Scuba Faber High Pressure Steel Tank – Best Overall

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4.5/5

Features:

  • O-ring sealed valve bonnets
  • 3442 psi
  • Constructed using a triple protected and zinc sprayed steel material
  • Weight: from 28.3 lbs to 42.4 lbs
  • Valve material is marine grade brass with triple chrome plating

 

The XS Scuba Faber Steel Tank is recommended for you because the steel tank construction comes equipped with a pro valve that offers you the ability to switch back and forth between the various different amounts of air flow levels. This tank is constructed to be suitable to use with the BCD, since you can easily fill the bladder portion with air when needed.

The steel construction of these cylinders is produced with a triple protected and zinc sprayed steel. And the valve is composed of a marine grade brass material that can last for long periods of time, in saltwater especially. The handle contains a rubber material on it that you can easily grip, and there is a stainless steel insert that ensures you can turn the handle easily even while you’re wearing gloves.

>>What Customers Think<<

The customers are warned that this product doesn’t come with the valves threaded to the cylinder, so you’re required to inspect the cylinder completely before using it. Other than that, the customers really like the feature where the tank easily indicates whether the valve is on or off by the red and green indicator.

In addition to that, a few customers complained that there is nothing wrong with the tank and the product itself, but the packaging that it comes in should have been protected better. More specifically, they claim that their tanks weren’t wrapped and protected enough in the shipping process, so there were a few small scratches in the paint.

Pros:

  • Constructed using a triple protected and zinc sprayed steel material for safety and longevity
  • Nitrox is ready up to 40%
  • Painted with epoxy and polyurethane for full protection in saltwater

Cons:

  • Valve doesn’t come threaded to the cylinder

 

2. Faber Low Pressure Steel Tank – Best Extra Features

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4/5

Features:

  • Supports optimal distribution of weight
  • Nitrox is ready up to 40%
  • Includes the Faber tank, DIN/K valve and the tank boot with purchase
  • Weight: from 31.2 lbs to 41 lbs
  • Chrome plated marine brass valve material

 

You should consider this Faber Low Pressure Steel Tank for your diving adventures because it’s composed of a steel material that’s ensured for safety, since the steel has been triple protected, sprayed with zinc and painted with both epoxy as well as polyurethane. This steel construction is also better for your diving experiences than other constructions, since the steel is a heavier material that helps you to more easily control your BCD system.

This product is also larger than the other tanks on this list because it’s classified as a low pressure tank. That being said, it doesn’t require as high of a pressure to fill it, but the tank is larger so it can be more difficult to carry if you’re a smaller-bodied individual. Additionally, this product comes with a cylinder boot that can provide for extra protection of the tank.

>>What Customers Think<<

Some customers complain that the heavy duty steel material in addition to the large size of this scuba tank make this product one of the heavier tanks to deal with. That being said, it’s not recommended for younger people or those that have smaller bodies. Additionally, it’s probably safer to only use this product if you’re more experienced with diving in general.

Other than the heavier weight and larger size of the product, many customers claim that this product is beneficial because you have the ability to achieve a more neutral buoyancy with the steel tank than you can with an aluminum one. In addition to that, they also recommend this low pressure steel tank because the larger size allows for a larger air flow storage capacity, which essentially allows people to dive for longer periods of time.

Pros:

  • Comes equipped with a tank boot for your safety and tank protection
  • Has a negative buoyancy at the end of a dive to allow you shedding of the excess lead
  • Contains a high flow capacity valve

Cons:

  • The heavy weight mat not be suitable for some people to use

 

3. Faber Hot Dip Galvanized High Pressure Steel Tank – Best Value

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4/5

Features:

  • Constructed with a chromium molybdenum steel material
  • Faber DIN/K valve that can be converted
  • Weight: from 28.6 lbs to 42.7 lbs
  • Composed of a galvanized hot dip
  • Valve is constructed with a chrome plated marine brass

 

Considering the Faber Hot Dip scuba tank might be beneficial for you because the steel tank is equipped with a DIN/K type valve that gives you the ability to remove lead from your BCD or your weight belt. By having the ability to easily remove excess lead, this tank allows you to better distribute the weight of the tank by moving excess to the rear of the BCD.

Not only that, but this steel tank is produced with a chromium molybdenum steel as well as a galvanized hot dip. This allows you to have more protection, and it ensures maximum safety. This tank is represented as a smaller tank size, which is beneficial for those of you that are either younger or have smaller bodies. The smaller size of the tank helps the tank weigh less than other tanks on the market. Since they’re smaller, this tank has 3442 psi of working pressure that you can easily work with.

>>What Customers Think<<

Overall, the customers seem to be satisfied with the overall appearance and functionality of this scuba tank. But many aren’t impressed with the Faber valve that the product comes with, and they even switched the valve out. Other customers that had problems with the valve claim that the valve width was too short, which made carrying the tank uncomfortable.

The customers were also satisfied with the overall size of the tank. Since it’s smaller than the other tanks on the market, and it has a higher amount of pressure that you can work with, this tank is easy to manage and utilize while you’re on dives. Given the lightweight material, it seems to also be a great tank for younger people as well.

Pros:

  • Comes with a tank boot that can provide extra protection for the boot
  • Easy to use
  • Produced with a chromium molybdenum steel material

Cons:

  • More expensive than some of the other scuba tanks on the market

 

4. Catalina Aluminum Tank with Pro Valve – Best Budget Option

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3.5/5

Features:

  • Produced with a corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy material
  • Equipped with a convertible K-valve
  • Multi-ported burst plug assembly
  • Weight: 31.6 lbs
  • Working pressure of 3000 psi

 

Purchasing the Catalina Aluminum Tank is most recommended for you if you’re more concerned about budget when you’re browsing the web for a scuba tank. This tank comes equipped with a Pro Valve, which is classified as the best valve for diving because of its high flow capacity as well as its ability to convert easily. Because of that, you can easily convert between the ability to use the valve for different DIN inserts.

Furthermore, this aluminum cylinder scuba tank is produced with a lightweight aluminum alloy material, which makes it suitable for younger people. This aluminum scuba tank is also great for you if you’re known to use your tank often and for long periods of time. Aluminum is more recommended for long lifespans of the tank because aluminum doesn’t rust. Instead, it oxidizes. But this tank in particular contains a protective coating on the outside that helps to prevent any corrosion from developing.

>>What Customers Think<<

Customers seem to enjoy the overall functionality of this aluminum scuba tank, but the size of the tank may be the most problematic feature. More specifically, this tank is only available in 80 cubic feet, whereas most other tanks on the market are available in various different colors as well as different sizes and capacities.

Not only that, but some people complained that the stage one as missing the O rings. Other customers also complain that the valve that comes with the aluminum tank doesn’t work as well as they had expected. That being said, you may want to inspect the certain aluminum scuba tank that you receive in the mail and make sure that you not only have everything, but you should also make sure that everything within the product works well, too.

Lastly, a fair amount of previous customers complain that the product doesn’t come with inspection stickers. Because of that, these customers were required to pay extra in order to have the tank inspected upon getting it filled. But it doesn’t seem that every customer had this issue.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, so it’s suitable for younger individuals
  • Comes with a convertible K-valve
  • Most affordable option on this list

Cons:

  • Only available in 80 CF, so it’s not recommended for longer dive trips

 

5. Luxfer Aluminum Pony Tank with Pro Valve – Easiest to Carry

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3.5/5

Features:

  • Available in either 6 CF, 13 CF or 19 CF
  • Pro-Valve that’s convertible and corrosion-resistant
  • Smooth operating valve mechanism
  • Valve comes with multiple ports for plug assembly
  • Produced with a durable and corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy

 

If you’re looking for the scuba tank that’s the easiest to carry, then this Luxfer scuba tank is highly recommended for you because it’s produced with a long-lasting and lightweight aluminum alloy material that’s able to resist any corrosion from developing. This is especially beneficial for scuba tanks, since the constant exposure to the saltwater can wear away the material on the outside of the tank. So having a protective coating that resists corrosion is highly beneficial.

Since this product is classified as a pony tank, it’s most suitable for using in addition to the other main tank that you’re likely using. This pony tank is equipped with its own regulator as well as first and second stages. You have the ability to choose exactly where you want to place this tank as well, since you can either mount it to the front of your body, to the side of your suit or even to the side of the main tank that you’re using.

For your benefit, this pony tank features a Pro Valve as well, so it’s capable of acting as a high flow cylinder valve as well as a convertible valve. The valve itself offers a heavy duty design that has a smooth operating mechanism as well as multiple ports. This helps to ensure optimal safety and protection. The valve is produced with a durable chrome plated brass that has corrosion-resistant properties.

>>What Customers Think<<

Customers seem to have a fairly positive review of this product, since they claim that the size is the most beneficial factor contributing to the positive rating. Since it’s a pony tank, many individual divers found this tank to be easily installed, and it has a secure attachment.

They also claim that the lightweight material of the tank is beneficial for going on long dives, since the product barely adds any weight to their body and it’s able to supply the extra air that you may need. A select few customers claim that their specific K-valve was missing a t-tube when they first received the product. But overall, the reviews of this scuba tank were positive and the customers seemed satisfied.

Pros:

  • Great for extra air capacity when going on deep diving trips
  • Extremely lightweight and corrosion resistant aluminum material
  • Valve offers multiple ports and is convertible between Yoke or DIN regulators

Cons:

  • Nitrox ready up to 23.5%, which is lesser than the other tanks on this list

 

Factors to Consider

scuba diving with tank and mask

Where are You Diving?

It’s important that you consider the specific location that you’re diving because this will essentially help you figure out how large, small or what specific type of scuba tank you’ll need for your trip. More specifically, if you’re planning on diving in certain parts of the ocean that are colder and deeper than others, then the tank you choose will have to withstand the cooler temperatures, and it should also have the air capacity levels that can allow you to dive for all long as you need.

On the other hand, if you’re diving in warmer and more shallow waters, then you should make sure that the tank you have is able to accommodate for the warmer temperatures. You also won’t need a scuba tank that’s too large and heavy for short and shallow dive trips, since the heavy weight will essentially be requiring you to work more than necessary.

Considering where you’re diving is also important because of the type of attractions that you’ll be around. For instance, many people choose to dive in certain locations over other ones because of the specific animals that are around one area over others,. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to find a tank that won’t get in the way of your interacting with animals.

Lastly, the location of your diving trip is important because of the weather in that certain area. Not only does the weather affect your ability to go diving altogether, but the type of weather in a certain area can affect the conditions of the water as well. If the weather is going to be rough or it was already rough in the past, then the water conditions will definitely be negatively affected because of this.

So it’s important that you consider the specific location of your diving trip to best accommodate for the type of equipment you’ll need to bring as well as the trip’s quality overall.

Size and Air Capacity

Perhaps one of the most vital factors to consider before you purchase a specific scuba tank is the overall size and air capacity that each tank has. The tank’s size will determine the amount of weight that you’ll have to carry on your back throughout your entire diving trip. And the air capacity essentially determines the amount of time that you have underwater, since you can only stay underwater for the amount of time that you have access to air.

Since the size of the tank ultimately determines the amount of weight that you’re required to haul around, the tank’s size should be just right for your body’s capabilities. For instance, younger and smaller-bodied people shouldn’t have tanks that are heavy and seemingly too large for their body to carry. Likewise, larger-bodied people should find a tank that’s suitable for carrying on their back as well.

Lastly, the air capacity is your time factor, so if you’re planning on going on a longer diving trip to levels of the water that are deeper than others, then a scuba tank with a higher air capacity may be more suitable for you. But if you’re planning on staying in more shallow waters or diving for short periods of time, then a tank with a smaller air capacity will be more suitable for you.

man scuba diving with stingray

Material

The two most common types of material that scuba tanks are produced with are aluminum and steel, each offering their own specific advantages and disadvantages. For instance, aluminum scuba tanks are constructed with thicker walls in order to make up for the softer structure of the aluminum itself. The thicker walls help to keep the overall construction more durable.

Since aluminum material itself is softer than steel, aluminum tanks are more susceptible to developing dents or scratches, so you have to be more cautious transporting them and using them underwater around debris. But aluminum itself is also more lightweight than steel, so they’re easier to wear underwater, and they can be used by practically everyone. Since aluminum oxidizes underwater, you’ll want to find a scuba tank that has a protective coating to prevent oxidation from developing on the tank.

On the other hand, steel scuba tanks are known to rust underwater, so you’ll have to find ones that also offer a protective coating to prevent this from occurring. Not only that, but steel tanks are more likely to experience damage from filling them improperly and moisture reaching inside. Because of that, steel tanks may require more frequent tumbling, which is classified as a procedure that removes the liquid from inside and prevents and oxidation from occurring on the inside of the tank.

Aside from the downsides of the tank, steel material is highly beneficial because of the high quality and durability that each of them have. Steel material itself is more durable and a harder surface than aluminum, so it can withstand more wear and tear.

 

Lower Pressure vs. Higher Pressure

The amount of pressure that a certain tank has is also an important factor to consider because it essentially shows you how much air is in a certain sized tank. More specifically, two of the same sided tanks can have different levels of air in them, since more air in one tank means that the tank has a higher pressure than the other one. And less air in the tank essentially means that the tank has a lower pressure.

A scuba tank’s pressure is measured in psi, or pounds per square inch, and the standard amount of pressure in a tank is 3000 psi. Low pressure tanks can have anywhere from 2400 to 2650 psi, and high pressure tanks have anywhere from 3300 to 3500 psi in them. Additionally, low pressure tanks also have a 10% overfill rate, meaning that a certain low pressure tank fit up to 10% more air into their size capacity.

Tanks with a higher pressure are required to have thicker walls than tanks that have a lower pressure, since they ultimately have more air in them, making the walls more susceptible to bursting. This is why most high pressure tanks are produced with a more durable steel material, and low pressure tanks are constructed using the less durable aluminum material.

Oxygen Compatibility

It’s important that you also consider the oxygen compatibility of each scuba tank. When high levels of oxygen are stored in one place, there becomes a level of danger with the safety of that container. More specifically, scuba tanks and other types of tanks that have high levels of oxygen compacted together present a fire hazard because of the risk of oxygen becoming exposed to the air at high rates and causing a fire hazard.

Given that, you’ll want to consider how safe each tank is and only purchase scuba tanks from trusted brands and companies that take preventative measures for safety and protection.

Valves

The valves on the scuba tanks are responsible for opening and closing the tank, and they help to determine how much air is escaping and at what rate of speed. There are many different types of valve components, including the knob, O-ring, burst disk and the valve snorkel. Each of these things are responsible for conducting certain actions.

For instance, the valve knob is the main component of the valve, since you can turn it one way and another way in order to either open or close the tank altogether. Typically a clockwise motion closes the valve and a counterclockwise motion opens the valve.

Additionally, the valve’s O-ring is responsible for creating a tight seal between both the valve and the regulator, and this essentially ensures safety and the full enclosure of the air in the tank. The burst disk is represented as a thin disk, and it helps to rupture the internal pressure of the cylinder if it reaches a certain level. This disk essentially helps to work as a safety feature to prevent the pressure in the tank from becoming too high and posing a safety risk.

Lastly, the valve snorkel is a tube that extends from the bottom of the valve. This helps to prevent any debris from traveling through the valve when the tank may be inverted .

FAQs

Does a scuba tank become less buoyant as more air is let out under water?

No. As you let more and more air out of your tank, the scuba tank actually becomes more buoyant. Because of this, many divers add more weight at the start of their dive in order to help compensate for the amount of air lost and the added buoyancy throughout their dive.

How long do scuba tanks last?

Most scuba tanks have the ability to last for decades on end, some lasting for up to 50 years. But this depends on the brand, the material and how well you take care of the tank overall.

How do you refill a scuba tank?

First make sure that your scuba tank is properly inspected and safe to use. Then you should release the extra air from the tank to ensure that only new air is going in. Then you should put the tank in cold water to help release any bubbles that were in there. Then you should attaché the regulator to the scuba tank before you fill the tank.

When you’re ready to fill it, make sure that the compressor is securely attached to the tank and fill the tank up. Make sure that you monitor the gauges and don’t overfill the tank past its capacity.

How long is the average dive with one scuba tank?

It depends on the size of the tank that you have as well as how deep in the water you’re traveling. The higher amount of air that your tank has, the more time you have with the tank underwater. But you also breathe more air the deeper that you travel underwater, so your time with the tank decreases the deeper you dive. Most standard scuba tanks measure around 12 liters, and they have 200 bars. And these standard tanks have the ability to last up to one hour.

What material do professional divers choose?

It really depends on the type of diving that you’re doing. Due to the buoyancy and its lightweight properties, aluminum tanks are more recommended for diving as a sport and for shorter and more shallow dives. But for sight-seeing and longer dives, steel tanks are more recommended because of their great durability.

Final Thoughts

Overall, each of these scuba tanks is able to offer you the ability to effectively attend diving trips with a comfortable and lightweight scuba tank that doesn’t get in the way of your comfort or experience while diving. More specifically, each of these scuba dive tanks features a valve that is convertible and offers a high flow capacity.

But every specific product also has some of their own individual features that can make choosing the best scuba tank a difficult process. That being said, you’re most recommended to consider purchasing the scuba tank with the best overall features. Product #1: XS Scuba Faber High Pressure Steel Tank is highly recommended for you because it features a Pro Valve that has a high flow capacity, and it gives you the ability to convert between either Yoke or DIN regulators.

In addition to those benefits, this XS Scuba Faber High Pressure Steel Tank also offers a high quality and long-lasting performance, since it’s produced with a triple protected and a zinc sprayed steel. Given all of these beneficial features, you should purchase the XS Scuba Faber High Pressure Steel Tank on the market.

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