Best Scuba Tank 2018 – Reviews and Buying Guide By an Expert

Are all scuba tanks the same? For professional and experienced scuba divers the answer is a resounding No! For the complete rookie, the answer is a little muddled. After all, to the untrained eyes, a scuba tank is a scuba tank in the way it works.

That’s why it helps to do some homework and read reliable scuba tank reviews to understand what is happening in the scuba diving world.

Rather than being confused or overwhelmed by scuba talk, check our review and buying guide for the top recommendations for you.

Afterward, your final choice should be less difficult to make.

Top 3 Best Scuba Tank: Editor’s Pick 

Scuba Tank Scuba Tank Model Editor's Rating Price
Compact Brushed Aluminium 80 CF Tank
IORMAN Universal 4500psi Carbon Fiber Air Tank
Cyl-Tec 80CF Scuba Diving Tank

10 Best Scuba Diving Tank Review:

1. LUXFER Compact Brushed Aluminium 80 CF Tank

We start with the Luxfer 80 cubic foot compact scuba tank which can be found among the best scuba diving tank options on the market. It is designed to keep a slightly negative buoyancy when it is underwater, even when it is empty. Each Catalina cylinder is made with extra strength aluminum alloy 6061-T6.

Every aluminum alloy compressed gas cylinder that is seamless is made to meet U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) 3AL and Transport Canada (TC) 3ALM standards.  These scuba tank cylinders are prefilled to 500PSI and they receive VIP inspection stickers that are current before being shipped. You won’t regret having one of these reliable scuba tanks and for the unbeatable price, they are well worth it.

Highlighted Features

  • This scuba tank is supplied with a Nitrox Tank Wrap, Pro-Valve (Yoke/Din), Fresh Hydro, and a VIP Inspection Sticker;
  • Maximum fill pressure is 3300 PSI / 228 Bar with a capacity of 80 Cubic Feet or 11.1 Liters;
  • Tank dimensions are 5 inches / 648 mm in length, 7.25” or 184.2 mm in diameter;
  • Its weight when empty is 34.7 lbs or 15.7 kilos;
  • Its buoyancies are -5.8 lbs or -2.63 kilos when full and 0.0 lbs / 0.0 kilos when empty.

2. IORMAN Universal 4500psi Carbon Fiber Air Tank

If you much rather a safe and reliable scuba cylinder, consider the Iorman Universal 4500psi cylinder. It is military quality Carbon Fiber gas cylinder that you can use for your scuba activities. Not only is this scuba cylinder a premium quality AL6061 unit, it is also the best diving tank that is resistant to compressive wear.

Expect a strong and stable performance from this composite cylinder which can accept pressure of up to 30MPa. A safety feature you can look for is the sealing ring groove that is made to keep air under control. It is also designed for seamless filament winding and its high-pressure valve thread meets acceptable standards. This scuba cylinder is light enough to be easily carried by one person. It also provides 15 years of service for you.

Highlighted Features

  • This scuba tank has the capacity to hold 2700 litres of gas,  9 litres of water and also has the capacity of  88-95 cubic feet. It is also certified by DOT;
  • This scuba cylinder is designed to be resistant to shock, corrosion, and creep. It is made of premium quality material such as AL6061 aluminum alloy, full-wrap carbon fiber, and winding of glass fiber;
  • Its exterior surface is treated with a coat of epoxy to protect it;
  • Unlike the steel scuba cylinders of old, the Carbon fiber composite cylinder is as much as 70% lighter;
  • This cylinder performs with stability and the treated interior ensures that the gas is clean and does not carry an odor;
  • It can be used in a variety of situations including scuba diving, emergency escape respirator, a lifesaver on ships, as fill for PCP rifle and Paintball tanks, fire and Medical protection, and so on.

3. Cyl-Tec 80CF Scuba Diving Tank – (3000 psi) Aluminum Diving Tank

Professional and amateur divers will love the Cyl-Tec 80CF Scuba Diving Tank for its lightweight yet durable design. It is made of polished aluminum with a sock of clear plastic webbing. Weighing just around 32 pounds, this scuba tank is easy to carry around and it also has the right fill of gas to make your scuba sessions worthwhile. While this tank is designed for scuba, you can actually use it to fill you PCP air rifles or paintball launchers.

Your Cyl-Tec 80CF Scuba Diving Tank is certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for use in scuba diving. It is therefore compliant with the high US standards that have been set for the best scuba diving tank equipment.  You can, therefore, rest assured that it is a reliable scuba tank that will make your underwater explorations much safer and stress-free.

Highlighted Features

  • Certified by the DOT/TC for scuba;
  • The air capacity of this tank is 80 Cubic Feet and it has a working pressure of 3000 psi (207 bar);
  • The buoyancy when full is -1.9 pounds and when empty it is 3.8 pounds;
  • Intended for scuba diving, this tank is suitable for both amateur and professional divers;
  • It is equipped with a new Combo Valve to accept the DIN and K-type connections;
  • With the valve, the height of the cylinder is 29.75 inches.

4. 80 Cf Scuba Dive Tank Faber

Another selection from the best scuba diving tank is the Faber 80 Cubic Foot Scuba Dive Tank. It is a high-pressure tank made of steel and is quite compatible with any regulator. This scuba diving cylinder is also resistant to corrosion and is long lasting thanks to its Chromium Molybdenum finish. Expect to have the 80 cf scuba diving tank for many scuba sessions to come.

Included with the scuba diving tank is a DIN compatible tank that drains itself and a Pro Valve-Standard Yoke. You can also use this scuba tank for Nitrox as it is compatible to around 40% which is the limit for recreational use of Nitrox.  Your diving expeditions can definitely be more fulfilling with this reliable and effective scuba tank made by one of the best in the market.

Highlighted Features

  • The 80cf Scuba Dive Tank is made for high-pressure performance;
  • This cylinder is certified by the DOT to E-13488 specifications. It does not require overfilling;
  • Like all cylinders in the F-X Series, this cylinder is cleaned with oxygen and it is suitable for use with Nitrox;
  • The inlet thread is ¾ inches;
  • Without the valve, the height of this cylinder is 20.87 inches and the diameter is 7.24 inches. It weighs 28.6 pounds without the valve.

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

What more would you need when you have the Faber FX Series 100 cubic foot scuba tank by your side? This awesome tank, which you can find among the best scuba diving tank options, is a high-quality product you would be proud of. Take for instance its buoyancy which for an average diver is an important consideration. Compared with an aluminum tank, this blue steel scuba tank takes around four pounds off your diving weight.  It is quite easy to carry and work underwater.

This tank is also quite durable and can take the battering most scuba tanks to go through without showing it.  Diving with this best diving tank choice is a joy to experience. You won’t have to deal with the stress and pain offered by other, less durable, and low-quality scuba diving gear. See some of the highlighted features that makes the Faber FX Series such a worthwhile choice.

Highlighted Features

  • This 100 cubic foot blue steel tank is built for performance under high pressure;
  • Overfilling is not required for this cylinder which has a DOT specification of E-13488;
  • This cylinder is also suitable for use with Nitrox;
  • It has an inlet thread of ¾ inches;
  • The Faber FX Series is 25.39 inches tall (without the valve) and has a diameter of 7.24 inches. It also weighs 34.3 pounds without the valve.

6. High Pressure 149 Steel Tank

If you must have a higher capacity scuba tank, then the high pressure 149 steel tank is the best scuba diving tank for you. This scuba tank is around 29.33 inches tall from top to bottom, including the valves. You will definitely have sufficient gas for your dive, so you can go for deeper dives and stay longer underwater. Of course, if you consume gas at a faster rate, then you will end up with shorter dive times.

Not to worry, your high pressure 149 cf steel tank provides sufficient gas for a decent dive. Like all steel tanks, you will need to take extra care to prevent water or moisture from escaping inside.  This means thorough cleaning and careful maintenance all the way.

Highlighted Features

  1. High capacity scuba tank above 3300 psi;
  2. Made of stainless steel for greater buoyancy and balance;
  3. High capacity at 149 cubic feet;
  4. Excellent for deep dives for a longer duration.

7. Low Pressure 85 Steel Tank

You might also consider the low pressure 85 steel tank as the best diving tank for you. Not only is this scuba tank suitable for recreational dives, it is around the right size for the average sized or smaller diver.  Expect great buoyancy and balance with this steel scuba tank that makes diving such a fun activity.

In fact, your diving will be just as great with this low-pressure steel scuba tank as it would be with any other steel scuba tank. Enjoy the advantages of owning a steel scuba tank such as the greater shock resistance and durability. Whether you dive for business or for fun, you can rest assured that the low pressure 85 steel scuba diving tank is the right choice for you. In making your choice, ensure that this tank is your correct size.

Highlighted Features

  • A capacity of 85 cubic feet;
  • Great buoyancy and balance underwater;
  • Low-pressure tank, approx. 2640 psi – adequate for recreational diving;
  • Easy to use.

8. Sea Pearls 80 Aluminum Scuba Diving Air Tank 3000 PSI

The Sea Pearls 80 Aluminum Scuba Diving Air Tank is another great option for your scuba adventures.  Even if your purpose is not scuba, but to fill air guns, etc, you will find this diving air tank much to your liking. Not only is this diving tank easy to use, it is safe too. It is a little on the heavy side – weighing around 40 pounds when empty.  You might, therefore, need help to carry it (such as using a hand truck). This scuba tank, however, has a decent pressure capacity of 3000 psi.

In any event, your Sea Pearls is a standard 80 aluminum scuba tank that comes equipped with a K-Valve. It is also quite reasonably priced if you are on a budget and need the best scuba diving tank you can afford. So, even if you only dive for fun or you really need a tank to fill your air gun, etc, the Sea Pearls 80 Aluminum Diving Tank is your best bet.

Highlighted Features

  • Pressure capacity of 3000 psi;
  • Easy and safe to use;
  • Equipped with a K-Valve;
  • A little heavy when not in water so you may need help to carry it around.

9. Sherwood Aluminum 100 CF Scuba Diving Tank

For the best diving tank to use in any scuba diving you do, consider the Sherwood Aluminum 100 cubic foot Scuba Diving Tank.  In addition to being a high-quality diving tank that you can expect from Sherwood, it is also quite affordable. With the Sherwood Aluminum diving tank, you get value for money. You also get safety as it is quite safe to use under pressure.

Even if you might have trouble with the tank’s 46.2 pounds weight, it compensates with a great buoyancy of -7.8 pounds when full. You certainly won’t regret taking this diving tank as it meets the DOT standards for pressure, durability, and safety.

Highlighted Features

  • The air pressure capacity of this 100 cubic foot Sherwood diving tank is 3300 psi;
  • With a weight of 46.2 pounds, it is on the heavy side, but it is quite buoyant;
  • Inclusive of the valve this tank is 30.3 inches long;
  • The Sherwood diving tank is compliant with DOT standards;
  • This tank is quite safe and easy to use.

10. 80cf Alum Scuba Tank, Catalina

Isn’t it nice to have your own scuba tank (instead of renting one?) What better tank to have than the 80 cubic foot aluminium tank from Catalina? Certainly, you won’t have bad experiences with one of the best scuba diving tank choices on the market. Simply fill up your scuba tank and go on your scuba adventure!

For persons who do a lot of scuba diving, it is good to have a reliable and trustworthy scuba tank and the Catalina 80 cf aluminium tank is another great choice. Even if you do not clock as many hours of dive time you can still afford to own this scuba tank as it is also quite reasonably priced.

Highlighted Features

  • The Catalina is ready for use with Nitrox (up to 40%);
  • The working air pressure is 3000 psi (or 200 bar);
  • Equipped with a high flow capacity valve (DIN for technical diving or Yoke for recreational diving);
  • The weight is manageable (31.6 pounds or 14.33 kilograms).

Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Choose Scuba Diving Tank

For most divers, it is more convenient to rent a scuba tank than to own one. For those who wish to own their own scuba tank, there are a range of considerations to take when making the decision to purchase a scuba tank.

In buying your own scuba tank from the best diving tank you can find, here are a few things you should take into account:

Your reason for diving: The kind of diving you do and the reason for diving are important considerations in choosing whether to buy or rent your scuba tank. If you dive quite frequently but you must travel by air to get to your various dive destinations, it is better to rent your scuba tank as you are not allowed to transport scuba tanks by air. If, however, your diving is more localized, then you could go ahead and buy your own scuba tank. Also, the needs of recreational divers and technical divers are quite different. So, you may need to consider which scuba tank is right for you if you dive for fun or for business. For example, recreational divers would need a scuba tank that uses the Yoke high flow capacity valve as opposed to the technical diver whose scuba tank must accept the DIN valve.

Material – You currently have two choices when it comes to the material of scuba tanks – aluminum and steel. Depending on your circumstances, you can select either one. While aluminum scuba tanks come in a limited number of sizes, the steel scuba tank offers more options. In addition, aluminum scuba tanks are lighter but less durable than steel tanks, although steel tanks will rust faster if they are not properly maintained. In any event, your choice of scuba between aluminum and steel must relate to what you actually need. So, if you dive mainly in salt water and the aluminum tank is available in your size, then you should stick to the aluminum tank.  If your dives are mainly in fresh water, then the steel scuba tank is your best bet.

Size – The size of your scuba tank is a real consideration in two ways.  First, size also determines how much gas you will get, and second, size is directly related to your height and weight. Larger scuba cylinders carry more gas and fit the bigger diver better than small scuba tanks would. If you are a large person, it makes good sense to go for a large scuba tank as it fits better on you, as well as it allows you more gas for your dive. Most recreational divers use an eleven-liter cylinder that carries 80 cf of gas at a psi of 3000 which is sufficient for a bottom dive without the risk of decompression sickness. Smaller or younger divers would require a smaller scuba tank (say the nine-liter AL 63 scuba tank). Aluminum cylinders come in around three popular sizes, the AL 63, AL 80, and AL 100. Steel scuba tanks carry more size options than aluminum such as the 50cf, 80cf, 100cf, 117cf, 133cf, and 150cf.

The number of tanks – Depending on the kind of dives you take, you may need more than one scuba tank. If you spend a lot of time underwater and do more than one dive during a typical session, then you are better off with additional scuba tanks. You may also need more than one scuba tank if the size and gas capacity of the tank you choose is less than what you actually need.

Your dive shop can also help you make the best choice of scuba tanks that are suitable for your diving situation.

Different Types of Scuba Diving Tanks 

Scuba tanks are usually constructed with aluminium or stainless steel. You won’t see any other type on the market. While aluminium tanks are lighter, the stainless steel tanks are more durable and resistant to shocks. Aluminum tanks also do not oxidize as much as the steel tanks. Other types of scuba tanks can be placed in two categories – the high pressure and the low-pressure tanks. Most scuba tanks nowadays are made for pressures ranging from a low of 2640 psi to a high of 3500 psi (pounds per square inch). The low-pressure tanks (in the 2640 psi) include the steel tanks used by technical divers who dive on the Nitrox mix, while aluminum scuba tanks are typically rated at around 3000 psi.

How to Use Scuba Diving Tank

The first thing to note is that the air in your scuba tank is a mixture that contains around 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen. Because the air is compressed you must be careful how you use it. Use dive tables to guide you on how deep to dive, how long to stay, and how quickly to come to the surface (to avoid decompression sickness). Ensure that your air mixture is suitable for the dive you will be taking. For dives on Nitrox, the tank should indicate how much oxygen (in percent) is in the mix and how deep is a safe dive. Research before diving with your scuba tank.

How to Maintain of Your Scuba Tank

Caring for your scuba tank is very important if you want the most of your gear for a very long time. After every dive, take the time to clean up your scuba gear including the scuba cylinder before you put them away.

Maintenance of your scuba tank and gear will prevent their failure and you won’t be put in an emergency situation as a result.

Here are the steps to properly maintain your scuba tank:

  • Rinse your scuba tank completely with fresh water to get rid of salt that causes corrosion. Rinsing thoroughly will also prevent grit from clogging the tank valve and making it harder for you to control the air supply on or off.
  • Avoid storing your cylinder when it is empty or full. Without pressure in your tank contamination will occur easily in an empty tank. A cylinder stored full will also crack eventually. It is better to keep your scuba tank upright or lying horizontally when you store it.
  • Rinse the scuba tank’s regulator completely with clean, fresh water right after your dive.
  • Finally, allow everything to dry fully before putting them away.
  • Avoid leaving your scuba equipment in direct sunlight for too long as they will fade, crack or otherwise degrade.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Question About Scuba Tank

1. How long can you dive on one tank?

The short answer is around one hour. Of course, how long you can dive on one scuba tank depends on a number of things. The size of the cylinder determines the amount of air it holds, so a larger scuba tank holds more air. Having more air, however, does not mean it will last longer as to how deep you go is another factor that makes a difference between a short dive and a lingering adventure. Your level of physical activity underwater also determines how long you stay there.

If you move around a lot, then you will use more air faster. Therefore, if the water is calm, you are using a standard size scuba cylinder, and you dive no deeper than 10 meters, then expect to be underwater for at least an hour. Otherwise, your stay underwater will be much shorter. If you are a professional and very experienced diver, you can increase your dive duration by controlling your breathing and buoyancy, as well as making very little movement underwater.

2. How much does it cost to fill up a scuba tank?

The cost to fill up a scuba tank really depends on your location and the individual dive shop you choose. Generally speaking, you might find a dive shop charging around 15 dollars to fill a tank that has the capacity of around 4000 psi. Some dive shops might also charge as low as five dollars to fill a tank. You just have to shop around to get the best value for your money.

3. How often do scuba tanks need to be tested?

To fulfill the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements for inspections, all scuba cylinders must be inspected periodically. Two forms of testing are required. The Visual Inspection (VIP) that is carried out by an inspector that is trained to do so, and the Hydrostatic Pressure test (otherwise known as the hydro test) to be done by the US DOT at a testing facility that has been approved.

Visual inspections are conducted every year so a scuba tank that has been inspected would expire twelve months later (on the first day of the month shown on the sticker). Any hydrostatic test conducted on scuba tanks expires after five years (on the last day of the month shown). In Spain, such tests expire after three years. It is, therefore, usual when purchasing a new scuba tank to examine the visual inspection sticker for the date (month and year) it was tested.

It is acceptable for a scuba tank showing a visual inspection date less than 12 months old and a hydro test less than 24 months old to be considered recent. Before any scuba tank can be sold, it must pass the first DOT certification and the annual VIP. In addition, dive shops will not refill scuba tanks that have not been tested or has expired test dates without a new test.

3. What is the best scuba tank on the market?

For the best scuba diving tank selections in the United States, look to a small handful of companies. That is companies or manufacturers responsible for the Luxfer, Metal Impact, and the Catalina brands. This situation arose in recent years when the scuba tank market experienced significant changes owing to mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, and closures.

Consequently, you will find that while all these manufacturers produce products of quality (they really don’t have a choice owing to DOT standards) tanks with similar capacities are often different with regard to their dimensions, weight, finishes, and buoyancy.  You might even find differences in the combination of size and service pressure among manufacturers and distributors, so for specific combinations, you will have to look to a specific manufacturer/distributor.

It gets a little difficult to follow the various brand names which, more often than not, refer to the same tanks that have been produced using the same raw materials, workmanship, and tools. So, in the US market the options for quality aluminum scuba tanks are limited to Catalina, Metal Impact, and Luxfer and for recently made galvanized steel scuba tanks, only Faber from Italy provides these.

4. How many PSI is in a scuba tank?

Although every scuba tank is considered a high-pressure vessel, there are those designed for recreation that also includes “standard”, “low” or “mid” pressure as well. Pressure, expressed as PSI or Pound (force) per Square Inch, is wide-ranging.  Although you will find a wide selection of scuba tanks with various pressures, popular options include the low-pressure tanks (up to 2640 psi), standard pressure tanks (around 3000 psi) and high-pressure tanks (3300 up to 3500 psi).

So, the amount of air pressure in a scuba tank varies depending on the type of tank (high, mid, low pressure) you select. If your intention is to dive on Nitrox, avoid choosing aluminum tanks that are high pressure (like the 3300 psi neutral buoyancy or compact tanks or the AL 100). It is, however, OK for high-pressure steel tanks which can be filled with Nitrox to a max of 3442 psi (it depends on the service pressure of your scuba tank though).

Final Verdict

Have you found the perfect scuba tank yet? Certainly, there is no doubt as to where the best scuba diving tank options can be found. Not only are you in a better position to select from recommended scuba cylinders, you are also able to sift through the volume of information out there to find what you are looking for.

When buying your scuba tank think of the long-term benefits you will derive from owning one. Steel tanks are better for buoyancy and durability. Aluminum scuba tanks are less costly if you are on a budget.  They are also lighter to carry around. With the right scuba tank, your diving will only get better.

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