No matter if you're a novice or expert scuba diver, our guide will help you choose the best scuba diving tanks for your next diving adventure
This is where we come in. We have searched for the best scuba diving tanks that money can buy and have placed them in categories to make your choice that much easier.
Whether you are looking for a Budget buy, or the best of the best, we’ve got you covered. But remember, if you don’t know what you’re doing, be sure to ask a professional for assistance.
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We reviewed over 8 scuba tanks for this article. Below are the best options.
Faber is the most well-known manufacturer of steel scuba tanks. It is the go-to scuba tank for many divers who prefer steel cylinders over aluminium.
Why steel cylinders you ask? While aluminium seems to be a popular choice, steel has better buoyancy in the water. So while the steel tank may weigh a little more, it is also better suited for cold water diving.
The Faber FX series 100 cf steel tank is great for those who are aiming to dive below 40 ft. The 100 cf offers 25% more oxygen than the 80 cf.
This tank is on the pricier side, however you will definitely be getting the most out of your money. The tank is made of chromium molybdenum steel and is highly durable.
This is a high pressure tank with a maximum fill pressure of 3442 psi (230 bar).
All of Faber’s steel cylinders are triple protected with zinc galvanizing spray, epoxy paint and finally, a polyurethane top coat.
Faber is the best steel scuba tank manufacturer. It is the first name that many think of concerning steel scuba tanks.
This tank is durable and has greater buoyancy and a lower risk of sustained load cracking as opposed to aluminium scuba tanks. Due to its triple protected finish, it is also corrosive-resistant.
The only difference between the Faber FX 80 cf and the 100 cf is its capacity. The choice you make depends entirely upon your diving experience and the type of diving you will be doing.
If you’re a beginner and doing shallow scuba diving, then this tank would be perfect for you.
The Faber FX Blue Steel 80 cf comes with a convertible Pro Valve (yoke or DIN). It has a maximum fill capacity of 3442 psi (230 bar) and lightweight at 28.60 lbs (13 kg).
Faber is currently the only manufacturer of steel cylinders in the US, and they have continued to deliver the most durable and reliable steel cylinders in the diving industry.
All Faber steel cylinders are triple protected with zinc galvanizing spray, epoxy paint and finally, polyurethane, ensuring long-lasting durability and protection from the corrosive quality of seawater.
The Faber FX 120 cf High Pressure has a 3442 psi (230 bar) is not generally used for recreational diving, but for deep or technical divers instead. A 120 cf will provide 50% more oxygen than an 80 cf tank and 25% than a 100 cf tank.
This tank comes with a convertible valve (yoke or DIN) and a self-draining boot.
Cyl-Tec is one of the leading manufacturers of gas cylinders in the US. The 80 cf Scuba Diving Tank is just one example of the many applications that the brand’s aluminium cylinders can be used for.
This is one of the best lightweight scuba tanks. It has excellent buoyancy when full and has a maximum fill pressure of 3000 psi (207 bar). It is made from high-strength 6061-T6 aluminium alloy and has a brushed finish. This means that it is non-magnetic and non-corrosive.
The Cyl-Tec 80 cf Scuba Diving Tank is one of the least expensive on the market. However, the lower price does not equal lower quality. Cyl-Tec is known for its high-quality, lightweight cylinders with a seamless construction.
With the Sea Pearls 80 Aluminium Diving Tank, you are certainly getting your money’s worth. This is on the higher end of the price spectrum but it is worth it.
Sea Pearls was originally a diving weights manufacturer and indeed it is still the leading pioneer of high quality lead diving weights.
However, they also specialize in aluminium and steel cylinders and accessories.
This 80 cf metal impacted aluminium cylinder is created with high strength aluminium alloy.
It has a maximum fill pressure of 3000 psi (207 bar) and is lightweight at 30 lbs (13.61 kg) and is one of the best scuba tanks on the market.
The 3000 psi tank comes with a standard K-valve (yoke).
Catalina has been a leading supplier of aluminium scuba tanks for over 30 years, supplying over 100 countries worldwide.
Their tanks are created with high strength aluminium alloy 6061-T6, which is corrosive-resistant and offers long-lasting durability.
This tank has a maximum fill pressure of 3000 psi (207 bar) and is up to 40% Nitrox ready.
It also has a Chrome-plated marine base and comes with a Pro Valve (convertible high flow capacity K-valve for yoke or DIN).
This tank is on the pricier side, but that is due to the Pro Valve and Chrome-Plate Marine Base, both of which are excellent additions to this aluminium diving tank.
Sherwood has been in the diving industry for over 60 years and is still one of the got-to brands for scuba diving tanks. The brand is trusted because it consistently delivers quality products that are safe and reliable.
The Sherwood Aluminium 100 cf Scuba Diving Tank is created with high strength aluminium alloy and has a maximum fill pressure of 3300 psi (220 bar).
It is a lot heavier than most diving tanks today (46.2 lbs / 21 kg), however this also means that it has better buoyancy than regular tanks.
100 cf means that you get 25% more oxygen than with an 80 cf tank.
Pony tanks are used as back up or emergency oxygen tanks for scuba diving.
This is especially important if you plan on doing deep sea diving as opposed to recreational diving.
Although it is important to note that accidents happen and if your main tank becomes damaged, it would be life-saving to have an emergency tank as well.
Catalina is a leading supplier of aluminium scuba tanks, and it shows in their products. The Catalina Pony Bottle Tanks come in 5 different sizes, from 6 cf to 40 cf with a maximum fill pressure of 3000 psi (207 bar).
Being smaller, these tanks add a minimal extra weight to your main scuba tank and in my opinion, the slight weight added is worth it for the extra oxygen it provides.
XS Scuba has been in the diving industry since 2002, and is a supplier of all things diving - from diving tanks and valves to knives, bags, wetsuits and much more. They are the best one-stop-shop for all your diving gear needs.
This XS Scuba Pony Bottle comes in 4 different sizes and is made of high strength aluminium alloy.
The maximum fill pressure is 3000 psi (200 bar) and it has a convertible Pro Valve (yoke or DIN).
These tanks have thick walls that are damage-resistant and the interior and exterior are both corrosion-resistant.
Luxfer is the brand most commonly used by the military, as well as commercial and technical divers alike.
They have a proprietary version of the 6061 aluminium alloy, called L6X. This version is superior to the original and completely “unsurpassed in safety and dependability”.
The Luxfer Aluminium Pony Tank comes with a Pro Valve (yoke or DIN) and is 23.5% Nitrox ready. It also has a maximum fill pressure of 3000 psi (207 bar).
The 6 cf and 19 cf tanks are suitable for recreational diving, while the 30 cf tank is perfect for deep or technical diving. Be sure to choose the correct size to suit your purposes.
This is in essence the amount of oxygen you will have for your dive. Generally speaking 100 cf will provide you with more oxygen than a 80 cf tank. For beginners, an 80 cf tank will provide you with roughly 30 minutes of oxygen for a 40 ft dive.
A 100 cf tank will provide 25% more oxygen. The one you choose will depend on your diving needs. Both the 80 cf and 100 cf are used for recreational diving, although the 80 cf is the more popular of the two.
Steel scuba tanks are generally heavier than aluminium tanks and thus have better buoyancy in the water. Alternatively, aluminium is naturally corrosive-resistant. They each have pros and cons, however aluminium is generally used for warmer tropical waters and steel is for colder water.
Keep in mind that steel is more susceptible to corrosion in seawater and needs to be checked for damage regularly. Regular maintenance will keep it in top condition.
Aluminium on the other hand needs to be 6061-T6 alloy as this is more durable than the 6351 alloy.
What works for an experienced or intermediate diver will not work for a beginner.
For example, where an 80 cf tank will provide up to 60 minutes of oxygen for a 40 ft dive for an experienced diver, it will only provide about 30 minutes of oxygen for a beginner at the same depth.
In simple terms, an object that is lighter than the liquid it is in has a positive buoyancy and an object that is heavier than the liquid has a negative buoyancy.
Thus, positive buoyancy causes an object to float while negative buoyancy causes it to sink. Neutral buoyancy is the best for staying underwater while diving.
There are a number of features that you should look for when selecting a scuba diving tank. Be sure to choose the features which meet your diving needs.
Whether you choose an aluminium tank or a steel one, be sure to check the material used to create it.
For aluminium, a high-strength alloy should be used, preferably 6061-T6. This is durable and corrosive-resistant. The 6351 alloy is more likely to have sustained load cracking and thus is inferior to the 6061 alloy.
When it comes to steel, however, chromium molybdenum steel is best. You should also check what type of finishing is used. All Faber steel cylinders are triple protected as steel is more susceptible to corrosion and thus needs the extra protection. The steel scuba tanks need to be checked often for damage and corrosion, and regular maintenance is required to ensure continued durability.
This is one of the most important things to look for. Experienced divers know that too much buoyancy would work against you in the water. There is a strong correlation between weight and buoyancy in that the heavier an object is, the more negative buoyancy it has.
Alternatively, positively buoyant objects tend to be lighter. What this means is that objects with more positive buoyancy tend to float easier and the alternative is true for negative buoyancy.
This is why the weight and buoyancy of the scuba tank is so important. Be sure to note this before deciding on a tank to purchase. If you are a beginner and unsure, many scuba tank retailers will have support staff available to answer any questions and concerns.
While 80 cf tanks are the most popular for recreational diving, a beginner will likely only get a maximum of 30 minutes of oxygen with this tank on a 40 ft dive.
The reason for this is that they do not have the knowledge and experience to regulate their breathing to conserve and extend their oxygen reserve. Alternatively, an experienced diver would be able to get roughly 60 minutes of oxygen with the same tank at the same depth.
Thus, be sure the tank you are purchasing has a capacity that matches your diving needs.
The valve attached to the tank is extremely important. While many scuba tanks do come with a convertible Pro Valve that has provision for both yoke and DIN, some tanks do not. Yoke valves are more commonly used but it provides little protection against overpressurization for the weakest part of the seal (O-ring).
This is why DIN valves are the preferred choice since the O-ring is well protected with this valve. The Pro Valve has become a popular feature with many scuba diving tanks as it gives the option for both yoke and DIN.
It is good to check to make sure which valve the tank has. If the product listing does not specify, you should not hesitate to ask the retailer.
It is not very common for scuba tanks to come with a net or handle, however you can get them added on separately.
The purpose of a cylinder net (generally made of mesh) is to protect the finishing on the tank and also reduces corrosion of booted tanks. Handles are self-explanatory and convenient for heavier tanks, especially steel tanks which tend to weigh more.
Now, these accessories seem great in theory. However, they are a hazard while diving as it makes it easier for your tank to snag on objects under the water, thus entrapping you. For this reason, many experienced divers choose to forego these add-ons.
Hey, I'm Brad - the founder and editor of Watercraft Watch. My love for boating is what prompted me to start WatercraftWatch.com – helping people find the right equipment and supplies so they can enjoy their time on the water. I hope you find the articles on the site useful, and share in my love for boating.