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.
Best Scuba Tanks
80cf Aluminum Tank
- Service Pressure: 3000PSI
- True Capacity: 77.4cu ft
- Buoyancy - Full: -1.8lbs
- Buoyancy - 500psi: 3.2lbs
- Outside Diameter: 7.25 in
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.
- Current VIP sticker and Hydro stamp
- 3/4 – 14 NPSM thread
- 80 cubic feet, 3000 psi
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’s 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 scuba 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.
Faber FX Series 100 cu ft High Pressure Blue Steel Tank
- The 100cf Faber Blue Steel FX Tank is an excellent high pressure steel tank.
- F-x Series is a DOT E-13488 specification, no overfilling is allowed.
- All F-X Series cylinders are oxygen cleaned and suitable for Nitrox use
- Inlet Thread 3/4" - 14 NPSM.
- Specifications: Height 25.39"(w/o valve), Diameter 7.24", Weight 34.3lbs (w/o valve)
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.
- Steel tank
- Suitable for Nitrox use
- VIP and Hydro inspected
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.
IORMAN Universal 75cf 4500psi Air Tank
- Product Specification: 6.8 Liters / 66 Cu.Ft capacity, 30mpa / 300bar / 4500psi service pressure, DOT certificated, 7/8-14 UNF ( 0.875-14 UNF ) bottle screw thread size.
- Product Structure: Using high-quality raw materials AL6061 aluminum alloy liner with full-wrapped carbon fiber and glass fiber winding, external surface treatment is epoxy coated, high strength features creep resistance, shock resistance and corrosion resistance.
- Product Safety Performance Testing: One of the safety tests is the hydrostatic test pressure, for carbon fiber cylinders, it can reach 50Mpa. The other is the minimum burst pressure, which can reach 102Mpa for carbon fiber cylinders, can hold more gas under the same volume conditions.
- Product Advantage: Carbon fiber composite air cylinder is a new material cylinder developed in recent years. Compared with the traditional steel cylinders, the weight is reduced by 70%, the corrosion resistance is strong, there is no magnetic property, the performance is stable, and the inner surface is specially treated to ensure that the holding gas is clean and has no odor, long service life (The service life is 15 years).
- Product Application: Loading gas, Emergency escape respirator, Lifesaving of ships, Clean energy, Scuba diving breathing, PCP rifle and Paintball tanks filling, Medical and Fire protection. etc. Widely for fire-fighting, chemical industry, shipping, laboratory, mine, pertroleum, warehouse, factory and metallurgy, it can be used in various positive pressure breathing apparatus.
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.
- Carbon fiber construction
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 about 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, the tank is CCS/CE certificated.
Cyl-Tec 80CF Scuba Diving Tank
- This tank ships ready to fill (empty) and is DOT/TC certified. Federal law requires the tank be shipped unfilled.
- Cyl-Tec's 3000 psi Scuba Diving Tank has an Air Capacity of 80 CF. Working Pressure = 3000 psi (207 bar)
- Salt Water Buoyancy (Full) = -1.9 lbs; Salt Water Buoyancy (Empty) = 3.8 lbs
- This tank is perfect for both beginner and experienced divers! This tank is intended for use in scuba diving
- includes a new Combo Valve (accepts both DIN and K-type connections). Cylinder height with valve = 29.75"
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.
- Aluminum construction
- 80 cubic feet, 3000 PSI
- Combo valve
- Nitro ready
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.
Catalina 80cf Alum Scuba Tank
- Catalina 80 Cubic Foot Aluminum Tank with Pro Valve
- Nitrox Ready Up to 40%
- Working Pressure: 3000 psi (200 bar)
- High Flow Capacity Valve ( Yoke or DIN )
- Weight31.6lbs (14.33kg)
The brand, as well as this particular Catalina scuba tank, is one of the more popular options on the market, especially among dive centers.
- 80 cubic meter, 3000 PSI
- High-grade aluminum construction
- Nitrox ready
- VIP and Hydro sticker
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.
30 Cubic Foot Pony Bottle Scuba Tank
- Corrosion-Resistant Interior and Exterior
- Consistent Weight
- Thick, Damage-Resistant Walls
- Yellow in Color
- Empty Weight out of water is 11.6lbs
One of the features that make the XS Scuba Tank suitable for scuba diving is the advanced valve. The valve makes it easy to use. It is ideal for beginners and experienced scuba divers; thanks to its smooth operation.
- Corrosion-resistant interior
- 30 cubic
- Thick damage-resistant walls
- Color: Yellow
You will love that this tank comes ready to fill. The quality is outstanding and lasts a long time. The tank is made of aluminum with a quality finish for durability. The aluminum construction is sturdy enough to withstand the rough conditions during scuba diving. Also, aluminum resists corrosion and this being polished ensures it lasts even longer.
The scuba air tank weighs about 11.6 pounds which is incredibly comfortable for small to medium-sized divers. Especially as a reserve, back up tank. It is easy to attach and the tank is an excellent value for money considering that it comes with aluminum construction. On this note, the lower price does not mean it is less functional. For the quality, design, and durability, this tank is worth a buy.
Sherwood 6 cu ft Aluminium Spare Emergency Tank
- A must have for your dive
- Comes with a yoke design valve, 6 cu ft., about 0.9 liters, Pressure: 3000 PSI,
- Length without the valve: 10.80", Diameter: 3.21", Weight with valve: 3.9lbs, Buoyancy full: -1.5lbs
- Buoyancy 500 PSI: -1.1lbs, Sherwood Valve model #5000K-48,
- High visibility yellow makes it easy to locate
This Sherwood Scuba Tank is designed as a spare emergency tank for those solo dives. It comes in aluminum construction which makes it lighter than steel scuba tanks. Also, aluminum proves to last longer and is readily available. On this note, you can take your tank along for underwater exploration without having to strain your back with heavyweight tanks.
- Aluminum construction
- 6 cubic feet
- 3000 psi
- Length: 10.80
- High visibility color
This is one of the dive tanks that come with a yoke design valve. It is easy to use and has 6 cubic feet. It is relatively shorter than most scuba tanks which make it easy to carry.
If you are looking to dive in murky water, you ought to find a highly visible tank. This one comes in a bright yellow color that can be seen easily underwater. It will provide sufficient air for emergencies, it is an ideal choice to fill up your wing during deep dives.
19 Cubic Foot Pony Bottle Scuba Tank
- Corrosion-Resistant Interior and Exterior
- Consistent Weight
- Thick, Damage-Resistant Walls
- Yellow in Color
- Empty Weight out of water is 8.2lbs
If you are looking for a pony tank for regular scuba diving, then you should consider this one from XS Scuba. It is made with durability and strength in mind to ensure it can withstand harsh conditions and still deliver to your expectations.
- 19 cubic feet
- High-quality construction
- Yellow color
- Empty weight: 8.2lbs
- VIP sticker
- Height: 17.5”
The tank comes in high-quality aluminum which is polished on the outside to maximize on the durability. This tank features a sturdy interior and exterior to withstand regular use and serve you for ages. One of the quality features you will like about the scuba oxygen tank is the thick damage-resistant walls. No matter the hard kicks and tosses underwater, the tanks will stand the test of time.
If you are worried about the extra weight of your scuba tank, then you ought to find a lightweight one for your underwater expeditions. This XS Scuba tank has consistent weight and is light enough to strap on your back. Also, the length is reasonable and works well for both small to large individuals. The bright yellow color is easily visible underwater.
Sea Pearls Steel Cylinders Scuba Diving Tank
- Built in Italy by Faber Cylinders with 40 years of experience
- Oxygen cleaned for use with up to 40% pre-blended Nitrox
- Exclusive Phosphatized-cleaned internal surface
- Triple-protected zinc spray plus epoxy and polyurethane painted finish for long lasting durability.
- Manufactured using the deep draw process with Chromium Molybdenum steel
If you are looking for a long-lasting solution to your aluminum tank, then you can consider getting steel scuba tanks. This set from Sea Pearls has a sturdy steel construction with a durable finish to maximize on the quality. The triple-protected zinc spray and epoxy/polyurethane painted finish contribute to the durability of the tanks to withstand different water conditions.
- Solid steel construction
- High pressure 80
- Protective finish
The tanks are manufactured using the deep raw process with Chromium-Molybdenum steel which is considered high in strength and resistance. With this tank, you can be sure it will resist the high water pressure, constant stress, and corrosion underwater. The interior of the tank is efficiently cleaned to ensure it is ready to fill up as soon as you receive it.
One of the challenges of using a steel tank for scuba diving is the weight. Steel is heavier compared to aluminum but seems to hold up for an extended period. The design of these tanks takes that as a crucial factor. The tank has a reasonable weight that you can efficiently manage. When empty, the tank weighs about 32 pounds which is quite reasonable for this size of a tank.
Faber FXG Galvanized Steel Scuba Tank
- Fill Capacity: 3442 psi
- FX DOT-SP (Exempt)
- TC Approved
- Phosphatized-cleaned internal service
- Sherwood Pro-Valve
The Faber FXG Scuba Tank is one of the most durable steel scuba tanks you can find. It is designed to last longer and provide you with the best experience underwater. It is suitable for experienced divers that are looking for a more robust and long-lasting tank.
- Steel construction
- 3442 psi
- Phosphatized-cleaned internal surface
- Sherwood Pro-valve
- Available in different sizes
The tank is built to last but requires proper care to ensure it retains the quality. As a steel tank, there is a possibility it can corrode with time. It is, therefore, necessary to stay on top of your game as far as maintenance goes. Other than that, it is easy to use and convenient for travel as well.
If you are worried about weighty tanks, then this one comes to your rescue. It weighs about 34 pounds which is comfortable for an average-sized adult. It can hold a reasonable amount of air for underwater use. This tank is tested to ensure it meets the standards for use as a scuba oxygen tank. That makes it an ideal choice for any level of scuba diving.
Luxfer 40 Cubic Foot Aluminum Tank Pro Valve
- Luxfer 40 Cubic Foot Aluminum Tank with Pro Valve
- Luxfer 40 Cubic Foot Aluminum Tank with Pro Valve:
- Nitrox Ready Up to 23.5%
- Available in Multiple Colors
- Cylinder:Luxfer 40 Cubic Foo
One of the essential qualities to check when buying a scuba divers tank is the construction. The Luxfer Tank comes in a quality construction to serve you for a long time. It is designed to bring you the best experience using it as a scuba oxygen tank.
- Aluminum construction
- 40 cubic feet
- Available in white and yellow
- Nitrox ready
- Small travel size
The tank aluminum used to make this tank is designed to resist corrosion and stand out concerning performance. It can withstand harsh water environments and therefore suitable for regular divers. It maintains buoyancy and weight distribution for a seamless underwater experience.
If you are looking for a lightweight yet efficient scuba air tank, then this one is a suitable choice. It weighs only 14.9lbs which is reasonably lower than most cylinders. It has a height of 24.8″ which suits everyone. The 5.3-inch diameter is sizeable for easy carrying, and you can strap it on your back and remain comfortable all through.
The tank comes with a pro valve which is considered one of the highest flow cinder valves available on the market. It is also a convertible valve which makes the tank convenient to use. It works with both DIN and Yoke regulators which are readily available.
LUXFER COMPACT BRUSHED ALUMINUM 80 CF TANK 3300psi
- Specifically designed for iPhone X847
- Ultra thin-0.3mm thickness is reliable and resilient, and promises full compatibility with touchscreen sensitivity degree 847
- Ultra-clear High Definition with 99.9% transparency to allow an optimal, natural viewing experience degree 847
- Highly durable, and scratch resistant - surface hardness 9H and topped with oleophobic coating to reduce fingerprints degree 847
- 3Pack-iPhone Xs Max Screen Protector degree 847
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.
- High strength aluminum alloy 6061-T6
- Pro Valve
- 80 cubic feet, 3300 PSI
- Compact size
This is because it is about three inches shorter than many 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.
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.
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 that 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.
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 salt water, 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.
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 that 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. The 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:
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.
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.
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:
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 lightweight 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.
Best Scuba Tanks
Your scuba tank is your life source while diving so be sure to invest in only the best one!!
- 80cf Aluminum Tank
- LUXFER COMPACT BRUSHED ALUMINUM 80 CF TANK 3300psi
- Faber FX Series 100 cu ft High Pressure Blue Steel Tank
- IORMAN Universal 75cf 4500psi Air Tank
- Cyl-Tec 80CF Scuba Diving Tank
- Catalina 80cf Alum Scuba Tank
- 30 Cubic Foot Pony Bottle Scuba Tank
- Sherwood 6 cu ft Aluminium Spare Emergency Tank
- 19 Cubic Foot Pony Bottle Scuba Tank
- Sea Pearls Steel Cylinders Scuba Diving Tank
- Faber FXG Galvanized Steel Scuba Tank
- Luxfer 40 Cubic Foot Aluminum Tank Pro Valve