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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 27, 2019Portable radios are a favorite for the outdoors. You can tune in to your favorite stations and catch on news, talk shows, and even current gossip anywhere. Their compact and lightweight design allows for easy carriage if you are traveling light. A quality radio broadcast comes with the type of [...] The post Best Handheld Radio for Travel appeared first on...
Portable radios are a favorite for the outdoors. You can tune in to your favorite stations and catch on news, talk shows, and even current gossip anywhere. Their compact and lightweight design allows for easy carriage if you are traveling light.
A quality radio broadcast comes with the type of radio you pick. Because of varying models and styles, it can be difficult to narrow down the choices. But that’s what we do.
Whether you want to keep it traditional or looking for something more than AM/FM radio, we’ve got you covered.
These three radios will give you the best bang for your buck.
Our best travel radio option is Sony ICF-P26. It is pretty small; just a few cm longer than a deck of cards. Coming from Sony, this radio is not a fancy-looking product with no functionality. It sticks to the basics which makes it ideal for travel.
Build Quality and Functionality
We like the overall look and feel of the Sony ICF-P26. This radio has a glossy black plastic finish on the upper part of the cabinet. The speaker section below it has a matte-black grille. It gives you great sound whether you are in a cramped space or out enjoying a picnic.
At the top and bottom of this radio is a matte black finish. The radio does not pick up fingerprints on the matte parts. But the glossy plastic will need wipe downs now and then. It may also scratch easily so it’s best to store it with soft items instead of keys or tools that may scratch it.
You get a smooth tuning wheel and an ON/OFF switch on the right side of the radio. The switch also acts as the band selector between FM and AM.
On the left side, Sony does not disappoint with the wide volume wheel. It feels nice in the hand. You can easily turn the volume up and down without any hassle. And, you can listen using a pair of headphones thanks to the included 3.5mm headphone jack.
You will like the stability of this radio. It comes with a flat case base that bears a seating rail. The rail goes all around the base making it hard to tip over when you brush over it.
Tuning and Battery
Sony ICFP26 comes with a red LED indicator for the tuning. It also includes a green LED for the battery level. The green light will dim when it’s time to change the battery. The battery compartment is hinged.
It’s a thoughtful feature since you are less likely to lose the battery door when changing batteries.
For better tuning and coverage, Sony has included a strong telescoping antenna. It stows at the back of the radio. The antenna is a bit stiff. It should hold up to years of swiveling up and down.
· Long and durable hand strap
· Energy efficient (100 hours on 2xAA batteries)
· Delivers clear mono audio to left and right earpieces
· Hinged battery door
· Left-side jack makes it hard to listen when the radio is in the pocket
C Crane CC Skywave is one of the most sought travel radios on the market. It covers more than just the basics. As you will see, it is a little bigger and has more functions than the Sony ICF-P26. This also means you will pay a bit more for this model.
Build Quality and Functionality
C Crane CC Skywave has an all-plastic frame. Only the buttons and band-border are glossy. The rest is all matte meaning it will not pick up dust. The ON/OFF switch is a red button on the front of the radio. Just below it is the AM/FM button.
This radio features Shortwave, NOAA Weather, and Air Band. To access the bands, just press the WX/SW/Air button on the bottom part of the radio. The volume wheel is on the right side. You get two scan buttons that help you tune in without toggling through stations one at a time.
With the keypad, you can easily input a band frequency.
We like the inclusion if the Air Band. It is a great source of entertainment. You can listen in on pilots and air controllers just for fun. Or get some valuable information like airline schedule changes.
C Crane CC Skywave comes with a clock, alarm, bandwidth filters, weather alert, and a sleep timer. Not to mention the lock button which disables all the other buttons. It is a nice feature for travel.
You will get a pair of earbuds and a carry case with this radio. It also comes with a wrist strap adding to the travel convenience. What’s more, there’s a fold-out back stand to stabilize it on flat surfaces.
Tuning and Battery
This radio has 400 memory presets. It is easy to save a channel using the keypad. Next time you want to listen, you won’t need to tune in. Just input the number where you have saved the channel and the radio will retrieve that channel.
The radio uses two AA batteries. It can also use rechargeable AA batteries or an AC adapter. It gives you up to 70 hours of battery life on AAs. Compared to the Sony ICF-P26, it is a decent time since it has more functions to offer.
· Easy to grip plastic frame
· Tactile responsive buttons
· Lock key function
· Easy memory feature for up to 400 presets
· Does not provide for dual UTC/Local time
· Lacks an external antenna
Do you want to bring music and still listen to radio shows? A Bluetooth speaker with FM radio is a nice convenience on the go. The Xeneo X21 is an outdoor wireless speaker that offers both possibilities.
Build Quality and Functionality
This speaker comes in a hard-shell case. The cylindrical shape is barely the size of a soda can. It is easy to store in tight backpack pockets. There’s a lanyard strap on the side and a belt clip if you don’t like using the lanyard.
The Xeneo X21 speaker is IPX6 water-resistant. It means it can take on a few splashes and the interior components won’t get damaged. You can listen to music in the shower or even out in the rain.
This speaker has a digital signal processor and 12W power drivers. It is omnidirectional such that the bass can come from either the bottom or the top. The stereo sound is just astonishing. It has clear mids and enhanced highs that make for superior sound.
Its support for TWS (True Wireless Stereo) technology is the best thing about Xeneo X21. You can connect two Xeneo speakers without an app. TWS gives you full right and left channel stereo for better sound.
Battery and Tuning
The Xeneo speaker connects to your Android or iPhone as soon as you turn on Bluetooth. The process is very straightforward. To connect to FM radio, just press on the FM tuner. Then, press on the play button for a few seconds. The speaker will automatically scan the available channels.
If you don’t have a phone, you can connect to this speaker using an AUX cable included in the package. It also has an SD card port which enables you to listen to MP3s.
The Xeneo X21 uses one rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. It can run for approximately 24 hours. The battery life is shown on the connected phone’s screen. This way, you will always know the juice level.
· IPX6 water-resistant
· Supports TWS technology
· Offers hands-free call functionality
· Powerful bass with only one speaker
· Sound is drowned when it’s around water
Radios are still ubiquitous when it comes to travel. Whether it’s a small palm-sized model or a multifunctional radio, there’s a brand for you. The best travel radio meets your needs in terms of space and functionality.
Like the Xeneo X21; it is a model designed for those who want more than just radio. It is small enough to fit on a bicycle’s water bottle stand. For weather updates and alerts while listening in on air traffic controllers, the C Crane CC Skywave is a great choice.
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Travel is hectic on its own but it could get worse if you don’t plan your luggage well. I believe the essence of owning a good duffle bag is to have your essentials safe and easily accessible during travel. A good duffle bag should meet this expectation.
Last Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2019 Photo by Nur Syafiqah A well-known destination in Malaysia, Langkawi has plenty to offer, from sandy beaches and paddy fields to duty-free shopping and huge events. Langkawi’s charm lies in its split personality, as well as being a hugely popular and bustling tourist destination it is still, at its heart, [...] The post Complete Guide to Langkawi Night Markets 2019 appeared first on...
Photo by Nur Syafiqah
A well-known destination in Malaysia, Langkawi has plenty to offer, from sandy beaches and paddy fields to duty-free shopping and huge events. Langkawi’s charm lies in its split personality, as well as being a hugely popular and bustling tourist destination it is still, at its heart, a rural island.
If you want to explore the entirety of this island it’s thriving night markets are a great way to do just that.
The night markets in Langkawi are regular features that truly make the island. Tourists and locals alike can visit one every single night, in various locations across the island (see map below), with each one touting different wares. The Night Markets usually start at 5pm each night and continue until around 10/11pm when the stalls slowly wind down.
Although the wares vary from market to market, with some of the larger ones catering especially well for tourists by selling souvenirs, most focus heavily on food. Try famous local recipes at fantastic prices and mingle with Malaysian workers who visit the markets after a hard day’s work to grab a hot meal, and along with regional delicacies the markets are the perfect place to pick up the fruits of the season without a hefty price tag.
Be extra vigilant when buying food at the markets, as quite often the food has been cooked quite some time before you purchase it. Where possible watch the stall owners cook your food fresh as you wait as this will reduce the risk of food poisoning, a guaranteed way to ruin your break. Follow the lead of local shoppers, if they avoid certain stalls or food it’ll be for a reason, so you should do the same.
When shopping for souvenirs make sure you visit the markets before making purchases in the island’s shops as many tourists have reported finding the same items for half the price on the market stalls.
Whether you visit the larger Night Markets or catch a smaller version it’s not the amount of stalls that make Langkawi’s Night Markets world famous, it’s the atmosphere! Don’t take our word for it, find out for yourself.
If you’re chomping at the bit to visit one of these fantastic night markets, check out the list below to find out where the markets are held each day.
In an area that successfully retains its rural charm the PekanRabu Mall is a pleasant surprise. The four storey shopping centre is incredibly popular with locals and tourists, along with its Monday night market. Top tip: look where the locals are eating, it’s likely to be the best place in the market.
The Night Market in Kedawang boasts an array of food stalls but if you head there for your fill of Malaysian cuisine try to take your own containers. The islanders try to be as ‘green’ as possible so any efforts on your part will help Langkawi to stay eco-friendly. I recommend trying the nasi lemak (coconut rice) along with a locally caught fish which are usually deep-fried. Trying to find the English names for some of the fish will prove difficult, all you will end up knowing is it’s a ‘white fish’!
The night market in Kuah is well known for being the largest on the island. If you miss out on Wednesday there’s another opportunity to take advantage of the area’s bustling stalls on Saturday.
Smaller than the Night Market at Kuah but with all of the local charm, the BohorTempoyak is ideal for a hungry tourist.
A visit to this quiet and private area wouldn’t be complete without a stroll around the Night Market or a short dip in the hot springs.
Even if you have visited Kuah’s Night Market earlier in the week it’s still worth a second trip; there are so many stalls you might have missed something the first time! The market in Kuah boasts a food court area where tourists can sit and eat that the others don’t have, but most tourists and locals buy the local cuisine packaged and take it away to eat.
Note: Can get very busy, get here early!
This Western area of Langkawi is by far the tamest of all the areas where the Night Markets are set up. There aren’t many attractions, or even dining and shopping opportunities besides the Night Market, but it is the ideal place to stay if you’re looking for a peaceful way to enjoy Langkawi’s culture. I recommend trying the Malaysian pancakes, they are to die for!
You should find it relatively easy to locate the markets each day with a simple map but if you run into difficulties, find a local and ask “Manarpasarmalam?” to be pointed in the right direction.
If you want to try your hand at cooking up a Malaysian dish then head to the Langkawi wet markets to snap up some local produce. With one located close to the airport in Matsirat and another, larger, market in Kuah you certainly won’t miss out – but make sure you get up early! You’ll soon find that the wet markets are the place to pick up many a culinary bargain!
Night markets are all about keeping safe, they are likely to be crowded so keep your belongings close. If you are taking a small backpack with you, consider wearing is on your front to stop people opening it without you knowing. Yes it looks stupid, but do you want to keep your passport?! Take along a decent camera, your smart phones flash will not be good enough to project enough light on market stalls – especially if you are blogging and using the images.
Last Updated: Sunday, September 1, 2019Most people cringe when they hear of an electric grill. Some even call it a glorified panini press. But come to think of it. When you live in an apartment, charcoal and gas grills are usually not permitted. So, what choice do you have? What better way to have perfectly [...] The post Best Outdoor Electric Grill Reviews 2019 appeared first on...
Most people cringe when they hear of an electric grill. Some even call it a glorified panini press. But come to think of it. When you live in an apartment, charcoal and gas grills are usually not permitted. So, what choice do you have?
What better way to have perfectly seared steaks on your balcony than with an electric grill? These nifty gadgets are just priceless. They are low on fuel costs, easy to light, and warm up fast. You won’t deal with messy charcoal. And no worries about running out of propane before your chicken breasts are done.
A quick look into the top brands reveals that there are lots of similarities in the features. What you have to do is keep in the mind the must-have features. One, you will need the means to control the temperature to match the contents.
Second, take a look at the construction materials. Non-stick cooking grates are desirable because they are super easy to clean.
The size or capacity of the grill is also important. If you want to invite a few friends over, the last thing you want is grilling one steak at a time. The same thing applies if you have limited patio/balcony space, a large grill will be problematic.
After extensive research, we are down to four of the best outdoor electric grills. After these, we are convinced you’ll know a thing or two about your next electric grill.
Enjoy year-round grilling with George Foreman GGR50B. This indoor/outdoor electric grill is perfect in fall and winter. We are not saying that it can compete with a charcoal grill. But its unique flavor is worth buying into.
A lot goes into making the perfect electric grill. But it’s all about the flavor and the ease of use in any particular model. When it comes to the George Foreman GGR50B, some thoughtful features go a long way to make it special.
First, it comes with a removable pedestal. It can be used on the balcony or the comfort of your kitchen counter. We like that it stands at a comfortable height at 2.5ft with the stand. It allows you to grill without hunching your back.
You get a cord length of 6.5ft. It is not the longest for outdoor use. You will want to include an extension cord when tailgating.
The griddle surface is of non-stick material. You won’t be dealing with stuck-on food that makes it hard to clean. Also, the handles remain cool to the touch. Even when the temperature is cranked to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Speaking of temperature, George Foreman GGR50B has five heat settings. It is simple to control the heat using a temperature probe. There are five settings from low to high. Whether you are grilling burgers or steaks, you can find the ideal heat setting for most meals.
This grill has ridges on the griddle surface. It is super helpful in improving the flavor of your meals. The juices collect in the ridges and then vaporize into your steaks and burgers. The result is a slightly smoky flavor to compensate for the lack of charcoal smoke.
Another thing that we like is the high-domed lid with an adjustable vent. You can hold or lose moisture from meats by opening and closing the vent. With the sloping grate base, the grill makes it easy to collect fat in the tray underneath the grate.
George Foreman GGR50B gives you the most of an indoor/outdoor grilling experience. It has ample grilling surface and is built with convenience in mind.
When space is at a premium, you need to make the most out of it. Char-Broil 17602047 is a unique model. It helps solve this problem in apartment balconies and patios. It does not require a vast backyard but if you do have the luxury of space, it will still fit in perfectly.
The first thing you see on the Char-Broil 17602047 is the all metallic surface. The cooking grates are from cast-iron which is porcelain coated. This makes it easy to clean because it is a non-stick surface. The side tables are also metallic and they fold for storage.
There are also high-quality storage racks that are chrome-plated.
The cooking system is the best attribute of the Char-Broil 17602047. It uses a TRU-Infrared Cooking System. It eliminates cold spots and uneven cooking. This has always been a problem with electric grills. As such, you can count on having evenly cooked meals without continually turning them.
This grill boasts up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit cooking temperature. While most electric grills can barely get over 400 degrees this one will give you a perfect sear on your steaks. It has a lid-mounted temperature gauge. And there’s a precision control knob for the temperature.
Char-Broil 17602047 features 240 square inches of cooking space. Not to mention an 80 square-inch warming rack. You can keep sausages warm or toast buns as the meat cooks on the main grate. It takes less than 20 minutes to heat meaning you can start grilling as soon as you fire it up.
This unit makes it easy to manage the cord at the back. It also features wheels for mobility. Plus, it’s available in a variety of colors if you are keen on details.
Weber Q1400 does not come cheap for an electric grill. But the features are worth the high price tag. It fits in with urban barbecues when apartment rules restrict the use of charcoal and gas grills.
Weber Q1400 is a top performer in quality and performance. Weber is not one to bank on the cheap. This grill is a clear indication of Weber’s standards. The body and lid of this grill are of cast aluminum. And so are the heat retention liners. Though it is not advisable to keep opening the lid, this grill packs enough heat to recover every time.
The sturdy construction extends to the heavy-duty porcelain-coated, cast-iron grates. It produces such a great sear in everything it touches. From burgers to fish, chicken breasts, and even ribs, you are in for a mouth-watering treat.
We like that it is the only electric grill on this list that can reach 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes up to 20 minutes to preheat. Once it does, it produces the best electric grill flavor for hamburgers. However, steaks, ribs, and chicken do not get the full smoky flavor. But you can use smoked sea salt. It feels like cheating though.
You will need to use your temp gauge because it does not come with one. For that reason, it can be difficult to cook steaks and pizzas if you do not have a temp gauge. But it has a temperature controller that has low to high heat settings.
Weber Q1400 comes fully assembled. It can be used on a countertop or with a stand bought separately. It comes with two robust handles to ease in transport. This grill features a 6ft grounded cord. You may need an extension cord if your socket is a bit far from your ideal grilling spot.
With 189 square inches of cooking surface, Weber Q1400 is smaller than the rest of the grills here. It also means that it is light. As such, you will find it easy to transport to outdoor barbecues in your RV or camper.
The cooking surface is enough for up to four persons. Beef and chicken can grill in as little as seven minutes on each side. It can accommodate six chicken breasts, eight burgers, and even a rack of ribs without squeezing your food.
For the price, we believe not the long heating time can keep you from this grill.
• 2-5 years warranty
• Can attach to a grilling cart
• Comes with a grilling guide
• Body and grates can withstand the elements
• The temperature light is dim
• Takes longer than other grills to preheat
George Foreman GFO240S is not only cheap but also super light. Without a stand, it weighs less than 20 pounds. This feature makes it the best for portability. This model is half the price of the George Forman GGR50B reviewed above.
Like we have said, open-flame grills are not allowed in dorms and apartments. With an electric socket on your patio, you can have grilled desserts and meats in less than an hour. George Foreman GFO240S is just as effective as the GGR50B model.
It has a non-stick cooking surface and a removable grease pan. But these features are not its take-away features.
For those watching their calorie intake, you will be pleased that this grill can remove up to 42% of fat in your foods. All thanks to the patented slope surface. From bacon to steaks, and even chicken, you can enjoy healthier meals on this grill.
George Foreman GFO240S can reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It heats fast and it also eliminates cold spots. You will never bite on kebab that is nicely cooked on one side and half-cooked on the other. The temperature probe has five settings from low to high.
The George Foreman Outdoor Tabletop Grill
You can use George Foreman GFO240S with a stand. It has 240 inches of cooking surface. With such a vast space, it’s enough to cook for up to fifteen guests. And you will not rack your brain over cleaning up, or the amount of gas, or charcoal needed to finish cooking.
This is a perfect outdoor electric grill for those who love adventures. It is not weighty, yet it can reach high grilling temperatures.
Charcoal and gas grills are iconic in the grilling world. But they are rarely permitted in apartments and dormitories. That doesn’t mean giving up on barbecue culture.
The best outdoor electric grill can save the day. You can pick one for a large group of people like the George Foreman GGR50B. Or one that will give you perfect sears on steaks and chicken breasts like the Weber Q1400.
It’s all about the sheer ease of using an electric grill. And because they are not heavy, they make good company on the road and adventures.
OUR OVERALL WINNER – BEST OUTDOOR ELECTRIC GRILL 2019 = George Forman GGR50B
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2019When you travel, you are essentially at the mercy of whatever security system your hotel has to offer. Most decent hotels can keep you safe with high-end security systems in place like CCTV and swipe keys to use lifts. But the same cannot be said for seedier hotels like roadside [...] The post Doberman Security Portable Door Alarm Review appeared first on...
When you travel, you are essentially at the mercy of whatever security system your hotel has to offer. Most decent hotels can keep you safe with high-end security systems in place like CCTV and swipe keys to use lifts.
But the same cannot be said for seedier hotels like roadside motels which either don’t the financial muscle to install more satisfactory security systems or they can’t be bothered to act in a manner that ensures your safety. If have done a fair bit of backpacking in your time, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’ve had people entering my room at night on numerous occasions, but generally from lack of communications rather then anything sinister.
This is why portable security devices like portable door alarms were created, to give you peace of mind whenever you lay your head down to sleep in a foreign land
This device is exactly what its name suggests, a portable tool designed to ensure your safety when you travel. The device is just 3.2 ounces in weight, standing at 0.5 inches x 1.2 inches x 3 inches, which is quite small for a security system and ideal for traveling.
This alarm has a short, solid body featuring a spring clip trigger, a speaker, a flashlight, and a slot for four Lithium-Ion Batteries
The fact that it is so small means that you can take it anywhere and deploy it on any door. And the speaker is loud enough to produce a 100DB alarm, more than enough to rouse you and your neighbors in the event of intrusion.
This device has two blades attached to its body via a wire. Loop the wire around the door handle to keep the device in place. The blades are held together by a band. Take them out and remove the band without separating them.
Insert the blades, still held together, between the door and the door jamb. And that is it. Your alarm is set. If someone opens the door, the blades will fall from their place and separate, causing the main body of the alarm to generate a piercing sound.
1). The Alarm is small, portable and very light. You can take it with you wherever you go. You can even use it in your home if the need arises.
2). The alarm is very easy to use. It works in any setting that has a door.
3). It doesn’t take long to set up. You just have to insert the blades in the gap between the door and the frame. The alarm will do the rest.
4). The sound the device generates is more than powerful enough to alert you and your neighbors.
5). The product comes with two button cell batteries.
1). The device is not weatherproof. So you are discouraged from using it in settings that might expose it to rain.
2). The alarm works best when deployed in settings that have a door. You can’t use it on a tent, not without making some adjustments to the opening.
This Portable Door Alarm justifies its price tag. With a solid build, simple installation and a piercing 100DB alarm, you are assured great value for your money.
Last Updated: Monday, September 9, 2019Dive computers are convenient and versatile devices. They continually track your depth and time underwater and more importantly, keep your nitrogen levels within acceptable limits. As much as we’d tell you to figure out your needs and then pick a model, there are a few basic features you must not [...] The post Best Dive Computer for Beginners appeared first on...
Dive computers are convenient and versatile devices. They continually track your depth and time underwater and more importantly, keep your nitrogen levels within acceptable limits.
As much as we’d tell you to figure out your needs and then pick a model, there are a few basic features you must not skimp on. Your first dive computer should be easy to use. It should show current depth, maximum depth during the dive, No Stop Time (NDL), and overall dive time.
A low-battery warning is also very important. You’ll want to know when it’s time to change the battery and also transfer data for an in-depth look at your dive.
Other features include backlighting and audible alarms. While there are more sophisticated features, beginners and recreational divers don’t need the extras.
We’ve carefully considered names from top brands before putting up this list. Ours are wrist dive computers. Some are quite sizable and only look good with scuba diving gear but others you can use for everyday wear.
Quick Guide – Editors Choice
Oceanic Geo 2.0 is a decent dive computer for beginners and recreational divers. It is a budget model. We don’t expect features like Air Integration, GPS, etc.
Oceanic Geo 2.0 functions both as a dive computer and a regular watch for daily wear. It is smaller in size than regular dive computers. This has its advantages and disadvantages. The sleek design means that everything gets cramped up on the screen. It can be hard to read. The menu takes a little time getting used to. Most people are not happy with the laminated quick start menu. But we do like the buttons since you can easily press them even in gloves.
It has four buttons. Two buttons help to go forward and back on the menu. The third button helps to save the settings while the fourth button allows you to turn the backlight on and off.
You get four operating modes on the Oceanic Geo 2.0. It features the Norm mode for Air or Nitrox dive modes, Gauge, Free Dive, and Watch mode. It is easy to switch between any of the modes with the buttons. We like that it can store up to 24 dives on its unit logbook.
Though not the largest, you can select log sampling rates between 2, 15, 30, and 60-second intervals. It also allows you to select between imperial and metric modes. This way, you can use it in the most comfortable to view mode.
Perhaps the best feature about Oceanic Geo 2.0 is its dual algorithm. It allows switching at will between decompression and no decompression profiles. It also has settings where you can adjust safety limits.
This dive computer has automatic altitude adjustments. It also automatically calculates the safety stop function for dives over 80ft. The max operation depth for this computer is 328ft (100m) in the Air/Nitrox mode. It allows a max depth of up to 393ft in the Gauge mode.
When it comes to the alarms, Oceanic Geo 2.0 makes it so that you can understand each alarm based on the mode. The alarms vary from too fast ascent to exceeding dive time, deep stop violation, etc.
Achieve full control and be completely self-reliant with the Aqua Lung i300 dive computer. This model is feature-packed and does not need a hefty investment. It has a less conservative algorithm that’s nice for recreational divers over conservative models like Suunto.
Aqua Lung i300 comes in a rugged and chunky design. Although it is a wrist computer, you won’t be able to wear it every day since it does not have a watch mode. We like that you can easily replace the battery and it does not lose data between battery changes.
The buttons on this dive computer are tactile and easy to press. It features backlighting and flashing LEDs. They warn you when approaching no decompression limit or exceeding a safe ascent. The menu is also a bit small and can be hard to read like the Oceanic Geo 2.0. But it is easy to navigate.
However, you may come across some abbreviations that are not usual in a dive computer. As such, you may need to go back to your manual to look up the different abbreviations.
Every dive computer should help to keep you safe underwater. And while you still need to take into account safety concepts, the i300 comes in to help you achieve a safe dive. This model takes on the less conservative Buhlmann PZ+ algorithm.
We find it adequate since it only needs to take into account individual BCs instead of a group of people. The algorithm is between Suunto’s RGBM and DSAT models. Since it is moderately conservative it is strictly for no-decompression dives.
Aqua Lung i300 comes with several interesting features. It has four modes. The Air and Nitrox modes are for normal diving. It can be used as a bottom timer in the gauge mode. It also has a free dive mode. You can switch between scuba and free dives on the same day. This is opposed to models that need you to wait 24-48 hours.
This computer automatically adjusts the altitude and the algorithm. It also has deep stop capabilities such that you can extend your bottom time. You will like the pre-dive planning feature as well as the single-button access to the last dive. The dive plan is sensible which goes a long way in helping you achieve a fully-controlled dive.
• Surface time can be added to planning mode
• Can sync data to a computer
• Can switch between scuba and free diving on the same day
• Uses a less conservative algorithm
• The display is not DOT matrix-can be hard to read
• Not recommended for pro divers
Suunto is a beast in the diving world. Their dive computers compete with the best of the best. Suunto Zoop Novo boasts full decompression capabilities. It is much better than other entry-level models.
Suunto Zoop Novo is built to last. It weighs 4.3 ounces and is quite large. The display is super bright. You can adjust the backlight or turn it off completely. Zoop Novo is made of durable materials. It has a composite bezel complemented by acrylic glass and an elastomer strap.
You don’t have to go with the rubber strap. It can be worn using a bungee or a boot mount. This computer is one of the simplest to activate. You can hit a button before you hit the water to see your dive plan. If you forget, the computer activates automatically when you hit deeper than 1.5ft.
Zoop Novo stays in the surface mode when you are in a depth of 4ft. When you dive deeper, it then changes to the dive mode. It indicates the battery level each time it enters the dive mode. To conserve battery, the computer will enter into the idle mode when it’s not in the water.
The 3V CR2450 battery can last for up to two years if you make less than 100 dives per year. But if you take around 300 dives, you will get only 12 months of battery life. It’s advisable to service Zoop Novo after 200 dives including changing the battery.
Although you can replace the battery at home, Suunto requires that you go to an authorized dealer. Otherwise, you will void the 2-year warranty.
Image Source: Suunto.com
Suunto uses RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubble Model) algorithm. It is a conservative mathematical model that is all about safety. The algorithm can monitor closely spaced repetitive dives and continuous multi-day diving. It also monitors when you take dives that could lead to decompression sickness.
For example, when you have multi-day dives, it may advise you to increase surface interval time. And when you make personal adjustments, it also adjusts its calculations accordingly.
This computer has four modes. These are Air, Nitrox, Gauge, and Free dive. It has adjustable dive alarms, stopwatch timer, and 140 logbook memory hours. It also has a built-in dive planner and you can download the data to your PC or Mac. It uses the Suunto DM5 software that is easy to download.
Suunto Zoop Novo makes diving simple though you will pay a little bit more than our two previous models.
If you are looking for more features in a beginner’s dive computer, Garmin Descent Mk1 got your back. This is a premium model that functions as a dive computer and smartwatch. It is a nicely sized for everyday wear so you can track your activities in and out of the water.
Garmin Descent Mk1 comes in an elegant design. The 1.2-inch display is colored. It has inbuilt GPS, compass, barometer, and gyroscope sensors. The computer performs TOPO mapping on the display. You can also view the map and your plotted points on a smartphone. All thanks to the Garmin Connect App.
The build quality of Garmin Descent Mk1 is super durable. It has a sapphire crystal lens and a stainless-steel bezel. You can also choose a titanium bezel with titanium bands but it is more expensive than the steel bezel.
This dive computer has five dive modes. It has single and multiple gas modes. These include whether you are using Nitrox or Trimix. It also has apnea, gauge, and CCR (Closed Circuit Rebreather) modes. All these allow you to make a good dive plan so you can be safe underwater.
Garmin Descent Mk1 uses the Buhlmann ZHL-16c algorithm. It is less conservative. It has conservatism settings which allow you to adjust your safety limits. The algorithm automatically adjusts to the settings you make. You can set alerts for surface time intervals, dive time, multiple depth markers, etc.
This computer support six different gas mixes up to 100% oxygen. It automatically activates when you hit the water. The display will show the dive time, current depth, water temperature and no-deco time. It also shows ascent/descent rate, decompression stop information, and the battery level.
When you surface, this computer will give you the dive data automatically.
The smartwatch features on the Garmin Descent Mk1 are what make it special. This model comes with the Garmin Fenix 5X smartwatch features. It has 26 activity tracking options. From the water to the gym, and even the trails. You have thousands of activities to record and share with family and friends.
Dive computers for beginners offer basic to midrange features. If you are a recreational diver extra bells and whistles cost more. But they don’t have a significant benefit to you. The Garmin Descent Mk1 is the only beginner’s dive computer that is super easy to use.
If you are on a very tight budget, we recommend the Aqua Lung i300. And if you can afford a little more Suunto Zoop Novo is a perfect pick. It balances the features and the price so you won’t miss out on anything.
Even with a dive computer, you must watch your ascent rate and wait for at least an hour before your next dive. And don’t forget the safety concepts taught in Ope
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