I still have a lot to learn about the inner workings of scuba equipment and Nex Underwater Products reached out with a challenge: Get more confident with tools and build my own sidemount regulators.

I’m excited to collaborate with Nex because they’ve won ScubaLab awards for the last two years as a small, relatively new company based in Monterey, California. Plus, they’re taking quality and adaptability to the next level.

Quality difference between Dive Rite and Nex Underwater Products

For many years, I’ve been diving with Dive Rite sidemount regulators and although they are decent regulators for the price, the discounted price means they’re not made with high quality parts. As such, they are relatively easy to damage while making repairs or during servicing.

The Nex regulators on the other hand, are made of high quality materials, which also happen to look really freaking good. I have the PVD blue, DIN Monterey first stages with a turret on both, and environmental seal for cold water diving. My second stages are both balanced and I opted for the smaller 2-inch version.

Modularity is the key to scuba equipment

These regulators are made to grow with you as a diver. Getting to pick Jared’s brain about his thought process for the design was really fascinating. Plus, I got to embarrass myself on how little I know about all this stuff.

The word day with Jared from Nex is modularity. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about at first, but as we built my regulators, it became clear how useful this design focus is. Due to the extra low pressure ports and different positions, these regulators can really be set up to do anything you need them to do. Equipment is expensive, and as long as you get good gear, it’s made to last a long time, so you might as well have something that can be adjusted to suit your growth as a diver.

I sort of thought I wouldn’t find it useful as he was describing the configuration options, but then I set it up for single tank sidemount diving and I love the way I’m able to route my long hose on the fixed low pressure port, keeping it out of the way while recreationally diving. 

Second stages and scuba regulators

I love it when I can downsize anything in my life, so when Jared asked me if I wanted to try out the small, 2-inch second stages, I was all for it. Diving with these is great because the different size is noticeable on my tired jaws. I am a teeth clencher, so anything that helps relieve the desire to keep tension in my jaw is a good thing.

Servicing and repairs

There are different opinions on this, but a general rule is that regulators should be serviced around every 100 dives. I would also recommend, if you are a seasonal diver, you should get them serviced before each new season or, if your gear hasn’t been used for over 6 months, at least get it inspected before your next dive.

I have only taken the Scuba Pro servicing course, but I could tell straight away that Nex regulators are designed to be easy to service. Therefore, I will be working on getting certified to do that work by myself on the road, otherwise, you have to send it to a Nex technician to get it serviced. The main hurdle I have to overcome is to be less awkward with tools, but also, not be afraid of working on them, even though they are the nicest regulators I’ve ever owned.

Shop Nex Underwater Products

All in all, I am stoked on my new sidemount gear and I will be going into details on the Nex harness in a future video. Then, in January, I will take all of this equipment to the Riviera Maya to show you around some caves. Stay tuned… and let me know what you think about them!

Use code AZUL to shop Nex Underwater Products, and let me know what you think about them!

Join me on upcoming Azul Unlimited dive expeditions

See what trips are coming up. I always give my community first dibs on spots, so you can sign up for Patreon (and get trip discounts) or my email list to be the first to know about new expeditions in the future.

scuba diving trip to los cabos
whale shark snorkel trip to la paz

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