ScubaLab Testers Choice and Best Buy winners are selected in head-to-head testing for various categories of scuba diving gear. Results are based on scoring by ScubaLab test divers and the results of objective testing of performance, such as on a breathing simulator, in a pool or in a decompression chamber.
Cressi is proud that several of its products have received numerous Testers Choice and Best Buy Awards, including two in 2020. Since 2017, here are the products, along with highlights from the ScubaLab reviews, of award-winning Cressi dive gear:
The Scorpion’s flexible backplate, lightweight harness and trim, tightly bungeed air cell give it a minimal feel and profile, but it also has more than 40 pounds of lift, cargo pockets and integrated weights that handle up to 20 pounds.
The Scorpion earned top scores for comfort and streamlining, with testers impressed by its solid stability and lack of drag. "Don’t even feel it," one test diver commented. The vertically mounted weight pockets are located near the body’s centerline. That added stability both submerged and at the surface, where the Scorpion took top score among back-inflations. The rear placement of the weights allows the Scorpion’s cargo pockets to be a bit more forward where they’re easy to reach and even see into; they’re not the biggest here, but their boxy shape makes the space useful, and they don’t get tight no matter how much air is in the cell. That earned a very good score for stowage.
With a comfortable, stable streamlined design that was a favorite of test divers, the Scorpion is our Testers Choice for back-inflation BCs.
The Master Cromo’s distinctive elliptical, brushed stainless-steel second stage may look familiar since it has appeared in—and won—past ScubaLab tests accompanied with other first stages. But this time, it’s paired with the new, balanced-piston AC25, which has a revolving turret and five low-pressure ports, and may be its best teammate yet. On the simulator, it came within a hair of taking excellent scores across the board, and that performance extended to our test dives, where divers rated it excellent for ease of breathing in swim position and very good for dry air delivery in all positions. It also tied the top score for low noise. “Silent runner,” one tester noted. The second stage isn’t especially small and has a fair amount of hardware, but felt lighter underwater than it looks, earning a very good score for comfort. Testers found the breathing adjustment ergonomic and effective, if a bit stiff; one gripe was the way the soft diaphragm cover and stainless front plate can occasionally catch a fingertip while purging.
A quality reg at a reasonable price, the AC25 Master Cromo was our Best Buy for regs.
The aptly named Water Stop System of the Otterflex uses narrow rings of stretchy, form-fitting seal around the inside of the wrist and ankle cuffs to control water entry. The Otterflex uses slightly thinner neoprene in the arms and ankles, maximizing range of motion without sacrificing insulation in the body’s core.
Unique among the wide variety of wrist and ankle seals in our test, those on the Otterflex have a band of stretchy liquid seal forming a ring just inside each cuff. Cressi calls the feature the Water Stop System, and test divers found the name appropriate. Only about ⅜ inch (10 mm) wide, the seals kept water entry to a minimum, were easy to get on and off, and were comfortable throughout the dive. That helped the Otterflex take excellent scores for effective seals, ease of donning and doffing, and comfort. “I could live in this,” commented one test diver. Made with neoprene slightly thinner in the arms and ankles, the Otterflex was rated very good for range of motion. Despite the thinner material and relatively smooth lining throughout, it was scored very good for warmth, thanks to the effective wrist and ankle seals, and neck and zipper closures.
Chosen as a favorite of multiple test divers, the Otterflex is our Testers Choice for suits under $300.
Testers were impressed by the Neon’s simple, intuitive operation. The two-button navigation makes it a snap to enter and exit menus, and the high-contrast display is clearly labeled, giving prominence to the most important data. The compact display and recessed band lugs give the Neon a comfortable, watchlike size.
Despite the name and the available options for color accents from bright green to lilac, the Neon isn’t really about flash. What impressed test divers was its simplicity of operation and pleasing ergonomics.
The simple 2-button control makes it a snap to enter and exit menus and confirm settings. The high-contrast display is easy to see and understand. Dive info is clearly labelled and the 1 1/-inch screen gives top billing to the most important data. “Basic functionality but a joy to use and operate,” one tester noted.
Test divers praised the Neon’s arm-friendly size, but our calipers showed it is only millimeters narrower than some others here; the trick is the recessed band lugs that make it seem even smaller.
But testers gave it top scores for intuitive operation, display quality and ergonomics. The Neon is our Testers Choice for wrist computers under $500.
Test divers appreciated the Cartesio’s sensible two-button navigation, with short presses to toggle and long to select or back out, and scored it very good for intuitive operation. Many testers, especially female divers, also liked its compact size, which doesn’t look out of place even on smaller wrists.
The high-contrast display with large characters tied top score for ease of reading on the surface — even in direct sun — and was rated good underwater. The dive display is clear and as simple to understand as the Cartesio is to operate.
Combining performance and affordability, the Cartesio is our Best Buy for dive computers.
Test divers found the Carbon comfortable and supportive, without the bulkiness of some jacket BCs, and gave it the top score in stability. With almost no inherent buoyancy, it has a harness that testers found easy to fine-tune, and includes ample storage features such as large zippered cargo pockets and eight metal D-rings.
It took the high score for stability. One diver noted that it, “let’s you float in most orientations with little effort.” The BC’s weight pockets slide right into place and took top scores for loading and ditching. The zippered cargo pockets, octo pocket and eight metal D-rings allow for plenty of accessories. Like an alchemist turning lead into gold, the Carbon takes all of the basic elements of a good BC and makes them shine.
The Cressi Carbon is our Best Buy for jacket-style BCs.
From its rotating first stage with five LP ports to the brushed-titanium faceplate on the second stage, the Master Cromo looks pricier than it is, and it performs the same way. On the simulator, it took excellent scores at all test depths and breathing rates — the least-expensive reg in our test to do so — and followed that up by tying top scores from test divers for ease of breathing.
The Master Cromo has a 360-degree rotating turret that took top score in its category for setup, and a second stage with an elliptical diaphragm. In test dives it took or tied top scores for ease of breathing in all positions and was rated very good for dry operation in all attitudes. The purge was rated very as was the comfort of the second stage.
For impressive performance at a below-average price, the Master Cromo is our Best Buy for regs priced from $400 to $600.