Not really applicable to snorkeling gear but we are discussing rebreathers. When looking for the right rebreather it is important to remember the factors that matter most to a purchaser. Knowing things like what type of rebreather you are purchasing, if the company is reputable, and whether or not you can get the rebreather fixed if a malfunction occurs, are important aspects to consider when buying your rebreather.
What is a Rebreather?
Just in case there are any probable buyers that know they are looking for a rebreather, but are not quite sure what a rebreather does: A rebreather is an apparatus used in scuba diving that recycles air that would otherwise be wasted during the exhaling process during scuba diving. By reusing the air that would be wasted, the rebreather enables one to use a smaller amount of oxygen and thus a lighter overall weight-baring amount while diving. Rebreathers are especially important for shallow diving, where a larger portion of oxygen and nitrogen is wasted by what are known as open-circuit breathers.
The first thing anyone should remember is to know what type of rebreather they are using. There are three main types, the closed-circuit rebreather (CCR), the semi-closed circuit rebreather (SCCR). Semi-closed loops are often considered more useful than open-circuit breathing apparatuses because they are lighter and allow for longer durations under water. However, they need to consistently omit gas. This makes the closed-circuit rebreathers the most coveted of the apparatuses as they allow for long dives with no bubbles being omitted.
Primary Features to Look For
When buying your rebreather look for items such as maximum functioning depth as well as information display types. It is of utmost importance that any diver can easily and readily read his or her information when diving so they do not exceed maximum depths or oxygen time. Also, make sure that you keep an eye out for emergency attachments. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Look for available warning systems on the gear as well. Make sure the warning systems and emergency attachments are easily understandable and to your liking.
Other Basic Features
Consider the weight of your rebreather gear. For those who can handle higher weights, it can often mean longer dive times. Weight does not necessarily equate to airtime however, and so it is important to check the actual dive-time limits on the rebreathers you are considering. Also, keep in mind the types of harnesses and straps utilized by any gear that you are interested in.
Double-check The Company
Remember that when buying rebreather equipment, you may need maintenance or additional parts if something is damaged. Finding a reputable company is important. If a company folds or no longer exists, it may become highly expensive or even impossible to retrieve necessary parts.
No matter which style or type of rebreather you are looking for, remember to stick to the basic necessities first. This includes making sure all the most important features are prevalent and accounted for. Only then should you begin to search for specific styles and the bells and whistles you desire.