Which Apeks Regulator To Buy

Which Apeks Regulator To Buy

written by Cath Bates 20/1/22, updated Shem Tarko 29/1/2024

Apeks is the number one diving regulator brand in the UK for a good reason, but the range can offer a daunting variety of choices to the new diver with multiple first and second-stage configurations. Here’s an easy-to-understand guide to help choose the right reg for you.

Some Apeks History…

First off, a little bit of background about Apeks and why they’re great: Apeks was formed in the 70s in the UK and has quickly grown into one of the most popular regulator manufacturers, not just in the UK, but globally too. They have a hard-won reputation for making high quality, extremely reliable diving equipment that makes them a popular choice with instructors, tec divers and recreational divers.

Even today, all their regulators are still manufactured from scratch in a state-of-the-art factory in Blackburn. On top of that, they have made a strong commitment to protecting the environment. From manufacturing to packaging, almost anything that can be recycled during the production process is, along with a 0% hazardous waste to landfill policy. They also have a large solar farm at the factory.

What are all the different ranges about?

Apeks offers a tailored solution to every diver's needs with their diverse regulator lines. The MTX range, which includes the MTX-R and MTX-RC, is designed for the challenges of cold-water environments, providing unparalleled performance under the most demanding conditions. The XL4 series is a compact and lightweight option, perfect for travel-minded divers looking to minimize their gear load without sacrificing performance. The XTX range stands out for its adaptability and advanced features, catering to both recreational and technical divers. Alongside these core lines, Apeks offers additional options, ensuring that divers of all skill levels and financial considerations have access to top-tier equipment. Let's dive deeper into each range for a clearer understanding of their specific benefits and features.


Apeks XL4 Regulators

The Apeks XL4 OCEA Regulators range, introduced in 2023, heralds yet another milestone for the brand, being lauded as probably the best all-rounder within their entire line-up.

Building on their environmental initiatives, Apeks has raised the bar with the introduction of the Apeks XL4 Ocea Regulators. Not only does this regulator set to offer exceptional performance, but it also reflects a new era in eco-conscious production. By utilizing lead-free brass, Apeks sets a standard for sustainable manufacturing practices, as this metal can be recycled indefinitely. Furthermore, they have managed to replace conventional materials with bio-plastics and recycled materials, making the XL4 Ocea a beacon of eco-friendly innovation. In a remarkable commitment to our oceans, Apeks contributes to the removal of five times the plastic weight of each new regulator from marine environments, truly making the XL4 Ocea the first regulator in the diving world that not only protects the diver but also the vast underwater worlds they explore.

The Apeks XL4 regulators are also one of the best travel regulators out there, due to their reduced weight and compact design. The XL4 Ocea is exceptionally light, weighing in at under a kilo for a DIN first and second stage. If you are looking for a modern regulator that you can use for all applications with a great price tag, too, then the XL4 Ocea is hard to beat.


Apeks XL4 Ocea Regulators

Apeks XTX Regulators

The Apeks XTX Regulator range has been the mainstay of the Apeks lineup for some time now and comprises a number of different configurations. Once, it was the number one regulator for Scuba Instructors in the UK, with each model within the range fully cold-water rated, ensuring reliable performance in even the harshest diving environments. While the entire series offers relatively similar high-quality performance, there are a few key differences to help you decide which one is right for you:

  • Apeks XTX40: This regulator only has a venturi switch in the second stage. It is available on the DST first stage, which has a swivel turret, giving more options when routing hoses, or the DS4, which has fixed port positions.
  • Apeks XTX50: In addition to the venturi, this regulator has a breathing control knob. It will almost exclusively be available with the DST first stage.
  • Apeks XTX200: All the features of the XTX50 but has a forged 1st stage which has improved port routing.
  • Apeks Tungsten: An XTX200 which has a tungsten coating giving it an incredibly durable finish.
Apeks XTX Range of Regulators

Apeks manufacture a choice of two matching octopuses. The XTX40 octopus has a venturi switch, while the XTX50 octopus has breathing control, too; most divers tend to opt for the simpler XTX40 octopus. Essentially, your choice here comes down to budget and whether you want to be able to adjust the breathing controls. If you do want adjustability, then the XTX50 is for you, and if you want that with a bit of bling, then the XTX200 regulator is the way to go.

Each model is designed to provide you with the flexibility to refine your setup as your diving adventures evolve, from recreational jaunts to deep technical dives.

Apeks MTX Regulators

Isn’t MTX the military one? Well, sort of. MTX was initially born from a brief to produce a regulator that would pass the Navy Experimental Diving Unit test (NEDU), which is a bonkers test for regulators where they must perform in 0.3 deg C of water at 60m with a massive flow rate. You can see a video of the MTX 1st stage in action on the test here. At the m moment, we offer MTX-RC Dive Regulators which combine military spec performance and recreational diving adjustability.

M stands for ‘military’, and the R stands for ‘recreational’ (the ‘TX’ part of the regs means ‘tec extreme’)! So, what’s the difference? The C on MTX-RC stands for ‘control’, which in this case means a venturi switch and breathing control. This is a great feature all divers who want a bit of extra control over their breathing sensitivity. But otherwise, the MTX-R and RC are essentially identical. They are also the first Apeks regs to offer an adjustable second stage, which allows you to tailor your breathing resistance depending on conditions.

Which one should you go for, then? Well the MTX-R is essentially the brute of the range, technician set not to free-flow, it has heat sinks pretty much everywhere and a recessed purge button reducing the chance of accidentally knocking it open. This is the reg that will withstand anything you throw at it. As a result, it’s popular with tec divers, particularly sidemount divers, some of whom like the lack of twiddly knobs when switching regulators. If you’re going to be doing lots of cold-water diving or just like the idea of indestructible then the MTX-R is for you.

The addition of the MTX-RC to the range now gives you the cold water performance of the standard MTX-R, when all the breathing controls are dialled in, but also gives you the option to lighten up the breathe for those occasions when you’re swimming around in some nice, warm blue water. The MTX-RC is the top end reg of the range, it looks fantastic too and if you’ve got the cash then the MTX-RC is basically the only regulator you’ll ever need to own as it will let you do anything you decide to do in your diving career.

Apeks MTX Range of Dive Regulators

Which Apeks Regulator to choose?

Choosing the right regulator can significantly enhance your diving experience. If your dive travels often involve flights and weight restrictions, the Apeks XL4 Ocea regulators present an ideal solution. Their lightweight, compact design makes them a favourite among divers who want to save on weight without compromising on the capabilities required for both warm and cold water diving.

On the other hand, if you are seeking a regulator with superior cold water performance and great value for money in sub 1k price brackets, the Apeks XTX regulator range might better suit your needs. These regulators are specifically engineered to operate flawlessly in colder temperatures, ensuring reliability when it matters most and are cost-effective options in comparison to the bigger brother, the MTX-RC.

For those whose adventures primarily take them to chilly waters, like the daunting depths of the Atlantic, the Apeks MTX-RC collection of regulators stands out. With its exceptional cold water performance and resistance to harsh conditions, coupled with the flexibility of adjustable controls, the MTX-RC is the go-to choice for serious cold water divers.

That was easy!

Yes, it was, but if you do have any questions about Apeks regulators, then don’t hesitate to drop us a line at the shop, where our expert staff will be happy to help! Our team is committed to providing you with the best advice to meet your diving style, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro. Don't let uncertainty hold you back from the ultimate underwater experience; reach out and let us guide you through the specifics of each product to find the perfect fit for your diving adventures.