Zeagle is not a name in diving that is synonymous with regulators while they are better known for their BCD’s they do produce a small line of rugged hard working regulators. These regulators range in price from $329.95 for the Envoy 2 at their entry level, $484.95 for the Onyx 2 for the middle ground, and $629.95 for the F8 as their high end regulator. This is going to focus on the F8 regulator from Zeagle and my experience with this lesser known regulator.
The F8 regulator is made to be rugged and able to withstand the harshest conditions. The simple classic design takes advantage of the classic look of regulators and the simplistic no extra bells and whistles of the first stage. Zeagle does like to set their regulators apart by having 5 low pressure and 2 high pressure ports on their first stages, 4 of the low pressure ports are traditionally placed with the fifth facing directly forward I assume for more tech/sidemount applications. Zeagle like other companies has adopted the usage of color kits to personalize the regulator with an assortment of colors from standard blue, and pink to purple and red. These kits are in my opinion a little over priced but will make the regulator stand out replacing the purge cover, adjustment knob and exhaust cover.
First Stage Features:
- Balanced diaphragm design and the environmentally sealed ambient chamber ensure top performance in any condition.
- Redesigned environmental seal cap and yoke knob enhance ergonomics & design aesthetics.
- Percision machined neoflon seat harder more reliable material, keeping you diving longer.
|First Stage Materials:|
|HP Valve:||Stainless Steel|
Second Stage Features:
- New inhalation diaphragm provides superior tear strength and improved response time to breathing (super soft silicone molded over a low friction disk).
- Improved exhaust valve ensures dryness and a lower exhalation effort.
- Seat-saving orifice, compliments of Atomic Aquatics, retracts when not in use – extending the life of the breathing tube seat.
- Seat comprised of soft silicone molded over a metal insert to deliver the firmness required for an airtight seal while maintaining the necessary elasticity to prevent leaking.
- Redesigned front cover and inhalation effort control knob use co-molded components that provide the necessary grip, soft touch and ease of use. Available in several color kits
- Zirconium-plated inlet tube and heat sink for superior corrosion resistance.
- Redesigned heat sink dramatically increases surface area, aiding in the heat exchange necessary to avoid freeze-up.
- Co-molded silicone mouthpiece for better fit and less jaw fatigue
|Second Stage Materials:|
|Poppet Seat:||316 SS insert with silicone overmold|
My experience with the F8:
This is a very well performing regulator that I would easily put in the same running as other high end regulators. It has a clean simple look, breaths well, and venturi switch and air flow adjustment are easy to use even when wearing heavy gloves for cold water. It is surprisingly light for the size of the second stage, I did add a swivel to my second stage for added comfort which is a strong recomendation for anyone who experiences jaw fatigue while diving. The only issue this has presented is the lp hose for the second stage is very long much longer than I am used to for standard regulators and the addition of a swivel added an extra 2 inches to this making it at times seem a bit excessive. Another issue that I have experienced is use of the regulator inverted can cause water to get into the second stage, by inverted i mean head down feet above the head, not lying on the back. This being a very uncommon position only affected me while playing with students while teaching in the pool.
Over all this is a good regulator that should be considered if you are looking to upgrade, it is very hardy and reliable. At a price of $629.95 this is one reg that should be thrown into the mix with other high end regulators like the Oceanic Zeo, Hollis 200LX, Aqualung Legend, and Scubapro MK25/S600. Zeagle may not be the brand you think of when regulators come to mind but they are a sleeper in this category with tough regs that are inexpensive to service, and can easily last a lifetime.
I hope this was helpful and feel free to share your own experience with the Zeagle F8 in the comments.