Mini scuba tanks are practical, efficient and lightweight. Unlike large scuba tanks, they offer a great perspective on what is possible with a minimalistic design, mainly suitable for recreational use. While they might not be an option for cave diving, mini scuba tanks work fine for the average diver on salt water and in rivers.
Mini scuba tank benefits
Online forums tell tales of mini scuba tank benefits which are hard to overlook. Even new divers need their reliability. Diving for a few minutes becomes a different experience and the benefits include those listed below.
- Lightweight practicality
- Quick oxygen charging
- Compatibility with K-connectors and DIN connectors
- Fitted with gauge meters
- Added comfort with silicone mouthpieces
- Oxygen reserve in case of fire emergencies
Most mini scuba dive tanks can actually be used for other purposes as well. However, unlike large scuba oxygen tanks, they cannot be used in long diving sessions. With 50 to 60 mouths of airs to rely on with the average product, it’s clear that these tanks are not made for deep dives. However, they add to the scuba diving freedom and experience as all divers can go deeper than simply relying on holding their breaths.
The following scuba tanks are among the few designs which offer a total freedom for those seeking to dive for a few minutes. Most of them need air added to them and this can be done at most local dive shops.
1. Spare-Air 3000 3.0 Kit
Known as the smallest portable air source in the world, the mini scuba tank might well be the only true option for the average diving enthusiast. It fairly priced considering its quality and the many sub-par options the competition often launches.
There are multiple uses for such a small oxygen tank. Of course, its main use is in scuba diving. But since it has such a compact scuba tank size, it is often used in maintenance work for boats and kayaks. Going underwater is possible with such a small solution for a short period of time.
In other cases, the scuba tank is used as an emergency solution. In case of fires, it can provide oxygen to stop possible CO2 inhalations. With easy refill from the scuba tank using the included adapter, the mini tank has a practical profile.
However, as with all products, it is not perfect. In fact, it lacks the pressure gauge indicator so that users known how much oxygen to add to the tank. The good news is that such a pressure indicator is available to purchase, but it is sold separately.
- Smallest of its kinds
- Comes with oxygen tank adaptor
- Suitable for other air emergencies
- Included safety leash
- Pressure gauge sold separately
2. Spare Air Extreme Tank Watersports Rescue Kit
With a compact air source, the tank is one of the few options truly made for scuba divers, swimmers and kayakers. It doesn’t just come with the tank as it includes a carry vest as well. In water sports, it allows all participants to use it hands-free. In other sports such as scuba diving, it can be held easily and with its included mouthpiece, it is easier to use than an octopus.
The regulator and the tank are a combined unit. For this purpose, using the tank is easy and it is just inserted in the mouth before diving. At the end of the scuba session, a refill is needed. Users can rely on the included refill attachment to add air from a scuba yoke valve.
Used by the military since 1979, the scuba tank offers a compact reliable design which will not feel uncomfortable during long diving sessions. Most users also find it a bit more affordable than a few premium alternatives.
- Includes a sporting kit
- Used by the military since 1979
- Made for hands-free use
- Includes a chest mount harness
- Thick kit vest
3. Catalina Pony Bottle Tank
With its 6 cu. ft. tank, the Pony Bottle is a suitable design for scuba divers. With its friendly yellow color, it places its range among the best minis scuba tanks. Including a pressure gauge, the tank is very easy to use. In most cases, it is held either in front of the body or slightly to one side.
But the best part is the mini tank is also available in larger size. The size of the mini scuba tank should actually be chosen according to the type of diving users consider. Pony Bottle comes with other versions of 13 and 19 cu. ft. Thecylinders meet all needs when it comes to proper in-water safety.
Those who are going cave diving need more air and better reliability for long hours. It’s 30 and 40 cu. ft. are the alternatives to the mini 6 cu. ft. version. All cylinders are actually made with smooth operation. At the same time, all of these cylinders are made from aluminum. Since the material doesn’t rust, it is seen as a good option for long-term use. Aluminum oxidation actually forms a protective coat which keeps the cylinders in a top shape much better than pure steel would.
- Available in different sizes
- Suitable for all types of diving
- Included pressure gauge
- Made from aluminum
- Doesn’t include a carry solution
4. Dxdiver Bailout Pony Bottle Diving Kit with Hose
At 6 cubic feet, the tank is suitable for most beginner divers. It has a standard pressure point of 3.000 PSI with a two-stage pressure gauge. This is why during refills, users will always know what to expect and how much oxygen to actually add to the tank.
With an included regulator, breathing with the tank is easy and constant. While it adds more air than other tanks, it is still small and it can be a top option for the occasional diver and even for enthusiasts who value good mobility.
Made with a nylon sleeve and a Velcro strap, the tank is easy to adjust and mount. But its main advantage remains its larger carry capacity and users can consider it even as an inspired first purchase instead of the rather small 3 cu. ft. alternatives.
- Stores 6 cubic feet
- Included regulator for easy breathing
- Made with an included fill adapter
- Included strap and nylon sleeve
- Doesn’t come with air from the factory
5. ZJchao Spare Scuba Air Tank
Made to a high standard, the air tank differentiates itself with its comfortable mouthpiece and ease of refill. Made with a silicone mouthpiece, it is one of the more comfortable designs to rely on. A pressure gauge is also added next to the mouthpiece. It immediately shows users just how much air is inside the tank.
Using the tank is simple. The pressure is relieved whenever the top gets pushed down. Around 57 mouths of air are offered by the tank at surface level. 21 times are possible for underwater diving, available in 10 minutes.
Made from aluminum, the tank is also durable. It is made according to the industry standard in the scuba tank industry and as a result, it resists corrosion much better than other types of materials.
- Suitable for 57 mouths of air at surface level
- Made with aviation aluminum
- Top is pressed for pressure relief
- Made with an ergonomic mouthpiece
- No straps included
6. Vgeby Oxygen Cylinder
Sold with an air pump and a respirator bag, the tank comes as an inspired beginner’s kit. It has everything needed to add air on the spot. Divers can take the kit to their diving location and ensure one of the simplest and most efficient measures of adding air for longer diving sessions.
Adding air is not complicated. The pump is used as a regular air pump. Users need to watch the pressure gauge not to exceed the maximum allowed pressure. When the mini scuba tank is full, it offers 57 mouths of air under water. It also allows divers to spend around 5-6 minutes at depths of around 7 meters.
Made with a silicone mouthpiece, the tank is comfortable to use. Of course, the discomfort raises the lower the diver reaches. With its included respirator bag, the tank is also easy to carry. As a whole kit, it is worth the purchase, especially for those who want to dive more than just 6 minutes per day.
- Suitable for beginners
- Made with an included pressure gauge
- Includes a solid air pump
- Added regulator for breathing balance
- Only works for short dives
7. XS Scuba Pony Bottle Scuba Tank
Designed by Catalina, the scuba tank is a reliable solution for those on longer dives. Its 30 cu. ft. capacity makes it a suitable option for dives longer than just 10 minutes. Made from aluminum, the tank holds up well in time. Free from rust, it allows divers to follow their passion for years to come.
With thick walls, the tank can also take small hits and still work well in time. But divers mostly appreciate it for its higher air capacity. With aluminum construction, the tank is also not the heaviest option to carry around.
- Made with thick walls
- Works with first stage regulators
- Lightweight aluminum construction
- Suitable for ling diving sessions
- Needs filling with air
8. Sherwood 6 cu ft 3000 PSI Aluminium Tank Cylinder
Made with a yoke design valve, the tank has a small capacity of 6 cubic feet. Suitable for 3.000 PSI pressures, it comes as one of the solutions for quick diving sessions. Under normal conditions, such small tanks are typically used for diving sessions of just a few minutes.
Used to fill the dive suit and for small emergency breathing situations, the tank might be one of the backup solutions divers have with their complete diving kits and equipment.
- Supports 3.000 PSI
- Works for short dives
- Allows 6 cubic feet loads
- Colored with high visibility yellow
- Not suitable for long dives
9. Cyl-Tec New Old Stock 80CF Scuba Diving Tank
The cylinder has a large 80 cubic feet capacity which means it is suitable as a long dive design. Made with distinct brushed aluminum, it is easy to use and it is also lightweight. Most users can also find it to be an interesting design when it comes to its affordability. Before the first use, the tank needs to be taken to a local shop to fill it with air. It is here that the stamp of approval is added on the tank.
- Made with a large 80cu. ft. capacity
- Applicable use in other sports
- Great for beginner divers
- Accepts DIN and K-type connections
- Needs to be filled with air
10. Catalina 80cf Alum Scuba Tank
Available in 8 colors, the tank is ready to match any dive suit on the market. Made with a large 80 cu. ft. capacity, it allows all users to dive longer and better. Being nitrox ready, it is quite versatile as well.
With a 200 bar capacity, the tank is suitable for both beginner and experienced divers. Its cost of operation remains low and this is why dedicated divers find it appealing. It is simply cheaper to refill the tank than to rent one out.
- Supports 200 bar pressure
- Available in 8 colors
- Made from lightweight aluminum
- Suitable for beginner divers
- Doesn’t come filled with air
How to choose a mini scuba tank
Choosing the right mini scuba tank might be easier than many think. There are not too many small designs to really consider, which simplifies the snorkeling gear choice even further. However, the following guiding lines are a must-read before any purchase.
The size of the mini scuba tank plays its role. The smallest tank fits about 6 cu. ft. and it is still available to purchase. It might only last for a few minutes, but these small scuba tanks are the easiest to handle. They are also the lightest as they are normally made from aluminum.
The mouthpiece also needs to be comfortable. Old plastics are old for a reason. Silicone mouthpieces are the new norm for the best mini scuba tanks pressure control and comfort of breathing underwater. A mouthpiece cannot be replaced. However, it needs to be cleaned properly after every use to kill bacteria and diminish smells.
The compatibility of the connections is important for the right fit. DIN and K-type connectors are mostly suitable for the mini scuba tanks seen above. However, adapters can be found for all types of connectors.
While mini scuba tanks are being replaced by large scuba tanks, they are still available from a number of brands. This is why they are still many divers who want to find their own comfort when it comes to a dive of just a few minutes.
The average mini scuba tank is suitable for dives of just a few minutes. But in other cases, small steel scuba tanks are found with in-between sizes, as those with a higher capacity than 9 cu. ft. Whichever the choice users go for, they still need to be durable as they should not need an upgrade for years.