Atomic Aquatics was founded in 1996 by two guys who simply wanted to give divers a better experience. Their mission was to create the best diving gear of the highest quality.
This is even evident when they sat out to make a more affordable regulator like the Atomic Z3. By using high-performance design and smart material choices, they were able to create an affordable regulator with the ability to handle extreme dives.
An upgraded version of the Z2, the Atomic Z3 now has a swivel hose along with better features, improved components, and is just an overall better regulator.
In this review, you will find out why it delivers the same performance you would expect from other high-end regulars but at a lesser cost, what we like and don’t like, as well as our overall rating.
Let’s dive in …
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The Atomic Z3 is designed for divers on a budget how still wanted to have virtually the same breathing performance and corrosion-resistance for more high-end Atomic regulators. This was done by using Zirconium-plated Brass and some Titanium while utilizing Atomic many patented technologies. The result is a natural breathing regulator and won’t break the bank.
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Atomic Z3 Regulator Review: Video
You can get a closer look at the Atomic Z3 regulator in the video done by the guys over at SimplyScuba.com.
Atomic Z3 Review: Key Features
Excellent Breathing Performance
When creating the Z3, Atomic Aquatics produced the most compact and economically friendly regulator of their entire line. The first stage is made entirely out of chrome-plated brass and 316 stainless steel.
The combination of superior valve and piston technologies delivers a smooth, natural breathing experience and allows for more time between maintenance. Divers can go an amazing two years or three hundred dives, whichever comes first, before servicing the regulator.
2nd Stage Comfort Swivel
Adding comfort was one of the biggest goals in creating the second stage. The swivel is one of the components that offer such comfort in the second stage. The second stage PVD coated swivel gives the diver a much more comfortable experience. The swivel allows up to thirty degrees of rotational movement with no binding or kinking that is experienced with other aftermarket swivels. The PVD coating gives the swivel scratch resistance, so there is no chance of a scratch preventing movement of the swivel.
Optional Factory Sealed
The Atomic Z3 First stage is also optionally factory sealed. This allows it to keep contaminants like silt and sand out of the first stage. Environmental sealing also guards against freezing in cold water conditions. The piston is self-lubricating which allows it to be practically friction-free and makes this regulator even lower maintenance.
Automatic Flow Control
Also equipped with automatic flow control, breathing easy is always simple, just like it should be. Divers can de-tune the valve in special circumstances with the rapid inhalation adjustment control. The venturi control is automatically controlled by a combination of sealed chambers and swiveling flow vanes. Which gives the diver the perfect balance of safety and performance.
Atomic Z3 Regulator Review : Specs
1st Stage Type
High Pressure Ports
Low Pressure Ports
Second Stage Type
Cold Water Rated
2HP and 7LP ports provide more than enough option to rout your regulator hoses. The 2nd stage swivel reduces tugging and the full face purge button is easy to push.
The Z3 breathing performance is comparable to those of more expensive Atomic models. Breathing is easy, and natural at any depth or tank pressure.
Its designed to last a lifetime of diving. The lower cost is achieved by using more common materials such as plated brass and steel to form the major components of the regulator
With an affordable price point, this regulator offers great value for the money. However, it's still can be more expensive than other competitors regulator with the same features.
What We Like
Although the Z3 is basically Atomic Aquatic’s entry-level regulator, we quickly found out that its breathing performance is on par with many high-end regulators. For many, it’s an easy way to get a high-quality Atomic regulator without breaking the bank.
The comfort swivel works really well against tugging and jaw fatigue. There was little to no pull on the second stage when you turn your head. The design of the swivel is very solid and durable, not like those you will find on the aftermarket.
We also liked that there is no venturi switch to fondle with. All the venturi adjustments are taken care of automatically. On the surface, it set to prevent freeflow and automatically adjust the deep you go to optimize breathing performance.
Also, in the rear chance, you need to detune the regulator, the adjustment knob is easy to find and can easily be adjusted while wearing thick gloves.
What We Don’t Like
We think the Atomic Z3 is a solid scuba regulator, there is little to fault. Despite this, there are some minor things we think need improvements.
For one, there are too many low-pressure ports for us, there are too many than we will ever need. Maybe the ports are there to make up for the fact that there is no swiveling turret on the first stage like the other atomic regulators.
Also, because it uses more common materials, we find it is a little heavier than other Atomic regulators but still on par with others in its class.
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Who Should Buy the Atomic Z3 Regulator?
The Atomic Z3 is a great choice if you would like the comfort, safety, reliability, and style of an Atomic regulator at a fraction of the cost.
It is an affordable regulator that can handle the most extreme dives. It delivers exceptional breathing performance when swimming hard or at extreme depths.
A factory-sealed first stage also makes it a great choice if you’re planning on diving in cold water conditions.
Atomic Z3 Regulator: FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Atomic Z2 vs Z3, What's the difference?
The Atomic Z2 is almost similar to the Z3. However, the Z3 comes with a comfort swivel on the second stage.
Atomic Z3 Vs B2, What's the difference?
The Atomic B2 is similar to the Atomic T3 regulator, except the first stage is chrome-plated brass.
- The B2 has 5 low- pressure ports on a swivel, whereas the Z3 is fixed with 7 low-pressure ports.
- The B2 second stage components are all made from Titanium, where as the the Z2 is made from chrome-plated brass and some Titanium parts.
Can the Atomic Z3 be used in cold water
The Atomic Z3 regulator is certified for cold water diving.
The Bottom Line
The Atomic Z3 Regulator is a quality regulator that is perfect for anybody who wants the reliability and performance of an Atomic regulator without breaking the bank.
Atomic Aquatics made no shortcuts when designing and manufacturing the regulator. It is made with quality materials and lives up to the high standards that they have set for their company and their products. An easy recommendation if you’re looking for a new high-performance regulator.