Top 8 Best Surface Marker Buoy For Scuba Diving

Buying Guide & Advice

 Image Brand  Best For Size Color and Signage  Price
Best Surface Marker Buoy Zeagle Surface Marker Buoy QD Deluxe All Type and Kind of Diving 7 inches by 60 inches  Yellow and Orange Colored Neon Sides $$
Best Surface Marker Buoy Akona Surface Marker Buoy All Dive Type and Condition 7.5 inches by 40 inches Hi-Viz Orange Color $$
Best Surface Marker Buoy OMS Surface Marker Buoy Recreational Dives, Calm Waters and New Entrants 3 inches by 3 inches Hi-Viz Orange Color $$
Best Surface Marker Buoy Blue Reef Diver-Below Deluxe Advanced and Professional Divers 4 inches by 3 inches Neon Yellow and Hi-Viz Orange Color $$
Best Surface Marker Buoy Carter Personal Float Surface Marker Buoy Advanced and Professional Divers 12 inches by 12 inches Neon Yellow or Hi-Viz Orange Color $$
Best Surface Marker Buoy Hollis Signal Marker Buoy Recreational And Advanced Divers 6 inches Orange or Yellow $$
Best Surface Marker Buoy XS Scuba Surface Marker Recreational and Advanced Divers 6 inches by 9 fts Orange $$
Best Surface Marker Buoy Dive Rite Surface Marker Tube Recreational and Advanced Divers 6 inches by 9fts Orange $$

Top 8 Best Surface Marker Buoy For Scuba Diving

It has long been a raging matter among divers, the importance or triviality of the need for diving with a surface marker buoy (SMB). Not everyone thinks that it is indeed a trivial thing to discuss especially when you consider that it is crucial to guiding you back to the surface safely and aiding the avoidance of a collision with boats etc. Then, there is a matter of ‘how’ to hoist the surface marker. There are many variations in this aspect, but the goal remains the same. Whatever your perspective and variation, the goal remains the same: the best surface marker buoy should be easy to deploy without any hassle, stress or entanglement.

Quite a number of divers think the exercise of deploying the marker is intuitively an easy task. Well, that may not always be the case, especially if you factor in the fact that if not done properly, it could mean the difference between a hassle-free assent and getting lost underwater.

Although deploying an SMB requires at least a little practice to get it right, there are some crucial things that you need to consider before making the buying decision. Things like the length of the line, the dimension, the pump valve, etc. In this article, I will guide you through those important things to consider and also share our top 8 best SMBs of the year.

Things To Consider When Picking A Good Surface Marker Buoy For Scuba Diving

Color and Reflective Strip

First and foremost the intention of having a surface marker buoy is to make your location known when diving. Therefore, the best one should have a color that is good enough to be seen from afar by anyone. In this case, opting for SMBs with bright colors like orange or yellow has proven to be very good at sighting from afar.

Particularly, if you are diving at night, you need a surface marker that is bright and reflective so that it can quickly and efficiently inform others of your location.

Air Dump Valve

SMBs can come in different types: some are semi-closed and has an air dump valve while you may need to inflate others orally. Getting this activity right can make a whole lot of difference, so it is crucial that you get accustomed to the workings well before launching underwater.

The reason for this caution is because if you over inflate the surface marker buoy, it can trigger premature ascent thereby ending your dive abruptly and may cause some damage to your body. On the other hand, the air dump valve may just get ruptured if the inflation is not properly done. Therefore, it is pertinent that you master this act deeply before launching.

Water Condition

Deploying a marker on the surface is a quite easy task. However, the state of the water is to be keenly considered when opting for the kind of buoy marker to use. A rough water surface condition poses a more raging threat to disrupting the result of the marker, so a bigger and longer tube is best for this condition. They deliver a good sighting experience for other above the water.

In the case of calm water conditions, you can make do with smaller SMBs are they will perform just fine. This is because the water is not choppy and will give a good visibility to those around.

Line / Reel Attachment

The line and reel are an accessory that is connected to the SMB and serve as a guide that divers follow to the surface. This accessory varies from basic to advanced systems and also vary in length from 16 to 328 feet (5 to 100 m).

Divers should understand the reason for choosing a reel or line and also know the extent of the effectiveness of the selected reel and line. Whatever you decide for, make sure it is best for you diving need and meets the requirement for the condition you are diving in.

Size and Weight

Basically the dimension of a chosen SMB is important to your overall performance while diving. By dimension, I am referring to the size and bulk of the surface marker buoy. Since weight and flexibility are all needed in proportion to augment your buoyancy underwater, you want to go for the SMB with the best dimension. This means that it should be well sized to fit on you as you dive in. Whether it is attached to your BCD or a D-Ring, you should ensure that it does not get in the way of your freedom and maneuver while underwater.

The size is very crucial. Make sure it is not too heavy as to add unnecessary weight to you will dive so as not to affect your buoyancy. For new entrants in scuba diving, it is best that you keep this details with all importance.

TOP 8 BEST SURFACE MARKER BUOY SELECTIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL AND RECREATIONAL DIVING

  1. Zeagle Surface Marker Buoy QD Deluxe

 Best Surface Marker Buoy

Best For: All Type and Time of Diving

Size: 7 Inches By 60 Inches

Color and Signage:  Yellow and Orange Colored Neon Sides

Line/Reel: 8.3cm Reel and 35 meters Line

The SMB comes with the surface marker, reel, line, brass snap and EZ mount zip-on pouch making it a very good choice for any type of diver because it can be conveniently strapped and retrieved when needed. The Quick Deploy Signal System is completely enclosed in the pouch when not in use and can be deployed with almost no hassle when needed. To deploy, the diver only needs to grasp the deploy strap and pulls the reel and signal tube out of the pouch. After which you need to inflate the signal tube either by mouth or through the regulator.

By all standards, the Zeagle QD Deluxe is a very good SMB that has the ability and qualities that any diver will find extremely useful when diving. It comes in four Models: two with a zipped pouch for safely keeping the surface marker buoy well concealed and out of your way and two with a grommet bag. You will appreciate the pouch better if you understand how a little thing clustering your movement and flexibility can take an adverse tool on your buoyancy and maneuver.

This SMB comes with a signal tube which is brightly colored so it can be conspicuous for anyone above the water to see that you are down there. Further on the features of the signal tube, it has a big duck-bill valve and an overpressure relief valve and a manual dump cord. All these to give divers the best use and ease of manipulation when the time comes for the SMB to be deployed.

  1. Akona Surface Marker Buoy

Best Surface Marker Buoy

Best For: All Type and Time of Diving

Size: 7.5 Inches By 40 Inches

Color and Signage:  Hi-Viz Orange Color

Line/Reel: 6ft Reel and 48ft Line

When your intent is to have a surface marker buoy that is visible as it is effective in all sundry features, then your best choice should be the Akona Surface Marker Buoy. Whether you need to surface regularly after a little drift dive or you just want your location to be visibly seen in the ocean where many distractions are dominant, you can count on Akona to do the magic of getting your location clearly noticed.

Not that it just get your location known, it works effectively as a safety kit that gives you a good knowledge of what to expect as you climb to the surface of the water. At least, the Hi-Viz orange colored kit makes sure of that without any issue. It has proven to give divers a good visibility and serve as a functional identification and can also be illuminated at night with a dive light.

There is no denying that the Akona is a sophisticated surface marker buoy that fits all occasion and diver expertise level. Compact sized and a very comfortable carry-about, it comes in a small 5.5” by 2.75” nylon pouch that safely stores the marker until you need to use it. In the pouch, it is well kept so as not to get in your way as you go about your sundry dive activities.

  1. OMS Surface Marker Buoy

 Best Surface Marker Buoy

Best For: Recreational Dives, Calm Waters, and New Entrants

Size: 3 Inches By 3 Inches

Color and Signage:  Hi-Viz Orange Color

Line/Reel: 50ft

This OMS surface marker buoy is good gear for divers who are performing drift or decompression dives and has proven to be very effective in recreational dives too. This closed bottom 3.3 foot (1 meter) surface marker is made of high visibility yellow or orange airtight nylon. It can be inflated by mouth or by use of BC low-pressure inflator hose. Above all, it is very easy to inflate, deploy and use all area.

OMS closed bottom features a No-Lock ability that makes it much easier to inflate and deploy, little wonder it has been fancied by divers across varying category of expertise and experience. It also provides you with the ability to manage the buoy by manually controlling it through the dump/over pressure valve that is attached. More so, the closed bottom is a cursory measure to forestall incidence of unconscious deflation that can wreck your marker’s intent.

Designed in an Orange and Yellow colored nylon material for high visibility, you can count on the OMS closed bottom to give you the needed visibility in calm, tropical waters. It also has a nylon loop that helps in stowing the SMB when it is deflated.

In a nutshell, you need to know that this SMB is well fitted for new entrants and recreational diving in calm and tropical waters. Given the size, it is best for this kind of diving conditions and won’t cause any issue if it is not taken for use outside of these conditions.

  1. Blue Reef Diver-Below Deluxe

Best Surface Marker Buoy

Best For: Advanced and Professional Divers

Size: 4 Inches By 3 Inches

Color and Signage:  Neon Yellow or Hi-Viz Orange Color

Line/Reel: 50ft

If at all a diver is to use a safety gear like the surface marker buoy, they should go for the best that makes good on the promise of marking their dive location adequately. Blue Reef Diver Deluxe SMB is a smart device that efficiently serves the purpose of marking your location and also aiding your ascent when you need to surface.

Designed to fits properly in any pocket, it possesses the capacity to be long enough at inflation for onlookers to notice it from a far place. By this, the diver is assured that his location will be apparent to fellow divers, oncoming boats and sundry individuals who need to know that a diver is below the surface.

Blue Reef surface marker buoy features an easy to use oral inflation valve with lock to prevent accidental deflation as well as a larger over pressure/dump valve. It is also equipped with a D-ring at the top for safely attaching a light, strobe or chemical light so the marker can be more conspicuous at night. The deluxe model also features a unique “no spill” second stage inflation option for quick-and-easy inflation from any second stage regulator.

  1. Carter Personal Float Surface Marker Buoy

Best Surface Marker Buoy

Best For: Advanced and Professional Divers

Size: 12 Inches By 12 Inches

Color and Signage:  Neon Yellow or Hi-Viz Orange Color

Line/Reel: 50ft

The Carter Lift Bag Personal Floats is so dynamic that it can conveniently hoist some 35lbs lift capacity and has a 2 inches wide reflective strip for good distant visibility. The detachable 12-inch x 12-inch dive flags on both sides of the SMB’s upper part further aids its good visibility from a considerable distance, so divers don’t have to worry about not being seen.

Also, a 2-inch wide reflective strip makes the floats highly visible at night. The one-way oral inflation valve easily allows the diver to inflate the float at the surface, while a one-way flapper valve allows air into the bottom of the float but not out. Over-pressure/dump valve vents excess air as the Personal Float ascends to the surface. The handle at the top of the float can be used to attach a light.

The Personal Float is constructed out of very durable 400 deniers polyurethane coated nylon material. A Velcro strip at the bottom holds the float in a tight roll when not in use. A 4-pound weight will make the personal float stand up vertically in the water. Personal Floats are available in different buoyancies: 35 lbs lift, 50 lbs lift and 75 lbs lift.

  1. Hollis Signal Marker Buoy

Best Surface Marker Buoy

Best For: Recreational and Advanced Divers

Size: 6 inches (1.8 meters)

Color and Signage:  Orange or Yellow

Line/Reel: 50ft

The Hollis Signal Marker Buoy (SMB) is a great safety device that all serious divers carry on every dive. The SMB is the smart way for a diver to mark their location when making safety stops, completing mandatory decompression stops and signaling the boat if they surface a distance away from the boat. The Hollis SMB is brightly colored for easy recognition from a distance.

The buoy is a closed cell design made from a durable 300-D Polyester material with radio frequency (RF) welded seams. The SMB is equipped with an oral inflation and quick dump valve for total control of the Device. The Hollis SMB also has a sturdy nylon webbing strap loop with a stainless steel D-ring for attachment to a reel or anchor line along with a wrist lanyard for handheld use. Marker buoy is 6′ (1.8 meters) tall and is available with or without a sling pouch.

  1. XS Surface Marker

Best Surface Marker Buoy

Best For: Recreational and Advanced Divers

Size: 6 inches by 9fts

Color and Signage:  Orange

Line/Reel: 50ft

XS Scuba’s surface marker buoy is a durable urethane coated nylon gear that measures 6″ (1.83 meters) in length has a circumference of 9″ (22.9 cm) and comes in a bright orange in color for good visibility when inflated on the surface. The buoy rolls up straight and comes with its own mesh bag with a snap clip. It has a compact size of 5″ x 3″ (12.7 x 7.6 cm) and can securely fit into your BCD pocket or can be clipped to your gear for easy access when needed.

When you’re ready to deploy, simply open the mesh bags drawstring closure with a barrel lock and inflate with the easy to use oral inflator/deflator valve and clip safety tube to your gear. If you need to use your safety tube for low light or night diving environments safety tube comes equipped with stainless steel grommet at the top for attachment of a light.

  1. Dive Rite Surface Marking Tube

Best Surface Marker Buoy

Best For: Recreational and Advanced Divers

Size: 6 inches by 9fts

Color and Signage:  Orange

Line/Reel: 50ft

Rebreather divers and open circuit divers alike will largely fancy Dive Rite’s hybrid surface marker buoy because of its dynamically effective nature. Using both oral/power inflator this SMB makes inflation simple for re-breather divers who do not have easy access to a regulator for inflation. In the same vein, a funnel-shaped, anti-spill baffle allows open circuit divers to inflate this SMB with a regulator. It has a standard over-pressurization valve (OPV) with pull dump cord allows excess gas to vent during ascent and to depressurize the bag at the surface.

Made from durable and super-tough 300-D polyester that is resistant to fading with durable water repellant finish (DWR) Dive Rite inhibits water-saturation and dries quickly. All seams are a radio frequency (rf) welded with nylon reinforced edges and is equipped with a 304-stainless steel D-ring lift point and a top grab handle for retrieval from water.

By dimension it measures (h x w) 5′ x 8″ (1.52 meters x 20.3 cm) with the tube provides 30 lbs (13.6 kg) of lift, is available in ANSI certified safety orange or yellow and has reflective tape on both sides for added visibility.