MiniDive: The Greenest Way to Explore the Blue
September 21, 2021
Compared to some sports sectors, watersports have been relatively slow to embrace the message of sustainability and accessibility. Yet traditional watersports are some of the worst offenders when it comes to environmental damage, causing noise pollution and chemical pollution on the land, on the sea and in the air. They also tend to disturb marine and waterside habitats. They also offer poor accessibility for those who have limited mobility—and those who don’t have a limitless amount of cash.
Wouldn’t it be good if there was a fun, easy to grasp, accessible, environmentally friendly watersport that you could participate in, without the need for hugely expensive equipment or qualifications? One that could get you up close and personal to wildlife, rather than driving it away and damaging its habitat?
Luckily, there is. And we predict that, just like paddleboarding, its popularity will begin to grow exponentially, and that soon it will be The Next Big Thing. So just remember that you heard about it here first!
We present: the MiniDive.
MiniDive: Democracy and Accessibility
French company MiniDive aims to ‘democratise’ snorkelling and scuba-diving by taking the best of both sports and producing an accessible option for all: ‘Mini Scuba Tanks for Everyone’.
When compared to traditional scuba-diving equipment, their mini-scuba tanks are cheap to purchase, easy to use and more eco-friendly—and they require no time-consuming, expensive qualifications such as SSI or PADI certifications to operate them independently. The tanks, mini-compressors and accessories are comprehensively tested for not just safety, but maximum user comfort. The equipment is so easy to use that it takes less than 30 seconds to set up the harness, jump into the water to start your MiniDive experience!
Sold in 70 countries, MiniDive’s mini scuba tanks are ideal for people who want to investigate underwater at greater depths than snorkelling will allow, but find the equipment, process or expense of scuba-diving makes it inaccessible. They’re also ideal for those who find the depths of the sea daunting and those who want to explore underwater independently without the need for qualifications and licensing. Weighing just 2 kg in the air and less than 1 kg underwater, these tiny tanks aren’t at all cumbersome or restrictive. This makes them a great option for people who love to explore underwater but have some mobility or fitness issues.
While there are other companies that have come up with similar concepts, MiniDive has established itself as a leader in this field due to the high quality, reliability, functionality, and ease of use of its products, and for the service it provides to customers.
The MiniDive System
MiniDive tanks are available in aluminium or carbon versions, and several models are available. They’re all equipped with the same valve (DIN type) which makes them interchangeable, so MiniDive regulators can be used on both aluminium and carbon tanks. This makes replacing an empty tank for a full one quick and easy, as you can keep the same regulator. Changing your tank shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds, and then you’re off again!
MiniDive Pro and MiniDive Pro+
The MiniDive Pro and MiniDive Pro+ are the company’s original mini scuba tanks. They’re aluminium tanks with a protective navy-blue leather jacket. They have a working pressure of 200 bar (3000 psi) and are equipped with a hose and a regulator, although you also buy tanks separately.
MiniDive Carbon, MiniDive Carbon+ and MiniDive Carbon Max
These carbon tanks have a protective epoxy ﬁnish, and they’re smaller and lighter than aluminium tanks. However, due to their higher working pressure of 300 bar (4500 psi)., they can hold more air. Again, they’re equipped with a hose and regulator, but can you purchase tanks without a regulator if you like the option of having a spare tank to quickly swap out for an empty one.
MiniDive’s carbon tanks are available in three sizes:
Coming soon: mini-mini scuba tanks
Later this year, the company also plan to launch new products: even smaller and lighter mini scuba tanks. Designed with very small regulator heads, these will be able to be used directly in the mouth to provide just a few minutes of air for those who want to go a little deeper than snorkelling for short periods. It’s expected that the 0.2 L /12 cu in aluminium tank will provide around three minutes of air, while the 0.35 L / 21 cu in carbon tank should provide five minutes of air.
How to Refill MiniDive Tanks
MiniDive offer four methods for refilling their tanks, and they are all equipped with filters to ensure high quality, breathable compressed air. You also have the option to refill your MiniDive tank using a standard compressor available in scuba shops.
The hand pump
The simplest and most environmentally sustainable refilling option for you to use, as it simply uses people power and can be used anytime, anywhere! The hand pump is very light and easy to carry, and it’s ideal for filling the smaller MiniDive tanks (up to and including tanks with 0.5 L / 30 cu in capacities).
At filling stations, you can fill your MiniDive tanks from a large diving cylinder. In order to fit all diving tanks, they are available in two models: DIN and Yoke.
The 12 V mini compressor
MiniDive’s 12 V mini compressor is very convenient, as it’s small and light (5 kg / 11 lbs), making it easy to transport. Super simple to use it can be powered by a 12 V battery (such as that in a car or boat) or directly from a normal mains socket (220 V or 110 V) via the supplied converter.
The 12V mini compressor can go up to 300 bar (4500 psi) and it suitable for ﬁlling tanks with a volume between 0.2 L (12 cu in) and 0.8 L (49 cu in).
The 220 V or 110 V mini compressors
This more powerful, sturdy compressor is available in a 110 V or 220 V version. Both models have a handle for easy carrying and provide speedy refilling of any MiniDive tank. By using the large filter cartridge, you can reﬁll several tanks in a row.
MiniDive: Practical and Playful
MiniDive provides a much cheaper, simpler, more sustainable and less resource-intensive alternative to scuba-diving, while giving free divers, snorkellers and even just curious swimmers a great way to go adventuring underwater at shallower depths. You can MiniDive straight from the beach, with no snorkel tube or breath-holding required!
With your MiniDive tank, you’ll be a smaller, quieter presence in the water, and you won’t need to be taken out to deep-sea on a potentially noisy, polluting boat in order to dive (which will save you even more money). This means you may be able to spot more timid creatures that would be scared away by the disturbance caused by scuba-divers diving from a boat. Corals, sea plants, ruins, wrecks and a vast array of colourful and interesting underwater creatures are just waiting to be discovered under the sea. With equipment far less weighty and awkward than standard scuba gear, you’ll find it easier to swim and gain confidence with your mini tank. And without the limitation of a short snorkel tube, the sea is… your oyster!
But the MiniDive system isn’t just a great asset for watersports. It provides a practical solution for boat users too. Whether you use your boat for work or play, there will be times when you need to check something underwater (or retrieve something that’s fallen overboard!). MiniDive tanks are ideal in these situations. You can quickly fit the harness and be in the water in less than half a minute, ready to check your hull, perform a repair, free up your propeller or anchor, or search for something gone astray.
The MiniDive system is operational to a depth of 50 metres (164 ft), but the maximum depth allowed for non-divers is 3 metres (10 ft). All MiniDive products are certified to all applicable standards and EU safety certifications, and they are covered by a one-year guarantee.
The tanks and accessories are available separately and as kits. The ready-to-dive packages match your chosen tank with its most suitable filling method, giving you everything you need to get started. And if you have a query, it’s probably answered in the comprehensive manuals, which include English and French instructions. If not, the customer service team are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their products and always willing to help customers get the most out of their MiniDive tanks and their time underwater.
So why not treat yourself to a MiniDive tank this summer and set off for some eco-friendly, inexpensive underwater exploring? As Sebastian the Crab tells us in Little Mermaid, life is better down where it’s wetter, under the sea…
Explore the underwater world with minimal environmental impact by visiting:
MINIDIVING: ITS SAFETY AND RISKS IN CONTEXT
Recently, there have been claims that minidiving is dangerous, so we felt we should address this claim and give it some context. In watersports—or indeed, any sports—your safety is dependent on three factors:
The sea is a potentially dangerous place. To state the obvious, we’re designed to breathe a gas mix that’s primarily nitrogen and oxygen, and certainly not designed to breathe in water. So we have to respect the sea, and bear in mind the risks it poses whenever we’re on it or under it: strong currents, obstructions, other sea users, marine life that takes exception to our presence, injuries to ourselves, and panicking and forgetting safety measures.
Go too deep when snorkelling, or let the mouthpiece come adrift, and you can find yourself breathing in water. The only way to get air is to surface. As for free diving, your safety is entirely dependent on your accurate estimation of your depth and how long you can hold your breath. Scuba diving comes with a whole host of risks: lung rupture and decompression sickness if descents and ascents aren’t done properly, ear barotrauma, nitrogen narcosis, equipment failure, the extra time and issues involved in seeking medical help because of the depth you’re at… the list is extensive.
So is minidiving risk-free? No, but no watersport is.
So mitigate the risks. Read the instruction manual, follow its advice, use the equipment properly, and enjoy minidiving with the MiniDive responsibly.
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