An SMB, or scuba marker buoy, is a marker that floats on the water’s surface, making boaters and other divers aware of your presence below. Bright in color and measuring upwards of 6 feet, these safety devices can easily be inflated via various methods and can be folded and stored neatly in your dive bag when not in use.
Take a look at or reviews of the best SMB’s for scuba diving, currently on the market.
Best SMB for Scuba Diving
Here are our reviews of the best SMB’s for scuba diving.
This collapsible SMB will easily fit into your dive bag. When needed, simply inflate it through its valve, anchor it in position or attach it to your dive belt.
- Steel inflation nozzle
- Finger spool pocket
- Bright yellow design makes it easy to spot in all weather conditions
Designed with bright colors and equipped with detachable dive flags, this lightweight SMB ensures your presence is known at all times, in all conditions.
- Reflective strip is visible at night
- Compact design
- 1-year limited warranty
This SMB is extremely simple to inflate. Either purge your air or capture the bubbles you exhale to inflate it, right in the water. Its bright orange color and reflective strip make it easy to spot from great distances.
- Open bottom
- Manual dump valve
- Highly visible
This easy to inflate SMB comes equipped with a whistle attached to it in order to alert your companions to pick you up.
- Highly visible
- Durable design
- Reflective material
This durable SMB is constructed using heavy-duty fabrics to ensure it will be with you for the long run.
- Bright color makes it easy to spot
- Attached whistle included
SMB for Scuba Diving Buyer’s Guide
As an SMB is a safety device, its importance cannot be overstressed. In fact, it is common practice for a diver to carry a second, back-up SMB on their person at all times should he drift off course. These secondary devices can be inflated in the water using exhaled bubbles or by purging your regulator.
Take a look at our buyer’s guide for some tips and features to keep an eye out for when purchasing an SMB.
Look for an SMB that features vibrant, bright colors like red, yellow and orange. Other features like flags and reflective material are a great way to stand out. These features will ensure passing vessels can see your SMB in all weather conditions, day or night.
As divers already need to carry an abundance of gear, SMBs are designed to be compact, easily folded or rolled up to fit neatly in your dive bag. Look for an SMB that is roughly 6-7 feet and 4-12 inches in diameter. This will ensure that it remains highly visible when inflated yet stored easily when not in use.
Closed circuit vs. open-ended
SMB’s come available in two options: closed and open-ended.
Open-ended options are easy to inflate in the water. A weight is used to keep the open end slightly submerged, trapping the air inside.
Close-ended SMB’s use a valve to inflate and keep the air in, making them more reliable but unable to inflate under the water’s surface.
The line you will use is determined by where you are launching your SMB. If you’re roughly 5 meters underwater, a short finger spool is a great option. If you are deeper down, consider a long line and a reel mechanism.