Confined Space Gas Detector Review

Entry Level Confined Space Gas Detectors

Confined Spaces - Which Gas Detector?

Crowcon Tetra T4, MSA ALTAIR® 4XR, Honeywell BW Gas Alert Microclip XL, Draeger X-am 2500, and Industrial Scientific Ventis MX4

Gas detectors are essential for confined space entry to protect workers from toxic gases, oxygen deficiency, and explosive atmospheres. They provide real-time monitoring and alerts, ensuring compliance with safety regulations and preventing accidents. Continuous monitoring detects rapid changes in conditions, ensuring a safe working environment and so, as industries prioritise safety and compliance, the choice of a reliable gas detector becomes crucial. 

We therefore felt a simple review of five popular entry level models: the Crowcon T4, MSA ALTAIR® 4XR, BW Gas Alert Microclip XL, Draeger X-am 2500, and Ventis MX4 would greatly benefit our readers.

Each of these devices is designed to detect multiple gases and ensure worker safety in hazardous environments. Below, we provide an overview of their features, strengths, and potential drawbacks.

Crowcon Tetra T4


  • Detects four gases: CO, H2S, O2, and flammable gases.
  • Large, clear display with a simple two-button operation.
  • Integrated vibrating, audible, and visual alarms.
  • Long battery life of up to 24 hours.
  • Intrinsically safe and rugged design.


  • User-friendly interface with a large screen and easy navigation.
  • Robust and durable, suitable for harsh environments.
  • Long battery life is advantageous for extended shifts.
  • Comprehensive alarm system enhances safety.


  • Slightly bulkier compared to some competitors, which may affect portability.
  • Limited data logging capabilities without additional software.

Approximate Price £380

Crowcon T4



  • Detects four gases: CO, H2S, O2, and LEL.
  • Real-time sensor reading updates via Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Rugged design with an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • XCell sensors offer a long lifespan of up to four years.
  • MotionAlert and InstantAlert features for enhanced safety.


  • Durable and reliable in extreme conditions.
  • Bluetooth connectivity allows for real-time data sharing and monitoring.
  • Long sensor life reduces maintenance and replacement costs.
  • Advanced alert features improve worker safety.


  • Higher initial cost due to advanced features.
  • Bluetooth functionality may be underutilised in non-connected environments.

Approximate Price £500

Altair 4X

Honeywell BW Gas Alert Microclip XL


  • Detects four gases: CO, H2S, O2, and LEL.
  • Compact and lightweight design.
  • IntelliFlash provides visual confirmation of detector compliance and operation.
  • Simple one-button operation.
  • IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.


  • Extremely portable and lightweight, ideal for personal use.
  • Easy to operate, requiring minimal training.
  • Visual compliance indicator ensures device is working properly at a glance.
  • Cost-effective solution for basic gas detection needs.


  • Shorter battery life compared to some competitors (up to 18 hours).
  • Limited advanced features and connectivity options.

Approximate Price £360

Honeywell BW Microchip confined space detector.

Draeger X-am 2500


  • Detects four gases: CO, H2S, O2, and LEL.
  • Compact and ergonomic design for ease of use.
  • Durable, with an IP67 rating for water and dust protection.
  • Long-lasting XXS sensors provide in excess of five years operation.


  • Long sensor life and robust design reduce total cost of ownership.
  • Compact robust and stylish.
  • High level of dust and water protection.
  • Ergonomic design enhances user comfort.


  • Slightly more complex interface may require additional training.
  • Lacks mandown features.

Approximate Price £350

X-am 2500 confined space gas detector.

Ventis MX4


  • Detects four gases: CO, H2S, O2, and LEL.
  • Compact and portable design.
  • Customisable with a range of sensor options.
  • IP66 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Compatible with the iNet monitoring service for remote management.


  • Customisable sensor options offer flexibility.
  • Compact size enhances portability.
  • Integration with iNet service allows for comprehensive fleet management.
  • Robust construction suitable for various industrial environments.


  • Integration with iNet may incur additional costs.
  • Moderate battery life compared to some high-end models.

Approximate Price £740

Ventis-mx4 confined space gas detector


Each of these gas detectors offers a range of features designed to enhance safety and usability in industrial environments. The Crowcon T4 stands out for its robust design and long battery life and price, making it ideal for harsh conditions. The MSA ALTAIR® 4XR is notable for its advanced connectivity and sensor longevity, suitable for tech-forward industries. The BW Gas Alert Microclip XL is a cost-effective, portable option perfect for personal use. The Draeger X-am 2500 combines durability with a long sensor life, offering a reliable solution for various applications and best value for money. Finally, the Ventis MX4 offers customisation and remote management, appealing to those needing flexible and comprehensive monitoring solutions.

Choosing the right detector depends on specific needs, including the working environment, required features, and budget considerations. Each model provides unique strengths, ensuring there is a suitable option for diverse industrial safety requirements.

Our team of dedicated professionals are always on hand to help you with your gas detection training needs, including selection of the right gas detector. If you would like to know more, simply contact us using the contact form.

Coming Soon

Our comprehensive review of smart gas detectors will delve into the rapidly evolving realm of connected gas detection. We will assess the true intelligence of these devices and evaluate whether they provide good value for money.

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