Recreational scuba divers looking to take a step up from their entry-level regulators could take a look at two new systems from Scubapro, both built around a new second stage – the S270.
The air-balanced design is intended to smooth out inhalation effort at varying depths and supply pressures – providing what the manufacturer describes as “effortless” air delivery, whatever the diver’s position in the water.
The techno-polymer plastics barrel with metal thread is designed to help save weight and provide a surface resistant to ice-crystal formation. The S270 systems are CE-certified to the latest EN250A European Standards for all diving conditions, including extreme cold water, says Scubapro.
The casing uses a glass fibre-reinforced nylon core with anti-scratch PU outer layer to make it “sturdy yet lightweight” and capable of enduring years of hard use while reducing jaw fatigue and improving diving comfort.
The dive/pre-dive switch is said to be easy to use even when wearing thick gloves, while the compact exhaust T is “very efficient in minimising exhalation effort”. The Hi-Flow silicone mouthpiece has a large cross-section and, linked to a hose with an oversized bore, should maximise airflow.
The S270 second stage comes paired with either the MK11 or MK2 EVO first stages. The former has a balanced-diaphragm first stage with sealed internal parts, to prevent water and pollutants from fouling the inner mechanism and to enhance coldwater performance.
The MK2 EVO features what Scubapro says is the only downstream piston-style first stage with internal components specifically designed to resist freezing in extreme coldwater conditions.
“Both systems are affordable, durable and deliver smooth and reliable breathing performance,” says the manufacturer, reckoning that this makes them sound choices not only for recreational divers but for training and rental outlets.
The S270 Balanced Octo back-up second stage has the same qualities as the standard version but with a high-vis yellow front cover and 1m large-bore hose, says Scubapro. There is also a green nitrox version of the second stage.
The S270/MK2 EVO system has a recommended retail price of £245 while the S270/MK11 costs £265. These sets are also available with the older R095 octopus for £335 and £345 respectively.
Steve has been a scuba diver for 30 years and became editor of Diver magazine in 1996, following 10 years with BBC World Service and the 10 before that in motoring journalism.