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Product Review Scubapro Equator BCD

By Lee Johnson Managing Director

Ok so in my job we do get a few perks. Tour leading trips to dive the worlds best dive sites does rateJoey & Lee in their Scubapro Equator BCD amongst them. The other cool part of the job is to test drive new dive equipment in the name of product research for our customers… YOU.

With our recent trip to Cairns to dive the Great Barrier Reef onboard Mike Ball’s Spoil Sport, there was much need to reduce the amount of weight we were carrying, and the first port of call here was the dive gear.

Past trips have had us carting heavy bags through airport terminals and cringing when we struggle to lift the dive bag onto the airlines scales to enter the lottery of how much excess we will have to pay. This time was different…

The first thing I noticed was colour! Red – Great news for anyone who wants to match their new red Scubapro everflex wetsuit (5 or 3mm) with their new red Twin Jet Max fins and mask / snorkel set. The next thing, how light it is. The Equator weighs less than half of what a T Force weighs. That is about 3kg less weight. The next thing to look at was the size of the BCD. The Equator has a half back plate which allows the BCD to fold over the top to the bottom effectively having the size of the BC from a height perspective. Then wrap the left pocket over the right and it would now fit into the space about the size of a cornflake box (maybe 2 due to the thickness.) The material is a strong but lightweight 420 Denier and has a few D rings to clip torches and other toys onto. A really cool feature of this BCD is the weight intergration. It has 2 front pockets which could quite comfortably fit 18 lbs of weight in them – although most of the diving overseas we do tends to be in warm water where no wetsuit or only a shorty is required. This is the only weight intergrated travel BCD I have found. The Equator comes with all of the good things you learn to expect from a Scubapro BCD, a Sinch Strap – The bit that holds the tank and BCD together, zip pockets, durable balanced power inflator and rear and front pull dump cords. The best part. The price… $695. For a Scubapro BCD of this quality, this is an awesome unit. But that’s all well and good… lets go for a dive with it.

Scubapro Equator BCDThe Equator seems to have plenty of lift – although we are testing this BCD with only 12lbs of weight. It doesn’t slide from side to side and it certainly doesn’t lift above the shoulders and leave you under the water. First impressions were that the Equator is going to be what I have learned to expect with any Scubapro product. Kicking off into the dive, buoyancy control is very similar to my T Black – Easy to do, everything in the same places and really comfortable you wouldn’t know the tank was even on your back. The biggest test for any BCD I find is a long surface swim back to the boat. Well that’s what I told my Dive Buddy when my planned navigation wasn’t quite what it should have been – see it is all part of the test drive I told her. She didn’t fall for it and suggested next week I do a product review on the new Uwatec compass instead. The surface swim was easy – plenty of lift very little drag and once again very comfortable. One of the bonuses with this BCD being a travel BCD is that it doesn’t go too far around the front and has swivel buckles, which is great for females who find normal BCDs a little tight at the top end. This makes the Equator the ultimate in versatility.

Final Verdict:

Once again, the guys at Scubapro have come up with a winner. Unfortunately for the rest of Australia, the Equator BCD is TOTALLY EXCLUSIVE to Perth Scuba & Dive Locker. Nowhere else in Australia can you get your hands on one of these great BC’s so if traveling is your thing, and you want to stop paying that excess luggage AND dive with a product with the name you can trust and rely on… You know where to look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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