In part two of a series of two video reviews shot exclusively for Scubaverse.com, Richard from Black Manta Photography takes the Scubapro MK11 First Stage and the C370 Second Stage for a dive in the Maldives…
We’ve all been there – convinced we have packed as light as we possibly can for a dive trip, removed all but the most essential of clothes, made sure any footwear hasn’t fallen into the case, removed all the toiletries with a plan to pay extortionate prices at the airport, but still your case doesn’t weigh up within the airline regulations for baggage allowance!
This is often made all the more stressful when you’re a travelling scuba diver. You want to use your own kit as you are familiar with it, which only you have used (plus rental charges can really add up), but trying to fit everything in the case is a logistical nightmare and challenge that Gordon Burns would have been proud of!
Well, fear not people of the scuba diving world – there is light at the end of the tunnel! The lovely people at Scubapro have launched a new lightweight travel First Stage and Regulator in the guise of the MK11 and the C370.
“So why are these the regulator set for travelling divers” I hear you ask? Well, to put it bluntly, they are light – like, ridiculously light!
The marine brass body MK11 first stage isn’t much taller than a cork from the bottle of your favourite sparkling wine and weighs in at a paltry 470g (16.6oz) for the DIN 300 version (the INT 232 version still weighs in at a slim 692g). Despite being small, this tidy bit of kit still manages to deliver six ports – two high pressure, two low pressure, and two high-flow ports allowing maximum flexibility with hose routing options.
The C370 second stage is delivered in a compact fibreglass and reinforced nylon casing. It comes equipped with the new exhaust tee that has been based on the S620 Ti’s design, and reportedly delivers a 10% improvement over the breathing work rate of the C350 (unlucky C350 owners!)
The large purge button is easy to operate, and the user controls include a diver adjustable inhalation effort knob, and Venturi-Initiated Vacuum Assist (VIVA) – even with a new poppet and lever, the design allows this new product to maintain the overall size on the C350. Oh – and the weight?? 171g!
As strange as this sounds, I really enjoyed diving with these over our two week Maldives trip. The gas flow through the regulator was smooth and had that comforting feeling of being reassuringly reliant – almost automated. The soft and flexible mouthpiece was comfortable between my teeth, and even facing into a raging current I felt no discomfort.
All in all I was really quite impressed, and at £229 for the first and second stage set (at the time of writing), it won’t just be baggage weight you’ll be saving on!
To find out more about this product, please visit www.scubapro.com.