|Weight||2 lbs., 2 oz.|
|1st Stage||Balanced Diaphragm|
|2nd Stage||Pneumatically Balanced|
|Adjustments||Dive/Predive Switch, Breathing Resistance Knob|
|Breathing-Simulator Performance||Very Good to Excellent|
|Real-World Performance||Very Good|
In the Over $500 category, only the Apeks Flight is lighter than the Ellipse MC9 Balanced. The MC9 is mini-me size and protected from dings and scrapes by an elastomer shell. The new balanced second stage is a member of the Ellipse family, but the casing is a tad larger. It’s fitted with a new diaphragm and sports a breathing-resistance knob. An internal heat exchanger ratchets up the reg’s performance when diving cold waters.
This reg turned a lot of heads during our lab and in-water tests. After observing the reg’s performance on its initial runs on the ANSTI machine, technicians predicted it would end up being one of the best breathers of the bunch, and they were right. It generated impressive work of breathing in all RMV/depth test categories, but especially in the category that most closely represents recreational diving. Ocean tests just added to the good news. Test divers found it a very dry, easy breather in the standard swimming position as well as in alternate positions. The pliable purge cover moves a lot of air fast and is easy to use. The breathing resistance knob offers 2.5 turns of effective adjustment. The mouthpiece was the only item that received mixed reviews: half the test divers found it comfortable, the other half found it too small.
Both lab coat and wetsuit wearers really liked this reg. It delivers top-drawer breathing performance, is user friendly and carries a price tag so low that it almost doesn’t qualify as an Over $500 reg, making it our Best Buy pick in this category.