SCUBAPRO Equator | Scuba Diving

SCUBAPRO Equator

May 09 Scuba Lab Quick Links
General Purpose BCs
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BARE Blackjack| BARE Blackwing
BARE Voodoo| Mares Prestige MRS Plus
SCUBAPRO Glide Pro| Tusa Conquest
Zeagle Ranger LTD|
Dual Purpose BCs
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Aeris 5 Oceans| Cressi Aquaride
Oceanic Cruz| SCUBAPRO Equator
Cressi Travelight| Cressi Light Jac
True Travel BCs
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Zeagle Zeus|

Dual Purpose BCs

Dual Purpose BCs are lighter in weight, more stingy with their hardware, and more compact than General Purpose BCs, so they pack easily for trips to the tropics. At the same time, they provide enough buoyant lift, ballast weight capacity and range of adjustment to be worn in cold water over thick wetsuits or dry suits. The thinking is, because they're able to be used in both the Great Lakes and the Great Barrier Reef, you only have to own one BC for all your diving adventures.

SCUBAPRO Equator

Features

In contrast to the Cruz, Scubapro's Equator, with its trimmed-down design and plush padding, seems best-suited for warm-water excursions, but it can handle the demands of temperate water diving if it must. Granted, its jacket design has less hardware and buoyant lift than many General Purpose BCs; still, a wide range of adjustment, a 20-pound-capacity integrated weight system, large zippered cargo pockets and a half-dozen heavy-duty stainless-steel D-rings qualifies it for both warm- and cold-water environments.

Performance

Specifications
Average Subjective Test Score| 4.5
Dry Weight| 9 lbs.
Buoyant Lift| 32 lbs.
Inherent Buoyancy| .6 lbs.
Weight Capacity| 20 lbs.
Price| $572
www.scubapro.com

The Equator's trimmed down design offers a good range of motion, and the swivel buckles on the shoulders really allow you to get a fine-tune fit. The soft lining in the neck, shoulders, backpad and cummerbund feel great against a thin suit or bare skin. With all this padding you'd think the Equator would be carrying a lot of inherent buoyancy. Not so. In fact, the Equator touts the lowest inherent buoyancy of all BCs in this review. At depth, the semi-soft backpack feels as solid as any hard pack. It supports the tank without wobble, creating a stable rig regardless of your swimming position. The big twin cargo pockets allow easy access and more room to stash stuff than most travel BCs we've seen. Plus a series of webbing loops and small D-rings offer lots of attachment points on the shoulders without adding too much clutter. The Equator's weight pouches are one of the easiest to load and by far the most secure. The ditching procedure requires that you squeeze the buckles then pull the pouches--rather than just pulling pouches like on most mechanical weight systems. It's a breeze once you get the hang of it. The power inflator is very compact and responsive to button commands. The wraparound air cell design provides a comfortable, upright floating position with little squeeze.

Bottom Line

For those who spend 90 percent of their time diving tropical waters but take an occasional trip to the land of 7mm wetsuits and full-finger dive gloves, the Equator is a perfect BC. Sure, it's accustomed to a world of bathtub water and umbrella drinks, but it's still game for an occasional cold water dip and hot cocoa chaser.

Quick Links
General Purpose BCs
---
BARE Blackjack| BARE Blackwing
BARE Voodoo| Mares Prestige MRS Plus
SCUBAPRO Glide Pro| Tusa Conquest
Zeagle Ranger LTD|
Dual Purpose BCs
---
Aeris 5 Oceans| Cressi Aquaride
Oceanic Cruz| SCUBAPRO Equator
Cressi Travelight| Cressi Light Jac
True Travel BCs
---
Zeagle Zeus|
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