Sunday, 1 March 2009



Most folk will have an opinion on which brand of regulator is the best and will probably stick with that brand when updating their regulator or adding to their equipment. I certainly fall into that bracket and over the years I have only owned regs produced by 2 different manufacturers.
I was given the Scubapro Vintage G250 second stage married up with the top of the range MK 25 Balanced Piston First Stage to try out. This was not a manufacturer I had used before. I was very interested to see how it compared with my own regulators which are UK regs, regarded by many UK divers to be the best there is. Would I note any difference?
First impressions- I must admit I liked the looks of the old G250 which was launched in the late eighties and when I saw the new vintage version its still an attention grabber. A metal purge button is surrounded by a chromed ring with the blue of the diaphragm showing through the black casing of the second stage. There is a nice predive switch and a venture adjustment knob, which allows fine tuning of the regulator. They are both easily accessible with thick gloves on.
Reading reviews about this reg I had heard of concerns regarding the size of the 2nd stage, which compared to some regulators is large, although not drastically so, I must admit I did not notice much difference. I could use my camera as usual with no problems. The 2nd stage is a little larger in depth and width than my current reg but it was comfortable in my mouth. The orthodontic mouthpiece is extremely comfortable and I was surprised to find that I liked it more than my usual choice, which was the comfobite style. The exhaust ports were identical in size with my reg and no bubbles obscured my vision, which is something im very aware of. As a photographer I shy away from regs with tiny second stages as the exhaled air always hits the underside of the camera housing.
I tested this reg out during the winter of 2008 and every time I dived there was either snow or ice on the ground. The conditions certainly would prove whether the heat sinks and metal components of the 2nd stage would enable this regulator to perform in cold water. The 1st stage has a Thermal Insulating System (TIS) on piston and spring. Making this regulator cold water resistant, exceeding the CE cold water diving requirements.
So in very cold conditions and at a max depth of just over 46 metres I found the regulator performed beautifully. Inhalation and exhalation effort was minimal and I did notice a slight difference between the G250 and my current reg, which surprised me. The cold water was no problem for the G250 either and in 6-degree water after a surface temperature of –1.5 degrees the regulator performed perfectly and gave me as much gas, as I could want.
In conclusion some people will like it and some people will not. I liked the big second stage and for somebody who has never owned a scubapro reg in the past I would seriously consider buying one.
The best price I could find for the Scubapro G250 with the MK25 1st stage was just under £345, which is very similar to the high-end regulators from other manufacturers.
Mike Clark

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