BC forces new take on Italian brand
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Kopi af artikel i det engelske dykkerblad DIVER Februar 2001 IF I THINK AN ITEM OF EQUIPMENT IS NOT UP TO THE JOB IN HAND, I TELL YOU, THE READER.
I don’t enjoy writing bad things about products, but it is usually in the aftermath of a bad experience. It is a pleasure to receive a very well-made product from Seacsub to test, rather than a lawyer’s letter, but that is a measure of how far the Italian company has come with the quality of its offerings in the past few years. Where the former British importer chose all the company’s cheapest products and tried to compete in the marketplace on price, the new agent seems to have settled on the safer tactic of competing on quality.
I was startled by the visible improvement in manufacturing quality and design of the Seacsub BCs sent in for our last big BC comparison (May 2000) and asked for one to take on a trip with me.
The Seacsub Pro 2000 looks like a conventional BC but its unique selling point is provision of two straps and buckles inside each outer pocket. When fastened, these ensure that any air injected using the normal direct-feed is kept out of the front part of the BC and stays at the back, as when using a wing-style BC.
Releasing the buckles during your safety stop makes the whole of the BC available, so that when you reach the surface you can fully inflate it and get the armchair-like support of a conventional BC.
The harness webbing is connected directly to the anatomically shaped hard backpack, but nicely integrated with the shoulder facings. In use it is like a parachute harness, which means that when fully inflated the BC does not expand inwards to give you that uncomfortable squeezed feeling. A wide adjustable cummerbund with a 5cm strap and pinch-clip is complemented by a 2.5cm sternum strap. It’s a strong single-bag design made from a 1000 denier weave material.
You want D-rings? This BC has eight, four on the shoulder straps, two of these with adjustable positions. I proved how strongly these were constructed and connected to the jacket when I attached myself with a reef-hook to a boulder as an 8 knot current flowed over me. To prove the point, another diver not equipped with a reef-hook held on to me too. The combined loading was considerable.
A big pocket closed with a strap and pinch-clip at the left side was ideal for stowing my late-deployment SMB.
There are also two useful, if not overly capacious, zipped pockets, one of which held the reef-hook and line with karabiner when not in use. I was able to access them easily. These cover the integrated weight system, with familiar rip-away weight packets. However, these packets have an elastic weight retainer to keep the lead where you want it within them. That’s useful if you are using a heavy steel tank and not much lead.
I was able to rip the front integrated weight-packets away easily and pass them up to the driver of the pick-up boat after a dive, yet they were no trouble to re-stow before the next dive. The forward integrated weight system is complemented by two weight pockets (closed with a strap and pinch-clip) at the rear which are at last becoming common on many other BC designs. You cannot jettison the weights stowed here.
If you have ever drained an aluminium cylinder, you will know how floaty and uncomfortable it can become when empty, with a tendency to tip and whack your pillar-valve into the back of your head. I used 8kg of lead, four at the back and four at the front, when using an aluminium tank which stayed part of me throughout the dive. With the steel tank I needed only 4kg, which was positioned at the front of the ditchable weight-pockets.The trim weights balanced the rig when it was clipped into the tank rack on the boat. Often integrated weights can make a set fall forward when stood upright.
There are three dump valves, another feature familiar on top-of-the-line BCs. One is operated by pulling on the corrugated hose, the second is a quick dump operated by a toggle on a cord threaded through the right shoulder facing, and the third, at the lower back, was invaluable on rapid descents.
A single tank camband has alternative slots in the backpack, so that you can choose how high to rig your tank relative to it. It is down to the user to rig it correctly, but if you do, it can offer perfection. As usual with good gear, I soon took it for granted. And the party trick with the straps to alter the buoyancy configuration proved unnecessary. I was so well trimmed under water, and so confident in the BC at the surface that I was able to leave them undone. In fact, at the surface and confronted by big waves, other divers were jealous of the height the Pro 2000 gave me. The manufacturer claims only 19kg of lift for size M, but we found it closer to 23kg. It always seemed to be in the right place to be effective. The BC never felt bulky or uncomfortable during the 40 hours I was under water with it, and nothing broke, even in the most arduous conditions. The Pro 2000 is a move to position Seacsub in the top range of diving products. It comes in sizes XS, S, M, L & XL and costs £369.
John Bantin has been a full-time professional diving writer and underwater photographer since 1990. He makes around 300 dives each year testing diving equipment
+ Excellent quality
+ Very strongly made
+ Buoyancy and weights can be adjusted to perfection