The Scubapro Uwatec 2007 lineup
A comprehensive look at Scubapro Uwatec 2007 offerings, including new and dropped items
by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer and Carol Walker
This page presents a look at the 2007 product lineup of Scubapro Uwatec, one of the premier scuba equipment providers. We've personally tried many of their products and are therefore quite familiar with most of the lineup. If you're interested in Scubapro, do get the new 2007 catalog. It provides tons of information and we used it as a guide to create this overview.
Revamped, excellently organized catalog
For 2007, Scubapro revamped their always attractive catalog with emphasis on clarity and easy reading. Unlike most such catalogs, Scubapro's contains not just product listings but a wealth of information about scuba concepts and technologies in general. It also emphasizes Uwatec's identity by separating the publication into two, one part for Scubapro dive equipment, and one for Uwatec's dive computers. To view Uwatec's product line, you turn the catalog over and read it that way. Also more prominently highlighted are Scubapro's identity as a subsidiary of Johnson Outdoors and the list of Scubapro subsidiaries in 11 countries.
What sets this catalog apart is its detailed description of each aspect of scuba equipment. The introduction sections for all product categories have been edited for maximum readbility and logical flow. For example, whereas in last year's catalog the regulator section jumped from cold water regulators to adjustable second stages to issues of comfort and then to first and second stages, for 2007 it's all presented logically: What's a first stage and what technologies are used? What's a second stage and how do they work? Once that's explained, the reader learns of comfort, cold water performance and other important considerations. The tables in the sections are also more useful than in past issues. Instead of just listing regulators with their features, for 2007 the tables are organized so customers can see what first and second stage products are available in what technologies and with what features and configurations. Most may never notice the work that went into the 2007 edition and simply appreciate how good and informative it is. The 2006 catalog wasn't bad. It's just that all that engineering and tech talk has now been converted into elegant, concise language and a structure that's easy to read and follow.
Also appreciated is that the 2007 catalog shows manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) for almost all products. This way you can immediately tell which are the high end and the lower end models, and what you should expect to budget for.
The quest for clarity and providing more useful information continues in the product listings. Whereas the 2006 catalog showed dramatic closeups at various sizes and angles in front of colorful backgrounds, for 2007 things have been simplified to provide a better overview: All recommended first/second stage combinations are shown the same size and from the same angle so customers can truly compare and see what is different. The 2007 catalog further clarifies by separating regulator systems into piston and diaphragm models, in contrast to 2006 where combos were listed in no apparent order. Best of all, the new table shows which second stages are optimal for each first stage.
So here is a full listing and description of what Scubapro has to offer to the diving community for 2007. For your convenience, we're telling you upfront what's new and what has been dropped in each section.
What's new: A less expensive diaphragm model, the MK11
What's gone: The titanium-alloy MK25SA first stage
The first stage lineup has been streamlined. The air-balanced piston MK25 first stage is now available either as the base MK25 or the significantly lighter (and significantly more expensive) titanium MK25T version. Gone is the
aluminum/alloy MK25SA that could be used with all second stages instead of just the titanium-based S600T. That's a good move as it doesn't make sense to mix the metal technologies anyway. Both MK25s have a swiveling turret to the low pressure ports, something that I personally find adds to comfort.
The inexpensive, classic downstream piston MK2 Plus remains as a good choice for a bulletproof design with minimum maintenance needs. Introduced over 40 years ago (!), it has fewer ports (4 low and one hi), no anti-freeze protection, and the intermediate pressure cannot be adjusted.
And if you frequently dive below 100 feet or let your tank pressure drop,
this may not be your first choice.
On the diaphragm side, the MK17 as been joined by the entry level, lower cost MK11. The MK11 facilitates lower cost by omitting anti-freeze protection and a dry chamber and thus isn't meant to be used in cold water. Both are balanced systems and identical in all other aspects.
All 2007 Scubapro first stages have two opposite high pressure ports, which means the first stage can point up or down, depending on user preference. All MK25 first stages have five high-flow low pressure ports whereas the diaphragm-based MK17 and MK11 have four low pressure ports, two of them high flow (delivering about 15% more air).
What's new: Same
What's gone: Nothing
Preface: All Scubapro first and second stages are completely compatible with one another, but some combinations make little sense. The table in the catalog shows logical combinations and the MSRPs for those combos.
For the piston first stages, the S600T remains as the sole reasonable choice for the titanium MK25T. Users of the standard MK25 now have four second stage choices, all using air-balanced technology. Top of the line is the X650 designed for super-high flow. Next come the S600 and S555, essentially the same design with the sole difference being the S600's diver-adjustable inhalation valve (note: there is an error in the table which shows the S600 as the "S500"). The "classic" and very reliable G250 second stage remains in the lineup as a somewhat less expensive alternative to the newer S600. Unlike the almost equally priced S555, the G250 does have a diver-adjustable inhalation control.
For the MK2Plus downstream piston first stage, Scubapro offers the classic downstream valve R295 and R190 second stages. The difference between the two is that the R295, meant primarily for diver training and rentals, has a pre-tuned venturi-initiated vacuum assist (VIVA) whereas the R190 is user-adjustable. Both cost about the same and have highly visible yellow covers and hose protectors.
Scubapro's diaphragm-based MK17 first stage can either use the same second X650 or S555 second stage as are used with the MK25. The less expensive MK11 is meant to be used with the air-balanced S555 or the lower cost R395 downstream valve second stage. The R395 is pre-tuned like the R295, but can also be user-adjusted.
Finally, there's the AIR2 alternate air source which combines a downstream valve second stage with an air-balanced power inflator. Using the AIR2, a fourth generation design introduced in 2006, the diver can eliminate a low pressure hose, thus reducing clutter. I am using the AIR2 with my Scubapro Knighthawk BC and love it as I detest clutter. Realize, though, that the AIR2, like all combo solutions, doesn't quite provide the comfort and ease of use of a separate secondary air supply.
A bit of criticism: Instead of listing prices for first and second stages separately, the catalog only lists combined prices for certain first and second stage combos. That makes comparison more difficult.
Computers and instruments
What's new: Uwatec and Scubapro offerings are now listed separately. There is a stainless steel Scubapro watch, Scubapro-branded analog instruments, the Aladin TEC 2Gas
What's gone: The Uwatec Smart PRO
As mentioned above, the 2007 catalog separates Uwatec computers and instruments from Scubapro computers and instruments. The reason for that isn't clear.
For now, the Scubapro offering of computers and instruments is much smaller than Uwatec's, fitting into just two pages. For computers, there's only the
Xtender wrist computer, carried over, that you can get either with a black rubber band or a stainless steel band. The stainless steel version lists for a considerable US$180 more. Wow. The Xtender, which carries over from last year, is small and slender and looks just like a regular watch, but it is a powerful nitrox-compatible dive computer with diver-replaceable battery, full clock functions and optional PC download hardware.
Those who want to be Scubapro all the time, new for 2007 is the Scubapro Titanium analog watch. It has a rotating bezel and an automatic mechanical movement that requires no battery.
Likewise, fans of analog-only instruments who are also Scubapro diehards can now buy Scubapro-branded 2-gauge and 3-gauge consoles as well as a Scubapro branded pressure console. The 3-gauge model has pressure and depth gauges on opposite sides, with the compass on top at an angle. The 2-gauge console has depth on top and air pressure below. The gauge design of the Scubapro analog instruments is different from Uwatec's. The lettering is larger but busier than on Uwatec analog instruments. One thing that recreational divers may appreciate is the progressive depth gauge as opposed to Uwatec's linear scale. This means that about half of the gauge is reserved for the 0 to 50 feet depth recreational divers often stay in, and within that, 0 to 20 feet takes up most of the display. Depths ranging from 50 to 200 feet take up progressively smaller segments of the dial. Makes sense.
Uwatec's computer and instrument offerings are significantly more extensive. On the surface, nothing much has changed. The Smart PRO is gone, all other 2006 offerings are back. As before the lineup is split between the "Smart" line and the "Aladin" line.
The Smart line: TEC and Z wrist-mounts and the COM console mounts
The high-end Smart line has a large display and comes in two wrist mount models and one console model. The wrist mount models are both hoseless and get their data wirelessly via a FM transmitter screwed into the first stage. The primary difference between the two wireless computers is that the Smart TEC can handle three gases (via three transmitters) whereas the Smart Z is a one-gas computer. Both can do deco stops. The only other difference is that the TEC also functions as a stopwatch when in gauge mode and has a 1 to 5 minute safety stop timer.
A small compass is available optionally and is mounted onto the wristband. I have been using the Smart Z for a year and am therefore quite familiar with it. I love the fact that
it eliminates a hose as I like to dive as uncluttered as possible. It is small and handy and you always know where it is when you dive. The disadvantage of a wrist mount is that even a large one like the Smart Z has a fairly small
screen to display all of its data. This may be an issue for older divers who need reading glasses, or those with other vision problems. The Smart's operation is via four metal contacts. All manual operations by the watch are via touching two of those buttons. This only works in the water or if you wet your fingers. It is also non-intuitive and there are no labels of any kind. The Smarts have an acceptably strong backlight, but, again, you need to know how to turn it on. Pressing somewhere on the body of the computer and hoping it comes on is not an ideal solution. Another design feature of the wrist mounted Smarts is their replaceable screen protector. It has a hinge and can be flipped open. It works as evidenced that I somehow managed to
get a big scratch on mine that otherwise would have been on the LCD glass itself. However, it also tends to collect bubbles underneath and easily fogs up. Finally, it's much easier to lose an expensive hoseless wrist mount computer than a console connected to the regulator via a hose. So everything has its pros and cons.
The Smart COM console model, which uses a low pressure hose, benefits from the generally larger size of consoles with a larger split screen with tank-related data on the bottom screen and all else on the top screen. Using a hose instead of a wireless transmitter makes the COM considerably less expensive: you save $400 compared to the Z and $600 compared to the Smart, even though it also comes with a compass.
Smart computers can interact with a rather sophisticated computer program called Smart Trak. It's available for Windows and the Mac OS, as well as Palm and Windows CE. Connectivity between the dive computer and the PC is via IR, a somewhat risky decision as IR is on its way out. The Smart Trak software displays data in 4-second sampling intervals, making for terrific dive analysis and logging. Some parts of the software are recalcitrant and non-obvious, though. On the plus-side, it's a free download, so you can start playing with it even before you get a smart computer.
The Aladin line line of wrist and console mount computers
The Aladin comes in two models, the Aladin TEC and the Aladin PRIME. Both use a wristwatch-sized LCD display with command buttons along the bottom. Both the TEC and the PRIME are available as watches or in 2- or 3-gauge consoles. Aladins are not air-integrated, have somewhat fewer functions and cost less than the top-of-the-line Smart models.
New for 2007 is the fact that the TEC is now a 2-gas computer renamed to Aladin TEC 2G that has a predictive multi-gas algorithm shared with the Smart TEC. The
PRIME has been around since 2004 and looks pretty much the same. However, it has fewer functions than the TEC 2G: Missing are the micro bubble reduction program, max depth alarm, bookmarks to highlight specific moments of a dive, a gauge mode with stopwatch feature and, of course, the decompression plans.
The primary attraction of the Aladin line is its very small size; it's no larger than a hefty wristwatch. The disadvantage is that the display isn't very large, and since it is not air-integrated it cannot display any tank-related data, such a true remaining bottom time.
What's new: Same
What's gone: Nothing
Scubapro's lineup of BCs carries over from 2006. The BC section has been totally rewritten and is much more useful for potential customers to learn and make decisions. The section starts out describing the three types of
BCs available from Scubapro: Stabilizing jackets, back flotation jackets, and front-adjustable jackets. The various aspects of a BC are explained, such as materials used for durability, design solutions to make it as comfortable and easy-to-use as possible, and the various safety and control features and mechanisms.
Offered for 2007 are six models. These are the $761 Classic Plus and $491 Classic Sport, both stabilizing jackets; the $599 Glide Plus and the $349 Pilot, both front-adjustable jackets; and the Knighthawk and Ladyhawk, back flotation BCs for males and females identically priced at $604. A very handy table shows the sizes available of each model; what height, weight, and waist that roughly translates into; what the lift capacity is; and for weight-integrated models, how much primary and trim weight they can accommodate. All six models are shown photographed the same way, so it is easy to get an idea of what they are and how they compare.
One thing you should know about Scubapro's lineup is that in two of their three BC categories they offer both a low end, entry level model and a full-feature top-of-the-line model. Same basic design, but a very significant price difference. So if you're looking for a stabilizing or front-adjustable jacket, you either get plain or all decked out and in each case the price difference can be in the $250 range, so study the specs carefully before you decide what you want and need. The Knighthawk and Ladyhawk, on the other hand, come in only one version, and the sole difference between them is that the Ladyhawk is specifically designed for the female body.
All of Scubapro's BCs can be ordered with the AIR2 secondary air supply/power inflator installed. That adds between $80 and $120 to the list price.
When deciding between the different types, make sure you've tried one of each type, ideally on a real dive. They feel and act very differently. Also, realize that the lift capacity ca vary dramatically depending on the size of the BC. The smallest version of the Classic Plus, for example, provides just 28 pounds of lift whereas the XL model can do a massive 66 pounds.
What's new: The NovaScotia 6.5 semi-dry suit
What's gone: Nothing
Scuba equipment is serious business, but that doesn't mean you can't make a fashion statement as well. While regulators, computers, instruments and
BCs need to do a job and are essential for safety, dive wear can be both functional and
draw attention to your immaculate fashion sense. Interestingly, things aren't nearly as wild as one would expect. Compared to the ever-changing fashions in ski wear, wetsuits are very tame.
As is, Scubapro has added one new line to its suits collection. The $497 NovaScotia 6.5 is a semi-dry suit that combines the sleek look of a wetsuit with strong sealing that's more like a dry suit. The NovaScotia doesn't require bulky undergarments. Some water still may get in, but it's not the nasty rush of cold water you get with a conventional wetsuit. The NovaScotia is made of 6.5mm nylon neoprene with Everflex stretch panels in places that need it, like knees, under the arms and so on. Inside it uses Plush that combines easy donning with extra insulation.
Continued from last year's lineup are Scubapro's other lines:
The Barrier Steamer (7mm $333, 3mm $277) is a high end suit available in 3 and 7mm thickness. It has fluid rubber protection and uses a variety of Scubapro's materials and has superfine fleece weave Heliospan lining inside. It makes the suit easy to put on and take off, absorbs extra water, thus adding extra insulation.
The Thermal TEC Steamer ($295) is a 5mm wetsuit. It uses Heliospan inside in the torso section, and a combination of suitable Scubapro outside.
The Everflex Steamer (3mm $273, 5mm $322, 7mm $349) is a medium cost
wetsuit available in 3, 5, and 7mm. It's meant to be extra-comfortable and easy to get into. That's due to the EverFlex neoprene.
Next is the Profile Steamer, an economy wetsuit available in 3 ($171) and 5mm ($244). It's made from durable N2S neoprene. The Profile Steamer also comes as a 0.5mm lightweight ($108) for tropical waters or as an extra layer under a standard wetsuit. The Silverskin Steamer is also 0.5mm ($131) and serves the same purpose.
Those into layering or just needing less protection, Scubapro offers hooded vests, and a variety of long and shortarm shorties. There are also gloves, hoods and boots.
In terms of colors, don't expect flash. We're strictly talking black, gray and a little blue here and there.
Fins, masks and snorkels are now all under the title "Essentials," which makes sense though, strictly speaking, a snorkel isn't always required for scuba.. Within "Essentials," each category starts with a "Choose the right fin/mask/snorkel," providing good information.
What's new: The Twin Jet Max
What's gone: The SnorkelPro Young Fin
In the Fins department, new for 2007 is the $219 Twin Jet Max. As the name implies, the new fin uses a split-fin design, sort of a blend between the classic Twin Jet and the Twin Speed. However, unlike the existing full foot and adjustable twin jets, the new model uses dual compound construction with each material used where it performs best. There color plastic inserts are very stiff, very thin, and a bit transparent. The foot pocket encloses the toes in the front, though there is a slit. Scubapro calls that "bio-engineered" for optimal fit and mentions more seamless transfer from the diver's foot to the fin. Personally, I'll reserve judgment until I have tried the Twin Jet
Max. I like open-toe fins as they let me move my foot in more or less, depending on how I feel, water temperature, and so on. From a fashion perspective, the Twin Jet Max is very attractive as its two compounds make colorful designs possible. You can get the Twin Jet Max with red, yellow, blue or graphite secondary material inserts. The Twin Jet Max takes over as Scubapro's top-of-the-line fin. It is a sleek, elegant design, narrower than the Twin Jet and likely to be very popular.
The adjustable and full foot Twin Jets ($189/$124) carry over and they remain available in the same colors: Black, graphite, cobalt blue and yellow for the adjustable, and black, yellow and cobalt blue for the full foot. For 2007, the Twin Jet probably remains a favorite
for those who seek a top-notch, heavy duty fin with great power yet little drag. When selecting, consider that the black compound is stiffer and somewhat heavier, giving the black Twin Jets negative buoyancy whereas the color models are somewhat softer and have
slightly positive buoyancy.
The Twin Speed adjustable and full foot fins ($189/$60) are split fin designs making use of three different compounds. The Twin Speeds have soft webbing , making them easy to wear and use. Available colors are blue and titanium for the adjustable, and blue, titanium and yellow for the full foot. Interesting is the very large price difference: $189 vs. $60; a print error?
Among Scubapro's non-split fin models, frequent travelers will appreciate the lightweight adjustable Kinetix fins ($109). Available in black, blue and yellow, the Kinetix is a very elegant, medium-priced two-color design. For about $30 less you get the classic non-vented
VCA, a black and blue design with a ribbed center section . The basic full foot Veloce Club fin (ask dealer) is meant for use in warm water. It is comfortable and inexpensive. Traditionalists, finally, may still be drawn to the original Scubapro Jet Fin ($102), a 42-year-old adjustable design with vented front and almost unsurpassed longevity. The full-foot Snorkelpro Young Fins model is no longer listed. Instead, Scubapro added a Snorkeling and Swimming section where you find the nicely
styled Snorkelpro Youth adjustable fins and the very basic Scubapro full foot fins.
What's new: The medium priced Wide Vu mask
What's gone: The Solo kid and adult goggles and the Frameless 2
The mask section of the 2007 catalog has been streamlined from eight pages to four, but that's because of smaller photography and not a big reduction in available models.
There are some models that have been dropped: the Solo kids and adult goggles are no longer available, and neither is the Ventana 3-lens mask. Another model that may be missing is the Frameless 2. I say "may" because it wasn't quite clear to me what the difference between the 2006 Frameless and Frameless 2 was. They seemed identical with the exception of the Frameless being available with a "discrete and durable black skirt and frame." A Frameless with a frame? For 2007, it's just one Frameless, and there is no more mention of a frame being available.
A newcomer for 2007 is the Wide Vu, a medium-priced single lens design with a large field of vision, especially vertically due to the height of the lens. The low-volume Wide Vu has a clear silicone skirt and comes with either a black or a blue frame.
We bought one at Birds Underwater in Crystal River, FL, so we could tell you what if feels like.
Excellent fit due to first rate, pliant skirt material, especially for people with larger faces; light and airy feel;
make sure you liberally use toothpaste to remove the protective coating inside the
lens extra-well as it doesn't come off easy (different coating?) and you don't want a fogged mask
on your first dive with the new Wide Vu! Overall, a nice new economically
priced mask for those who like a large lens and clear skirt without giving
up a relatively low volume design. But make sure it isn't too large for your
The Crystalvu2 has become the Cystalvu4, though it looks the same.
The rest of Scubapro's lineup returns for 2007. Perhaps no other piece of scuba equipment triggers as much controversy and as many opinions as masks. Every agrees that a mask must fit well so it does not leak, but beyond that opinions and preferences vary dramatically. Some like single lenses, others double lenses. Some like a black skirt so as not to be irritated by sidelight. Other prefer as much light and vision as possible. Some prefer minimal size lenses and minimal airspace whereas others want as much glass as possible even at the
cost of higher air volume. Some like purge valves. Others would never use a mask with one. And so on.
The good news is that Scubapro's 2007 lineup includes a mask type and style for absolutely everyone. Six model lines have single glass lenses, five have split lenses. While the majority of masks come with clear skirts, several can be bought with black skirts as well. There aren't any cheap Scubapro masks and I don't think anyone would expect that. However, there are many that are quite affordable and reasonably priced.
Personally, I must admit I have a great preference for the Scubapro Frameless. It was recommended to me by Carol and the moment I put the mask on my face in the dive shop it felt perfect. I must have tried hundreds of masks since then, and none had the same great fit for me. As a result, I rarely ever need to clear my mask underwater. Often, I can literally go through an entire dive without clearing it once. I am less thrilled with the relatively narrow field of vision the Frameless provides. Due to a slight eye condition I prefer single lens designs so my eyes do not have to accommodate the extra burden of dual lenses. As a result, I might try the also frameless Trinidad
and I already bought and tested the new Wide Vu. I might also give the Coolvu with its seamless side window design a try.
For the serious diver, Scubapro offers the professional-quality full-face mask. It's rather lightweight and perfect for diving in contaminated and cold water as well as for situations that require underwater communication systems.
In summary, here's the 2007 Scubapro mask lineup, sorted by category and price:
Single lens: Frameless ($129), Crystalvu Purge ($89), Crystalvu ($86), Trinidad Frameless (inquire), Coolvu ($76), and Wide Vu ($63)
Double lens: Premier ($83), Clearvue4 ($79), Fino ($74), Solara ($66), and the Full-Face mask (inquire)
Many of the masks come with black, blue, yellow or red frames or accents.
What's new: No additions
What's gone: All carry over
Snorkels aren't always mandatory for scuba, but when you need one, it's good to have a model that suits your environment and style. Scubapro has always had a full lineup of different snorkel types, and that lineup carries over into 2007.
My personal favorite remains the $49 Twin Valve Shotgun 2, a fairly short open snorkel that has a two-barrel design for simplified purging. It's contoured to bend closely around your head and the mouth piece can be rotated for best fit. I am not terribly fond of its "quick-connect" clip that is a bit cumbersome. Else, purge is wonderfully effective and the Shotgun 2 is never much in the way. However, this is an open-top snorkel, so keep that in mind.
The $51 Nexus has an angled purge valve to divert bubbles out of sight, if that matters to you. A corrugated section near the bottom means the mouthpiece part drops away when not in use. This is a flexible snorkel that you can fold up and store in a BC pocket. It comes in black, blue, yellow, clear and black with red accent.
The $49 Laguna is a dry-top design that keeps water from entering. It has a corrugated part so the mouthpiece drops away when not in use. The cellphone-style clip is removable, and the Laguna is available in black, blue and yellow.
The $30 Escape is a fairly basic large-bore semi-dry design. It, too, has a corrugated section so the mouthpiece doesn't get in the way when not used, and it uses the removable cellphone-style clip. It comes in black, blue, yellow and clear.
The $27 Eclipse is another basic design, essentially the same as the Escape but without the semi-dry top that keeps water from entering. Available in black, blue, yellow and clear.
The Phoenix is a dry snorkel with a corrugated section. Available in black, blue, yellow and clear.
The Trinidad has a splashguard on top to keep water from entering, a quick-connect clip, and a corrugated section. It only comes in black and clear.
Finally, there's the basic Curve snorkel, without purge valve or anything. The final three don't have pricing in the catalog, so check with a dealer.
Scubapro offers a wide variety of accessories, ranging from knives to bags to weight belts, dive lights, hangers and branded apparel. See your dealer or the Scubapro website for more info on those items.