Scubapro Mk17/A700 Review: Fight The Cold
Diving in cold water requires special equipment, and none more important than your scuba regulator.
It is literally your lifeline underwater and as such should be able to withstand the effects of diving in such a harsh environment.
So, today we are going to look at a regulator specifically designed to coop with these conditions, the Scubapro MK17/A700.
Scubapro paired their all metal A700 second stage with their high performing, environmentally sealed, balanced diaphragm MK17 first stage.
The result is a scuba regulator that can breathe effortlessly and perform flawlessly in the demanding environment of cold water.
In this MK17/A700 review you will find:
- A complete video overview of the regulator
- A look at the MK17 first stage, why it will deliver consistent breathing performance and what makes it perfect for cold water diving
- A look at the second stage, how it can be customized for any dive condition and why it’s the perfect pair for the MK17 if you plan on diving in the cold
- What other divers are saying about this regulator system
- And, my rating and thoughts about the regulator
Scubapro Mk25/A700 Review Video
Below is a complete video overview of the regulator done by the guys over at simplyscuba.com. In the video, you can get a closer look at the regulator and some of its most important features.
Let’sLook At Some Key Features Of The MK17 First Stage
It uses a balanced diaphragm to deliver consistent performance to the second stage at any tank pressure or depth, resulting in smooth breathing even while a depth.
By default, all balanced diaphragm internal components are environmentally sealed, which makes them perform great as cold water regulator.
But, the MK17 takes this one step further by also incorporating a dry ambient pressure chamber. This allows the regulator to deliver greater protection and performance in cold water, as well as providing care-free operation between servicing by not allowing slit, sand, and other contaminants from entering the first stage.
It also has fins around the first stage which help dissipate heat as well as Scubapro Thermal Insulation System (TIS), which helps the regular from freezing up and free-flowing.
It comes with 2 HP ports on either side, and four low-pressure ports, two on each side for optimum hose routing, and nitrox compatible right out of the box.
Now Let Look At The A700 Second Stage
The all metal construction of the A700 makes it ideally suited for cold water diving.
While plastic is the preferred material because of its lightweight and durable properties, it is not very good at dissipating heat.
Therefore, Scubapro chose metal because of its thermal conductivity, this helps prevent the internal component of the second stage from freezing up and possibly cause unwanted free flows.
However, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word metal is its heavy weight. Therefore, Scubapro designed it to be very compact making it light weight and comfortable in your mount.
The second stage also uses an air balanced valve and a high flow exhaust valve ensuring you get smooth natural breathing no matter what position you find yourself in.
It is also fitted with Venturi Control switch, this alters how air moves inside the regulator, and helps prevent free flow on the surface.
In addition to this, it is also fitted with a diver inhalation resistance knob to greater fine tune your breathing. Turning the knob in the “MIN” position provides an additional resistance against free flows, where as in the “MAX” position it gives you optimum performance and the most air on inhalation.
What Are Other Diver’s Saying
The feedback on the MK17 A700 is really great, it got a rating of 5 out of 5 stars on Leisurepro.com as well as on Amazon.com.
Many divers commented on how awesome the regulator looked and how effortlessly the regulator breathes no matter what position you’re in.
They also like the fact you could adjust the second stage, to help prevent on wanted free flows.
There were hardly any bad to report about this regulator. A few divers found that the second stage hose was a little short and changed them out with breaded ones, but that’s about it.
Below are a few snippets taken from divers who have experience with the reg. They have been rewritten for easy reading and uniqueness.
Diving buddys Inc – Says he has been diving since 1976 and this reg has to be the best he has ever owned and used.
JamesE – Says that this is the best regulator he had ever owned. He goes on to say that it worked great for all the Rec diving he has done and works even better on the cold water dive below 65 F. He continues to say that you can’t go wrong with this buy and that he will by a second MK17 for his two tank hookups.
Dave – Says he is a diving professional who dives every other day. He finds that the regulator is lightweight, looks cool, and breath effortlessly.
Master Roy – Says he manages a large rock quarry, so diving in cold water is an everyday operation for him. He would encounter temperatures as low as 16F. He went on to say that he dived with the Mares Proton Ice, but the only problem he had with it was that when it was really cold above water it would “CREEP”. With out any second stage adjustments you simply have to live with it. However, he found that with the MK17 A700 you can simply adjust that out. He continued by saying that it breathes great, and that the sealed first stage keeps crud out of it. He also finished by saying he owns 7 complete reg and the Scubapro MK17 A700 is the best one.
Scavenger – Says he does a lot of recovery work in quarries, rivers, lakes etc, and what he likes most about the regulator is its easy breathing in any possession, whether you find yourself on your back, upside down, it doesn’t matter. The only complaint he had was that the hose it came with was a bit short and stiff, so he fitted the A700 with an omni swivel and midflex hose. He continues to say that it is a pretty great setup, in water the A700 feels weightless, no tugging or pulling.
So What’s The Bottom Line
The bottom line is the Scubapro MK17 A700 delivers effortless breathing in a compact and lightweight package.
It’s durable all metal construction, environmentally sealed first-stage, and the ability manually adjust the second-stage makes this regulator the perfect companion on your cold water diving adventures.
It is also Nitrox compatible right out of the box, and available in a black tech version that is much harder to scratch than standard chrome.