Scubapro's Highly Customisable Hydros Pro
Released in 2016 and winner of the Red Dot award for innovative design, Scubapro market their Hydros Pro as a 'game changer' in the world of buoyancy compensators.
The modular design allows for individual components to be removed and replaced, converting the BC from a back-inflate 'wing' style technical harness to a hybrid jacket with integrated weights. With each of the various parts available to order separately, it also means that worn or damaged pieces can be replaced without having to purchase a new BCD. Scubapro call this their 'BC-4-Life' design, adding in the product datasheet that 'virtually every component, including buckles, can be replaced without stitching.'
Scubapro's patented 'injection-moulded Monoprene gel' harness is definitely a departure from the traditional stitched fabric shoulder straps, constructed from the same material used in Scubapro's Seawing Nova fins and which has several advantages. Firstly, the gel harness moulds to the wearer's particular physique with a much firmer grip on the body and exposure suit, meaning a reduction in pressure around the shoulders, and less slip during use underwater. As there is no fabric used in the harness, it's very quick to dry post-dive.
The weight pockets add a range of options for mounting and carrying extra gear, including optional extra bungees, D-rings, roll-up 'ninja' pockets and knife mounting kits, or they can be removed so that the wing and harness can be used as a lightweight travel wing, with a crotch strap available if required.
The backplate is semi-rigid, allowing the Hydros Pro to be folded into a compact shape for travel, but also has what Scubapro refer to as a 'torso flex zone', meaning the backplate will automatically adapt to different body lengths and shapes. The tri-bungee bladder design keeps the wing compact and streamlined underwater, with outboard trim pockets assisting stability. Material and construction keep the product almost neutrally buoyant.
Articulated shoulder straps and an adjustable chest clip provide a comfortable fit and make donning and doffing easier. The Hydros Pro also has a dedicated model for women, with a smaller air bladder, shorter inflator hose and curved shoulder straps catering to the female form. Standard products come in black for men and white for women, but the removable side clips are availale in a variety of colours, matching the Seawing Nova fins.
Sizes: S, M, L, XL/XXL (men), XS/S, M, L (women)
Colours: standard black (M), white (F), optional extras: blue, yellow, pink, orange
Max. lift: 16.3kg (XS - S), 18.3kg (L - XXL)
Integrated weights: Yes (removable), up to 8kg
Trim weights: Yes, up to 4kg
Dry weight: 3.9kg - 4.1kg (with weight pockets) / 2.9kg - 3.1kg (without weight pockets)