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Hydros Pro : a BCD like no other

During a very exceptional trip to Bonaire, I had been attracted by a particular BCD. Indeed, its look and its different material were very special. Also, when I received the Scubapro Hydros pro BCD, I could not resist  to test it,quickly.

First Impressions

When opening the package,  I discover the BCD as I had seen it a few months before. Clearly, there is an impression of robustness and modernity of this BCD. 

On the surface

Of course, I don’t wait to get into the water to put this BCD on my shoulders. 

With its back buoyancy and the attachments of widely articulated shoulder straps, it offers facilities to put it on. Even if Monprene  “sticks” to my clothes. And this point interests me particularly,  because if it adheres so strongly, I imagine that it will remain well in place also on my wetsuit.

Hélène Adam en plongée en Egypte.

An amazing material

The grip of the Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD is surprising. Indeed,  Monprene  is the basic element that constitutes this BCD. Usually, BCD are  made  of cordura  (resistant fabric). Here, the particular material gives a completely different touch that grips. The hand of course when touched, but especially the wetsuit. And that makes me curious.

Scubapro announces a material that is extremely resistant to UV, chemicals and abrasion. I see above all an ease of drying and the way it sticks to my wetsuit.

A question of look

The sleek design and colorful pocket protections of Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD immediately appeal to me.

As I appreciate the equipment that is not only available in black, I was seduced by the possibilities of customizing this BCD. Whatever your favorite color, you can have the BCD tuned to your own tastes.

Publicité du livre Plongée sous-marine - l'Essentiel

With the “woman” version the default white pocket protection is fitted, this is what I will test.

That’s good, I find it rather classy!

During the test I came across a lady diving with the pink protection, I loved it

Une plongeuse avec le gilet Hydros Pro de Scubapro en version rose.

Fasteners and other pockets

Because it is a resolutely minimalist BCD, you will not find any pocket on the Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD. If you want them, you can add them as an extra. 

You may be happy or not. I use little or no pockets on a BCD I prefer the pockets of my dry suit or fasteners, this is a matter of taste.

For the test, my BCD is supplied with an additional pocket that I easily placed on the left side. I can slip in, a mirror or the garbage that I will inevitably bring back from the bottom of the ocean when I go diving.

6 metal buckles and several other attachment points are present.

Fixing the tank

For its design, Scubapro chose a quick-setting fastening system. If it is not always simple for those who regularly change tanks, it is on the other hand of a childish simplicity when using the same diameter of tank for each dive. Indeed, once set to the right length, a simple press is enough to properly fix the BCD on the tank. 

Hélène Adam fait un test matériel de plongée du gilet Hydros Pro de Scubapro.

Weight

The weight system offered on  the Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD consists of sliding the weight pockets simply into their protection. The clip outside is easy to use. 

I must admit that this weight pocket system is by far the easiest I have ever  handled. Positioned  in one gesture, they remain well in place and are just as  convenient  to remove. A real happiness and a great positive point.

In practice you will find two possibilities to include weight on the Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD:

  • 2 droppable weight pockets (2 x 4 kg) that clip so easily.
  • 2 additional weight pockets (2 x 2 kg) fixed in the back on each side of the tank.

A maximum of 12 kg on the BCD.

Les poches à lest du gilet Hydros Pro de Scubapro.

Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD test: three environments, three experiences

Belgium: cold water and dry suit

My first dives with my Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD are as usual in the cold waters of Belgium.

We are in the “beautiful season” (even if we have difficulty finding it in 2021 between two incessant rains). Nevertheless,as during the rest of the year, I dive with my dry suit. I wonder if the BCD will “stick” to my suit since I inject air inside and it could, in my mind, change the outfit.

Yet, underwater, the BCD gives me all the satisfaction I could expect. It holds well in place and allows to be naturally in the right position, to give the right  trim.

I feel good and comfortable during this dive. For the test, I turn around a little in all directions without any impression of the BCD moving on my back. Everything remains in place. It’s a really nice feeling, this BCD sticks to my body.

When I finish the dive and put everything back in my vehicle, it is clear that the Monprene does not keep the water and is already dry. So, back home, there is much less water at the bottom of my equipment bin. 

Hélène Adam teste la plongée en scooter sous-marin.

Egypt: hot water in ultra light clothing

August 2021, I start a cruise in the Red Sea with the idea of diving in these remote spots that I like so much. I put in my luggage my Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD for this magnificent cruise.

Because of the temperature of the water (30 ° C, yes I know, it’s lovely), I dive with a very thin wet suit the first days. Here too, the BCD is proving its worth. It sticks to me and gives me an ultra comfortable position underwater. 

However, as the water is really hot, I end up diving in shorts and lycra. So, I then feel discomfort, the stitching of the bladder rubs the skin of my neck and scratches it, which is much less nice.

Spain: temperate water with  semi-dry suit

After many years without going back, I go diving in Catalunia in September. The temperature of the water varies between 23 degrees on the surface and 16 degrees in the bottom, so I choose the semi-dry suit. 

It is perhaps with this configuration that the Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD best expresses its incredible hold on my back by literally making oneself forgotten. And that, no matter how I stand underwater. Special mention to my buddies who saw me take incredible poses to get to make shots without damaging anything in the sea.

I really enjoyed using this BCD in this environment.

Hélène Adam en plongée en Espagne.

Other features and details

For its innovative side, the Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD is the winner of the Red Dot Award  2016 in the “product design” category.

There are a multitude of accessories to customize the BCD. 

Its buoyancy is almost zero. The weight can therefore be reduced for addicts hunting to reduce kilos. But for those who prefer to dive without weight pockets (it seems that there are some, even if it is out of my understanding), it is possible to further minimize the BCD by choosing the naked Trav-Tek straps and therefore without weight pockets.

The BCD is sold with a very nice travel bag that can theoretically contain all the equipment … This, as long as you dive in warm water with minimal equipment.

Le gilet Hydros Pro de Scubapro avec son sac de rangement.

Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD at a glance

Recommended price:  from  749 € (excluding options)  depending on the model.
Available colors: 7 colors for the protections of the droppable weight pockets.
Weight:  from 3.9 to 4.1 kg depending on the size
Buoyancy: back with a lift of 15.9  to 18.1  kg depending on the size Ballast
Weight capacity:  2 weight pockets, each 4 kg.  
Additional weight:  2 additional fixed pockets of 2 kg each  
Use: all conditions of leisure or sports diving.  Perhaps less suitable for beginners due to its back buoyancy and divers enjoying putting everything in pockets.

I love

  • Its outfit underwater, well glued to my suit
  • The incredible trim it gives (very nice for photographers who sometimes let themselves go to funny positions)
  • Ease of setting up and removing weight pockets

I like

  • The feeling of freedom with the wide opening on the front
  • Its minimalist look
  • Quick drying
  • Possibility of customizing your BCD according to your tastes and needs
  • Fasteners of the shoulder straps that adapt and detach with ease.
  • Loop that holds the hose glued to the inflator hose
  • The two colors on the inflator.

I like less

  • Lack of pocket: those who are used  to put everything in a pocket and not via attachment points will not like that.
  • The price: here we are in a high price range especially if we want to customize the product and add supplements. 
Un gilet de plongée suspendu à un cordage.

In summary: my opinion on the Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD

To be completely honest, I first had a mixed feeling about this BCD. At the beginning, I thought that this BCD was perfect once in the water, but less when outside. Which in the end is not very important for a BCD. After about fifty dives in different conditions, it shows no trace of wear and tear and I changed my mind about it.

Very clearly it is a top quality product offering a modern design and an impressive trim in the water. Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD can be suitable for all recreational divers. Given its price, it will appeal to enthusiasts who want to have fun with a high-end product.

Personally, it is now my “everyday” BCD for dives in my usual environment.

Do you know the Hydros Pro BCD ?  What is your favorite BCD?

Feel free to share your experiences and preferences in a comment directly below on the blog. I will be happy to exchange with you.

And above all… remember to be happy 🤗

Helen

[Did you like this test? More test articles here]

Note: I do not have a particular partnership with the company  Scubapro, but they graciously provided me with the necessary BCD for this test taking the risk of sincere and constructive criticism. I test in all honesty and impartiality the material that is proposed to me. Do not hesitate to send me the products you would like me to test.