SCUBA diving is a complicated pastime if you don’t understand it.
Especially when it comes to technical components like tanks and regulators – most especially regulators.
If you want to know right off the bat which regulator is one of the best and most highly rated, it’s the Scubapro MK25 A700.
If you’re not familiar with the various brands and models of regulators that are available on the market, it can be an overwhelming task getting yourself one.
With all the great options on the market with some that are not so great, buying a regulator is like walking in a minefield.
Ranging from a couple hundred dollars to over a thousand, your budget will definitely be a determining factor in purchasing a regulator for your diving gear.
But considering that your gear not only affects your underwater experience but also ensures your safety, you should be willing to pay for the best gear you can get – like a Scubapro MK25 A700 regulator.
But before we get carried away with our Scubapro MK25 A700 review, let’s get to know what a SCUBA tank regulator is and what it does.
After all, you can’t make an informed buying decision if you are not informed.
What is a SCUBA Tank Regulator?
A scuba diving regulator is a system of mechanisms that work together to decrease the pressure of the air from your scuba tank and deliver it to you at the ambient air or water pressure.
In short, it’s the piece of equipment that gives you the ability to breathe underwater from a scuba tank.
Perhaps you are wondering why it’s even called a regulator in the first place.
It’s called a regulator because that’s what it does.
It regulates the pressure of the air you breathe from your tank. The compressed air in your scuba tank is under pressures as high as 3000psi, making it dangerous to breathe.
The purpose of the regulator is to reduce that high pressure to a pressure you can safely breathe at.
How does a regulator do this?
Regulators – How Exactly Do They Work?
Understanding how a regulator works is essential in helping you pick the right regulator.
It will also help you understand why the Scubapro MK25 A700 is one of the best regulators you will find.
In order to supply you with air under the right pressure, a regulator works in 2 stages, controlled by the 2 main components of the regulator – the first stage and the second stage.
These 2 stages regulate air pressure from the original high pressure, to a more sedate intermediate pressure and then to the ambient (breathable) pressure you can easily take in.
Let’s briefly take a look at how these 2 stages operate.
The First Stage
The purpose of the first stage is to reduce the air pressure as it comes out of the cylinder.
Remember, a full tank releases air at 3000psi. The first stage reduces that pressure to a more sedate 150psi. This is still too high for you to breathe in so it’s an intermediate pressure.
At the first stage, regulators come with either a balanced/unbalanced piston or a balanced diaphragm release system. Both give the same results, although each has its pros and cons.
But many swear by the balanced piston system as comes in the Scubapro MK25 A700. It offers unfailing easy-breathing at any depth, temperature, and even tank pressure.
This is because the piston is more user-friendly due to it having fewer moveable parts and thus requires less maintenance than diaphragm systems.
The Second Stage
For many people, this is what is often referred to as the regulator. The second stage is that part you place in your mouth so as to receive air underwater. It operates more or less like the first stage as it too takes in air at a relatively high pressure and reduces it to a breathable pressure.
And like the first stage, a diaphragm or piston design starts and stops the flow of air as you breathe through the regulator.
The main features of the second stage are:
- The purge button. This empties the chamber of water or allows for a stream of air to free flow from the regulator – usually in an emergency.
- The mouthpiece. This is the part that supports the external regulator and allows you to breathe without handling the regulator. Regulators are naturally buoyant, so its weight will drastically reduce under water, allowing you to comfortably grip it with your mouth.
The exhaust value. Exhaled air is useless, in fact, it can be dangerous. The exhaust valve gets allows your exhaled breath to escape.
You have just graduated from scuba regulators 101.
Empowered with this knowledge, let’s continue with our Scubapro MK25 A700 review.
Perhaps, you will understand why it’s a highly rated regulator.
The Scubapro MK25 A700 Review – A Breathe of Fresh Air
So what exactly is the Scubapro MK25 A700?
Only the best regulator you can find.
The “MK25 A700” in the name of this iconic regulator is actually the names of the first and second stage regulators. That means MK25 refers to the first stage regulator while A700 denotes the second stage regulator.
Let’s briefly look at the specifications before we continue.
- Air balanced flow-through piston provides constant and effortless airflow unaffected by changing tank pressure
- Five low-pressure ports and two high-pressure ports, with a swiveling turret for convenient hose connection.
- Full metal body and components ensure optimal thermal exchange
- Compact and lightweight for increased comfort
- Unrivaled breathing performance at any depth, temperature, and diving position
- Air-balanced valve technology decreases inhalation resistance to the lowest possible, resulting in ultra-smooth breathing
- Diver-adjustable inhalation enables personalized breathing control
- Advanced VIVA system featuring micro metric adjustment knob for enhanced precision, control, and comfort
- Super high-flow exhaust valve that allows air to exit more freely and lowers exhalation effort. This helps keeps bubbles away from face and eyes
- Unparalleled breathing performance for the A700 at virtually any depth, temperature, and diving position
- Work of breathing results are 0.49
Now that you have a general idea of what the MK25 A700 is and what it has to offer, let’s go ahead and dissect our regulator and see exactly what it can do for you.
The MK25 – First Stage, First Class Regulator
If you are looking for a high-end first stage regulator that offers you exceptional performance, then the MK25 is it.
The MK25 is a name that is well respected when it comes to regulators.
This is a tried, tested, and proven balanced-piston controlled regulator that will make underwater breathing as easy as taking a walk in your garden – and at any depth, temperature, and even when your tank is not full.
Hose placement is also super easy when setting up your diving rig as the 5 low pressure ports have very little compromise, especially since the low pressure ports are mounted on a swiveling turret.
This method ensures comfortable routing regardless of your set-up.
The only drawback, albeit a minor one, is that if you like to wear a big buoyancy control device (BCD) and the tank band high, the turret loses its effectiveness as your BCD will tend to trap the hoses.
To overcome this, you mount your first stage upside down, thus affording you perfect movement.
The MK25 is one of the best first stage regulators you will ever find in any regulator, making the Scubapro MK25 A700 one of the best diving regulars you can trust to give you a pleasurable underwater experience.
The A700 – Second Stage Regulator that’s Second to None
The A700 is a bit of a controversial second stage regulator due to its all-metal design – it features a chrome-plated brass body.
The major advantage of this construction is that it offers exceptional durability, temperature equalizer properties, and the fact that it helps keep the size of the regulator at a minimal.
Although others find this design to be garish, and its claims full of hot air, the A700 is actually an amazing second stage regulator.
This is definitely some serious hardware you want as part of your equipment.
The A700 has excellent breathing resistance, great flow rate, and an impressive ability to aid your breathing. And for added convenience, the VIVA system and the resistance vane are integrated into one knob. The purge button is also big, making it easy to locate and depressed.
Yes, I’ll be bold and say it – this is one of the best regulators you can find.
It definitely is worth the hefty price tag it comes with.
If you are looking to purchase a diving regulator, this is definitely a worthy option.
The Scubapro MK25 A700 – Safe, Reliable, and Dependable
One of the most difficult conditions when it comes to diving is diving in cold water.
Cold water not only affects your body but your breathing apparatus as well. It can be a hindrance, but sometimes you just have to jump in.
And when it comes to regulators, some don’t fare too well as they end up “freezing”, thus compromising your breathing.
That is another reason you should strongly consider the Scubapro MK25 A700 – its freeze resistant properties are unrivaled.
In fact, all Scubapro regulators are CE (stringent quality and safety standards) approved for 4300psi for cold water diving. Scubapro has really gone out of their way to ensure your safety through the reliability of their regulators by testing them in extreme cold temperatures below 36°F.
Another anti-freezing measure taken by Scubapro is in the design. The cap for the MK25 first stage features a patented finned design that makes the Scubapro MK24 A700 perform exceptionally well in cold water diving.
The ribs act as a radiator that helps to increase the surface area of heat transfer from the water. This heat warms up the internal parts that would have been cooled down by the gas pressure drop.
As for the A700 second stage, it is made of precision molded carbon fiber and techno polymer – the valve housing as well as all other components.
Not only do these innovative features enhance the safety of your Scubapro MK25 A700 regulator, they also improve its ergonomics by reducing the weight and its durability due to the corrosion resistance characteristics of the materials used.
The Scubapro MK25 A700 – Premium Regulator for a Priceless Diving Experience
Although the Scubapro MK25 A700 commands a premium, it is definitely worth its weight in gold.
For its unparalleled safety, exceptional durability, and unrivaled reliability, this is definitely one regulator that you can trust with your life.
So if you are looking for a good regulator, whether as your first purchase or an upgrade, don’t hesitate to pick up the Scubapro MK25 A700.
Because deep down, it really matters what kind of equipment you carry.