Sunday, 6 January 2013

SCUBAPRO HYBRID SHORTS WITH POCKETS

I don’t know about the rest of you but I no-longer dive with a traditional BCD; I use a wing, backplate (BP) and harness.  I think that not only does it give a more stable body position in the water, but most importantly no matter what equipment configuration I’m diving (OC single, OC twins or CCR) I can bolt the same BP on, choose the appropriate size wing and off I pop safely in the knowledge that all the dumps clips, d-rings etc… are in exactly the same place so if I’m doing a drill, or more importantly in an emergency, everything is muscle memory and I’m not scrabbling around trying to find things.  Although BCDs are far more common my personal belief is that more and more people will convert to this setup; look around at most dive sites and I think you will agree.

The only downside is that there are no pockets on this system unlike a traditional BCD.  When diving in the UK this poses no problems as my drysuit has 2 pockets, one on either leg.  I tend to dive a standard configuration; so in terms of pocket contents it means that all the stuff that I intend to use on a dive is in my left pocket with the emergency stuff in the right (if you wish to know why just ask; I will do a separate article at some point).  However when diving abroad or wearing a wetsuit (like on my recent trip to Egypt) I don’t have this option available to me.

To combat this I purchased a pair of Scubapro Hybrid Shorts with Pockets.  From around £42 onwards they’re not the cheapest; I mean they’re just a pair of shorts.  I did look at making my own by getting a pair of cycling shorts and adding a pair of aftermarket pockets from O’Three, Bowstone, Halcyon or similar however this worked out even more expensive.

So, onto the shorts themselves.  The shorts are constructed of 1mm Flextec material (neoprene/lycra) & easily fit over a wetsuit with a drawstring waist to keep them in place.  There is a pocket on either leg which measures approximately 22cm x 15cm x 6cm.  Additionally inside each leg there is a small loop approximately 8cm diameter for clipping items on.

The pockets are smaller than my drysuit however they still fit everything in that I need, although I’ve added a larger elastic loop inside each pocket to make it easier to clip items on.

Below are the items contained in each pocket along with a picture fully loaded.

 
Above: Fully loaded & fitted.

Above: The original loop joined onto my larger one.

Above: Left pocket containing spare mask, 50m spool and 3.3ft backup DSMB and spool.

Above: Right pocket containing 4.5ft DSMB and spool and wetnotes.

To be honest, once on it didn’t even feel like I was wearing a pair of overshorts.  They never came loose or moved around and it was possible to access the items I required underwater.  Overall an excellent item; if I could change anything I would say the pockets could be slightly bigger however a larger securing loop inside the pockets is a must.

The boring bit!
All opinions expressed in my articles are my own and may differ to other instructor’s and agency guidelines; by no means are they wrong and I would not wish to disrepute any of them.  This article is for information only and should not replace proper training.

Safe diving!
 
Timothy Gort
BSAC, PADI & SDI/TDI diver training
l Mob: 07968148261 l Email: tim@rectotec.co.uk