BCSeaquest Pro Unlimited

American cars always include all the features that European manufacturers consider to be extras. When Seaquest came up with the Pro Unlimited, it seems the US company decided to include every feature it could add to a conventional-style BC. There are so many that I apologise now in case I leave any out.
A fully weight-integrated BC with additional pockets at the rear for up to 4kg of trim weights, it has a large contoured backpack with a moulded carrying handle and swivelling harness-buckles on the padded shoulder straps.
The waistband and cummerbund are elasticated to compensate for your suit shrinking as you go deeper. The sternum strap is height-adjustable to allow for the position of your drysuit inflator valve.
Dump valves are operated by pulling on the corrugated hose or, at the right shoulder, a toggle. The lower dump is similarly operated by a toggle threaded through to the lower front of the BC.
There are two large pockets closed by zips with pull-cords. Six large stainless-steel D-rings are shaped to make them easy to clip onto. A retracting lanyard with instrument clip on the lower left side proved useful for hitching up my pressure gauge.
A Wenoka Z-lock knife is rigged too, and I mustnt forget Seaquests self-adjusting lumbar support system, which I am told automatically conforms to the divers lower back shape. Combined with a neat cushion, this made it easy to stroll about at the back of the boat while waiting to go in.
I used the Pro Unlimited with an aluminium tank. The trim-weight pockets are so well disguised that Im sure many owners wont even know they have this facility, and they are a little hard to get to when you want to get the weights out.
I found it too much trouble to remove the weights at the endof the day, so I left that couple of kilos there, even though it added to the effort of handling the BC between dives.
The main integrated-weight pockets have been criticised by some for not being secure enough. Its true that they are held in position only by a single slab of Velcro, and in the tropics the flaps tended to get a bit curly after only a few days, so I had to be sure everything was in order before each dive.
Thats not something you would want to leave to a helpful boat crew-member, who might not appreciate the significance of securing the weights.
That said, if you make full use of the trim-weight pockets and have only, say, 4kg in the ditchable pockets, that might be enough to provide useful lift in an emergency but not so much that the integrated-weight system becomes vulnerable. If you are using a drysuit and need more than 8kg, I suggest you augment the whole system with a weightbelt.
The side pockets were easy to open and close using toggles, but under water they proved lass capacious than some others and I struggled a little to deploy my reef-hook when I needed it.
The swivelling buckles meant that the shoulder straps were always at the right angle for comfort, and easily unclipped at the end of the dive.
However, in common with many BCs with lots of features, the inevitable clutter at the shoulders made getting my arm through the second shoulder strap when donning the rig a manoeuvre usually accompanied by curses.
The Pro Unlimited sat me high in the water at the surface and, when fully inflated, imparted no uncomfortable torso squeeze.
However, I prefer a BC that really becomes part of me under water, and cannot say that the overall effect of this one was sleek. It was better than some, and never uncomfortable, but less good than others. The toggles for shoulder and back dumps were always slightly lost through being so close to the other paraphernalia.
I always used the dump valves and never needed to jettison air by raising the corrugated hose, which always lets water in, so I was surprised to find so much water in the BC after 10 or so dives, making it heavier to carry on land.
The dive-shop owner with whom I dived also had this BC, and thought it the best he had ever used. It certainly appealed to the owner of the dive centre, the type of man, I suspect, who wants to own the gear with the most features. I still believe that less can be more.
Available in sizes S, M, L, XL and XXL, the Seaquest Pro Unlimited costs£550.

  • Aqualung UK 0116 212 4200,

  • Divernet Divernet Divernet Divernet Divernet
    + Generously featured conventional BC
    + Comfortable

    - Awkward to put on
    - Trim-weight pockets and dumps a little tricky to access
    - Pockets could be bigger