The SG-50 is Subgear’s top-end model. It sent me a sample to try out under water, so I took it for a dozen dives in the cool waters of the Atlantic, off the coast of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.

First Stage
The Subgear SG-50 I had on test was supplied with a DIN fitting on the first stage. This first stage is made from marine-grade chromium-plated brass and has a balanced diaphragm with a dry chamber, giving the regulator EN250 coldwater approval and enabling it to be used without fear of freezing...

This also means that contaminants such as sand or salt crystals won’t degrade the internal components.
There are two high-pressure and four low-pressure ports, two of the latter being high-flow to maximise air delivery to the second stage, and capable of delivering 6700 litres per minute with a tank pressure of 200bar.
The ports are positioned in threes on each side of the barrel-shaped body, which is finished in polished chrome with a black impact-resistant cap.

Second Stage
The second stage is constructed using black high-grade polymers with chrome-plated marine-grade brass fittings. It features a downstream Powerflow valve that is capable of delivering air at 1550 litres per minute.
The Powerflow is claimed to improve the work of breathing compared to classic downstream valves. There are two adjusters fitted, one for altering the inhalation effort and the other an adjustable venturi to set the airflow to your individual needs.
The purge button is a teardrop shape, which adds to the overall design layout and gives this model its own individual style.
Last but not least, the first stage hose-connection is fitted with a spherical swivel to help reduce jaw fatigue.

Under Water
The Fuerteventura water was a chilly 19°C, not cold enough to prove the anti-freezing capabilities of this model but challenging enough to put it through a proper test.
The first-stage port layout is pretty standard, and put the hoses exactly where they should be.
I went through my customary test repertoire, starting with a free-flow evaluation when entering the water.
I set both the adjustments to minimum and, with the octopus in my mouth and the SG-50 second stage in my hand, mouthpiece pointing downwards, I jumped from the side of the boat. Nothing, not even a small burble.
I did the same test on the next dive with everything set to maximum, and the regulator seemed to explode in a whirlwind of screaming bubbles. A quick shake with the mouthpiece down stopped it in an instant.
Under water, I found that the regulator was noisy, squeaking and groaning on inhalation. This didn’t affect the breathing performance but did get somewhat annoying.
My hosts at the dive centre used Subgear regulators for their school kit, and luckily had a pair of SG-50s available. I used their set for just one dive and found it to be as quiet as a mouse, so I can only assume that mine needed to be run-in a bit.
The breathing was smooth and inhalation easy. There wasn’t a hint of over-run at the interchange between breathing in and out.
Bubble distribution was good, too, ensuring that my field of view wasn’t disturbed too much, and the exhalation effort was minimal.
I took the set to 40m and settled on the seabed. My buddy shared air using my octo, but synchronised heavy breathing made no noticeable change in our air delivery.
I spat the reg out at 40m, and there wasn’t a hint of free-flow.
I found the purge a little difficult to access with gloves on, but it was progressive in use, delivering the optimum amount to clear any unwanted sea water from the mouthpiece.
The hose swivel worked well. I didn’t notice the weight or stiffness of the rubber intermediate pressure hose as I cranked my head up and down or from side to side.
The swivel and comfortable mouthpiece meant that I didn’t suffer from jaw fatigue on any of the lengthy dives we conducted.

Conclusion
The Subgear SG-50 didn’t turn up any surprises. It proved to be a classic-style regulator with adjustable settings, meaning that it could be customised to suit my own needs and
breathing style.
The regulator I had been given was annoyingly noisy, but perhaps with a bit more use it would have settled down and behaved like the dive centre’s loan model.
I like the inclusion of a swivel and have one on my own reg set-up – it helps to make dives fatigue-free. The SG-50 is the flagship Subgear regulator, and there are also the budget SG-10 and mid-range SG-30 in the line-up to consider.
One thing that makes these products a bit more of an attention-grabber is that Subgear offers a 30-year warranty to the original owner plus free service kits for the first four years from the purchase date.
You’ll still have to pay your service technicians for their time and expertise, however.

PRICE £349, with octopus £439
FIRST STAGE Balanced diaphragm
CERTIFICATION Coldwater-approved to CE EN250.
PORTS 2hp, 4lp, including two high-flow
SECOND STAGE Downstream Powerflow valve
ADJUSTMENTS Venturi and inhalation effort
HOSE CONNECTION Spherical swivel
CONNECTION DIN and INT
SERVICE INTERVAL 2 years / 100 dives
NITROX 40% compatible
CONTACT www.subgear.de
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