SCUBAPRO Litehawk BC with Air 2 Alternate Air Aource Inflator 5th Gen
- Jacket style with alternate air source BCD
- Releasable and non releasable weight pockets
- Adjustable straps and cummerbund
- Wrap around air bladder system
- Balanced power inflator mechanism
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The Litehawk, Ladyhawk and Knighthawk back-floatation BCs incorporate an array of features which make them a truly complete package for divers who prefer a more streamlined profile. Divers get the benefits of back flotation in this super lightweight BC made for easy traveling, Scubapro Air 2 Alternate Air Aource Inflator 5th Gen. This fifth-generation octo/inflator is now easier to use than ever. As a backup regulator in high-stress situations, the AIR2 breathes like a dream, rivaling some second stage models. It is CE-certified for waters 10-degree Celsius or warmer. The large, flexible purge button provides quick clearing when it counts. Divers can also enjoy pin point buoyancy control withthe AIR2. Its large inflate and deflate buttons are easy to distinguish, and the device fits comfortably in hand. For reliable performance without dangling hoses, the AIR2 is a standout.
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So long story short; I decided to buy a BC. Usually rent everything but mask, fins, snorkel, wetsuit, and computer. And that has generally worked out over many years in many countries. You may be familiar with the "ownership versus rental cost" discussions but we go a lot a places that shlepping weight is a pain. At the same time I wanted to get away from BCs that are bulky and designed to save you from yourself: like wearing a Type I life jacket. Great if you're unconsciousness but a real pain otherwise. Frankly I was hoping to get back to my first outfit: no bc, but the insurance companies won't let you go back to the sixties and I wouldn't buy Nimrod anyway.
So after a lot of looking around I settled on this. It's back inflating, there are weight pockets on the side but you can remove them, the pictures don't show it but there are D-rings on both sides on the bottom.
Now, as old what's his name used to say, "is the rest of the story": I wanted to buy from a local dealer, I know someone who works for him, so decided to approach him with the Amazon/Leisure Pro price. The owner told me that price was near his cost and he was not allowed to sell for that by Scubapro. That the equipment I would buy was purchased from bankrupt vendors and would be old and not covered by the Scubapro warranty. It would also, likely, be manufactured out of the country and warranty service would only happen if you shipped it there, e.g., Europe. WOW!
I thought about that for a while. But finally bought it here. When it arrived, there was a warranty card which I went online to complete. Bottom line: manufactured in 2014, Leisurepro recognized as a dealer (no number necessary) and warranty email sent to me the next day.
I really wasn't that concerned about the warranty because I've had excellent experience with Scubapro stuff over the years. And I've always been happy with both Adorama and Leisurepro purchases. I checked it out in Panama City last weekend: I'm in love.
2018 - Just got back from two week trip: Roatan and Cayman Brac. Brac esp. great. So when I went to my local guy for service after the first year he told me that ScubaPro only requires service every two years. Now on year three, after service last Spring. As you would suspect continues to be very reliable and all the back inflating poo pa on the internet eludes me. Using three pounds in each of the upper (back) weight pockets and two pounders in the lower (front) pockets really seems to help with the safety stop. That's the only time I sometimes have an issue with buoyancy.
The Scubapro Lighthawk is a great buoyance compensator device (BCD) for recreational diving. As usual, the quality is outstanding. I bought my first Scubapro back mounted buoyance compensator device (BCD) back in the early 1970s. I am delighted by the Scubapro Lighthawk. The biggest thing I like about a back mounted BCD is that you have nothing between you and the bottom. This was great when I did search and rescue, now it’s nice to just lie on the bottom and watch the sea life or explore under things.
The buoyance of a back mounted BCD is different than a traditional BC or vest, tending to roll user face down. Good underwater, but not so good on the surface. Rather than fighting this tendency on the surface, simply remove the Lighthawk and lie on top as you paddle back to the boat or shore. Doing this also places the tank under the diver so you won’t get squished between an inflated BCD and the tank on surface swims. The Lighthawk has four pouches, including a back counter weight pouches on each side between the back plate and the bladder. Placing weights in the pouches between the back plate and the bladder allows the weights to be positioned higher on the diver’s body reducing the tendency for your head and shoulders to rise while diving. There is a variety of dump valves making it easy to dump excess air with minimal contortions. There are also five ‘D’ rings you can use to attach your other gear. The back plate and shoulder straps are padded for comfort. There is a swivel plate on each shoulder strap to improve fit and further increase comfort.
The Lighthawk uses a nylon band to secure the tank making it easier to pack. The sizing chart on the Scubapro web site was accurate, at least for me. Some reviews have commented about a lack of lift. All sizes for the Lighthawk have 31 Lbs of buoyancy which is a good amount of lift. The only negative is the manual. The manual lists the Lighthawk’s buoyance as 54 lbs which is inconsistent with the Scubapro web site and the label on the Lighthawk. The manual is generalized to a variety of Scubapro BCDs to the point it is nearly useless. For example, I discovered the back counter weight pouches between the back plate and bladder. The manual illustration indicates they are between the bladder and the tank (probably other BCD models) and not the bladder and the back plate like they are on the Lighthawk. As a head’s up, the Lighthawk does not accommodate dual tanks.