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Does anyone use a Scuba Pro STAB jacket?

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) & Weight Systems' started by FredGarvin, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location:
    9,003
    4,674
    I bought a used one about 5 months ago and have been using it. I don't use the weight integration. I use the one weight pocket as a sleeve to hold my marine radio canister. I've worn out a few other ones over the years. The major drawback is the non-adjustability of the shoulders which makes the BC much less adaptable to wearing drastically different exposure suits... too tight for a 7 mm and too loose for a t-shirt.

    I think it is comfortable and rugged. The price for a new one is ridiculous!

    Definitely floats you better on the surface than a bp/W...
     
  2. -hh

    -hh Solo Diver

    1,016
    227
    I've just finished a warmwater trip where I got 26 dives in that also was the test for a new ScubaPro Glide Pro. This is a jacket BCD that's similar to the Classic (STAB) and in brief summary, my ~10 year old ScubaPro KnightHawk is going to be put up for sale.
    Repeating some of the same observsations as below, plus some new ones:
    - at ~10lbs, it is heavy to pack (luggage), but it is also sturdy and "bombproof" in the ScubaPro tradition. Very good (& large) pockets...strongly highlights just how bad the pockets are on my KnightHawk. I found it no problem to hide a large (6ft) SMB with finger spool inside one of them. The other side could easily hold a couple more items, which can reduce clutter dangling from D-rings & maintain streamlining.
    - Part of the reason why it is bulky/heavy is because it includes a hard backpack (YMMV, but I prefer that), but it also has a lot of cushy padding built in. Personally, since I'm always wearing some sort of exposure suit, I'd prefer that it were to have had a lot less padding, as this would let it be able to dry more quickly, pack smaller/lighter ... and since it takes some time to waterlog these "comfy" materials, probably let me drop a pound or two of weights.
    - I don't care for - and mostly don't use - the weight integration system. In warmwater, I've been typically put ~4lbs in the trim pockets on top/back and then use a weightbelt in lieu of the bottom pockets for my other ~6lbs (AL80/full 3mm wetsuit). I used to use roughly 2lbs less weighting, but both the GP and the Knighthawk have the aformentioned padding.
    - any BCD's surface float orientation is a major decision factor for me too...the Jacket performs noticably better than a Wing, particularly with an empty AL80 (+2lbs) and with my UW camera system (-1.5lbs; a Canon 7D in an Ikelite housing). - underwater performance ... no real difference (or problems) when on mundane horizontal swims, but when going into odd (sideways/inverted/etc) positions for UW photography, there's significantly better orientation freedom while also having less "bubble rolling around" caused sudden buoyancy location shifts which are both improvement.
    - its front shoulder straps are on swivels ... a trade-off. They probably improve fit/comfort, but by being less stiff, it actually makes it a bit harder to put on, since that loss of stiffness in the shoulders means that it won't naturally hold itself open while you duck a shoulder to sling it on. I prefer the NightHawk's stiffer shoulder strap arrangement here for this reason.
    - positions of stuff (vents, D-rings, etc). Versus the KnightHawk, there's understandably been slight changes in location, so I'm having to relearn muscle memory for where everything is. Somewhat surprisingly, it appears that the right chest D-ring position has moved enough that I can't find the damn thing by feel at all. I'll probably need to work on this for another 25-50 dives before it falls into place.
    Bottom line ... I'm glad that I tried the Glide Pro. The Classic (STAB) was also on my short list, but the difference in price for what didn't appear to be mostly just material over the shoulders didn't really appear to me to be worth that much of a difference. For someone diving doubles, the Classic is still rated for them, although interestingly, the Glide Pro's online documentation only says singles - - but the tag that's inside the BCD does indicate otherwise: it permits one (small) set of doubles for at least the XL sized Glide Pro; I'll have to go take & post a photo of the tag to document its exact details.
    Hope this helps,
    -hh
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  3. Zung

    Zung Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Geneva, Switzerland
    1,649
    298
    I'm looking at the Scubapro Museum and realize we have nearly every variation of the single bladder full jacket BCD's:

    • My 1st was an orange stability jacket, got it on sale in '89 because they were being phased out. It lasted a couple of dives, then the triangular "ring" tore the fabric off. I took it back and exchanged against...
    • The Fin/Heat Seal or its European equivalent, teal, a single pocket on the right, probably made in Italy. This one lasted 5-600 dives, then the CO2 inflator nipple broke. I patched it, still have it, still works, no fading.
    • The wife had a Classic Black with pink trim, around '93 or '94, made in Mexico. This one is not so durable: about 400 dives, the colors are still good, but the material delaminates and leaks.
    • She replaced it with a Classic Plus. I think it's too stiff, and a bit heavier.
    • I now dive with a French clone that's a bit lighter at 2.5Kg, otherwise identical.
    • Just got a "Classic NIT 2000" from a garage sale for $50 with the velcro weight system.

    I'm totally comfy with this BCD and never thought of trying anything else. A couple of times, I was kinda forced into some Seaquest adjustable's because I didn't have my gear, and I hated them. For me all the straps are just totally clumsy. I do think the back buoyancy BCD's look cool, but no cool enough to actually try one. My #2 son did survive our last dive trip with an AL Zuma, but he didn't think much of it either.
     
  4. mictrik

    mictrik Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New York
    98
    14
    -----

    ---------- Post added May 15th, 2012 at 03:18 AM ----------

    The Glide though in the spirit of of the Classic is actually quite different. The classic's air cell allows the air bubble to always face the surface regardless of position because the shoulders are also part of the bladder allowing the air bubble to "circulate" around easily. This is what sets it apart the stab jacket from other BCD's. In addition look at the difference in lift capacity between the classic Stab jacket and the Glide; the stab jacket has nearly twice the lift capacity, hence it's suitability for use with double steel tanks. The material of the Classic Unlimited's are a bit more heavy duty with double neoprene coated bladders & hand glued seams. I do not know if the Glide shares these material properties... The Classic Stabilizer jacket is really unique in terms of it's design.
     
  5. rx7diver

    rx7diver Solo Diver

    1,044
    357
    +1

    Save Diving,

    rx7diver
     
  6. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Instructor, Scuba

    320
    0
    One thing that can be said about them is they are hard to wear out, I still have my original Double Black from 1987 (the year the double black was introduced), sure after 25 years it is now charcoal gray, the printed on Scuba Pro Logo is long gone, the cinch band is almost white, but it still works. I don't use it much anymore, it was retired from active service after about 1,000 dives, as I have a newer slightly more fashionable non weight integrated Classic Black with stitched in Scuba Pro logo, etc. That is probably 10 or so years old now, it is probably not built as well as my old double black, but I suspect it will still outlast me.
     
  7. ddown

    ddown Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Morrice, MI
    420
    10
    I use one and just got a NOS 1990s Classic unused will last till I quit diving
     

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