2014 ScubaLab Testers' Choice:
Beuchat VR200 Soft Touch HF Regulator
Balanced-diaphragm first stage; four LP, two HP ports
We liked a lot about the solid VR200 Soft Touch, including that it was easy-breathing, dry, comfortable and lightweight.
In fact, it made every test diver’s top-three favorites list — the only reg we tested to do so. On the breathing simulator, the reg demonstrated very good performance well beyond recreational-diving limits, although it dropped off just a little at the most extreme depths.
The wide, pliable purge button — set in a lightweight chrome front plate — lived up to its Soft Touch name, with easy, efficient clearing. The dive/predive switch was slightly on the stiff side though effective at preventing free-flows, and the breathing knob was convenient and easy to adjust.
We tested other regs that racked up more-impressive work-of-breathing scores at torturous depths and breathing rates on the simulator. But in actual diving, no other reg was rated more highly across the board for comfort and ease of breathing.
The VR200 Soft Touch is our Testers’ Choice in this category.
by Carrie Garcia