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$200 lightweight underwater breathing device raises $1m

$200 lightweight underwater br...
The Scorkl cylinder is compact enough to carry in a backpack
The Scorkl cylinder is compact enough to carry in a backpack
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Scorkl offers up to 10 minutes of underwater breathing time 
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Scorkl offers up to 10 minutes of underwater breathing time 
Scorkl is being targeted at fishermen or boaters 
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Scorkl is being targeted at fishermen or boaters 
Scorkl can be refilled using a hand pump, or directly from an existing scuba tank
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Scorkl can be refilled using a hand pump, or directly from an existing scuba tank
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Scorkl has a prominent pressure gauge 
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Scorkl has a prominent pressure gauge 
The Scorkl in action 
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The Scorkl in action 
Scorkl recommends using its apparatus at depths up to 3 m 
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Scorkl recommends using its apparatus at depths up to 3 m 
Scorkl is lightweight and easy to refill 
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Scorkl is lightweight and easy to refill 
The Scorkl beat its funding goal in just four hours on Kickstarter 
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The Scorkl beat its funding goal in just four hours on Kickstarter 
Although it's not a full-on scuba tank, the Scorkl allows divers about 10 minutes worth of underwater air
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Although it's not a full-on scuba tank, the Scorkl allows divers about 10 minutes worth of underwater air
A couple of divers get ready to head underwater with the Scorkl in tow 
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A couple of divers get ready to head underwater with the Scorkl in tow 
Scorkl has three days remaining on its Kickstarter campaign 
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Scorkl has three days remaining on its Kickstarter campaign 
The Scorkl cylinder is compact enough to carry in a backpack
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The Scorkl cylinder is compact enough to carry in a backpack
Scorkl can be refilled using a unique hand pump
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Scorkl can be refilled using a unique hand pump
The (optional) Scorkl hand pump
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The (optional) Scorkl hand pump
Scorkl is looking to expand its range of cases and carrying options for its cylinders 
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Scorkl is looking to expand its range of cases and carrying options for its cylinders 
A trio of Scorkls. The company is planning to offer more colors down the track 
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A trio of Scorkls. The company is planning to offer more colors down the track 
Scorkl is planning to offer a range of carrying cases 
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Scorkl is planning to offer a range of carrying cases 
The Scorkl pump adds $200 to the price 
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The Scorkl pump adds $200 to the price 
The pressure gauge on the Scorkl 
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The pressure gauge on the Scorkl 
The mouthpiece on the Scorkl
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The mouthpiece on the Scorkl
View gallery - 23 images

Scorkl is a compact, lightweight breathing device for quick shallow dives. It can be topped up using a hand pump, and lets the user swim underwater for up to 10 minutes at a time. Having reached its funding goal within just four hours, the Scorkl has just ticked over AUD$1 million of backing on Kickstarter, and is set for delivery this October.

Although it's not a direct replacement for a full-on scuba breathing apparatus, the Scorkl is ideal for those underwater scenarios where a snorkel doesn't give you enough time to work. It offers up to ten minutes of air – that figure will depend on how heavily you're breathing – but there should be plenty of time to unjam a propellor or retrieve a wayward pair of sunglasses without resurfacing.

When the air runs dry, owners are able to refill directly from a scuba tank, or using an (optional) high-pressure hand pump. Because it's hand-powered, and has a built-in air filter made of the same materials as mechanical compressors normally use to refill scuba tanks there's no risk of air contamination by moisture, oils, carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide.

A couple of divers get ready to head underwater with the Scorkl in tow 
A couple of divers get ready to head underwater with the Scorkl in tow 

Scorkl recommends non-scuba trained users stay shallower than 3 meters (9.8 ft) when using the apparatus, but scuba-trained divers can use at their discretion above 10m. A prominently displayed pressure gauge makes it easy to tell how much air is remaining in the tank, too, so there's no excuse for running out of air underwater.

The Scorkl is currently live on Kickstarter, but there's just three days remaining on the campaign, which ends 6pm July 7 EST. Pledging AU$269 (US$199) reserves you a Scorkl and scuba tank attachment for refilling it, while AU$538 (US$399) adds the unique Scorkl hand pump to the mix. If you don't need the pump, that same price will also buy you a double pack of Scorkls.

Deliveries are set to begin in October. Scorkl is planning to offer more cylinder sizes, colors and bodystraps down the track, along with carrying cases in a range of different sizes.

More information: Scorkl

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