Appeared in DIVER March 2006

BC  Seac Sub Icaro Tech
I used the Seac Sub Icaro wing recently and voted it a resounding success. Fully inflated at the surface, it put the buoyancy low down and me high above the water. The Icaro Tech has a similar effect and the same company makes it.
Obviously intended for use with twin cylinders, the Icaro Tech is claimed to be just as suitable for use with a single. I used it with a heavy 15 litre steel cylinder while my buddy, Malin Svedberg, the dive-guide from Tornado Marines Diamond liveaboard, took turns with me to use it with a conventional 12 litre aluminium cylinder.
The wing forms a narrow U-shape and is of double-bag construction. It is constrained by an elasticated cord threaded through the front of it. The whole is attached to a fantastically lightweight aero-quality aluminium backplate, which in turn has two individual padded cushions and a continuous webbing harness threaded through it.
The overall result is a wing-style BC so light that I had no hesitation in packing it in my dive-bag alongside another I was already taking away with me.
The Icaro Techs harness has a number of D-rings mounted on H-clips and it is important to make sure that these are positioned where you need them, as they can make tightening the harness, once youre wearing it, impossible.
Thats because these D-rings, once positioned, are not easily moved. While this is a good thing, it can be significant when moving from drysuit to wetsuit and vice versa.
You adjust the whole thing by pulling tightly on the waist-strap and fastening it with a standard weightbelt-type stainless-steel buckle.

Chest measurement
I could not immediately see how to adjust the 5cm-wide sternum strap so that I could fasten it by its pinch-clip. Both male and female parts are stitched to the main harness and seemed impossible to move, so I used the Icaro Tech quite comfortably without it.
On the other hand, Malin was able to hoist the set high on her shoulders so that she could pull the shoulder straps together towards the centre of her chest and in such a way that the sternum strap met and clipped together. I put it down to her having the same chest measurement as me but, with her smaller rib-cage, her body parts are arranged in a different way!
She reported that it made the rig remarkably comfortable for her, affording an unusual degree of freedom of arm movement. In fact she has made up her mind to treat herself to an Icaro Tech - thats what I call voting with your chest.
There are two cambands, one above the other, and a carrying handle. The Icaro Tech is clearly happier when used with twin tanks.
I couldnt see how, in the manner supplied, the elasticated cord restrained the buoyancy bag. It simply caused internal crinkles that tended to trap the air inside so that, as I moved around, the air I used for buoyancy-control moved around within it, complete with disconcerting gurgling noise.
It also affected my trim, as there was a slight delay before the air got to the right place. It was not a disaster, but if I owned an Icaro Tech I would either shorten the elastic cord so that the buoyancy cell was crushed up far more under water, or simply remove the bungee altogether if I was using twins. The manufacturer gives you the choice.
There are those who decry such a bungeed restriction on the buoyancy-cell, claiming that it can dangerously restrict its full inflation. Others rubbish this idea and like the way, with the cord suitably tightened, the cell is reduced to limit the amount of drag it causes while swimming. We ended up caught between the two stools, and used it as it was supplied.
I believe that, with twin cylinders, allowing the bag to flap is not an issue and, with a single, the tightened elastic strap still leaves plenty of room to inflate the wing effectively at the surface, without reducing maximum lift significantly.
Otherwise, this wing was perfect! Like its little brother, surface support is very effective because the bag inflates well and low down at the surface, leaving only a small section high and behind your neck for buoyancy control under water.

Easily found toggle
The U-shaped bag has dump valves low down at the back on both sides and, assisted by an easily found toggle on both, I was able to dump air from either effectively.
During head-up ascents, the dump-valve at the top of the valve worked perfectly. This is operated by a long cord threaded through a flexible plastic conduit to a toggle at the right of the middle of the chest area.
Getting out of the rig was not quite so easy when I was being picked up by a RIB at the surface. With no buckles to break in the continuous loop harness, I found it best to undo the waist-strap and pull the whole thing over my head as I ducked under it. It was no big deal.
So despite neither opting for a fully restrained wing nor an open version without the bungee cord, we both still enjoyed using it. Once again, Seac Sub proves that it is a force to be reckoned with in the BC market.
The Seac Sub Icaro Tech comes in three sizes and costs £449. There is also an optional integrated-weight system.
  • Beaver Sports 01484 512354,

  • Divernet
    + Lightweight wing that could be rigged to suit your style of diving

    - Continuous-loop webbing harness can be hard to adjust between drysuit and wetsuit