It's when you need to repack your bag in some discreet corner of an airport, furtively unscrewing hoses and slipping things like weighty first stages into your jacket pockets, that you know you have to radically rethink your travel arrangements.
The first stage of the new Mikron regulator weighs so little that its rather toy-like, but it's just what you need when it comes to packing for a long-haul flight.
The second stage is tiny too, but were getting used to tiny second stages.
I'm told that the basic unit weighs in at around 740g. A fully equipped regulator with octopus rig, BC direct-feed hose and high-pressure hose and pressure gauge weighs little more than 3kg.
This is partly thanks to the use of modern lightweight braided hoses too. The Micron comes with its intermediate hose like this as standard. Think in terms of a travelling BC weighing about the same, plus a 3mm suit, and you might have space for a spare pair of underpants in the measly 20kg checked-baggage allowance for cattle-class passengers.

First Stage
Four medium-pressure ports arranged at angles take care of most hoses, but only one solitary high-pressure take-off is provided. The absence of a second high-pressure port is a disadvantage that became apparent when my gas-integrated computer decided to die on me just as I hit the water during one dive.
Its essential to have a back-up method of knowing what gas pressure youve got, either by means of a second gas-integrated computer or a pressure-gauge - especially if youre diving on a single tank.
I knew that I'd done a similar dive that morning and had made my gas last the hour, but I had decided to stay shallow and came up after 35 minutes. I had time to do fewer than a dozen dives on my visit to Thailand, and I didn't want to waste one. The more sensible among you would have aborted the dive.

Second Stage
The pretty little second stage is also available in pink and vanilla. I used the manly black version. It has a tiny exhaust port to which I got used, even if I tended to make all my camera exposures while still moving to stay ahead of my exhaled bubbles.
There is no venturi plus or minus switch, only a breathing resistance adjustment knob that can be used to tighten the second-stage spring and increase the effort need to start an inhalation.

Purge Control
The front of this regulator is tiny, just as you would expect. It measures around 5.5cm in diameter. One might expect this to affect its performance, but I never noticed any deficit in the gas supply.
This also means that the purge button under the soft part of the front cover is small, but if you can touch your nose without the aid of a mirror, you should have no problem finding this.

Comfort
The Mikron comes with a Comfobite mouthpiece. I used to hate these, but I seem to be getting more tolerant in my old age. I used it for a week and it didnt trouble me, although given the choice Id prefer a conventional one.
Gas supply proved excellent. When this regulator was launched onto the international market at the DEMA show in the States, the manufacturer supplied ANSTI test data to prove how good it was. Well, it is good, though not as good as some of the best.
However, it's 1000 times better than the regulators we were used to using 25 years ago, and that has to be good enough.

COMPARABLE REGULATORS TO CONSIDER:
Apeks XTX40 DST, £294
Oceanic Delta 4 DX4, £275
Cressi Ellipse Titanium, £250

SPECS
PRICE £280
FIRST STAGE Diaphragm
PORTS 4mp, 1hp
SECOND STAGE ADJUSTMENT BRA
CONTACT www.aqualung.co.uk
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