An inexpensive flight with easyJet to get to Sharm still left me in a quandary regarding a limited weight allowance. I chose to pack the lightweight Geo travel BC in my bag. It’s a standard format unit but made with lightweight materials. It weighs less than 2kg but has no integrated-weight system.
We stayed at the Coral Bay Resort. It’s the biggest resort in Egypt, and the 250-plus delegates had the opportunity to go diving every day. This meant that the few day-boats employed were over-subscribed for divers, and I made it my business to kit up before anyone else during dive briefings, while the deck of my boat was empty, and be ready to get into the water the moment it reached the dive site.
This paid off, in that it got me time alone with turtles on two occasions, and a useful close encounter with a pod of dolphins on another, before they were frightened off by the host of noisy bubbling divers plunging in to join me.
The cost was that, on one occasion, I dived into the water in haste without my weightbelt, returning immediately and slightly embarrassed by the omission.
Integrated weights would have saved me that, but at least all the other divers on the boat were so preoccupied that few noticed.

The Geo has no hard back-pack per se and to stabilise the tank there is a second Velcro-laden band immediately above the regular camband.
I also found that the strap that passed around the neck of the tank, when pulled tight, helped to make sure that the tank effectively became part of me.

A normal cummerbund with webbing strap is fastened with a pinch-clip over, and a narrower-gauge webbing strap and pinch-clip is positioned across the sternum.
I liked to pass my corrugated hose and direct feed under this, so that it fell to hand without me having to search for it.
A pair of zipped pockets on either side took care of small accessories.

Integrated Weights
As mentioned, there is no provision for integrated weights. For the travelling diver, a separate weightbelt is lighter, especially if the dive centre on site supplies it.

In the Water
With the air in the buoyancy cell tending to pull up while the weights on the belt pulled down, this BC was never going to look as tidy under water as one that included both buoyancy and weights. However, I wore my own weights on a harness, which took care of half of the problem, while Andy in the picture looked less sleek, yet sleek enough.

Control of Ascent
Air could be dumped by either pulling the toggle on the bottom dumps while horizontal, or pulling on the toggle of the cord connected to the upper dump, which fell in front of the right shoulder.
It has become a hobby-horse of mine that we should not dump air by raising the corrugated hose and opening the oral-inflation valve, thereby letting water in and filling the buoyancy cell over a series of dives.

Tigullio SeaTravel, £275
Cressi Flex, £248

PRICE £288
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