THE BRITISH DIVING MARKET is a hard one for any manufacturer to crack. Twenty years ago we shocked our readers when we revealed the results of a comparison test at depth, and found that the Apeks regulator was one of the best performers. Until then it was not highly regarded, but the rest is history.
The problem is that when it comes to choosing a reg over a shop counter, they all look very shiny and similar, so we tend to go for brands we know and trust. We are less than adventurous, because you can’t tell in a shop how good a regulator will be at depth.

First Stage
The latest high-performance regulators from Seac have a balanced-diaphragm design connected to a second stage with a rubber cover via a lightweight flexible Hiflex braided hose. It looks very much like a Miflex hose.
The Ice version has a dry-sealing cap that stops water coming into direct contact with the pressure-sensing membrane, transferring the pressure via a dry chamber.
It is more suitable for use in water polluted with grit or exceptionally cold water, as you might encounter at a freshwater site in winter. The basic X10 does not have this environmental sealing.
The first stage of each unit has a highly polished chrome finish. This could be said to make them look rather glitzy.
There are four medium-pressure ports in pairs canted away from each other to avoid problems with hose crowding, and two high-pressure ports, one on each side.
A feature that will prove useful, especially when doing repeat dives while based at a dive centre with a rinse tank, is what the manufacturer calls “the membrane block system”. This is claimed to guarantee perfect functioning, even if the regulator is accidentally rinsed without its sealing cap in place.
I can imagine this would appeal to many dive centres abroad that may be used to a clientele that’s a little carefree or thoughtless. I’ve seen those signs posted up over rinse tanks with dire warnings of penalties for anyone rinsing a regulator without the cap in place.

Second Stage
The retaining ring of the front membrane of each second stage is colour-coded. That of the standard regulator is conventional silvery metal, while the Ice version is metallic blue and that of the octopus rig a metallic yellow.
This feature would be especially useful to a diver equipped with Seac regulators and using multiple gases.
The asymmetric lever design of the second stage ensures top performance at extreme depths. The further the front membrane is pushed in, the less effort is needed to crack open the valve.

In the Water
Both regulators breathed without a hitch.
I swam around the chilly green waters of an inland site trying to get the X10 Ice to malfunction, but despite high airflows it stubbornly and continuously worked perfectly.
The mouthpieces were comfortable to grip with the teeth without jaw ache, and the whole front cover is flexible, so the purge button is easy to find.
While there was no hunting for it, however, the action wasn’t as smoothly progressive as I might have liked.
The X10 or X10 Ice make a good alternative to similarly priced diaphragm-type regulators on the market.

COMPARABLE REGULATORS TO CONSIDER:
Aeris Ion, £321
Aqua Lung Titan LX Supreme, £357
Mares Prestige22 NTT, £296

SPECS
PRICE X10, £288 and X10 Ice, £312
FITTINGS A-clamp or 300bar DIN
FIRST-STAGE Membrane-type
HOSE Flexible braided
CONTACT www.blandfordsubaqua.co.uk
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