Once people have passed through those portals, there’s no going back from their single solution for diving. It’s a one-size-fits-all approach.
Had the motor industry been run along those lines, of course, we’d all still be driving Model-T Fords. Manufacturers have to break into a market, but then need to carry on selling more products to survive.
Halcyon started selling its products to cave-divers in Florida. Trouble was, there weren’t enough of them.
Its associated diver training company brought Florida cave-diving techniques to the rest of the world with a certain amount of success, and its disciples bought the Halcyon kit to go with it, but there were still too few customers for its products, so it started looking to see what other divers might want.
Most people dive with a single tank, so trying to sell them a wing with a stainless-steel backplate suitable for use with multiple tanks was a non-starter. Halcyon needed to appeal to the wider market without offending the client base that had signed up to the single-track way of doing things.

Leisure Wings
My first experience with a wing-style BC came in the late 1980s. Wings gave an uncluttered front especially useful when side-slinging tanks,
and there was always masses of buoyancy available should you need to use upwards of four tanks.
Naturally, Florida cave-divers wanted wings, and Halcyon became committed to the wing concept.
Aluminium tanks that are neutrally buoyant when empty are popular in the USA, so divers need to carry lots of lead. It therefore proved a good idea to add a weighty stainless-steel backplate to which peripheral equipment could be attached, and Halcyon became committed to that too.
Its training gurus decided that harnesses with breaks for conventional pinch-clips could be a liability in the darkness of a cave, so it also adopted the continuous harness.
Some of these aspects were unappealing to leisure divers used to visiting warm-water destinations. A hefty backplate can take up a great deal of your checked-baggage allowance, so Halcyon introduced a lightweight backplate.
A continuous harness is fine once it’s been perfectly adjusted for the diver who will be using it, but it’s a pain to adjust whenever you switch from drysuit to light wetsuit diving.
It’s also a pain to try to climb out of in a rough sea when being picked up in a small boat – caves rarely suffer from big waves.
So Halcyon came up with the cinch system, which allows you to pull the harness loose from the shoulder part when necessary.

The Design
If the Traveler was solely aimed at Halcyon’s traditionally fit and holistically minded divers, their height, judging by the amount of webbing supplied in the harness, and assuming a BMI not exceeding 28, would be about 37ft.
Halcyon must by now be resigned to having to supply American super-sized divers.
I threaded all the excess webbing through the loops supplied, and felt sylph-like.
The 13kg maximum-lift buoyancy cell is a simple doughnut shape. It is connected to
the backplate by two massive tank cambands threaded through it.
The backplate itself is of a lightweight technopolymer material and has a thin cushion firmly bolted onto it. The harness is threaded through the backplate, too.
The single piece of webbing that constitutes the harness has three moveable D-rings to accommodate single sling-tanks on the left side, and an adjustable crotch-strap complete with a D-ring for use with a suitable DPV lanyard.
The plastic buckle seemed a little flimsy for a piece of equipment designed to eliminate failure points.
Four novel “parcels” attached to the rear of the backplate will take 1.5kg of lead each. This fulfils the function of the weighty stainless-steel job without having to ship the weight yourself.
With a steel tank, I found that four 1kg weights installed there plus four on my belt
was enough.

In the Water
The shoulder-straps felt as if they were trying to slip off my shoulders at times, although they never did. What was missing was a sternum-strap to solve this problem, but no doubt there is a very good GUE reason why you shouldn’t dive with such a thing.
The simple doughnut-shaped wing is allowed to wrap around a single tank so that air gets distributed to both sides.
You add air through a conventional corrugated hose and dump it through a solitary kidney dump-valve. Both are on the left.
I had to be at least horizontal to use the dump-valve, and as it would dump only from the left side it required a bit of body rolling. That’s fine if you’re not otherwise occupied, like trying to photograph big animals in blue water.
The continuous harness did release me easily from its bondage, thanks to the cinch system.
Halcyon’s philosophy is to keep things simple, and that less should cost more. In the final analysis this is a generally well-made item that compromises between the demands of those who want to do it right, and those who simply want to do it.

Comparable travel wings to consider:
Mares Hybrid Protec, £449
Hollis HD100, £454
Cressi Air Travel, £288

SPECS
PRICE £429
MAX LIFT 13kg
INTEGRATED WEIGHTS Trim weights only
SIZES One size fits all
CONTACT www.bts-eu.com
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