This contains two XTX50 DIN regulators with five medium-pressure ports on swivel turrets. One reg has a 210cm hose, while the other’s is 60cm long. There are two short mp inflation hoses, one intended for the user’s drysuit and the other for BC inflation.
There are two pressure gauges on 15cm hoses; one elbow fitting for a second-stage hose, together with a stainless-steel piston-clip and bungee necklace for the other; two exchange compact exhaust ports; a bag; and a set-up illustration, CD manual and quick-start guide.

In the Water
At a drizzly Jackdaw Quarry at Capernwray, Apeks had arranged for gorgeous Gary Dallas of DiveLife to instruct me on how to get the best from the regulator set.
This coincided with him demonstrating what he would call the better way to rig tanks using the Hollis SMS50.
I call tall, good-looking Gary “gorgeous” because he’s the nearest thing I’ve seen to a diver in the diving industry looking like a film-star.
I’m sure DiveLife must get a lot of female trainees booking its courses and specifying
him as their instructor. Perhaps he missed his vocation.
We dispensed with the short bungee cords supplied for the Hollis and used one long one that passed through the top of the wing and was piston-clipped to D-rings at either shoulder.
Instead of clipping the bottom rig of the tanks to the back D-rings, Gary suggested that I use piston-clips on the bottom side-D-rings of the SMS50, just as I had been used to doing with other rigs when using sling-tanks for travel or deco gases.
Instead of hooking the tanks on by their top clips, we clipped onto the bottom first and then pulled the bungee cord around the tank-valve.
The top clips I would otherwise have used became redundant, and were left in my car.
The effect was to pull the tanks high up under my arms and close to my body so that they became part of me. It did make accessing the pressure gauges slightly awkward, and required a little forethought. I also had to consider carefully how to reach for the shoulder-mounted dump-valve on the Aqua-Lung Fusion drysuit I had borrowed for the day.
Gorgeous Gary would like me to believe that this is the only way to rig side-mounts, and it certainly looks better and neater when striding to and from the water, but there is more than one way to skin a cat, and what suits you is always best. However, I don’t want to get into fights between people teaching side-mount courses with different philosophies.
Suffice to say that I felt very comfortable in the water, and could rotate and position myself at any angle without feeling I was losing control of my buoyancy or trim. I was able to nip in and out of the various items of wreckage at Capernwray for the amusement of other divers.
In fact I felt a bit like a film star myself, as I seemed to be the centre of attention of both Dean Martin from Apeks/Aqua-Lung and Adam Hanlon from Wetpixel, both armed with cameras like underwater paparazzi.
However, I didn’t feel so confident about unhitching the bottoms of the tanks to pass them ahead of me through narrow spaces, because I had some difficulty hitching them back on the D-rings. These would lie flat, whereas the beaver-tail D-rings are permanently erect and easy to access.
I’d rather have that bit of cord between the tank and the piston-clip that gives a little flexibility when hooking on, even if it means that the tanks dangle a little.
Gorgeous Gary will be crying into his tea when he reads this (it’s only an opinion, Gary!).
What of the regulators Well they were Apeks. Need I say more

SPECS
PRICE £1050
PORTS 5mp, 2hp
FIRST STAGES Environmentally sealed diaphragm-type
CONTACT www.apeks.co.uk
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