YOU KNOW THE ACRONYM “KISS” (Keep It Simple, Stupid) Well, the Polish diving-equipment manufacturer XDeep has incorporated this philosophy in the design of its Ghost BC.
I asked the UK importer Blue Orb to send me an example so that I could give it a thorough going-over on a shark-diving trip to Cuba.

The Design
The Ghost is a wing-style BC suitable for single-tank diving. It features a solitary bladder with
a durable 1100 dTEX Cordura skin coated with less than a 0.25mm thickness of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to render it lightweight, reliable and hard-wearing.
The bladder has been styled to eliminate dead zones where the air can get trapped and make dumping it a problem. It is reckoned to be so good at its job that only two dumps are needed, one on the top placed centrally, and one kidney dump to the left at the front.
The inflator hose is of a traditional design but doesn’t incorporate an elbow. It comes straight out of the bladder right in the middle and there is no pull-dump as found on most traditional BCs. Instead you have to lift the hose above your head while in a vertical position. A plastic tubed loop on the shoulder-harness keeps it in place.
The backplate is made from aerospace-grade alloy and has large cut-outs to reduce weight. The harness and slim alloy tank-mount are fixed to the backplate to provide security where it’s most needed. Twin cambands attach the tank to help eliminate slippage.
Minimal padding in the form of a 3D mesh has been added only where it’s most needed, at the shoulder-blade and in the lumbar regions.
The harness comes in two configuration; one with a single piece of webbing with no breaks or padding, and the other with Fastex breaks and harness padding. I chose the latter.
A substantial crotch-strap is incorporated in the system, and this is essential because the waist-belt is fitted to the backplate around the middle rather than off the ends of the hip-plate, as you might expect.
When the crotch-strap is attached and the waist-belt tightened and secured, it forms a stable and surprisingly comfortable fit.
I’m not a big fan of crotch-straps when I’m using a weight-belt, because they make it too awkward to dump the belt in a hurry. XDeep supplies integrated weight-pockets that fit to the Ghost’s waist-belt as an alternative, though at extra cost.
Only three D-rings are fitted, one on each shoulder-strap and one on the left side of the waist-belt. These are of 6mm stainless steel and adjustable using a small buckle. The waist-belt is secured with a stainless weightbelt-style buckle.

Weight
Are you sitting down You might want to be as I tell you that the whole BC weighs in at a meagre 2.8kg. I couldn’t believe it myself, so I stuck it on my digital scales and yes, with the deluxe (plus breaks) harness and padding it really does weigh that.
The standard version weighs even less, at 2.3kg!
Add this to your travelling dive kit and you might have enough allowance left to be able to pack more than one pair of undercrackers!

In the Water
I opted for a 15-litre steel tank on all my Cuban dives, enabling me to stay under water with the ”guys in the grey suits” for a minimum of 90 minutes at a time, so I didn’t need a weight-belt.
The Ghost was as comfortable as it gets in this configuration, the harness and waist-belt along with the crotch-strap providing me with what I felt was exceptional stability.
The wing-style bladder held me in a perfect horizontal position, and didn’t flap around causing drag as I scampered between coral bommies.
The whole set-up was so streamlined and neat, it felt as if it wasn’t there. No wonder they call it the Ghost.
Dumping air was a chore at first, because I’m used to pulling on a shoulder-dump rather than lifting the corrugated hose above my head.
I hadn’t done that since my instructor days, but I got back into the habit, and I suppose it’s not that big a deal.
While horizontal the kidney dump is the way to go, and it’s in just the right place on the left to locate quickly. It worked like a charm. The design of the bladder means that there are no trapped air-pockets, so I didn’t have to wriggle about or contort my body to get all the air out.

Drawback
There is one drawback, and it won’t affect most divers who dive with wing-style BCs, but it drove me nuts. I like to take split-level photos, and wearing this wing that was an impossible task unless in water shallow enough to stand up in.
Every time I lifted my camera when on the surface I was quickly tipped over face-first.
I handed my heavy camera rig to the boat crew and tried again. The Ghost held me in position nicely, with virtually all the bladder submerged but my head well above water.
A weight-belt to adjust my trim might have helped with the camera rig, but I didn’t get a chance to try it out, because only the heavy 15-litre tanks were available on our skiff.

Conclusion
The XDeep Ghost is a fantastic tool for travelling minimalist diving fans – robust, streamlined and very stable under water. Its simple design and good-quality materials make it a joy to use.
The weight is an eye-opener – a BC with a metal backplate, stainless waist-belt clip and
D-rings at under 3kg is ground-breaking.
The Ghost looks the business too, with its shiny metal spider’s-web design and embroidered livery. For everyone but photogs who take split-level shots in deep water the Ghost is a simple solution built to perfection.

SPECS
PRICES Standard harness £469, Deluxe harness (featured) £499
BACKPLATE SIZES S (for divers under 5ft 9in) and L
WEIGHTS Standard 2.3kg, Deluxe 2.8kg
CONTACT www.xdeep.eu
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