One such product is the Cressi Air Travel 2.0, an upgraded version of the manufacturer’s original and popular lightweight BC. I contacted Cressi to get one to take on a recent trip.

The Design
This extremely light wing-style BC has elastic bungees to help retract the bladder when it’s deflated. The bladder and main components are built from durable 420 Denier nylon. It has no solid back-plate, and instead uses a semi-rigid, mesh-covered, soft-padded back-section for comfort and weight reduction...

The harness has padded shoulder sections, an adjustable sternum strap with three height positions, and trident clip connections at the joints. Weights are integrated into the waist-belt with push-clips – I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are no Velcro fastenings.
The weight-pouches are zipped to secure a maximum of 6kg a side. D-rings at the end of the main straps make adjustment an easy affair. A further four small D-rings are positioned with two on the waistband for gauge/console and octopus mounting, and another two on the chest-straps for mounting stuff like a torch or reel and DSMB.
The BC is held in place on the tank with a standard camband, which sits low on the BC. Stability is achieved with a secondary strap secured by Velcro, and another webbing loop that doubles as a carry-handle sits over the tank-valve.
A roll-down pouch-pocket sits neatly on the right at the base of the waist-belt and can be deployed to take any auxiliary kit. Velcro tabs hold it in place when it’s not in use.
There are three air dump points. A pull-tab on the right shoulder dumps air from the top, and another at the right kidney area allows the diver to dump air in an inverted position.
The inflator has been upgraded from the previous model and is ergonomically designed. The BC I had on test was finished all in black with grey accents and embroidered red and white livery.

Under water
The Air Travel 2.0 accompanied me on 20 or so dives around the Maldives atolls. The wing style is my favourite configuration, as it holds me in my preferred orientation for photography, which is slightly inclined with my fins in line with my body.
This little BC did just that, and I immediately felt comfortable as I set about my work.
The dives we were doing were mainly in currents that were moderate to strong and required the use of current hooks to stay on station. The lack of substantial D-rings to which to clip the hook and line became an annoyance, though I eventually got used to it.
On the comfort side, this BC offered substantial padding in exactly the right places, and the only area of concern became the weight-pouches on the waistband.
The solid lead blocks sit on the inside of the pouches and their corners dug into my hips, causing a little bit of discomfort, especially after an hour or so of immersion. The weights clipped securely in position and needed a sharp one-handed pull on the T-grip to remove.
It was a simple task to dump air in any orientation. The long cords and round toggles were easy to find and the valves were positioned well.
On the surface the BC provided plenty of lift, keeping my face well above the water, but, like most wing-style models, this one tended to push me forward and face-down, especially when carrying my lumpy camera rig.
Trim-weight pockets are available to attach to the camband, but I had none with me on the test dives. I’m sure they would have helped with the trim at the surface.
When the diving was over and I had to pack everything away, the BC was a cinch to squeeze down and fold up.
A separate Velcro strap that is supplied holds everything neatly in place, and the whole thing packed down into a relatively small bundle and took up little room in my dive-bag.
I was thinking I could possibly shave off another few grams by using smaller luggage on my next trip.

Conclusion
There is no getting away from it – if you travel abroad to dive and would like to spend your hard-earned money on a few beers or an extra dive or two, rather than hand it over to the smiling assassins at check-in, you’ll need to lighten the load.
This little BC from Cressi is just the ticket. It’s not a compromise either – the build quality is excellent, because the makers haven’t skimped on materials to reduce the overall weight.
It’s just a no-nonsense, very well thought-out and executed product that does exactly what you need – it saves weight and dives great.


PRICE £315
WEIGHT (SIZE L) 2.47kg
SIZES XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL
CONTACT www.cressi.com
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