The Design
The shorts are made from 1.5mm neoprene with a small diamond lining on the exterior and a finer nylon lining on the inside. A large (100mm) waistband with a clever overlapping hook-and-loop adjustment system creates a snug fit around the wearer’s midriff.
It is secured with an adjustable 50mm webbing belt and quick-release clip. Twin loops keep the webbing belt from riding up.
All the seams are blind-stitched and taped on the inside for comfort and durability.
The back panel of the shorts has a protective rubber print that reduces wear and increases grip to reduce the chances of slipping when sitting on the edge of a RIB while being transported to dive-sites.
The cargo-pockets are what these Tech Shorts are all about. There are two, and they’re big, made from hardwearing ballistic Nylon with a hook-and-loop bellows expansion system and large easy-access top flaps.
The flaps also have hook-and-loop closure and are stiffened and reinforced with a Kevlar strip at the grip-points. Inside each pocket are two 50mm stainless-steel D-rings for securing accessories and four stainless grommets at the base to aid water drainage. The shorts come in five sizes and one colour – black.

In Use
I’m one of those minimalist divers who takes only essential accessories with me under water; I don’t clip lots of unneeded gizmos and gadgets to my BC to end up looking like a Christmas tree.
A spare mask, DSMB and reel plus a torch and small strobe-light on night-dives are the only additions to my standard scuba set-up.
However, there are occasions when diving deep on mixed gases that I’ll need to take my back-up deco and bail-out plans on slates, plus a secondary DSMB and reel and a reserve torch and strobe.
All these extras are normally tucked away in my BC pockets, adding to my already oversized profile and creating more drag in the water, with an increase in snagging points and gas consumption as a consequence.
My drysuit has thigh-pockets, and these are used to the max when I take it deep, but I wear it only occasionally, as I’m usually sporting a wetsuit or shorts and a rash vest in warmwater climes these days. It was in this scenario that the Apeks Tech Shorts really proved their worth.
I took them initially on a trip to the Caribbean, where with water temperatures in the high 20s a 3mm wetsuit was ideal. I wore the shorts over the suit and enjoyed the advantages of streamlined diving plus the easy access to the accessories the large cargo pockets afforded.
My next trip was a photo expedition to Bali, and I took a third strobe for off-camera work plus a snoot set-up and a small Gorillapod along with supplementary wet lenses on all my macro dives.
These bulky extras were all stowed safely away in the Tech Short pockets, secured with double-end snap clips to the well-placed D-rings and snugged down using the hook-and-loop flaps on the expansion system.
They added substantial weight to the shorts when out of the water but the webbing belt snugged up nice and tight to keep everything in place, preventing the shorts from becoming similar to those ridiculous fashion jeans that reveal half of your undercrackers and place the crotch between your knees.
The stiffeners on the pocket-flaps allowed me to easily open and access the contents, as did the grips on the expansion system.

Conclusion
Apeks has come up with a great all-rounder in these Tech Shorts. They can be worn over a drysuit, wetsuit or on their own in warmwater environments and they proved to be supremely practical for nearly every variety of diving I do.
For an underwater photographer they are brilliant. The ease of access alone was a distinct advantage over clipping or trying to stow the gear in or onto my BC.
The D-ring placement was perfect for securing everything with piston-clips, and the way the expansion system enabled the pockets to be compressed and reduce drag was highly advantageous.
It’s the simple ideas that work best, as these shorts show. They’re also black, sexy (well, kind of), functional and I liked them. Actually, I liked them a lot.

PRICES £80, £87 for size XXL
MATERIALS 1.5mm neoprene, ballistic Nylon
POCKETS Two, cargo, expandable system
CLOSURES Hook-and-loop (Velcro)
COLOUR All-black, silver livery
SIZES S, M, L, XL, XXL
CONTACT www.apeks.co.uk
DIVER GUIDE 10/10