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BC ZEAGLE HALO

Appeared in DIVER December 2016
I HAVEN'T HAD MY HANDS ON A JACKET-STYLE buoyancy compensator for what seems like ages. The last two BCs to pass through our test lab were metal back-plated technical wings, so I was delighted when Zeagle's UK Sales Manager Justin Hanning sent me his one and only sample to put through its paces for a DIVER Test exclusive.
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FINS APEKS RK3

Appeared in DIVER December 2016
IN MY EXPERIENCE THERE ARE FIN DESIGNS that have stood the test of time and there are some hi-tec models that seem to arrive on the scene with a flurry of hype, only to fade into insignificance soon afterwards.
The example tested this month is of a design that's the former. Originating nearly 50 years ago for use by the US Navy special warfare teams, the pattern has been meticulously recreated in the UK by technical dive-gear maker Apeks.
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DIVE-light Metalsub XRE510

Appeared in DIVER November 2016
I think my addictive nature has found a new genre of dive-gear on which to fixate - dive-torches. The marketplace seems to be flooded with them, so much so that choosing the right model for your specific needs could be mindboggling.
There are Swiss Army-type torches with more functions than you can wag a stick at, or single-mode models designed simply to provide illumination. The XRE510 from Metalsub does the latter but with a few extras thrown in.
I've been taking one under water over the past few months to see if it cuts through the darkness.
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Regulator SEAC D-Synchro

Appeared in DIVER November 2016
It’s been brought to my attention that recent regulator tests have focused almost entirely on top-end models, some carrying eye-watering price tags.
So, in the interests of balance, I've been under water with a set of regulators classed as entry-level and with a price tag that's unlikely to make you cry as you hand over your cash. The D-Synchro comes from Italian maker Seac.
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KNIFE Aqua Lung Argonaut Blunt

Appeared in DIVER November 2016
THE WELL-DOCUMENTED INCREASE IN knife use by criminals has made them a bit of a hot issue for divers, especially for those who travel abroad to enjoy their underwater time. Few seem to pack a knife at all, while some prefer a pair of shears or one of the many designs of dedicated line-cutter.
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BC System X-Deep Zeos38

Appeared in DIVER November 2016
LAST MONTH I REVIEWED A WING-STYLE BC with a horseshoe-shaped air-cell, alloy backplate and single-strap DIR harness designed for twin-tank set-ups. This month it’s the turn of a recreational single-tank wing system with a doughnut-style air-cell, stainless-steel metalwork and DIR harness. It’s the Zeos38 from Polish gear-maker X-Deep.
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Light Ammonite LED Stingray Rechargeable (Deluxe Set)

Appeared in DIVER October 2016
LAST YEAR WE CONDUCTED A GROUP TEST OF 25 DIVE-LIGHTS (Who's That Stumblin’ in the Dark?, October). I remember finding the marketplace awash with high-quality, high-output, multi-functional lights yet, surprisingly, single-purpose torches for underwater use were thin on the ground.
The situation has changed little since then. Light designers and makers seem seduced by all that LED technology available to them, and appear intent on cramming as many functions as they can into a single package.
So it was a breath of fresh air when UK distributor Blue Orb sent me its rechargeable Ammonite Stingray torch to test and review.
It has one function and one function only, to supply a white light in a single beam. I've been taking it under water for a few months to “well and truly” test it.
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FINS Atomic Aquatics X1 BladeFin

Appeared in DIVER October 2016
TO ACHIEVE THE BEST BALANCE BETWEEN performance, comfort and fit from fins, it's wise to pick carefully. What’s good for one diver may prove unsuitable for another but, fear not, in the world of underwater propulsion we have plenty of styles, designs and sizes from which to choose.
There are ultra-stiff, super-soft, long or short, split or blade, lightweight or heavy, full-foot and strap versions on the market, and they come in virtually every colour under the sun.
The most popular choice seems to be soft-bladed fins that require little effort to get the diver from A to B, but these easy-going fins might not cut the mustard in more demanding situations.
Rigid fins are often seen as the possible solution. Atomic Aquatics has added just such a pair to its line-up - the new X1 BladeFins.
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MASKS CRESSI AIR CRYSTAL / TUSA Freedom Tri-Quest

Appeared in DIVER October 2016
NOW HERE’S A FIRST FOR ME, A REVIEW OF NOT ONE BUT TWO masks in the same DIVER Tests. My well-documented mask addiction is taking a double hit. Ooh, I’m feeling a little faint!
The...

TEC UNIT MARES XR

Appeared in DIVER September 2016
IT'S NOT OFTEN THAT I GET the chance to dive with a twin-tank set-up nowadays. The usual location would be in UK waters, but over the past few years my ventures to the South Coast have be...

COMPUTER RATIO IX3M Tech+

Appeared in DIVER September 2016
IN MARCH WE REVIEWED A WRISTWATCH-STYLE dive-computer packed with functions - the iDive Easy, made in Italy by Ratio and distributed in the UK by Liquid Sports.
Now it's the turn of t...

FINS TUSA Imprex Duo

Appeared in DIVER September 2016
DIVE-FINS HAVE ONE JOB TO DO, AND THAT'S TO PROVIDE PROPULSION. It's how this is achieved that scientists and designers have worked on for years.
As the boffins look to find the holy ...

KNIFE TUSA FK-14 Titanium Mini-Knife

Appeared in DIVER August 2016
WHEN I FIRST WENT DIVING, knives were an integral part of my dive-kit, so much so that if I didn't have one strapped to my leg I felt under-dressed, exposed and vulnerable.
In those da...

HOOD Waterproof H1 5/10mm Hi-Vis Polar Evo

Appeared in DIVER August 2016
'ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO WEAR THAT HOOD TODAY? You lightweight!' My buddy’s disparaging remark came as we kitted up for our first dive of the day. I didn't have the bottle to tell him t...

Reel MGE TEC 100

Appeared in DIVER August 2016
I'VE BEEN BUMPING MY GUMS ABOUT the need for divers to carry and use rightly coloured delayed surface marker buoys on all open-water dives; in fact it’s becoming something of a crusade....

Regulator BEUCHAT V-Twin

Appeared in DIVER July 2016
SELF-CONTAINED UNDERWATER BREATHING APPARATUS originated in France - the first commercially successful scuba sets were claimed to be the twin-hose open-circuit units developed by Emile Ga...

RASH GUARD SCUBAPRO 1.5mm Pyroflex

Appeared in DIVER July 2016
IT'S WELL-DOCUMENTED THAT I VERY RARELY get my personal exposure protection right. I suspect I'm not alone in this scenario, but I seem to be the only diver freezing his man-bits off in a...

COMPUTER Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2

Appeared in DIVER July 2016
IN LAST MONTH'S DIVER I reviewed no fewer than 19 dive-computers, representing the current state of the art for these must-have instruments.
In my humble opinion it's no longer a case...

Regulator Scubapro Mk25 EVO T/S600 Titanium

Appeared in DIVER June 2016
In the not-too-distant past, regulator performance was almost a hit-and-miss affair. Some models could leave the user struggling to get a breath at depth, while others over-delivered to t...

Strobe Sea & Sea YS-D2

Appeared in DIVER June 2016
WE KNOW THAT COLOURS DISAPPEAR as we descend through the water column - reds then magentas, oranges and yellows. To restore these colours and record the scene accurately on camera, artifi...