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Aeris 5 Oceans Buoyancy Compensator Review

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Aeris are a well-established provider of diving equipment for all occasions and have several well performing buoyancy compensators on the market. Dual purpose BCs are becoming ever more popular, especially with travelers who like to flat pack for a trip to tropical waters and Aeris’ offering to this growing market is the 5 Oceans – a BC that aims to perform just as well in the Great Lakes as it does in the Great Barrier Reef.

Comfort and fit

Dual purpose BCs are much more minimalist in their approach than their general purpose counterparts and this is clear to see with the Aeris 5 Oceans. This BC does a great job of keeping a low profile despite a back-buoyancy rear air cell that is made up of BioFlex and bungee cords. Although it might not appear as if it is able to, the 5 Oceans BC still allows for a good 40lbs of lift.

Aeris claim to manufacturer products that “enhance, not hinder the joy and exhilaration of diving” and stick to their words with this BC, which expertly combines comfort of freedom of movement with durability and performance. A comfortable fit is pretty much guaranteed with this BC thanks to the adjustable located on the shoulders, waist and sternum, the latter of which is dual adjustable. The ability to alter the straps to suit provides excellent benefits when travelling further underwater as the BC can be pulled in for a snug fit.

Aeris’ QLR integrated weight system has been designed with sectionalized pouches to accommodate ballast loads (up to 20 lbs) for warm water. At the same time, the rear trim pouches – which can hold 10 lbs – will help for cold water diving. The weight pouches are very easy to load and release and Aeris’ “positive lock” system will ensure that weight is prevented from moving around during the dive.

At just 7.5 lbs, the 5 Oceans is extremely lightweight and robust carry handle for transportation.

Features

As a dual-purpose BC, the 5 Oceans is not as feature-heavy as some of the general purpose models out there; however, it still comes with pretty much everything you need. There is a nice drop-down pocket on the right-side of the rig which has an easy to use zipper and is surprisingly roomy, giving decent space for accessories. There are few well-placed D-rings for lanyard attachment, as well as the usual hose clips, webbing loops and grommets, all of which come in useful. A carabiner is also a nice addition to the BC; I know you can easily go out and pick one up from any hardware store, but to have one already on the shoulder strap was pleasing to see.

The tank positioning strap is very simple and does the job that it is required to do, as does the power inflation/deflation with its lower pull-dump control.

Performance

With a dual-purpose BC, you want something that fits as easily over thick wetsuits as it does dry-suits, and this is exactly what the 5 Oceans does. Once on, the Aeris BC offers an excellent fit and with “winging” of the air cell prevented by the BioFlex bladder, it is very easy to forget you are actually wearing the BC during a dive. The Velcro back-up pouch that was on early Aeris BCs has now been removed leaving one of the best weight systems on the market which can be loaded and ditch will minimal effort.

Verdict

Those looking for a dual-purpose BC that is a jack-of-all-trades will be well served by the Aeris 5 Oceans. The BC is lightweight and compact for travelling and offers enough weight capacity for a local dive. Probably the best dual-purpose in its class.



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