Oceanic's new Air XS combines the best attributes of the company's popular Slimline Octopus with its Alliance power inflator. The well designed result offers high performance and good looks and allows the diver to streamline his/her profile without sacrificing safety. And, streamlining in any dive environment is of utmost importance today.
The Air XS presents a sleek, low profile in the water. The second stage is flat and the purge button is large. The mouthpiece is full sized and has bite tabs that seat it comfortably in the mouth. The power inflator button is large and conscientiously placed for ease of use. The power inflation and second stage (octopus) functions can be used simultaneously. Dumping air works exactly the same as with most power inflators: tug on the flexible, corrugated hose to activate the shoulder dump/overinflation valve or hold the hose above your head and depress the button at the end of the hose. The low pressure (LP) airhose is kept snug against the corrugated hose with a nifty hose guide.
In use, the Air XS purged well and breathed as easily as other octopus regulators. The inflation and purge buttons were easily distinguishable and simple to use.
There is a principle in diving called the Triangle of Safety. This teaches us to keep our primary second stage, octopus and BC inflator all within as small and quickly accessible triangle in front of our body as possible. Properly positioned, each of the items can be found easily in an emergency. With the Air XS, this triangle is replaced with a short line - point A (primary regulator) and point B (Air XS second stage octopus). With this type of setup, a diver can give his/her primary second stage to the other diver and breathe from the second stage octopus during an out of air/equipment emergency. The advantage is there is no searching for or releasing an octopus from an octopus keeper. Your primary first stage is readily available (in your mouth) to hand over and the octopus is inches from your mouth, integrated into your inflator hose and in an extremely familiar, often used position. In an emergency, this simple, ready for action system could save precious time.
Streamlined, simple and efficient - three attributes that make diving safer and more enjoyable. The Air XS brings these three attributes to your comfort zone where it matters most: in the water.
The complete Air XS is available with 14, 16, 18 or 20 inch hoses and retails for $219.95; without the hose and shoulder fitting, the cost is $169.95. It comes in black/blue and can be attached to any existing Oceanic BC, or may be purchased already installed on a new Oceanic BC.
For more information on the Air XS or other Oceanic products, call (510) 562-0500; fax (510) 569-5404.
Source Citation:Sawyer, Ty. "Oceanic Air XS." Skin Diver 47.n10 (Oct 1998): 36(1). General OneFile. Gale. Alachua County Library District. 19 Oct. 2009
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