New Aqua Lung BC Stripped to the Bare Bones
Aqua Lung's new Outlaw BCD has been – in their own words – 'designed for the expert diver who appreciates a minimalistic approach to diving', and it certainly lives up to their definition of the BCD as the 'embodiment of diving freedom': it has no pockets, no steel D-rings, and no 'faff'.
The Outlaw is completely modular, with each individual component available and replaceable to suit the diver's personal preference. Separate shoulder straps and waistbands are available in a variety of sizes, all of which connect to a soft, minimal backpack. Aqua Lung's new 'ModLock™' connector system allows the user to select shoulder straps and a waistband in a size that is specific to them, creating up to 27 different configurations for a personalised fit.
Practically speaking what this means is that – as described to DIVE Magazine at a recent gathering of divers in Birmingham, UK – a tall bodybuilder with wide shoulders and a narrow waist can order XL-sized shoulder straps and an M-sized belly strap for the best fit in both areas (although it's more likely to be the other way around).
The ModLock™ connectors, through which the individual components are fitted together, do not require specialist tools to disconnect and can be unfastened using almost anything that fits. A key or pen will do the job, or – as noted on at least two occasions – a spoon from the hotel coffee tray, making it perfect for 'off-grid' diving where tools and other resources might be limited.
The Outlaw has been a garage project of sorts, driven by Aqua Lung’s CEO and Director of Engineering, both of whom are expert divers. Their biggest motivator was achieving a minimalistic approach to buoyancy which would appeal to the most experienced of divers. The design team cut out everything they deemed to be superfluous – or 'all the nonsense' as they describe it – and set off in search of something different.
The result is streamlined and ultra-lightweight modular BCD, the first of its kind and which weighs in at only 1.8kg (4lbs), making it one of the most travel-friendly BCDs on the market. Aqua Lung claims it pairs comfort with function and will attract divers looking for that 'naked' feel, and although it has no pockets and steel D-rings, it does feature soft D-rings and a webbing 'daisy chain' which allows for the connection of accessories. Optional integrated weight pouches and trim pockets are also available
- Back inflation BCD with interchangeable bladder with either 5kg/12lbs or 11kg/25 lbs lift capacities
- Dry weight only 1.8kg/4lbs
- Minimalist design: simple backpack, no pockets or steel D-rings
- Interchangeable shoulder and waist strap components
- ModLockTM connectors for easy disconnection of components without dedicated equipment
- 27 possible size configurations to accommodate different diver physique
- 4 soft webbed D-rings
- Webbed daisy chain for multiple accessory mounting points
- Standard carabineer that can be mounted on either right or left shoulder strap
- GripLock™ tank band – patent pending finger-saver feature and macro presets create an easy and safe solution for securing and detaching a cylinder to a BC
- A bladder retraction system pulls in the sides of the bladder during deflation keeping the unit streamlined and reducing drag
- Magnetic chest strap for personalised comfort
- Lower right pull dump
- SureLock II™ Weight System - allows you to easily insert the weight pouch and an audible “click” lets you know the weights are secure in the BC. Once engaged, the weights can be released with a firm pull of the handle
- Trim pockets (2.25kg/5lbs)