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I just got my hands on a new Aqualung catalog and it prominently lists SeaQuest's new Fusion BC. It is a hybrid between a tradional and a back-inflated BC, kind of like the Mares Morphos and Dragonfly. Pricing is supposedly around $750.
It is probably too soon, but this board has surprised me before: has anyone tried one of these yet?
I've tried one on at a local LDS. It is well built (as most SeaQuest BCs), but it is very bulky and it felt like I was carrying a lightweight chair on my back.
It really is not like a HUB, but more like the Mares Morphos series. I did not dive with it, so I cannot comment on how it behaves in the water. Generally I was not impressed and even if the price were the same I would prefer the Balance or the QD Pro.
I happened to be in an LDS last month as the manager was pitching a full set of gear for an as yet uncertified OW student. After he completed the sale and the almost diver left (about $3000 poorer), he pointed me to this latest & greatest BC- the "Fusion". Not only the most expensive BC in the store but also one that doesn't look easy for a novice diver to use. One palm size inflate/deflate mechanism attached to the left side (like the Mares dragonfly) and a whole bunch of pull dumps. Having never dove something with this type of trigger to add/dump air, I have to wonder how well air dumps unless this trigger was the highest point in the water? If thats the case, you would have to be on your back, face up and hips high. I also shudder to imagine a new diver with all of the task loading inherent, trying to grab the correct pull dump cord. Lastly, SeaQuest calls it a back inflate with side inflation. Isn't that what the average jacket is anyway? This thing looks huge, bulky and stiff just hanging on the wall. Far be it from me to critisise(sp?) the way some people market and sell gear but sometimes I just have to wonder-what are you thinking?
Having never dove something with this type of trigger to add/dump air, I have to wonder how well air dumps unless this trigger was the highest point in the water? If thats the case, you would have to be on your back, face up and hips high. I also shudder to imagine a new diver with all of the task loading inherent, trying to grab the correct pull dump cord. Lastly, SeaQuest calls it a back inflate with side inflation. Isn't that what the average jacket is anyway? This thing looks huge, bulky and stiff just hanging on the wall. Far be it from me to critisise(sp?) the way some people market and sell gear but sometimes I just have to wonder-what are you thinking?
While I have not tried this jacket, I believe it uses the same technique Cressi J series use where all dump valves are opened when you press the dump button. So you orientation doesn't matter.
I use a Mares Morphos and it uses a pneumatic method to dump air, no matter how you are oriented, it will dump. Makes trimming very easy. This makes the fourth company to get rid of the hose to streamline the BC (Mares, Cressi, ScubaPro and SeaQuest).
The reason that they say back inflate with site inflation is that the side sections are small and only help when the jacket is fully inflated. This give you an armchair effect at the surface and stops the face down problem that can result from back inflates. The jacket also inflates away from the body, so no squeeze. The Morphos does the same thing.
The thing that I thought was interesting was how the tank slides into the jacket to further improve streamlining. Way too expensive for my tastes. You can get a Morphos for 1/2 the price of the Fusion.
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I had an opportunity to look a little closer at the dump mechanism. There are pull dumps on both sides at the bottom/rear. Pull a cord and several dump valves elsewhere on the vest open. They are connected to the same cord. The whole thing looks unreliable. Whats wrong with an inflator hose anyway?