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Octopus vs. Air Source Inflators
MonkeyDiver - 12/02/2008 10:52 PM
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Category: Equipment
Comments: 4
Hi Folks,
The following question was posted in the Survey section, and it prompted me to expand a bit on the subject: "Do you feel that the regulator/inflator combination is efficient enough to replace the octo. for a true distressed diver emergency situation and who is wanting up and out asap ?? I’ll leave it at that and let you decide." First of all an Air Source Inflator is a great piece of gear, but like any other piece of equipment both the user and the buddy should be fully knowledgeable and practiced in its use. For personal diving I use an Air Source Inflator because I like one less hose. With students, however, I add an octopus to my system because it is easier and more comfortable for skills practice. The following is a list of things that should be considered when using an Air Source Inflator and they are not necessarily in priority order:
  1. The Air Source Inflator is used by the air provider not the OOA diver, and the primary second stage is given to the OOA diver.
  2. When using an Air Source Inflator the primary second stage hose should be replaced with one at least as long as an octopus hose or difficulty will occur when sharing air.
  3. It is more difficult to release BC air while ascending with an Air Source Inflator in your mouth (same hose), and an uncontrolled ascent could occur if not careful. This skill should be practiced until mastered.
  4. An Air Source Inflator is more delicate and requires better care and feeding than a BC inflator hose, but following the manufactures instructions should be adequate.
So there you have a few things to ponder if you are thinking about getting an Air Source Inflator, but the real issue is not which type of equipment is better, but whether you and your buddy are familiar and practiced with all your equipment and safety skills. If you ask most divers when was the last time they practiced sharing air or doing an ESA they will say during their certification training, and that just isn’t safe. Those skills should be practiced on a regular basis to enhance confidence and proficiency, and every time new equipment or buddies are introduced into the mixture.



Paco103 - 12/08/2008 12:18 AM
I also have the AquaLung Airsource 3, however I opted to keep my octopus as well instead of the trade up. I typically use just the Airsource, however if I was doing anything very deep or risky, I would add the octopus as well. I find it uncomfortable to use and not as smooth at delivering air as a normal octo, and it also breathes slightly wet (I’ve already done an exchange, they both had this problem).

One comment about the quick disconnect, while this could be used to detach it for more comfort while using, this would completely incapacitate the air bladder of the BC as the valves exist on the disconnected portion. The disconnect is intended to allow you to store the regulator/valve portion with your regulators instead of with the BC for added protection. This also makes it impossible to store the BC with air in the bladder, since it can’t be sealed without the regulator attached. The quick shutoff valve also cuts off air to the regulator, not just to the BC.
Indiana - 12/05/2008 7:24 PM

I never used one myself.But I think you are compounding a problem.If someone runs out air keep it as simple as possible.
SoCal_Kevin - 12/03/2008 5:34 PM
I use the Aqualung Airsource 3. It has a feature that others do not. There is a quick disconnect halfway up the BC hose (NOT the LP inflation hose attached to the first stage). This allows the OOA diver to use the regulator without the limitations of the BC hose. It also allows the BC to vent air without any action performed by either divers. There is also an emergency shutoff where the LP hose attached to the secondary regulator giving the diver an opportunity to shut off an air free flow without disconnecting the LP hose.
Pixel - 12/03/2008 6:15 AM
I don’t like the combo. My buddy has one and i tried it out one day and it’s not nice. It’s uncomfortable for both divers and as you said, it makes it difficult to inflate/deflate the bc. Not to mention the risk of getting knocked in the face on the way up as the person is reaching to inflat/deflate the bc.

I have an airtrim bc, but even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t feel comfortable in an emergency situation with someone’s mouth attached to the thing that has to help get us up. I’m way to controlling for that. lol :P