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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

Aeris Atmos LX Scuba BCD Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Aeris Atmos LX Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

Aeris’s Atmos LX is a hyrbid BCD, mixing the air cell design of both back-inflating and jacket-style BCDS. The distribution of air puts just enough buoyancy around the waist of the jacket to improve surface stability, which is an absolute boon for divers with sensitive, sea sickness-prone stomachs. Lift is 46 lbs (20.5 kg) for the biggest Atmos LX size, which is XL. Contoured shoulders, a thick backpad, depth-compensating cummerbund and the chest strap all combine to create for a snug-fitting, comfortable BCD. The Atmos LX also has the carrying handle that one expects from a high-end BCD. The Aeris Atmos LX also has a traditional tank strap and position strap.

Cargo-carrying is where this BCD starts to fail. The pockets are big enough, but they are internal pockets and sandwiched over the integrated weight system. Whenever a manufacturer does this, the result is that the pockets become useless if the integrated weight capability is used, which should be always. However, the Atmos LX has plenty of dedicated and strap-end D-rings for clipping things onto, and sense those are handier, it more than compensates for the lack of internal cargo-capacity.

Weight-integration, however, is another minor letdown. The weight system uses pouches with a curved stiff backing, which is meant to conform to weights which are made for use in integrated weight pouches and to ease loading them into the weight pockets. However, many divers use conventional belt-style weights for the integrated pockets, either out of thriftiness or because conventional scuba weights have more uses than as ballast for the BCD. The stiff backing inevitably causes chafing against the weight pouch’s fabric with a big weight load, reducing the lifetime of that particular part. This is especially the case for the Aeris, since those weight pouches can only store 20 lbs (9 kg) of weights, which is well below the norm for an upper-end BCD. The back trim pockets can store a further 10 lbs (4.5 kg). Furthermore, the unit has two exhaust vents, which is sufficient but not as ample as the more normal three.

Overall, the Aeris Atmos has some lovely features, but also a handful of small problems or potential problems. That makes it a poor bargain, since BCDs without those (admittedly minor) ills can be found for only a little more money.

Average Price: $430