Most of my tech diving buddies are now diving rebreathers, and I’ve been tempted by them for a couple of years now. You can make some serious dives with a lot less bulk and weight, the systems blend gas based on your partial pressure of oxygen, giving you an optimum blend at all depths. They are compact, making them easy to travel with, and because they use so much less gas than conventional scuba, the need for a large-scale gas blending operation on the boat or at home is virtually eliminated.
All these advantages, combined with the fact that they are just plain cool, finally convinced me to get one ordered and schedule the training. The only question that remained was which one to buy. I narrowed the choice down the three units.
I had direct experience with all of these units except the PRISM Topaz, but I had been hearing some convincing reports coming back from DEMA 2005, so I decided to include it in my product evaluation. Most of my friends are diving the Megalodon. They have all given it high praise, and recommended it strongly. For my part, I have always been very impressed with the quality of materials and workmanship on the Meg. The Inspiration was included mostly because of its wide distribution and the availability of zoomy electronics packages like the Hammer Head and Vision.
Since I was largely unable to find any literature comparing the benefits and drawbacks to these units, I needed to do a lot of research on each of them to make an educated decision on which one was right for my needs. With the hope that it will be useful to others, and am publishing my product evaluation in a five-part featured series. Remember that rebreathers are not right for all divers, and no single rebreather can meet the needs of all rebreather divers. I made my decision based on my needs and the type of diving I do.
The links below will become active as each part to the series is published.