Well And Truly Tested
Diver|January 2018

MIKE WARD does the honours as a new Apeks regulator hoves into view – and for the rest, it’s all a matter of shedding light, with new products from Mares and Weefine

Mike Ward

APEKS AND REGULATORS ARE SYNONYMOUS as far as many British divers are concerned, a bit like Hoovers and vacuum-cleaners, although wetter. When it comes to technical diving, Apeks almost seems to have made the niche its own.

The instructor on my first technical course loftily informed me that I would be using what he considered to be the finest regs available for technical diving, Apeks, and not the hugely second-rate non-Apeks stuff with which I had arrived. He didn’t actually say that second bit out loud, of course, but it was obvious what he was thinking.

As it turned out, the Apeks regs I used were grand performers and I’d have been quite happy to have owned them, although in all honesty I didn’t think they were any better than my own regs, but then I’m not a test machine, and assessing work of breathing is notoriously difficult without one.

With a reputation like that, the weight of expectation heaped on any new product is enormous, and the brand-spanking-new XL4 has a lot to live up to.

Apeks is not being shy about it, and describes its new regulator as being ideal for cold- or warmwater use, as well as perfect for technical divers intent on keeping the weight of their kit down. That covers pretty much all the bases, as far as I can see.

Apeks sent me its XL4 in Stage 3 kit form for review. This consists of the XL4 DIN fitting first stage plus an XL4 second stage in black and an octopus XL4 second stage in yellow.

You can buy the XL4 with a single second stage or as a Stage 4 kit, which also includes a contents gauge. An A-clamp/yoke fitting version is available.

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