The Aqua Lung i3 System Explained
A few years ago Aqua Lung introduced the i3 inflation system to their premium end BCD’s. The i3 system replaces the standard corrugated hose that hangs over our left hand shoulder that most of us learn to dive with. Instead the i3 system is a neat, streamlined little lever system found on the left hand hip pocket. It is more intuitive then the standard inflator and many divers find it easier to use and control their buoyancy. Good buoyancy control ultimately leads to a more relaxed dive, better air consumption, less stress and is safer.
Unlike a corrugated hose system the i3 system never moves so it is easier to locate and easy to activate. Simply lift the lever up to inflate and press down to deflate the BCD. You can even do this with thick neoprene gloves on.
The best thing for me is that you can deflate facing in any direction; head pointing down, upwards or even sideways. With a traditional deflation system you have to face upright which is counter intuitive if you wish to descend. It also means you can easily deflate if you are swimming through a tight swim-through.
Like standard BCD’s you still have dump valves on the same places if you need to release air urgently, and if you are an Instructor or Divemaster and need to demonstrate the traditional method you can have a standard corrugated hose system fitted too.
We generally find that once people have done a couple of dives to get used to it then they would never turn back to the old system. For new divers I would definitely recommend it! The i3 system is available on the Aqua Lung Soul i3 (women) and Axiom i3 (men) through our online dive shop.