The new arrival this month is the Aqualung Outlaw, a back-inflation BCD with an interchangeable bladder (12lbs or 25lbs capacity) that has to be one of the lightest and most-minimalistic BCDs on the market. The fit can be tailored exactly to your build, and the Modlock connectors allow up to 27 different size configurations using interchangeable shoulder and waist strap components. It has four soft webbed D-rings, a plastic karabiner on the shoulder and a lower right pull dump. The Griplock tank band holds your cylinder secure, and this then forms a rigid ‘back’ to the BCD once it is locked in place. Optional extras include Surelock II integrated weights and trim weights.
The back-to-basics Outlaw wing-style BCD got its first outing in Iceland, and with the optional Surelock II integrated weight pouches fitted, it made the perfect travel companion. It packs up extremely small, weighs next to nothing, but is robustly constructed and feels very durable. Time will tell how it holds up to diver abuse, but at the moment it is all looking very good
The Outlaw may be aimed more at traveling divers, thanks to its extreme light weight and haw compact it can be packed up – especially if you take it apart – but as we have found out, it is more than at home in colder waters too. It has now been to Iceland and in UK waters, and it handles drysuit diving admirably. We just love the stripped-back, uncluttered styling.
The Outlaw has got a few more dives logged on it now, and I am still liking the minimalistic styling and uncluttered strap arrangement. The vertically integrated weight pockets work a treat and sit nicely out of your way nestled on either side of your cylinder, but equally, are easy to get hold of and remove should the need arise. A big thumbs up from me so far.
While the Outlaw is designed as a minimalistic, lightweight wing that is easy to pack – thus appealing to traveling divers – it is proving more than capable of handling hardcore cold-water diving conditions. And I appreciate the stripped-back nature of the Outlaw even more when in a bulky drysuit that already makes you feel cumbersome underwater.
The Aqua Lung Outlaw has seen all of its testing dives so far conducted right in the UK or on our long-weekend trip to Iceland. It has coped admirably with cold-water diving and all that that entails – drysuits, additional weight, etc – but it will be interesting to see the Outlaw in its natural environment, warmer waters where the diver is in a wetsuit, carrying less weight and able to really appreciate the stripped-back design of the BCD. I do like how it packs down to virtually nothing, which will be useful in the face of ever-decreasing weight allowances!
One of the neat features of the Outlaw – and its bigger brother the Rogue – is the way the shoulder straps and the waist straps attach to the backplate. A unique clip arrangement means that fixing a strap-on is simply a matter of pushing it into place. The swiveling clip then holds it robustly in place, and the only way to get it off is to employ the use of a tool – or a handy spoon – to release the clip.
There are numerous benefits, but the two I want to highlight are one, when you need to pack it up as small as possible, it can be really compact when all the straps are removed, and two, if you need a larger shoulder or waist straps, you can swap them out quickly and easily.
The Outlaw has been clocking up some more UK diving, and I am still pleasantly surprised at how well such a small, compact back-inflate BCD handles cold-water diving and all the paraphernalia that comes with it.
It is in its element in warm waters, for sure but it is more than capable of putting in a good show when teamed up with a drysuit – and the additional weight requirements that come with that.
However, while being very stripped back, it still retains the nifty Aqua Lung camband clamp, which stops in this position before locking home to prevent trapped fingers – very neat and effective.
The Outlaw might be able to handle cold-water conditions – through the slightly larger Rogue with non-dumpable trim pockets as well as integrated weights is a better option – but it is truly at home in warmer conditions. It headed out to Spain and also to Fiji, and its stripped back nature comes into its own. You just don’t feel cumbersome or bulky at all, you have nothing around the front of you, and even the integrated weights are tucked away behind you, though they fall easily to hand when you need to dump them. The low-profile pull dump is also efficient, and rapidly gets rid of any air in the bladder when you are in a trim position or heading downwards.
I have been very impressed with the Outlaw. I normally dived a stripped-back, minimalistic wing-and-harness combo, and so this was exactly my style.
With integrated weight pockets neatly slotted behind you, either side of the cylinder tucked under the bladder, your front is totally uncluttered, and it just feels so slick in the water. There are plenty of webbing D-rings if you do want to attach a camera lanyard, etc, but otherwise, you can just revel in how streamlined you feel on a dive. Great unit for the UK and abroad.
- Back Inflation BCD with an interchangeable bladder available in 12lbs & 25lbs lift capacities
- No pockets, no steel D-rings, no un-necessary backpacks
- Interchangeable shoulder & waist strap components
- Create 27 possible sizes for the perfect fit
- Webbed daisy chain, often found on military gear, provides multiple attachment points for accessories
- Standard carabineer that can be mounted on either right or left shoulder strap
- GripLock™ tank band – Patent pending Finger-Saver feature and macro presets create an easy and safe solution for securing a cylinder to a BC
- A bladder retraction system pulls in the sides of the bladder during deflation keeping the unit streamlined and reducing drag
- Adjustable chest strap for personalized comfort
- Features 4 webbed D-rings for streamlined accessory attachment
- Lower right pull dump provides an additional dumping option
- SureLock II™ Weight System – allows you to easily insert the weight pouch and an audible “click” lets you know the weights are secure in the BC. Once engaged, the weights can be released with a firm pull of the handle
- Trim pockets (5lbs/2.25kg)
- Aqua Lung Outlaw – RRP – $399 USD / £355 GBP / €399 EUR
|Value For Money|
If you are after a stripped-back-to-basics back-inflate BCD, then the Outlaw could be just the ticket. It is lightweight, so ideal for travelling, can be fitted with integrated weight pockets using the tried-and-tested SureLock II system, and because of the modular nature of its construction, you can mix and match sizes for the shoulder and waist straps to get a truly custom fit.