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March 2024    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 50, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Diving the Avelo System

Is the advantage enough?

from the March, 2024 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Avelo System

My wife and I took a two-week trip to Bonaire in mid-December, where we signed up for Avelo training offered by Dive Friends. It was indeed an interesting experience.

The Avelo System is new and innovative diving equipment that allows you to dive differently than with traditional equipment. The tank system, called the Hydrotank, consists of a flexible bladder that holds the gas inside a rigid outer shell. The Hydrotank can hold up to 106 cu. ft. of gas if filled to its rated pressure of 300 bar/4350 psi. The harness, back plate, pump, and battery are called the Jetpack. The system weighs somewhat less than traditional equipment with an AL80 cylinder.

The unique feature is that you don't need a buoyancy compensator. The tank has an internal bladder filled with breathing gas. One controls buoyancy by pushing a button mounted on the tank that pumps water into the cylinder, compressing the air-filled bladder. Their website says that their tank is "buoyant and can become lighter or heavier by using water from its environment. Its operating concept is like a submarine that adds or removes water to maintain neutral buoyancy." There is no compressible/expandable bubble with the Avelo System as there is with a BC, the factor most responsible for changes in buoyancy associated with changes in depth when using a BC.

Bonaire is one of only three destinations (another is on Southern California's Catalina Island, the other is in Sydney, Australia) where they offer training. We took a one-day, two-dive Recreational Avelo Diver (RAD) course, and the following day, we made two additional guided dives. Later in our visit, we rented Avelos for three independent dives, for seven dives total....

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