I’ve been a fan of the integrated octo/inflator for years. I purchased a Tusa Duo Air the year they hit the market and have been more than pleased with it for many years. With my recent purchase of a new Zeagle bcd I had every intention of moving my tried and true piece of gear over to my new bcd. Why not? I’m ultimately cheap at heart and hate to spend money. It’d really take something special to make me spend money where I didn’t feel it was needed. The old octo/inflator still works and I keep it serviced and working perfectly. Parts are still readily available and there just doesn’t seem to be a need or reason to change.
As happens with the best of us, my curiosity got the best of me and I took a glance at the new octo/inflators. Not expecting to see much of a change in them, I was quickly surprised to see that many are much more streamlined and smaller than my good OLD Duo Air. Yet another had added a surface signaling horn to their model. And then I found the new offering from Zeagle. The Octo-Z Breathable Inflator has been around for a while, but its recent changes in design have made it a little more streamline but still allow it to fit comfortably in your hand with logical button placement for inflation and deflation of your bcd. It has an easy to find purge right on the end of the unit, just like I was already accustomed to, that allows it to be protected from accidently being pushed during a dive.
But the best discovery was yet to come! Zeagle has added a nice touch by making the end of the corrugated hoses on their bcds with a female hose thread connections, and the Octo-Z with male hose thread connections. This serves 2 purposes. First, it’s easy to install. If you can connect a garden hose to a spigot, you can connect your octo/inflator to your bcd. But it also makes rinsing your bcd correctly and thoroughly a snap! Simply screw on a garden hose and turn it on! No more pressing the inflator to the hose while holding the deflate button and getting as much water on you as inside your bc. Zeagle also includes a screw on adapter that allows the unit to be used with any other bcd equipped with the standard sized corrugated hose.
In the end, how can I resist? Well designed, convenient and priced right, I’m looking forward to many years of happy use.