BCD Reviews from people who
use our dive gear for a living...
The AP COMMANDO Escape - Top Performer: 10/10
The company is on to a winner... a single-bag that retains the ruggedness of the classic BUDDY! [now renamed AP Commando] You get just the right amount of gizmos. The backpack with carrying handle works like a dream, as do all the straps and adjustments - it's all classic AP, but lighter...The feature we like most are the enormous pockets. The two main pockets can easily accomodate a delayed SMB and crack bottle, back-up torches, spare mask, small reel, goody bag and more...In the water, it did its job; on the surface it excelled, giving plenty of lift...Excellent value for money."
Rating: Value: 9/10, Performance: 10/10 Overall: Top Performer 10/10
Charles Hood, DIVE Magazine TestZone, UK
...the whole nine yards
The Tekwing delivers the whole nine yards on features and performance...
Diver Magazine, UK - John Bantin
The AP TEKWING
After the first couple of dives, using the wing became second nature, which is exactly what makes a piece of kit good...
DIVE, UK - Charles Hood
Sturdy and dependable...
I have owned my Buddy Commando Slimline stab jacket for over twenty years. In that time it has accompanied me on several thousand dives without any problems. The jacket is sturdy and dependable and has required no attention other than a service at AP Diving every four or five years. I have no hesitation in recommending AP Diving BCDs.
Kevin Camidge, Freelance Maritime Archaeologist and Archaeological Director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Maritime Archaeology Society (CISMAS)
I never dive without it...
SCAPA TO TRUK, 6500+ dives, 25 books and only one BUDDY! Whether it’s a deepie on the S.SMAIDAN or a pootle on the S.S Tukia, from the cold waters of the North east to Truk Lagoon my BUDDY never misses a dive, used abused but trusted ……I never dive without it!
Peter Collings, Professional Photographer, Writer and Wreck Explorer. Founding member of the Red Sea Wreck Academy
The jewel in the crown...
Last summer I was very fortunate to win the Humorous category of the British Underwater Photography Championships in Plymouth and my prize was a Buddy Travelwing stab jacket. Being an old Mares fan for the last twenty years, I had always associated Buddy with those “high-viz” highly durable orange jackets often worn by older members of the diving fraternity. How wrong could I have been? The beautifully-made yellow and black jacket which arrived in the post bore no resemblance to the original Buddy. It has an optional integrated weight system which can be adapted instead to become two large mesh pockets which suited me much better and being a photographer needing to carry various gadgets, they could not be more useful. But the jewel in the crown was yet to come; quite apart from its new good looks, I have never worn a more comfortable jacket.
Joss Woolf - Chairman, The British Society of Underwater Photographers
The AP TRAVELWING - Flawless performance...
If you don't want to use the weight integration then the pouch holders can be opened up to serve instead as two gigantic pockets - it's all very clever. The shoulders and backpack are generously padded, making it comfortable when wearing a thinner wetsuit overseas. The Travelwing received several admiring glances and people on the boat were interested to see how I got on with it. The short answer is that it performed flawlessly. It's evident that AP Valves [now AP Diving] have designed this jacket from the bottom up rather than following a formulaic 'standard' and produced exactly what you would expect from a travel wing style BC. It's not cheap; but it will probably last you a lifetime.
Charles Hood - SCUBA, official magazine of the BSAC, UK
Without exception I always recommend AP...
I have used my BUDDY Commando for over 20 years and have dived all over the world. It is certainly a well-travelled jacket. I have dived extensively in Scotland, the Red Sea, the Canary Islands, Malta and I even took my own kit to dive in America…
I usually dive with a single cylinder but recently diving Scapa Flow I switched to twins and used the AP twinset straps for my BUDDY. As per usual I found no problem at all with the jacket…
I find my BUDDY great when taking trainees in as it feels safe and we do have quite a lot of people using the various AP jackets within the club. When asked by trainees which jackets to buy... without exception I always recommend AP BCDs.
Chris Lamb, SCOTSAC branch officer and regional instructor
This is one BUDDY I can always rely on...
I have been using Buddy Jackets now for over 30 years logging over 7500 dives without a glitch. Scrambling though hundreds of wrecks protecting a camera first puts diving kit to the test. My BUDDY NEVER LET ME DOWN!
After sales service has been second to none. More recently with the stricter baggage allowance the Escape sub three zero, has come into its own - even on deep wrecks with 4 cylinders my accents have equaled my decents.
My work often means I dive alone - but with my BUDDY around me I feel safe and secure. It’s next test will be 65m for 65minutes at 65 - that's my age not the jacket’s!"
How do you celebrate your “ retirement”? the day you start getting your pension? As usual on the 21st Feb 2017 I’m in Truk. So a target at 65m seemed appropriate. The guides at BLDC told me about a Nissan fuel truck lying off the starboard side of the Shotan Maru in 65m. That would do nicely.
As a much travelled wreck photographer baggage is always a problem, well the weight is anyway, so saving even the odd kilo helps. I took my Sub 3 Zero Commando Escape to try out. But could it handle 4 x 12 ltrs cylinders , 6kg of lead and a camera system weighing in at 8kg (on land) and me of course?
Not only did the jacket cope effortlessly it provided me with a very stable and comfortable platform from which to shoot the target. Decluttetring on the deco line was a doddle due to the accessible D rings for the side mounts, allowing me to off gas more comfortably. This is one Buddy I can always rely on. My number one choice of buddy for my “retirement years” 10/10
Peter Collings The Red Sea Wreck Academy – deeplens.com