BC Ocean Chute 3Straight shooter
 Its a wing-style BC with a large buoyancy bag attached by elasticated webbing and pinch-clips at only four points to a comfortable and very strongly built 1600 denier material harness. The stretchy Bioflex buoyancy cell provides a maximum of 27kg of lift in sizes L and XL, and more than 20kg in sizes S and M.
     There are no bungees, which should please the DIR fanatics. The wing is also sandwiched between the two halves of the hard backpack, which has a soft velvet cushion with extra lumbar padding that would make it comfortable to wear against bare skin. That should please the scuba-nudist brigade.
     There are eight big stainless-steel D-rings and two less-than-capacious pockets, although these are big enough for things like a tightly rolled late-deployment SMB and a spare low-volume mask.
     Detailed touches are the attached but optional handy Spinner 304 stainless-steel knife and the retracting lanyard, which might prove ideal for attaching the pressure-gauge. It will keep it from dangling but allow you to pull it out to read it.
     The Chute 3 functioned without complication. The only dump valve for normal use is the shoulder dump operated by pulling on the corrugated hose.
     It was nice that the elasticated webbing that held the wing to the opposite shoulder also made sure that no unruly bag was allowed to form and trap a pocket of air. There is also a dump at the lower back operated by a short toggle.
     This is the sort of BC that lets you go about your underwater business in an unflamboyant and dignified way. It gave me no unpleasant surprises.
     The best thing about the Chute 3 is the integrated-weight system. Besides the trim-weight pockets (maximum 2kg each) at the back of the harness, the main ditchable weight-pouches are big enough to take at least 7kg each, so that the total all-up weight will be useful to most drysuit divers. They are also unlikely to fall out when you least expect it.
     This is because Oceanic has eschewed the use of Velcro, apart from in keeping the weights within the pouches. The pouches are held within the slots in the BC harness by an Oceanic patented clip, which is rather like a pinch-clip but is released when you pull on the attached toggle. You simply pull the toggle to release and pull away the weight-pouches, and there is no doubt about the way in which they are reinstalled.
     I liked the Oceanic Chute 3 very much indeed. Its cost is invested in high-quality content rather than heaps of cheap features and its strength is in the way it functions.
     My only reservation is that the designers, having created a really sleek item but with little pocket space, decided to build in a drop-down pocket that can otherwise be zipped away.
     I found that when I put anything in this pocket, it bumped against my leg in an irritating manner. So I decided to zip it back away where I found it and stay as streamlined as the Chute 3 allowed me to be.
     There is an optional adapter for those who want to use the Chute 3 with twin tanks, and also an optional crotch strap. The Chute 3 has a lifetime warranty.
The Oceanic Chute 3 is available in sizes S, M, L and XL and costs £447. The optional Spinner knife costs £22.
  • Oceanic SW 01404 891819, www.oceanicuk.com

  • Divernet
    The neat buoyancy bag is attached to the harness at four points only. There are no bungees.
    A Spinner knife is an optional extra
    + Delivers what it promises
    + Good integrated-weight system
    + No unnecessary complications

    - Drop-down pocket irritating once in use