BC Poseidon Photic NHV
No-nonsense northern with a hint of the east
What is Sweden famous for Cars built like trucks, trucks built like trains, stainless-steel, Freddie Ljungberg and chunky home-assembly furniture. What things from Sweden have in common, save for items bought at IKEA, are that they tend to be expensive. But they are built to last. Some would say they are unbustable!
   In the world of diving, Poseidon regulators have had an unbustable reputation for years, and it would not be wrong to assume that any other product bearing that brand should be similarly strongly made.
  Of course, with our one-world economy, the fact that a brand comes from the icy north of Europe might well disguise the fact that the product is manufactured in the tropical Far East. But wherever it comes from, the Poseidon Photic NHV looks as if it should come from Sweden.
   Its a very conventional BC with few surprises but it does have an integrated-weight system with ditchable pouches each side. These take at least 5kg each and follow an almost conventional format, with overlapping rip-away velcro flaps and toggles.
  Take great care to check that these flaps are closed properly before every dive, because once you get out to sea and they become saturated with salt and sunshine, they can curl and lose their ability to grip.
  This goes for all velcro-flap integrated-weight systems. Trim-weight pockets with pinch-clips at the rear can take extra weight should you need it. Lead stowed here helps a lot when trying to stay comfortable while using an aluminium cylinder running close to empty, and I was able to avoid that floataway-tank sensation.
  There are two tank cambands, so you can be doubly sure not to drop your tank during a dive. They are threaded through a hard backpack. The elasticated harness is similarly threaded so that the buoyancy chamber is an entirely separate unit.
   This does not, however, mean that the jacket inflates away from you. Under water I distinctly felt the air inflate what feels like vertical air-chambers running either side of my back and the attached tank.
ÂÂÂÂ That said, when it was fully inflated at the surface, I was not caught in the expected unbearable hug.
   If the cummerbund is too long, you can easily shorten it by reconnecting the inner ends, which fold back on themselves. There are six large D-rings with three smaller ones along the bottom edges.
   I dont understand the thinking behind the pockets. There are two average-sized side pockets closed by velcro-covered flaps, and as any diver knows, things stored in these will not be 100% secure once inverted during a dive.
   Above these there is access to two self-draining zipped pockets, but they are probably only 5cm deep, and useless for anything I might want to take with me on a dive. Why not simply have two large zipped pockets
   The direct feed neatly integrates with the corrugated hose and this is topped off with a pull-dump valve. The opposite shoulder also has a pull-dump and there is another at the lower back, with its pull-cord neatly threaded through to a toggle at the front. This last proved eminently useful when descending head-down from the surface in a hurry.
   All the fittings look suitably Volvo-like, and large light-reflective patches at the shoulders complete the picture of something that always travels with its lights on.
ÂÂÂÂ I always ask for any sample BC to be sent to me in size M, because although I am tall I have avoided a life-time of fish suppers and brown ale.
   However, this BC in size M was probably a little small for me. I could not have used it conveniently with a bulky drysuit. I used it with a wetsuit without problems, but I might have found size L easier to get into once rigged with a tank and before diving. This hints at product sizing in the Far East rather than in Viking Country.
This BC represents a very conventional approach to design. Things might be expensive in Sweden but the Poseidon Photic NHV is not. It costs a surprisingly good-value £258. What does NHV stand for Northern Hemisphere Version, of course!
  • Poseidon Diving Systems 01420 84300, www.poseidon.se

  • Divernet Divernet
    + Swedish build-quality values


    - Useless zipped pockets

    - Cut more for Ninjas than Vikings