Appeared in DIVER April 2007

OCEANIC Isla - £308
An Isla was included in our BC review of 2000. It was not then sold specifically for women, but it seems that female buyers took to it so much that Oceanic saw a marketing edge. Key to the design is the way in which the point at which the straps support the front can be adjusted using buckles that slide along a horizontal axis between back and front. This pushes the straps well round to the sides if desired.
It was comfy on the shoulders. Its corrugated hose is rather too short but has a nice inflator button. This BC inflates evenly around the body.
I floated completely upright, but very low in the water. My arms felt free.
The Isla is well-shaped because it inflates all the way round. The pockets are a bit high but easy to get to. The toggle of the dump valve at the bottom rear right is located at the front, which is convenient for a head-first descent.
Overall, comfort is very good, with comfortable framing for the bust. It was difficult to unzip the pockets - they are similar to those of a waistcoat. They are not very big, and very shallow, but nothing gets caught in them.
The integrated-weights pouches are very secure, but not easy to re-install when the BC is deflated. A buddy would find it easy to do for you, but its tricky to do it on your own. There was no quick dump at the top. The direct-feed is very controllable, with good ergonomics.

Dry weight: 3.2kg
Max. lift: 10kg
Ride height: 5cm
Sizes: XSS-LXL

Divernet Divernet Divernet Divernet