X-Deep Ghost in use, with a completely clear front and streamlined minimalist design.
Donning the wing is simple, but because the waist-belt attaches to a separate place on the backplate to the shoulder-straps it paid to take a moment to open out the waist-straps before sliding into the shoulder-straps.
There’s a substantial crotch-strap to collect, then you thread the waistband through the crotch-strap loop and fasten using a heavyweight stainless-steel buckle. That buckle wasn’t going to come undone by accident, that’s all I’m saying.
A rubber loop on the buckle side of the waistband keeps the long end under control.
Incidentally, the crotch-strap loop turned out to be perfect to thread contents gauges through to keep them tidy.
Once you’re in, the inflator corrugated hose seems quite short, but the loop of bungee on the left shoulder kept it where it needed to be, out of sight but easily to hand.
Out of the water, the harness spread the weight comfortably on my shoulders, and in the water the Ghost was just peachy to dive with a single cylinder.
The bladder filled slowly and controllably and the whole outfit seemed to have a magnetic attraction to a solid horizontal trim, which meant it passed my “have I stopped thinking about the kit?” test in seconds.
The harness didn’t move when I changed orientation, and the cylinder always felt solidly in place on my back. Head up, down, inverted – none of it made the Ghost shift from where it was intended to sit.
Dumping gas was easy enough, but I think the rear dump could be positioned closer to the bottom or edge of the bladder. I found that I needed to squirm around a bit to get air out of the bottom dump, and ended up dumping from the inflator hose.
That can flood the bladder over time, but after a full week’s diving there was no more than a teaspoon of water in the BC when I emptied it out before hanging it up to dry.
I’m also not sure about putting both dumps on the left side of the BC, because that means you have to use your left hand to dump. Sometimes it’s better to be able to use the hand that’s currently unoccupied rather than having to switch hands.
X-Deep Ghost shoulder D-ring and power inflator
Clipping on stages was easy, and with ally stages there was no change in trim. The cranked shoulder D-rings were useful, and the waistband D-rings easy to find.
The extra load didn’t twist the harness or cause the shoulder-straps to move, in water or out, one stage or two.
On the surface post-dive I had no problem staying comfortable and face up while waiting to be picked up, and it was easy to unclip and pass up extra cylinders, so the boat-guy had only a single bottle to pull into the boat at any one time, something I’m sure was appreciated.
I tended to pull the BC up and over my head rather than unclip the buckles when recovering to a RIB, and undid the buckles later. It was nice to have the option.
Have I mentioned that the X-Deep Ghost weighs only 2.3kg dry? That made packing less traumatic than it can be.