Apeks is a British success story, winning over famous cave-divers in the early 1980s with its utilitarian side-exhaust Manta reg. Today, its regulators are chosen by many technical divers pushing at the sport’s boundaries.
Apeks has been so successful that it was acquired a few years ago by Aqua Lung, one of diving’s supergroups. It has bought out many specialist equipment firms, to add to its portfolio and give it a huge breadth of design and manufacturing expertise.
Unusually, Apeks has been allowed to keep its own name, rather than being subsumed under the Aqua Lung brand. In its VX1 mask, made in Italy, I suspect we are seeing the results of some cross-division collaboration, possibly with Technisub, Aqua Lung’s mask and fin supplier.
The VX1 is a single-lens mask. As is increasingly common with high-end masks, it’s a frameless design, which reduces weight.
The skirt is made of high-quality silicone and features a double seal. The side-buckles have a simple push-down button for slackening the strap, while pulling on the strap-ends tightens it.
The mask comes with a normal silicone strap already fitted. A wide slotted section cups your crown securely. Also included is a neoprene slap-strap with Velcro fittings, for long hair.
You also get a semi-rigid mask-box with zip closure and a plastic snap-hook for clipping to a dive-luggage D-ring.