With the Outlaw Aqua Lung broke with all the BC traditions and started from scratch. Result is a BCD which doesn’t look, dive and feel like anything you have ever seen before. The modulair system makes is possible to adjust the Outlaw to your exact size and with it’s ultra low overall weight of only 4 lbs you can even take it on holiday without paying extra on the airport. So is the Aqua Lung Outlaw the BC of your dreams? Well it depends!
Not Ready to Dive From the Box
The first surprise you will get is when you buy the Outlaw, especially when you get it from the internet. The Aqua Lung Outlaw is not assembled and all the parts are packaged separately which actually this is a good thing. Don’t worry though, I’m sure a Aqua Lung retailer would be more then happy to assemble it for you or help you assemble it.
One of the benefits of assembling the Outlaw yourself is that you get a feel for the system. The manual isn’t that clear but its all really easy to do. Both the cummerband and the shoulder straps have a easy connect system which let you click them right in. The bladder is secured with two Velcro fasteners and eventually the tank which keeps it in place during the dive. On the back of the backplate are two open slots for optional weight pockets which use the same system. The weight pockets face downwards so be sure to properly mount them before entering the water.
Adjust to taste
Because all parts of the Outlaw can be removed its possible to switch these out for different sizes. So when you decide to buy a dry suit or a cummerband wears out, just buy a new one! No need to replace the whole BC or send it to a tailor to get fixed. This option makes it also possible to adjust the Aqua Lung Outlaw to your taste. 27 different size options are available so we can safely state that there is a BC for every body shape. Even the bladder can be switched out for a 11 lbs variant and thereby replacing the standard 25 lbs variant.
Diving with the Outlaw
The first thing you’ll notice when putting on the Outlaw is the utter freedom of movement. The small shoulder straps and narrow cummerband hug your body and you will hardly notice them. The back plate has a lot of padding and feels really comfortable as well. Because the Outlaw is a wing type BC the air cell is on your back which means when you inflate the BC you won’t feel the air cell at all.
In the water the Aqua Lung BC immediately puts you in the right diving position. Thanks to the wing design you will be completely level and the position of the weight pockets prevent you from dipping near the hips. The inflator is easy to reach and as with all Aqua Lung BC’s very responsive although it isn’t as good as on the Scubapro X-Black we’ve reviewed before. The dump valves are easy to reach but the one on the shoulder is missing, probably because the shoulder strap can be taken off. All in All the Outlaw is a joy to dive with!
Another thing which is very different is that there are no d-rings on the Outlaw. Instead Aqua Lung made daisy chains all over the BC counting eleven in total. They are made from military grade webbing and strong enough to clip anything on them. You also get a carabiner hook and a plastic octopus holder with the Outlaw. These are however cheaply made and especially the octopus holder isn’t very practical.
Not Without Downsides
Even tough the Outlaw is revolutionary there are still some improvements which can make it even better. When you get the optional weightpockets, you get the excellent Sure Lock 2 system. These guarantee that the pockets will stay firmly in there place during your dive but are still a bit on the narrow side. Getting large weights in is still a problem especially when your on holiday where big hard weights are the standard. Also because you can switch the bladder for a smaller variant the back of it has no protection at all. Therefore make it prone to damage by the tank rubbing against it.
Is the Aqua Lung Outlaw Worth a Buy?
Yes but with a big but! The Aqua Lung Outlaw is without a doubt a revolutionary new BC which takes the concept to a new level. The options to customize the fit are never seen before and I truly believe there is a perfectly fitting Outlaw out there for everybody. The diving characteristics are great as is the freedom of movement. If you are an instructor the Outlaw may be less attractive tough, the wing design will push you face first in the water on the surface. Also there are no cargo pockets and the placement of the weightpockets is different and may make it difficult to demonstrate certain skills.