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Rebreathers for short divers

Discussion in 'Rebreather Diving' started by shoredivr, Dec 19, 2019.

  1. shoredivr

    shoredivr Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ontario
    In considering the pros and cons of rebreathers, and specific rebreather models, here’s another question I haven’t seen answered. I’m 5’3”.

    What’s the lightest and shortest height rebreather? Up until now I’d have thought the rEvo micro would fit the bill.

    Someone mentioned optional short rebreather bodies on another thread.

  2. grantctobin

    grantctobin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicago
    How tall are you? Is that the concern relative to the length of the rebreather?

    KISS Spirit or a chest-mount Triton would be two others to add to the list.
    shoredivr likes this.
  3. Vicko

    Vicko Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Croatia
    Something thats not only short but also ballanced, if it's tail heavy it will be harder for you to trim it out.

    Pathfinder, revo micro, short can units...
    shoredivr likes this.
  4. davehicks

    davehicks Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Seattle
    +1 for KISS Spirit LTE. Several women I know who are around that height are using it. Small and light weight unit.
    shoredivr likes this.
  5. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    I know a gal who is 5’2” who dives a Dive Rite Optima.
    shoredivr likes this.
  6. kierentec

    kierentec Captain

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs, FL; Tulum, Mexico
    Overall size is not the critical aspect. You want to see which is most comfortable in the water. Trim, balance, work of breathing, and loop comfort are far more critical and are rarely dependent on the length of the unit. These areas, along with all of the other pros/cons of different units should be considered first before looking at the size of it. A super small rebreather that is horribly uncomfortable to dive, or that doesn’t meet your needs as a diver, is not the answer just because you yourself are small.

    Only way to know for sure is to spend some quality time on a few with a patient instructor who is willing to put in the time to make sure everything is adjusted properly for a try dive. Pick a couple units that check the boxes for design/features you are looking for, them reach out to some instructors and see what you can set up.

    Good luck in your search :)
    shoredivr and DiveTucson like this.
  7. OceanEyes

    OceanEyes PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Hollywood, Florida
    Overall, I agree with @kierentec

    Much as I read about try dives, it is not always easy to arrange such experiences. Even where I live in SE Florida, the chances I’ve had to try different units are few. I’d love to try a Defender, SF2, Liberty, JJ, and lord knows what.

    With that in mind, and considering the OP’s question about size and weight, I’ll have to suggest +1 for the ISC Pathfinder.

    Not including myself, I’ve got 4 local acquaintances who dive this unit, the shortest is a 5’5” tall woman. All of us mount a pair of 2 liter steel cylinders, but you could save a small bit of weight by mounting 13’ aluminums, but that will probably make the unit’s trim bottom heavy.

    It’s not terribly heavy. I just tried to visit the ISC website to see what they state as the unit’s ready to dive weight, but the site is not currently loading on my computer. I’ll guesstimate that it’s about 40 pounds.

    You’ll most likely do your initial training and then spend many hours using air dil*. (*I read the OP’s profile and note that he or she already has AN/DP and Helitrox certs, so may be able to combine Mod 1 & 2. I’m not aware of each agency’s prerequisites.) Until you get involved in long deco scenarios, and proceeding to adding helium, you can get by using an ALU 40 for bail-out. You’ll also be carrying a hefty reel and a sturdy lift bag or SMB. Once you get involved in trimix, you’ll add at least one more bail-out cylinder, (perhaps 80’s), another reel, and another SMB. So the weight of the CCR will remain constant, but your ancillary gear will gradually increase. This will become something to consider before you waddle along the shore as you approach your entry point, or stagger on a pitching boat deck only your way to splash down.

    BTW, hi Jon. We met some years ago aboard the Cayman Aggressor when you and you partner were guests of one of your students. I’m the lunatic photographer with the interesting hair style. Last time we spoke was over the phone when I called your old office as my son, (chip off the old block,) managed to lose his Nitrox card. Trust all’s good with you.
    shoredivr and kierentec like this.
  8. RainPilot

    RainPilot CCR Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
    The Poseidon is pretty short all told, shorter than an AL80 for sure and can be configured to be the same height as an AL63 with a little thought.
    shoredivr likes this.
  9. Divetech Cayman

    Divetech Cayman Nassau Grouper

    Hi shoredivr,

    If you've not already done so, visit out latest blog on the topic. How to pick your first rebreather.

    That said, the KISS Orca Spirit LTE is most compact and lightest unit that I have personally seen. Rigged for diving, it weights about 38 lbs. We have several smaller female staff members here who dive them and love them.

    This is one of our instructors, Sonya, who is about 5'2" and all of 120 lbs soaking wet with her KISS OS LTE.

    I've been in the rebreather business for 13 years, and I've owned and been certified on many units, and I've never found one that trims out as well as the KISS OS LTE.


    shoredivr likes this.
  10. shoredivr

    shoredivr Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ontario
    I see Shearwaters on the ISC website, that’s a vote of confidence. Thanks to all for the replies

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