APEKS WSX-25 Sidemount

Pre-Release Review

Apeks are due to soon release the WSX-25 Sidemount BCD and harness.  Early promotional photographs and details of the rig show what may be a very promising and popular sidemount BCD once it reaches the commercial market.

The Apeks wing offers 27lbs / 12 kgs of buoyancy, making it suitable for all recreational and some limited technical diving applications.  It features a two-plate (spine / lumbar) harness with continual webbing.  Sizing is universal as the harness can be greatly adjusted, along with the wing and weight system, via multiple grommets at attachment points.

Apeks WSX-25 sidemount

Photo from Apeks Diving

The Apeks WSX-25 sidemount bladder is constructed from  Armoguard; a very tough material normally used in military and public safety diving products. It is ten times more abrasion resistant than standard Cordura; meaning that the Apeks WSX-25 sidemount is likely to be the toughest sidemount wing on the market.  A good thing for those involved in challenging overhead environment diving, where constant passage through small restrictions inevitably and quickly abrades the sidemount wing.

Apeks WSX-25 Sidemount

Photo: Apeks Diving

The Apeks WSX-25 comes with sliding waist D-Rings as standard.  These are an often sought-after private upgrade by serious sidemount divers; as they allow a more ‘fluid’ and exact approach to attaining proper cylinder trim (as opposed to simply moving cylinders from a back attachment to a forwards attachment).

Apeks WSX-25 sidemount

Photo: Apeks Diving

The Apeks WSX-25 sidemount comes complete with a zippered butt pouch for essential storage. This is the most popular approach for storage with sidemount divers, as thigh pockets are often obstructed by cylinders and/or cause ‘A-frame’ effect pushing the cylinders out and away from the legs.

The sidemount system also includes a spine weight system allowing a total of 18lbs/9k of weight (3x 3kg pockets) to be quickly and easily added or removed from the rig.

 

Apeks WSX-25 sidemount

Photo: Apeks Diving

The Low Pressure Inflator (LPI) can be mounted on either side of the wing, as there are corresponding OPV (over-pressure valve) on the left side.  There is also an OPV at the centre-rear of the wing that is cleverly shielded from abrasion by an overlap of the tough fabric.  The LPI and left-OPV remain exposed to abrasion and damage however….

Overall, this looks like a truly exceptional sidemount system and I am certain it will receive good reviews once it is on full release later in 2015.  I expect it to have a higher retail price-point than some of the other popular sidemount BCDs on the market; but this is, at least, justified by the above-par materials and design-effort that has gone into the system.

I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on one for a trial when they reach the Philippines.

 For more details, see the Apeks Website:  Apeks WSX-25 Sidemount