IST Sports' J-1000 Alpha is a full-featured, all-purpose BC. During ScubaLab's 2010 BC tests, the Alpha earned big points with test divers for its ultra-compact yet responsive power inflator, and its overall valve system. Both provided dependable buoyancy and ascent control.
The Alpha's harness system, which is independent from the air cell, can be cinched snug against the backpack for a personalized fit. The backpack's molded rails that flank the tank provide a stable ride at depth. And the integrated weight system uses double-lock weight pouches that ditch easily. Two large cargo pockets plus a cummerbund mesh pocket offer lots of carrying capacity. Test divers liked the placement of the seven stainless-steel and two delrin D-rings as well as the extra clips for accessories.
Carrying only a little over a pound of inherent buoyancy, the Alpha aced ScubaLab's rigid flow rate tests, with all three of its applicable deflate methods able to stay ahead of a simulated stuck inflation valve.
The bottom line: The Alpha is a solid BC, offering plenty of comfort and exceptional control. It comes in five sizes, with 24 to 44 pounds of buoyant lift.