Aqua Lung Balance
The name implies the design philosophy: walking the fine line between performance and weight, comfort and bulk.
Lift comes courtesy of Aqua Lung's rear-mount, three-dimensional bladder design that provides 40 pounds of lift (size L) without impeding diver mobility. This is paired with a triangular load-distribution system that allows the harness to help ease backpack pressure for less back strain in and out of the water. Integrated-weight pockets use the Surelock™ release system for easier loading and unloading. Cargo capacity is handled by a trio of D-rings, numerous accessory attachment grommets and a new drop-down cargo pocket on the diver's right side.
Overall, the fit and feel of the Balance is excellent: It's low profile for packing and streamlined in the water. We like the simple waist buckle (no cummerbund) and the performance of the load-distributing harness. That, combined with some modest padding, negates tank pressure. We also like the nifty drop-down cargo pocket. There's only one, but it deploys easily and opens big. It's way easier to use than the typical roll-down version.