DEMA Show 2011 Day 3 Coverage

Here is a summary of what we saw on day three of the 2011 DEMA Show in Orlando, Florida. We will have end of day coverage throughout the show as well as live tweets and facebook posts during the day.

  • Atomic Aquatics was showing their ARC Technology masks which takes UltraClear masks to the next level. This mask transmits an incredible 98% of available light. Most masks with standard glass only transmit around 86%. Atomic gains this by applying an anti-reflective coating to their high quality ultra-clear lenses.
  • DIve Rite was in a very small booth showing only harnesses and rebreathers. Upon request, the rep did show us the new and inexpensive NITek Q OLED computer. For only $599 msrp it is a fully upgradeable, two-gas Nitrox computer. For $899  you can have additional features which include normoxic and hypoxic Trimix, a digital compass, custom gradient factors and CCR. The computer housing is a an ironclad, mil-spec aluminum case with mineral glass viewing port. The single, color (yellow) OLED display is passive matrix. It is equally bright but looks slightly pixilated when compared to the more pricey active matrix OLED screens of other models. It is a non-air integrated, wrist-mounted computer with a 2×3 inch screen and two push buttons for navigation.
  • Bare was showing their new XCS2 drysuit which stands for Extremely Compressed Stretchable 2 mil. They took their best selling XCS suit and gave it most of the features of their BARE SB system (except the breathability). The suit is made of super compressed 4 way stretchable neoprene. This eliminates the need for the fold-over expansion and crotch strap found in front zip suits. These suits are truly self-donning. Only BARE suits have a lifetime guarantee for the suit even if you sell it or transfer ownership.
  • We had a good look at Surface Marker company’s new “web deployment system.” It was designed to create a safer and simpler process for deploying a Safety Sausage (Surface Marker Buoy) from your Safety Stop depth at 5m (15ft). The webbing creates a no tangle system of a fixed length. The webbing alone has a $39 msrp, but the company strongly recommend you pair it with their deluxe buoy at $85 or the standard model at $69. We will be getting one soon and will report on it from our live-dive testing.
  • We stopped by the National Geographic Snorkeler booth because we were befuddled by the concept. As we now understand, it is not the National Geographic Society, but a for profit company that has purchased a license from, and is selling a wide range of snorkeling gear and 2 mil wetsuits with Nat Geo branding. Their tag line is “National Geographic Snorkeler and Swim line are specifically designed to meet all the needs for the adventurer of water based expeditions.” To us it seems to be branding for the sake of exploiting profit from a good name without adding value. 
  • Our guided tour of the Cressi booth was lead by the dynamic prima GirlDiver, Cindy Ross. Besides the array of stylish products we saw the new Leonardo dive computer, Cressi electronics first offering. This economical wrist computer has big numbers and one button scrolling for only $349. It is also resettable, a feature helpful if used for rental in shops. They also had a 4.7lbs light travel BCD. The light weight is accomplished by removing the detachable weight system from their other travel BC.
  • At Stalsac , while admiring the construction of their high quality bags, we learned a bit about zippers. I asked about the difference between the more common Vislon zippers and the coil zipper that we are starting to see on higher end bags. The rep explained that coil zippers are great for long term reliability and are “self healing” in that you can still use them with a broken tooth. But, you need to keep products with coil zippers clear of salt water or thoroughly clean them of the salt water. If not they can gum up. The wider teeth and gaps on the Vislon zippers do not gum up, but if you lose a tooth the zipper needs to be replaced. We thank Stalsac for the insight.
  • New venture, Dive Logz is offering what they term “deeply cool dive logz.” They are 50 page diver log books with a variety of stylish covers to suit many tastes. The 5.5" x 8" and pre-punched logz books are 3 hole pre-punched so they can be archived in 3-ring binder. They will fit in a PADI dive binder. There is now MSRP but we speculate that they will run around $20 based on the wholesale price.
  • We took a closer look at DiveAlert’s new lighted SMB (safety sausage). It appears to have a string of Christmas style lights inside that are activated by a switch on the base. The shipping date and price is undetermined by the company so we wonder if it may be a vapor-prototype.  We also asked about the Nautilus Lifeline radio, a DEMA show 2010 ScubaGadget best of show winner. They said that it was much delayed, was only available to ship recently and they are scrambling to fill 10,000 back orders. 
  • We saw the new Mares MATRIX wrist computer. While “dot matrix” may be an old term in printers, it is a surprisingly new feature in the sluggish evolution of dive computers. The full dot matrix LCD display allows Mares to display any image on the screen, including large numbers and even and analog clock and graphic profiles. This reporter was impressed despite my tendency to turn up my nose at monochrome LCD dive computers. We also were excited to see… get this… the new Mares bungee fin strap. We and our cold-water diving friends were sad however to learn that they are not yet shipping the product.
  • The owner at Weezle undergarments enlightened me to something I had misunderstood about this product. He said the suit maintains insulation under full compression and does not need the lofting as with other drysuit undergarments. I promised to give one a try soon and let our readers know how it compares with the new super warm undergarments we have been testing recently from Whites (Thermal Fusion) and Fourth Element (Halo 3D).
  • The folks at Manta Industries/High Seas Millwork showed us a 1000 lumen canister dive light with a very economical price or $650.
  • ScubaGadget co-editor Chaela Sumner is flitting about on double duty taking candid shots for X-Ray Mag the international lifestyle magazine for divers.

We will have more news tomorrow and live FaceBook (http://facebook.com/ScubaGadget) andTwitter.com/ScubaGadget throughout the day.