I've never owned a stab jacket, and I've wanted one for a few years. I finally found one in awesome shape, from the first 3 years of production. It came with a 2nd generation AIR2 as well for bonus nachos. Bryan sells kits for these, so I rebuilt it, and took the BCD apart and cleaned it. When I dive modern gear, I'm a dyed in the wool backplate and wing guy, but man is this stab jacket super fun to dive. We did a wreck dive today on tribal land and this stab jacket was like back when I first started diving fun to use. I ran it with a DUI weight harness and a Scubapro 7MM semi-dry suit. At one point, I slipped the BC off, and I had a tiny bit of air in it to make it neutral and I was pushing it in front of me with one finger. What a simple, reliable setup.
I paired it with a 90s Sherwood Maximus. The Maximus came equipped from the factory with a 40" hose and a swivel, so it's perfect to run with an AIR2. I ran my old Suunto Vytec wireless air integrated dive computer with it, so the whole setup only had 2 hoses. It's about a stripped down as you can get for a modern rig.
We had a 1/4-1/2 mile surface swim to and from the wreck site, and that stab jacket feels like a life preserver with a lot of air in it. It made the swim back almost leisurely. I also didn't realize that the way SP engineered the stab jacket it doesn't squeeze you at all when it inflates like a lot of newer jacket BCs do. It inflates outward, which makes it always feel the same size. It's actually quite snug for a jacket, and doesn't roll around on your body when fitted correctly.
I'm not a Scubapro guy, but the stab jacket and AIR2 are officially my jam for fun modern nodecompression diving.
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The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. -JYC