Pimp your cylinders with these personal covers.
While always making sure my cylinders are in test, cosmetically they could be described as leaving a lot to be desired.
Transporting them in and out of cars and vans, on and off boats, plus regular shore diving tends to leave its mark and while professional repainting may bring back that ‘as-new’ sheen, it remains an expensive option for what amounts to a temporary facelift.
DIY solutions may seem like the cheapest option but having been down that route myself it’s slightly disheartening when your new paint job gets scuffed the first time you attach your BCD.
While mesh or neoprene covers can forestall the inevitable, decals just end up a sticky mess, so wouldn’t it be great to be able to personalise your tank instead of having just one of an army of yellow look-alikes when collecting from your local dive centre?
Asking those same questions, newly-qualified diver Garedd Strange, founder of ScubaCool designs, realised that by using the same weatherproof PVC-type material commonly used in advertising banners he’d have the means to reproduce any design, logo or photograph.
But there was still the small matter of adhering the design to the cylinder. And this is where ScubaCool seems to have come up trumps – by using shrink-wrap!
So how does it work? Simply measure your cylinder, select a design of your choosing and email the details to Garedd and his team at ScubaCool and you’ll receive your personalised cover in the post a few days later.
Roll your design around the cylinder, slip over the transparent sleeve, and laying the tank on its side, evenly heat the sleeve with a standard hairdryer along its length.
Although it’s possible to affix the designs by yourself it does make life much easier with an extra pair of hands.
Using some recent DIVE cover designs, I attempted to hide a multitude of sins on a trio of my own battered 12l, 10l and 4l cylinders
After my first application I was dismayed when my cylinder’s rubber boot tore the sleeve during refitting (my own fault for not allowing a sufficient overlap), but each design comes with two sleeves in anticipation of such an event and I encountered no such problem with subsequent efforts.
After a handful of dives since fitting, the longevity of the shrink-wrap has yet to be determined, but the actual PVC material is practically indestructible so should the cover be removed for any reason – during cylinder testing for example – then it’s easy to fit a replacement. Neil Hope