Quality Alert AT.01.06.0018

Why scrimp on important “safety” life support?

It is called a “safe” second for a vital reason – it is intended to get a diver safely out of an emergency situation. Atomic Aquatics believes that safe seconds are just as important, if not more so, than your primary regulator. Although rarely used, in some ways it is your most important piece of equipment.

You may never need to use it, but it must perform flawlessly when you do turn to it. Are you using an old primary, a hand-me-down or buying a cheap second stage for your backup? In an emergency situation, your safe second should breathe just as easily and perform just as well as your primary. After all, you or your buddy could be panicked or stressed so why add to that by struggling for a breath from an inferior regulator. The quality of your safe second should be equal to your primary. If cost is your foremost consideration, it could turn out to be false economy if you are in a tight spot and your second does not perform due to misuse or neglect.

Air-Sharing Methods

Octo – The traditional method for air sharing is to offer your safe second to your buddy while keeping your primary securely in place. Every Atomic Octo is designed to breathe as easily as a primary.


SS1 (bottom) – Air-sharing with the Atomic SS1 requires the diver to switch to the SS1 and offer their primary to their buddy. The SS1 breathes as easily as the primary and allows the diver to control buoyancy.

The SS1 For A Sleeker Profile

More convenience and easier swimming
The SS1 combines the functions of the inflator and octopus regulator into a single unit. This reduces the overall bulk and weight of your dive gear; eliminates hoses, and places your back-up regulator in a fixed, familiar location. This time proven concept is a convenient and efficient alternative to the dedicated octopus second stage.

  The SS1 Concept

Divers have been using this type of combination Inflator/Regulator now for almost twenty years, and the concept has proven itself a convenient and effective alternative to the dedicated octopus second stage. There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems that should be reviewed carefully before making your buying decision. The biggest advantage of the SS1 design is the streamlined effect of eliminating a hose and a larger Octo. Another advantage lies in the high-performance design of the SS1 to breathe as easily as all other Atomic regulators and enable intuitive operation for buoyancy control. Other combination units on the market simply cannot match the design and performance of the SS1.

The SS1 Advantages

The primary advantage to the SS1 is combining 2 products into one to reduce the overall bulk and weight of your dive gear. The SS1 is only slightly larger than a standard BC inflator yet has a back-up breathing regulator built-in. There is only one low-pressure hose from your first stage that feeds both the BC inflator and the back-up regulator. A secondary advantage to the SS1 is its location. The SS1 is fixed to your BC and falls over the left shoulder. It remains there and is used throughout the dive to control buoyancy. Since the location is fixed and it is constantly being used, the diver becomes quickly accustomed to its’ location and is able to locate it easily in the event that air sharing is required.

How to Choose

Here are some answers to help you decide which type of safe second is best suited to your diving needs...

Which type of safe second should I use – redundant second stage or integrated inflator/regulator?”
The preference is yours. If you are more comfortable with the traditional Octo or the more streamlined SS1, Atomic Aquatics offers the highest quality, full-featured safe seconds available. Either option is designed to breathe just as easily as our top-of-the-line primaries.

Is your diving purely recreational?
Want to streamline your system and eliminate extra hoses? The SS1 replaces your BC inflator and features a built-in high performance safe second combined into one compact unit. This option requires you to learn a different method for air-sharing, but can provide you with more control in emergency situations.

Are you training students or wreck/cave diving?
Perhaps you just prefer a second stage dedicated for Octo use. All Atomic Aquatics second stage models (except T2) are available as dedicated safe seconds with high visibility yellow covers, extra length 36” hoses and can be fitted with the optional comfort swivel hose.

Air Sharing with the SS1

There is one important difference in air sharing with an SS1 over a standard Octo second stage. If a diver wearing an SS1 needs to share air with another diver, his primary regulator is given to the person out of air and the donor breathes from the SS1. This is for two important reasons. The SS1 is attached to the short BC hose and will not easily reach the out of air diver. The SS1must also be kept by the owner to control his buoyancy and maintain control of the situation.

Why We Designed Two
Safe Options

SS1 Streamlines AND Performs

Reduce your rig by one hose with the high-performance Atomic SS1. Other combo BCD inflators/safe seconds are cumbersome and confusing. We took a different approach resulting in a solution that has received many accolades.

Octo Second Stage Clones

Atomic thoughtfully designed a family of octopus regulators to perfectly match each of our primary models. When you need to switch, you won’t be able to tell the difference.



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