As the name indicates, the KISS Sidekick is a streamlined, lightweight rebreather system that has been designed specifically for side-mount diving applications.
This system was created in response to the needs of cave divers and explorers working in situations where back-mounted rebreather’s create a hindrance for negotiating tight restrictions. In these situations, the Sidekick becomes the obvious choice as a stand-alone rebreather. Due to it’s compact size and mounting position, it can also be carried as a bailout rebreather (BOB) system.
The most striking feature of the Sidekick is its small size. Without the loop hoses, the unit measures 21.25 inches (54 cm) in length by 7.25 inches (18.4 cm) in diameter. This compact profile, combined with the unit’s simplicity of design and reliable mechanical operation make it well suited for use as a side mount GEM SCR or CCR rebreather, bailout rebreather or simply as an add on gas extender, with none or very few modifications required to fill all of these roles.
Like all KISS systems the Sidekick is a mechanical rebreather, so there are no electronics controlling the gas addition to the system. Its unique design places both the head and scrubber inside a large single counterlung, which in turn is housed within and protected by a cylindrical shaped stainless frame. The Scrubber head is a single chamber that holds three sensors. It is fitted with 2 hose attachment towers for the loop hoses, gas addition fitting(s), ADV and exhaust valve.
Due to the nature of the counterlung’s configuration around the scrubber, the sidekick’s in-water buoyancy is close to neutral. It becomes slightly positive (varies with diver’s tidal lung capacity) during the diver’s exhalation cycle, then slightly negative during the inhalation cycle. Because the scrubber is surrounded by the same gas coming and going to the diver, the scrubber is able to retain more warmth. This is a benefit as temperature is an important component for the chemical reaction to take place, and the insulation of the counterlung helps maximize CO2 extraction by the absorbent.
The scrubber holds 5.2 lbs. / 2.4 kg of Sofnolime 408 grade absorbent (weight can differ between brand absorbents). Fully assembled and ready to dive, the unit’s weight out of water is 22.2 lbs. / 10.1 kg. Fully assembled but without absorbent, the weight drops to 17 lbs. / 7.7 kgs, making it very suitable for travel. The scrubber chamber can also accept a large bore, 5-inch diameter Micropore brand cartridges (part number SR-0801C) in place of granular type absorbents.