The KISS Spirit is a compact, versatile and capable rebreather for divers of all levels. It’s lightweight configuration is especially suitable for the traveling rebreather diver. Those familiar with the basic layout of most rebreathers will immediately notice the absence of the usual twin - oxygen / diluent cylinder configuration flanking a centrally mounted scrubber. Instead, the Spirit features a single onboard oxygen cylinder, mounted at the base of the unit. Diluent for the Spirit is provided by an off-board cylinder that can be mounted under either the left or right arm—the same way most CCR diver’s carry their bailout cylinder. Diluent gas is supplied to the Spirit via a high-flow hose with a quick-disconnect fitting.
The KISS Spirit is highly customizable to suit a wide variety of divers. Available options, pricing and explanations are available on the list to the right. Click on each explainer link for a detailed description and rendering of what each option is and why you may or may not want it.
Fully assembled and ready to dive, the Spirit measures 23 inches tall (approximately 5 inches shorter than an aluminum 80) and no more than 13.5 inches wide at its widest point. With harness and wing attached, the unit sits just six inches off the diver's back. In the world of back-mounted CCRs, that’s pretty skinny.
The most innovative features of the Spirit is that it employs a bi-axial scrubber system in place of the usual single-axial or radial scrubber common to most rebreather models. The parallel scrubbers are centered over the diver’s shoulder blades. This configuration also allows the counterlungs to be routed around the diver’s lower rib cage instead of over the shoulders or back mounted, creating a low-profile with extremely easy work of breathing (WOB). The capacity between the two canisters is approximately 4.4 lbs. with Molecular 797 Grade 812 mesh Sofnolime, which it was tested with.
Another advantage to this bi-axial design is that it is highly resistant to channeling, allowing for not only a greater safety margin, but also allows the user to easily remove, fill and replace each canister independently with minimum fuss. This dual scrubber configuration gives the Spirit two independent heads - one on top of the inhale scrubber, the other on top of the exhale scrubber.
The exhalation side head is plumbed with both the oxygen input line and diluent gas line. Diluent is delivered to the head via either an automated demand valve (ADV) or an optional manual gas addition button. The inhalation side head is fitted with an adjustable over-pressure valve on top, and houses a trio of molex oxygen cells in a semi-circular array. Sensors can be attached to a variety of dive computers and monitoring options.
At the base of each scrubber canister is a one-piece counterlung with approximately 8 liters of volume. Counterlungs are routed through the wing to wrap around the diver’s lower rib cage, so that the loop volume is as close to the diver’s lungs as possible. This serves to keep the hydrostatic work of breathing low, and also provides for exceptional diver trim in the water column.
As the diver exhales, the expired gas travels down through the right scrubber to both counterlung’s, picking up additional oxygen along the way to replace what the diver has metabolized. As the diver begins their inhalation cycle, the gas that was scrubbed of CO2 through the first scrubber and carried into the counterlung’s travels up through the second scrubber, getting cleaned a second time of any residual CO2 before reaching the diver’s lungs. While the dwell time in each scrubber would appear short, the CO2 scrubbing action is highly efficient.
Work of breathing and scrubber duration tests conducted at the Micropore testing facility showed that Spirit’s dual scrubber system performance levels during the high work load test more than adequately handled a full 2 hours in 45 F/7 C water, and 3.5 hours in a second test with warmer water temps of 75 F/ 24 C.