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.
Like the KISS GEM SCR, the GEM Sidekick SCR uses the same patented passive-addition DSV. By shunting a portion of each exhaled breath back into the loop, this device will extend the duration of a given gas supply by a factor of three. The benefits of this type of gas-extension provide advantages for both recreational and technical diving. Note that proper training outside the level 1 GEM Sidekick course is required prior to doing any technical diving. For some types of diving extra gear must be carried or alternative gear configurations will be required. Ensure that you have the proper training, gas and gear to conduct your planned dive.
Although the primary components are almost exactly the same as those of the KISS GEM Sidekick SCR, the mCCR version features a few differences.
In place of the special GEM DSV needed for SCR use, the mCCR version ships with a standard closed-circuit rebreather mouthpiece (DSV). (Note: This is the only CCR model offered by KISS Rebreathers that does not include a BOV.) Other changes include the addition of a MAV (the same used in all KISS CCR’s) for controlling oxygen addition to the loop. (Note: The low pressure hose feeding the manual oxygen addition system must be secured to a first stage with the KISS delrin plug installed.)
To provide reliable, real-time PO2 monitoring, the Sidekick CCR uses the same triple oxygen cell configuration as other KISS CCR models. These cells are wired to a Fischer cable, or as an optional up-grade, can be hardwired to a Shearwater Petrel computer. This unit is compatible with Trimix.
Dimensions: 21.25 inches (54 cm) long by 7.25 inches (18.4 cm) in diameter.
Scrubber Capacity: 5.2 lb (2.4 kg) of Sofnolime 408 grade absorbent (different brands may have different weights). Can also use Micropore cartridge, part number SR-0801C.
Weight: fully assembled, ready to dive with full scrubber 22.2 lb (10.1 kg).
Gas Compatibility: Air, Nitrox and Trimix.
GEM Sidekick (GS)
- Mouthpiece: Special GEM DSV
- Oxygen Sensors: Requires 3 K-22D model cell, or similar model under different brand/label).
- Gas Supply Requirements: Nitrox
- Mouthpiece: Standard DSV
- Oxygen Sensors: Requires 3 K-22D model cells, or similar model under different brand/label).
- Additional hardware: MAV system for manual oxygen addition.
- Gas Supply Requirements: Oxygen and Dil