Are miflex hoses worth the effort?

In my opinion, I’d say a definite no! There are multiple issues with Miflex hoses, which I’ve witnessed multiple times throughout my experience, both with my own gear and with other divers’ gear.

Softer and more flexible, a solution looking for a problem?

Most people tout the benefit of Miflex being its greater flexibility over regular rubber hoses, but is that flexibility really all that useful in a diving environment? I think not.

I only care about the functionality of the hose while you’re diving, not while it’s coiled up in your regulator bag.

A Halcyon regulator with rubber hoses curled up in a regulator bag

A Halcyon regulator with rubber hoses curled up in a regulator bag

 

In regular use, I can’t imagine anyone needing a hose that would be more flexible than a regular rubber hose. After all, your body isn’t that flexible, and the hoses are connected to you, so I don’t see why a flexible hose is necessary.

The second benefit that’s touted is the higher burst pressure of the hose. Hmm, not sure about anywhere else, but who uses tanks which are filled to 600bar anyway? I’ve never seen any application outside of industrial use that has such high pressures.

A third benefit is the braided covering, which is supposed to be more durable, but I can definitely prove that this is not the case.

Kinky hoses make bad wrestling partners

Now, to the negatives. The braided hose has a funny memory, and sometimes kinks in weird ways, not in a smooth curve like a rubber hose would. I’ve seen more divers wrestling with Miflex hoses in recent years than I’ve ever seen with rubber hoses.

Apart from that, over time, the braid tends to undo and break off little hairs that stick out of the hose, making it a very uncomfortable if you happen to have that hose rubbing on the back of your neck.

The flexibility of the HP SPG Miflex hose also causes the weight of the SPG to pull downwards, so it tends to hang lower. This makes is less streamlined than the harder rubber hose, which tends to stay in place nicely.

Perhaps the hose routing is easier with a Miflex because the hose can bend easier. However, I do find that this tends to constrict the hose and eventually cause a bigger tear in the hose around the metal crimp.

Without even having to mention the recent spate of Miflex hose failures, I’d say those negatives, coupled with the increased price, make this an investment that is unworthy, and unnecessary at best.

A miflex hose that has degraded and rubber has started pushing through the nylon braids

A Miflex hose that has degraded and rubber has started pushing through the nylon braids

 

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