Horse collar or back wings for a hard pack?

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Posted by Walt on June 03, 2005 at 23:24:38:

OK, time to open a forum / spark debate / get some ideas. The hardpack is a given, so no debate allowed on its merits or disadvantages.

I've been looking around for a horse collar to go with my hardpack, but I haven't seen exactly waht I'd like.

On a recent trip, I saw a back mounted wing on a hardpack ... believe the manufacturer was Oxycheq, but I can't find a picture of the exact rig I saw. Was really streamlined and, being totally behind the body, was out of the way and compressed, features I like.

The horse collars seem bulky in comparison. They also seem like they'd be prone to shifting from side to side while submerged. However, I saw one in use last Fall that had a side belt that would have minimized this, but I can't for the life of me find it...closest design is one by Amer-Sea, but it doesn't appear to have a side belt, just the back to crotch strap.

The advantage of he horse collar would be better floatation at the surface - face up. But a disadvantage might be having the air more or less under the body while underwater using it as a BC, though most likely it would be at the sides anyway, assuming I'm face down.

Then again, I don't need to compensate much for buoyancy when I'm doing a typical dive to under 60 feet or so and carrying so little lead anyway. A horse collar should be what I'd need - more for surface floatation....but that back mounted wing would do the same thing...maybe.

Confusing? - you bet. Thoughts? Experience?

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