Choice of SS or Aluminum backplate for single tank wetsuit diving?

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Posted by Robert M on June 14, 2000 at 10:58:56:

After much searching of various archives, my search for a new back floation BC seems to be zeroing in an a Halcyon backplate and Pioneer wing (27 0r 36#???) to replace my Scubapro Classic. Dive Rite TP II or Scubapro STek come in second place. I gather most of the divers suggesting SS backplates are dry suit divers that need a lot of lead and/or are trying to eliminate ditchable weights entirely with doubles. I found very few references from divers in my particular situation: single tank wetsuit diving.

The big question remains: aluminum or stainless steel? I dive wetsuit only, 6.5mm here in California, and a 3mm in Hawaii. Lead varies from 18-20# here, and 12 or so in Hawaii. Unknown what I might need in the Carribbean. Single tank diving only as well, steel HP100 here and AL80 in H. The backplate is soley for streamlining and simplification of gear. Doubles are not an issue. Travel weight is an issue of course, but I weighed my Classic last night and it came in at 8#, so the 6# (plus wing and harness weight) of a SS is not too bad, but our dive bag pushes the baggage weight limit as it is.

Any suggestions from those that have gone through this choice process are welcome, on the metal choice and also wing buoyancy choice. I am exhausted wrangling over this in my feeble mind, and Halcyon is very expensive.

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