Posted by Northcoast diver on January 03, 2005 at 14:18:00:
In Reply to: Backplate & wing vs. BCD posted by Mike on January 02, 2005 at 19:26:29:
I have not read the other backplate comments yet.
Having said that, you can put together your own backplate and wing combination with any $50 backplate, and with a 12 to 14 ft length of weight belt webbing, a belt buckle, a handful of D rings, and any detachable wing of your choice.
Dive Rite makes really good detachable wings, for this purpose.
You can use the detachable Zeagle wings as well with your backplate, but the Dive Rites are constructed to be more sturdy.
For single tank diving, you can attach a Single Tank Adapter (called "STA") to you your backplate.
The Zeagle Rangers, 911s, Techs, etc come with detachable wings. They are also integrated for weights.
The main disadvantage of diving with a single tank and a backplate in cold waters is that you end up with all your weight, a lot of weight, on your weight belt.
For twin tank backplate diving, you weight belt normally only weighs about 10 or so pounds, which is not a problem.
For warm water dive travel, a backplate and STA has the disadvantage of being bulky for hauling around, and the metal mass may trigger a security inspection.
The Zeagles are nice for single tank diving, and ok for smaller twin tanks like twin 72s or twin 80s, but much larger twin tanks they don't handle too well, and for the really large twin tanks like 130s, a backplate is more or less a must.
If you plan to progress into twin tank diving, then I strongly advise you go for a backplate & wing and use them for both single and double tank applications.
If all you ever want to do is dive with single tanks, the integration feature of the Zeagle B/Cs is very nice, because it allows you to split your lead weighting between your weight belt and your B/C.
Now, to go back and read the other commentators ... .
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