Posted by Ross-O on January 03, 2005 at 16:36:46:
In Reply to: OK hugs and kisses posted by Northcoast diver on January 03, 2005 at 15:46:39:
I didn't present an arguement - only a few observations. I did not take a holistic approach to answering his question. That said, you're right in that he's going to spend from $400-$700 to do this so lets help him out.
"1) you did not tell him that back-inflation B/Cs are totally different than jacket B/Cs"
I only spoke from first-hand experience. I've never dove a back-inflation rig so I didn't bring them up. From examination of them, and from friends stories, I will say that many back-inflation BCs have too much useless stuff and too many danglies to suit me personally. Some of them can later be adapted to carrying doubles, some of them can't. That may be something to consider depending on the individual.
"2) you did not tell him that a big minus of a backplate system for a single tank involves a very heavy weight belt problem with no integration possible"
This is not accurate unless for one reason or another (really fat, AL tanks, etc) a person requires an extraordinary amount of weight (>>10% of body weight). I'm a big guy and I only need about 10-12lbs on my belt when I'm diving wet/single steel. I need 16 on the belt when I'm dry/single steel. I use 4 when I'm dry/steel double 130's. I have a SS BP that is 6lb negative. I could get my weight belt down to almost nothing in the wet/single steel config if I added a stainless steel single tank adapter.
Halcyon offers a weight pocket system you can put on your waist belt (vastly overpriced IMHO) so you can have "integrated weights" if you choose. Even better, if you dive steel tanks and a steel BP, you won't need much ditchable and several of my buddies found simple pouches they can add to their waist belt that can hold something like a 6lbs each.
I personally wear an old fashioned weight belt UNDER my waist belt & crotch strap. My wife chooses to wear hers OVER her waist belt & crotch strap. Good arguements could be made either way. I think the important thing is to understand the benefits and risks of where you wear your weight.
"3) I believe that with a Dive Rite wing and with any no-name backplate (like Dive Rite, OMS, etc) that you can make your own backplate and wing, probably for less money than either a jacket B/C or a back-inflation B/C or definitely than anything with Halcyon printed on it, so this is actually not a minus for the backplate per se
I pretty much agree, but why plug Diverite? Why not say "any reasonable wing, generic BP, 15 feet of 2-inch webbing and a few D-rings and such". I've dove a Halcyon wing & FredT plate for the last few years. If I needed another rig and lived in SoCal, I would probably purchase it from DeepSeaSupply (with the hogartian harness) because they're local, reasonably priced, and I've met the guys who run it. I figure if I had a problem they would probably take care of me the fastest (I detest down-time due to gear problems). I would also consider Oxycheq, Deep Outdoors, Diverite wing + generic BP, and some others that I'm sure I'm not remembering. Halcyon has treated me very good in my last 2 RMAs with them but the bad news is that I've had 2 RMAs and need to send my wing in for stitching problems again.
I spoke with their marketing guy about the excessive use of blue H's at the Scuba Show. We had vastly different opinions there, but he was polite, listened, and thanked me for the open feedback.
"4) you did not establish any criterion for when a backplate overrides any other alternative"
I'm not sure what you're getting at, but here's a shot in the dark:
+ Good if you plan to move towards tech diving
+ SS BP&STA can take a load off your weight belt or integrated system
+ by distributing the weight in the BP or BP/STA, you get a more balanced rig. Esentially, you remove the twisting moment that is normally created by placing a big weight centered about the belly button and a bubble with a center of lift somewhere about the nipple area. I think this is one of the big reasons you see a lot of people going through the water at a 45 degree angle to horizontal.
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