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BC Sizing & Opinions

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by scubakat, Mar 22, 2001.

  1. scubakat

    scubakat Senior Member

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    Hi all! I am soooo glad that I found this message board! I finished my open water certification this month and I am going to invest in a BC & regulator in the next week or two.

    Here's my dilemma... I am 5'4" and 180# no little stick figure, though I am well proportioned & a lot of that weight is muscle. I plan to drop another 20# (I've lost 30 in the last 9 months) by the end of the year. I live & dive mostly in the COLD puget sound (a balmy 41 degrees on my last dive), but I will sometimes dive in warm water (70+), I am going to Okinawa Japan next month.

    I want to buy a BC that will fit me now and later, in warm and cold water (from 3mm to 7mm to dry suits). I am looking at the Zeagle Ranger. The cumberbund and other parts can be adjusted to fit & it seems to be the most customizable. + it has enough lift to handle the 35# of weight I wear.

    Do y'all have suggestions for other BC's I should look at? What do you use & why do you like (or dislike) it?

    take care & thanks!
    kate

    ps
    I am trying a rental back-inflation style BC this weekend in a class to make sure that style will work for me...


     
  2. tomcat

    tomcat Nassau Grouper

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    hey scubakat,

    i bought a back inflated bc recently (seaquest balance) and i gotta warn you that it performs a whole lot differently from the front inflated ones.

    the main difference is at the surface, especially when currents are strong and waves are rolling you around. the airbags behind you will tend to push your body forward and force you into a face down position. it took me a couple of tries and experimentation to find a position that is vaguely comfortable.

    i dive in warm waters and use 6# so what happened is that i had to put 4# in the non-releasable packs behind my back to balance myself. this is incidentally the max that you can put behind you (no pun intended). since you use a whole lot more weight, there is going to be a limit as to how much weight you can push back to balance yourself.

    another thing to get used to with a back inflated bc is that you can no longer squeeze the airbags to get air out when descending. although this is not a big problem in itself, it does need some getting used to in terms of adjustment of body positions so that the air will shift to the dump valves.

    as for other models, you may wish to consider some of the mares bc's that claim to have self adjustment systems that keep the bc snug at all depths (implying a wide range of movement in fit).
     
  3. DiverCCRN

    DiverCCRN Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northern NJ
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    Remember that Zeagle BCs have that unique fit system where you can match and mix shoulder strap size and waist size. If you lose weight (or gain like I did)all you have to do is order the next size down in the waist.

    I love my Zeagle Tech!!!
     
  4. scubakat

    scubakat Senior Member

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    Hi Tomcat & Diver CCRN, thank you for your feedback!

    I tried out a Scubapro Superhawk NT today and very much like the back inflation style. I felt much more at ease in the water when I was not being squeezed by the BC. I did feel a little tank rolling, and would list a little if I tried to remain still sometimes. My only other concern was about inflating the bc and knowing which button to push to dump air. You don't get that "squeeze" to let you know you've pushed the wrong button. I am sure I can master that with time and my own equipment though.

    The shop where I rented the Scubapro also carries the DUI BC. It seems to be as (or more) adjustable than the Zeagle Ranger, but it has two ripcords for the integrated weights, not a single one.

    So... any other thoughts on the Zeagle vs. DUI?

    thanks again!!!
    kate



     
  5. nitrox

    nitrox Angel Fish

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    HEY DUDE YOU ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS!!!
    PERSONALLY SEEN AS YOUR STATESIDE ID OPT FOR THE OMS RED WING IT WILL DO EVERYTHING YOU MAY POSSIBLY WANT TO DO IN THE FUTURE WHICH IS SOMTHING TO CONSIDER WHEN SHELLING OUT YOUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS, AND AS OMS ARE U.S BASED YOUR NEVER GONNA HAVE ANY SERVICE PROBLEMS!!!
    IVE POSSESED OR TRIED SEVERAL BRANDS S/PRO /SUNNTO YOU NAME IT PERSONALLY I USE CUSTOM DIVER/APEKS GEAR AS ITS ALL MADEIN THE UK AND THEREFORE EASILLY SERVICED /REPAIRED
    BUT TO BE HONEST I WOULD HAVE AN OMS RED TOMORROW BUT THERE TOP DOLLAR IMPORTS IN THIS COUNTRY ABOUT £640/1100 USD ISH!!!
    DONT RUSH INTO BUYING YOUR KIT TRY TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE AND MAKE YOUR PURCHASES LIFETIME AQUISITIONS.
     
  6. scubakat

    scubakat Senior Member

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    Hey Nitrox... it's a done deal :) I'm diving a Ranger now. I am very happy with it.

    -kate

     
  7. SARdvr

    SARdvr Guest

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    Look at either Dive Rite, Halcyon, or OMS gear. It's a big investment, but it will fit you no matter how big or small you get. It's more of a "technical" setup, but I'm noticing more and more "rec" divers using it because it's universal for any type of diving minus commercial. Halcyon is made by one of the most famous cavers presently. It has some flaws, but you'll find every dive system does unless you build them yourself. Even then they may have unknown flaws. Check out http://www.extreme-exposure.com
     
  8. tracydr

    tracydr Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina, 3 miles from South Carolina
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    For a perfect fit, check out backplates and wings. You might need a short backplate, depending on how short your waist is, but other than that,it's truly a one size fits all system.
     
  9. EL Pistoffo

    EL Pistoffo Loggerhead Turtle

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    LOL, this thread has been dead for 13 years.
     
    FloridaPhil likes this.

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