I'm about to purchase a Hollis Ride Wing (http://www.leisurepro.com/Prod/CategoryID_964/Context_954/Page_1/HLSRW.html) BCD. The description of this item says:
"Equipped with a right shoulder inflator assembly with elbow, lower left pull dump, optional integrated weight system with 20 lb (9 kg) dump-able and 10 lbs (4.5 kg) non dump-able weight capacity."
though above that it doesn't indicate that it comes with the integrated weight system:
"Whats in the box:
BCD, Power Inflator with LP Hose and Owners Manual"
So, since I would prefer not to use a weight belt, I'll need to acquire some weight pouches/pockets. Now, someone had asked the following on the Q&A section of the link above:
Q. What are the weight system options and what is the cost per option? Are the weight systems attachable via the 2" waist belt or do they clip on or bolt on in some fashion?
The following answer was given:
A. They are attachable via the 2" webbing so any system that has the loops for it will work like OMS, Dive Rite etc.
I've been researching various types of weight pockets for this, and as I'm going to be ordering online, I'd prefer to get it right the first time. If someone could provide a link to a weight system that could be used for this BCD (or even just the name of one, or a few), I would be very grateful.
My second question is this: since I'll be buying my first pony bottle as well, is there anything that I should know about using it with this BCD? It has sufficient D rings in the right places, so I can't imagine there's anything more that needs to be done than just to clip it to the top and bottom D rings (on the left side). It sounds simple enough, but I'd prefer to ask those more experienced than myself in case I missed something.
Thank you for your time!
March 22nd, 2012, 08:05 PM
Any weight pocket with a 2in webbing loop will work. You're choice it whether it's made to dump weight or not. You can get non-dump weight pockets but install them upside down so you can just open each pocket individually to dump your weight.
Non-Dump pockets tend to carry less weight per pocket. They are always held closed with velcro.
Dumpable Pockets usually have a inner pocket or a quick release clip (or both) that allow you ditch weight easily with a simple tug of a dump handle.
With dumpable weight pockets you'll have to decide whether you want vertical or horizontal pockets. Horizontal pockets are easy to dump when your horizontal, vertical will dump easier when you're vertical. Both versions however, work well for any orientation, you just need to pull them out and drop them if they don't fall out on their own when unclipped. When choosing between the two you should consider how much space it'll take on your waist strap. Vertical dump pockets tend to take up less space than horizontal dump pockets.
Here's a quick example of a dumpable weight pocket:
SCUBA Diving Equipment for Technical, Sidemount, Rebreather, Wreck and Cave Diving: Dive Rite, Inc - Product Catalog - 16LB QB Weight Pocket (http://www.diverite.com/products/catalog/pockets/ac3216)
Here's an example of a non-dumpable weight pocket:
SCUBA Diving Equipment for Technical, Sidemount, Rebreather, Wreck and Cave Diving: Dive Rite, Inc - Product Catalog - Clipper Pocket (http://www.diverite.com/products/catalog/pockets/bc2714)
Hollis, Halcyon, OMS, and pretty much any Bp/W manufacturer will have each type of pocket.
For your pony, if you're slinging it you'll need to get a sling set up. Clip off to your shoulder D-ring and your hip D-ring. The thing you have to watch for is that the clips keep the pony close enough to you so it doesn't slip out of your body profile, which would cause drag and possibly damage your environment.
Having your Hip D-ring placed correctly will help in this as well. It should be the width of 5fingers away from your backplate. If you can't easily reach this to clip off then slide it farther away as necessary.
Play around with how you're clipping off, some divers like to clip off with the boltsnap's gate facing your backside, others the opposite. Same with shoulder D-rings, some find it easier to clip with the gate facing up towards your head, and others the opposite.
March 22nd, 2012, 08:45 PM
Thanks a ton, g1138. This is all very helpful and insightful. In regards to the sling set up for the pony, I'd planned on getting the one at Stage/Deco Straps and Hose Retainers by Dive Rite - Dive Gear Express (http://www.divegearexpress.com/gas/straps.shtml) .
I appreciate the time and effort you put into your reply, and the wisdom you've shared. This completely answers my questions, and then some. Someone get this man a beer, stat!
March 22nd, 2012, 10:31 PM
Haha, thanks I appreciate it. Good luck with your set up.
March 23rd, 2012, 12:27 PM
I know g1138 did a great job answering your question, but I already have a Hollis ride set up similar to the way you are looking at. I used the Hollis QLR Weight System and it worked beautifully.
here is a link to the Hollis picture of them
The ride has grommets that the QLR tie into using two provided booksrcews. The top strap you see in the picture will clip to the shoulder D-rings (personally I found it kind of weird and just took the vertical straps off completely). The picture doesn’t show it very well but on the back side of the QLR there are 2" nylon slots that you weave the Rides webbing into. All together though I am very inpr4essed with how secure the Hollis weight system fits and looks on my Ride.
If you’re going to use a integrated weight system with a pony bottle a important thing to remember is that you will probably lose your left hip D-ring and have to use the D-ring that is attached to the QLR itself. Not a big deal but just make sure when you set them up you use the appropriate grommet hole on the QLR (there are two) to position its D-ring where it needs to be.
Another option you could look into, most divers who use a BP+W don’t have any integrated weight systems attached to their harness's, instead they use solid lead weights woven into their harness. It would save you some money but also require more attention to how much weight you carry because you can’t drop it without ditching all your gear.
March 23rd, 2012, 03:44 PM
Thanks DM_cappie, that is also very informative. I had seen the QLR weight system previously, but wasn't clear on exactly how they hooked to the BCD since the back side isn't shown. At first I thought maybe you just hooked it to a D ring, and the weight pocket just dangles by your sides lol. Then I realized no way, there HAS to be more to it than that. The additional information you've provided about the QLR has allowed me to better understand its capabilities and how it can be configured.
That's interesting to learn about the weights woven into the BC. I can see how that would be more streamlined and efficient, which is what I'm interested in.
So, I ended up finding a place that sells the Hollis ATS new for around $250.00, which has an integrated weight system. That saves me a bit of time (and money I can put toward the bottle, pressure gauge, etc).
If I may ask one more question, how much does slinging a pony affect the weight on your left side? For example, I'm looking at a 19 cu ft. bottle which weighs 7.8 pounds. This may sound silly, but assuming I typically dive with 14 pounds of weights, I'd guess that I would basically use no weights on the left side and stuff 6 pounds into the pockets on my right? I'll be doing a refresher course and getting used to my new gear, and I plan on spending adequate time getting comfortable in the gear before anything else. So if the answer really comes down to "you'll just have to try it and see what works for you", that's just as helpful to know, and I'm going to give myself plenty of practice and familiarize myself with things.
Thanks again fellas. I really appreciate your insights. Gear isn't something I've ever known much about, and I've learned quite a bit in the past few days.
---------- Post added at 01:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:08 PM ----------
Actually, I think I've found the answer to the pony / weight question. The 19 cu ft. is -0.3 lbs buoyant when full, so it sounds like I may not need to change my weight configuration at all when using the pony (if I'm thinking this through properly).
March 23rd, 2012, 05:12 PM
It depends on the cylinder, some offset you more than others. Remember to weight yourself when the cylinder is empty. If you never plan on handing it off to someone else during your dive then you can weight yourself to be even on each side, with the cylinder accounted for.
With your Al 19 you should have about -1.3lbs with a Catalina and -1.37lbs with a Luxfer.
Empty the Cylinders should be 0lbs and +0.12lbs respectively
At that weight I wouldn't bother trying to even out your sides, unless it throws off your balance enough to be a pain.
I've never heard of diver's weaving lead into their harness, but I have heard of diver's bolting weight onto their backplate. It would be wise to only keep non-ditchable weight if you can:
A) swim it up w/ no buoyancy from your drysuit or wing
B) have an adequate redundant form of buoyancy such as a lift bag.
March 24th, 2012, 01:10 AM
Really I hope to never have to hand it off to anyone, or use it myself :D If I have to use it for myself it should only ever be because of a drastic equipment failure. I understand what you're saying though.
The cylinder specification chart on the HuronScuba page differs a little from the info on the LeisurePro site for the Al 19 Catalina. Not an issue or anything, as I'll be testing and seeing what works for me and what doesn't. I'll take your advice and not worry about evening out the sides, as it doesn't sound like the weight discrepancy with the pony is going to be very noticeable, at least not enough to care about.