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When I got my express, I got the deluxe setup and added a 2" crotch strap. I could never make the thing tight and also not have the tank smack me in the back of the head or squish some important bits (*cough*) at the same time. It worked, and was comfortable, but was a total compromise of position and comfort.
I've found a few posts here about what they had done, and wanted to see if anyone else could confirm. The big thing that they had done, that I have not in my dives to this point, is put a pair of tribars on so they go on the shoulder webbing before the metal guide that turns the webbing from shoulder to hip. This way you have a limit to how tight the shoulders get, but can tighten down your waist to your hearts content.
I've also added a ziptouch system after accidentally losing my weightbelt while getting back in the boat. So embarassing, but it looks like the weight will now keep the plate lower or at least in better position on me, vs letting it just hover and have my body pull the system down.
Think this will solve my issue? I will probably also pick up another tribar so the waist webbing can't come out by pulling on the shoulder as well, but for now.. I might be good to go?
I put several those tribar spacers on the web belting as soon as I had it fitting the way I wanted. I also got rid of the waist buckle and replaced it with one exactly like the heavy double locking fasteners used on the waist belt of other BCs. No way to confuse it with the weightbelt buckle. Added a couple of d rings, and everything is fine. No crotch strap yet, but I'm considering it. I greatly prefer a weightbelt. All the marketing schemes of manufacturers pushing integrated weights are just a lot of noise. I do have a tank mounted weight pouch low on the tank for trim.
I had the same problem because I could never get the shoulder straps correctly adjusted. Standing up, the tank drags the BCD downward. I just can't lift the tank/bcd high enough and then tighten the straps. You have to isolate the shoulder adjustments from the waist adjustment, just like in a metal BPW setup. With a metal BPW, you use a set metal keepers to lock in the shoulder adjustments.
Managed to get the rig setup the way I wanted on my subsequent dives. The darn thing is really comfortable and streamlined.
Gene: Already tried that a number of times, doesn't work on me. If I put the strap low around my waist and make it comfortably tight, then position the tank so I don't hit it with my head, the whole thing flops around on me and feels like it would make a giant stride entrance a bit dangerous.
On the other hand if I position the strap down on my hips as far as it will go and I cinch it up real tight, the webbing is connected to the shoulders and will effectively make them shorter, which means I am guaranteed to bash my head on the tank at least once the next dive. I had heard the solve was to use a crotch strap, so I got that and it was comfortable to use, but only in that situation where everything is mildly tight and the valve still ended up too high unless I loosened it and tightened the strap. This has been my make due setup, but I want to perfect it.
agilis: Having two competing levers right on my stomach/waist was really annoying. Hopefully this system (the zip touch one) works better for me, but I agree that it is a bunch of marketing after a certain point. The weights will be in pretty much the same location as before, just attached to the BP vs my belt.
Might just be my body or maybe I am missing the magic setup.
Claudehl: That's what I hope to do with the tribars/sliders. Hopefully now I can keep the waist belt nice and low without shortening my shoulders, so everything will hang down a bit.
I hope the weight system will help keep the BC down on your hips.
The Tri-bars/weight stops should allow you to tighten the waist strap without pulling the shoulder straps tighter and making the tank ride up.
Some asjusting is certainly neeed to get all the functions properly fitted. It is undoubtedly more difficult in some cases, depending on body size and what you are used to, but I find it very similar to the old backpack configurations we used before BCDs came along. These backpacks had one function: to hold the tank steady and solid. They also used one long strap threaded through the plastic backpack to provide shoulder and waist straps, and also came in only one size. Spacers of a kind were built into the corners of the old backpack, allowing fairly secure placement and length adjustment. In fact, after a while the nylon strap would take a set and be difficult to adjust to a different size arrangement.
This Zeagle is not that different from the old hollow plastic backpack we used in the 60s and 70s. It's lighter and partially inflatable, and does not have the obvious adjustment set points those old things had, but some effort and experimentation with spacers should do the trick. Look at some old single tank backbacks from the distant past. I have two I still use in shallow water. They fit the same way this Zeagle fits. In fact, the Zeagle is just an inflatable version of the traditional backpack, just as those wing things are backpacks with floats attached, if the truth be told.
Maybe if you look for some really old diver hobbling down to the water tapping his cane he can show you how to set it up. You will need spacers, though, to keep it set the way you want. The buckle I use came straight off an old Parkway. It's almost identical to the one used on the Zeagle Scout, except it can be secured by threading it on the nylon strap instead if sewing it on. It's more comfortable, easier, more secure, and cannot be mistaken for my weight belt buckle.