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A question regarding sidemount diving in coldwater / warm water / single cylinder use

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by Breazy, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Breazy

    Breazy Garibaldi

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    Hi guys,

    i currently think of moving to sidemount because i got a bit annoyed of carrying the tanks on my back. I'm also impressed with the advantages of SM (streamlining, redundancy, no tanks on the back). 80% of my dives are in German or Austrian cold waters with a drysuit. Though, i go on vacation several times a year to dive in warm waters in a wetsuit. So obviously i will be using steel tanks for SM in cold Waters. But i'm yet unsure if i can use the same rig (probably going towards an xdeep Stealth 2.0 tec) to dive SM in tropical warm water regions? Can you easily swap between diving SM with double tanks (cold water) or with single tank (warm water) or does it take a long time to get the rig setup for warm water and vice versa? Or do you maybe even prefer to dive backmounted on recreational warm water dives to avoid reconfiguring the rig? This July, i will be at Malta / Gozo where there are some dive spots with long walks from the car to the shore entry point. Considering this, i am not sure if it's not too complicated to dive SM there.
    I'd also like to note that i do only recreational dives, sometimes wrecks (either cold and warm water) but all with maximum depth of 40m.

    Thank you for your opinions.
    Breazy
     
  2. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    14,920
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    the biggest adjustment time is going to be getting the rig fitted to you from drysuit to a bathing suit. That's not insignificant in terms of harness adjustment, granted it should take less than 20 minutes, but that's about it.
    Going double tank to single is only moving the long hose to the left side, though there is nothing that says you can't dive single tank sidemount in cold water. Instructors like Steve Martin, Garry Dallas, etc. are quite well versed in adapting that rig for warm and cold water.
     
  3. Breazy

    Breazy Garibaldi

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    Thank you tbone,
    i want to avoid moving to BM on vacation. I'd prefer going SM only. But 20 minutes of adjustement time seems reasonable.
    In cold water i want to use double tanks because of redundancy in case of regulator freezing.

    Do you think the xdeep Stealth 2.0 suits to the different types of diving mentioned above (cold water / warm water, drysuit / wetsuit, steel tanks / aluminium tanks) or are there better "allround SM bcd's"?
     
  4. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    14,920
    6,281
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    @Breazy the xDeep is fine. Where it tends to struggle is if you dive steels in a wetsuit or a thin drysuit because it balloons pretty badly when fully inflated. This is largely centralized in Florida cave diving where we have cool water and deep caves. In drysuits for cold water it's perfectly fine as proven by the incredibly large amount of people in Europe that use it. Just make sure you get an instructor well versed in both.
     
  5. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA - New York
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    not to hi-jack but what about just getting two rigs (assuming money is not too much of a problem?). I myself am looking at a dedicated warm water rig.

    Anyone have recommendations on dedicated warm water rigs....where I would be diving a bathing suit with rash guard, 3mm shorty or at most a 3mm full so no drysuit or drysuit hoses, not sure if this means I would need redundant lift then?
     
  6. Breazy

    Breazy Garibaldi

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    I dive 80% in cold waters. In theory this could be an option, but i think it just isn't worth the money for the comparatively small amount of dives i do in warm waters.
     
  7. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    14,920
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    don't bother with redundant lift unless you can't kick the rig to the surface. In a thin wetsuit with al80's that should be a nonissue.

    Dual rigs is usually not considered necessary unless you are having to change rapidly and then it may be more convenient.
     
  8. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
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    yes the stealth can easily do cold and warm water with an adjustment to the harness due to changing your thermal protection as tbone has mentioned.

    i have a stealth but i decided to pick up a used hollis sms50. it didnt cost very much. it works just fine for me when i need it. and i dont have to worry about changing my stealth harness.

    i know a lot of sm divers do not seem to like the sms50 but i like mine. you could also look at a deco sm rig as well. used ones come up for sale sometimes. there are others of course.
     
  9. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA - New York
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    I use a sms75 for my cold water diving with steel tanks and it works for me. I heard it also is less than desirable for sidemount but works for My purposes. Maybe I’ll look for a used sms50 for warm water sidemount since I’d imagine they come up at decent prices
     
    rjack321 and rick00001967 like this.
  10. ScubaWithTurk

    ScubaWithTurk Bubble Blowing Buddha

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dibba Fujairah, UAE
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    The Stealth Tec can easily be swapped between cold and warm water diving.

    I am not the biggest fan of single tank sidemount as it takes away that redundancy but dive and let dive. As for Gozo/Malta...check out Gozo Technical where Tom Steiner and Audrey Cudel are teaching out of. Audrey knows the Stealth well and they often get people like Steve Davis who is also a big Xdeep guy.

    I am hoping to get over there to dive the wrecks and do some cave training one of these days.
     

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