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Backplate Harnesses: Which one and why?

Discussion in 'Hogarthian Diving' started by scubajunkee, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    My TransPlate harness is like yours ... there have been some recent changes in design (for example, the waist strap is now two separate pieces) ... but that's not what we were talking about.

    The TPII shoulder straps attach to permanently-mounted webbing "tabs" that are sewn into the pack. They connect to the shoulder straps using velcro closures and threading back through a keeper. The TransPlate harness straps mount directly through the backplate slots. The TPII and TransPlate shoulder straps aren't interchangeable, whatever the embroidery on the shoulder says.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
  2. Freeflyer

    Freeflyer Contributor

    Hi all,

    I recently saw an alternative way of rigging a one piece harness that makes it easier to get in and out of. I was buying the webbing and hardware to make my harness and the guy in the shop showed me his personal rig.

    On his left shoulder strap, he'd taken a two inch fastex buckle and threaded it onto the webbing. Locked in place with a couple of keepers, the two halves of the buckle were seperated by about 6-8 inches of webbing.

    When you clip the two halves together, you have the same length of shoulder webbing that you would normally have, but if you needed to remove the rig in the water for example, you just unclipped the two halves and the shoulder webbing became 6-8" longer, making it much easier to get your arm out.

    Because it's still a one piece harness, you don't compromise on the integrity, you just have a slight bulge under the buckle, where the extra webbing folds back on itself.

    I thought this a really neat way of doing things and bought the $4 buckle with the rest of the bits. I'm in the process of getting my back plate made, so I can't show you how it's done, but when it's finished in a few weeks, I'll try and put it together the way he did, and then post a photo.

    Be interested to know your thoughts on this.


  3. scubajunkee

    scubajunkee Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Jose, CA
    Hi Justin,
    That sounds like a great alternative. Would you happen to have a diagram or a picture of this type of rigging, I'd definitely be interested in using this setup.


  4. Freeflyer

    Freeflyer Contributor

    I won't have my harness done for a while, but I can put the buckle on the webbing and show you what i mean. I'll do it later today.

  5. detroit diver

    detroit diver Contributor

    6-8 inches of slop on one side of your rig is just like having a non-continuous webbing to start out with. The end result is the same. Your rig is floating up and you've lost the ability to control the air bubble inside of it. In addtion to that, if you have any stage bottles or deco bottles attached to that side, you've just increased the difficulty of working those bottles if the buckle breaks.

    I guess it might work for a very shallow, short dive, but I wouldn't touch it for anything else.

  6. HammerNoMore

    HammerNoMore Instructor, Scuba

    I've personallyt tried two systems. The first was a webbing harness, altered with a belt buckle on one of the arm straps. I tried this once when I was borrowing a backplate to try it out. The second, and one I still use, is the continuous webbing harness.

    Personally, I've never seen a reason to use anything else. I can get into or out of my harness just as fast, if not faster than people with all configurations of buckes or snaps.

  7. AquaGuy

    AquaGuy Solo Diver

    I've just tested my OMS black plate with the oms harness with a buckle on the shoulder strap. Basically, for the type of diving I do (less than 130ft, shallow, non-overhead environment), it appears to be fine. The buckle does not get in the way. Sure, it's not one continuous piece of webbing. It has a chest strap which I will probably remove since I dont need it. I rigged the webbing so the straps cross over at the shoulders. It appears to stop the straps from slipping off my shoulders. I don't use the buckle to don/doff the rig, but think it is a good idea if I ever need to remove the rig while in the water.

    I use Halcyon ACB 10 lb weight pouches. This setup appears to work fine for me. I say appears since I have only used it in a pool session so I could adjust everything correctly. It will be interesting to see what I think after a couple of dives :wink:

    However, the only thing I don't like is I now have to find a place for my shears. I guess I could attach a holder to the waist webbing. Seems like it would get in the way. Any ideas?

  8. Freeflyer

    Freeflyer Contributor

    Hi Guys,

    I took a couple of photos this afternoon to show the webbing/buckle configuration. the webbing is new, and quite stiff, so you'll have to imagine how it would look neatly folded and in place. It should be obvious that this requires no cutting of the single piece harness, and in a worse case scenario (the buckle breaking) would only give you a loose strap on one shoulder.

    The idea behind it ( I was told) was to allow someone in a drysuit a little more room to get one arm out of the harness if doffing the gear in the water (common in the UK when diving ribs).

  9. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    "The idea behind it ( I was told) was to allow someone in a drysuit a little more room to get one arm out of the harness if doffing the gear in the water (common in the UK when diving ribs)."

    Not being DIR but having read everything I can find on it I think this concept is not DIR. BUT--I like it and the reason I like it is that I dive out of a kayak and also from my Boston Whaler and from inflatible (SIB) and in all cases I remove the gear while in the water. I have an injured shoulder from motorcycle racing that has limited motion. This trick method will allow me to remove the gear easily and still preserve at least a little of the DIR simplicity of a single harness. The loop can be made fairly small so that should the clip break only a few inches of slop are introduced but that few little inches certainly makes it easier on my shoulder. Thanks for the idea. N
  10. PaulChristenson

    PaulChristenson Solo Diver

    I use a DR TransPlate harness...I like the sternum strap that pulls the shoulder straps in and the releases on the shoulder straps...(I'm getting old what can I say)...also it is similar to my MSA SCBA on our fire apparatus, which I seem to have to wear more and more everyday :-(

    Paul in VT

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