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DSS versus Apeks wings

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) & Weight Systems' started by consta, May 27, 2009.

  1. consta

    consta Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Romania
    Hi folks!

    As i'm starting to dislike more and more my Mares jacket, I'm considering buying a BP/W.

    After some research, i have narrowed my selection to DSS LCD30 and Apeks WTX3. The wing will be for single tank diving (something in the 30lbs range, with a steel plate and hog harness).

    My problem is that i am unable to see any of those two products before purchasing and the price is almost the same, so only technical reasons would favor one of them.

    Can you please advise me what to choose between DSS and Apeks, and why?

    Thanks for your time!
  2. maged_mmh

    maged_mmh Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Egypt
    take a look into the Oxycheq products as well
  3. annasea

    annasea Solo Diver

    Not really an answer to your question but something else to think about...

    Why not mix and match? I have an OxyCheq Mach 30 wing paired with a DSS kydex b/p. The beauty of the bp/w system is you can customize. :wink:
  4. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    If the price is the same, I'd say go with DSS, and here is why: If you get on the phone to Tobin, he will talk you through all the decisions you need to make -- plate size, wing size and shape -- and make sure you get precisely the setup that will work for YOU. DSS's customer service is the reason so many of us are delighted with DSS gear (not to mention the fact that Tobin has made a bunch of clever little gadgets).
  5. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

    If you're buying the wing *and* a plate, there's no question to go with DSS (the wings and plates mate together very, very nicely). If just the wing, I'd still vote DSS, due to exceptional customer service. Both, however, make nice wings.
  6. mts0628

    mts0628 Contributor

    Hey consta:

    Congratulations on your upgrade. When I was shopping around, I looked at the same brands (and I tossed Halcyon in there too). Apeks because that is the brand of regulator I used and I was extremely satisfied with the quality performance and then the DSS because what I read on the ScubaBoard, and when I put together that cool_hardwear52 was Tobin who is DSS, customer service was right here if I was a problem! (I'd use a PM though.)

    I went to a local dive shop to look at the Apeks BP/W. It had a lot of bells and whistles on it, and it was configured for doubles (with a doubles wing of course). It had pockets, padding, and other nonnecessities I can't remember but initially I thought, "Man this thing is high speed!" Then came the price. Yup, it was an Apeks product because it was quoted at about 800 USD for single tank configuration.

    I tried to find a shop that carried DSS but initially I found none (later I would discover that a shop about a mile from my house carries Tobin's gear. Hmph! Go figure.) So, then I started looking at Halcyon for some strange reason (as there weren't any LSD's peddling Halcyon stuff either). I almost got hypnotized by the pretty H's and the black and blue but again, I thought about DSS and wanted to weigh them in my decision. Mind you, I actually called Extreme Exposure (for Halcyon) and spoke with Paul, and we shot the breeze for a bit and he told me about the BP/W that I was eying, the Eclipse H2 I think. I told him I'd snoop around a bit more but I would probably call him back.

    Now I come to the DSS. I admit, aside from the forums and before my search, I had never heard of DSS and thus I was sketchy about the quality. I had been a mate on a local ocean charter for over two years and I had never seen one in person while on the boat. So, then I looked on DSS's website, I found the gear configurator. WOW! That was a neat idea but I still had questions like which plate and which wing do I need? I snooped around a bit more and found the components separately, plate, wing, harness, and apart they seemed a bit unimpressive. The way Tobin has his harness kit on the website, I was thinking, that's it? Plain webbing, no bling? Everything was displayed in a military fashion, which I liked, but again, it all looked plain disassembled. Admittedly, I really didn't know what I was looking at and I temporarily forgot why I was looking to move away from my BCD.

    Well, I was at an impasse. The Apeks and the Halcyon looked flashy (and were so expensive) and the DSS was economical but relatively unknown to me. Again, I was caught up with how I thought it was supposed to look (you know BP/W= techy= high speed) and still not aware of what the specific function was. Knowing I needed more help, and seeing the line, "Give Tobin a call" a lot, I finally did. I called him, and he asked me so many questions, things that I hadn't really considered mattered and the such, and at the end of the call- I knew what I wanted, more importantly what I needed, and where I was going to get it from. I ordered it online and within days I had my setup. When I got everything, the instructions were simple, and all the components looked and felt bulletproof (the pictures online did not do the items justice). DSS had considered every detail for the consumer and gave you everything you needed and nothing you didn't.

    A year and about 80 dives later, I still love my DSS BP/W. The only addition, two small bungee loops at the bottom of the plate to store my Carter tube (it's a big one). That's it. The setup at first glance is nothing flashy, but when you look at each component and then all of them as a whole, the DSS is one sexy rig. And looking back- as I was researching, it seemed as if every step of the way I was fighting against getting the DSS but every concern I had quickly fell by the wayside the more I learned.

    So, give Tobin a call. You'll quickly get what you need, nothing you don't and all at super prices. I was initially concerned about the [low] prices when I was researching but I have since realized, you're paying for top-quality merchandise and the cost does not include the brand name. Fortunately there are scuba forums!

    Also hit the website up; look at the videos and snoop around the other goodies. I also recommend instrument boots from DSS but if there is one piece of gear I would say don't leave the website without, it's this. I don't think you can find one anywhere else, or how to use it for that matter.

    Sorry so long but I hope this helps and good luck.

    With kindest regards,
  7. SparticleBrane

    SparticleBrane DIR Practitioner

    Great post, Thomas. I am also a huge fan of DSS gear and recommend it to anyone who asks for a recommendation on gear that DSS makes.
  8. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
    Given the fact that you are in Romania, I would chose something I could get service for and the Apeks stuff is very good.

    However, I'm near DSS and can be at his door in minutes so I'd get his very high quality stuff in a heart beat. OTOH, if Tobin can ship to Romania and it is not too costly, get his stuff.
  9. MtnPlayVA

    MtnPlayVA Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Colorado
    Thank you for this thread - I have a Mares Kaila that I don't really like and have been thinking about moving to a bp/w. I did a test dive with a DSS bp/w this last weekend and loved it. I'm getting ready to go over to the dive shop to place an order so it is good to hear the great reviews.
  10. rstofer

    rstofer Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Northern California
    Many BP/W setups require an STA (Single Tank Adapter) to hold the tank in position. This is not the case with the DSS wing as it has molded tank supports. It's just a lot less hassle.

    Personally, I like the DSS BP/W and have bought two of them. I'm working up to a third when my grandson gets a little taller.


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