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Jacket BCD vs. Backplate/Wing

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Doc Harry, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. BDSC

    BDSC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    I don't see how you can just much simpler than a jacket BCD! It wins hands down.
  2. CT Sean

    CT Sean Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Central Connecticut
    A valid point, but it's from the perspective of an enthusiast. I'd bet the average diver (who is the target of the magazine) just doesn't care.
    They don't care that they can replace the webbing if it wears out or gets cut
    They don't care that plastic buckles are a potential failure point
    They don't care whether their fin has a split in it (gasp!)
    They don't care that 45 lbs of lift is way more than necessary for Caribbean reef diving
    They don't want to figure out how much lift they need (most are probably happily oblivious to the fact that it's even an option)
    They don't want to decide whether to use an STA or not (they probably don't even care to know what one is)

    What they do care about is that they can walk into a dive shop, buy something and put a tank on it. No assembly required, no wing lift charts to fill out. And for most people that's not really a bad thing (assuming they are competent enough to be safe).

    Using bicycles as an example - One can build a much better bike buying an individual frame, wheels, crank set, gear set blah blah blah. But the average bike owner (of which I am :)) just wants to walk into a bike store and leave with a bike they can ride it around.
    Steve_C, Culcuhain, fjpatrum and 3 others like this.
  3. diver 85

    diver 85 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: SW Louisiana
    To some people, old habits are hard to kick------& actually, I have never had a BC(jacket as you call them or my BP/W) more comfortable & simpler than my Zeagle Scout.....
    Saboteur and Crush like this.
  4. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    There's still a strong perception amongst many divers that BP&W are 'tech' and only an attractive option to advanced divers.

    Still, a couple of years ago, BP&W wouldn't even be mentioned in a PADI gear feature, so things are moving forwards (slowly)...
  5. LakeCountyDiver

    LakeCountyDiver Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida
    I own that very BP/W from DSS and it is by far much simpler than my jacket BCD (Not to set u thou:D) I am a big fan of the Hog harness because it CAN'T come lose. My Jacket BCD comes lose EVERY dive and rides up very far which I hate.

    Contrary to popular belief My BP/W was $470 and most decent BCD's are $500-$800... My whole Rig is interchangeable so for me it would be hands down no contest a BP/W..

    A vacation Diver wont care for a BP/W unless they used them in the start. As said most shops only rent Jacket BCDs. To a diver that goes several times a year I think if givin time they will grow to be fond of a BP/W.

    I have seen some BP/W setups with harness that seem no better that a Backinflate BCD with 130 D-Rings and plastic buckles W/pull straps.
  6. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    I think that they do care, but a combination of insufficient education and industry marketing can lead them astray.

    Education: If the OW course included a section on how to calculate your buoyancy requirements, then there'd be more 'care' taken in the selection of equipment. Divers aren't told they should care about this. They aren't even taught that what optimal buoyancy requirements are. It's a blank area.

    Marketing: Look at the adverts for most jacket BCDs. The emphasis is on how many features the jacket has. The industry is competitive, so the companies try to get a competitive advantage by constantly upgrading the number and complexity of features in their products. This is counter-intuitive to what divers actually need, but the consumers aren't told that. I've seen adverts for recreational jacket BCDs that boast of having 14 D-Rings, 60lbs of lift, 8 pockets etc. These aren't put into any context of need.... it's purely pumping a message that 'more is better'.

    Divers do care what they purchase. They are just influenced to care about the wrong issues IMHO.
  7. 2 Big 2 Fail

    2 Big 2 Fail Solo Diver

    You know, I have to consider that any basic buying guide is most likely aimed at users who are pretty new. And while there are some points about relative quality and information about differences in function that can be useful for such a new user, it's not the gear that's going to make the difference in how the diver performs. In every sort of activity I've had anything to do with, relative newbees are always worrying over the relative merits of different gear, all of which works, when the truth is that it's going to be a while before are getting all they can get out of something or they find themselves held back in some way by the equipment. The majority will never get to that point, and it makes little difference what they are using, so long as it doesn't have a genuinely dangerous flaw, and there are very few things that do and no general class of gear that is flawed in that way.

    Give an accomplished practitioner entry level stuff and a novice the best that can be had, and the expert will wax the novice's butt. If you can't cook, a $500 cookware set and a $3,000 range won't make produce anything I want to eat. And if you know what you're doing, you can knock their socks off with what you can produce using a bucket, a stick and empty tin cans and some rocks and a hole in the ground.
    Saboteur, Steve_C and fjpatrum like this.
  8. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    I run Discover Scuba and Scuba Birthday parties for kids as young as 10. We use BP/W for kids exclusively, and none of them has a problem figuring out how to put them on, precisely because they lack all of the snaps and buckles and pockets and cummerbunds and clips and the rest that a traditional BCD features. Of course I help adjust the webbing to fit them, but there's nothing easier or more intuitive than putting an arm into each strap and then tightening a waist strap that's as familar as the belt you wear on your pants.

    PS - the idea of considering what someone "with no instruction at all" would do is meaningless; since every new diver would actually be receiving some instruction I would hope.
    shoredivr likes this.
  9. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
    That's spot on.
    Gear selection is no replacement for practice, experience and training. Good divers can dive any configuration will little effort. The better a diver gets, the more interest they have in gear selection.

    Good marketing will always trump price and quality. Remember VHS vs Beta?
  10. diver 85

    diver 85 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: SW Louisiana
    Marketing??--------don't work on me......I skipped Beta completely & still use (a small amount) VHS----but again I kept & used my 1st '85 Dacor BC for over 21 years & over 1k dives--it finally gave out(inflator hose fell out of bladder after a 2 tank dive on Roatan..:D)......Wife's(almost the same) BC lasted 22 years and about 500+ dives---really kept thinking 'man, they don't make good stuff anymore'.....
    cc.harley likes this.

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