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Jacket BCD vs. Backplate/Wing

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

  1. Charred

    Charred Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Lehigh Valley
    Are you sure? When I am on dive boats, the vast majority of of divers I see with their own equipment are using a back inflates (I am counting backinflates and bpw together). The only people using jackets are the rental gear or old school divers. I cant remember the last time I saw someone in a newish jacket.

    I'm pretty sure that if you show up with a jacket these days the DMs put you in the noob category until you prove otherwise.
  2. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    Yeah, I’m sure.

    I don’t know where you dive, but world wide jackets still dominate.
    For every 100 jackets you *might* see one true BPW as defined by a doubles style plate.

    I put back inflates in with jackets, They are hybrids that are an all sewn unit similar to jackets except without side inflation. A back inflate is not a BPW.

    A BPW is characterized as a metal doubles plate with a removable wing, which can also be used with singles, 2” webbing for the harness Hog configured or sometimes a comfort harness, sometimes a STA, and sometimes a crotch strap. The D-rings can be moved around where ever you want them (or don’t want them). All components are removable and the unit is modular.
  3. Charred

    Charred Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Lehigh Valley
    Well if your going to call everything but bpw a jacket, then yea everyone is using jackets.

    But I do see many of the more experienced people using bpw. At Cozumel, 3/4 DMs I dove with last trip had them. My family uses them. The DMs recognize you as a more serious diver and suddenly you are on boats with like minded divers using bpw. A huge side benefit IMO.

    But I do see a lot of people using the stripped down bcds like the scubapro litehawk. That is at least a smarter choice than the wrap around jackets so common in rental fleets.
  4. BDSC

    BDSC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    Folks can call any BC whatever they like but the truth is, a BP/W is a type of back inflate BC.

    Out of curiosity, why is it a smarter choice? I know a lot of folks who dive with jacket BC's and love them. Most of the DM's I have been in the water with use them, usually an old beat up one at that and their trim and buoyancy are spot on. A few I know have 1000's of dives and I would put them up against anyone who has posted on this thread.
  5. Compressor

    Compressor ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NYS
    Let's step back for a second and put our biases aside. The statement by BDSC is hitting the nail on the head. You can have good trim, buoyancy and form with either one. Models from both camps can have exaggerated features not really needed. Thank you BDSC.
    randpchi, BurhanMuntasser and BDSC like this.
  6. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    NOT in our part of the world ie. SE Asia.
    Back inflated/BP/W has some followers but the majority are still in jacket.
    If I walk into any dive shop locally, jacket bc is still the dominant one in display.
    BP/W or jacket bc is just a tool and doe not reflex one's ability to dive.
    An experienced DM would never judge anyone by the gear he/she used.
    You don't judge the book by its cover!!!!!
    oncor23, Bob DBF, randpchi and 2 others like this.
  7. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Working toward Cenotes ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    Diver A: Shiny very popular BC, wetsuit, and regulator that all sparkle and still smell of fresh neoprene, no wear marks.
    Diver B: Well used, less off the rack, BC, that divers usually need to research to find out about. Whose straps and belt seem formed in curves that look like they fit that diver perfectly.

    So no initial judgements by the DM as to who might be more trusted in the water? :):)
  8. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    Could be borrowed equipment!!
    Any smart DM would have talked to the divers first, check his/her card and about diving history. An even smarter one would insist on a check out dive.
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Yeah, I'm that guy with--well, to say the jacket I bought (I bought it used) 13 years ago is beat up, well, it passed "beat up" several years ago. It works but if I were planning a lot of deep dives I would consider replacing it. I've never even tried on a bpw, but read good things. I liked using our shop's jacket BCs for courses--they were a step up for me, and they get used every weekend by students from March through Dec.--until he sells them (probably to guys like me).
  10. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    Wow, I am skipping a lot of posts... like the first 23 pages of them. About page 3 you guys hit the “you’re gonna die” divide and it has been sliding down hill ever since. I wear a SP nighthawk andlike it very much. I had an Oceanic jacket before that and one of the EARLY Seatec jackets before that.

    TBH, the question isn’t really which is better, it is what works. If you are planning on diving twins, PB/W probably works best, very rigged and stable for twins. I didn’t have a problem putting my daughter in a jacket BC. It will work fine for all types of diving she is likely to do for the foreseeable future. It has two features that I really like. First, she understands how to use it(at least as well as someone with 12 dives can). Second, it is paid for. She owns it and it is part of her kit.

    I have never been a fan of the “your kit defines the quality of the diver” school of thought. More than likely, the quality of the gear is defined by the budget of the diver and who he was getting advice from when they bought it. A diver with a BP/W may well have it because he was working with an instructor who liked them just as likely as he was getting advice from a pretentious prick that had become a pretentious scuba snob who believed that only “ real” divers wear BP/W. A good DM probably picked out the newbie by how he loaded his gear on to the boat before even seeing them in the water. A crappy DM.... he might be guided by his biases based on the gear he approves of... or not.
    Edit: went back and realized this was an old thread. I figured people today would argue this for 23 pages in a day or so...or over years...
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
    Compressor and BurhanMuntasser like this.

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