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jacket style or back inflating opinions

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) & Weight Systems' started by thines900, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. legions

    legions Registered

    # of Dives:
    If you have the ability, make up a list of criteria and models and see if your lds rents the models you are interested in, and try them out first. Remember, at the end of the day you have to be happy. Also keep in mind that, that bc at the end of the day might not be the same one you started the day out with.

    Every member on scubaboard has their personal prefferance, all supported with good points.
    Myself personally, I use the Scubapro classic unlimited, with a single band mounting system and have never experienced a problem. That being said, as was mentioned previous, I am getting used to the bc, not the other way around. I have never had a tank slip out it's holding, ever.

    My wife uses the Scubapro glide plus, also with a single band mounting system, and has never experienced a tank slipping.

    Now, once again, that being said, I noticed on our recent trip to Scuba Club Cozumel, that a lot of folks nowadays seem to mount that strap pretty high up on the tank.

    Let me explain, since I started diving I always split the distance of my tank, and that is where I mount my strap. I have done it this way for ever and have never had a problem. My wife likewise. One day on the dive boat I noticed one of the crew mounting the bc right after where the tank curves from the valve. This might be good for a two band mounting system but not for a single band. I also personally witnessed a young diver loose his tank mounted this way. I instructed the crew how I wanted our tanks mounted, and we never had a problem. It wasn't till after returning home, and reviewing our video, that it really struck me how many people mount their tanks so high.

    I recently had the opportunity to demo a manufacturers latest rear flotation bc. I put it in the water for four hours, just testing it out. I dive 94.6, 3000 pound, steel tanks. I too have heard the rumors of these type of bc's forcing your face in the water while on the surface. I did not find that to be true during my testing. But remember I am using heavy steel tanks, mounted the way I always do.

    It then became apparent to me that maybe this is why so many people mount their tanks so low, to overcome the bcs' wanting to put your face in the water while on the surface. I will also point out that I do not use integrated weights. Once again this is just my observation.

    But more importantly, what I observed with this model, and have come to the conclusion that, YOU CAN NOT USE THE BLADDER AS PART OF THE MOUNTING SYSTEM. Let me explain.

    After mounting the tank, and putting on the bc, I noticed I could reach behind the tank and pick it up almost twelve inches. That is how much play was in the bc, and I attributed this to the fact that the bladder, that provides lift,was part of the mounting system. In this manufactures configuration, it is my humble opinion that, that configuration will not work.

    The only purpose the bladder should serve is for flotation only. Thus it is also my humble opinion, that the ultimate configuration should be a, harness, some sort of common mounting plate, tank harness, and a bladder sandwiched in between. In this configuration the bladder would serve only as a flotation device, and would not serve as a mounting device of any type.

    I provided my observations to the manufacturer, and we also concluded that an aluminum tank would change the mounting attitude also.

    These findings are my own, and it is possible you will see things differently.

    I hope in some small way this helps.

    If it's possible.........it's done.

    If it's impossible.......IT WILL BE DONE!!!!!!!!!!
  2. weaponeer

    weaponeer Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia
    I have a Seaquest Pro XLT and my wife has a Diva LX. Both are back inflate although they are classified as jacket BCDs. We've used them for 4 years. We dive reef and wrecks, no penetration except swim-thrus, in warm water. I've found the trim pockets are essential for proper weight distribution while horizontal (helps balance trim when the tank goes positive at end of dives) and also helps stabilize vertical surface positioning. I've not experienced a face-down surface episode even when fully inflated, and my BCD has a larger bladder than most, providing 40 pounds of lift capacity (XLT = eXtra Lift Technology). I've used side bladder BCDs and prefer the back inflate.
  3. tight rope walker

    tight rope walker Contributor

    I myself personally like the jacket/vest style, and presently use the Scubapro classic unlimited. It's easy off and easy on for me. I also like the fact that it has the ability to roll an unconscious diver on his back while on the surface.

    I originally had the scubapro stabilizing jacket, next I purchased the blue/teal model, and had that jacket many many years until it finally started to leak. At first, I had some problems with my new one, which is public knowledge. But at the end of the day, Scubapro made it right.

    And I personally believe that, that is another consideration when purchasing scuba gear. The reputation of the manufacturer. Do ( or will ) they stand behind their product, are they just turning out knock offs, or are they on the cutting edge of technology? Will they be in business tomorrow?

    I have been with Scubapro since 1980, and though we have had our lovers quarrels over the years, I do not just blindly support a company unless they are treating me right. There's just to much competition out there.

    But.........that's just my opinion.

    And on Scubaboard, everybody has one.
  4. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    I had a couple who did a referral with me, in the brand new SeaQuest Balance BC's their Tennessee LDS sold them. They were of the typical American body shape (pear with no waste) and if they were comfortable in the water it might have been the proper gear choice, but her first experience with even a calm ocean that full Balance bladder "pushed" her chin into the water.

    I had to put her in one of our our cheap rental SeaQuest vests and show her how it reclined in the pool to get her back in the ocean. Now, a few years later I boat guide in a Balance and even after hundreds of dives in it I know my SeaQuest vest that I still teach OW in is considerably easier to dive with than the Balance.

    Not just at the surface; releasing air during the dive is easier in my SeaQuest vest than in my SeaQuest Balance. I can also say that from my hands on experience with students and certified divers that my SeaQuest vests are the easiest style vests to release air from compared to my first ScubaPro Classic Sport (adjustable shoulder straps?), Oceanic's circa '02 vests (1st dive shop employer's training gear) and my current boat employers Mares vests.

    The vast majority of operators I have seen here in Hawaii are using SeaQuest vests, IMHO because they are the easiest to train and dive in.

    I have also done a lot of scooter diving, and I have never felt like my Balance is more streamlined than my Vest; I think I am faster and the scooters last longer when I wear the vest than when I wear the Balance.

    Notice how I only talk about the gear I have experience with, and identify it; that would be a refreshing way for all the other internet experts to post.

  5. knowone

    knowone Regular of the Pub

    Enough already with face pushing in the water. If your face gets pushed in the water unpush it.
  6. tight rope walker

    tight rope walker Contributor

    Hey halemano, Is the hot pink one yours also???????????????

    Just kidding now.
  7. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    I teach the same as I do; I do not want my head to hit the first stage when I look forward in horizontal trim. By that I mean my body horizontal or slightly head down looking ahead horizontal or slightly up.

    Each BC style attaches to the tank differently. With my Seaquest Balance the strap is very near the middle, with my SeaQuest vest the strap is only an inch below the curve. Either way the first stage is in the same place; low enough I don't hit it with my head. If I tighten my tank strap properly, tank straps have never let go of a tank. If I do not attach the tank strap properly it might let go.


  8. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    I have a number of petite regular customers who I have purchased that vest for;



    The pink weights and pink mask are also mine. :)
  9. tight rope walker

    tight rope walker Contributor

    Ha HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!! How have you been?

    It's my understanding that Legions probably has more experience with the Cheytac m-200 than he does with diving gear.

    Hey, I'm just kidding here.
  10. jlevine

    jlevine Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southern California
    I have been using a Scubapro Knighthawk (back-inflate model) for years. I find the back-inflate style to be very easy to dive with but it will come down to personal preference and fit. I do have one observation about styles that are created with a gender in mind (e.g. Knighthawk vs. Ladyhawk). You may find that the style for the other gender fits you better. My LDS has sold Ladyhawks to men at times simply because of the fit. I wonder at times how many divers would have a better experience if they chose the style made for the other gender. Marketing folks take note....

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