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New PSD, need advice on BCD purchase

Discussion in 'Training, Practices & Equipment' started by paperdesk, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. paperdesk

    paperdesk Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Inchelium, WA
    362
    16
    Hello, I recently joined a local volunteer Sheriff's dive team. We're strong on training, but not on funding, so, each of us provide our own equipment. My BCD is too small for drysuit diving which is what I will be using much of the time here in the Pacific Northwest. The dive team leaders are not really in favor of BP/W, but tolerate them. My current BCD is rear inflate, but I'm not stuck on that. Since I'm paying for my own equipment cost is a very real consideration for me.

    I'm considering:
    1. BP/W
    2. Zeagle 911 (or similar)
    3. Simple, streamlined, durable and affordable BCD.

    I'm leaning toward option 3 though it seems that almost everyone here on SB STRONGLY recommends BP/W, however, there are seem to be some good arguments for option 3 above for PSD use.

    The Zeagle 911 is supposedly made for PSD, but I've heard that it's difficult to attache a pony bottle, and it just seems a bit overkill and not very streamlined. (I'm willing to deal with the ripcord style weight release).

    Any thoughts? I'm not trolling, please just give your honest opinion to help me decide since I am just getting into this.

    Thank you,

    Ted
     
  2. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    18,260
    10,543
    get a BP/W, grab one from Tobin at Deep Sea Supply, they are very popular in your area.

    What are the reasons your team leaders don't like BP/W's? I've never actually heard a good one before, and certainly never heard one that can't be worked around.

    If you want to placate the boss because they are stuck in the 1980's, then get a Transplate Harness and put it on there so it has lots of stuff to clip things off to, and conversely lots of stuff to get you hung up in and stuck to. Alternatively you can get a Deluxe Harness with QR from them that still has a chest strap and quick release on one side, but isn't as cumbersome as the transplate.
     
  3. paperdesk

    paperdesk Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Inchelium, WA
    362
    16
    Thank you tbone1004,

    Both team leaders have and use BP/W but for various reasons don't feel it's best for team use. Probably the greatest reason is that most of the team uses vest style bcd's and would not be familiar with a BP/W setup, and they are concerned that if an entrapment or other underwater issue arises, a team member having an unfamiliar setup could greatly complicate the situation. Of course there is the "face forward in the water" issue too, though I would see that as a smaller concern given the situation.

    I think we all want to avoid unnecessary d-rings and complicated setups :)

    I'll check out what Tobin has to offer. Thanks!

    Ted
     
  4. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    18,260
    10,543
    face forward in the water is a myth unless you are grossly overweighted and if you are concerned about the team being unfamiliar with it in an entrapment, then you aren't training properly.... Simple as that unfortunately. You have safety cutters, if you're stuck that bad, just cut yourself out of the harness, but something like the DR Deluxe Harness with QR will give you a QR on the shoulder to get you out.
     
    Bratface likes this.
  5. Sol

    Sol Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Toronto
    96
    14
    Re the face-forward thing ...

    I don't know your situation well enough to tell you what to do, but I avoid jacket BCDs unless I have absolutely no choice.
     
  6. paperdesk

    paperdesk Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Inchelium, WA
    362
    16
    tbone, I wish you'd quit telling me what I want to hear, lol.

    Sol, a Dork diver!! Makes me smile just reading that. I think I joined a DD group some time back and completely forgot about it since. I have to catch up.

    Ted
     
  7. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    18,260
    10,543
    sorry bud. You can make a backplate behave like a back inflate, the Transplate harness will do it.
    Northeast even has them on sale for $80....
    Large - Dive Rite Transplate Harness - Red -Large - Northeast Scuba Supply Store

    Hell even brand new at $140, you can get a DSS rig $480, plus the Transplate at $140, plus the DSS weight plates since you're in the cold at $100, *total $620* PLUS a bunch of other misc stuff you don't need like trim pockets and crap for $200 cheaper than the Zeagle 911....

    Oh, simple, streamlined, affordable, and durable BCD only exists in BP/W's btw. By the time you check all four of those boxes you just exceeded the price of a DSS rig....
     
  8. scubasprout

    scubasprout Dive Shop

    95
    15
    If you want to stay away from BP/W but still go tough and stick with back inflation. Look at the Mares Hybrid ProTec or the AquaLung PSD BC1.
     
  9. C P

    C P Contributor

    142
    42
    Although I'm not a fan of hard backplates at all, I'm more a Transpack guy, Normally ttbone is pretty close to being on (except his love for hard plates and single weave straps) but this time I disagree with him on it's a simple truth your not training enough if different gear is the issue. When something happens, you don't have the luxury of time to try and remember what gear this particular diver has and how it is set up and works before beginning going after the diver. Trying to work thru 10 or more different sets of gear and who has which underwater when something has gone wrong is just unnecessarily complicating things at a time when you really want to simplify things.
    In the mid 90s our team began using Zeagle Techpacks ( unfortunately not available now) which is a lot like the transpacks. The couple of D rings on those style BCs HAVE NEVER been a problem IN MY experience. Neither have the so called extra failure points people go on about. I would suggest looking at the other team members gear and going along those styles.
    Its not hard at all to attach a pony to the Zeagle or about any BC really.
     
  10. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    18,260
    10,543
    CP, I actually do prefer the Dive Rite deluxe harness to single piece harnesses and am quite fond of my Transpac, though the unfortunately discontinued Transpac Tec was definitely the best of the lot :p
    I also don't dive hard plates all that regularly since most of my diving is sidemount, but it is still the better option for most people to start in because they're pretty cheap compared to a transpac, and are a bit more versatile. I like to have people start with a hard plate and one piece webbing and if they decide they don't like it, then show the harness alternatives and then the soft packs but only if they have specific issues with the basic place to start.
     
    C P likes this.

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