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Side mount with a back cylinder?

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by DickyDiver, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. DickyDiver

    DickyDiver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Uk
    So hear me out, and it may seem like a silly question to some but I'm looking for a range of opinions and reasons why not etc.

    2 side mount cylinders and then a small, say 5 litre deco cylinder on your back? I'm not side mount trained but exploring the idea of going side mount but the idea of having 3 cylinders (2 on one side including the deco) puts me off as it seems a bit cumbersome.

    I quit my twinset because they were heavy and cumbersome and don't want to make the same mistake.

    I was thinking a hollis sms 75 would allow 2 side cylinders and a small back cylinder?
  2. ofg-1

    ofg-1 Course Director

    I tried that 15 years ago with sidemount 85's and a 104 on my back, worked about as well as it sounds. Get bigger side mount cylinders, or take a stage.
    ScubaWithTurk likes this.
  3. Scott

    Scott Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    ^^^^^ This
    Tried it with a SMS100
  4. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    Deco bottles are trivial to handle.

    Two what you would probably call 11L steels and a 5liter AL. And now the 5L sits even closer as I've been working on shortening the leashes.

    lsmike, Fastnail, Paul M and 3 others like this.
  5. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    The deco cylinder isn’t that cumbersome in sidemount. That being said... if i want lots of stages, i prefer a twinset with my stages sidemounted. Everything sits nice and i use the real-estate on my back and keep more freedom in the front.
  6. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    i do not do a lot of sm diving and i have only played around a bit in pool with adding a third bottle. but imho it is not that tough adding a third. there is lots of info out there with suggestions on how to rig it. try a few and go with what suits you best.
    i honestly think if you want to keep the number of tanks to two on your sides, but want to pursue more advanced diving, then switch to bm doubles and add your third and or fourth to your sides. i think having two bottles on your sides with one deco mix on your back kinda defeats the purpose of sm. just my 2 cents.
    Fastnail and Paul M like this.
  7. stretchthepenn

    stretchthepenn Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    In my experience, this is the way to go. That being said, I've not figured out the optimal way to SM my deco cylinder (just one for right now) while wearing a BPW. Can you or anyone reading this post direct me to some reputable instructions that have (a) not-terrible photos and (b) text that's actually readable?
  8. SavDiver

    SavDiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida
    The whole point of sidemount is that you can be more streamlined, you can use one tank, no tank mount, and etc.. Setting up a back mount rig and then using a back mount for you're deco bottle is just too "extra." Most deco dives you are going to be staging bottles anyways. Most people over here just carry a 40cf or a full-size al80 with their lp85. You also gotta remember a normal fill for Lp85 is around 3600 psi or 250 bar. It might seem cumbersome to carry an extra bottle or so but let's face it. That bottle is normally going to be staged someplace.
  9. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    Ill see what i can find or maybe ill take my own pictures.
    But basically just put a bolt snap on the front of your tank that will attach to your waist d-ring and also put a loop of bungee from your plate that come under your armpit and is a couple inches shy of reaching your nipple. When in use you just attach the bolt snap to your waist, loop the bungee over the valve knob, then deploy regulator as needed.

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