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#333
New BCD help
Morganw215 - 12/18/2016 10:19 PM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 18

Looking for a new BCD. Currently I dive with the scubapro Bella. Never had any issues with it. I’ve read many articles and looked up top ranked BCD’s but I still can’t decide. I’m leaning towards a back inflate now due to articles. My shop sells scubapro and I would like to support them, but I’m open to suggestions. Help?!
#2259
DiverfromBaskingRidge - 12/19/2016 8:13 AM
I own a Balance BCD that I like.

But I would also recommend a BP/W - or even just try one out. I never thought I would like it - but for my doubles it works great. I have the harness bands for a single but have not tried it yet.
#13250
LatitudeAdjustment - 12/19/2016 8:23 AM
You’ve opened a can of worms and you are going to get a ton of suggestions, all different!

ScubaPro shops only push ScubaPro :( Dive shops rarely sell back plate and wings because you can mix and match brands and they want you to stick with theirs :(

The advantage of a backplate is it stays put on your body so the tank isn’t throwing you around and if you look thru dive magazines the female models in the photos, not ad’s are wearing backplate and wings (BP&W) because they look better.

I have two BP&W’s, one for cold water and one for travel
#333
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Morganw215 - 12/19/2016 9:25 AM
Thank you! I’m new to the BP&W. Recommendations?
#239
armaniballesteros - 12/19/2016 9:44 AM
You can never go wrong with scubapro.
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DiverfromBaskingRidge - 12/19/2016 11:58 AM
From Morganw215: Thank you! I’m new to the BP&W. Recommendations?

Not so simple - you need to know what your lift requirements are based on the configuration that you dive.

I am only giving you an example -
Do you mostly dive in a 5 mm wetsuit, wet gloves, boots and hood - how much weight does it take to sink your exposure protection? 14 lbs? (not how much lead do you dive with...)

What tank do you use most often with your regulator setup? Aluminum 80 - what are the characteristics of it being at 500psi? About +4 lbs.

This will help you determine your weight requirements - the back plate has different characteristics like weight - Aluminum/Stainless Steel will weigh more than carbon fiber back plate. You can deduct this from the weight of the wing needed to support you and your gear.

You may want to talk with your LDS or contact someone like Deep Sea Supply - Tobin for more specifics.
#13250
LatitudeAdjustment - 12/19/2016 2:01 PM
From DiverfromBaskingRidge: You may want to talk with your LDS or contact someone like Deep Sea Supply - Tobin

Ditto on Deep Sea Supply, my travel BP&W is their plastic BP with a 22# wing
#60
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Medic_202 - 12/20/2016 10:03 AM
Do you have a rental place you can try out the variations? If so, great. It will give you an idea of what you like.

If not, and you don’t find the perfect advice here, remember that the fact you’re doing research is a great sign that you understand the pro’s and con’s, and you’ll be able to adjust nicely to whatever choice you make.

I, myself, went with a hybrid design. Both vest and back inflating. It is the "middle ground" solution. The model was Tusa Conquest. I love it.
#4002
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WarmWaterTurner - 12/20/2016 10:10 AM
Just my two cents - you are asking about going from a vest style to a back inflate. My wife wears a Lady Nighthawk from Scubapro. At first she hated it until she got used to using the trim weights as a back inflate wants to tip you forward on the surface. I mostly wear a Hollis HTS with a wing. But, I also wear a Nighthawk for teaching. BEFORE shelling out a lot of money for a component system, please do yourself a favor and try the back inflate without the BP&Wing configuration (rent, beg, barrow or steal :)
- just to make sure you are on the right "comfort" road.
#5768
Agojo - 12/20/2016 6:28 PM
BP/W! I have 2 backplate/wings and a XS Scuba Companion back inflate for warm water travel, light weight and comfortable. I started diving with jacket BC and one time of BP/W I was converted.
#333
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Morganw215 - 12/20/2016 6:33 PM
So that’s the issue. I dive everything. Wintertime I dive in the Caribbean (or try) at least twice. Then in the summer I dive in my quarry/local. When I dive carribean I dive in my 3 unless I’m doing multiple dives then I use my 5 with aluminum 80. When I dive in the quarry I use my 7 hood and gloves and like to dive with a steel 120. 2 of the people I spoke with that are avid divers told me they dive aluminum backplate all year and when in carribean use a travel. With the wings, does it matter between the donut shape or the horseshoe?
#333
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Morganw215 - 12/20/2016 6:38 PM
From WarmWaterTurner: Just my two cents - you are asking about going from a vest style to a back inflate. My wife wears a Lady Nighthawk from Scubapro. At first she hated it until she got used to using the trim weights as a back inflate wants to tip you forward on the surface. I mostly wear a Hollis HTS with a wing. But, I also wear a Nighthawk for teaching. BEFORE shelling out a lot of money for a component system, please do yourself a favor and try the back inflate without the BP&Wing configuration (rent, beg, barr...

I am between the seahawk and the BP&W. I like the seahawk because it has pockets and not those stupid roll down ones. My dad dives nighthawk so I might see if I can borrow his just to try it out.
#28551
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RAWalker - 12/22/2016 4:03 PM
As an Instructor I use multiple rigs dependent on what I am trying to accomplish for myself or with students. What they all have in common is that they are all some sort of back inflator. My preference for my own recreation is the Backplate & Wing. For travel I use a aluminum plate with the same harness as my SS plate. I prefer a shoulder release to a HOG Harness and have customized it with pockets to hold extra needed gear. The BP&W is the most modular and customizable which is an advantage but can require more consideration in which options best suit the user. (such as weighting, padding and pockets)
When working with students I wear a Hollis HD200 or a Sherwood Tortuga these are jacket style back inflators with weigh integration. I use them so students become familiar with a more standardized jacket while still affording myself a good flying BCD.
Another choice that is becoming very popular is the Travel BCD which is made to light weight, folding and minimalist. Typically they are back inflator style with weight integration but lack accessory pockets. These can be a good choice for the warm water, seasonal traveling holiday diver. I’ve seen model from Hollis, Zeagle and others in this category.
#241
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Pdillard - 12/25/2016 10:56 PM
Im a Zeagle Fan.... but you can never go wrong with SCUBA PRO........
#2587
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John_giu - 12/26/2016 12:45 PM
i have a mares back inflate BC which provides a little better trim without going to a backplate and wing.
The only thing is a back inflate (and I would image a backplate) is that it tends to want to push you face down if over-inflated on the surface.
a buddy of mine likes to bob up and down on the surface like a cork with a full jacket bc, so he hated the back inflate when he tride it.
So if you don’t mind floating a little shallow while at the surface it’s fine
I do think it swims a little better, but like anything else I guess like with all your gear you adjust to it.
#1729
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Cburgert - 2/26/2017 9:16 AM
SCUBAPRO has the best warranty for equipment. Personally I like the SCUBAPRO Hydros plus bcd. It’s different, but it’s extremely comfortable.
#172
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UnderwaterMartini - 3/31/2017 9:50 AM
I’m running a Deep Sea Supply SS backplate, LCD30, complete rig. $470.

Get the $99 weight plates for your cold water dives. The LCD30 is pretty much the most well rounded wing in the DSS lineup. Big enough for cold water, but too slim to taco bad in warm water. It’s inflator hose is very short, weird at first, but when you get used to it, it rules. It doesn’t drag or dangle.

An LCD20 would be my pick for warm water vacations, if you ever feel like having a wing for home and another wing for travel.

My regs, BP, Wing, computer, and camera go in my carry on. So I do use a SS backplate for travel, the extra 7 pounds off my belt is nice.