• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

BP/wings comfortable?

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by Scuba1821, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. Scuba1821

    Scuba1821 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    7
    4
    3
    I have been researching and saving for 2 years to buy a BP/wings setup.
    Went to my LDS this AM to buy one and the owner talked me out of it. Said they were uncomfortable. his comment was 'look at it. It would be like sleeping on a steel pillow'.
    Should I be worried about this? I usually dive with a 3 or 5 ML wetsuit so I would have some padding but I also often do beach dives that require a long walk prior to entering the water. Any help would be appreciated.
     
    markmud likes this.
  2. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    17,278
    9,230
    113
    Define long?
    I use BP/W's practically exclusively *sidemount harnesses are a gray area and there is always the random offchance I may have to rent a jacket for some reason, so it's not absolute. I own 5 of them and they are all I dive if I can help it*. They are all one piece harnesses, no harness padding, no back padding. As long as you have a rash guard on, they're perfectly fine. If you are doing long walks with just a rash guard, then a neoprene sleeve may help a bit. If you wear a wetsuit, you are fine and if you put neoprene sleeves on there for the long walks, it is going to be for abrasion protection vs. comfort. Once you're in the water, they disappear if they're fit properly.

    If you are near the Ft. Lauderdale area, check out Aqui Watersports that is owned by @LandonL . He stocks bp/w's and will be able to help you get fit properly.

    On what your LDS owner said. I hate to do this, but it is what it is. His profit margin is WAY higher on jacket bc's compared to bp/w's so it is in his best interest to "upsell" you to a high end jacket where he will make about 100% margin compared to a bp/w where he may only make 50% margin. Sad but true.
     
    eleniel, Trego, NothingClever and 3 others like this.
  3. Miyaru

    Miyaru Tec Instructor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: EU
    570
    616
    93
    Can you go back to that shop and thank the owner for reading my post? I'm thrilled that at least one person took this serious:
    Why are jacket style BCD's the most common??
     
    fisheater and Divingblueberry like this.
  4. James79

    James79 Reinventor of Wheels ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lower Alabama
    731
    917
    93
    I personally love BPW, and have no comfort issues. I do the beach dive with a walk thing, in 3 mil and in just a rash guard, and have no issue with it. My 14 y.o. put a back pad salvaged off an old Dacor BCD on his (he said it was uncomfortable until he did that). As tbone says, fit makes all the difference.
    Full disclosure, we don't use standard plates. I'm using a VDH plate (which is flat), and my kids (14 and 10) are using plastic plates I cut from cutting boards ($5 each). If you are in the pan handle area, I'd be more than happy to link up and let you try out the VDH plate or our DIY rigs.
    Respectfully,
    James
     
    Trego and Boston Breakwater like this.
  5. drakcheslav

    drakcheslav Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Serbia
    188
    132
    43
    I've started diving with jackets, but due to how uncomfortable the jackets were to me, switched to BP/W, no padding, no sleeves, and super rigid DGX harness, and it's way more comfortable than any jacket I've tried. And on top of that, I can use a BP/W w/o any weights, so no more lower back pain from weight belts.
     
    NothingClever likes this.
  6. RyanT

    RyanT ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    2,012
    1,799
    113
    If you're wearing any kind of wetsuit at all, it will easily be as comfortable as any BC. In fact, I would argue probably more so during the dive, as you'll have less clutter in front of you.
     
    eleniel and NothingClever like this.
  7. James79

    James79 Reinventor of Wheels ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lower Alabama
    731
    917
    93
    Even as a BPW fan myself, I will just temper the general advice with this:
    Every one is different.... I and my two boys love BPW, and my wife can't stand back inflate BCs period. I strongly recommend seeing if someone can let you try one out before you commit. I expect you will love it, but some do genuinely prefer jackets after trying both. To each there own.... For me it's a BPW!
    Respectfully,
    James
     
    markmud likes this.
  8. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    4,154
    4,304
    113
    Most people buy BC’s because of how they perform underwater, not how comfortable they are on land.
    But trying stuff on in a dive shop you are on land and so it goes without saying that they will fit you and sell you whatever feels great in the store.
    IMO a BP/W setup is far superior to any jacket in so many ways but dive shops have multiple issues with them as @tbone1004 pointed out.
    I’ve been using plates for years and I’m the goat trail king, so the comment about jackets being better for hiking is bogus....only in My Opinion of course. Wouldn’t want to “offend” anybody.
     
  9. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    6,728
    3,939
    113
    A rather inane comment from the shop owner. You don't sleep in your BCD. Frankly, sleeping in my Aqua Lung Wave - a fabric, jacket BCD with padding - would be uncomfortable. The plate is irrelevant in that context. Unfortunately, too many shop staff 'sell' divers on excessively padded BCDs. They have the diver, in street clothes, put one on in the shop. And, it feels so-o-o good. (That is why my first BCD was a Zeagle Ranger - when I tried it on at the shop, it felt like I was putting on a tailored jacket. Of course, I tried it on without a cylinder, without a regulator, without any weight. Only after I bought it did I figure out that little fact.) That 'feeling' of comfort in the shop is completely irrelevant. What the shop owners who want to sell you a nice padded, fabric BCD (with their higher markup) often fail to point out is that you pay a price for that (completely unnecessary) padding - you have to strap on more weight simply because the BCD and padding is SO positively buoyant. And, THAT weight is uncomfortable.

    In the water a BP/W is QUITE comfortable. You hardly notice it is there. They are generally very stable, and that adds to the comfort.

    I have walked up a steep, and very long, flight of stairs, wearing my steel backplate to which was attached double steel 120s. Yes, by the time I reached the top of the steep climb I was tired. But, at no point was the rig 'uncomfortable'. It was just (da***d) heavy. That would have been true with a fabric BCD as well.
    Frankly, no.
    As Tom said, define 'long' . If I was walking two miles, ANY rig would be uncomfortable, because of the weight, not because of the plate. If I am walking 100 yards from my set-up area to to water's edge, I simply do not notice the plate.

    An anecdote to emphasize my point. When my then 15 y.o. daughter - a newer diver - and I went to FL years ago, I took my wife's backplate with us for my daughter to use. When we got there, my daughter - who at the time was thinking she wanted me to buy her a brand new Zeagle Zena - said she didn't want to wear the BP, that it was uncomfortable. Now, keep in mind, she had never put one on, yet she concluded on the basis of appearance that it was 'uncomfortable' (something like the shop owner was attempting to persuade you to believe). Well, she dove it, for several days, after which she didn't want to put on anything else.
     
    Trego, NothingClever and Compressor like this.
  10. Scuba1821

    Scuba1821 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    7
    4
    3
    By long walk I mean maybe 300 yards. Thanks for the info. Im from Vero but it would be worth the trip to Lauderdale to check out that shop.
     
    NothingClever and markmud like this.

Share This Page