DIY Flexible Sidemount Backplate Brainstorming

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SlugMug

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My sidemount harness system is currently almost identical to this setup:

How To Build Your Own DIY Custom Sidemount Harness %

I'd like to add a little more rigidity & support in the "backplate" area, while still keeping a little flexibility. Basically the between the shoulder and lumbar plate, and potentially left/right sides of the lumbar plate in the back.

I enjoy the DIY process, which is why I'm going down this route, but feel free to point out commercial solutions. An inexpensive one I could simply buy, though there's also "borrowing inspiration" from available designs as well.

Idea 1:

Take this ~$45 backplate Scuba Diving Aluminum Backplate Hardware Accessories for BCD Harness System | eBay or one like it, cut out the middle 1/3rd with a Dremel, and then use some flexible plastic like this 6 Plastic Cutting Mats | Color Coded Flexible Plastic Cutting Mats with Food ico 9780669154238 | eBay to create the flexible spine, and several holes to make it adjustable.

s-l1600.jpg


Idea 2:

Use the flexible plastic, plus these Sidemount Harness Plates! Complete set of upper & lower plates! , Piranha Dive Shop | (already owned). I'd basically cut the plastic into something like the (WIP) shape below, in 2 overlapping pieces for spine-length adjustment, and the sidemount plates secured with book-screws.

backplate-01.png



Any thoughts, suggestions, or alternatives?

(edit) Option 3:

I just saw this ~$90 Mares Backplate Soft - XR Line 792460258687 | eBay , and it seems awfully close to what I'm looking for. I tried some related searches to see if there are any competing commercial options, but haven't found one yet.

s-l1600.jpg


edit2: Now that I know a little better what to search for, I found:

* $100 https://www.amazon.com/Apeks-Aqua-Ultralight-Travel-Plate/dp/B00ISHE1HA
* $??? Alpha Diving Products
* $140 OMS Sidemount Adapter Plate To Convert OMS Harness | eBay
 
OP
S

SlugMug

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Update:

I might as well get either the Apeks Aqua Ultralight Travel Plate, or Mares XR Soft Backplate. Can anyone confirm either/both of these backplates are flexible and can bend.
 

Anthony A.

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I remember seeing the Apeks in store and it was semi flexible. It felt like there was a cardboard/flexible pladtic insert inside. Definitely it will bend to the contours of your back but not foldable. I'd assume the Mares is the same. DGX might be able to answer for Mares if you email them.
 
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SlugMug

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I remember seeing the Apeks in store and it was semi flexible. It felt like there was a cardboard/flexible pladtic insert inside. Definitely it will bend to the contours of your back but not foldable. I'd assume the Mares is the same. DGX might be able to answer for Mares if you email them.
Awesome, a semi stiff, somewhat flexible/bendable but not floppy or foldable plastic-like backing is basically what I'm looking for (similar to those thin plastic cutting boards, but maybe a little stiffer).

I think I will contact DGX about the Mares one. DGX also has it cheaper (but on order). I saw this description on one site: "The XR Soft Back-Plate is made from 1200D "bulletproof" ballistic nylon with a Polyphrene hydro-drainage comfort padding." which seems to suggest flexible, but doesn't say flexible.

edit:


I found my answer, looks like this will work great! It's flexible enough, but not floppy.

edit2: I found it for $70, in stock, on fleabay, so I ordered one from there.
 

Nemrod

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The Piranha Dive soft plate appears to be very similar if not the same as the OxyCheq Ultra Lite Travel Plate. The Oxy plate can be found around $55 (Cave Adventurers). I do not recall soft plates before Oxy came out with theirs. I have two of them, a Gen I and just got a Gen II. I bought the second one for the purpose of building a mini side mount system just for fun. But my wife has already adopted it and wants me to string it for her. My first one has several hundred dives on it and it has plenty of diving left to go.

Cave Adventurers - Ultra Lite Travel Plate *Black* - Marianna, Florida USA - Never Undersold!

N
 

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