HOG Total BCD/Reg Package

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Daniel Garner

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Been a long time since I ran through a forum. It’s good to see that FB and their like haven’t killed these formats altogether. I’ve been certified since 2006, although most of my diving was done in the first 5-6 years. A second of my children has gotten certified and it’s sort of exploded again. I’ve been diving a Dive Rite plate/Rec Wing for the better part of 14 years but due to age and no shortage of abuse, my gear was looking pretty rough. As I was pricing a new wing and harness I got a good reminder of what sticker shock felt like. LOL. But there was a package deal for a TUSA BCD/Reg Set in the LDS for what looked like a good price. As I was researching that package, I ran across ads from many venders for a wide variety of packages that were even cheaper. I’m assuming that Google algorithms crunches my searches for wings and dive packages and kept sending me links to a brand called Edge HOG. There are very few videos out there on that brand aside from their own brief promotionals or how-to tutorials. The reviews out there seem to be few and far between. Venders have them, but I shy away from vender reviews as many tend to lose negative reviews. What sold me was a friend of mine who tends to subscribe to the more cave/technical aspect of diving, has started rotating his gear out to the HOG brand. He is extremely careful about what he dives with, and this is his go-to brand.

Well, there’s a reason for their lack of exposure it seems. Edge HOG relies on word of mouth and direct instructor to student advertising. They don’t pay pretty girls to prance around in their gear on a beach in Hawaii, they don’t pay for expensive magazine ads, they don’t pay instruction agencies to put their gear in instructional videos, they don’t advertise at all really. They will sell their gear at various tiers of wholesale pricing to dive shops or certified instructors who in turn push the gear at the individual level. In short, they have no real overhead or advertising costs to recoupe. On top of that, very few companies have actually been able to improve on the basic design of things like regulators. They make them more complicated from time to time, or change the shapes and colors, but at their core most regulators are copies of designs that lost their patents ages ago. Just like many other big names out there, these older designs are at the core of their product line. What does all of that mean? Cheaper gear, but not....”cheaper” gear. For example, to fully restore my old wing with original parts, it was going to cost me around $700 plus/minus. For a couple hundred bucks more, I could replace my whole kit. Through a fortunate series of events, I was able to work through an Edge HOG dealer and got the HOG BP/W (back plate and wing) AND a reg set at about $700. That was a one time opportunity for me and you probably won’t get that lucky at a dive shop, but to put it in perspective, the entire BCD package (no regs) from HOG through an actual dive shop, was cheaper than replacing the wing and harness on my Dive Rite rig.

What did I buy?
Aluminum Plate
Delux harness system
5# weight pockets
Crotch Strap
32# Wing

and the DX1 1st stage regulator
Classic 2.0 primary reg
Rec Tec secondary reg
And a micro 3 gauge console (SPG, Depth, Compss)

The plate appears to be made of quality aluminum. It doesn’t flex and feels solid. It’s the same size as my Dive Rite plate and most of the holes and strap it’s line up pretty close.

The wing has a nice, large tooth plastic zipper keeping the bladder inside the outer shell. The bladder and shell seem to be made from quality fabrics and the build/assembly seems to be pretty solid.

The harness (once assembled) seems to be made pretty well. The shoulder pads are my only concern. They seem to be “puffy” and round feeling rather the typical wide/flat padding you would expect on a shoulder strap. I never noticed it in the water and haven’t thought twice about it since getting it wet. Use the crotch strap. The word “crotch” is such an ugly word and it paints a picture of discomfort and distastefulness, but I promise you, it’s not. Use it. 5 seconds of surface work, and you will thank me.

The D1X first stage is a heavy chunk of metal. It’s painted black and is environmentally sealed. It’s good to go for cold water and nasty/salty water won’t be getting inside the components of the reg. If memory serves me, it has 2 high pressure and 5 low pressure ports. The 5 LP ports are on a turret that allows the top of the reg to rotate which reduces hose strain and jaw fatigue.

the Classic 2.0 reg is pretty nice. It’s not the smallest reg out there but it’s light. It features a break adjustment that allows you to control how easily the diaphragm “breaks” or opens the valve to let you breathe. You can dial out a free flow at the surface and then reduce the breaking pressure once you’re under. There is also a Venturi valve. The basically routes the air directly at your throat and helps you feel like you can breathe better when you’re winded. It’s a very basic, but very functional regulator design.

The Rec/Tec octopus looks and feels like the classic 2.0 with the exception that it doesn’t have the knob to adjust the breaking pressure. It breathes fine and there is nothing wrong with it, I just don’t see the point in dumbing down the backup reg. I think your backup reg should function identically to your your primary. And for the price difference between these regs, I don’t see why they bother. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fully
functional and it breathes great. I just prefer to have the same second stage on both the primary and secondary lines.

The console was my biggest surprise. I hate giant clunky consoles. This thing is easily 1/3 the size of most consoles. That comes at the disadvantage of being as easy to read, but it’s so easy to tuck away and it doesn’t feel like a brick clipped to my chest. Looking at HOG venders like Diver-Supply, I don’t think I got the same console they offer. This was direct from HOG so your mileage may vary a bit depending on where you buy your kit.


This kit does not come assembled unless your particular supplier/vender offers that service. It’s not hard to do yourself but I can see it being intimidating to someone who isn’t mechanically
Inclined. I recommend building your own kit as it could pay off in the long run if you need to make a change or a repair.


I spent a LOT of time in pool tweaking and adjusting this gear. My DR BP/W was vastly more comfortable than any jacket style wing I’ve ever worn. Ever. But it was never quite right. Looking back, I don’t know why I never tried to adjust it. Maybe I did and I just don’t remember it, but I never quite got it so that my waist strap was down below my gut when I had the shoulders where I wanted them. Getting my waist strap low enough to be right made my chest strap into a garrote.

I have this rig dialed and I have to say it’s the most comfortable rig I’ve worn to date. Keep in mind, I’m not a tec diver. If you want this fully tec’d out you can make a true Hogarthian style rig. I chose to balance out things between tec/rec and make it what I like to dive with.


HOG proves that you don’t have to buy a brand name in order to buy quality. The dive industry started out as a rich mans sport unattainable to most people. Things changed and diving became popular and easier to get into than in years past, but it seems there is another shift upwards pricing many people out of the sport. Brands like HOG are changing that for a lot of people. If your considering a backplate and wing, you can’t go wrong with HOG. If your shopping regulators, HOG has several lines and all of them are solid breathers.

#hogtotalbcd #hogbackplate

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BoundForElsewhere

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Great report. I'm a huge fan of HOG both aesthetically and function. The self service aspect is a huge plus for me, too.

Congrats on a beautiful and well thought out rig.
 

Altamira

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Congratulations on returning to diving. I recently bought the HOG TBCS soft pack with 32# wing for lighter travel weight, and help with shoulder mobility issues. I also looked at the Dive Rite bp/w systems, but decided on HOG after a lot of research, and I could not be happier with the HOG bp/w.
 

Bowers

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It’s nice to see such a well organized review, thanks! I put my students in edge/hog gear and they do great. I also dive it not only when teaching but also in caves and technical diving.
 

jtscuba02

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Are you using their STA? I was just looking at this set-up and when building it, the drop down menu says it is optional for the soft back plate but makes no mention of the AL or SS back plates.
 

Altamira

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Are you using their STA? I was just looking at this set-up and when building it, the drop down menu says it is optional for the soft back plate but makes no mention of the AL or SS back plates.

When I was considering the HOG AL backplate, instead of the soft pack, I talked to several DRIS staff members that did not use a STA with their hard plates if they were using the HOG wing with built in tank stabilizing bars. From the discussions, it sounded like a personal preference for those divers.
 

BoundForElsewhere

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get the jet propulsion option.
 

Barnaby'sDad

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Go with a simple webbing harness and lose the console.

Yup. That’s what I eventually did.

Everything padded on that setup (ex. Shoulder straps and mine came with the padded backplate) is positively buoyant. I want to say that when I asked HOG about it, they said the pads required roughly 1lb each. I did a test in a bucket with water at home and even the 10lb weight pouches needed something like ~2lbs to sink.

After ditching all of the padding, I eventually went from their SS plate to a lighter SS plate, as I didn’t need anywhere near as much added weight anymore. Just a thought...but that’s a great setup to start with.
 
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