Lets Talk Wing Construction

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Divin'Papaw

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no stability advantage, if anything there is a stability advantage to the STA-less design as it brings the center of mass closer to the center.
The main advantage of STA's is ease of changing tanks over on a bucking boat if you have a STA on both tanks *super nice btw*, and ease of switching a plate between singles/doubles/ccr.

Ohhhhh. I forgot about that advantage! Yes, super nice.

I never had stability issues with my DSS STA-less plate and wing. I switched for the other reasons listed above in my post. Early on people tried to dive without an STA using wings that had no sort of stabilization feature built into the wing. I saw people doing that very early on. There was alot of sway of the tank in those instances. But it sounds like today's wings designed to be used without an STA have features to prevent that. So in that regard I stand corrected. That is good to know.
 

Divin'Papaw

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I still like my STAs and a nice, flat inner surface to the wing that sandwiches nicely between the plate and STA. :)

But there are clearly other very workable solutions for those that don't need or want the benefits of an STA and want to go with an STA-less design.

This has been a great discussion and these are factors each buyer needs to weight in their wing selection.
 

Colliam7

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I have been eyeing the different wings available. . . . it is still hard for me to understand the differences in wings especially as their cost expands hundreds of dollars. . . . . It seems to me that inflator and dump valves seem a dime a dozen, but please correct me if I am wrong. The main difference seems to be fabric. . . . . The most expensive wing is Halycon but some say you are paying for the H and seems to be the outlier when it comes to cost.
You have received some excellent technical feedback from Tom (tbone) as well as some good practical advice in the same post. :)

There is a certain appeal to trying to understand the physical differences between wings. I think it is also easy to overthink the issue. In reality, as far as durability goes, most wings are incredibly durable, notwithstanding technical differences in their outer casing or the materials used in the bladder. So, I have moved in the direction of selecting wings primarily on the basis of lift / functionality / shape, and secondarily on the basis of brand. Put quite simply, my choice of brand is influenced by where I am working and what brand lines the shop carries, and the staff discount I get. :) I grew up in a Dive Rite / Halcyon / Zeagle shop, and I am now in Aqualung / Apeks shops.

I own / dive Apeks WTX, Dive Rite (new and older), Halcyon, Oxycheq, and Zeagle wings. I have never had a wing failure, with one exception. Maybe, I am just lucky - no punctures, no pinch flats. (In the interest of full disclosure - I don't let anyone else touch my gear, move it, assemble it, etc.) And, the one exception was not so much a matter of durability as age of the product line. I went through 3 Zeagle 30lb donut wings before I got to one that didn't have a problem (bladder seam leaks). In that case, I think the issue was that I bought the wing early in its life cycle, and there were still some manufacturing hiccups. (I bought it based on it being listed in the Zeagle catalog, only to find that it took 3 months to get it because it wasn't yet in full production.)

The differences that I see in my wings reflect some of the things that Tom mentioned. For example, the Apeks WTX wings have a thicker bladder and a more 'durable' outer shell, and they are very stiff. Not a particular problem, although they don't travel quite as well because of that stiffness. My Halcyon wings are less stiff, and easier to pack. Some of my Dive Rite wings are quite 'mature' - I have had them for 15+ years - and they still work fine. Reasonably flexible, and (apparently, since they haven't failed) quite durable. I bought my Oxycheq wing (used, on eBay) because I was curious about all the hype about the phenomenal durability of Oxycheq (although I had no intention of getting into underwater knife fights, or being shot at while in scuba gear). It is a very nice wing. It is a doubles wing with a somewhat narrow profile, and I like that. I don't find it to be conspicuously more 'durable' than other wings, although the outer case is a very nice tight weave. My favorite singles wing is my 30lb Halcyon. I particularly like the narrow profile of ther wing. Would I buy another one if I had to pay MSRP? Maybe. Maybe not. But, I do think one of the real benefits of Halcyon gear is the great customer support. Yes, you pay a bit more, but you get a quality product, and good support after the sale.

I have needed to replace original inflators on Halcyon, Dive Rite, and Oxycheq wings. That is a 'cost of doing business' from my perspective, and not a matter of durability. Even though I (think I) do a good job of rinsing, etc. over time they start leaking and it is now cheaper/easier to simply put a new $17 DGX inflator on, than to take the old inflator apart and service it.

Honestly, although there is a certain appeal to selecting a wing on the basis of objective data, looking at durability, I think you are best served by looking at functionality, availability, cost and vendor reputation. My $0.02.
 

D_Fresh

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I still like my STAs and a nice, flat inner surface to the wing that sandwiches nicely between the plate and STA. :)

But there are clearly other very workable solutions for those that don't need or want the benefits of an STA and want to go with an STA-less design.

This has been a great discussion and these are factors each buyer needs to weight in their wing selection.

IMO, this hits at the root of the convo. There are fantastic designs out there that fit the needs of every type of diver out there.... Those who want an STA and those that don't, and everything in between. Some wings excel in areas that others don't, but that's why we have so many wing choices available. Not everybody dives the same conditions, with the same gear, and their wings will differ, that's cool! I see it the same as any other "extreme sport"...Take surfers for example... the debate (battle) between long board and short board, removable fin or non-removable fins, low rail, high rails, etc, etc.... But aspects like inner-board construction (in this case, wing construction) are fairly universal, regardless of whatever superfluous features they include. Anyways, I just wanted to recognize @JimBlay 's post for that point, I thought it was spot on.
 
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Dubious

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You have received some excellent technical feedback from Tom (tbone) as well as some good practical advice in the same post.

That I did. I ended up picking up a never wet Apeks wtx3 34 pound wing from a somewhat local driver along with some other gear.
 

Colliam7

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That I did. I ended up picking up a never wet Apeks wtx3 34 pound wing from a somewhat local driver along with some other gear.
Good for you. Nice wing. Dive it and let SB know how you like it.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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