Looking for advice for my first backplate and wing purchase

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purbeast

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I've been doing so much research and asking so many questions on here, and been talking to some people on PM's and have had invaluable information, but I thought I'd just start a thread here to see what you with more experience say.

I've pretty much narrowed down my wing choices (I think) to the following 2:

DGX S1 - DGX Gears (S1) Singles Wing - 30lb Lift

VDH Argonaut #23 - Store | Vintage Double Hose

I am wondering exactly what the extra $45 of the VDH one brings to the table. I'm also wondering if either or both of those wings can be folded up easily to put in a carry on for traveling. That is definitely a requirement for me. They seem to be of good quality based on research.

I also think I'm going to try an STA at least initially because the BPW setup I tried in the pool had one and I liked it, and someone else in another thread said they specifically use it to get it slightly more off their back because otherwise their head would hit the tank when looking up. I have had that issue multiple times diving too and in the pool when testing it out, I didn't have that problem, so I am going to get an STA at least initially.

I'm most likely just going to get some cheaper SS BP, possibly DGX one or VDH as well, if I end up with the wing. I'm pretty sure that I don't want to get an AL one at this time even though I am a sinker, since my diving is going to be primarily on vacation in a 3mm in salt water.

So will basically either of these 2 wings fit the bill with what I'm looking for? They seem to have good reputations on here for sure.

Any and all information is appreciated!

EDIT:

I figure I might as well also ask for advice on the BP part of it as well...

So I've already mentioned the 2 that I'm looking at up above, but I am somewhat torn as to whether to get an AL or SS one. For now I'm leaning SS, but let me tell you why I'm unsure.

I tried out my first BP/W setup ever last weekend and immediately liked it more. I was in a pool without a wetsuit on, only a rash guard. It was with a SS plate on. It also had an STA attached to it. It was all ScubaPro brand so I believe the SS plate is 6lbs and the STA is around 2lbs.

And I sank like a ROCK. I mean I went down hard with no air in my BCD. I then gave it a few squirts and it did nothing. It took me quite a bit to get it to the point I was neutrally buoyant.

Now I know this was freshwater and no wetsuit. For now I plan on diving pretty much always in tropical warm waters, but wearing a 3mm full wetsuit and in saltwater. So that will add some buoyancy.

In normal jacket BCD's, after getting my weight adjusted properly, my ideal weight is around 6lbs (3lb on each side).

So I am a bit torn as to whether I should continue my plan to get the SS plate or if I should go for an AL one for weight purposes. I mean since I had 6lbs of weight, and then the SS plate is around 5-6lbs, that will kind of offset that. But since I won't have the bulky jacket BCD that probably was buoyant, I am not sure if I will need that much weight.

Just curious if going with the SS plate is what you all would recommend too. I've already had one person on here via PM recommend that, and that is what the LDS recommended to at least start with as well. I'm probably just overthinking this like I do EVERYTHING that I research...
 

runsongas

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the vdh has a thicker/heavier shell and bladder which should make it a bit more durable long term. the dgx has a pull dump elbow which is a pro to some and a con to others.
 
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purbeast

purbeast

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Sorry for the ignorance, but what is a pull dump elbow? And what is the opposite of that that would be a pro to others?

<--- noob.
 

RyanT

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The pull dump elbow means that you can just pull down on the corrugated hose and the air in your wing will vent through a valve at the connection between your hose and wing. It is a convenient way to vent your wing instead of pushing the button and holding your corregated hose up. It's convenient, but some folks view it as an unnecessary piece of complexity that adds a potential point of failure. A wing that doesn't have a pull dump elbow is just simpler. To vent your wing in a head up position, you have to push the deflate button on your corrugated hose and lift it a bit to get the air to vent. To me, dumping gas without the pull dump elbow is super simple, so I don't see the need for the pull dump, but for the recreational diver, I also don't see using a pull dump elbow as a big deal.
 
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purbeast

purbeast

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Ah okay I think I see what you are saying. I'm assuming that even with the pull dump elbow, it still has the dump lever to pull on the bottom of the wing? Or the pull dump elbow replaces that?

I have definitely had some trouble trying to get a little bit of air out with the button on the hose, just in general, with my minimal experience diving thus far, due to not being angled properly. But I've gotten better at it for sure, where I angle my body so it's left side up.

I also added more to the OP about some backplate advice and whether AL or SS.
 

loosenit2

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Pull dump elbow=you pull the power inflator hose and it activates a air dump on left shoulder where corrugated hose connects with bladder.

Some consider this another failure point (read DIR fanatics). I don’t see it as any more of a failure point than any other valve but use of an inflator valve pull dump does generally result in more water in your bladder if you are not proficient at ensuring you only dump from left shoulder when oriented to ensure air is there to dump, otherwise you are more likely to take in water rather than dump air.
 

saxman242

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Pull dump elbow=you pull the power inflator hose and it activates a air dump on left shoulder where corrugated hose connects with bladder.

Some consider this another failure point (read DIR fanatics). I don’t see it as any more of a failure point than any other valve but use of an inflator valve pull dump does generally result in more water in your bladder if you are not proficient at ensuring you only dump from left shoulder when oriented to ensure air is there to dump, otherwise you are more likely to take in water rather than dump air.

I have heard more anecdotal stories of elbows failing when pulling on the inflator than most of the failure point fears popular with certain groups. It also is one of those things where a failure is pretty much catastrophic if it occurs.

Now, there's nothing to say you can't buy a wing with it and not use it/only use it in limited circumstances if you want to hedge your bets.
 

Centrals

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A plain elbow is not that expensive.
I won't say it is an added failure point but it does require additional cleaning step after dive.
Stay simple.
 

RyanT

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@purbeast, most (all?) wings with a pull dump will still have a dump at the bottom as well.
 

MichaelMc

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Given how negative you are, I'd advocate for an Aluminum plate.

It's possible that a steel plate is all the ballast you need. Some would view that as ideal. I'd view it as limiting your options.

- Trim: where the plate puts your ballast may not be exactly where is best for you. You might want a few pounds of it a little higher or lower.
- Some ditchable: an area of debate, but I like a few pounds, 4-8 is a good range, ditchable just is case I screw up on the surface and want to make myself more buoyant.
- Class: They will want you to drill in ditching your weight. It's one of the basic skills, despite the above debate. Hard to do if your plate makes you overweighted already.

If a SS plate covers all your ballasting needs, or all absent just a few, you do not have many options, most crucially for trim. Setting your weights up to put you in trim makes your life much easier.
 
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