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New diver needs advice (Apeks WTX, Hydros Pro, other...)

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by Svart, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Svart

    Svart Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Austria
    19
    8
    3
    Hi everyone,

    I am really getting nuts over the choice of my BCD and need some advice…

    Background info:

    I’m a new diver, I have only 30+ dives, I dive mostly in the Red Sea but I live in Austria and I passed my dry suit course in a lake earlier this year in order to be able to train during the year.

    I’m in my early 40s, 6’1”, 170ish pounds, so relatively skinny.

    In the Red Sea, I was until now diving with 10kg (22pounds) of lead with a 5mm wetsuit and a jacket style BCD.

    In Cape Town, I had about 8kg (17pounds) of lead with a 5mm wetsuit + ice vest with a Scubapro Hydros Pro.

    I first wanted to buy the Hydros pro because I liked it a lot when I was diving in South Africa. But all the issues reported on this forum talked me out of it…

    I then ordered a Scubapro Seahawk (I really like the inflator system and the cam band on the Scubapro BCs). But it was too big around the waist and the S will be too short for the back…

    So I am back to square one.

    I go for one week to the Red Sea in April and to Raja Ampat for my honey moon in November. I would like to get a system before Egypt to test it and tune it in order to have a good rig for Raja Ampat.

    I am looking for:

    - something robust that I will be able to keep for a while even if I travel with it.
    - reliable
    - with ditchable weight pockets and the possibility to adapt trim weight pockets
    - relatively comfortable
    - with enough lift for warm water but also cold water. I know that a lot of people here are advanced divers and recommend low volumes but as a beginner needing a lot of weight, I am looking at 30 to 40 pounds of lift.

    What I found so far:
    - I was looking at the Dive Rite Transpac xt, I missed a super good deal on this forum and it’s quite expensive in Europe.
    - I found a super good deal for an Apeks WTX d30 wing + WTX Ultralight travel plate + WTX deluxe harness. I would just have to add the Surelock weight pockets and the adaptors. But I am a bit afraid of the harness, will it be comfortable enough (no padding, crotch strap)? I am also not sure if 30lbs will be enough lift and if the plate will be long enough for me. Anyone with experience with a similar setup?
    - I still like the hydros pro…

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks in advance and sorry for the wall of text!
     
  2. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    5,826
    1,985
    113
    The Hydros Pro has no more issues in its latest version.
     
    MrBigfins and Svart like this.
  3. Erik Forsberg

    Erik Forsberg Sea Corgi

    62
    42
    18
    Maybe there is someone local who has a backplate/wing you can borrow and try out? Backplate/wing style BCD isn't something that suits everyone, but most people tend to like it after they tried it. Might be worth checking out?

    I switched out my Scubabro Litehawk for a Xdeep Zeos 28 and would never considering going back. It's just way too easy and clean with the bp/w setup. Added benefit; it's modular and you can replace straps etc at your discretion for next to nothing if they wear out.

    Compared to your requirements:
    - The most robust solution you will find
    - The most reliable solution you will find
    - No ditchable weights; trim pockets are easily installed either on the plate itself, on the cam bands or on the tank itself. If you REALLY want ditchable weights (albeit, I would argue against it) you can add weight pockets and dump the content if needed.
    - Very comfortable (and tbh, everything is comfortable really under water :)
    - You will be very comfortable in 28lbs of lift even. I'm a fat bastard and I had a catastrophic failure on my drysuit. My 28lbs was more than enough to keep me floating on the surface without ditching weights.

    A bp/w setup looks scary with just a naked metal plate and unpadded harness but it is comfortable to dive in just a 2mm suit, so I am sure you will find it super good as well. Crotch strap just makes it more comfortable, not less. Get a soft webbing for it though and not the hard webbing.


    High Quality Scuba Diving Gear | DTD has receieved good reviews and have very low cost stuff, so I would personally look at their stuff.
     
    Svart likes this.
  4. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    14,271
    10,753
    113
    ScubaBoard: "BCD? Get a BP/W!" in 3, 2, 1...

    Uh-oh.

    Header_1154589_1.1-1023x1024.jpg
     
    Sh0rtBus, eleniel and David Novo like this.
  5. Svart

    Svart Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Austria
    19
    8
    3
    Thanks a lot to you both for taking the time to read and reply!

    Edit: Thanks to Storker for the can of worms reply. Yes it seems SB is pretty backplate oriented :D

    Unfortunately, I don't know anyone with a backplate + wing setup. I guess I will have to rent one and try.

    I have 3 much more experienced diving friends (all 300+ dives) but 2 of them dive normal jacket BCDs, which I don't understand since I tried a back inflate BCD!

    My most experienced friend dives with a back inflate BCD, he actually is the reason why I tried back inflated BCDs in the first place since he gave me his old back inflate BCD. But he never made the switch to backplate although he dives in lakes with dry suit a lot.

    It would be super cool to hear from someone with experience with the WTX ultralight setup :)
     
  6. Erik Forsberg

    Erik Forsberg Sea Corgi

    62
    42
    18
    There might be a reason for that :)

    Some people like the jacket style and some the back inflated. It comes down to personal taste, albeit the vast majority prefers back inflated.
    There isn't anything wrong with jacket style. Many many many divers have done countless dives in it and been happy and had great experiences.
     
    Ontwreckdiver likes this.
  7. BoundForElsewhere

    BoundForElsewhere Waiting for the zombies ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NYC
    1,156
    1,299
    113
    Go with the Hydros. I've had no issues whatsoever with mine. It is highly customizable, travels super easy (literally a 9" x 20" roll), and has those trim pockets you are looking for.
     
  8. David Novo

    David Novo Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Porto, Portugal, Europe
    248
    68
    28
    I started renting a jacket BCD, bought a back-inflate BCD and I am now changing to a BPW.

    BPW is clearly the superior solution for my own tastes, but the other will also do the job in rec diving even if not on par (specially the jacket BCD).

    You can get a BPW with ditchable weight cheaper than Scubapro Hydros so price is not a factor.
     
  9. axluba

    axluba Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Germany
    251
    163
    43
    Take your time to do some research.

    I don’t see anything wrong with the hydros pro (especially if they corrected it’s weakness!)

    the bpw it is definitely more evolutive but I’m hard press to argue against the hydros pro in term of weight, packability and comfort.

    If you end up going the bpw way there are plenty of good European brand that would avoid paying for the “importation premium”
     
  10. axluba

    axluba Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Germany
    251
    163
    43
    I’m with you about having some ditchable weight (I don’t mind potckets or belt)
     

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