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globetrotter753

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Greetings everyone!
This is my first thread on ScubaBoard.
I am an OWSI with PADI and SSI.
I have been using the same BCD for my entire career thus far. It is a Masterlift TEK from Beauchat size XL.
Regardless of it being 1.5 - 2 sizes too large, it served as a great BCD for me.
Although I will be sad to part with this "companion" of mine, the time has come to retire this BC.
Now that I am looking to purchase a new one, I am a bit lost as I do not want to regret my purchase.

I am looking for a BCD that will allow me to continue teaching and diving single tanks, while also allowing me to expand my career into the technical diving realm.
Essentially, a hybrid back inflate system.

I am traveling at least twice a year with all of my equipment, so unfortunately, I do not have the means to purchase 2 separate BCDs (one for ST and one for Tec/SM).
I have come across the Hollis SMS 100 & SMS 75, as well as Dive Rite's: Rec EXP Wing Dual Bladder, rec XT Wing Dual Bladder, and the Nomad XT.
While researching and looking through many threads on ScubaBoard, one poster recommended the Toddy Style system.
However, on the website, I was unable to find a sufficient amount of information on their product(s).

Hoping that anyone experienced in the industry will read this and will be able to offer their opinions to these questions:

What can you recommend to me for a new BCD setup?

What are your opinions on the BCDs listed above?

Have I forgotten to mention any BCDs that would also serve me well for my needs?

Are my demands wishful thinking?

Any other advice will always be welcome!

Thanks everyone!!
 

Ontwreckdiver

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I would cross every wing off your list. The Hollis SMS 100, Hollis SMS 75 and Nomad XT are side mount and the Dive Rite wings are way to big for single tank diving and you don't need a dual bladder wing. You will need 2 different wings, one for single tank and one for doubles when you get to that point.
I would look at the Sub Gravity system, it's not the cheapest though. You have a choice of 4 backplates, 5 wing sizes and their wings don't require a single tank adapter, 2 harness styles, 3 weight pocket choices.
I would look at a 3mm stainless steel backplate, a 26 or 30 lb wing for single tank diving. I really like their adjustable harness. Paragon Single Tank Package - Subgravity
 

sourdough

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What about getting a DGX singles package, and a doubles wing?

If you have time and interest, I'd buy everything individually and put it together yourself. You'll have to make adjustments from a package anyways. Get the webbing, hardware, tri glides, D-rings from DGX and/or Pirahna. It's fun, super affordable, you can get whatever standardized backplate from the brand of your choice, and you get to pick webbing color for yammy yammy style points. I like the very stiff webbing from Pirahna for my continuous upper body piece, and softer webbing for the crotch strap.

I would advise against the "deluxe quick adjust/release strap" options, it sounds nice but in practice you don't need it, it's more clutter, and it just means that your gear is never consistently adjusted just right. I bought a "deluxe" version with padding, and later removed it to reharness in the "Hogarthian" style, and everything was simpler/cleaner with the routing, and fewer parts. At most a loop adjustment piece on the backside of your plate for the unbuckled strap may be nice.
 

The Chairman

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I am looking for a BCD that will allow me to continue teaching and diving single tanks, while also allowing me to expand my career into the technical diving realm.
Essentially, a hybrid back inflate system.
Please don't. Too many compromises both ways. For a single tank, I like the Zeagle Express Tech. My current one is over twelve years old (I think) and it's easy to get in and out.

For twinsets, you need to decide back or side mount. Try both. You'' find zealots on either side of that fence, but remember the adage: fit and comfort. Get what's right for you.

And please, avoid the "less is best" mindset when it comes to wing capacity. Go at least one size over what you think you need. Maybe two.
 
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globetrotter753

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Hey everyone, thanks for your feedback!

So after reading your posts I contacted a Tec Instructor who advised this:

1. Get the right tool(s) for the job(s)
2. Dive Rite travel exp wing
3. Dive Rite classic xt dual wing
4. Steel backplate
5. Single tank adapter
6. Simple harness & crotch strap

Total bill about $1K

I'm pretty sure that I won't be able to sidemount with either configuration... but i guess it still gets my foot in the door for starting out in the tec world.

Any opinions on this?

Going to be spending some time looking at the brands you all listed above in the meantime.

Thanks again!
 

rongoodman

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It looks reasonable, although I'd hold off on buying the doubles wing until you actually need it. If you decide on a dry suit for your tech diving, assuming you aren't already using one, the double bladder would be superfluous. Wing size will be dependent on the tank size you settle on too. And you're correct, sidemount is a different thing with different equipment, although many of the same decisions come into play. Diving with Al80s in the cenotes will be different than using big steels in the Florida caves.
 

grantctobin

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I’d ditch the dual bladder. Would toss the Light Monkey and Halcyon wings into your consideration list. You haven’t listed your current weighting, but you might be better served w an aluminum plate
 

sourdough

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1. Get the right tool(s) for the job(s)
2. Dive Rite travel exp wing
3. Dive Rite classic xt dual wing
4. Steel backplate
5. Single tank adapter
6. Simple harness & crotch strap

Total bill about $1K

Looks about right to me, you might be able to lower the bill a bit with DGX, IST, or OMS wings, but get what you want to dive with, not what's cheapest. I have a Dive Rite travel XT Lite backplate used with an xdeep wing, and the XT backplate is great, but I'd probably have preferred to get the standard XT for the few extra lbs.

parts (webbing, slides, epdm bands, d-rings, sta adapter)
 

Doby45

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I would do exactly like @rongoodman said and ditch the double wing for right now. In the same token, I would keep my eyes peeled for a used doubles wing. I got a $300 45lb Apeks doubles wing for $100, because I kept my eyes peeled. I also have a really hard time paying retail for pretty much anything, other than my CCR. :) Basically, buy when it is convenient for you and when the right deal comes along.
 
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globetrotter753

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I’d ditch the dual bladder. Would toss the Light Monkey and Halcyon wings into your consideration list. You haven’t listed your current weighting, but you might be better served w an aluminum plate
My current BP/W is the Beauchat Masterlift Tek with an Aluminum plate. Dry, it's listed as 4.6 kg dry, but im pretty sure mine is a tad heavier.
In a 7mm semidry and scubapro jetfins I manage to dive with only the potential spare weights needed for students.
Otherwise, when diving for myself I'll take a 2lb block just in case.
So maybe Steel would be too heavy?
 

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