Pls suggest lightweight tropical BC to replace Zeagle Ranger

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lowwall

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Don't dismiss the comfort of a BP/W until you try one. If you're familiar with the "Dog Beach death march" (big Island in Hawaii), the BP/W and tank were the most comfortable thing about getting to the beach. Again board shorts and a rash-guard. Once you try one, the feeling of freedom with nothing on your chest while diving is hard to believe.
I'm another fan. My first BC was a Zeagle Ranger. I did not like the bulk or the constrained feeling so I tried a BP/W and loved it from the start.

Like you (and a lot of people doing the switch), I was concerned about the comfort and adjustability of a basic harness, so I started with a deluxe harness. That was another waste of money, the attachment point for the chest strap dug into my chest and the narrow crotch strap was both uncomfortable and didn't offer much support. Finally, I swapped it out for a standard harness and am much happier.

The 2" webbing is wide enough that it does not dig into your shoulders while walking in the rig. The way it is supposed to fit is to keep the shoulder straps a little loose for comfort and to aid getting it on and off. The crotch strap keeps everything in place while diving.

As far as I'm concerned, the only drawback with a BP/W is the lack of pockets. I use a couple of trim pouches on the waistband for the small amount of weight I need with AL tanks in warm water, but everything else (DSMB, light(s), sometimes a small camera or slate) needs to be clipped on or wrist mounted. This is fine once you've had a chance to practice with it. People who want to carry more stuff tend to get tech shorts with pockets or add pockets to their wetsuit or drysuit.
 

gizmo1972

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simple outlaw or rogue they dont get lighter than that!
 

JohnN

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I'm another fan. My first BC was a Zeagle Ranger. I did not like the bulk or the constrained feeling so I tried a BP/W and loved it from the start.

Like you (and a lot of people doing the switch), I was concerned about the comfort and adjustability of a basic harness, so I started with a deluxe harness. That was another waste of money, the attachment point for the chest strap dug into my chest and the narrow crotch strap was both uncomfortable and didn't offer much support. Finally, I swapped it out for a standard harness and am much happier.

The 2" webbing is wide enough that it does not dig into your shoulders while walking in the rig. The way it is supposed to fit is to keep the shoulder straps a little loose for comfort and to aid getting it on and off. The crotch strap keeps everything in place while diving.

As far as I'm concerned, the only drawback with a BP/W is the lack of pockets. I use a couple of trim pouches on the waistband for the small amount of weight I need with AL tanks in warm water, but everything else (DSMB, light(s), sometimes a small camera or slate) needs to be clipped on or wrist mounted. This is fine once you've had a chance to practice with it. People who want to carry more stuff tend to get tech shorts with pockets or add pockets to their wetsuit or drysuit.
Yepper to all of this. I use tech shorts. That way all the crap goes into the same pockets as my drysuit.
 
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aceswerling2

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Thanks for your feedback, Iowwall. I appreciate that you switched from a Ranger. I'm hearing that you liked your Ranger, but like me, you found it too bulky. As that switch removed mass, it also removed some capability like pockets. That's no surprise, but it's something to consider. I'm glad to hear you found your BP/W as comfortable as your Ranger.

I read that long thread about the Zeagle Express Tech and better understand why people like it. I'm definitely going to take a closer look at that option along with other BP/Ws.

Gotta be honest though....I'm not a huge fan of crotch straps. I totally understand why they're useful but they remind me of the horse collar BCs I had for my OW training in 1982. Ouch!

It's time for me to start trying these on so I know how they feel.
 

lowwall

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Gotta be honest though....I'm not a huge fan of crotch straps. I totally understand why they're useful but they remind me of the horse collar BCs I had for my OW training in 1982. Ouch!
I think those had 3/4" webbing? The current standard 2" makes a big difference. Narrower is not better when force is applied to this region :)
 
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aceswerling2

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Hmmm...hard to remember the size now since it was a long time ago and I was pretty young. You're probably right though. The 2" webbing can't be so bad if people aren't mentioning it all the time.

The split crotch strap setup on the XDeep Ghost looks like an improvement over a single strap.
 

rhwestfall

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For warm water, I have set up the family's plates with Zeagle Split Saddles for crotch straps. All experiences have been positive.

YMMV
 

theanswriz42

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FWIW - I also love my Ranger but ordered a Zeagle Backplate Combo Pack today.
 

Jimchris

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I really enjoy my Aqualung Outlaw with the 12lb bladder. I Also have an aluminum plate set up for warm water travel, but I do enjoy the Outlaw for purely recreational diving. For me, I only need 8lbs with a full 3mm in warm water, and its easily stowed in the trim pockets, and easy enough to ditch if need be. For when I didn't have a wetsuit with built in pockets, I added a butt pouch to the large webbing loops on the back of the backplate, for holding SMB/finger spool.
 
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