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Razor 2.0 or 2.1 or SMS75

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by ScubaShaneVB, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. tiki_bill

    tiki_bill Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Chicago
    You can always put loop bungees on a Razor.
  2. Razorista

    Razorista Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
    Oh, I am sure he knows about any flaw in the Razor and could also tell you reasons why it is there and necessary.

    (also any other bungee system available)
    It is even shown in the Steve Martin Video how to add Loops to any harness.
    (and I do not even want to take credit for having tried exactly the same config myself a year before he released the video)

    The floating loops are tied to the harness below the D-ring meaning it is hard to use even when left free.
    Backup lights are uncomfortable in the same way as with the Razor.

    I prefer the single continuous bungee myself, because I can use any tank valve with that.
    Also entanglements can be solved by unclipping instead of cutting.

    I use the D-rings and find them to be 'free and clear' enough.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  3. djcheburashka

    djcheburashka Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    I dive a razor (with modifications), I looked closely at the stealth (which a bunch of friends dive) and at the SMS-whatever. Some thoughts --

    I agree with a lot of what's been said about the weight systems, except about the stealth pockets and razor "t" system. The stealth pockets are nothing more than a razor "t" system with a couple of $15 weight pockets on it and some triglides to keep them in place. For it's part, the razor "t" system is 30 cents worth of webbing with a couple of holes drilled into it.

    For a whole I dove with the "t" system with he pockets on. I recently replaced it with a piece of webbing with a hole in it and the pockets. Zero problems.

    The razor tries too hard to have continuous webbing. Splitting it so there's one piece along the spine and a second for the crotch strap makes it 1000 times easier to get adjusted and is no less steady. The Stealth is easier to adjust, but they do that by putting on far more bits of gizmo and gadget than are necessary.

    The Stealth attachment for the canister light is nice. One of the tricky things with the razor is whether you leave the light semi-permanently attached to the crotch strap. I added one of the Stealth mounts and a removable attachment from Dive Rite.

    The Stealth wing does not appear to be attached well.

    It is trickier to adjust the razor and Stealth for steel tanks than the Hollis. The reason is that you have to get the position of the rear D rings and tank clips and side mount bungee to all be just perfectly right or the tank will hang at an angle. When I dive steel I don't dive anything heavier than LP 85's. They work fine. Adjustment isn't terrible.

    That said, getting geared up with two steels and two stages on a boat... It's a pain in the butt with any sidemount rig, but especially so with the razor.

    The Hollis thingy is way too much unnecessary complicated junk. It is as cumbersome as bad backmount rig.

    Oh-and are there *any* changes in razor 2.1 vs razor 2 besides the pouch using a zipper instead of Velcro, that triglide, and the bungies coming out the inside rather than outside of the wing?

    I like my razor but honestly, except for the wing and pouch, you could probably build all the rest of it over a weekend with a drill and $50 of parts from Home Depot, and I'm pretty sick of what the tech gear places are charging.
    Razorista likes this.
  4. Razorista

    Razorista Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
    Outsch, to someone who loves his Razor as much as I do, this hurts [​IMG] [​IMG]

    But it is hard to disagree.

    Anyone who dove a Razor or similar system for a few weeks could design his own for no more than half the cost.
    Since you already own a more than adequate and totally overpowered system why do that however?

    If there is one thing you can improve about the Razor it is that you can get even more minimalistic.
    So you could save quite a lot of money using a less overdone wing, and save on the frills like the neoprene wrappers and pouch.
    Let's face it: needing 40+lbs of lift in sidemount is extremely rare.

    Still, one of the first things criticized when I bought my Razor and it's capabilities where still unknown to most other diver was that sidemount would not offer enough lift to rescue other divers in emergencies (looking at the streamlined package this seemed rather obvious - today everyone seems to know what it is and what can be done with it, but then I did not even know how to react to every criticism and was frustrated very often).
    This soon changed into people criticizing that the fully inflated wing was not streamlined enough at that enormous lift capacity - even though I still can fit through anything most backmount wings cannot get though without the diver attached (again, there is no way to answer that but a bemused shaking of the head...there is just no arguing against something so obviously wrong).

    Sometimes you just cannot stop laughing when people get tied up in their arguments and realize that they have been ignoring one of their own firm believes for the last five minutes and start to talk in circles to get physics to be different for sidemount and backmount diving, so they can come back to arguments that have been dealt with in the last millennium for backmount diving.

    So yes, there are some things about the Razor that seem overdone and to picky about details and some of the copies even imitate that.
    But it had to be perfect to get as far as it got, otherwise most of us would never have known it existed at all.

    Should there be any more changes?
  5. djcheburashka

    djcheburashka Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Should there be more changes? I wouldn't say that. There are things I would change, but they'd never do it.

    Adding a second set of low profile d rings a few inches down from the chest rings was a total g-dsend for rigging up with stage bottles on a boat. A loop of bungie holds the inflator hose better than the neoprene wrap. Splitting the webbing into spine and crotch components made the whole thing vastly easier to configure. Putting pouches on a piece of webbing instead of that ridiculous t weight thing...

    I just think they should be clearer about what they mean. You said in a post, I think, that the wing has a more secure attachment. They advertise a wing "2.1". It looks to me like the wing has not changed in the slightest.

    The lack of clarity is inconvenient.
  6. Razorista

    Razorista Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
    Well, you can reach Steve and HP via Facebook. I am told they explain their reasoning if you ask them and if you still find your advice valid afterwards I am sure they would listen to good advice themselves.

    Easy to do yourself during setup. Would be another 10-20 increase in sales price however, so that is something you have to do for yourself.
    Steve does not like more than the minimal amount of D-rings it seems and that thinking share a lot of other cave divers and even open water divers.
    And HP would probably say something like: "you would not need those if you had had original gosidemount training". ;-)

    I found out that you should not talk to some cave divers about bungee loops on the webbing.
    Some like it personally and quietly, some hate it with a passion.
    But again it is very easy to do a modification like that yourself.

    This is a personal thing again.
    I think most people would prefer not having to change anything frequently.
    I seldom adjust at all myself and during the year the amount of lead I have to carry for the padding under my drysuit nearly doubles (meaning it is a lot of padding change). I do not even change anything if I do pool training without anything much under the drysuit and no weights at all - still fits snugly without changes.

    HP always reasons in interviews that 'trim fanatics' see that differently, weight can be placed very exactly and any setting is easy to reproduce later.

    Personally I like that I do not have unnecessary buoyant material for empty pockets anywhere - I do not like soft weights, and hard weights work perfectly fine this way (sometimes a tight fit with badly cast pieces though).
    I prefer the T-Weight systems concept to anything else I tried and have seldom had to use every workaround I know to make it work.

    They do not do any marketing at all I sometimes think.
    If you want information you have to go get it, or look on Facebook and for second hand information in blogs and forums.

    Not 'secure', I did not really mean that. 'Optically more pleasing', or something along those lines. Looks much better, offers additional flexibility and freedom, etc.. but is not much different from the original idea.

    I do not think they advertise a 2.1 wing.
    It is still the 'BAT-Wing'. The Razor 1 came without a BCD.
    Nothing about 2 or 2.1 (and would have to be the 'BAT-Wing 1.1' anyway, not 2.x).
    Just the Razor 2 has become 2.1 as a complete package, the x.1 stands for 'not much change overall, just a new production run'.

    Lack of information is inconvenient, yes.

    But think about it: Without information and next to no marketing efforts there are still people talking of 'sidemount hype' and attribute anything good about it to 'marketing lies everyone has heard before', comparisons to 'nitrox-hype', etc...

    Also: they do not need to do more, they can hardly keep production up to demand anyway it looks like.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  7. djcheburashka

    djcheburashka Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Well you're clearly a partisan-are you sure they're not paying you?

    I get the opposition to more d rings. I share it; after a year of struggling to clip four tanks on for a boat entry, eventually I have in. If they have another way to get those tanks properly clipped for a boat entry well, I've asked a few times...

    If I was rigging up in the water like Steve I might feel differently. It reminds me a bit of when I dive dir. It's true that there's nothing that couldn't be done in a properly configured dir rig. But if you weren't as tall as Jj, you'd probably make different design choices.

    They do advertise it as the "bat 2.1 wing." Check their website.

    As for wrap-around bungie ties--yeah, the concept bothered me too. Except with the razor you're already accepting that bungie is holding your wing on, so the boats pretty much sailed.

    Weight pouches don't add any positive buoyancy in salt, at least any that I've noticed. I still dive with an al80 and zero weight, unless I put on a 5mm then I add 3 lbs of lead.

    I'm sorry, but the t weight is ridiculous. It's what, like $100, literally for two pieces of webbing with holes in them? Are you kidding me???

    I'm sure that hp is right about millimeter trim adjustments-if you're an instructor and you dive often enough to be able to calibrate that carefully. I dive once a week or so, and there's more buoyancy shift in my body from one dive, or frankly one time of day, to the next than adjusting weight an inch in one direction or another. The t weight system isn't even that precise anyway since it has to be loose webbing-those weights get at least a quarter or half inch of play in every direction, so not having pouches doesn't buy you anything,

    It's also true that these are all mods you can do yourself. I did. If you're paying $700 for some webbing and a pound of steel, however, the harness shouldn't need a microsecond of refinement.

    Don't get me wrong-I like my razor and I think it's the best of the sm systems out there. But...
  8. Razorista

    Razorista Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
    Yes, I am sure I am paying them for this instead. I do not even get preferred shipping, still waiting for my triglide ;-)

    I'm a dedicated fan, through and through. The Razor changed my life, this is repayment and my absolutely true and honest opinions.
    I find it refreshing to be completely convinced of something once in my life.
    Never had that experience before touching the water in a Razor 2 the first time.
    I still remember that experience clearly: I was so stunned afterwards I could not talk for an hour, totally contrary to my normal behavior ;-)
    I had hoped it to be good and easy, but that good...simply impossible, I did not really believe it for weeks to come.
    But I knew even then that what I had seen in the videos wasn't something only Steve could do.
    Still a few years to go for myself, but everyone will be able to do that someday.

    Never used additional stages from a boat and would always attach them from a line in the water.
    I equip my stages with a boltsnap on 10cm of 4mm bungee around the tank neck.
    Clips into the standard single D-ring easily and I do not feel the D-ring to get unmanageably cluttered that way.

    That's another thing I especially like about the Razor and Steve. He even thought about that!
    I am of a totally different body type compared to Steve or even to HP and still have no problems using the Razor exactly as described in the manual.
    One-Size-Fits-All, truly!

    I enter and leave the water with tanks attached 9 times in 10. I have never done otherwise except for fun or practice (or because I just did not think about it at all).
    It was hard to get just right, I freely admit.
    Today I think the Razor is the ideal device to transport two cylinders of air anywhere, in the water, on land, on ladders and steps - low center of gravity, good weight distribution = best possible balance.
    With it I would even carry two additional tanks on my back on a ladder, not without (or more truthfully: I wouldn't, but I could and I could not do that without falling off otherwise). :cool2:

    You will have to show me, I do not see it: Go Side Mount - Steve Bogaerts
    The wing is not even sold separately in the gosidemount shop at the moment (neither is the T-Weight System, I just realized).

    As I said you can use anything you like there. The Razor is Steve's recommendation for doing it, but you do not have to use his way.
    Actually I think he would hate hearing that anyone does something by blindly following him, he wouldn't do that with anyone I assume.

    I do not see anything wrong with the bungees on the Razor though.
    Most are well protected and can be disconnected and cut both in entanglement situations.
    Bungee loops cannot be build that way. (I am not opposed to them myself, do not use them anymore, but in this case I am citing others).

    Any piece of webbing or cloth will be (minimally) buoyant until it is soaked through.
    I do not like equipment to do that, it's a personal preference I seem to share with Steve, or HP, or Bill Philips, or someone else who had a say in the design.

    It is, but it works, doesn't it? :wink:

    I think it's more around $75, still a very steep figure, I have to admit (but nobody would buy it separately anyway, that's just there for upgrading old Razor 1 systems and and also fits the legacy backplate the Razor 1 was using that is also found in many of the cheapest copies - I understand why they do it this way: someone owning a copy can easily build his own T-Weight too, can't he? No sales volume = high price). >>Edit: But as I said: not sold seperatly at all at the moment.

    No, but you are kidding yourself if you think that cost always equals material worth (buy any Halcyon product to experience that).
    The T-Weight System is more or less free of charge if bought as part of the package.

    Totally understandable.
    But no sidemount system can accommodate for this, you have to find a way to make it work yourself.
    I limit myself to five dives per week (had to set some upper limit to avoid daily dives and I think that few surely cannot pose a health issue) and it works for me very well with none of the issues you mentioned (I had a lot of issues of my own though, nothing is 'just easy').

    The neoprene wrapper around everything is meant to counter this.
    I do not even use that myself and do not have any issues of weights moving around more than is necessary for comfort (millimeters and half degrees of settling of the system, no more).
    Believe me, there are even very few sidemount divers that make as much rolls and head-down movements as I do, I am notorious around the backmounters I dive with for not being able to stop that. I am absolutely sure that is no problem with the Razor at all.

    There is no way to build a harness that is easy to adjust, always secure and comfortable for most people, you have to make compromises somewhere.
    Price has no impact there, you would have to change accepted facts of life for that.

    I am with you on the 'But...' and everything else you wrote.

    It is one of the main advantages of sidemount that you can and must modify your equipment to suit your experience level yourself.
    That way you learn how everything works and there is not enough prior experience to be found anywhere to get by without experimenting yourself at least a few times.

    But that's the fun part :D, not anything to moan about. :cool2:
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  9. djcheburashka

    djcheburashka Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Look here, mid page: http://shop.gosidemount.com/products/245-razor-side-mount-system-with-redundant-bat-wing.aspx

    When you say you had no problems using it "exactly as described in the manual," the manual doesn't have any direction or instructions for getting tanks to stay level on someone who isn't very tall, or stages clipped on someone who isn't quite broad. Is it possible? Sure. But it's trial and error, and the razor harness doesn't really give you a leg-up beyond what you could do with some webbing and triglides yourself.

    You say its "the ideal device to transport two cylinders..." Fine. Not so ideal gearing up on a crowded boat, but anywayThat's two, what about four?

    You say its ideal for ladders and steps? Ummm... No. It's difficult to get through narrow spaces like say the place where the ladder meets the boat, and you have to reclip the tanks to the rear d rings getting out of the water or they'll bang into the ladder and get tangled.

    As for gearing up in the water from an e-line --- that's reall only an option on a small number of dives at least for me.

    The issue with bungee loops isn't cutting them free, it's that they can fail by abrasion. The razors bungies are better protected than the stealths, but you're still wearing gear held on by bungies so a few more won't kill you.

    All webbing is not minimally buoyant until soaked through, at least not in any meaningful sense. Doesn't a spool of webbing sink in salt? If we were talking about padding or plastic or whatever I'd agree with you, but we're talking about a couple oxycheq weight pouches on webbing with three triglides.

    Does the t weight work? Yeah the pieces of webbing are definitely webbing... Is it a good design? Not really, honestly. It's very cumbersome to get on and off--you have to be screwing and unscrewing things, readjusting a complex configuration of webbing lengths, etc, to change weights. I got to superior performace with a couple of pouches on webbing.

    As for the cost being what material is worth-I never said it was. I know iPads cost apple about $150 to build. But Steve Bogaerts is not Steve Jobs. Does the design or some perfect little addition justify what seems to be a 10x gross margin? I don't see that.
  10. Razorista

    Razorista Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
    Oh, you are right, but look at all the other places.
    And as I said x.1 means new production run, not new product.

    No, the manual does not tell you how to attach your tanks. It also does not teach frog kick or which mask to buy. :eyebrow:
    However, if you get right what is shown in the manual, you will have no problem with things like tank positioning at all and stages can easily be attached without modifications to stages or webbing (next to impossible without experience or experienced help, but I have seen people do harder things).

    And I mean it! From my subjective standpoint its more than true.
    I am about 40lbs underweight when in perfect health.
    I cannot lift 4x80cft on land, as that's more than I weight myself, it's not only uncomfortable it is physically impossible.

    Why not.
    Needs practice, but works better for me than backmount ever did.

    I don't do 4, you have to ask someone else there.
    But I do not think it's designers make more than half their regular dives with less than 4 at the moment (and 2 scooters, rebreathers perhaps,...).

    Ummm... Yes.
    Don't forget that it's just personal perspective here from both sides.
    I cannot carry 80 pounds on my back up a ladder, it just rips my hands off on the first movement of the boat and on any wave hitting my legs. I can manage 2x30 at each side and 20 on my back though.

    Not for me, it isn't. I don't have broad shoulders, even with two tanks attached I fit through a normal door and only have to turn slightly for a narrow one. I also do not use boats with small openings at the end of the ladder very often. Perspective again.

    If I had problems there I would gear up in the water more often, perhaps the Steve Martin Way: Freedive to Sidemount with Steve Martin - YouTube :wink:

    I actually prefer clipping to the font D-rings when climbing or sitting. They hang very close to the body, no way to get entangled (even protect my knees).

    Not an option for me most times either. But it's an option. If I needed it more often I would think about it more and make it work for me.

    Whatever... I personally do not see an issue either way, but others seem to do.

    I think this is some dangerous circular logic here.
    If I saw an issue, I would remove them without hesitation everywhere, I do not see one.
    I also do not see an issue with attaching a small boltsnap to the inflator and clipping it to the opposite side's D-ring - an ideal solution in my opinion.

    I do not say it is a huge issue.
    I personally find it uncomfortable on entering the water when I have to much material on parts of my BCD and would always rather do without.

    There are other things to dislike about weight system pockets - pick your own.

    Should it do more then? Is that your question? :wink:

    What makes a 'good design' a good design?
    Its practical, but certainly it's not the best thing I could dream up.
    It is better, however, than anything I could really build myself as replacement yet (I would not use it anymore otherwise).

    Yes, but I do not have many ideas myself that can improve those things that would not require including non standard custom made attachments and decrease overall security.

    You found the easy way: Put some cheap weight pockets and a few triglides on it and forget about it.

    If I cannot take my time I normally just attach weights with a fast bungee loop to the outside of the T-Weight webbing and don't mess around with the screws. http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/data/5746/WeightBungee_1.JPG (not my picture or rig, but that way)
    But the times I need that is perhaps one dive in a hundred.

    Well you can either have the Razor at the price they could come up with, or you could not have it.
    If they had not released it and promoted it with those fantastic videos HP made all those copies would also never have been as successful.
    Perhaps you would all be diving UTD or Hollis now - I wouldn't.

    Comparing those two Steves is not that accurate or fair, as Steve Bogaerts is just sharing with us some simple diving rig he has build for himself and been using successfully for a while. He could also just have continued being an explorer with it and nobody would ever see it outside caves.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

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