Same Regulator Set for Doubles and Sidemount?

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Beau Holden

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I own LP85s and HP80s for my back gas. AL40 and AL80s for deco, stage and just having a little extra at times. All I dive is dry suit. Cold water, warm water or hot water, makes no difference. Why? Same kit, same everything, unless I travel to Mexico and rent AL80 doubles. Then that's the only thing I change. Here in the US, If I want to go on a charter boat that not allow doubles, then I find another boat.

Determine what the mission(s) is/are and build your gear around that. If you want or have serious ambitions to go cave or technical start building your around that mission and it works just find for rec diving. If not, I promise you, you will spend many $1,000s that you did not need to spend. Technical diving is not about gear, Its about a mindset about diving and how to dive. Also, there is nothing recreational about serious cold water diving. You better have your feces together.

I'm going to end my responses to this thread with this. If you are really serious, then buy, read and study the Fundamentals of Better Diving. Its the best decision and mission training book, in my opinion you can read. Its not a cult book or a promotion book, just good solid platform information.
 
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Rayk

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You start with something suitable for both, which means you pick a first stage with turret and fifth port.

In the future you will end up high number of regulators anyway, you won’t be having that problem.

I have three MK19 Evo paired with G260’s and they are going back and forth between BM, SM and a Stage. Just one more set and I am done.🤣
 
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kHz

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Thank you so much guys! You guys are really informative.

For the people concerned about my aggressive dive plan: yes, I agree with you. I was a casual diver before covid, and three years out of water made realize that I can't live without diving. I love getting into a cold water lake with low visibility, and feeling almost as if I was reborn when I surface.

Therefore, I decide to go into these hard-core diving. I am fine with not finishing all my plan, but I am not afraid of dreaming big.
 

mdwalter

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Hi, Guys!

I am new into recreational sidemount diving and I also plan to train with backmount doubles within a year. I was wondering if I can just get a set of regulators and a few hoses and gauges for both.

Here are my needs:
1) Icy water diving. I am currently based in Ontario, so cold water & ice diving constantly. Also plan to dive in the arctic and go on liveaboard in the antarctic within the next three years. Doubles can be less of a trouble in ice diving. (Less concerns about frozen first stage.)
2) Strongly prefer to not own tanks. I am petite (about 5'4 or 163cm & low BMI), so I might need to get doubles adjusted to my size if I want to regularly dive doubles. Sidemount might be more forgiving on the sizing.
3) Cave diving in Florida. Plan to train for cave diving within the next three years, and sidemount is probably better for that.
4) Budget & storage space limit. Strongly prefer to own less gear if possible.

It might be better to just own one regulator set that can fit all my needs. So first, is that possible? And second, which model of regulator would you recommend? Past posts recommended the APEKS MTX-RC and Scubapro MK19.
Here's what I have done (in the past, as I currently have 2 sets of SM regs and 1.5 sets of doubles regs) when using my BM doubles regs for SM. This method works best with regs that DO NOT have a turret and 5th port because then you don't have to switch out what hose is on the 5th port and use shorter LP inflation hoses for SM and longer for BM. I just took my regular non-turret BM doubles regs, on which all the hoses come out the bottom of the first stage, removed the long HP hose from my left post 1st stage, and put a short HP hose and gauge on both 1st stages. Done. Because the LP inflators are plenty long to reach from the doubles to a wing and drysuit inflator and come out the bottom of the reg, they can just run down along the SM tank and loop back up to the SM wing and drysuit connections. The 2nd stage hoses are the same length needed for SM or BM so again no need to swap out. Easy peasy.

As for your tank issues, at least for FL cave diving you should have little trouble finding LP 50s, LP 85s, or AL 80s to rent for either SM or BM cave diving. At least one of these options should be short and/or light enough for your smaller frame. Not sure what the availability of these options will be in the arctic, but in Ontario you can probably find something that works to rent from Dive Tech in Mallorytown or maybe somewhere closer to your part of the province.
 
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RobPNW

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Sorry if this sounds like hijacking the thread, but I was actually wondering something similar about switching between single tank and side mount. I see myself taking a standard single tank reg and hose setup on dive trips and using that exclusively. I have two of the S620ti regs and could get two MK19s.
 

tbone1004

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Sorry if this sounds like hijacking the thread, but I was actually wondering something similar about switching between single tank and side mount. I see myself taking a standard single tank reg and hose setup on dive trips and using that exclusively. I have two of the S620ti regs and could get two MK19s.
Same as switching with doubles. Most of us use the same hose lengths/qty for doubles and singles. Same there though, the only hose that is still used is the 7ft long hose, everything else is different, often including the SPG since we use smaller/thin SPG's for sidemount and most prefer bigger ones for backmount.
 

LFMarm

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As long as you have 5th port and rotating turret, you will be able to do use them with both back mounted doubles and side mount. With a 5th port and no rotating turret you can still make it work but not ideal for sidemount. I personally dive Apeks DSTs which are also rated for cold water
 

306dive306

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I live and dive in Saskatchewan and here is my opinion:

1) u don't need to buy the MTX line of Apeks for cold water. I dive XTX50 in 2C water and it does the job just fine

2) I cave dive in Mexico using the XTX50 and it is a very respected reg in that area too

3) if you want to switch between BM and SM go ahead. However, I would NOT do that if I were you. If you want to be a SM cave diver, I think you should dive SM only bc it does make a difference on your level of comfort and proficiency

4) I own tanks and that makes my life easier bc as a SM diver I can have L and R valves at all times. My LDS has a limited number of tanks and when I was still renting, sometimes the SM tanks were not available. You will find out what's best for you.

5) gear can be stored in a 32" luggage except for the fins and wet/drysuits

best of luck!

Cheers!
 

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