sidemount bcd reviews/opinions for someone looking to buy 1st SM setup

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Mr.337

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Hi,

First off i'm new to the forum and have enjoyed reading alot of the threads. There have been a few interesting reads and those with good reviews and advice. I am AOW/Deep currently always looking to further my skills and become better underwater of course. My wife and me usually go to Playa Del Carmen 2 or 3 times a year and dive the cenotes and 1 or 2 reef dives. I want to go sidemount to move towards full cave, but obviously i will take time to get used to sidemount first before going to start the cave course.

I'm looking to buy my first sidemount setup. I'm 5'9" 185lbs. I live in Houston and NEVER will be diving cold water *65F and below no thanks*. I will always dive warm water call me a chicken if you want but i'm a Texan and I hate the cold :). I will also probably use AL80's most of the time as i'll do most of the diving in Mexico/flower gardens/local lakes near here.

I'm looking at a few sidemount system options:
Razor 2.5
xdeep stealth tec
hollis katana

What are you guys opinions and thoughts/personal experiences with these systems, and are there anyt others i should also keep in mind?

Thanks,
Kyle
 

MichaelMc

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I think you have the main options, for less negative tanks. I have and like the stealth tech, but it is the only one I've used. I think you'll find it well liked on the board.

Spending a leisurely Mexico trip trying them out with rentals might be a good idea. It would also give you some early instruction. Depending on your wife's forbearance or similar interest, or at least interest in a scuba tune up, or some dive days off by herself.

Some instructor setup and time with each in a pool (or cenote) would give you the best idea for you.
 

Scuba Client

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Hi,

First off i'm new to the forum and have enjoyed reading alot of the threads. There have been a few interesting reads and those with good reviews and advice. I am AOW/Deep currently always looking to further my skills and become better underwater of course. My wife and me usually go to Playa Del Carmen 2 or 3 times a year and dive the cenotes and 1 or 2 reef dives. I want to go sidemount to move towards full cave, but obviously i will take time to get used to sidemount first before going to start the cave course.

I'm looking to buy my first sidemount setup. I'm 5'9" 185lbs. I live in Houston and NEVER will be diving cold water *65F and below no thanks*. I will always dive warm water call me a chicken if you want but i'm a Texan and I hate the cold :). I will also probably use AL80's most of the time as i'll do most of the diving in Mexico/flower gardens/local lakes near here.

I'm looking at a few sidemount system options:
Razor 2.5
xdeep stealth tec
hollis katana

What are you guys opinions and thoughts/personal experiences with these systems, and are there anyt others i should also keep in mind?

Thanks,
Kyle
A List of Modern Sidemount Diving Systems
 

Mr.337

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I think you have the main options, for less negative tanks. I have and like the stealth tech, but it is the only one I've used. I think you'll find it well liked on the board.

Spending a leisurely Mexico trip trying them out with rentals might be a good idea. It would also give you some early instruction. Depending on your wife's forbearance or similar interest, or at least interest in a scuba tune up, or some dive days off by herself.

Some instructor setup and time with each in a pool (or cenote) would give you the best idea for you.


So that was what i was told is have the instructor assist in fine tuning your setup and explaining more importantly HOW to set it up yourself also. This is why I wanted to get side mount trained and have 20-30 SM dives before I wanted to start cave training to be more familiar with my setup.

I've heard good things about all 3 just not sure which to go with at this point. The one thing i've noticed is of those 3 very rarely do i see any of them for sale. That tells me the users like them enough to keep them clearly. Thanks for the reply!
 

runsongas

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xdeep will get the most recommendations, apeks can be considered if you are getting a sizeable discount. if you don't plan to dive steel tanks with it, then stick to the classic bladder for the xdeep and the wsx25 bladder for apeks.
 

marsh9077

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You are basically looking at the two most popular sidemount setups between the Xdeep and Razor. Both are great and you really cant go wrong with either one. Obviously some will say one is better than another but this is exactly like trying to compare Chevy vs. Ford

Personally I have the Xdeep and love it, I have tried the Razor and nothing bad to say about it. Only reason I went with the Xdeep was the price
 

Rayk

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Everyone I know those who uses Xdeep seems pretty happy about it. Also Razor gets some love as well.
 

Sevenrider860

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I have owned the Apeks WSX-25, Razor and original Hollis Katana. The Apeks and Razor were nice kits, I never liked the original Katana. I currently own an XDeep Steath Tec and Hollis Katana 2. I mostly dive the Katana 2 when wearing drysuit / LP85s as I prefer the H-Harness design conversion that it allows. The XDeep is my preferred rig when diving wetsuit/rash guard with AL80s.

If you do look at the Katana, make sure it is the Katana 2. I never liked the original Katana, with the Katana 2 I think Hollis corrected a lot of the things I did not like about the first version.
 

decompression

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Firstly, all decent rigs.....one of the first questions you should consider is what tanks am I going to use and how much lift to I need?

From your post it looks like Mexico and caves are your focus.....so.....al 80’s and for the near future 4 tanks.....so consider that and your weight requirements......a 40# wing might be a bit overkill.....so, stealth classic should be considered
 
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