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

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Mr.337

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Looking at the price of the razor vs the xdeep. The only big feature I can tell is the razor 2.5 has far more adjustable for trim with weights vs the xdeep is on your center of spine. Does that one feature justify a $200-300 price increase?

Those who dive with either have you found any trouble diving with a single al80 and adding weight to counter not having twin tanks?

I say that because wife and some friends I die with won't be doing SM. So no need to always take sm gear and just bring my standard backmount kit. Just wondering is it easy to compensate for singles with either or just keep it dedicated and bring back mount kit too
 

runsongas

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monkey diving a single al80 isn't too bad, don't even really need to use a counterweight, but diving off a boat in rougher seas is easier in backmount.
 

MichaelMc

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I've not monkey dove, but have extra (subGravity) trim pockets on the back sides of the hip belt. They take a 3 lb. or two 1 lb. coated hard weights and should compensate fairly well for monkey diving. I have matching pockets on the back shoulder. I'd think a pound at hip and shoulder would keep you balanced out. I have them to be able to more easily adjust head/tail trim in the water if I get it wrong. I can swap weights between all except the top spine pocket in an 8mm, but not (I think) in my 10mm.

I'd echo something earlier that the classic might be preferable for just 80s if you are traveling. The tech is a bit big to pack. Another option for travel is the Deco rig, though it may not save you much space over the classic. New System - The Deco Sidemount %

Also, eventually you may want to play with different hardware. A popular option is stuff from SumpUK on facebook.

The other 'single tank' option is to bring a pony and a transfill whip (or have a friendly dive op), that way you retain redundancy and are closer to single tank divers in terms of encumbrance and boat clutter, while still getting to dive sidemount.
 

decompression

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Both the razor and xdeep will serve you well.....historically the razor takes quite a bit of adjustment and fine tuning (what SM rig doesn’t?) but the xdeep classic is pretty straight forward. However as mentioned, Patrick Widman (xdeep guru) is based in Mexico....you couldn’t ask for a better guy for xdeep SM instruction. There are lots of weight mounting options besides the spine so don’t let that influence you too much.....occasionally I’ll use 40 lbs on my xdeep. I currently own 8 SM rigs, 2 of them are xdeep and are my preferred rig.
 

Coztick

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Looking at the price of the razor vs the xdeep. The only big feature I can tell is the razor 2.5 has far more adjustable for trim with weights vs the xdeep is on your center of spine. Does that one feature justify a $200-300 price increase?

Those who dive with either have you found any trouble diving with a single al80 and adding weight to counter not having twin tanks?

I say that because wife and some friends I die with won't be doing SM. So no need to always take sm gear and just bring my standard backmount kit. Just wondering is it easy to compensate for singles with either or just keep it dedicated and bring back mount kit too

Single tank SM is easily managed. You will barely notice the weight swing if you're kicking. You certainly do feel it when motionless though.
My approach is clipping two 3lb weights to the back in the center of my harness waist belt. The weights are individually attached to a boltsnap with a simple 8 inch loop of cord so they hang just below tank center on my hip and over the lower tank attachment pt.
Start the dive with both weights opposite the tank and move them one at a time to tune your ballast.
I also carry a small pony in place of my left tank so you may need a few lbs in place of a second reg/valve. You get to dive with your wife (mine won't dive) so you probably don't want to bother with a pony.
You won't be needing much weight if you're not diving cold water.
A big benefit of SM is being streamlined.
I would consider wing profile when shopping.
Does the razor still look like a big football when fully inflated?
My suggestion would be buy the "Deco" rig @MichaelMc tagged and you're good to go until tech training. That would allow you time to decide on which tech rig to go with(and maybe find a used one) before you need it and you get a sweet travel rig!
You could just order a second wing use it when needed. Any harness can be accessorized. Don't pay a grand for a harness and wing because it's got stuff you can easily add. Less is more...
Enjoy the journey!
 

Mr.337

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Single tank SM is easily managed. You will barely notice the weight swing if you're kicking. You certainly do feel it when motionless though.
My approach is clipping two 3lb weights to the back in the center of my harness waist belt. The weights are individually attached to a boltsnap with a simple 8 inch loop of cord so they hang just below tank center on my hip and over the lower tank attachment pt.
Start the dive with both weights opposite the tank and move them one at a time to tune your ballast.
I also carry a small pony in place of my left tank so you may need a few lbs in place of a second reg/valve. You get to dive with your wife (mine won't dive) so you probably don't want to bother with a pony.
You won't be needing much weight if you're not diving cold water.
A big benefit of SM is being streamlined.
I would consider wing profile when shopping.
Does the razor still look like a big football when fully inflated?
My suggestion would be buy the "Deco" rig @MichaelMc tagged and you're good to go until tech training. That would allow you time to decide on which tech rig to go with(and maybe find a used one) before you need it and you get a sweet travel rig!
You could just order a second wing use it when needed. Any harness can be accessorized. Don't pay a grand for a harness and wing because it's got stuff you can easily add. Less is more...
Enjoy the journey!

So after doing some research into your guys options I'm now torn between the xdeep classic (easy to pack for travel) and the deco rig.

Eventually in the future I would like to move towards tec. For sure I will definitely get 50-100 sm dives before tackling the tec side is my plan. That being said would it make more sense for the xdeep classic then with that in mind, or still go with the deco rig?
 

Mr.337

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Is there anything I should order with the deco rig @MichaelMc looking at the lift it provides more than the classic xdeep. So in my limited knowledge of SM... more lift = more bottles just need to add thend rings and clips/elastic bands to carry the extra bottles.

Given that price now I'm highly leaning towards the deco rig!

Screenshot_20210508-204630_Chrome.jpg
 

MichaelMc

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I think the deco bladder would be the one to try.

The rest of a sidemount rig is webbing, hardware and weight pockets.

It is more work, but you might check out the hardware from SumpUK and build the webbing and hardware bit with that.

The xDeep spine pockets are fairly nice. You might get the shorter of them. That would give you more space in the middle back for any other simi side pockets that you want. That depends on your size. I'm 5'9" and the four pocket spine pocket is fine, but it takes up part of the back hip. You can also do a more H harness with angled waist to shoulder plates.

This 'build your own harness' is a bit more work to take on at the start, so just getting the xDeep or Deco harness is certainly the easy way. Just realize you may eventually replace all but the webbing of it, but the SumpUK stuff is not cheap.

You do not need the light plate unless you currently have a canister light. Plenty of time for that later.

The main thing you need beyond what you have is something for weights. The small xDeep spine and 4 trim pockets of your choice is the way I would go.

And possibly a butt pouch, if you do not have thigh pockets and have more than DSMB and spool. It took me a bit to settle on a small DGX butt pouch. You could manage a few tame dives without one.
 

happy-diver

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I bought some stainless plates and bits

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and read Devon Divers site a few times

How To Build Your Own DIY Custom Sidemount Harness %

bought one of these, it's actually better than a bought one

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and went in here for a while

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That's one of my chestmount rebreather sacks on the machine
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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