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Very interested in BP/w. Confused/help

Discussion in 'Diving Into New Gear' started by Tom Schirm, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. Tom Schirm

    Tom Schirm Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Washington State
    HI all,

    I have been diving 2 years with 76 dives. I live in SE Washington state and primarily dive in local lakes, the Columbia River, and a couple time a year in Puget sound. I have been to the Caribbean twice to dive, and hope to go on a tropical dive trip every year. I am a recreational diver, and doubt I will go into tech diving at my age (61). I dive primarily with my son.

    I am interested in a BP/W because I really like the simplicity, ability to customize, and replace things without having to buy a new BC if something breaks. Plus it seems it would pack to travel better than my Dimension i3 back inflate bcd. I have no experience with a BP/W.

    I have read many threads on this forum and others and, while I know I am overthinking things, I think I am more confused than ever. Due to some financial challenges, I would hope to only buy one BP/W for all my diving, so I am wanting to make the best choice.

    Please bear with me as I have several questions. They are mostly about wings as the harness and backplate seem fairly simple.

    1. Originally, I thought the heavier denier wings would be best, but in reading many posts on here, that doesn't seem to be a concern to most divers here. I want it to last as long as possible, but is this not something I should worry about? I may do some wreck dives on vacations.

    2. My biggest quandary is the lift of the wing I should buy. For background, this is my setup:
    Coldwater - Bare D3 neoprene drysuit, with 5 mm hood, and gloves. Aqua lung dimension i3 BCD. Either 80 or 100 faber steel tank. I just picked up a 19 cu. ft pony for redundancy for my son and I. Depending on undergarments for diving locally from 38 to 72 degree water, I have had to carry 24 to 40 lbs lead.

    Warmwater ocean - 3mm wetsuit, same Dimension i3.

    I could not get the 'Optimal Buoyancy calculator' to download, but was able to look at some of the data needs from one of the other attachments. I don't know my personal buoyancy ( nearest deep enough wateris 45 miles away and 60 degrees right now), nor my drysuit buoyancy. If this helps, I am 5'9" and 170 pound in pretty good shape (a ittle pot belly i am working on reducing).

    As mentioned above, I can only afford 1 new setup, so was thinking a SS plate, not positive on harness yet, but am struggling with the wing. I want to have enough lift for my cold water diving, so was thinking one of the better brands with over 32 lbs lift, but don't want to be on the low end of what I may need. I wa interestedin the VDH 35 Argonaut, but Bryan is out of stock and not sure when will be restocked.

    I know much of this has been beat to death, but without be able to use the buoyancy calculator, I wasn't sure what to do. My local LDS had differing opinions between staff.

    Any thoughts/suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks for your patience,

  2. Tom Schirm

    Tom Schirm Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Washington State
    Correction: my drysuit is a Bare D6
  3. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Woof! ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
    Cold water diver here (Great Lakes), and dive a 30-32# wing. This is with steel singles (lp85, hp100, hp120). My plate is SS, and is 16# with weight plates installed. I dive dry, with heavy undergarments.

    For me, I need no other weight.
  4. rddvet

    rddvet DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    I'd go with a stainless steel backplate. It will help with decreasing weight with cold water diving and in the caribbean if stuck with an al80. I'd go with a 30lbs wing. I'm a very very big fan of halcyon bp/w. About 50 people will chime in and say it's overpriced and not worth it. For me, the quality is one of the best but the customer service is as well. It's not unheard of for halcyon to repair a 15 year old wing under warranty. If you're going for cheaper options dive gear express has decent options. Avoid the "comfort" harnesses with the buckles and padding. It's toitally unnecessary. For OW diving I like the halcyon cinch system so I can easily go between a drysuit to a bathing suit depending on where I dive. It is completely unnecessary, but is nice to have occasionally.
  5. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    UCFKnightDiver, drk5036 and Dark Wolf like this.
  6. icechip

    icechip ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Maine
    Another cold water diver here. I dive a semi-dry wetsuit in New England waters just about every month of the year with a SS BP and 30# wing and a single HP100 steel tank. Some ankle weights for trim (damn floaty feet!) and a pair of 7# soft weights in quick release pouches on the plate. Good to go.

    +1 on checking with DGX about wings, they're good people.
  7. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
    32# wing is fine. The biggest you possible want is 40# and is fine for any single tank you might get/choose

    If you go back to warm water someday post-plague I would get an aluminum plate at that time (they are cheap) but for local diving over the next year of covid plague the SS is the better choice.
    KWS likes this.
  8. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    as ;wings go and there are many. find one that has a built in STA i n it. oxycheq is the one I use. again there are others. I agree with teh 32# comments adn up to a 40# wing. I use a 40 when I dive my LP 120 without a wet suit other than that I use a 32#.
  9. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    It is usually a challenge to get a do it all BPW but for your requirements the DGX package with the 30# wing is perfect.
    The SS plate is perfect for rash guard, shortie and 3 mm full suit when traveling as you’ll need very little lead (maybe 8-10 lbs).
    Cold water it’ll get 5 lbs off your belt.

    The 30# is super streamlined (like an 18#) so great for warm and lots of lift for cold.
    You don’t necessarily need the big weight pouches as I find them $$.....large amount of ditchable weight is not desirable. If your weighted properly the 5 lbs ditchable is about right.

    The HOG pouches are cheaper and still ditchable. So to distribute the weight (after a weight and trim check) you’ll have 2x10 lbs (HOG), 2x5lbs (trim pouches), 5 lbs plate...35# neg....
    Wait a minute.....you said you use up to 40 lbs? For 170 lbs? I’m sure you’re aware that’s quite a bit......
    If that’s accurate then you’ll need a 40lbs wing........and that’s not an ideal wing for warm (way overkill)

    If you can keep your neg weight 25-30 lbs then the 30 # wing would be ok......
    Dark Wolf likes this.
  10. Dubious

    Dubious ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Wisconsin
    I was wondering the same question which resulted in the thread Let's Talk Wing Construction. I learned a lot and the consensus seemed to be all are well constructed.

    Wow, that is a large difference in weight for undergarments. If those numbers are right, you will need a 40-pound wing but in my limited experience, I think your upper numbers seem high. I dive with a 30-pound wing and my wife a 34-pound wing in freshwater.

    I found DiveBuddy.com weight calculator to be a good starting point granted you need to take into account your ss backplate, sta, and hardware which does add up. In my case, divebuddy for single tank in 7mm wetsuit said I needed 11# while in reality, I didn't need to take any additional weight. With my dui cf300 and arctic undergarments, the calculator for neoprene drysuit said 20# but I only used 8 pounds (I might be able to drop more but was out of 3-pound weights). This is with a SS backplate, STA, and standard hardware with a continuous piece of webbing and HP100.

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