Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

What do you have and why? Looking to buy some equipment but got some question? Post here.

Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Andy » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:47 am

Axe wrote:Hmmm... going up half a size won't help this? Was wondering as I use an M and know its always been half to a size to small...


It might do. I use both M and L, the latter is probably less snug - but then tends to roll around a bit more.
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Ali Perkins » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:17 am

From a female perspective, there are a couple of things I really like about BP/W.

The steel backplate has allowed me to drop weights from my weight belt. In the past I used to get bruises on my hips from wearing weight belts. With a 2 piece 7mm wetsuit, I only need 4 kgs in my weight belt. This also means it is really easy for me to hand my weight belt up to the boat at the end of the dive because it doesn't weigh much. Downside, BP/W is heavier and not as easy for me to wash as a jacket BC, in terms of putting fresh water in and giving it a good slosh around.

I really disliked the press of the jacket BC on my ribs when inflated, and this was particularly an issue with deep diving (say >40m) where you do need to inflate a bit to maintain buoyancy. BP/W is so much more comfortable in that respect. Downside, my BP/W doesn't have the convenient pockets of a jacket BC, but then again, I always struggled to get into them anyway so never really used them.

BP/W gives you more versatility if you take your diving to a new level, such as twins. Jacket BC doesn't really have sufficient lift for that. Unfortunately, it seems that many BP/W are designed for male use, coming in one size fits all. My BP/W required mammoth adjustments to get it to fit me. Not really a big deal but lots of faffing around in the beginning.
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby netmystar » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:58 pm

i have been diving for a year now (done 13 dives that is ) and bought a bp/w straight out of my open water course after trying the different types of bcd (non weight integrated and integrated) i chose the bp/w from the advice i got on here. being new to diving and not that at ease with breathing under water i found the jacket bcd seemed to me to restricted my already laboured breathing .which is why i like my bp/w so much there's nothing to restrict me breathing (sure i would have got used to the breathing in a jacket bcd . but the bp/w just help me get that much more comfortable breathing under water and now that i have it adjusted just right when I'm wearing it i don't even notice it .
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Azza » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:16 pm

justsimon wrote:I'll be looking at a new BCD next year and have been totally against getting a wing mainly because of people banging on endlessly about how great they are, how you shouldn't ever dive anything else and calling BCDs 'poodle jackets' - which really pisses me off. :evil:

Please don't confuse people selling the benefits and sharing experiences with "banging on". The reason some feel the need to sell the benefits is because of the instant negativity and perpetuated myths from those that have never tried them. I know people who having tried a BP/W love them and others who hate them.

It doesn't really matter what you buy, as long as it suits you personally and you are comfortable
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby DiveDiva » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:24 pm

Azza wrote:
It doesn't really matter what you buy, as long as it suits you personally and you are comfortable


I agree. I recommend trying a BP/W if you're used to a BCD and vice versa and if the alternative really grabs you then maybe switch. I tried a BP/W about a year ago (albeit in a pool) and it was a good experience, and I wasn't that rubbish at it :oops: :D but it didn't grab me enough to ditch the BCD and get a wing. The only reason I would buy a wing would be if I was seriously interested in extended diving, which, for now, I'm not. So poodle jacket and single 12ltr dumpy is what diving's about for me right now!!
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Hoppy » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:27 pm

Hmmm. Nem, you should be shot... LOL :lol: :roll:

Re: PC's. Well, I work for a large (actually NZ largest private owned) IT company as a senior engineer. Been involved with PC's for >20yrs, worked in IT for >15, and have always built my own PC's, plus have used/abused just about every PC OS there has ever been. I have used Mac's at home for the past 4-5 yrs. Nuff said :lol:

Re: BP&W. Well, for me, what got me into it was the interest in DIR and its philosophy / approach. The BP&W just came with it. But having said that, I wouldnt go back :) But my Mares Dragonfly is still nice to dive in as well. I also dont particularly like the way BCD's squeeze at the surface. Especially the cheaper ones which dont have the ability to allow for inflation / deflation. And the squeeze actually makes the better half sick, which u dont want, as she blacks out when she throws up.
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Jason » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:20 am

What a good read. Maybe I can solve the BC v BP thingy?

I think of myself as a 'consumer'.
I do my OW at a LDS (That is 'Shop' - not academy or college or social gathering place) that stocks mostly Oceanic and runs PADI.
I train with Oceanic OceanPro and eventually buy the same (stick with what you know when you don't know any better...and this I consciously knew) BCD in a package with regs, etc.
Then I meet (at a Dive Lodge - great things these) a young DM extrordinaire at Jervis Bay who uses a BP-W and goes on about how good this device is for him compared to a BCD. It was convincing because he gave me as much relevant information to prove the point.
So now I have a BCD, but wishing I had a BP-W.

The situation is that if I was given relevant information at the start I would have made the right choice for myself (reading this Thread just confirms it).
Why wasn't I told about the BP-W by those that are 'experienced' to know better?
Is it to keep the 'production line' going because now I am a sucker who will buy 2 items, not 1.
I guess it is all about INFORMATION at the start for Newbies...or maybe the Industry wishes to keep its most gullible market ignorant?
It is thanks to you guys that people like me can make better judgements of what is out there because it seems the LDShop only wants to show you what is in their realm only (ie Oceanic, PADI for example).
I had to plug away upon the feeling that "I should be getting more outta Diving, than what I am currently getting" and hence I discovered Dive Forums amongst other things.
I'm not saying my LDShop is evil...I think they did the right thing by me by teaching me PADI - but then again, I have to get to know SSI to know if PADI really was what was best for me.
So now I have a BCD, with the obvious knowledge that I would enjoy the BP-W more so.
I do get the impression there is the 'Techie' tag with BP's and that you only become a Techie AFTER Recreational Certs - not before (Wether this is actually 'right' and the 'norm' - I dunno :?: ).
In a nutshell...I feel like I must buy gear as an act of progression. Once I buy my BC-W (Hopefully I can pawn off my BCD to some gullible sucker and get some money back), will there be something even better that nobody has bothered to 'educate' me about? Please tell me now, if so?!

I think all LDS must give each Newbie a Survival Kit that (...maybe a ShowBag?) has such things as DiveNZ-Forum in it to provide all 'Choice Information' available. Mags, different companies and dive sites...thank god for the Internet! But it sure does help to be pointed in the right direction.

I think I'm lucky that I knew that New Zealand offered better Recreational Diving than I already knew (helps when I was in NZ at a young age to enjoy the waters)...because I know no-one in Australia would bother to tell me - except if it was an organised priced trip run by the LDS.

So Bp-W gets my vote for any form of Diving. But let there be choice - as long as consumers are given 'choice' :!:

Thankyou :D
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Jason » Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:56 pm

...I hope that made sense?
Just drifting along with whatever is current.
Currently I'm reading : The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley.
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Azza » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:16 pm

Vampire Squid wrote:So now I have a BCD, with the obvious knowledge that I would enjoy the BP-W more so.

Maybe...I do know people that have tried them and really don't like them.
I believe that you need to try before you buy because comfort underwater is the most important thing in diving (Apart from not screwing up and killing or maiming yourself obviously)
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Andy » Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:09 am

Azza wrote:I believe that you need to try before you buy because comfort underwater is the most important thing in diving (Apart from not screwing up and killing or maiming yourself obviously)


Yeah, plus trying different ones!


VS - BP/W is really a simple term to cover a lot of variety. Trying different types - e.g. stainless plate and aluminium plate, will give you an idea of what suits you the most. And that's keeping it simple, not even starting on the different lengths of plates in kevlar and stainless combination that DeepSeaSupply make!!!

There's an equally huge range of wings that can be selected, each with there merits. SUre, you can chop and change later but the more you try in advance the more likely that you;ll get something right straight away that suits the diving that you are doing.
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Jason » Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:24 am

Thanks fellas, am looking up DeepSeaSupply now. I always believe 'keep it simple stupid' is the best (though my missus doesn't believe in "keep it cheap cheesehead") rule of thumb.
Just drifting along with whatever is current.
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Milky » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:19 pm

Azza wrote:
Vampire Squid wrote:So now I have a BCD, with the obvious knowledge that I would enjoy the BP-W more so.

Maybe...I do know people that have tried them and really don't like them.
I believe that you need to try before you buy because comfort underwater is the most important thing in diving (Apart from not screwing up and killing or maiming yourself obviously)



I agree with u 100% Azza, it's best to try first and then buy. The question is, is there any LDS out there that sells all brands and all type of bp/w and BCD that their students can try first??? Is there any LDS that recommend its students to go to Scuba forum to ask for unbiased opinions before purchasing their things?
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Andy » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:17 pm

Milky wrote:The question is, is there any LDS out there that sells all brands and all type of bp/w and BCD that their students can try first??? ?



Probably not, certainly not in NZ anyway.

In Auckland, Global sell the OMS range - not sure if they have "official" test dive samples, but a lot of their instructors and DMs have recently moved to diving BP/W and I'm sure Andrew would rustle one up for someone to try.

DiveHQ Greenlane sell Halcyon, they definitely have both aluminium and steel plates in their School gear that are available for people to try. Jamie is about as knowledgeable as you can be about setting up BP/W rigs.

Dive Centre sell, I beleive, the Apeks range of BP/Ws. I have no idea whether Malcolm has any trial stock, though.


Each system has it's merits, but they all basically do the same job. If you're into keeping it simple, then probably the Halcyon rig is the way to go. Even just looking at pictures of the OMS and Apeks gear will give you an indication that there is more complexity in the set up. Just my $0.02 worth, mind you - as an avid Halcyon convert!!
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Milky » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:03 pm

Andy wrote:
Milky wrote:The question is, is there any LDS out there that sells all brands and all type of bp/w and BCD that their students can try first??? ?



Probably not, certainly not in NZ anyway.

In Auckland, Global sell the OMS range - not sure if they have "official" test dive samples, but a lot of their instructors and DMs have recently moved to diving BP/W and I'm sure Andrew would rustle one up for someone to try.

DiveHQ Greenlane sell Halcyon, they definitely have both aluminium and steel plates in their School gear that are available for people to try. Jamie is about as knowledgeable as you can be about setting up BP/W rigs.

Dive Centre sell, I beleive, the Apeks range of BP/Ws. I have no idea whether Malcolm has any trial stock, though.


Each system has it's merits, but they all basically do the same job. If you're into keeping it simple, then probably the Halcyon rig is the way to go. Even just looking at pictures of the OMS and Apeks gear will give you an indication that there is more complexity in the set up. Just my $0.02 worth, mind you - as an avid Halcyon convert!!



yes, less is more.....

some divers canibilze what they are using, using different brands on it's set-up.
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Re: Jacket BCD versus Backplate Wing BCD

Postby Azza » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:53 am

Milky wrote:Is there any LDS that recommend its students to go to Scuba forum to ask for unbiased opinions before purchasing their things?

Nope. Shops want you to buy what they recommend. They don't want you buying what others recommend as it may be an item with little margin, not in stock (I.E. a buy in), hard to get or not a brand they sell.
You cant think of them as "bad" for this, it's just how businesses are. While we are passionate about this sport and want the best advice a sales assistants job is to make money for the owner/shareholders and they do that best buy selling whatever is the target product for that particular time.

When buying a standard jacket type buoyancy compensating device the lift capacity is not quite so important but when buying a plate/wing buoyancy compensating device the lift is crucial. If you buy a wing that is too big it will taco around your tank making dumping air difficult. If you buy too small (i.e. a 28lb wing for diving twin sets) then the wing will not do it's job.

I'm sure if you search around on various forums you will see huge amounts of information floating around.
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