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Old 08-14-2019, 11:51 AM   #16
Ron S
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

As to the issue of back inflate systems floating you face down on the surface, that's a legitimate concern. About 21 years ago my department issued us Zeagle Ranger BCD's. Until then we were all using jacket styles with weight belts. The Rangers were OK, (just OK...), but the face down thing was a pain. We too were told to change body position, move the BC, add less air, etc. The only thing that solved the problem though was to add trim weight pockets on the tank straps and move some of the weight from the primary pockets to the non-dumpable trim pockets. That was a pretty effective fix, and I still do it on my personal Ranger BC that's about 25 years old.

I believe most modern back inflate BC's come with trim pockets now.

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Old 08-14-2019, 12:08 PM   #17
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

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Originally Posted by rnln View Post
So you have no air at 100' deep? How did you manage to get up? Tell more about it please
Failure mode was continuous freeflow thru my 2nd stage. Air was rushing by pretty fast, but not so fast I couldn't snag a breath out of it as I ascended. Tank was empty about 15 feet from the surface. Needless to say, no safety stop, but I invested in a fully redundant pony tank after that.

Regarding the face-down on surface, I use a steel tank that adds more negative weight to the rear. In addition to that I carry a pony tank on the back as well. In addition to that , I don't use the weight pockets built into my Zeagle Ranger BC, I use a weight belt with all the weight arranged on the small of the back. I am guessing a metal backplate also helps with keeping your face out of the water by virtue of even more weight on the back. All of that combined with putting minimal air in the bladder at the surface keeps my face out of the water.

If all else fails to keep your face up, you can unload your speargun and put it over your shoulder with the handle as far back as possible. If none of that works, then you better stick with a jacket BC
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:41 PM   #18
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

Gary you must have a very good back! In addition to my Ranger I have a good quality Scubapro Classic Sport BC. It's a high floatation, non-integrated jacket style BC. I really want to use it, but the weight belt just kills my back. I dive cold water, so I wear a 7mm two pc. suit, and a total of 24 pounds of weight. (aluminum 80 tanks). I put 4 pounds in trim pockets on the tank strap and the rest on a weight belt and went for a dive three days ago. 20 minutes with a max depth of 75', and my lower back still hurts!
40 minute dive at the coast last week with the integrated Ranger and no back pain at all.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:11 PM   #19
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

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Gary you must have a very good back!


I wear a 3 mil suit and 2 two pound weights for a total of 4 pounds on the weight belt.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:25 PM   #20
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

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I wear a 3 mil suit and 2 two pound weights for a total of 4 pounds on the weight belt.
lucky!
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:16 PM   #21
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

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Originally Posted by Ron S View Post
Gary you must have a very good back! In addition to my Ranger I have a good quality Scubapro Classic Sport BC. It's a high floatation, non-integrated jacket style BC. I really want to use it, but the weight belt just kills my back. I dive cold water, so I wear a 7mm two pc. suit, and a total of 24 pounds of weight. (aluminum 80 tanks). I put 4 pounds in trim pockets on the tank strap and the rest on a weight belt and went for a dive three days ago. 20 minutes with a max depth of 75', and my lower back still hurts!
40 minute dive at the coast last week with the integrated Ranger and no back pain at all.
I have a Very Bad Back, Chuck full of rods and screws.
I dive steel 100's they are smaller than AL 80's so displace less water and they weigh 7 lbs more ( did I mention I get 100 CU FT instead of 80 CU FT of air/nitrox out of them!) The total difference in weight on my weight belt ( taking into account the small water displacement and higher weight) is Significant!

Last edited by SEATUX; 08-14-2019 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:35 AM   #22
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

Steel tanks are definitely the way to go. My buddy owns steels and enjoys the advantages you describe. I however just don't scuba dive enough to warrant the cost of purchase and inspections on tanks so I rent, and typically only aluminum 80's are available so I make do.
It's a good point to the original poster though that purchasing steels down the road would be a good consideration.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:41 PM   #23
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

Hi Guys,
First I want to say thank to everyone for opinion and suggestion. Second, I have another question. I talked to someone who has a back inflate, he said that back inflate is not a back plate. I thought back plate, back inflate, wing are all the same? Can someone please explain? I appreciate it.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:52 PM   #24
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron S View Post
As to the issue of back inflate systems floating you face down on the surface, that's a legitimate concern. About 21 years ago my department issued us Zeagle Ranger BCD's. Until then we were all using jacket styles with weight belts. The Rangers were OK, (just OK...), but the face down thing was a pain. We too were told to change body position, move the BC, add less air, etc. The only thing that solved the problem though was to add trim weight pockets on the tank straps and move some of the weight from the primary pockets to the non-dumpable trim pockets. That was a pretty effective fix, and I still do it on my personal Ranger BC that's about 25 years old.

I believe most modern back inflate BC's come with trim pockets now.

Ron.

Oh ok, so back plate and back inflate are doing the same function just play with distributing the weight.
Thanks Ron.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:18 AM   #25
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

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Originally Posted by rnln View Post
Oh ok, so back plate and back inflate are doing the same function just play with distributing the weight.
Thanks Ron.
Not exactly, a backplate is exactly that - a metal plate with slots and holes machined into it. As a minimum you have to buy tank straps, an air bladder, and a shoulder harness to use it. Take a look at this site: https://www.diverite.com/products/ and look thru the https://www.diverite.com/product-cat...tes-harnesses/ and https://www.diverite.com/product-categories/wings/ sections. A stainless steel backplate will add 5+ pounds on your back which will take weight off your belt and put it behind you to help hold you vertical on the surface. BTW, Dive Rite isn't the only backplate company, I just picked them for example.

An example of a back-inflate BC is the Zeagle Ranger already mentioned https://www.leisurepro.com/p-zglrnlr...RoCeEYQAvD_BwE I picked Leasurepro because they have a good description, reviews, etc. The back-inflate is a "soft back" BC that features a "doughnut" shaped bladder mounted on the back vs. a full jacket bladder.

Everything comes with compromise. Both the backplate and back-inflate offer less clutter on the front of your rig to accommodate anything you might want to attach there. Tech and spearfishing divers want to have their lights, gauges, lift bags, stringer, etc. readily available right in front of them. But as discussed earlier, they come with the face-down profile on the surface if you put too much air in them.

Backplates do not fold or roll up for travel … so you might want to consider this if you want to take your BC around the world to exotic (or not so exotic) dive locations.

edit: forgot to mention the backplate design holds your tank in place more stable and more easily accommodates multiple tank configurations. My open water instructor dove up to 5 steel tanks at a time on a backplate with 2 air bladders - no weight belt required I remember him doing a 500+ foot dive and we passed his regulator around after so we could talk like Donald Duck!

edit 2: Found an article about that dive https://mynorth.com/2008/11/death-de...nd-fitzgerald/
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Last edited by Gary H; 08-18-2019 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:12 PM   #26
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

That's some great info Gary. May I ask, what are your thoughts on the back inflate BCD's with rigid backplates, like the Scuba Pro Nighthawk, etc.? That's what I've been looking at lately.
Thanks,
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:38 PM   #27
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

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That's some great info Gary. May I ask, what are your thoughts on the back inflate BCD's with rigid backplates, like the Scuba Pro Nighthawk, etc.? That's what I've been looking at lately.
Thanks,
Ron.
I must confess I have not seriously looked at what the market offers today That looks like a great mixing of both worlds.

From ScubaPro's website: "Contoured hard pack and single-band Super Cinch buckle securely lock down the tank." Also cool you can put up to 10 pounds of trim: "Two rear trim pouches counterbalance the front ballast weight to create a well-balanced swimming position."

With that said I've never personally tried one, so feedback from users will be better than my arm-chair evaluation.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:18 AM   #28
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

clear now. Thanks Ron.
So getting a backplate type, you would need to know what you are into to select each component... or even rig it youself. While the back inflate is still a 1 item BCD for buyer to lift it off the shelf.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:05 AM   #29
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

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clear now. Thanks Ron.
So getting a backplate type, you would need to know what you are into to select each component... or even rig it youself. While the back inflate is still a 1 item BCD for buyer to lift it off the shelf.
That's the way I understand it. I've had some experience with different back inflate BCD's but never the backplate and wing setup.

The back inflate BCD's I've used all came assembled with weight pouches, (you still need to purchase weights), and either an oral inflator or air 2 installed.

My gear is close to 25 years old, and there's so much new stuff out there I'm way out of touch with what's good and what's not, but just looking online and speaking with my local shop, there are some really cool options available now. All it takes is $$$
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:09 PM   #30
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Re: Question on regulator and BCD

Hi guys,

I am back. Don't laugh. I got a back inflate and thought I am done, but browsing the web, some second hand wings which caught my eyes. I want to make sure if any back plate can go with any backplate hardness, and can go with any wing, or there are some can not go with some?

Another question is for me to make sure if I go this route. All I need are:
a backplate, back plate hardness, and a wing/blader. Am I correct, or there is anything else I have to get?

thanks again.
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