Unified Team Diving

I'm actually new to the DIR or UTD equipment configuration with more questions than answers at this point.

But as I'm in this transition, I'm in the market to purchase the absolute right gear rig or modules for myself.

Looking around the online store I saw the UTD 12lb SS BP and it really caught my eye.

Is there anyone out there who has purchased and who actually uses this BP?    What do you think about it and how does it help you in either or both cold water and/or the tropics. 

How does it work with both single's and doubles. I'm thinking ahead to doubles and my needs. Physically I can carry 12lbs with ease so that should not a problem.

I normally dive the tropics w/ exactly 12lb of weight w/ a 3mm wetsuit and a single AL80.

I'm trying to get myself back in the cold water groove and should I be successful this seems like a logical BP for me in warm as well as cold water.

Any thoughts, ideas, advice, or suggestions from anyone?

Thanks in advance,



Views: 124

Replies to This Discussion

Get a 5-6lb SS plate to start - most versatile. You may possibly need a AL plate for doubles, only a very unique person needs a 12lb plate with doubles.
Appreciate both your comments. Gives me more to consider and think about.

Thanks
Hey Nesher.

When diving with a wetsuit it's a good idea to keep your ballast distributed to ensure you have reasonable way out of wing failure at depth. This is usually achieved by having some of the ballast ditchable. How much exactly depends on many factors and in some situations 12lbs backplate might be the optimal choice, in some it might not. Most of us end up with multiple plates for different exposure suits, tanks, undergarments, fresh/salt water. You may want to wait with that purchase until you go through balanced rig lecture during your Essentials (I assume you take it from Don). As always with weighting, ultimate check belongs in water, so you may want to borrow one and try it out, before pulling a trigger. There's a big and friendly DIR community in Bay Area.

If I were to guess, I would say that 12lbs plate is probably a good choice for saltwater, drysuit diving with a single tank and thick undergarments, but not so much for thin wetsuit in tropics, and also too much for doubles in any situation.
Maciej:

This is really good to know. When you say you have multiple BP I assume you also have multiple wings as well for different aquatic environments. Are these components that easy to change out?

Yes, I am taking Essentials with Don and I think you're right after the lecture would be best before pulling the trigger on any purchases.

Excellent advice....



Maciej Arkuszewski said:
Hey Nesher.
When diving with a wetsuit it's a good idea to keep your ballast distributed to ensure you have reasonable way out of wing failure at depth. This is usually achieved by having some of the ballast ditchable. How much exactly depends on many factors and in some situations 12lbs backplate might be the optimal choice, in some it might not. Most of us end up with multiple plates for different exposure suits, tanks, undergarments, fresh/salt water. You may want to wait with that purchase until you go through balanced rig lecture during your Essentials (I assume you take it from Don). As always with weighting, ultimate check belongs in water, so you may want to borrow one and try it out, before pulling a trigger. There's a big and friendly DIR community in Bay Area.
If I were to guess, I would say that 12lbs plate is probably a good choice for saltwater, drysuit diving with a single tank and thick undergarments, but not so much for thin wetsuit in tropics, and also too much for doubles in any situation.
Yes, different wings as well. At the very least one for singles and one for doubles. It's all highly modular - I personally use same backplate for singles/doubles in salt water and it takes ~ 10 minutes to switch between singles/doubles setup. As Chris and Richard mentioned, 6lbs backplate is a good start and keeps your weighting options open.
Maciej:

What about doubles in the tropics where the tanks are AL 80's?

Wouldn't a 12 lb BP be appropriate under those circumstances?

I definitely could see it's advantage in cold water w/o question. Especially here in the SF Bay Area; Monterey and North Coast or anywhere in CA.

In the tropics, say Grand Cayman or the Red Sea or even Truk where doubles are acceptable. Most of the tanks will be AL80's I would think a 12lb BP would offset the positive buoyancy of the cylinders as gas is expended.

Granted 12 extra lb's in the travel bag will be a problem but I think I could deal with that type of trade off. Isn't the object is to dive with as little weight as possible?

Let's see a 3mm wetsuit and two AL 80's each 5lbs positive when empty. Hmm..it's possible I could be 1 - 2 lbs overweight. But the extra 2 -3lbs would offset the neoprene of the wetsuit, especially since the cylinders will NEVER be completely empty at anytime.

What do you think?
Well, you have to remember that with DOUBLE 80s, you have the bands and the manifold, and the extra first stage . . . Double 80s end up being fairly close to neutral. Diving a 3 mil suit, some people have no need for extra weight at all; in my drysuit, an 8 lb tailweight is perfect.

A 12 lb backplate is only the best idea when diving in cold water, where you are carrying a LOT of ballast on account of heavy insulation. My husband uses the DSS SS plate with the 8 lb weight plates, which gives him 13 pounds on his back, but he also uses another ten pounds of ballast elsewhere.
So it comes back to distribution again. I didn't think about the regulators, manifolds and bands in terms of weight. So, I need to expand my thinking. Okay I can do that.


Thanks Lynne
Its just way more versatile and cost effective to get a 5-6lb SS plate and add lead, either a weighted STA, or lead pouches on the cam bands, weightbelt, and/or V-weight depending on the circumstances. If you already have a plate and the total weight over your torso is 12lbs (you've tried it using cheap, movable weights and your trim is good) then consider DSS weight plates, thicker SS plates or stuff like this if you have extra money.

I fly to MX periodically and there's no way I'd bring a 12lb plate on a plane - not only would I be big time head heavy but the overweight bag charges would make me cry. I'll bring my 2lb AL plate and borrow lead from a shop.

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