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WanderingBob

Light Weight SCUBA Gear

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I'm not sure where to put this and can't really find any recent posts concerning this topic, so ...

 

In the past I carried only snorkeling and camera gear. Now, I am considering buying some SCUBA gear for travel. I am looking at a BCD, regulator, octopus, sausage and anything else someone could suggest.

 

I do have my snorkeling gear and a computer with wetsuit.

 

As far as a BCD ... I am looking at Cressi Travelight BCD, Oceanic Biolite (which is so new I can't seem to find any feedback on it), and anything other's can suggest.

 

Any fora that could be recommended to research lightweight travel gear?

 

Thanks,

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I have the Cressi.

 

Very light and compact and also a very good BC. I've used it in cold water with a drysuit before.

 

Any titanium regulator will be very light. You could pay a lot of overweight charges for the price of one though.

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I'm not sure where to put this and can't really find any recent posts concerning this topic, so ...

 

In the past I carried only snorkeling and camera gear. Now, I am considering buying some SCUBA gear for travel. I am looking at a BCD, regulator, octopus, sausage and anything else someone could suggest.

 

I do have my snorkeling gear and a computer with wetsuit.

 

As far as a BCD ... I am looking at Cressi Travelight BCD, Oceanic Biolite (which is so new I can't seem to find any feedback on it), and anything other's can suggest.

 

Any fora that could be recommended to research lightweight travel gear?

 

Thanks,

i have the dive rite tranpac bc with travel wing it weight is a little over 3kg and is compact and can be used for everyday single tank diving i use it with 100cu and 125cu tanks no probs and unlike other travel bc made of very hard wearing and long lasting material

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I have purcahsed (but not yet used) a Cressi Flex. It weighs 1.8kg in L-XL.

I have swapped out booties and open heel fins for full foot fins, saving a bit more.

Nice new 3mm suit

6.5kg (I kid you not) dive bag, replaced with 1.2kg drybag. Some dive bags are horrifically heavy.

 

My dive kit (Fins, mask, suit, BCD, regs, bag, sauasage and spool, comes to less than 9kg including the bag, and there is plenty of space in the bag.

 

Generally, when flying East from the UK (i.e. not via the States) we only get 20kg, sometimes 23kg, unless in business or first class. A 7kg cabin bag allowance is also the norm.

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For lightweight BCD I have the Aqualung Zuma. It weighs under 2 kg and is really comfortable, and gives excellent trim.

You can wrap it up into really small space.

Full foot (closed heel) fins of course.

Between regulators there's not that much difference in weight, unless you need to carry a huge amount of them for technical diving.

 

All the stuff that I carry fits well into a Hagor 100L gear bag, that itself weighs 1 kg. Also possible to carry as a rucksack. Indestructible and as a kind of proof of durability, it is used by the Israeli army and by many UN peacekeeping forces around the world.

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I dive with a ally backplate with a Zeagle 24lbs wing. Its strong, lightweight, and compact. I have been using the same setup as my daily dive and still going strong over the past few years.

 

Regards Mark

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The Zuma has weight integration. If you dont need that, the Scubapro Geo weighs in less than the Zuma. I dont know the Cressi.

 

Harnesses like the transpac and others are more durable than those listed above but weigh in more. Backplates will all tip the scales over these two bcds, even the aluminum, if backplates are your thing, try the Deep Sea Supply Kydex material backplate and they have many wing options. Tho, by the time you add on the tank bands and possible accessories your scale dial will increase again.

 

We have the titanium regulators but you are only gaining the weight savings on the first stages by about a 1lb at most. If you are counting ounces, it may be worth it.

Lighten your regulators slightly more with flex hoses and also gain more compactable transport options - the same goes with hose-less dive computers.

 

For wetsuits, the lighter you go means the more flexibile and compressible the material. Good for comfort and terrible for maintain longevity of the suit thickness integrity.

 

We all consider the weight and packing options, but its nice having more of your own gear than less. It will be nice when the equipment manufacturers start experimenting more with other materials that are compatible for strength and reliability while becoming lighter and more packable.

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The Aqualung Zuma is a great lightweight BC. Very comfortable. Weight pockets are just a tad small(I'm 6ft. and 210-220 lbs). Have dove in challenging conditions in Costa Rica and also in Roatan with it now, and have found that I really like it. I added a crotch strap and a small metal clip to clip the camera off to it.

 

While diving in Roatan, I switched BCs with my dive buddy as his weight belt was aggravating a recurring back problem so he could finish out the week of diving. He is now ordering one from the local dive shop.

 

As I consider myself to be an "equipment minimalist" diver, I no longer use a console to dive as I dive with a wireless air integrated computer(only three hoses on my octopus which will be changed to the miflex hoses when I get the octopus back from its' annual service). Compass is clipped off to the BC with a retractor lanyard. Basic spool for a reel with a XS-scuba SMB. Dive knife is a Wenoka Titanium Deep Sea Knife and scabbard which will bolt directly onto the Aqualung Zuma BC. The blade is small as it is only about 3 inches long. Usually dive with a a full 3mm suit primarily as a rash guard, although I do carry a 1mm lycra full body rash guard suit. I don't dive with a snorkel but am considering a compact roll up version for those rare occasions when I need one.

 

I do need to dive with open foot fins and use lightweight Cressi Master Frog fins. I tried diving with more flexible less powerful fins but they drove me crazy. My Oceanic Neo Classic booties are still very heavy in comparison with all the other stuff, but I have not been able to find a very lightweight boot that provides good foot support yet. I might try looking at rock boots shortly.

 

I use a Seal Line Zip Duffel 75 bag dry bag to carry it all.

 

All in all, the dive kit is so light now, I have found I can put two Ikelite Sunstrobe 200s, with strobe arms and batteries in the bag and I am still way under the weight limits. Just need to get a lighter camera and housing to round out the whole setup. :)

 

Good Luck with your purchases, there are a lot of choices out there.

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I have the Cressi.

 

Very light and compact and also a very good BC. I've used it in cold water with a drysuit before.

 

Any titanium regulator will be very light. You could pay a lot of overweight charges for the price of one though.

 

Thanks Dave.

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i have the dive rite tranpac bc with travel wing it weight is a little over 3kg and is compact and can be used for everyday single tank diving i use it with 100cu and 125cu tanks no probs and unlike other travel bc made of very hard wearing and long lasting material

 

Scuba-s

 

I am looking at the Transpac site. Sure would like to see it in person. I like the idea of a durable material for every day use.

 

Thanks,

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I have purcahsed (but not yet used) a Cressi Flex. It weighs 1.8kg in L-XL.

I have swapped out booties and open heel fins for full foot fins, saving a bit more.

Nice new 3mm suit

6.5kg (I kid you not) dive bag, replaced with 1.2kg drybag. Some dive bags are horrifically heavy.

 

My dive kit (Fins, mask, suit, BCD, regs, bag, sauasage and spool, comes to less than 9kg including the bag, and there is plenty of space in the bag.

 

Generally, when flying East from the UK (i.e. not via the States) we only get 20kg, sometimes 23kg, unless in business or first class. A 7kg cabin bag allowance is also the norm.

 

I have been fairly lucky carrying the heavy camera gear as cabin bags, but it's always a crap shoot! I would have done better with a backpack than with a roller.

 

I am considering a 5mm wetsuit, but currently I have a 3mm suit that just gets me by at times.

 

Which dive bag do you use Sean?

 

I saw a video of the Flex, it looks nice, but hard to compare with others on the Net.

 

Thanks,

 

Thanks.

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For lightweight BCD I have the Aqualung Zuma. It weighs under 2 kg and is really comfortable, and gives excellent trim.

You can wrap it up into really small space.

 

All the stuff that I carry fits well into a Hagor 100L gear bag,

 

I will look into the Zuma, but I cannot find the Hager 100L, I see the 60L, but appears the 100 may be discontinued?

 

Thanks,

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Poliwog,

 

I few a few questions/comments, if you don't mind.

 

The Aqualung Zuma is a great lightweight BC. Very comfortable.

 

<<I added a crotch strap and a small metal clip to clip the camera off to it. >>

 

I'm curious how that looks? Anything special?

 

<<As I consider myself to be an "equipment minimalist" diver,>>

 

Man after my own heart. Good info!

 

I no longer use a console to dive as I dive with a wireless air integrated computer>>

 

Which one. I saw those in Fiji and they look impressive, but hanging off the first stage looks fragile?

 

<<Wenoka Titanium Deep Sea Knife>>

 

Thanks, need a light knife.

 

 

I will use my current fins for now.

 

I use a Seal Line Zip Duffel 75 bag dry bag to carry it all.

 

Thanks,

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Hi Bob,

 

The crotch strap is a simple piece of 1 inch webbing about 3 to 4 feet long. I formed a loop at both ends with two plastic buckles. I next formed another loop about 9 to 12 inches of very thin and high strength mountain climbing cord. The loop with the cord is inserted into the lower back of the BC where the bladder is attached to the BC harness with webbing. The cord is threaded through the webbing and the 1 inch wide long strap is attached to this cord. The loose end of the 1 inch wide strap has a large loop so it can be threaded over the cummerbund buckle before connecting the buckle together. This is a little on the elaborate side as far as my dive buddy is concerned. He has configured a crotch strap by using a bungee cord similar to that used in lanyards that go around your wrist. It does not have to be too elaborate for the crotch strap to work. The only caveat is that you can easily forget that it is there when you go to remove your BC at the end of the dive. But it's not a big deal after you work it into your routine.

 

One thing that hasn't been discussed about the Aqualung Zuma is the tank mounting system. Basically the tank strap is mounted to the tank in a much lower position than normal. The loop at the top of the BC is used to secure the tank at the neck of the tank just below the valve. Some diver operations are not familiar with this concept and will mount the tank too far up the tank cylinder inappropriately. You will have to check the placement of the tank straps before the dive until the dive operators become more familiar with this concept.

 

The clip for the camera is a regular clip with a 1 inch wide webbing lanyard sewn to it. The one I am currently using is made by "Innovative Scuba" of Colorado Springs. I am sure there are other manufacturers that make similar clips. I also thread this on to the cummerbund strap, as I have customarily clipped off my camera housing onto my scooter ring on my heavier Diverite Transpac BC I use here in the Great Lakes.

 

The computer that I use is the Oceanic VT3, wirelessly air integrated computer. The transmitter is very robust. I have never had a problem with it while diving in the the Great Lakes or from dragging it all over the Caribbean on dive trips. It is unaffected by my Sunstrobe 200s when they are triggered. The computer has been well received by the dive community and has been on the market for a couple of years now, so it seems to have a good track record. It features three different modes (Normal, Gauge, and Free diving) and can be switched between two different transmitters when underwater(in case you want to switch tanks, or even check your buddy's air pressure wirelessly if he/she is also using an Oceanic computer). I also have a Oceanic Datamask which while being very expensive, allows me to forgo the wrist mounted computer for the one built into the dive mask. The computer in this dive mask is essentially the same as Oceanic VT3 but is unable to switch transmitters while underwater. You also loose some line of sight visibility with this mask but the trade off isn't that bad. I would check other manufacturers as well as Oceanic as there are some extremely small wrist mount computers out there that can now be used as your wristwatch day to day as well.

 

Here are three more threads here at Wetpixel that you may want to read on the subject of lightweight dive gear:

 

Here

(you will see in this thread that I did not think it a good idea to completely get rid of the air pressure gauge and hose off the first stage, but I have since changed my mind and feel completely comfortable without the extra air pressure gauge.)

 

Here

 

and Here

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With weights getting more and more restrictive, I bought a Zuma for my international trips. I just spent a month diving it inh the Philippines. I was very impressed with the comfort. I will, however, be adding a crotch strap as I did have some creeping up.

 

I don't like integrated weights and prefer to use a weight belt with pockets. I use the sleeve that holds the weight pockets to shove my safety sausage into.

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I have purcahsed (but not yet used) a Cressi Flex. It weighs 1.8kg in L-XL.

I have swapped out booties and open heel fins for full foot fins, saving a bit more.

Nice new 3mm suit

6.5kg (I kid you not) dive bag, replaced with 1.2kg drybag. Some dive bags are horrifically heavy.

 

My dive kit (Fins, mask, suit, BCD, regs, bag, sauasage and spool, comes to less than 9kg including the bag, and there is plenty of space in the bag.

 

Generally, when flying East from the UK (i.e. not via the States) we only get 20kg, sometimes 23kg, unless in business or first class. A 7kg cabin bag allowance is also the norm.

 

The Travelight and the Flex are the same excepting the Travelight has an intergrated weight system. I have the Travelight and I may remove the weight locks. The buoyance is a little less than their normal BCD, about one size smaller. But if you are diving in warm water and well balanced its just fine.

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