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Martin2
06-17-2008, 08:58
I'm hoping some of you can make some suggestions. I have a Seaquest Diva that I absolutely love; however, it isn't rated to hold enough weight for my 7mm suit. I stubbornly tried it anyway and, needless to say, it doesn't work well. Too much weight and it loses air. I spent a very long time searching for this BC and it is very comfortable. The newer version still doesn't hold quite enough weight, so it looks like I'm back to searching for another comfortable BC. So I'm looking for suggestions. I'm about 5'3" with tiny bones but a fairly large chest. This combination seems to be problematic as BCs that fit well in the chest seem to kind of float around me everywhere else. Suggestions?

reactive
06-17-2008, 09:04
Check out the Zeagle Brigade. It comes in two major pieces and you can get them in different sizes.

Foo2
06-17-2008, 10:11
Another vote for the Brigade. I didn't see on the ST website how much weight they will hold but a simple call to the shop can answer that for you. I did look up info on the new Diva and it says that it can hold 20lbs ditchable and 10lbs non-ditchable. Sounds like plenty of weight to me...but you didn't specify how much you need. Good luck!

Bigg_Budd
06-17-2008, 10:12
Better yet, try the Zena. It's specifically designed for the female form. ;)

BSea
06-17-2008, 10:37
If you really like your current BC, you might try a steel tank (if your current tank is AL), or you could always use a weight belt when you use your 7 mil. Of course, I'm not trying to talk you out of buying a new BC (new gear is always fun :smiley2:), just pointing out some options you might use instead, or in addition to a new BC.

Foo2
06-17-2008, 10:40
Better yet, try the Zena. It's specifically designed for the female form. ;)

I almost recommended that too, cause that's what I dive. Just looked up for sure...here's what the Zeagle website says about the Zena:

34-lb capacity bladder (24-lb optional)
30-lb capacity Ripcord weight system
20-LB capacity Rear mount weight systemEdit: I just saw on the printable facts sheet for the Zena that it the Ripcord capacity is 24-lbs..not 30lbs. Maybe Scott can tell us which is correct.

And here is what the Zeagle website says about the Ranger(the body of the Brigade):

44-LB lift capacity Ballistic bladder (standard, other capacities available as options)
30-lb capacity Ripcord® weight system
20-LB capacity rear trim weight systemLike Bigg Budd said, the Zena is made for a woman and is a very comfortable BC. The Zena has 3 different ways to size, the vest, shoulders, and panel. The Brigade has 2 different ways to size, the vest and the shoulders. My suggestion...is to go and try some on and see what you like better.

RetroVertigo
06-17-2008, 10:41
I have a TUSA Selene Wing and I LOOOVE IT!! I am 5'4" and a 38DD and my BC does not get in the way! It has all kinds of adjustments to change shoulder width, etc, and it is super comfortable!

Im not sure what your weight limit is, but the Selene Wing has 32lb lift capacity and 30lb weight capacity (20 releasable/10 trim)

obrules15
06-17-2008, 10:54
I'm hoping some of you can make some suggestions. I have a Seaquest Diva that I absolutely love; however, it isn't rated to hold enough weight for my 7mm suit. I stubbornly tried it anyway and, needless to say, it doesn't work well. Too much weight and it loses air. I spent a very long time searching for this BC and it is very comfortable. The newer version still doesn't hold quite enough weight, so it looks like I'm back to searching for another comfortable BC. So I'm looking for suggestions. I'm about 5'3" with tiny bones but a fairly large chest. This combination seems to be problematic as BCs that fit well in the chest seem to kind of float around me everywhere else. Suggestions?

I would say try the Zeagles, I found some problems with the large chest and the Zena for me but it is worth trying but all of those can be uber customized to fix your particular complaint. Also the Brigade, Lazer, or Ranger can be suitable for your situation.

CamaroChick
06-17-2008, 11:46
Another vote for the Zena! I just got to try my new Zena out in Roatan and it is the most comfortable wonderful thing in the whole world! Its highly adjustable and comes in three separate pieces that you can get in different sizes if needed.

Martin2
06-17-2008, 13:02
Even having been around the ST forum for quite a while, I did not expect this kind of response. Thank you all.


I did look up info on the new Diva and it says that it can hold 20lbs ditchable and 10lbs non-ditchable. Sounds like plenty of weight to me...but you didn't specify how much you need. Good luck!

I honestly don't know how much I'll need yet. With the 7mm in the pool, I need about 19 lbs to get down. For the ocean, I'll need a bit more. Let alone needing to add gloves, hood, or anything else. I tend to be slightly overweighted intentionally. I get very seasick and do much better if I can get down the first 10 feet or so.

As much as I love my Diva, I would like something that would be a little better suited to the deeper and colder diving that we are starting to do.

Martin2
06-17-2008, 13:08
If you really like your current BC, you might try a steel tank (if your current tank is AL), or you could always use a weight belt when you use your 7 mil. Of course, I'm not trying to talk you out of buying a new BC (new gear is always fun :smiley2:), just pointing out some options you might use instead, or in addition to a new BC.

I hate to use a weight belt, but can if I have to. I do have what may turn out to be a stupid question though. How do I tell the difference between it being a weight issue and a lift issue? When I put more weight than the BC is rated for (it wasn't intentional), it loses air at the inflator hose connection (I'm sure there's an appropriate term, but it doesn't come to mind). It seems like it may be a safety thing when there's too much pressure placed on it.

I hope this makes more sense than it seems to.

Martin2
06-17-2008, 13:09
With this many suggestions for the Zeagle line, I'll have to find somewhere to try them out. Sadly, I'm no where near ST.

harb99
06-17-2008, 13:30
another vote for the Zena - my wife absolutely loves hers because of the adjustability :smiley20:

kayak32
06-19-2008, 12:44
I wear the Diva in a small. Open water with a 3 mil I only use 4 pounds. However I dive in the aquarium in Denver as a volunteer I use 20lbs in the Diva with no problems. The key is using the tank pockets. I have 6-8lbs in each removable pocket and 2-4 in each tank pocket.

Using the tank pockets not only allows me to carry this much weight but it also helps maintain trim (not a big issue at the aquarium).

CamaroChick
06-19-2008, 13:04
Not sure if this is an acceptable practice, but my hubby was underweighted on a recent dive, and the DM put an extra 2 lb weight on his tank strap. Not sure how big of a weight you could put back there, or if its OK to do it on a regular basis, but its a thought...
Some BCs, like the Zena, have two tank straps, so you could theroetically put a good bit of weight there.

Martin2
06-19-2008, 16:37
I don't seem to have a problem actually getting enought weight to go in to the pockets. It becomes an issue when I'm in the water and add air to the BC. I begin to lose air at the inflator hose connection. It seems like it is too much pressure and it bursts to release some. Since it never happens with less weight, I assume the weight itself is the issue. I'll have it serviced before I do anything else, but the dice shop is a long was from the house and I haven't made time to go. Thank you all so much for your thoughts. I really appreciate getting several perspectives as I'm researching options.

SkuaSeptember
06-19-2008, 16:59
What you are describing is the over pressure relief valve venting when you are trying to add enough air to float more weight than the bladder is rated for. The purpose is to keep the bladder from bursting. The answer is
a. another bc with more lift or
b. any weight above the lift capacity of your bc goes on a belt.
If all you need is another 6 - 10 lbs, try a soft weight belt with evenly distributed 1 or 2 lb weights. You will hardly notice it with a 7 mil suit, you can easily ditch a partial amount of weight and you will still be positively bouyant if you doff your bc at the surface.

Truered1
06-19-2008, 22:33
I like you am only 5'3" with a 38 DD chest, I have the Oceanic Hera and LOVE it. I tried on everything even the men's to find something comfortable. Here is an exerpt from the actual listing at Divers Direct where I bought mine:

The HERA is designed specifically around the female form with ample adjustments to make it your own, without sacrificing features and functionality. This may just be the most comfortable, best fitting BC you've ever worn. It is contoured over the hip for added comfort and has reinforced shoulders, padded back pack, and an adjustable position sternum strap to ensure comfort and stability.

Patented Hybrid bladder combines the benefits of both rear inflation and jacket style BCs
QLR Integrated Weight System accommodates up to 20 lbs. plus dual 5 lbs. rear weight pouches
Patented Custom Fit Harness with multi-position shoulder strap adds comfort for all sizes
Weight pockets are loaded positioned at a slight downward angle to aid self-loading
Patented Depth-Compensating Adjustable Cummerbund

What I like the most is the adjustable straps since I am short but have wide shoulders. I use 12 lbs regularly but have put 20 in it. I have had no problems with air leaking out and suggest it highly. Good Luck - Happy Diving

Foo2
06-20-2008, 09:19
FYI, you can also get the Hera from ST Oceanic Hera Ladies BCD, BCDS: Women, Oceanic, Oceanic Hera Ladies BCD (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=HeraBcd) & http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=Oceanic_Hera_Bc_Demo_Unit
(http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=HeraBcd)

Zenagirl
06-21-2008, 07:40
Keep in mind that the Zeagle Zena was designed more as a warm water BC than a cold one. If you're interested in a Zeagle and dive cold, you might want to look at the Ranger.

Osprey
06-21-2008, 08:00
I am a BIG BIG fan of my Hera

On the topic of the Zeagle Brigade, however, is that not an ST exclusive? A call to the shop with some Q's might be a safe idea vs ordering one and then testing, in that respect :)

merganser
06-21-2008, 09:57
I bought my wife an Oceanic Hera and myself an Oceanic Islander. Her size is comparable to yours and she loves her xs Hera

Martin2
06-23-2008, 08:43
What you are describing is the over pressure relief valve venting when you are trying to add enough air to float more weight than the bladder is rated for. The purpose is to keep the bladder from bursting. The answer is
a. another bc with more lift or
b. any weight above the lift capacity of your bc goes on a belt.
If all you need is another 6 - 10 lbs, try a soft weight belt with evenly distributed 1 or 2 lb weights. You will hardly notice it with a 7 mil suit, you can easily ditch a partial amount of weight and you will still be positively bouyant if you doff your bc at the surface.

Thanks. My LDS said the same thing. Though they said that it would matter where I placed the weight. I do only need another few lbs, so I'm hoping a weight belt will help some. In the meantime, I'm going to go snag my mother's BC (she isn't actively diving right now) and see how it feels and handles the weight.

I've tried to hunt down a local shop where I can try out some of the Zeagle recommendations, but the nearest Zeagle dealer doesn't carry anything but the Ranger. While it looks like a great BC, they didn't have one that would be the right size to even try on and don't have a demo unit at all.

Truly, thank you all for the wonderful feedback. Hopefully it will be warm enough soon that I can scale back to a 3/2 (or pick up a 5mil) and it won't be an issue for a few months.

percussionist1
06-23-2008, 10:01
We were just in ST last week try on BCs. My wife tried on both the Brigade and the Zena...and according to her, there is no comparing the two for a female form. She love her Zena!

Good Luck!

Vercingetorix
06-23-2008, 10:07
Backplate and Wing, perhaps?

Very configurable. Weighting is no problem, unless you absolutely hate weight belts.

bubbletrubble
06-23-2008, 11:06
Your BCD should have enough lift to keep your gear (without you) floating at the surface. 30 lbs. of lead with a 7mm wetsuit seems a bit too much for someone your size. I suspect that you are overweighted. Do a proper weight check with a near empty tank. You might find that your current BCD actually has enough lift to meet your needs.

------------------------------


Backplate and Wing, perhaps?

Very configurable. Weighting is no problem, unless you absolutely hate weight belts.

And now a plug for the Backplate and Wing setup...

My girlfriend loves her backplate and wing. She uses a DUI Weight and Trim to hold her lead so the weights don't bruise her hips.

Most jacket BCDs have inherent positive buoyancy (+2 to +4 lbs.). Effectively, a diver using such a jacket BCD has to counteract this positive buoyancy with lead. One advantage of the BP/W is that it has no inherent positive buoyancy. A typical stainless steel BP is 5 - 6 lbs. negatively buoyant. Using a BP/W, you'll be able to carry less lead on a weight belt. For many people, this is a more favorable weight distribution for diving.

The BP/W setup also puts weight right over the diver's lungs, which makes it easier to trim out. The harness is very adjustable, too.

bubbletrubble
06-23-2008, 12:14
Even having been around the ST forum for quite a while, I did not expect this kind of response. Thank you all.


I did look up info on the new Diva and it says that it can hold 20lbs ditchable and 10lbs non-ditchable. Sounds like plenty of weight to me...but you didn't specify how much you need. Good luck!

I honestly don't know how much I'll need yet. With the 7mm in the pool, I need about 19 lbs to get down. For the ocean, I'll need a bit more. Let alone needing to add gloves, hood, or anything else. I tend to be slightly overweighted intentionally. I get very seasick and do much better if I can get down the first 10 feet or so.

As much as I love my Diva, I would like something that would be a little better suited to the deeper and colder diving that we are starting to do.

Your Diva may have enough buoyant lift for your needs. I don't know which Diva model you own. The Aqualung website lists the following specs for the Diva XL: extra small (29lbs lift), small (32lbs lift), medium (38lbs lift). For the Diva XLT: extra small (23lbs lift), small (31lbs lift), medium (34lbs lift).

You mentioned that you do much better if you're slightly overweighted and can "get down the first 10 feet or so." I would argue that if you're properly weighted (not slightly overweighted), you should still be able to descend easily with a deep exhalation. If you're overweighted, you'll be carrying around all of that extra weight for your entire dive, which will lead to more air in your BCD and increased drag through the water, resulting in poorer air consumption.

=======================
As a reminder about how to do proper weight check:

Gear up in your 7mm (wetsuit, hood, gloves, etc. = the whole shbang!). Ensure that you have a near empty (<500psi) tank. Jump into the pool. Relax. Weight yourself so that you're neutrally buoyant: Wear enough weight so that you can bob vertically at eye level with the empty tank, an empty BC, an average breath, and your feet crossed (to prevent finning). Weight yourself so that a deep breath in pushes your mask out of the water and a deep exhalation sinks your mask below the level of the water. Do all of this while breathing on your regulator. Be mindful that if your wetsuit isn't "fully wet" it can retain air pockets. Work those air pockets out as best you can.

Add 2.5% of your total weight (you + all of your gear) if you want to convert your "pool weighting" to salt water weighting.

Make sure that you do another weight check whenever you add/subtract any gear. If a pool is not accessible, typically I will overweight myself a little and then do a proper weight check (handing off weight to my buddy) at the end of my next shore dive. Be sure to make a note of your weight configuration in your dive log.

Martin2
06-23-2008, 13:45
[quote=bubbletrubble;190163]As a reminder about how to do proper weight check:quote]

I appreciate it. We do have a pool handy and that's where we tend to do all of our weight checks. I don't always do so with 500psi, but I'll try it and see if it makes a difference.

Re the extra weight when we're out in the ocean,I don't know how easy it will be to pull that off. I am extremely seasick. I've tried everything from the scop patch to every homeopathic remedy known to man. The only thing that does work is a pill that isn't available in the US. I have some, but even it doesn't make it totally go away. As a result, I'm anxious enough that it isn't always easy or feasible for me to control my breathing as well at the surface. Hence the extra weight. While it isn't ideal, I'm far more limited by my husband's air consumption than I will ever be by my own, even with the extra weight. At least until he talks me into the larger steel tank he's wanting...

bubbletrubble
06-23-2008, 14:12
I appreciate it. We do have a pool handy and that's where we tend to do all of our weight checks. I don't always do so with 500psi, but I'll try it and see if it makes a difference.

An AL80 will have a 6lb. buoyancy swing between completely empty and totally full.


Re the extra weight when we're out in the ocean,I don't know how easy it will be to pull that off. I am extremely seasick. I've tried everything from the scop patch to every homeopathic remedy known to man. The only thing that does work is a pill that isn't available in the US. I have some, but even it doesn't make it totally go away. As a result, I'm anxious enough that it isn't always easy or feasible for me to control my breathing as well at the surface. Hence the extra weight. While it isn't ideal, I'm far more limited by my husband's air consumption than I will ever be by my own, even with the extra weight. At least until he talks me into the larger steel tank he's wanting...

I am prone to seasickness, too. Even after taking Bonine, I'll get queasy when I start suiting up before that first boat dive. I think it's caused by a combination of the tightness of my drysuit neck seal and the rolling of the boat after it's been anchored. Generally, as soon as I get in the water I feel much better. I try to get all of my gear assembled (reg on my tank, weights loaded) before the boat even leaves the dock. My buddy and I descend shortly after getting into the water. Before I descend, however, I relax my whole body. I guess I find the sensation of being weightless under water very calming. Throughout the dive, I remain neutrally buoyant and try to move as effortlessly as possible. My dive buddy and I tend to move very slowly as this is conducive to seeing more...and taking better pictures. :-)

A great way to circumvent seasickness is just to do shore diving. I highly recommend Bonaire as a dive destination! It's arguably the best shore diving in the world -- and quite affordable, too.

Martin2
06-23-2008, 14:34
An AL80 will have a 6lb. buoyancy swing between completely empty and totally full.

I clearly need to start using my husband's nearly empty tank instead of my 1000+ psi. I always used mine since it is what I tend to end the dive with.




I am prone to seasickness, too. Even after taking Bonine, I'll get queasy when I start suiting up before that first boat dive. I think it's caused by a combination of the tightness of my drysuit neck seal and the rolling of the boat after it's been anchored. Generally, as soon as I get in the water I feel much better. I try to get all of my gear assembled (reg on my tank, weights loaded) before the boat even leaves the dock. My buddy and I descend shortly after getting into the water. Before I descend, however, I relax my whole body. I guess I find the sensation of being weightless under water very calming. Throughout the dive, I remain neutrally buoyant and try to move as effortlessly as possible. My dive buddy and I tend to move very slowly as this is conducive to seeing more...and taking better pictures. :-)

A great way to circumvent seasickness is just to do shore diving. I highly recommend Bonaire as a dive destination! It's arguably the best shore diving in the world -- and quite affordable, too.

I feel the same way about being underwater. Unfortunately, I actually have to be submerged before the seasickness goes away. But it is more than worth it once I'm down, so I'll keep figuring out a way to go diving.

Sadly, there is no shore diving in the Charleston area. I'll keep Bonaire in mind as we make our next vacation plans. Sounds great! Ironically, I did better in the 4-5 foot seas in the Bahamas that I do on the flattest calm that the Atlantic will get. Something about the smooth rolling motion is just too much for me. Same reaction if I get on a Ferris Wheel. But I can ride roller coasters all day long. Go figure.

bubbletrubble
06-25-2008, 03:15
An AL80 will have a 6lb. buoyancy swing between completely empty and totally full.

I clearly need to start using my husband's nearly empty tank instead of my 1000+ psi. I always used mine since it is what I tend to end the dive with.

Or even easier...at the end of your dive when you're ready to do a buoyancy check...just hit the purge button on your reg until your SPG reads <500psi. :-) This way you don't have to go through the hassle of playing musical scuba gear with your husband.

Martin2
06-25-2008, 12:01
With the seasickness, I don't do buoyancy checks at the end of dives. We have a local pool that welcomes us for that kind of thing. Thanks for the idea though. It might be an option should we do any fresh water diving. The wave action is just too much on the boat. I try not to surface until we're close to heading back.

ClaireOKC
06-27-2008, 03:12
OK - gotta throw in my 2˘ in on this, as I just went thru this. Had a Dive Rite Transpact, and the belt kept digging into my ribs. Wore a friend's Ranger, and fell in love with it - was in ST yesterday and got the LTD model and girls, I love it. We ladies have waists, men do not (my day job is designing wedding & formal wear - so I know fitting!) They can cinch in that belt and it won't dig into their ribs or hip bones. The Ranger has a padded belt area, that actually allows you to cinch it in and keep it there. There's another advantage here and that is that the BC locates the tank lower on your back so that you're not banging your head against the tank valve (I always find non-head banging a benefit when I'm diving - I'm funny that way!!!!!:smiley36: - OK bad joke!) But if I were to recommend a vest to someone, hands down the Ranger - you can get the Brigade with a pad on the inside, but I got the LTD with all the bells & whistles as I'm an u/w photog and wanted all that jazz to keep my important junk w/me on a dive.

Hope this helps - Claire


I'm hoping some of you can make some suggestions. I have a Seaquest Diva that I absolutely love; however, it isn't rated to hold enough weight for my 7mm suit. I stubbornly tried it anyway and, needless to say, it doesn't work well. Too much weight and it loses air. I spent a very long time searching for this BC and it is very comfortable. The newer version still doesn't hold quite enough weight, so it looks like I'm back to searching for another comfortable BC. So I'm looking for suggestions. I'm about 5'3" with tiny bones but a fairly large chest. This combination seems to be problematic as BCs that fit well in the chest seem to kind of float around me everywhere else. Suggestions?

H20newbie
07-02-2008, 08:34
I dive primarily cold Canadian water. I did buy steel tanks to reduce the amount of weight needed in my bcd. It is the best thing I have ever done. I would rather sling the weight on my back than in my weight pouches. I wear a 7mm suit with a 7mm hooded jacket over it and dive with 12 lbs of added weight. Consider this before giving up a beloved bcd. No regrets here!:smiley20:

Martin2
07-02-2008, 18:12
Can't. The bladder won't hold the weight regardless of where the weight actually is. And I do love it so...

I'm thinking of trying out a BP/W setup to see how it feels. If it doesn't work, I'll likely go with the Zena. My loving family got me several ST gift certs for my birthday last week, so I have some shopping to do soon!