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scubasavvy
07-30-2008, 14:11
I was told that women use less air than men and to use a 63 cu ft tank instead of the traditional 80s. Does anyone else follow this rule? I use them because it weighs less and I haven't really seen any difference in air consumption or the time that it takes to consume the air.

harb99
07-30-2008, 14:35
my wife used 63's for the first time down in Bonaire a couple of weeks ago - she liked them for less weight, but if she had been diving with others who were better at their air consumption, her bottom times would have been more limited - as it was she was diving with me (using an 80) and after an hour we were both pretty much around the 500-600 psi range left in our tanks - sometimes a bit less if we were staying deeper little longer before making our turn

If I buy her a tank (been looking) - I will definitely consider a 63 so it will be lighter to pack around

crgjpg
07-30-2008, 14:47
I dont know if as a general rule women use less air. My wife uses more air than I do. I could be that I am in better shape than she is.

scubarobin
07-30-2008, 15:04
yes, women usually use less air than men - it has to do with muscle mass and lung capacity. They usually have bigger muscles which require more oxygen and have bigger lungs to deliver it.

as far as whether you should use a 63 or 80 tank.... I would stick with the 80 unless you are a very small person (under 100 lbs). Most dive ops only have 80s on their boats and it would be silly for you to sometimes use one size then other times use another... just get used to the 80s, and then you know what weight to use with it rather than switching back and forth. I am a small person, as is my daughter, but we both still use 80s.

Just my 2 cents.
robin:smiley20:

dogseatmayo
07-30-2008, 15:38
I dont know if as a general rule women use less air. My wife uses more air than I do. I could be that I am in better shape than she is.

Don't let her hear that...:smiley2:

So far in my very limited :) dive experience I have been using 63s and 80s. I am fine with both of them, but the 63s are easier to carry.

Grizbear98
07-30-2008, 15:57
I think that's really going to depend on the woman using the tank. I wouldn't go by a stereotype because each of us dives and breathes differently.

CompuDude
07-30-2008, 16:37
As a general rule, I see women having better air consumption rates than men, but that rule is rife with exceptions.

I see a lot of smaller women carrying 63's, because they're just not physically able to carry a bigger tank.

I prefer to see divers diving matched tanks, though. It always scares me to see a petite woman diving with a 63, when her large male DB is diving a 120 so he can "keep up" with her consumption. That actually works quite well, as long as nothing goes wrong. But if HE has a problem they need to share air off her tiny tank in a stressful OOA situation, things are going to get bad FAST.

I'd say between the two, stick with 80s, since that's all you're going to have access to much of the time when traveling anyway. May as well be used to it.

digitalman
07-30-2008, 16:44
When I get my wife tanks, she'll be using AL80's. That way, when I want to use them and she's not diving, I've got hers in the garage to take with me. She's already requested pink and purple...guess I'll have to live with the ribbing when the time comes :)

mchain
07-30-2008, 16:51
When I get my wife tanks, she'll be using AL80's. That way, when I want to use them and she's not diving, I've got hers in the garage to take with me. She's already requested pink and purple...guess I'll have to live with the ribbing when the time comes :)

Well, my wife does not dive but if she ever does I'll follow suit and copy my tank sizes. It just makes more sense.

Barberman
07-30-2008, 17:11
My wife uses less air than I do, but it is usually only a couple hundred psi over a normal dive.

SkuaSeptember
07-30-2008, 17:49
My daughter (5ft and 115lbs) dives with 63's while I dive with 80's. It used to be that we would finish at about the same pressure or I would have a bit more left. Recently she has gotten into the groove and is using a lot less air than I am. For casual shore diving I'm not worried about having enough air for both of us although CD's point is well taken.

CompuDude
07-30-2008, 18:54
My daughter (5ft and 115lbs) dives with 63's while I dive with 80's. It used to be that we would finish at about the same pressure or I would have a bit more left. Recently she has gotten into the groove and is using a lot less air than I am. For casual shore diving I'm not worried about having enough air for both of us although CD's point is well taken.

Informed decisions, like yours, are definitely not the basis for concern. :smiley20:

harb99
07-30-2008, 21:02
As a general rule, I see women having better air consumption rates than men, but that rule is rife with exceptions.

I see a lot of smaller women carrying 63's, because they're just not physically able to carry a bigger tank.

I prefer to see divers diving matched tanks, though. It always scares me to see a petite woman diving with a 63, when her large male DB is diving a 120 so he can "keep up" with her consumption. That actually works quite well, as long as nothing goes wrong. But if HE has a problem they need to share air off her tiny tank in a stressful OOA situation, things are going to get bad FAST.

I'd say between the two, stick with 80s, since that's all you're going to have access to much of the time when traveling anyway. May as well be used to it.

good point - I'm not going to jump to a large tank and keep her on the 63 as then I think we would be out of balance - in Bonaire we were shore diving and it made entries for her much easier carrying a bit smaller tank - plus I was only on an 80 so I was probably the limiting factor when making our turns and then heading for shore

as for buying a tank - I think I would consider one 63 for her to use and any others for the time being when looking at my budget would more than likely be 80's which would put us in a similar position diving the quarry - if I would choose to go up a couple of tank sizes, I would still have an 80 for her to use on those dives

Subaqua
07-31-2008, 08:44
I usually dive with a al63 or al50 while my buddy use a al80. At the end of the dive I'm always ~500-600 psi over him. I'm just more comfortable with a smaller tank. Actually I started to improve my air consumption when I start diving with an al50. I just felt so free under water with all that weight less, and also because the tank was shorter.
I would suggest though to try several sizes and see what works best for you. Depends also what type of diving you're doing (shallow, deep, ...)

ScubaJ
07-31-2008, 12:02
My wife dives a al63 while I dive an al80.
When we both dive 80's, she's usually got 600-800psi more than me.
She prefers the al63 because they weigh less and are less buoyant at the end of a dive. She's able to use an al80 and does so every time we go on vacation, but for local diving, she likes to shave off some weight and go with the al63.
You already know the difference in air on al80's, so I would suggest you rent a al63 for her and then compare your air at the end of your next dive. Just to make sure it'll work out for y'all before you go and buy a tank. Prices seem to be the same for al63's as for al80's.

scubasavvy
07-31-2008, 16:04
Thanks for the responses! I just started diving 63s instead of 80s and I absolutely love it. I think it's a 12 pound difference between the two tanks and I can definitely feel it coming out of the water with my gear on.

Damselfish
08-04-2008, 10:10
AL 80s are cheap and common, sort of a decent compromise on everything, but there's nothing magic about the size. If someone uses less air, it's worth considering smaller tanks. They're lighter to lug around and often more comfortable on a shorter person, not hitting them in the head and butt. I don't think having less air than your buddy is an issue, after all if one person's SAC rate is much lower and you're diving the same size tank, well then the other person is going to have less air. Just be aware of what you have. (From an average 45-55 minute dive we are up when my husband has 500 and normally I'm at 1500.)

A fair number of Caribbean ops will have 63s and sometimes I use them, I don't care about the weight so much but the shorter tank is nice. I usually don't bother though, since on some dives it seems better to go with the larger tank and I don't want to go back and forth. Also a lot of places that have 63s they're air only not Nitrox.

violakat03
08-05-2008, 18:03
In AOW class, we had the choice between al80's and al63's (in OW we only had al80's) - most of the females went with the al63's, myself included. I've also used an al63 on a shore dive. Every time I've used one, I've ended with more air than my buddy on an al80.

Rental nitrox tanks from my LDS are al80's, so I use them anytime I'm at the quarry. I do prefer the al63s if given the choice, but feel I can safely dive with either. I do not have a lot of upper body strength, so being able to lift my own tank easily is a big plus for me!

Jenn
08-05-2008, 18:23
I recently spoke with a aow dive instructor and he was surprised to here that I have only dove with al80's he suggested I try a 63 being a new diver I had no idea that there was a 63. I am going purchase a 63 this friday and then in sept I am going to purchase an 80 that way I will have both. Being a new diver I seem to have pretty good air consumption rates. I dive with my buddy who has been dive for like 4 years or so and i use about the same air consumption as her both using 80s.

Diver Kat
08-11-2008, 23:22
We currently have 2 80's for our lake diving, but I'm looking at getting a 63 just to dump some of the weight I have to lug around. He's 6'4" and I'm 5'4". If we both use an 80, he comes up with 500 and I come up with 1200. Now for trips and boat diving, we both use an 80, or he'll bump up to 100 if they have them available.

H20newbie
08-12-2008, 08:45
Although I could definitely use a 63, when we purchased tanks we considered the following:

1. Yes - a 63 works well for me BUT my hubby dives more often through the week than I do and that would have limited him to 2 tanks and require him to drive 1/2 hr to fill them if needed.

2. I often am the lone female diver in a group of males. My "spare air" ability makes me the ideal candidate if someone needs to buddy breath. A situation we recently used diving in Florida unexpectedly. We left the line with 1400 lbs remaining after a 3 minute safety stop -70' 34 min dive-just in case your wondering.

So..I factored in these things to make my final decision and don't regret the purchase of steel 80's.

coral cowgirl
08-12-2008, 16:30
"....woman diving with a 63, when her large male DB is diving a 120 so he can "keep up" with her consumption. That actually works quite well, as long as nothing goes wrong. But if HE has a problem they need to share air off her tiny tank in a stressful OOA situation, things are going to get bad FAST."
_______________________________
Good point....especially when they're both now stressed.

BlueC5Kitten
08-19-2008, 14:14
I dive HP80s, but my (male) buddies typically will dive a 100.

Again, depends on personal preference, your fitness level and your v02!

aperkins
10-15-2008, 09:27
For short (5'1") divers 63's have the additional bonus of being shorter than an 80. My first stage does not hit me in the head and the boot does not hit me in the rear.

cowgirldiver
10-15-2008, 20:13
I've also started using 63's when I'm diving in the lake-for the same reason-I'm not very tall and I got tired of getting whacked in either the head or the rear. Of course when diving in blue water (or going deep) I'll use 80's.

Diver Kat
10-15-2008, 22:07
Finally went ahead and bought two 63s about a month ago, so now DH has two 80s and I have the 63s. I love it for the all the reasons listed above - I'm short so I'm not getting whacked in the head or the bottom, it's less weight to haul around on my back, the tanks are shorter so I can carry them without them scrapping the ground ... As for air consumption even with the smaller tanks, I normally end up with a bit more psi than him, so no worries there.

mselizann
10-16-2008, 06:58
Finally went ahead and bought two 63s about a month ago, so now DH has two 80s and I have the 63s. I love it for the all the reasons listed above - I'm short so I'm not getting whacked in the head or the bottom, it's less weight to haul around on my back, the tanks are shorter so I can carry them without them scrapping the ground ... As for air consumption even with the smaller tanks, I normally end up with a bit more psi than him, so no worries there.

We're the same way Kat- DH has two 80s and I have two 63s. Now when we shore dive around here sometimes we BOTH wind up with a ton of air left, even after being in the water for an hour or so. We are going to "adopt" two more 63s my now non-diving friend has abandoned for our little shore dives.

monant
10-16-2008, 11:51
My wife and my 13yo son use 63's. I use an 80 and we empty our tanks at about the same rate. As my son grows I expect him to need an 80 also. We all take deep slow breaths and their lung capacities are much less than mine.

gNats
10-16-2008, 13:07
yes, women usually use less air than men - it has to do with muscle mass and lung capacity. They usually have bigger muscles which require more oxygen and have bigger lungs to deliver it.

as far as whether you should use a 63 or 80 tank.... I would stick with the 80 unless you are a very small person (under 100 lbs). Most dive ops only have 80s on their boats and it would be silly for you to sometimes use one size then other times use another... just get used to the 80s, and then you know what weight to use with it rather than switching back and forth. I am a small person, as is my daughter, but we both still use 80s.

Just my 2 cents.
robin:smiley20:

The owner of the LDS where I shop steered me toward the 80 tank for the same reason. I am somewhat smallish - 5'3 - 115 lbs. and while I do carry my own tank, I will admit carrying a full AL80 across the parking lot is a slow undertaking.

His reasoning was pretty much the same, if I have to rent tanks, and I am forced with taking an AL80, better I should be comfortable with the size on my back rather than risk not enjoying my dive experience.

I will admit, the 80 tank comes down a bit on my torso but I am now used to the weight and feel of it. I can really understand his concerns for selling me a 63.

I am thinking about buying one of those tank strap handles that enable you to carry the tank horizontal to the ground like luggage.

Diver Kat
10-17-2008, 22:23
His reasoning was pretty much the same, if I have to rent tanks, and I am forced with taking an AL80, better I should be comfortable with the size on my back rather than risk not enjoying my dive experience. Don't really see this as a big issue - going back & forth between 80's & 63's isn't a big deal. Most places I travel use 80's, but then again in Bonaire they had 63's available. As for diving at home, why lug around the extra weight if you don't have to?


I am thinking about buying one of those tank strap handles that enable you to carry the tank horizontal to the ground like luggage. Actually just bought 4 of these on-line (SORRY it wasn't ST!) where they had them on special for $5 a piece - if you're on their e-mail list. They're the ones that have a D ring tightening system and they work great. Even the DH (who's 6'4") finds them easier to use then carrying the tank by the valve.

Grizbear98
10-18-2008, 10:06
I use an 80 now but when I get my own tank I'm getting a 63. I have plenty of air left in an 80 even after 40 min at max depth of 65 ft for my AOW cert. I was beating out my brother/dive buddy with air every time, as well as all the guys in the class.

mitsuguy
10-18-2008, 19:21
My wife recently tried one of the steel 80's I typically dive with and loved it...

It is actually lighter than a 63 cf aluminum tank empty, and only 1.4 lbs heavier full due to the higher volume of air... It also allows her to not wear any weight in her BC at all, which means it's actually saving about 8 lbs when geared up on dry land (walking to water, etc)... plus she has more air, which is never a bad thing...

Name/Size___max pressure___diameter__empty weight___full weight___buoyancy empty____buoyancy full
Luxfer 63 ___3000__________7.25______21.85___________26.6___ ____2.6_______________-2.1

PST E7-80___3442 PSI______7.25_______20_____________28________-2.5_______________-8.5

Oh, and they are about the same height as well.... other than being a little more pricey, they are a great option...

reefgirl64
10-18-2008, 22:33
the 63's are easier to haul and to strap on, but it doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me.
I have always used more air than my husband- I think I get excited easier when I see something and tend to chase off after it... :smiley5: Because we're both pretty fit and I believe I'm more fit than he, not to mention 12 yrs. younger.

Diver Kat
10-18-2008, 22:59
My wife recently tried one of the steel 80's I typically dive with and loved it...

It is actually lighter than a 63 cf aluminum tank empty, and only 1.4 lbs heavier full due to the higher volume of air... It also allows her to not wear any weight in her BC at all, which means it's actually saving about 8 lbs when geared up on dry land (walking to water, etc)... plus she has more air, which is never a bad thing...

Oh, and they are about the same height as well.... other than being a little more pricey, they are a great option...
Yeah .... looked at steel, but the price was just too high - especially since I was buying two tanks!

Moxie
10-20-2008, 13:34
I can only speak for myself, but I love my HP 80s. I don't want to find myself short on air and have to turn back early. My DH has 120's which puts us around the same PSI on the way out.

CompuDude
10-20-2008, 13:34
the 63's are easier to haul and to strap on, but it doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me.
I have always used more air than my husband- I think I get excited easier when I see something and tend to chase off after it... :smiley5: Because we're both pretty fit and I believe I'm more fit than he, not to mention 12 yrs. younger.

More fit, female, and younger usually means you would be using LESS air than your husband. Has he been diving longer?

HP80s are nice little tanks for smaller divers. I have several friends who really like them.

Note that you'll need at least 3300 psi in that HP80 to get the SAME amount of gas an an Al.80 at 3000 psi, however. (Al.80 holds 77.4 cf of gas, despite the name) HP80s only hold 80 cf of gas with a true 3442 psi fill. If your local fill station often has issues giving full HP fills, you should be aware of that when considering how much gas you have.

divergirl
10-21-2008, 19:09
I can't compare since I've only ever dove with Al. 80's..

BlueC5Kitten
10-28-2008, 22:29
My wife recently tried one of the steel 80's I typically dive with and loved it...

It is actually lighter than a 63 cf aluminum tank empty, and only 1.4 lbs heavier full due to the higher volume of air... It also allows her to not wear any weight in her BC at all, which means it's actually saving about 8 lbs when geared up on dry land (walking to water, etc)... plus she has more air, which is never a bad thing...

Oh, and they are about the same height as well.... other than being a little more pricey, they are a great option...

Hey Cody! I agree, love the HP80s better because they are smaller. Perhaps when I get my bonus from work this year I will spring for a couple!

When do you guys move to Utila?

mitsuguy
10-29-2008, 09:12
My wife recently tried one of the steel 80's I typically dive with and loved it...

It is actually lighter than a 63 cf aluminum tank empty, and only 1.4 lbs heavier full due to the higher volume of air... It also allows her to not wear any weight in her BC at all, which means it's actually saving about 8 lbs when geared up on dry land (walking to water, etc)... plus she has more air, which is never a bad thing...

Oh, and they are about the same height as well.... other than being a little more pricey, they are a great option...

Hey Cody! I agree, love the HP80s better because they are smaller. Perhaps when I get my bonus from work this year I will spring for a couple!

When do you guys move to Utila?

Looking like its gonna be February 10th... :)

BlueC5Kitten
10-29-2008, 12:22
Looking like its gonna be February 10th... :)

Sweet...keep in touch via the board! Maybe I'll get to see you when we are there in March!

BlowingBubbles
10-31-2008, 06:29
I think whether or not a female uses more air than a male has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with build and experience. I tend to use as much or more air than my husband but, although I am not what I would consider a big person, I do have a large rib cage and pretty close to the same lung capacity as my husband so of course I am going to use as much air as he does, all things being equal. I do tend to get more excited than he does underwater so I think that accounts for why I consume more air at times. I use an al80 but we are currently looking into purchasing steel 80's. I have a longer frame (5'10") so I'm not worried about the tank length. I would worry, however, about not needing weights in my BC (as was referenced earlier by Mitsuguy about steel 80's) because in an emergency there's no quick way dump without ditching all of your gear, but being taller, I'll need some supplemental weighting anyway so it shouldn't be a concern for me.

CompuDude
10-31-2008, 14:56
I think whether or not a female uses more air than a male has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with build and experience. I tend to use as much or more air than my husband but, although I am not what I would consider a big person, I do have a large rib cage and pretty close to the same lung capacity as my husband so of course I am going to use as much air as he does, all things being equal. I do tend to get more excited than he does underwater so I think that accounts for why I consume more air at times. I use an al80 but we are currently looking into purchasing steel 80's. I have a longer frame (5'10") so I'm not worried about the tank length. I would worry, however, about not needing weights in my BC (as was referenced earlier by Mitsuguy about steel 80's) because in an emergency there's no quick way dump without ditching all of your gear, but being taller, I'll need some supplemental weighting anyway so it shouldn't be a concern for me.

If you're diving with Al.80s now and are ok with the size, want to move to steel for the weight advantages, I'd look to the HP100s rather than the HP80s. You'll reduce the weight you have to carry, and greatly increase the air you bring with you, and even have a tank that's an inch or so shorter than the Al.80. Win-win-win. I don't care for the HP80s unless you're a very small person who can't handle the weight of a full-sized tank, since it can be tough to get a perfect fill, and then you have LESS air than with the Al.80.

BlowingBubbles
11-03-2008, 06:29
I think whether or not a female uses more air than a male has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with build and experience. I tend to use as much or more air than my husband but, although I am not what I would consider a big person, I do have a large rib cage and pretty close to the same lung capacity as my husband so of course I am going to use as much air as he does, all things being equal. I do tend to get more excited than he does underwater so I think that accounts for why I consume more air at times. I use an al80 but we are currently looking into purchasing steel 80's. I have a longer frame (5'10") so I'm not worried about the tank length. I would worry, however, about not needing weights in my BC (as was referenced earlier by Mitsuguy about steel 80's) because in an emergency there's no quick way dump without ditching all of your gear, but being taller, I'll need some supplemental weighting anyway so it shouldn't be a concern for me.

If you're diving with Al.80s now and are ok with the size, want to move to steel for the weight advantages, I'd look to the HP100s rather than the HP80s. You'll reduce the weight you have to carry, and greatly increase the air you bring with you, and even have a tank that's an inch or so shorter than the Al.80. Win-win-win. I don't care for the HP80s unless you're a very small person who can't handle the weight of a full-sized tank, since it can be tough to get a perfect fill, and then you have LESS air than with the Al.80.

Good idea. I guess my husband was already looking into the HP100's. It does make good practical sense, once you get all of the science down.