View Full Version : Jacket or back inflate/wing?

05-18-2010, 08:01
I have been out of the water for almost 15 years but logged over a thousand dives before the "Big Dry" wearing older style Tusa jackets.

I am reading a lot of threads on dive forums suggesting that rear inflation vests or wing styles give greater freedom of movement etc.

Will someone who does/will do mostly open-water style diving albeit to recreational limits really see any difference?

Does anyone know where in Brisbane I can hire wing-type or rear inflate to try before I buy?



05-18-2010, 09:25
I'm a bigger guy 6'-0" 270 lbs. I like the wing over a jacket. I "hang" from the wing and don't roll like I did when I wore a jacket style in my OW class.

Plus, it's what all the cool kids are wearing.

05-18-2010, 09:40
Go with a backinflate, best of both worlds!

05-18-2010, 10:02
Back inflate is better. Mote comfortable and of you get a bp and wing u will have a lot more freedom!

Go with back inflate

05-18-2010, 10:09
Hi Trev - Welcome back into the water!

I'm and open water recreational diver experienced with both the jacket and back-inflate styles of BC. I finally chose a modular, back-inflate style BC - a Zeagle Ranger. Here are the main differences I notice:

The front of my torso has been decluttered of air cells and material which gives me the sensation of less bulk.

With the air cell on your back, you don't have the "squeeze" around the mid-section as you do with a jacket when you increase inflation.

The bouyancy characteristics on the surface are different between the two BCs. You must manage your bouyancy differently to achieve the desired trim.

A definite advantage goes to back-inflate for travel. Even a heavy-duty BC like the Ranger can be partially disassembled and will pack flat as a pikelet!

With both BCs I was able to easily achieve my desired trim underwater. I have not noted any differences in swimming effort due to drag between the two styles.

Hopefully you'll be able to test-drive a back-inflate BC so you can decide for yourself if the differences warrant a new BC.

Good Luck!

05-18-2010, 10:13
look at the aeris 5 oceans bc, scuba toys has it for a demo price. it is like a jack but is back inflate so it packs flat and prob has the same effects as the backplate and wing set up. i would like to try it out, seems like a good idea

05-18-2010, 20:48
Hi Trev,

Probably your best bet for a hire might be Dive Dive Dive in Tingalpa but that is a guess. They are about the only ones doing backplate and wing etc. I was in always diving last saturday (springfield) and they have hollis plates etc so might be worth an ask. Their shop is inside the swimming pool complex so maybe a good chance of a tryout.

Zeagle ranger is a big old thing, if you decide that hybrid back inflate jacket style is what you want then the zeagle brigade (from Scubatoys only) is a better bet for single tank diving imho.

As for me, I did a LOT of research after dive 10 or so (i'm new) looking for first new gear and went through an ever changing wish list that started with a jacket BCD, went through zeagle ranger then brigade and by dive 19 I hated the squeeze from jacket bcd's and the way they flopped around.

I eventually decided to buy a backplate and 26lb wing and it was the best move I ever made (for me!), trim was effortless and you do seem to just be suspended beneath it all. Using a stainless plate reduced my weightbelt from 18lb's to 6lb's which is much more comfortable. The wife also loves hers as well, and she's really picky, for the same reasons. The feeling of freedom and no squeeze with the backplate is awesome and if you decide to go that route there are people that can help with sizing though Scubatoys has an awesome diverite/30lb oxycheq setup for an amazing price that would work well. Let me know if I can help more

05-19-2010, 06:47
Well the consensus seems to be go a wing & backplate all the way. Thanks for the heads up here in Brisbane BB1.
I will contact both of those shops and see what they have toy about rental wings.
Which package was the one that you were thinking?

Do you know if either of them service regs? I have some old mares regs that still seem ok but will need all seals/diaphragm & o'rings replaced due to age and just a good general service.

Thanks for the help so far Ill try not to be a pain with the questions. All the gear has changed a lot since i was wet regularly.

05-19-2010, 07:58
The ony people I know who sell Mares gear are Adreno in the gabba and I'm guessing they service as well. It might be worth also ringing Ozaquatic (look them up) as they are purely a scuba servicing tech centre and not a mainline seller of gear.

The BP/W combo at scubatoys is this one: BackPlate and Wing Package reviews and discounts, Dive Rite (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=BackPlate_Wing_Package)

Wing size depends on your size and your normal wetsuit size/thickness and the tanks you use but you are very unlikely to need more than the 30lb wing for single tank diving. If you need lots of lead to get down normally then the BP/w combo having no inherent buoyancy helps loads. I went for a stainless plate myself to further reduce the amount needed on a weight belt. Next for me is trim pouches on the upper tank band to help a slight "legs heavy" feeling. The basic hog harness doesn't look user friendly or comfortable at all and my wife complained when I bought that as part of her setup - she wouldn't change it for anything after a weeks diving. Its much easier to use and get used to than it looks! Once adjusted correctly it shouldn't need adjusting again unless you change wetsuit.

Ask as much as you like, I was asking lots of questions a while ago myself which is how I educated myself and saved a lot of money by not buying some gear I thought I wanted and needed but didn't.............

I've sent a PM with some extra info as well.

05-19-2010, 15:30
The ony people I know who sell Mares gear are Adreno in the gabba and I'm guessing they service as well.

Wouldn't touch them with a *very* long stick, especially for servicing. Heard too many horror stories. Go see Jase or Damo @ DiveDiveDive. :smiley20:

05-21-2010, 03:30
I will contact the folks at Dive Dive Dive and see if they can help with renting a wing/ bp and servicing my regs.

Thanks for the advice I will keep posting questions