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chace_nicole
10-07-2007, 20:26
I tried the Zena while at ST this weekend, but wished there was more pocket room. Also tried the Hera, it was just quite heavy in comparision & I will be doing warm water diving mainly...maybe a lake dive here & there to stay current.
I have been searching through bc threads and find that several women dive a brigade. I didn't even think to try one on down there because its a mens bc & I searched the threads after leaving ST. I know it is all about which one fits you best & I will try on before I buy but I am interested in hearing from women who dive the brigade..please tell me your likes/dislikes to help me with my decision. Thanks ladies!

bperrybap
10-08-2007, 02:38
I have read a posting where Zeagle can add pockets to
the Zena just like what the Brigade has.
So, if you have some extra time, for an upgrade
charge, Zeagle can add the extra pockets as part
of a custom order. Also, if you go that route you
can also get any of the parts in custom colors as well.
----------

Here are some thoughts about the Brigade vs "standard" Zena.

I have the Brigade and my wife has a standard extra small Zena.
My wife tried on quite a few BCs before she picked the Zena.

I must admit I am a bit jealous of her streamlined setup.
After 170+ dives in it she has her setup pretty well worked out.
She doesn't use the roll up pocket. She didn't like it
because it flops around too much.
She bungies a snorkel along her right side between
the wing and back of the harness. Totally out of the way
and not really even visible unless you are looking for it
but it can be pulled out easily if needed.
Since we dive warm water, she uses the rear weight
pockets for storage for "emergency" items rather than
for weight.
These work great for her. She puts her safety sausage in
the left one and her backup light in the right one.
They are totally out of the way when not needed.
I added small stainless split rings over the plastic
binder (sex bolts) that attach the wing to the BC.
Then small plastic snap hooks are added to the lanyards
of the light and the Safety sausage. These snap hooks
are attached to the split rings by pulling a small amount
of the lanyard out of the bottom corner edge of the weight
pocket.
When she needs to use either of these (light or sausage)
she pulls the velcro release and grabs it. Should
it fall, it will not drop as the lanyard is attached to
the split ring.

I also added 2 D-rings to the BC. One just below each
of the 2 quick disconnect clips on the shoulder straps.
The Zena really needed these. There really isn't a "solid"
place to clip off a gauge. I got a few extra of the Zena
plastic D-Rings from Scuba Toys. I re-worked
the webbing on the corset and threaded them on the
corset just before the quick release. The advantage
of this over the ones on the end of the webbing is
that this one can rotate but it doesn't flop/dangle around.

She also carries a pair of color coordinated EMT shears
in a custom holster that she sewed. It attaches via
velcro to one of the pieces of webbing on the corset.
No sewing or modifications were necessary to the
BC.

While the side pockets on the Brigade are nice
and amazingly large, they along with the larger weight
pockets do add quite a bit of bulk compared to the Zena.
My BC also weighs over 2 lbs more than hers and takes
up a lot more room when packing.

Just some thoughts.

--- bill

TommyB
10-08-2007, 07:26
There's also the Lazer (which is the mini-brigade).
Laid out just like the Brigade but cut for a females figure.

My wife dives both the lazer and the zena

Zenagirl
10-08-2007, 08:13
Wow Bill, I'm really impressed with your wife's creativeness!! I dive a Zena and often stow a back up flashlight in one of my side weight pockets. My safety sausage just clips onto the banding that holds the wing down. I have a retractor for my computer, and my main light tucks nicely under the upper chest panel part on my left side (right below my shoulder).

I find that the lack of pockets encourages me to keep it simple and only carry that which I need.

Ooops sorry nicole, you asked about people who dive with the Brigade, not the Zena! I'd encourage you to take another road trip to ST and try on not only the Brigade, but also the LaZer and maybe even the Stilletto. And I'm sure that the ST guys would even let you try them in their pool if you want.

chace_nicole
10-08-2007, 09:22
the wife is quite a creative lady, bill. Thank you for that info, lets me know how versatile the zena can be.

bperrybap
10-08-2007, 13:55
Wow Bill, I'm really impressed with your wife's creativeness!! I dive a Zena and often stow a back up flashlight in one of my side weight pockets. My safety sausage just clips onto the banding that holds the wing down. I have a retractor for my computer, and my main light tucks nicely under the upper chest panel part on my left side (right below my shoulder).


My wife does the same.

Be careful about using the banding for too much.
The small plastic snap hooks on the end of that banding
that holds it to the wing are only held on by a pressure
fitting that uses a tiny collar. That banding can pull loose
and if it does, the tiny collar can be lost.
Luckily, if it does detach and it gets lost,
you can use a small zip tie to act like the collar to
temporarily make it work.

My wife had used the band for her sausage for a while
as well. She didn't like the bumping feeling she occasionally
felt when it moved around.
She thought something was behind her.

--- bill

creggur
10-08-2007, 15:44
I also added 2 D-rings to the BC. One just below each
of the 2 quick disconnect clips on the shoulder straps.
The Zena really needed these. There really isn't a "solid"
place to clip off a gauge. I got a few extra of the Zena
plastic D-Rings from Scuba Toys. I re-worked
the webbing on the corset and threaded them on the
corset just before the quick release. The advantage
of this over the ones on the end of the webbing is
that this one can rotate but it doesn't flop/dangle around.

She also carries a pair of color coordinated EMT shears
in a custom holster that she sewed. It attaches via
velcro to one of the pieces of webbing on the corset.
No sewing or modifications were necessary to the
BC.



Any chance of getting pictures of these mods....I would like to do something similar for my wifes Zena. She has the XS and it is lacking in the D-ring area....

Zenagirl
10-08-2007, 20:58
My wife does the same.

Be careful about using the banding for too much.
The small plastic snap hooks on the end of that banding
that holds it to the wing are only held on by a pressure
fitting that uses a tiny collar. That banding can pull loose
and if it does, the tiny collar can be lost.
Luckily, if it does detach and it gets lost,
you can use a small zip tie to act like the collar to
temporarily make it work.

My wife had used the band for her sausage for a while
as well. She didn't like the bumping feeling she occasionally
felt when it moved around.
She thought something was behind her.

--- bill

Oooh, thanks for the warning, I didn't check to see how the banding was held on....guess I'm going to get that zippered attachment and pocket after all. :D

This is why I love this board!

bperrybap
10-08-2007, 21:12
Any chance of getting pictures of these mods....I would like to do something similar for my wifes Zena. She has the XS and it is lacking in the D-ring area....

Ok, for those interested, I put a post in the DIY
section describing how to add d-rings to the Zeagle Zena.
Adding D-rings to Zeagle Zena (http://forum.scubatoys.com/showthread.php?p=70770#post70770)

--- bill

chace_nicole
10-08-2007, 21:16
thanks bill for taking the time to do this...much appreciated & I like the idea of having the D rings higher on the BC

Anne Eastwell
10-10-2007, 00:24
I'm about to christen my lovely new Zena this weekend, so I'll be able to let you know a bit more afterwards. But it looks very sexy so far and is fabulously light.

divechaplain-sara
10-10-2007, 04:09
Your going to love it--especially if you've been diving in a men's BC.

Zenagirl
10-10-2007, 08:00
I'm about to christen my lovely new Zena this weekend, so I'll be able to let you know a bit more afterwards. But it looks very sexy so far and is fabulously light.

Excellent, can't wait to hear what you think!! Have you read the "tutorial" on how to adjust the Zena for the best fit while diving?? If not, I'd be glad to share. :D

Cissycox
10-15-2007, 20:44
I absolutely LOVE my Brigade. I am well blessed on top and need the xtra room of the larger fit. It hugs me almost as well as my sweetie on a hot summer night!:smiley31:
Excellent construction and I am hooked on this BC.