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View Full Version : Jacket BC's v. Back inflate BC



DiveCaptain
07-17-2007, 23:58
I'm not sure if that's the correct terminoligy to describe the two main types of BCD's. The two that I'm talking about are the one's that inflate totally around you compared to the ones's that just inflate on your back (you don't feel it sqeeze your body). First of all what is the correct terminoligy for these two BCD's? Second, what are the advantages and disadvantages between the two? Just got OW certified and already have a dive computer, mask, and fins. Just trying to find some information on BCD's because I believe that's the next logical step of equipment to get.

FishFood
07-18-2007, 00:14
I prefer back inflate. As you said the jacket style (i dont know correct terms) tends to sqeeze you a tad bit, and decrease movement. I dont care much for having the bladders right under my arms like that.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>A big gripe aobut back inflates is they force your body forward when your resting on the surace (in other words, your face goes into the water) However, I tend to lie back on mine to easily get around this problem. </DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>All in all, I just really like having the bulk of the item behind me instead of around me.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I hope this helped.</DIV>

Judestudio
07-18-2007, 05:47
A big gripe aobut back inflates is they force your body forward when your resting on the surace (in other words, your face goes into the water) However, I tend to lie back on mine to easily get around this problem.
Um...true in a way. But if you carry the right amount of weights, you wouldn't need to inflate your BC so much that it tips you forward (if you do, you're overweight). I was trained in a jacket BC, it didn't squeeze me, it SQUASHED me! I will never go back to one if I can smileys/smiley13.gif

Just my 0.02

przeor
07-18-2007, 05:48
Unless your BC is fully inflated under water (which probably means you are having issues!) the air will shift to your back if you have proper trim. So a back inflate would make the most sense if you want less clutter around your body- part of the reason people go to a backplate/wing- which is very simple back inflate BC.

tx.lakerat
07-18-2007, 09:50
this is usually the first question asked by new divers at our LDS. I recommend to find a place where you can try each in a pool and see what you perfer.
<DIV>For me I have 2 rear inflates and love them! I'm like most and really don't like being wrapped by the bcd.</DIV>

DiveCaptain
07-18-2007, 10:50
THe BCD that I used in open water was a jacket style and the sqeezing around the body didn't really bother me. Another person in the class had a back inflate and had a lot of problems with it. It looked like to me that this style was harder, but I guess I can't find out until I actually try both and compare.

jacewindu
07-18-2007, 11:01
i trained on (rental) jacket bc's then recently bought a back inflate. Though the 'squeeze' from the jacket was never horribly uncomfortable, i greatly prefer back inflate, both for ease of positioning in the water and freedom of movement and less clutter in my chest area.

madrsx
07-18-2007, 11:33
I currently use a jacket style BC which works fine for me - it is rare that I need to put so much air in it that I feel squeezed. When I'm underwater and horizontal, the air goes to the back anyway. If I do feel squeezed, it usually means I'm overweighted and using too much air to try to compensate. The biggest thing I don't like about it is that I think it is a little bulkier to pack - it seems to me the back inflate BCs are trimmer when packing. That said, I got my current BC because it was a great price on a nice BC, and it happened to be a jacket style.
<DIV>I did try a back inflate BC while in open water training, and it was quite comfortable and easy to use also.</DIV>

TAH 73
07-18-2007, 12:07
I don't undersrad why they still make front inflate BC's. I like most trained with a jatcket style, and upon completion of OW tred a few different and ended up with a SP Knighthawk back inflate.
<DIV>Fiancee is finishing up her OW and has been diving in a jacket style, an had the chanceto try a Zena and a Ranger in the pool.</DIV>
<DIV>She liked both, but loved the design of the Ranger. She calmly mentioned that too bad it's all black, and when I mentioned that you could get it with custom colors she giggled with delight.</DIV>
<DIV>The only reason i see with a front inflate is the pitch forward on the surface.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>

downunder
07-18-2007, 14:36
&lt;snip snip&gt; She liked both, but loved the design of the Ranger. She calmly mentioned that too bad it's all black, and when I mentioned that you could get it with custom colors she giggled with delight.
<DIV>The only reason i see with a front inflate is the pitch forward on the surface.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I have dove with a Dacor Flyt Pak for years and also have never experienced squeeze. Maybe it varies model to model. I have been very happy with it and can't imagine paying money to upgrade.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Oh, and as for the design thing... if my wife were to be a BC designer - look out! In all the design sessions, I bet the ability to actually hold air would be left out! smileys/smiley18.gif(ouch! that's gonna leave a mark!)</DIV>

Vercingetorix
07-18-2007, 15:01
[Um...true in a way. But if you carry the right amount of weights, you wouldn't need to inflate your BC so much that it tips you forward (if you do, you're overweight).
I use a BP/W (which is a rear-inflate; I use no weights. My 5 pound SS backplate is all the weight I need when wearing a 3mm suit.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>The secret to not tipping forward on the surface with rear-inflate and BP/W is simple: don't over-inflate. Half full is usually sufficient. I did my OW with a Zeagle Brigade, which is a rear-inflate. Never had a problem when only partially inflating.</DIV>

somewhereinla
07-18-2007, 20:16
I dive with a BP/W as well however a regular BC has an advantage if you do a lot of underwater photography as it will make it easier to be vertical while taking picture. It's aslo nicer on the surface, it's like being in a chair...

dmdoss
07-18-2007, 23:51
I have dived with both. When it came time for me to buy a bc, I bought a Zeagle Ranger. A back inflate, way more comfort over a jacket IMO.

Judestudio
07-18-2007, 23:55
If I ever wanna ditch my BP/W (...um..) and go for a BC, Zeagle will be on the top of my list for the quality and customer supportssmileys/smiley1.gif

przeor
07-19-2007, 01:59
I dive with a BP/W as well however a regular BC has an advantage if you do a lot of underwater photography as it will make it easier to be vertical while taking picture. It's aslo nicer on the surface, it's like being in a chair...
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>For another opinion, I prefer to be horizontal when taking pictures, as I try to take a lot of macro shots. the flatter I can get , the closer i can get to creatures on the reef. The only time I go vertical when picutre taking is when swimming along a wall, then it seems benificial, but otherwise I like to be horizontal, and a back inflate works best.</DIV>

Joew
07-19-2007, 02:11
While taking pictures I might be vertical, horiontal, upside down, etc.. For me it doesn't make a difference whether I'm wearing a jacket bc or back inflate. If your properly weighted there shouldn't be that much air in your bc, so where it's at with respect to your body shouldn't matter.

CompuDude
07-19-2007, 03:35
I dive with a BP/W as well however a regular BC has an advantage if you do a lot of underwater photography as it will make it easier to be vertical while taking picture. It's aslo nicer on the surface, it's like being in a chair...
It's nicer on the surface, but I don't buy dive gear for the surface.

And as a photographer, I've never found an issues with a bp/w while photographing. I can assume any position I want.

DiveCaptain
07-19-2007, 12:09
Sorry, I know this is a dumb question but everybody keeps using the term BP/W. What does this mean? I think it's backplate weighted? I don't know? Just must be the noob in me.

CompuDude
07-19-2007, 12:15
Sorry, I know this is a dumb question but everybody keeps using the term BP/W. What does this mean? I think it's backplate weighted? I don't know? Just must be the noob in me.
Backplate and wing. It's a kind of back-inflate BC, technically. It can be used for singles just fine, and it is really the only legitimate way to do doubles (IMO).

Technical divers use them, mostly, but they have a lot of advantages over a regular BC so recreational divers are beginning to discovery their benefits as well.

thesmoothdome
07-19-2007, 19:29
Backplate and wing. It's a kind of back-inflate BC, technically. It can be used for singles just fine, and it is really the only legitimate way to do doubles (IMO).

<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Don't know much about BP/Ws or doubles, but I know that my SeaQuest Black Diamond can be set up for doubles. Will it not work as well with them? Are there drawbacks to using one with them? </DIV>

CompuDude
07-19-2007, 19:42
Backplate and wing. It's a kind of back-inflate BC, technically. It can be used for singles just fine, and it is really the only legitimate way to do doubles (IMO).

<div></div>
<div>Don't know much about BP/Ws or doubles, but I know that my SeaQuest Black Diamond can be set up for doubles. Will it not work as well with them? Are there drawbacks to using one with them? </div>
The Zeagle Ranger can be set up for doubles, too... and in face, people used to dive doubles with regular BCs all the time before they came up with the backplate concept.

But doubles are truly best with a bp/w. Anyone who "makes do" with a converted BC is either kidding themselves or just not interested in gaining the best performance from their rig.

Judestudio
07-19-2007, 21:49
Don't know much about BP/Ws or doubles, but I know that my SeaQuest Black Diamond can be set up for doubles. Will it not work as well with them? Are there drawbacks to using one with them?
While I have nothing against SeaQuest, coz they're very good brand, I do reckon one should avoid getting a BC that claims to do both single and double setups. There are several reasons to it, firstly when you setup a single tank to a 50lbs wing, which is WAY overkill, most likely you won't need to inflate your wing fully, and thus creating drag. You're more likely to run into venting problems too. When you set it up for double, again you're limited to the 50lbs lift, which may or may not serve the purpose.

One thing with BP/W or back inflate BCs that can accommodate user changeable wings (like Zeagle) give you advantage so that you can have the same backplate rigged to different wings EASILY for different purposes.

My 0.02c

thesmoothdome
07-19-2007, 22:43
Ah, that makes sense. I bought my gear back in Nov. and in May (after only making 2 dives on it) I didn't like the Balance BC I had purchased, so I swapped it out for the black diamond.
<DIV>Since it was6 months later and used, I didn't feel it was right for me to push for arefund (thus negating any chance of going back to a Zeagle) and was glad they were willing to give me credit toward a newBC. I like the BD much better, but didn't really consider the extra drag.You're right, I'll never need 50#s of lift in singles. Would I really ever need more than that in doubles though? </DIV>

Lucky(AR)
07-19-2007, 23:53
i have used and had both i love the back inflate.

CompuDude
07-20-2007, 03:14
Ah, that makes sense. I bought my gear back in Nov. and in May (after only making 2 dives on it) I didn't like the Balance BC I had purchased, so I swapped it out for the black diamond.
<div>Since it was6 months later and used, I didn't feel it was right for me to push for arefund (thus negating any chance of going back to a Zeagle) and was glad they were willing to give me credit toward a newBC. I like the BD much better, but didn't really consider the extra drag.You're right, I'll never need 50#s of lift in singles. Would I really ever need more than that in doubles though? </div>
Not right away, but if you get REALLY into things, it might not be enough. Big steel doubles plus multiple stage bottles adds up pretty quick.

As a [very] general rule, you don't need more than 30# for singles and 50# for doubles. You'll learn to do the actual calculations long before you reach that point, however, and of course the wing on a bp/w is modular specifically so it can be swapped for different wings as needs change, without having to swap out the entire rig.

thesmoothdome
07-20-2007, 14:52
Not right away, but if you get REALLY into things, it might not be enough. Big steel doubles plus multiple stage bottles adds up pretty quick.

As a [very] general rule, you don't need more than 30# for singles and 50# for doubles. You'll learn to do the actual calculations long before you reach that point, however, and of course the wing on a bp/w is modular specifically so it can be swapped for different wings as needs change, without having to swap out the entire rig.

<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Bah...steel doubles, multiple stage bottles, more regs, more training. Sounds like it's going to get a lot more expensive http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley11.gif. Good thing teaching pays so wellhttp://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley32.gifhttp://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gif.</DIV>

CC1020
08-07-2007, 13:16
I rented a "stab jacket" early on, and hated the "squeeze" it put around me, so i went with a back-inflate SeaQuest Balance.... much better.

thor
08-07-2007, 14:05
I currently use a jacket style BC which works fine for me - it is rare that I need to put so much air in it that I feel squeezed. When I'm underwater and horizontal, the air goes to the back anyway. If I do feel squeezed, it usually means I'm overweighted and using too much air to try to compensate. The biggest thing I don't like about it is that I think it is a little bulkier to pack - it seems to me the back inflate BCs are trimmer when packing. That said, I got my current BC because it was a great price on a nice BC, and it happened to be a jacket style.
<DIV>I did try a back inflate BC while in open water training, and it was quite comfortable and easy to use also.</DIV>


Well said. That's pretty much my story. I also agree with what others are saying. Although it may be slightly easier to get horizontal with a back inflate, you can be just as horizontal with a jacket style, if you know how to use your equipment. It all comes down to preference. There is no right anwer. Plus, your preferences may change as you change your style of diving.

Also, alot of manufacturers are making sort of hybrid BCs: jacket style, with a blatter that wraps around the tank, like the Mares, or back inflate with an extra bladder in the front for the surface. Jacket styles tend to be heavier, but also tend to have more back support and padding. The main thing is that you get one, no matter what style, because you will improve much quicker using your own gear. I like both styles, but currently prefer the jacket. I do mostly ocean dives and it is easier FOR ME to be in control on the surface, especially in rough water (although the ocean is really the true boss). I really hate swallowing salt water and a rough surface swim, no matter how short a distance to the boat, can really ruin a dive for me. If I dived mosty lakes and such, I would probably switch to back inflate. But don't listen to me. Listen to your body.

3rdEye
08-07-2007, 14:25
The Zeagle Ranger can be set up for doubles, too...



i'm curious to know if anyone does this, as I don't think I've read about anyone diving this setup. just for future reference :smiley2:

Zenagirl
08-07-2007, 16:41
My husband and I trained with the jacket style BCs and we both bought jacket styles for our first BCs. I soon had a problem with mine that I hated the bulk around my body and particularly under my arms. I also felt that I had a lot of tank roll because I couldn't get the BC to fit properly (but that's another issue). After extensive research, I bought a Zeagle Zena BC that's basically a corset with an air cell attached to the back. It's extremely simple in design, but weight integrated which was a must. :)

My husband dove his jacket style BC for over 3 years until this year when I convinced him try on a Zeagle Ranger. He was immediately impressed with how free he felt with it on and particularly the lack of bulk under his arms. He loved the lack of weight pouches since that's been a constant source of irritation for him as the weight pouches on his Seaquest were divided and it was often hard to get weights into them. He definitely wanted 2 tank bands, pockets, a simple weight integration system, and a lot of D rings on his BC, and the Ranger fit the bill perfectly for him. :D

Back-inflate BCs will push you face first on the surface if you over-inflate them, but after you've done it once, you realize that you don't need that much air in your cell to have your head out of the water on the surface. They are also super comfortable on surface swims since you put some air in your wing, lean back, and leisurely kick to where you want to go on your back. ;)

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the jacket style BCs and a lot of people dive them and love them. It comes down to personal preference and figuring out what YOU like.

creggur
08-07-2007, 16:57
Wife and I both used jackets during our training... Neither of us were really ever comfortable in them.. My wife's was mostly due to fit (she's an XS in a Zena), but neither of us liked the squeeze..

We bought back inflates after training (Brigade & Zena) and have been extremely happy with them. Just felt better and more stable in the water, she was able to get a Zena that fit her properly, plus no squeeze!!

skdvr
08-07-2007, 23:36
I have a Sherwood Avid BC (Jacket) and I like it. I have never felt a bad squeeze in it even when I am diving my HP 130 in which I have to have the BC just about completely inflated on the surface if the water is rough at all. Certainly no squeeze while diving. All that being said I did just purchase a BP/W. I like the way they trim out better underwater. If I stop with my jacket BC and just want to hover somwhere it is almost impossible for me to stay horizontal. If I can stay horizontal I am constantly fighting. With a BP/W or a Back Inflate BC that is not nearly as much of an issue as long as you are weighted correctly. They are bulky, but some people like that. My wife for instance is not in the water as much as me and she feels more comfortable with the Jacket BC wrapped around her. Try them and see what you like. Do not buy something because other people do not like it. You need to try it for yourself. The equipment does not make you a better diver. Only experience can do that.

Phil

nferra2
08-08-2007, 01:36
Is there much of a difference between a back inflate BC and a BP/W setup. I am new to this, and I have been looking at the Zeagle Brigade found here at ST and the aeris reef rider. I would imagine I would want something that is small and lightweight. I am leaning toward the reef rider becuase it can be had cheaper than the brigade, and I really don't see much of a difference.

ScubaToys Larry
08-08-2007, 01:52
Yes, there is a difference. A BP/W setup starts out as a plate, a wing, and some sort of webbing for a harness. A BC normally has pockets, integrated weights and more padding.

As far as the difference between the zeagle and the aeris - they are both nice bcs. The zeagle has more flexibility in that you can change out the shoulders, waist, bladder etc if you need to adjust for future diving requirements. It also has a lifetime instead of 2 year warranty. I also prefer the weight system of the zeagle over any other integrated weight system out there.

As a board member here, you will get your discount on either, and if you are really torn - many times we have sent out 2 items to someone so they can touch and feel, then just send back the one you don't want.

I'm sure people will chime in with opinions here - but we are always just a phone call away, so after you've done your research, please feel free to give us a call!

nferra2
08-08-2007, 02:53
I plan on calling, I want to earn my $50 gift certificate first. I was also kind of waiting for the new Oceanic split fins to make it on the web that were mentioned for around the $100 price tag. I was curious how they compared to the Tusa zooms.

Phestr
08-08-2007, 03:20
I have the OCeanic Excursion (back inflate) and I love it. I'm a bigger guy. so the squeeze was a problem. Once I got the trim right, it's very comfortable and stable, even for photography.

deepdiver47
08-08-2007, 08:20
many times we have sent out 2 items to someone so they can touch and feel, then just send back the one you don't want.

this is what separates Scubatoys from the rest of the hurd Larry! :smiley16:

cummings66
08-08-2007, 08:49
I've found a few instructors who don't like the BP/W during instructing, but otherwise they like it. I'm not sure why it is, they kind of said it's easier to roll over and look down in the jacket BCD.

For me, back inflate was a natural, the BP/W was the best thing I've ever bought in diving, well the 24 watt HID might tie with it.

nferra2
08-08-2007, 09:33
I like that.. "Its easier to maneuver with a BC but I like a BP/W better."

cummings66
08-08-2007, 12:50
I honestly don't buy that story, but it is what he told me. I don't notice anything being hard about it.

Suther2136
08-13-2007, 20:55
I have the same dilemma, I did my OW in a jacket, no big deal on squeeze but I'm intrigued by the strong thoughts around back inflate. Still working on it, I think I'll ask my instructor for a dive in a back inflate BC. He does pool class every Friday and other students join from time to time.

deepdiver47
08-13-2007, 21:10
your instructor is probaly going to pick jacket as he spends a great deal of his time vertical in the water. Back inflate pushes to make you horizontal. I love my Ranger

CompuDude
08-13-2007, 21:24
your instructor is probaly going to pick jacket as he spends a great deal of his time vertical in the water. Back inflate pushes to make you horizontal. I love my Ranger
It doesn't push you anywhere if you know how to use it properly.

thesmoothdome
08-13-2007, 21:27
your instructor is probaly going to pick jacket as he spends a great deal of his time vertical in the water. Back inflate pushes to make you horizontal. I love my Ranger

I taught using back inflates. Never had an issue with being pushed.

deepdiver47
08-13-2007, 21:35
I have always used a Ranger. The natural tendency is for it to push you forward especially when you are on the surface. True, it becomes no issue at all once you get a feel for it.

JugglingMonkeys
08-13-2007, 21:58
your instructor is probaly going to pick jacket as he spends a great deal of his time vertical in the water. Back inflate pushes to make you horizontal. I love my Ranger
It doesn't push you anywhere if you know how to use it properly.

what are the key points in doing this?

ScubaLover
08-13-2007, 22:18
I'm not sure if that's the correct terminoligy to describe the two main types of BCD's. The two that I'm talking about are the one's that inflate totally around you compared to the ones's that just inflate on your back (you don't feel it sqeeze your body). First of all what is the correct terminoligy for these two BCD's? Second, what are the advantages and disadvantages between the two? Just got OW certified and already have a dive computer, mask, and fins. Just trying to find some information on BCD's because I believe that's the next logical step of equipment to get.

There are more than two types of BCD's, i.e., the jacket style (inflate totally around you), back-inflate (or back-plate and wing), and parachute style (e.g., ScubaPro Glide Plus).

There are those that think the jacket style is better because the BCD does not "throw you on your face." Our local dive shop recommended using this in our open water class because they felt it was safer for the students. I have tried this kind several times in class and never liked it. There are those that think the back-plate and wing are better because there is less "stuff" around you to constrict you. There are those that don't like this style because they say it throws you on your face. However, my husband has one of these and has no trouble with that issue. Then there are those (like me) who like the parachute style because it is in-between the jacket style and back-plate and wing style. It doesn't have the constriction of the jacket style yet has pockets to carry an extra cutting device, flashlight, etc. With the back-plate and wing, there are no pockets. You have to either add a detachable pocket, which can throw you off balance if you only have one, or attach pockets to your wetsuit. I personally wouldn't like either one of these choices.

I would highly suggest that you rent the different styles from your local dive shop and see which one fits you best and which one you prefer.

Good luck in your search.

cgvmer
08-13-2007, 22:19
So far I have rented a transpac, an unknown BP/W and recently purchased a Golem Gear bp/w so in the 10 or so dives I did not notice being pushed forward on the surface, but did feel significant more buoyancy control under water.

CompuDude
08-14-2007, 12:47
your instructor is probaly going to pick jacket as he spends a great deal of his time vertical in the water. Back inflate pushes to make you horizontal. I love my Ranger
It doesn't push you anywhere if you know how to use it properly.

what are the key points in doing this?
Don't fill the wing full. It's that simple. The bubble wants to go up... let it go up, but don't force the bubble all the way down the bottom, and the "problem" is solved. You only need to leave it about 30% empty to drastically reduce the pushing. There's a blurb about this very issue in this month's Scuba Diving Magazine.

nferra2
08-14-2007, 20:08
Has anyone had any experience with the Scubal (formerly triple L) Back inflated or "stablilizing" BC's. They look like an interesting alternative for those on a budget, that don't need a "name brand".

CentralTxDiver
08-19-2007, 21:42
I also prefer back inflate bc's...just takes getting used to not over inflating. I also have a horsecollar bc which isn't as bad as people make them out to be...so front inflate works as well...especially when I'm weaing vintage gear.

danielh03
08-19-2007, 23:07
I tried a jacket for the first time today, and there is no way I would own one for myself. I really like the way the back inflates feel in the water.

sidneydiver
08-20-2007, 02:09
I have a back inflate too. I haven't used a jacket style in a long time.

wxboy911
08-20-2007, 09:17
I have used a jacket style that wraps around and I was less comfortable than my current BC-Aeris Atmos Xt. Its still jacket style but most of the inflation is on the back-I think its the way to go for me.

torrey
08-20-2007, 09:36
Like most others, I started with a jacket and eventually bought a back inflate. I never really had a problem with "squeeze", but did notice a big difference in mobility of my arms when I switched. Since the jacket inflates all around you, it adds a little bulk to my sides as well so that my arms stick out slightly. With the back inflate, I can keep my arms straight against my sides which is where I like them.

NitroWill
08-20-2007, 14:21
I actually started with a back inflate years ago and it has all Ive used..

Occasionally Ill have to dive with a jacket style BC - its not bad - its just not as comfortable or convenient..but any good diver should be able to maintain any decent rig safely and with good bouyancy control!

lrk1960
08-20-2007, 22:33
I just spent a week diving using the Zeagle Brigade and loved it. It is a back inflate model. I had no issues diving or at the surface. The Integrated weight system was a blessing.

Illini_Fan
08-20-2007, 22:37
I just spent a week diving using the Zeagle Brigade and loved it. It is a back inflate model. I had no issues diving or at the surface. The Integrated weight system was a blessing.

Not surprising -- I too loved the Brigage when I tried it in the pool and thus I have one now. I hear the ripcord on the intergrated weights is not something you'll enjoy rethreading, so don't pull it just for the fun of it.

Zenagirl
08-21-2007, 09:18
Rethreading the ripcord is easy. Took me 5 minutes the first time and less than 3 minutes the second time. I'd encourage everyone with a new Zeagle BC to pull their ripcord and learn to rethread it.

Bill22
08-21-2007, 10:40
I also prefer back inflate bc's...just takes getting used to not over inflating. I also have a horsecollar bc which isn't as bad as people make them out to be...so front inflate works as well...especially when I'm weaing vintage gear.

I used a horsecollar for years that I really liked back through most of the early-mid 80's. Then went with a jacket style BC. I'm using a TUSA Passage now that I really like. Most of the buoyancy is in the back with some under the arms. Nothing up on the shoulders, which I like. I've never had enough air in it it too feel constricted. I feel very balanced in the water.

I hear a lot about the BP/W's and it sound interesting, but considering I'm happy with my TUSA and it's only two months old, it will probably be a while before I change :-)

In answer to the original question, I think that it will really boil down to personal preference. I understand that a lot of people prefer BP/W, but I see a few who prefer the jacket style. Maybe when I get around to trying a BP/W, I'll wonder why I waited so long ;-) Just my two cents :-)

scubasamurai
08-28-2007, 20:58
i currently use the dive rite transpack with trek wing back inflation and i love the feel of it in the water. occasional if i am light on the weights it tips a little forward but nothingnew there, i haven't added the weights to the back yet but will. i figure i spend most of the time in the water and boy it is a nice feel with getting squeezed

Zenagirl
08-29-2007, 08:47
Biggest turn off for me with the BP/W configuration......crotch straps!! That's the one thing that will likely keep me away from them, especially when I can get a nice padded harness with integrated weight pockets, and a wing attached from Zeagle. :D

Plus no matter what some people want to make everyone believe, the BP/W doesn't make you a better or more serious diver. Use whatever you like, just go dive!! :D

RikRaeder
08-29-2007, 08:53
I never really had squeeze issues with the jacket, but do love my back inflate. As mentioned, they do push forward a bit if highly inflated on the surface, but that's not really a problem. It's all been said here all ready, I guess, so I'll just throw my chit in with the back inflate folks.

scubasamurai
08-29-2007, 12:22
i have the crotch straps never had a problem, except when i take the bc off and forget it is hooked

CompuDude
08-29-2007, 12:58
Biggest turn off for me with the BP/W configuration......crotch straps!! That's the one thing that will likely keep me away from them, especially when I can get a nice padded harness with integrated weight pockets, and a wing attached from Zeagle. :D

Plus no matter what some people want to make everyone believe, the BP/W doesn't make you a better or more serious diver. Use whatever you like, just go dive!! :D

I don't disagree with your overall sentiment... but have you ever actually worn a good, well-fit bp/w? You seriously don't even know the crotch strap is there. It's just one thing you hook up at the beginning of the dive, then forget about. Considering you don't need a chest strap, I see the crotch strap as a viable trade-off. And you can hook stuff onto the d-ring. Bonus! :smiley20:

asxinu
08-29-2007, 13:16
I was certified in a Jacket style and subsequently tried and purchased a back inflate BC(Zeagle Brigade). I definitely prefer the back inflate because it just more comfortable. Ultimately it would be to your advantage to try both and see how it works for you.

deepdiver47
08-29-2007, 13:37
once you try back you won't go back (pun intended)

loudgonzo
08-29-2007, 14:05
I trained in a jacket, tried a back inflate and it just felt better. I haven't tried a backplate, and probably won't, at least any time soon. One thing to keep in mind is the following.
After OW, my lds offered what seemed like a great deal, choose any gear in the shop and you can get it same as cash with 6 monthly installments, rent-to-own kind of thing. Very tempting, however that lds shop does not carry many different styles or brands, so it would be easy for someone new to take this offer without getting the chance to try other styles and brands. I almost fell into this if not for my wife saying to hold off on gear purchases after dropping $250 for OW. During that time, I found ST and the rest is history.

Zenagirl
08-29-2007, 16:02
I don't disagree with your overall sentiment... but have you ever actually worn a good, well-fit bp/w? You seriously don't even know the crotch strap is there. It's just one thing you hook up at the beginning of the dive, then forget about. Considering you don't need a chest strap, I see the crotch strap as a viable trade-off. And you can hook stuff onto the d-ring. Bonus! :smiley20:

Yes I actually have, and the crotch strap bugged me....as do chest straps! A BP/W just isn't my cup of tea, but I'm fortunate that my Zeagle has neither crotch straps nor a chest strap so I'm a happy camper. :D

wdstauter
09-05-2007, 14:06
I'm torn between the two types, and don't have much experience. Is there a place near Dallas that rents both types to try them each before you buy? (Maybe ScubaToys!?)

Capt Hook
09-05-2007, 14:24
Personal choice is a back-inflate, just much more comfortable underwater.

DivingCRNA
09-05-2007, 17:03
A back inflate BC does not "push your face in the water".

A back inflate BC optimized your trim under water-where you should spend nearly all of your dive. Most of the time you should be in a horizontal position while diving, also. It also eliminates squeeze and clutter.

If you wear too much weight, over inflate you back inflation BC and lean forward, you face will end up in the water. But it was not the BCs fault. It is like when my wife asks if her jeans make her butt look fat. BTW-the right answer is not-your jeans don't make it look fat, it is the butt making itself look fat!

Proper weighting and position on the surface keep you from ending up face down by your own doing.

DivingCRNA
09-05-2007, 17:10
Biggest turn off for me with the BP/W configuration......crotch straps!! That's the one thing that will likely keep me away from them, especially when I can get a nice padded harness with integrated weight pockets, and a wing attached from Zeagle. :D

Plus no matter what some people want to make everyone believe, the BP/W doesn't make you a better or more serious diver. Use whatever you like, just go dive!! :D

People do dive the BP/W without the crotch strap.

Padding=unnecessary bouyancy. I wore my BP/W in Cozumel in a t-shirt and just swim trunks and did not know it was there. Made for comfort underwater instead of in the show room. Though Zeagle makes a great diving product, many other BCs are made to feel comfortable to the noob buying gear in the LDS showroom who forgets that it has to function under water.

I got a BP/W because it was time to ditch the crappy jacket and I got exactly what I wanted by putting together my own BP/W. I would say that is the main advantage of the BP/W-it can be whatever you want it to be.

Charlotte Smith
09-05-2007, 17:29
It Back inflated for me....but that's just me...

Subaqua
09-05-2007, 18:43
During my open water training, I had a jacket style BC, but I did not like it. After my certification I bought a back inflated BC (Scubapro Ladyhawk) and I really like it. It does not push my face in the water when I'm on the surface and it's comfortable under water. I saw some other divers with jacket style that don't squeeze as much as others. I guess you have to try both style and see what you prefer.

DS78
09-06-2007, 16:10
I've always used back flotation and would not change after trying some rental gear in Cozumel while on a cruise. My wife hated her jacket B/C during here pool work and bought a Ladyhawk (I have a kighthawk) and loves it. She won't dive in any thing else.:smiley20:

TopSully
10-05-2007, 16:23
I've been following this thread with great interest because I too am am newly OW certified, looking for equipment and used the jacket style in training. I did not find it uncomfortable so am leaning towards a jacket. After reading a few threads here I'll probably go back to my dive instructor and ask him if he has a back-inflate of some type that I can try during one of his pool sessions. Then I'll make my decision.

Chocoholic
10-07-2007, 21:30
I'm just wondering if a jacket style holds you farther out of the water? I mean if there is high waves. I have used a jacket forever but I am considering a BI since I am tired of so much stuff under my arms. My biggest concern is getting lots of splashes in my face on surface swims in rougher water.

datamunk
10-07-2007, 23:32
i can honestly use either... i like the secure feeling of a jacket style when i add some air.. feels good to me haha, but, i like the freedom and mobility of a back inflate...

Scubastud16
10-07-2007, 23:37
I love the mobility and positioning of of a back inflate.

When I did my OW check outs, I was in a jacket style. I hated feeling like the Michelin-man when I inflated, and I hated having my arms cluttered up, so my first purchase was back inflate, and it will stay that way forever!

mitsuguy
10-08-2007, 02:09
I'm gonna have to say "it depends"

I've tried back inflates I don't like, and I've tried jacket style I don't like. I've tried samples from both that I do like. My wife prefers the jacket overall, I prefer the back inflate overall.

I'll be buying the newer (back inflate) from TUSA, the 6900... (but pretty sure getting the Conquest Reef Tourer for the wife)

summary: try both