View Full Version : Which Wing?

07-20-2007, 04:46 AM
I was wondering for those of you that dive with a back-plate or similar style setup, which wing(s) do you use.

I recenlty aquired a Dive Rite Trans Pac harness which I am really excited about using as I have a bad back and could use the extra support the Trans Pac promises. I also have a Dive Rite Dual Bladder Super Wing, but it is WAY too much for the single AL80 I dive. I thinking of saving the Super Wing for when I dive doubles if I ever do but it still may be overkill for even that.

My questions are which wing do you personally use or have used for single AL80 or similar sized steel tanks? Do you like the setup and why or why not? If you dive doubles as well or instead what wing do you use?

Basically I am trying to decide if I am going to be better off getting a new wing and selling the other wing, or getting a new wing and keeping the other wing for when I get into doubles, or do I forget about getting another wing and just get the doubles. I do have a spare bc or two that I can always use for vacation diving when doubles are not available.

I know this is a pretty huge question and it may take some questions asked to me to get to the final answer.

oh yea' I almost forgot, what size doubles would be the best bet? I would love to have lots of air of course, but I am concerned with the weight as again I do have a bad back. Is there a reccomended size/type/psi tank that gives a lightweight set of doubles and is not going to weigh 100lbs? Maybe I am better off finding a huge single, but I am really getting into wreck diving and am pretty sure doubles are just the way to go for that.


07-20-2007, 05:44 AM
Ive got a transpac with a rec wing. Great for twin 100 steelies. As for the extra support i dont see where you will get that. ive only dived mine on singles twice and the second time was only because it was a double dive. I found it very uncomfortable. In single mode i had an Oxycheq 18lb wing on it which is great if you dont need much additional bouyancy. Its out of the way and does wrap around the tank like bigger wings will. This wing also goes on the inside when i rig for sidemounts and is almost perfect. Only the inflator location is a bit of a PIA.


The Publisher
07-20-2007, 09:33 AM

Faber makes a 148 cuft steel cylinder that rocks. it is DOT approved, takes 3450 psi, and is available now. Check with our member JS1Scuba aka Joel of TDL as he is the largest Faber dealer in the U.S.

07-20-2007, 02:42 PM
Wow, that thing is a beast! A lot of air for a single cylinder. I still think doubles are kinda the way to go, but I would love to see one of these huge cylinders.

Imagine these doubled up, that would be almost 300 cubic feet of air! Now you would need the Hulk to pick them up or a small crane.

I wonder if I could modify the 'Whale Pooper Scooper' to lift them into the water? With that the super wing I have with 77lbs of lift would be about right!

07-20-2007, 04:45 PM

Keep the trans-pac for single tanks. I have used this for many years, although, I now use a STA (Single Tank Adaptor) with my smallest bladder. That bladder is a Halcyon 40 lbs. Explorer. It is a little too large for single tanks, but I don't dive singles enough (once in 3 years) to warrant another bladder. For doubles, I use the 40 lbs. or 55 lbs. Halcyon Explorer. The bladder choice I make, is a function of the tanks I am diving. With double 95's or 119's I need the additional lift of the 55 lbs. bladder, due to the depth I dive and the additional gear I am carrying. The 40 lbs. bladder is for the lighter doubles I use. As for the "super wing" from DR, sell it. The bungied wing is an entanglement hazard. A bladder should "wrap" around the tank, as opposed to sticking out like the bungied wings do. Unless one intends to dive with a submarine on your back, no one can use all the lift the double bladder promises. If you inflate the double bladder, you will see that both internal bladders can not fully inflate. This is due to the restriction of the external material covering. One bladder or the other can fully inflate, but not both at the same time.

As for the tank issue, proceed with caution. My first thought is, if you intend to start diving doubles, double up a set of lighter tanks. A tank that comes to mind are the HP 80's or 85's. My first set of doubles were a set of steel 72's. With a bad back, I would try "hefting" some one else's doubles. I would not dive a large single tank. That lowers the center of gravity of the tank, lower on your back. This is where most back problems emanate. I too, suffer from back issues, and the "higher" the tank(s) sit on my shoulders, the better I feel. It is the entrance to, and departure from, the boat where all the issues occur, not the diving.

A recommended wing manufacturer would be the Halcyon, Oxycheq, Golem Gear. All these guys make a really good product. They all have developed their wings from YEARS of experience.

That is the short answer to your inquiries.

07-20-2007, 05:26 PM
Wings can come down to personal preferences Ace, as some trim great for some people and not so well for others. The big thing to keep in mind when purchasing a wing is get the design for the style of diving you intend to do. Many companies used to offer combo wings, stating that they could be used for both single cylinder setups as well as small doubles. Those wings are little more than crap that will not be optimal for either application. If you plan on diving singles, get a singles wing; when you make the switch to doubles, get a second wing with the lift that you will require (I have yet to see anyone that really needed the 55 pounds of lift that most standard doubles wings offer, let alone the 70+ pounds of lift offered with super wings.) That said, I did used to dive DR Superwing with double 85's because the length of the cell did improve my trim. Manufacturers such as Oxycheq made note of this and began reshaping their designs a bit (I could never dive the old DR Classic wing as it was just too short and fat for my body composition.) Find someone that has a wing you would like to try and borrow it for a dive or two to narrow down your choices while seeing how different designs will trim differently for differing body types.

As for doubles and a bad back, I would highly recommend going with something like the lp 85. My back is so bad that they were originally waiting for me to give up diving so they could implant a morphine pump to provide a constant dosing to my spine (got crushed between two cars a few years back.) I had no problems managing the 85's as back mounted doubles, and love them even more as side mounts. I tried some 108's as back mounts and the extra exertion it required for me to get into the water negated all that extra gas I was carrying. I have dove with folks divng 104's and had them hit thirds (with me using 85's) before me more than once; for those with better sac rates I can usually come close simply by adding an 80 stage. The lp cylinders are easier to get full fills, and depending upon where you are and what your personal feelings are with regards to overfilling stell cylinders...(my 85's are usually dove as 120's :eek: )

As with most things in life, one size does not fit all. You just have to look at what is available and try it out to see how it works for you. You can make that super wing work, or you could get a wing that will be much more efficient for your intended purposes.

07-20-2007, 06:27 PM

Keep the trans-pac for single tanks......

Thanks for all of that great info. The more I think about it, that super wing is just insane, so I agree with you to sell it. The wing is bungied, but the bungie area is hidden between where the tanks and the backplate go so I doubt it would be a hazzard, but it is something to look out for. Also acodring to Dive Rite, the second bladder should never be used unless the first has a problem, it is ONLY designed as a redundant system. I think for my use it is a waste to have a redundant BC anyway, I could use my dry suit in an emergency, plus if you are properly weighted you really don't even need to use the BC.

As far as the doubles, I was thinking about either an old set of 72's or even better the 85's. I think the 85's are the best choice for volume/weight ratio.

I also think you came up with a good point, maybe I should borrow or rent a set of doubles to see how it really is. I know there is not going to be an issue while submerged, my biggest worry is trying to clime the dive boat ladder in 6 foot seas! I am sure you know that can be tough without any dive gear on, let alone a 100lb pack on your back.

07-20-2007, 06:38 PM
Wings can come down to personal preferences Ace, as some trim great for some people and not so well for others.....

Now you brought up something else, which I have not seen much of and that is side mounts. Please explain to me how exactly this works and the benifits and drawbacks. Keep in mind my direction in diving is wreck diving mostly in the Atlantic. Of course I do all types of other diving, but that is my true dive passion.

Also as you and amtrosie said the 85's would be a smart bet. I liked the LP85's and that was my intention, I am not sure if amtrosie ment hp or lp. As far as diving with hot fills, I have no problem with that, but I don't fill my own cylinders and don't know anyone that would give me hot fills like that. I suppose it may reduce the cylinders life, but that is another topic.

I don't doubt that the Super Wing would work, but the problem as you mentioned would be efficency. I don't want to drag a huge sail behind me while diving for many pretty obvious reasons.

So now I am thinking about a small 30lb(ish) size wing for diving with single AL80's and then a 40-45lb(ish) wing and a set of LP85's. Of course using the same Trans Pac for both.

Anyone want to buy a Super Wing?

07-20-2007, 06:43 PM
Also just thought of this, how difficult would be re-entry onto a boat in rough seas with a side mount setup?

07-20-2007, 08:40 PM
Sidemount can be a bit tricky to master on a boat Ace, but it is doable. The big problem most folks have is the bungees that hold the neck of the cylinder allowing too much travel; that can easily be remdied by attaching a clip around the cylinder neck that attaches to an upper D-ring and provides some stability out of the water. I have broke down all my doubles and dive sidemount for everything these days. In really rough seas, it is much easier handing a cylinder or two up than attempting to climb those damn pitching ladders with even a small set of doubles on my back.

The main bebenfit of sidemount is to reduce the height of your profile as the cylinders ride along your sides tucked into the armpits. This also makes it a bit easier gearing up in the water and takes all that weight off your lower back and allows you make the most efficient use of your harness to redistribute that weight across other areas of the body. A lot of folks in recent years have made the switch to SM, most due to back problems as opposed to just wanting to see tighter areas. SM also give the kind of true redundancy that manifolded backmounted cylinders cannot, as you are essentially diving independent doubles. That means you have to learn to monitor more than one SPG and you have to know how to switch regs to keep the cylinders balanced; if this sounds like task loading then perhaps you are better off staying with a single setup (sorry, but this is usually given as the number one detractor from switching to SM, and I really cannot see what is so hard about any of it.)

Your choice as to whether or not to use a double wing is again purely personal prefewrences. Arguments have been made for years from both sides, so you just have to go with what works for you. I see no issues with using a duble wing myself, nor do I have any issues with using my drysuit as a means of bouyancy. You picked up exactly what I was hinting at with my reference to efficiency; the larger wings do produce more drag. The gussets that DR uses in some of their wings is IMNSHO a lot better that the standard bungees like you see on OMS wings (since you are actually altering the shape of the outer covering as opposed to merely restricting the air cell) but you still have all that extra fabric acting like a parachute. You are much better off sizing the wing to the setup and the anticipated dive conditions.

I think you will like the 85's. As to overfilling, been doing it for years and have yet to have a cylinder fail hydro (I just had 7 cylinders retested recently and they all received + ratings in addition to passing hydro. I do not complain if a shop refuses to fill them as high as I like (it's their shop, their lives, their insurance, etc.) but it is nice to know that I can at least get full fills most anyplace I take them. I have heard of some who are having problems getting full fills on the newer elevated pressure cylinders from areas where AL 80's filled to 3000psi is the norm.

I am just south of Cincinnati and have a fairly good (and ever expending) collection of harnesses and cylinders. If you want to give SM a try, or double up a set of 85's to see how well you can manage them on dry land (hell, even I can manage 104's in the water) just give me a shout. I am not a big fan of the cold water quarry diving around here, but I do visit them occassionally.

07-20-2007, 09:30 PM
Thanks for all of the great info. I would take you up on that offer, but I doubt I would make the trek all of the way out there to dive. I am going to go to my technical dive shop this weekend to take a look and ask a few questions.

I just got invited to go out on a wreck dive this weekend, so I will be near that shop. I was on a waiting list and someone backed out!!!! Weheeewwhhh!

As far as switching regs and all the other things, no worries about task loading. It is cool, because it actually gives me something to do.

Now I don't think it would be an easy thing to hand up cylinders to dive boat crew. I am telling you, some days out there that ladder is a death trap. You have to really time your grab, because 1 second you are 8 feet below the boat grabbing the ladder, the next second you are completely out of the water holding on for life, until you get slammed down again. You have to make your way up the ladder the entire time this is happening. Of course your have all of your gear with you like your light, bag, treasure, etc to make things easier. It is not always like that, but it is like that pretty often.

07-21-2007, 04:08 AM
If you inflate the double bladder, you will see that both internal bladders can not fully inflate. This is due to the restriction of the external material covering. One bladder or the other can fully inflate, but not both at the same time.

To my understanding this was the exact purpose of the system not to have twice the lift. It is redundant therefore your only going to need the secondary if the primary gets punctured or fails for some reason. If you need more lift either get a bigger wing or an entirely seperate wing and double the two of them up. Probably creates a lot more hassles but thats another story.