First Peak: The Hollis SMS75 Prototype

First sneak peak at the prototype Hollis SMS75 sidemount BCD, due to be unveiled at DEMA 2013.

Hollis SMS75 sidemount

Photo from Wayne Fisch (via Facebook)

 Thanks to Wayne Fisch, from The Scuba Connection, and Tony Cooper  for sharing these photos.

Having seen only this photo of the prototype Hollis SMS75, it looks like a nice compromise between the bulky SMS100 and the over-engineered SMS50.  It is rumored to have about 35lbs of buoyancy .  The harness webbing looks as if it can be removed and replaced with plain 2″ webbing, for those who don’t like plastic buckles.  The upper wing is bungeed to the soft backplate, with an ‘H’ shaped harness and top mounted LPI (on the inside, leading to an inclination towards dedicated overhead diving use). The cylinder bungees look to be the same heavyweights offered on the SMS50 and SMS100, which many divers find too stiff.

Hollis-SMS75-sidemount-rear

Rear view of the Hollis SMS75, showing butt-plate and bungee style
(Picture shared by Tony Cooper via Facebook)

There is a rear ‘anti-taco’ adapter along the spine area, which included integrated mounting points for the bungees.  It looks a lot like the SMS100 in that respect. The butt-plate is also integral to that design, and makes use of the door-handles used previously on the SMS50.  These seem to be mounted quite high on the rig, relative to the waist.

If so, this will be difficult configuration for warm water divers, who tend to dive with aluminum tanks and may struggle to achieve easy cylinder trim.  Also, the wing itself obscures the rear waist belt, meaning that there may be difficulty using an optional/modified d-ring arrangement for aluminum cylinder attachment; this will reduce options for variable attachment positioning to control cylinder trim.

There are slots for cam-bands, so I assume this is a ‘hybrid’, like the SMS100 and able to mount a single tank on the rear for backmount configuration diving, if/when desired.

There are four small bungees mounted through grommets in the back section.  I’d speculate whether these were deliberate mounting points for canister lights, or other equipment.

Eagerly awaiting some formal release materials from Hollis…