Category: Diving Equipment Reviews


apeks rk3 sidemount fins

Top 5 Warm-Water Sidemount Fins Wetsuit divers using sidemount in warm-water conditions typically suffer trim issues when using ‘traditional’ tech-style fins.  Heaver buoyant, fins (such as the ubiquitous ‘Jet Fin’) tend to cause too much negative buoyancy in the lower-body. Whilst these fins provide an excellent ‘foot weight’ for drysuit divers; or balance the high-torso […]

sump uk sidemount harness hardware options

Stand-Alone Sidemount Harness Options There are  a number of stand-alone sidemount harnesses on the market.  Whilst not complete sidemount diving systems, they may warrant consideration if building a mixed, or DIY, configuration rig: SUMP UK Sidemount Harnesses   ‘H’ Style Harness showing custom hardware options Andrew Goring at SUMP UK is well known for his […]

Apeks MTR-X Sidemount Regulators  

Apeks MTR-X Sidemount Regulators by Andy Davis Apeks as just released a new sidemount regulator set built around their tech-orientated MTR-X regs. The MTR-X is Apeks’ latest regulator design that is designed and optimized for very cold water reliability.  The 1st stages are turret designed with 5th/end-port; making them optimal for most sidemount hose configurations  […]

xdeep nx project wing review andy davis

 Review: XDeep NX Project Wing  by Andy Davis  Shortly before Christmas 2016, I received the new XDeep NX Project technical wing for testing and review.  Over the following months, I subjected the wing to a range of demanding technical and advanced wreck penetration diving here in the Philippines.  This is my review of the XDeep […]

helium he2 sidemount

Helium-Dive He2 Sidemount   The He2 sidemount is manufactured by the Russian company Helium-Dive.  At first glance, it looks a lot like the Apeks sidemount. It has a weight pocket system on the inside of the wing, capable of holding up to 12kg of lead.  The hardware is all titanium – reducing the overall weight […]

Nomad LS sidemount

DiveRite Nomad LS The latest (September 2016) release from DiveRite.  The Nomad LS incorporates a more streamlined design that also helps keep most of the buoyancy over the hips for better trim.  It comes with a deluxe-type harness, but this is removable if the diver wanted to fit a more minimalist simple webbing harness.  The […]

apeks wsx-45 sidemount

Pre-Release Peak – The Apeks WSX-45 The Apeks WSX-45 is expected to be released in late 2016.  The harness system will be identical to the WX-25, but the larger wing features 45 lbs/20kg of buoyancy – making it more suitable for mixed-gas technical diving.  Like the WSX-25 it has reversible left/right LPI and OPV on […]

deep 6 gear sidemount regulator package

Deep 6 Gear Sidemount Regulator Package  by Andy Davis. Deep 6 Gear is rapidly making a name for itself for their very economically priced advanced-diving equipment.  After releasing a good set of sidemount fins earlier this year, they have now released a sidemount regulator package. Price at only $880, the Deep 6 sidemount regulator package […]

Apeks Sidemount Regulators

A List of Sidemount Regulator Sets A greater number of scuba equipment manufacturers are now offering dedicated sidemount regulator sets.  Here is my guide to some of the best sidemount regulators sets available. For the average novice sidemount diver, there are some distinct advantages to buying a complete set-up rather than attempting to source and […]

tecline avenger maya sidemount 16

Review:  The Tecline Avenger and Side 16 Polish technical diving equipment manufacturer Tecline recently released several new versions of it’s sidemount BCD.  The basic 16kg bladder BCD is now available with a hogarthian or comfort/adjustable harness, in cordura 2000 material or an upgraded kevlar reinforced version.  There is also a special edition ‘Maya’ variant with […]

human factors in diving course

A Review of the Human Factors in Diving Course by Andy Davis   I was recently given the opportunity to undertake the online Human Factors in Diving course.   The online version of this course is self-contained, but also acts as a primer to the full course which is delivered in a classroom.  Here’s my […]

sump uk sidemount camo wing

SUMP UK Sidemount BCD   In addition to his excellent range of  custom Sidemount Hardware, Andrew Goring at SUMP UK produces several variants of sidemount harness and even a sidemount wing.    With Andrew’s consultation, you can easily build yourself a totally custom sidemount rig – to perfectly fit your specifications and unique needs…. Andrew Goring […]

sidemount oms rec adaptor

The OMS REC Sidemount Adapter Having sold the modular Tesseract Wing/Profile Adapter sidemount system for many years, OMS have now re-branded their adapter system and offer two versions.   There is the ‘Tec’ version that was previously used with the Tesseract Wing (previously called the Profile adapter) and a new ‘Rec’ sidemount adapter that is […]

sidemount diverite nomad ltz

Sidemount Review: The DiveRite Nomad LTZ The DiveRite Nomad LTZ is the improved successor to the old Nomad LT Extreme.  Made with even more robust materials, some beneficial design tweaks  and now offering a (limited) integral dual-bladder; the LTZ continues the Florida Cave evolution of sidemount design – but with a relatively minimalist feel.   […]

Deco Sidemount 3

The Deco Sidemount System   New to the market is this very economical, fully modular and minimalist sidemount system from Deco Dive Equipment in the USA. The 22lb/10kg bladder is essentially a robust copy of an 10 liter MSR bladder; as traditionally used in many DIY sidemount rigs, but pre-loaded with an LPI and OPV/Dump. […]

technical diving computer perdix

The Best Technical Diving Computers 2017 Here’s my list of the best open circuit technical diving computers on the market in 2016.  I am only including ‘true’ technical diving computers; because there’s some awful impostors on the market nowadays.  Simply boasting multiple gasses and/or trimix capability does NOT make a computer ideal for modern technical […]

poseidon sidemount

New Release – Poseidon Sidemount BCD  Diving manufacturer Poseidon have joined the sidemount market with the release of their new BCD.  The rig is based on the American/Cold-Water school of design (see The Two Schools Of Sidemount Diving Heritage).  As is common with sidemount BCDs of this design, the use of a butt-plate and lack […]

sump uk sliding d-ring sidemount 1

SUMP UK – New Design Sidemount Sliding D-Ring Andrew Goring, at SUMP UK, has released an improved design custom Sliding D-Ring for sidemount divers.  It looks like one of the best available on the market…. and should be a big hit with sidemount divers looking to configure that ‘perfect rig’.   You can contact Andrew […]

Soprasub tek sidemount 2

SoprasSub Tek Sidemount SoprasSub have released a new version of their sidemount rig at the Boat Show in Dussledorf.  The new ‘Tek’ version of their rig is manufactured from kevlar material and features a one-piece, modular harness system. These photos, released on their Facebook page, show fixed D-rings at the rear hips and bungee mounting […]

Tovatec SportTac-2000 review

Torch Review: Tovatec Sports Tec ST2000   The Tovatec Sports Tec ST2000 is a really useful multi-purpose torch at a good price.  I bought one on a whim 8 months ago and have used it as a lightweight primary for  wreck penetration, night dives and as a GoPro video light. The Tovatec ST2000 has an adjustable 220 lumen […]

sidemount custom hardware 1 reels

Sidemount Hardware Custom Upgrade With SUMP UK   Andrew Goring, at Sump UK, has been busy designing and producing some clever custom hardware for sidemount and rebreather systems. This metalwork can enable sidemount divers to carry out some nice modifications, tweaks and refinements to their sidemount rigs. His sidemount hardware products include custom off-set D-rings, […]

sopras sub sidemount 3 soprassub

Sopras Sub Sidemount Release at DEMA 2015 Czech company Sopras Sub are releasing two sidemount systems at DEMA 2015.  The first is a dual-purpose ‘universal’ sidemount/backmount system, the second is a dedicated recreational sidemount rig. Universal Sidemount System The dual-purpose system allows the user to switch between single-tank backmount and sidemount configuration by adding a […]

sidemount diving book

Sidemount Diving – The Almost Comprehensive Guide  book release by author Rob Neto Rob Neto, the highly regarded sidemount and cave instructor is releasing his first book, ‘Sidemount Diving – The Almost Comprehensive Guide‘ in the next few weeks. The book looks likely to be the first comprehensive and technically insightful publication released on sidemount […]

Dive Rite Nomad LTZ 1

Review of the Dive Rite Nomad LTZ by Oliver J. Albrecht A couple of weeks ago, I came to the conclusion that my current sidemount rig for steel tanks was not working perfectly for me anymore. While for the most part it did just fine with two main tanks and a stage, once I added multiple […]

Apeks WSX-25 sidemount

APEKS WSX-25 Sidemount Pre-Release Review Apeks are due to soon release the WSX-25 Sidemount BCD and harness.  Early promotional photographs and details of the rig show what may be a very promising and popular sidemount BCD once it reaches the commercial market. The Apeks wing offers 27lbs / 12 kgs of buoyancy, making it suitable […]

MDS sidemount pouch

Equipment Release News MDS Technology Sidemount Pouch MDS technology have released a well designed sidemount pouch that will keep most sidemount divers happy.  It is made by Michaël Verlinden-Doumont. For storing wetnotes,back up mask,smb,spool,2 eazycuts,deco slates,back up torch,double enders,zipties etc etc without any problems… x  For more information, visit the MDS Technology Facebook Page

aquamundo sidemount philippines

Aquamundo Sidemount  – Diver Review by Andy Davis, TecRec and ANDI Advanced Sidemount, Technical Wreck Instructor   I received the Aquamundo sidemount shortly before its release in October 2013 for testing and evaluation. The trial model was in lightweight 420 denier cordura nylon and produced initially to equip safety and rescue teams.  After the official […]

Freedom Sidemount System

The Freedom Sidemount System This new sidemount system from Israel is causing a stir amongst cave and technical sidemount divers.  It has some innovative solutions to wing mounting on the harness and plate design.  Their website is currently under construction – but should be up and running soon.  In the meantime, they have an active […]

xdeep stealth rec wing

New xDeep Sidemount Systems Rec and Tec Versions   XDeep sidemount, manufacturer of the hugely popular ‘Stealth 2.o’ sidemount BCD has announced the released of two new sidemount systems in the near future. These will be the ‘Stealth Rec’ and the ‘Stealth Tec’. Both wings can be integrated onto the existing Stealth harness.  Many thanks […]

FinnSub-Fly-Side-Sidemount-BCD

New To Market: The FinnSub ‘Fly Side’ Sidemount BCD  The FinnsSub Fly Side sidemount is a tear-drop shaped bladder based upon a DIR harness with metal backplate. The BCD can be purchased with either an aluminum or steel (3mm or 6mm) backplate; or you can use an existing backplate/harness if you own already.  The purpose […]

Hollis SMS75 Sidemount

Hollis SMS75 Sidemount The SMS75 is an evolution from years of sidemount development, which started with the SMS100. A product that has been copied, modified and a benchmark for technical sidemount for years. Even more popular has been the lightweight SMS50 line. These two have taken sidemount mainstream and the building blocks this new harness. […]

Nomad LT extreme sidemount

New Release: The Nomad LT EXTREME DiveRite have released an “EXTREME” version of their popular Nomad LT sidemount system… The major difference with the Extreme version of the Nomad LT is increased wing buoyancy capacity to 35lbs/16kg.  This offers more options to technical divers and cold-water divers using heavier steel cylinders and stages, whilst still […]

Diverite-Nomad-XT-Sidemount

Top 5 – Sidemount Adapter Systems The increasing popularity of mainstream sidemount diving has seen a plethora of dedicated sidemount systems enter the market in recent years.  However, many new sidemount ‘converts’ already own back-mounted wing BCD systems – and the seek the opportunity to customize their existing wings for sidemount use.    DIY back-mount […]

amphibian gear sidemount

Amphibian Gear – Sidemount Transformer  The Amphibian Gear Sidemount ‘Transformer’ comes from Russia. It is a modular system, similar to the OMS ‘Profile’ adapter, whereby an anti-taco rear cover/butt-plate configuration that can be used in conjunction with varied wing and harness options. The picture above shows a 30lb ‘donut’ wing and ‘comfort’-style harness,as options.  This permits a […]

Tecline-sidemount-diving-system

The Tecline Sidemount 16 The Tecline is a new Polish manufactured sidemount system that offers 16kg/36lb of buoyancy, with a removable harness and three integrated weight pockets concealed behind removable foam padding on a soft backplate. It has a single triangular wing, reminiscent of the UTD Z-trim, without baffles and with an integral butt-plate. Buoyancy: […]

Sea-Monster-Sidemount-Diving-System-Adapter

Sea Monster Sidemount Adapter The Sea Monster is a Polish manufactured sidemount adapter. It works in conjunction your choice of  regular back-mount ‘donut’ wing – trapping the wing between the harness and an anti-taco ‘cover’. The harness accepts many types of wing and has an integral butt-plate.  The anti-taco cover bolts through the backplate and […]

sublevel sidemount

The Sublevel Sidemount  This is a new sidemount on the market, sold in limited quantities directly by SubLevel. The Sublevel sidemount is designed purely as a recreational/open-water sidemount system, with a design emphasis on lightweight, low-bulk, travel. It has 3 integrated weight pockets on the inside of the wing, each of which can hold 2lb […]

scubapro x-tek sidemount bcd

The New Scubapro X-Tek Sidemount System   The Scubapro X-Tek sidemount is a modular system, available with two bladder sizes and an optional top-cover for increased durability in overhead environments. Modular approach Compact independent aircell Aircell size: 12 liters (25 lbs) or 20 liters lift (45lbs.) Soft Airnet finished backpack Compatible with current X-TEK Steel […]

scubaone mangusta sidemount

Introducing the ScubaOne Mangusta Sidemount Italian manufacturer Scubaone now offer the ‘Mangusta’ sidemount in an 18kg/40lb variant for use with double steel cylinders of 7-15 litre capacity.                 The Mangusta and Mangusta18 are sidemount systems from  Italian manufacturer ‘Scubaone’. Designed for’ sidemount cave diving, and also to appeal […]

scubaone m90 sidemount

ScubaOne M90 Sidemount BCD Italian manufacturer ScubaOne have created the ‘M90’ sidemount for both cave diving and leisure diving.  It has an innovative stainless steeel butt section, and offers a clean profile. Buoyancy:  12kg / 26lb Material:    Cordura® 1000 deniers with polyurethane inner Weight:  Not known Manual: Not available Manufacturers Link:  ScubaOne M90  

Audaxpro Sidemount System

The AudaxPro  Sidemount ‘Point Break’ BCD The Italian manufactured ‘Point Break’ from Audaxpro sidemount is available in 9 colors (red, yellow, blue, black, white, orange, gray, turquoise and fuchsia) and provides 8kg of buoyancy. Buoyancy: 18lb / 8kg Material:  Outer: nylon TEXTANE A / B 210 with polyamide coating HT Inner: nylon TEXTANE A / B 210 Weight:  1.9kg / 4.2lb Manual: […]

Hollis-SMS75-sidemount-rear

First Peak: The Hollis SMS75 Prototype First sneak peak at the prototype Hollis SMS75 sidemount BCD, due to be unveiled at DEMA 2013.  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 […]

Aquamundo Sidemount BCD

A List of Modern Sidemount Diving Systems There are an increasing number of commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ sidemount systems available to purchase.  These typically fall into one of two categories; minimalist (Hogarthian-inspired) rigs and cold-water rigs. The minimalist rigs, sometimes called “British configurations” typically feature a base harness that uses lumbar and shoulder plates, to which a flat […]

Aquamundo Sidemount BCD

Aquamundo Sidemount BCD – New Release Oct 2013 I was pleased to be asked to conduct pre-release trials on the Aquamundo Sidemount BCD during Sept 2013 and this is my review of the  newly released rig: The sidemount BCD is a complete system, designed on a minimalist harness that is ideal for tropical diving with […]

diamond sidemount system

 The Diamond Sidemount System The DIAMOND Sidemount system was released in June 2013 and is a fully CE certified sidemount system. The Diamond is available in a range of bladder sizes to suit different diving conditions/tank choices. The Diamond sidemount wing is made from an outer cover of 1000 denier Cordura and an inner bladder constructed […]

Agir-Brokk Ratatosk sidemount BCD

Sneak preview: Agir-Brokk Ratatosk sidemount BCD  First pictures of the new sidemount BCD offering from Agir-Brokk, the ‘Ratatosk‘. Reminiscent of the UTD ‘Z-Trim’ BCD, the Ratatosk is certainly of the lightweight family, following on the tails of the Razor 2.0 and X-Deep Stealth. Low weight mini harness complete (backplates, 2 shoulder D-rings, 4 hip D-rings, […]

Halcyon Contour Sidemount BCD

New Halcyon Contour Sidemount BCD is revealed Halcyon have finally released their much anticipated sidemount offering: the Halcyon Contour.  Whilst sidemount diving has not (yet) been accepted for inclusion to the GUE syllabus, this does signify a potential future ‘DIR’ sidemount aspect amongst GUE (Jarrod Jablonski has opened the doors to this future possibility in […]