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 bladder is attached.  These are primarily popular in warm-water regions, where aluminum cylinders will be used.  Their advantages are that they are very small, thus suitable for diving in confined spaces/tight penetrations, and that they are very lightweight/low-bulk for travel. Attachment points for cylinders are typically on the waist belt and butt-plates are omitted.

Cold-water sidemount diving systems, sometimes referred to as “American configurations”, tend to have more bulk, but offer sufficient lift for use with multiple steel cylinders.  Attachment points for cylinders are typically via a ‘butt-plate’ with rails.  Cold-water rigs are also more likely to offer integrated buoyancy redundancy.

Some sidemount BCDs are also designed to be ‘hybrid’; able to convert between sidemount and backmount roles. They typically use a soft-backplate that has grommits for attaching a single-tank adapter, backmount doubles or directly fitted with cam-bands. Some manufacturers (for instance, Hollis and DiveRite) also offer sidemount BCDs with either a top or bottom (left) mounted low-pressure inflator hose.  The top mounted hose may be more familiar to novice sidemount divers transitioning from conventional back-mount BCDs (thus marketed as ‘blue water’ or ‘open water’ design).  The bottom mounted LPI is typically popular with overhead environment divers, as it offers superior protection from abrasion/impact/entanglement; it is thus marketed as a ‘tec’ or ‘cave’ configuration.  In many other cases, the LPI is interchangeable by the diver, between top/bottom position (when there is a pull-dump located on the upper wing).

Apeks WSX-25


The Apeks WSX-25 features 27lbs of buoyancy, custom sliding D-rings and a super-armored wing exterior. It comes complete with a butt ancillary pouch and is based on the 2-plate (butt and lumbar) harness system with 3x 3kg spine weight pockets.

See my full pre-release review here:  Apeks WSX-25 Sidemount

  • Buoyancy:  27lbs / 12kg  (+ interchangeable left/right LPI option)
  • Material:      Armoguard material (10x more abrasion resistance than cordura)
  • Weight:         Not yet available
  • User Manual:  Not yet available
  • Manufacturer Link: Apeks WSX-25 Sidemount


Razor 2

Razor sidemount Designed by Steve Bogaerts, the Razor systemoffers a distinctly minimalist approach, which makes the enables the diver to make best use of the advantages of sidemount diving. It is based on a ‘Hogarthian’ principled harness, with a small capacity bladder (evolved from the MSR Hydromedary) on the diver’s back. It has a single-piece bungee, which routes across the diver’s back to provide attachments on both sides. It has a bottom/side-mounted inflator and OPV.  One of the few minimalist sidemount rigs on the market with in-built redundant buoyancy (oral inflation only).

  • Buoyancy:  45lbs / 20kg  (+ oral inflation 45lb redundant integral wing)
  • Material:      3-layer sandwich (1000 denier nylon - heavy gauge polyurethane – 1000 denier nylon)
  • Weight:         Complete System: 7.9 lbs (3.5 Kg) / Basic System: 5.8 lbs (2.6 Kg)
  • User Manual:  Razor Side Mount System 2 Manual
  • Manufacturer Link:  Go-Sidemount

X-Deep Stealth 2.0 ‘Classic’

x-deep stealth sidemount The X-Deep Stealth very popular minimalist, hogarthian-style, MSR-derived, sidemount system, which features a wrap-around bladder and innovative weighting system.  The bladder is separate from the under-lying harness and secures to the diver with torso bungees. Shifting the bladder location up and down on the torso provides a rapid adjustment of diver trim.  It has 16kgs of buoyancy and comes with a unique in-water adjustable waist D-ring system using thick O-rings (that allows the diver to shift cylinder trim with aluminum cylinders at it varies during the dive).  More Details / Review here

  • Buoyancy:  16.5 kg / 36 lbs single bladder
  • Material:  Double shell – Outer Cordura® 1100 dTEX / Inner Nylon 440dTEX  TPU 0.215mm
  • Weight:  0.9 kg
  • Manual:  Stealth Users Manual
  • Manufacturer Link: X-Deep

X-Deep Stealth REC Wing

xdeep stealth rec wing

The XDeep Stealth REC wing is designed for recreational sidemount divers and is integrated onto the existing Stealth harness system.  It has quick-release clips at the shoulders, new design weight pockets and  quick release pockets.  It has 35lbs of lift.  More Details / Review here

  • Buoyancy:  16 kg / 35 lbs single bladder
  • Material:  Double shell – Outer Cordura® 1100 dTEX / Inner Nylon 440dTEX  TPU 0.215mm
  • Weight:  0.9 kg
  • Manual:  not yet available
  • Manufacturer Link: X-Deep

X-Deep Stealth TEC Wing

xdeep stealth tec wing


The XDeep Stealth TEC wing is designed for hard-core cave and trimix divers and is also integrated onto the existing Stealth harness system. The major difference to the ‘classic’ wing is that the TEC wing is attached to the top of the harness.  Wing buoyancy is limited to the lower section of the wing, retaining the ‘ideal’ placement of gas for good sidemount trim.  The LPI hose can now be routed from either left of right side, providing options for wetsuit or drysuit divers. Buoyancy is a massive 50lbs of lift – perfect for the most demanding trimix sidemount deep dives. More Details / Review here

  • Buoyancy:  21 kg / 50lbs single bladder
  • Material:  Double shell – Outer Cordura® 1100 dTEX / Inner Nylon 440dTEX  TPU 0.215mm
  • Weight:  0.9 kg
  • Manual:  XDeep Stealth TEC
  • Manufacturer Link: X-Deep

UTD – Z-System


The Z-System shares many attributes with the Razor, whilst also incorporating elements that allows it to adhere to UTD principles and retain ‘DIR compatibility’. Most noticeable of these is the optional (Z-)manifold system that allows sidemount cylinders to be linked (along with LPI and drysuit inflator), replicating the benefits of isolated manifold back-mount systems and ensuring procedural compatibility in mixed back-mount/sidemount/CCR teams. It also has a number of optional trim weighting solutions, as well as different bladder options; Z-Trim (20lbs/9 kg), Z-Tec (37lbs/17 kg)and Z-Plus (50lbs / 21kg) that enhance suitability for technical doubles, recreational sidemount and redundant bladder demands.

  • Buoyancy:  Z-Trim: 20lbs / 9kgs  |  Z-Plus 50lbs/21kg
  • Material:   1050 Denier Ballistic Cordura (“Pro” version has undisclosed Heavy Duty puncture & abrasion resistant material)
  • Weight:  Not known
  • User Manual:  Z-Trim User Manual
  • Manufacturer Link: UTD Z-Trim Sidemount

UTD Alpha/Delta Hybrid

utd-alpha-delta-hybrid-sidemountThe Alpha/Delta hybrid consists of a specially designed wing of 37lbs/17kg capacity that can be swiftly fitted to either a conventional back-mount harness or dedicated sidemount harness. The LPI/OPV is interchangeable, offering low or high positioning of the inflator hose.

  • Buoyancy:  37lbs/17kg
  • Material:     1050 Denier Ballistic Cordura (“Pro” version has undisclosed Heavy Duty puncture & abrasion resistant material)
  • Weight:         Not known
  • User Manual:  Delta Hybrid Manual
  • Manufacturer Link: UTD Alpha Delta Trim

Dive Rite Nomad JT / LT / XT

Diverite Nomad sidemount system

The Nomad is currently  available in 2 models, suitable for different uses and diver preferences: The Nomad LT is the most minimalist version, designed specifically for warm-water diving with AL80 cylinders. The wing features a 3-inch (7.6cm) expansion panel located at the base of the wing, which varies on inflation to optimize trim. A low profile buttplate is located just at the base of the wing, ideal for divers using smaller capacity steel cylinders. It is available as a ‘Cave’ model (lower mounted LPI) and the ‘Bluewater’ model (top mounted LPI). An increased buoyancy version (35lb/16kg) is available with the Nomad LT EXTREME.  This version also offers a dual/redundant bladder with 22lb/10kg of buoyancy.

The Nomad XT is based around the transpac harness and is modular. The wing has up to 50lb buoyancy capacity and is available in single or redundant bladder options. It has a center/top mounted LPI and removable butt-plate. The Nomad JT was discontinued in Feb 2013. It utilized a ‘modified’ deluxe transpac-like harness, with a 50lb donut wing, an off-set inflator and three OPVs (top and both sides). It utilises a unique ‘daisy chain’ attachment at the diver’s back for attachment of sidemount bungees – preventing a hernia effect on the bladder. It is supplied with ‘ring type’ bungees, which can add security for water entries and in-water fitting of the cylinders, but can also be used with standard sidemount bungees.

Nomad LT

  • Buoyancy:  22lbs / 10kg
  • Material:  Outer - SuperFabric brand technology & 1000 denier Cordura | Inner -  210 denier nylon laminate
  • Weight:  5.4lbs / 2.5kg
  • User Manual:  Nomad LT User Manual
  • Manufacturer Link:  DiveRite Nomad LT
  • Buoyancy:  35lbs / 16kg (Dual/Redundant Bladder Option also available)
  • Material:  Outer - SuperFabric brand technology & 1000 denier Cordura | Inner -  210 denier nylon laminate
  • Weight:  5.4lbs / 2.5kg
  • User Manual:  Nomad LT User Manual
  • Manufacturer Link:  DiveRite Nomad LT EXTREME
Nomad XT
  • Buoyancy:  50lbs/22.6 kg
  • Material:  Outer - SuperFabric brand technology & 1000 denier Cordura | Inner -  210 denier nylon laminate
  • Weight:  Med: 9.375lbs (4.25kg), Lg: 9.625lbs (4.36kg), XL: 10.06lbs (4.56kg)
  • User Manual: Nomad XT User Manual
  • Manufacturer Link:  DiveRite Nomad XT

Hollis SMS100

SMS100 sidemount The Hollis SMS (Side Mount System) 100 is an integrated, hybrid sidemount system, which allows use of sidemount, back-mounted doubles and single tank configurations. It features an adjustable (rather than single-piece) harness, more akin to jacket BCD, or ‘comfort/deluxe’ harness design and is available with a single or double bladder.  There are many ‘standardized’ after-market modifications available for the SMS100, the most notable of which is the Edd Sorenson/Cave Adventures cave mod.  More Details / Review here

  • Buoyancy:  52lbs / 24kg
  • Material:  1000 denier CorduraTM w/ PU lamination outer shell & 15mil urethane internal bladder
  • Weight:    Not known
  • Manual:  SMS100 User Manual
  • Manufacturer Link:  Hollis Gear SMS100

Hollis SMS75

Hollis SMS75 sidemount

Photo from Wayne Fisch (via Facebook)

First shown at the DEMA show, 2013.  See inital pre-release pics and my comments here: First Peak at the Hollis SMS75

Hollis SMS75 sidemountThe 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. While it will cater more to hardcore cave divers, SMS75 was created to handle all environments. Proper trim is key and the wing is designed to promote horizontal diving with increased lift towards the hips where it’s needed most, and without modification. The SMS75 will also support rear mounted tanks and reversible inflator positions.  It includes the following features:

  • Trapezoid shape to promote horizontal trim
  • Adjustable and removable wing bungee
  • Designed for cave or open water sidemount
  • Cam slots for single tank and grommets at 11” for banded doubles
  • Reversible Inflator & Dump assembly
  • Rigging kit included: Tank bungees, SS Cam bands, SS Bolt snaps & nylon line
  • Includes sternum strap & crotch strap
  • Inner located elbow to avoid overhead interference
  • Three sizes: SM/MD, LG/XL and XXL
  • Buoyancy:  40lbs / 18kgs
  • Material:  1000D Cordura
  • Weight:  7lbs
  • Manual:  Not yet released
  • Manufacturer Link: Hollis SMS75

Hollis SMS50

SMS50 sidemount The Hollis SMS 50 is a dedicated sidemount rig, which features a lower capacity bladder than the SMS100 and a much more minimalist and ‘Hogarthian’ inspired harness system. It also has dedicated trim pockets on the upper and lower harness. Popular as an ‘off-the-shelf’ sidemount option for warm-water/recreational sidemount divers. Available in two models; the ‘Sport’ comes with a top-mounted low pressure inflator.  Both models have 10kg/22lbs of buoyancy. More Details / Review here and here

Hollis SMS Katana

Hollis SMS Katana

Hollis are due to soon release the SMS Katana sidemount system, following it’s initial announcement at DEMA 2015.

The Hollis SMS Katana has a bare webbing harness, integrated loop bungees and a diamond shaped bladder. There seems to be off-set D-rings at the rear waist for cylinder attachment (no butt-plate, finally!) and it has  left/right side interchangeable LPI/OPVs…. and a third OPV at the bottom of the wing. The loop bungees are webbing mounted beneath the bladder, but route through the wing to help keep it snug to the diver’s body. The buoyancy capacity is 30lbs/13.5kg and it is produced in 1000 denier Cordura. Retail price is expected to be $599.

A full announcement about the SMS Katana is due at DEMA 2015.  DEMA Hollis SMS Katana Announcement

  • Buoyancy:  30lbs / 10kg
  • Material:  1000 Denier Cordura
  • Weight:  Not Yet Known
  • Manual:  Not Yet Available
  • Manufacturer Link:  Not Yet Available

Scubapro X-Tek Sidemount

scubapro-x-tec-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.
  • Buoyancy:  12kg/25lb  or 20kg/45lb
  • Material:  Believed to be -  Outer1680DEN Ballistic Nylon / Inner:  420 D Nylon
  • Weight:  not specified.
  • Manual:  X-Tek Line Manual
  • Manufacturer Link: Scubapro X-Tek Sidemount

Aquamundo SM

aquamundo sidemount

Produced by Philippines-based diving manufacturer ‘Aquamundo’, the SM is a minimalist warm-water sidemount configuration, similar in approach to the Z-Trim. It is sold complete as a complete unit, with all necessary ancillaries.  More details/review here

  • Buoyancy:  21lbs / 9kgs
  • Material:  1000 denier nylon (special 420 denier ‘lightweight’ nylon ‘Rescue Team version available)
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual: Not available online
  • Manufacturer Link:  Aquamundo Sidemount

Golem Gear Armadillo A2 and S

armadillo sidemount

The Armadillo is a sidemount specific rig, with integral buoyancy compensator and limited adjustment harness. It has an inter-changeable inflator/OPV, allowing divers to decide how they want it to be configured. The harness can be re-configured to allow incorporation of a climbing harness (rather than standard waist belt). A short fitting model (S) has also been released. More Details / Review here

  • Buoyancy: 35lb / 16kg
  • Material:  Outer2000 denier Cordura.  |  Inner bladder – RF welded Cordura 560 with PU coating.
  • Weight:   Not known
  • Manual:   Armadillo A2 User Manual
  • Manufacturer Link:  Golem Gear Sidemount

OMS Tesseract/Profile

oms tesseract profile sidemount The OMS ‘Profile’ sidemount diving system is a hybrid, allowing inter-changeability between back-mounted and sidemount configurations. The ‘Profile’ adapter fits over the rear of the backplate/wing, to prevent taco’ing and provide attachment points for the bungees and ancillary equipment. The ‘Tesseract’ wing is similar to other OMS double-tank wings, but was adapted for maximum compatibility with the ‘Profile’ adapter; for instance, the inflator is off-set at the top, to allow the adapter cover/protector to fit over the top of the wing, whilst there are also dedicated attachment points at the top and bottom to ensure maximum fit between the wing and the adapter. It has 60lbs of buoyancy. When used with other wing systems, considerable user adaptation and initiative are required to make the ‘Profile’ adapter fit. It will, however, fit any wing/backplate that has standard 11” hole spacing. It is available in double/redundant bladder. More details/review here

  • Buoyancy: 60lb / 27kg
  • Material:  Outer - 1000 denier Nylon backed with 5-6 oz Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)  |  Inner - 200 Denier Nylon Fabric backed with .12 mm of TPU
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual:   Profile Sidemount Manual
  • Manufacturer Link:  OMS Profile Sidemount System

AudaxPro ‘Point Break’

Audaxpro-point-break-sidemount system

The Italian manufactured ‘Point Break’ 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:  Not yet available
  • Manufacturer Link:  Audaxpro ‘Point Break’

Halcyon Contour

Halcyon contour sidemount The Halcyon sidemount offers 50lbs of buoyancy through a pre-shaped wing that keeps buoyancy lower in the rig (where it is ideal for sidemount).  It heavily features cave-diving configuration modifications developed by Edd Sorenson.  It has a reinforced top section to offer more ruggedness on overhead environment dives. More Details/Review here  and another good review here

  • Buoyancy: 50lb / 23kg  (rumored 40lb/18kg version to come)
  • Material:  TBC.  Expected: Outer - 1000 denier urethane coated nylon  |   Inner - 420-Denier urethane-coated nylon. Triple-layer top cover
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual:  Not yet available
  • Manufacturer Link: Halcyon Contour

Agir-Brokk Ratatosk

Agir-Brokk Ratatosk sidemount The Ratatosk sidemount follows a similar minimalist design to the Razor, Stealth, Z-Trim and Aquamundo. It has a ‘tear-drop’ shaped bladder and features the ‘SiMo’ design bungee mounting (based on the UTD approach).  The lumbar and shoulder plates are available in either 3mm or 6mm stainless steel.  More Details/Review here

  • Buoyancy: 24lbs/11kg
  • Material: Outer - 1000 denier cordura |  Inner - 400 denier cordura
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual:   Not yet available (Agir-Brokk Manuals Page)
  • Manufacturer Link:  Agir-Brokk Ratatosk

Sub-Gravity Diamond Sidemount System

Diamond sidemount The Sub-Gravity  Diamond Sidemount is  Czech-designed and features a range of 3 bladder sizes (8, 10 and 13 litres) to suit a variety of needs. It is another minimalist/hogarthian inspired configuration, with three LPI loations (top/outer, inner left and right) allowing the user to choose where to place the LPI and OPV.  It has been extensively tested in the caves of Mexico and Florida.  More Details/Review here

Oxycheq Recon

oxycheq recon sidemountThe Oxycheq Recon is available in either single (Recon 1) or double/redundant (Recon 2) bladder options.  There is also the ‘extreme’ variant which features an especially durable, armored, outer fabric. This fabric includes tiny, hard guard plates that are adhered to multi-layered base fabrics. It has 55lbs of buoyancy.

  • Buoyancy: 55lb/25kg
  • Material:  Outer - 1000 Denier + 5 oz urethane \  Inner - 25 mil  urethane (Extreme armored variant differs)
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual:  Not available
  • Manufacturer Link:  Oxycheq Recon Sidemount

White Arrow S-Wing

white-arrow-s-wingWhite Arrow produce a wing system that utilizes a conventional back-mount backplate. . The ‘S-Wing’  has 15kg /37.5 lb of buoyancy and features a unique ‘butt-plate’ system that fits directly to the metal backplate.

  • Buoyancy: 37.5lb / 15kg
  • Material:  Outer - Cordura 2000 |  Inner - Cordura 2000
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual:  Not available
  • Manufacturer Link:  White Arrow Sidemount

Manta Industries / Highseas Millwork Sidemount

manta-industries-sidemount systemThe Manta Industries sidemount is a triangular wing bladder on a single piece, continuous harness. It has two pull-dumps, located inside the wing and low-profile butt plate.

  • Buoyancy:   50lb/24kg
  • Material:    “Super fabric”
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual: Not available
  • Manufacturers Link:  Manta Industries Sidemount

HOG Sidemount

Hog-sidemount bcd

Images courtesy of Wayne Fisch (DEMA 2013)

Protoype-only released at DEMA 2013, the HOG Sidemount is a cold-water (steel cylinder) focused rig,  in the same vein as the Nomad, Halcyon and Hollis SMS75.  It comes supplied with an ‘old school’ bungee set-up and has a large buttplate with rails.Read Doppler’s in-depth review of the HOG Sidemount HERE.
  • Buoyancy:   45lbs / 20kgs
  • Material:    TBC
  • Weight:  TBC
  • Manual: Not yet available
  • Manufacturers Link:  HOG

SEAC KS01 Sidemount

The Spanish owned, Italian manufactured SEAC KS01 was on full release since 2014.  It has a quick-adjust harness and includes three trim-weight pockets (3x 4 lbs) under the back cover. It is designed to appeal to sidemount divers of all levels. Expect further manufacturer modifications in the coming year, as several noted sidemount/cave explorers are being consulted on the design.More details Here and promo video Here
  • Buoyancy:   38lbs / 17kg
  • Material:    Outer: Cordura 500 3D / Inner: Cordura 500 with ”Ironman” exterior coating
  • Weight:  3.3 lbs / 1.5kg
  • Manual: Not available
  • Manufacturers Link:  www.seacsub.com

Custom Divers Rhino

Custom Divers Rhino Sidemount The Custom Divers Rhino is a hybrid sidemount/backmount wing system that weighs only 2.50kgs.  It can be converted for sidemount or backmount diving use.  It has 28lbs of buoyancy and is designed to be highly flexible for individual customization (for instance, it has 5 alternative mounting points for the LPI). More Details / Review here

Sublevel Sidemount


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 of weight. It has a pull-dump LPI and

  • Buoyancy: 27lb / 12kg  Sealed single compartmental system.
  • Material: Outer 1000 denier nylon / Inner 420 dennier nylon with 0.15mm TPU
  • Weight:  6lb/2.7kg
  • Manual:  Not yet available
  • Manufacturer Link: SubLevel Sidemount


IST Sidemount System SMB-21

IST Sidemount SMB-21

The IST SMB-21 is designed for warm-water/aluminum/wetsuit diving.  It offers 21lb of buoyancy and is made from 1680 denier nylon with a TPU coating.

  • Buoyancy: 21lb / 9.5kg
  • Material: 1680 Denier Nylon with TPU coating
  • Weight:  TBC
  • Manual:  Not yet available
  • Manufacturer Link: IST SMB-21


 IST Sidemount System SMB-42
The IST SMB-42 is designed for cold-water/steel cylinder/drysuit sidemount diving.  It features a generous42lb bladder is constructed from the same 1680 denier nylon as the SMB-21.
  • Buoyancy: 42lb / 19kg
  • Material: 1680 Denier Nylon with TPU coating
  • Weight:  TBC
  • Manual:  Not yet available
  • Manufacturer Link: IST SMB-42

SF Tech Sidemount

 SF Tech sidemount
 SF Tech is a Swiss drysuit manufacturer.  This sidemount wing has their logo on it.  Sadly, it was a private project for the company and is not commercially available. The wing is very reminiscent of the Razor 2, but with a slightly more rounded ‘tear-drop’ shape.
  • Buoyancy: Details not  available
  • Material: Details not available
  • Weight:  Details not available
  • Manual:  Details not available
  • Manufacturer Link: SF Tech

Freedom Sidemount

The Freedom sidemount comes from Israeli manufacturer ‘Freedom Dive System’.  The harness is reminiscent of the X-Deep Stealth, with a teardrop shaped wing, similar to the Razor 2.0.  It has weight pockets for the spine and hips. The wing attaches securely to the harness at the top and bottom. It can also be configured as a dual wing (two bladders) for technical diving redundancy.
  • Buoyancy: 16kg / 36lbs  (18.5kg / 41lb version available)
  • Material: Details not available
  • Weight:  Details not available
  • Manual:  Details not available
  • Manufacturer Link: Freedom Dive Systems 

Helix Sidemount


The Helix sidemount is manufactured in Singapore and is purely designed for recreational sidemount diving (wreck penetration and technical diving in the rig is not advised by the manufacturer).  The rig weighs less than 1kg and features a novel harness design that removes the waist belt and crotch strap.  The wing is located high on the back, with a top-mounted LPI.  It has 10kg/22lb of buoyancy and the wing is constructed from 1400 denier nylon.

  • Buoyancy: 22lb / 10kg
  • Material: 1400 denier nylon single shell
  • Weight:  1.5kg
  • Manual:  Not available
  • Manufacturers Website:  Helix Sidemount  (alt: Diveguide.Com/Helix)

Dive System Manta Sidemount

manta sidemount diving systems

The Manta sidemount is a hogarthian-inspired, minimalist, sidemount system available in a number of options.  It can be bought with a single (30lb/15L) wing or a dual/redundant (50lb/23L) wing.  The wing fabric is 1000 denier nylon (kevlar reinforced wing is also an option).  The harness features a custom-designed movable D-ring for cylinder trim control.  More details / review here

  • Buoyancy: Separate Twin Bladder - Primary bladder: 23kg /50lb | Secondary bladder: 22kg /48lb
  • Material:    Cordura® 1000 deniers ( Kevlar® optional )  (*believed to be single-layer)
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual: Not available
  • Manufacturers Link:  Dive System Manta Sidemount

ScubaOne Mangusta / Mangusta18

Scubaone-Mangusta sidemount diving system

The Mangusta and Mangusta18 are sidemount systems from  Italian manufacturer ‘Scubaone’. Designed for’ sidemount cave diving, and also to appeal to sport divers.  The 40lb buoyancy wing manages twin steel cylinders from 7 to 15 litres.
  • Buoyancy:  18kg / 40lb
  • Material: Composite 1000 denier Cordura nylon with Kevlar and polyurethane
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual: Mangusta (in Italian)
  • Manufacturers Link:  ScubaOne Mangusta

ScubaOne M90 Sidemount

Scubaone-m90-sidemount diving system

Italian manufacturer ScubaOne have created the lightweight ‘M90′ sidemount for both cave diving and leisure diving.  It has an innovative stainless steel butt section, and offers a clean profile. It has a smaller capacity than the Mangusta.
  • Buoyancy:  12kg / 26lb
  • Material: Cordura® 1000 deniers with polyurethane inner
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual: None yet available
  • Manufacturers Link: ScubaOne M90

 Kamaleont Sidemount

Kamaleont sidemount

This Italian manufactured sidemount is of minimalist design with a triangular wing.  It is not known if the sidemount diving system is still currently available for sale.

  • Buoyancy: No information available
  • Material:    No information available
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual: Not available
  • Manufacturers Link:  Nauticamare

Eques Sidemount

Eques sidemount

The Eques Sidemount system was developed by Polish cave divers; Richard Paluszkiewicz, Patrick Widmann, Christopher Starnawski and Mirek Wolski – who were also involved in the development of the X-Deep Stealth 2.0.  The Eques shows that lineage.  It was originally designed in 2000 and has been in use with the Tatra mountain rescue team.

  • Buoyancy:  27lb12kg
  • Material:    Cordura
  • Weight:  <3kg
  • Manual: Not available
  • Manufacturers Link:  cavesidemount.com

SistemA Sidemount

Revealed during the ‘TechAustria 2012′ diving exposition, the SistemA sidemount was designed by technical instructor, Pim Pols, for both recreational and technical/overhead sidemount divers.  I am awaiting further details on the configuration and specifications – the Sistema (tecdiving.nl) website host was destroyed by fire, so little resources are currently available (update when they are).
  • Buoyancy:  Not known
  • Material:    Not known
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual: Not known
  • Manufacturers Link:  www.tecdiving.nl (currently no sidemount detail on the site)

Amphibian Gear Transformer

amphibian gear sidemount 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 very flexible approach to suit a variety of needs and requirements; and also to allow new sidemount divers to utilize some wing/backplate components they may already own.
  • Buoyancy:  30 lb / 14.5 kg
  • Material:    Outer: Cordura (1680 g)  /  Inner:  Nylon (420 g)
  • Weight:  Varies – modular options
  • Manual: Not known
  • Manufacturers Link:  Amphibian Gear Sidemount (Russian)

Tecline Sidemount 16


The Tecline is a 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:  36 lb / 16kg
  • Material:    Not known
  • Weight: Not known
  • Manual: Not known
  • Manufacturers Link:  Tecline Sidemount

Sea Monster Sidemount


The Sea Monster is another Polish manufactured sidemount adapter. It works in conjunction with 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 wing, wraps around the sides and is held securely with bungee around the torso.  There are straps on the harness where weights can be threaded.
  • Buoyancy:  varies depending on back-mount wing used
  • Material:    Not known
  • Weight: Not known
  • Manual: Not known
  • Manufacturers Link:  Sea Monster Sidemount

Deco Sidemount 22 

deco sidemount system

The Deco sidemount is an economical bladder ($60-120), available with different options of LPI and OPV.  It is based on the old-style MSR bladder conversion that many early sidemount-divers made DIY.   They currently have pre-order options for two harness systems; the popular ‘Y’ harness and the ‘H’ harness that is gaining popularity with cavers.
  • Buoyancy:  22 lb / 10kg
  • Material:    Not known
  • Weight: Not known
  • Manual: Not known
  • Manufacturers Link:  Deco Sidemount

FinnSub ‘Fly Side’

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 of including a metal backplate is to simply provide an alternative method of carrying necessary weight.  The Fly Side also includes trim weight pockets that can carry a total of 6kg.  It has a fitted buttplate with rails; and supports a range of bungee options. It retails for 590 Euros, including backplate.
  • Buoyancy:  35lb / 16kg
  • Material:    500 PU Cordura Inner / 2000 Cordura Outer
  • Weight: Varies depending on backplate option
  • Manual: Not known
  • Manufacturers Link:    FinnSub

There are also a number of stand-alone components on the market.  Whilst not complete sidemount diving systems, they may warrant consideration if building a mixed, or DIY, configuration rig:

Stand-Alone Sidemount Harnesses

Darkside Harness

Darkside sidemount harnessThe Darkside harness is manufactured in the UK and consists of a hogarthian webbing rig with lumbar and shoulder plates.  It has regular sized D-rings and crotch strap.

  • Buoyancy:  Not applicable – harness only
  • Material:    Nylon webbing / 316 marine grade stainless steel plates
  • Weight:  1.4kg shipping weight
  • Manual: Not available
  • Manufacturers Link:  darkside-diving.co.uk

Farr Explorer 1 Harness

Farr Explorer HarnessDesigned by renown cave explorer Martyn Farr, the ‘Explorer 1′ is a seriously robust harness designed for exploratory cave diving.  All metalwork is 316 stainless steel and the waist belt can be stripped down quickly to add/remove weights.  Not currently listed on the Farrworld website.

  • Buoyancy:  Not applicable – harness only
  • Material:    Nylon webbing / 316 marine grade stainless steel plates
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual: Not available
  • Manufacturers Link:  farrworld.co.uk

Warmbac ASM Sidemount Harness

warmbac asm sidemount harness  Another UK manufactured stand-alone harness is the Warmbac. It has a fully adjustable belt and shoulder straps.  The bungees  run from between the shoulders to the shoulder mounted large D rings. It features a highly adjustable roller-style belt buckle and single “floating” belt through the main ‘H’ harness with lead attachment points. Often worn in conjunction with a dedicated climbing seat harness by UK sump divers.

  • Buoyancy:  Not applicable – harness only
  • Material:    Nylon webbing / 316 marine grade stainless steel plates
  • Weight:  1.23kg
  • Manual: Not available
  • Manufacturers Link:  Warmbac Divers Sidemount Harness

Kent Tooling Sidemount Harness

Kent Tooling Sidemount Harness
Kent Tooling make a variety of stainless steel diving accessories, including this stand-alone sidemount diving harness.  The KT harness features stainless steel lumbar and shoulder plates on nylon webbing. Available in two sizes: S-L (7m webbing supplied) and XL-XXXL (10m webbing supplied).  The harness will accommodate most ‘warm-water’ style sidemount wings.
  • Buoyancy:  Not applicable – harness only
  • Material:    Nylon webbing / 316 marine grade stainless steel plates
  • Weight:  Not known
  • Manual: Not available
  • Manufacturers Link:  Kent Tooling Sidemount Harness

DiveRite Transpac XT Harness

DiveRite Transpac XT Harness Sidemount
The original DiveRite Transpac harness was a popular choice for DIY rigs back in the days when no dedicated sidemount rigs were being manufactured (or used with the, now discontinued, DiveRite Junior or Trek wings).  Designed by cave explorer Lamar Hires, the current generation transpac features  integrated hip pads, molded foam lumbar support pad, and ergonomic shoulder pads. The harness is available in sizes XS-XXL.
  • Buoyancy:  Not applicable – harness only
  • Material:    Soft backplate constructed of 1000 denier ballistic nylon. Marine grade stainless plates and fittings.
  • Weight:   Small 4 lbs 4 oz / 1.92kg  to Large5lbs / 2.29kg
  • Manual: Transpac XT Harness Manual
  • Manufacturers Link:  DiveRite Transpac XT

DiveRite Transpac XT Tech Harness

DiveRite Transpac XT Tech Harness Sidemount
The ‘tech’ version of the Transpac features a single-piece continuous webbing harness, molded foam lumbar pad and chest-support strap
  • Buoyancy:  Not applicable – harness only
  • Material:  Soft backplate constructed of 1000 denier ballistic nylon. Marine grade stainless plates and fittings.
  • Weight:  < 5lbs / 2.29kg
  • Manual: Transpac XT Tech Manual
  • Manufacturers Link:  DiveRite Transpac XT Tech

Santiago Ultimate Harness

Santiago Ultimate Sidemount Harness
This Mexican produced sidemount harness follows a common minimalist theme and is designed to provide a mounting option for the Z-Trim and Stealth 2.0 wings.  It features low-profile D-rings and manages to eliminate heavy lumbar/shoulder plates through innovative use of ‘folding-back’ the webbing through weight retainers. It also comes with a double 4.5mm high-strength bungee to provide redundancy.  One very novel feature is the LB-SR (Sliding Ring) System: an adjustable sliding D-ring that allows quick adjustment to precision cylinder trim whilst wearing/diving the rig.
  • Buoyancy:  Not applicable – harness only
  • Material:  Nylon webbing and stainless steel fittings.
  • Weight:  Not Known
  • Manual: Not Available
  • Manufacturers Link:  Santiago Diving Sidemount Ultimate

Innodive Sidemount Harness

This French designed stand-alone sidemount harness features low-profile D-rings and uniquely shaped lumbar and shoulder plates.  The lumbar plates has integral equipment attachment points.
  • Buoyancy:  Not applicable – harness only
  • Material:  Nylon webbing and stainless steel fittings.
  • Weight:  Not Known
  • Manual: Not Available
  • Manufacturers Link:  Innodive Sidemount Harness

Andy Davis sidemount divingWant to learn sidemount diving?  All of my courses come with expert workshops on how to configure and tailor your chosen sidemount system.



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