THESE instructions.

All the components can be bought off-the-shelf at any decent dive centre; with the exception of the sidemount shoulder and lumbar plates, which you’ll need to either get from a good specialist sidemount retailer or design your own and have them cut to order.

Click here to download my FREE PDF shopping list for the hardware you need!


DIY Custom Harness – Shopping List

  • Shoulder and Lumbar Plates: made to order or bought from a specialist)
  • 4-6m of 50mm/2″ Webbing: Depending on your body size. These vary in rigidity, buy what you find most suitable
  • 1.5m of 50mm/2″ Crotch Strap Webbing: This shouldn’t be as rigid.
  • 8x Metal Weight Belt Retainers / Tri-Glides
  • 10x D-Rings:  I much prefer the low-profile ones
  • Weight Belt Buckle: or sliding pin buckle
  • 3m of bungee:  6mm bungee suits most divers, unless diving high capacity steel (8-10mm)
  • 2x Off-Set D-Rings:  if using a sidemount pouch

Webbing is very cheap and easy to replace, so I’d advocate going for comfort rather than brute ruggedness and ultra longevity.  It’s not fun if your harness rubs you.   That said, you some stiffness in the spine and waist webbing to stop the harness kinking under load.


A really luxurious harness will use three or four different types of webbing.  The spine strap should be stiff rigid polyamide (resin reinforced) webbing for stability.  This can also be used for waist webbing, if you aren’t going with a continuous approach. The shoulder harness can be a softer  polypropylene webbing for comfort.  You can buy crotch straps as ready-made kits; and they should be very soft and thin webbing.

If setting up for loop bungees, you’d also need:

  • 1x Metal Weight Belt Retainer / Tri-Glide: or dedicated rear loop bungee attachment
  • 2x Metal Weight Belt Retainers / Tri-Glides w/20cm 55o cord:  or 50x8mm (2″ x 0.3″) rubber o-rings

Click here for full details on how to setup Sidemount Loop Bungee.


raid sidemount



See also:

Ultimate Guide to Set Up A Sidemount Harness
How To Set Up Loop Bungee
Ultimate Guide to Sidemount Cylinder Trim
How To Find The Optimal Height For Sidemount Cylinder Bands
Sidemount Harness Options

About the Author

andy davis technical diving philippines

Andy Davis is a RAID, PADI TecRec, ANDI, BSAC and SSI qualified independent technical diving instructor who specializes in teaching advanced sidemount, trimix and wreck exploration diving courses across South East Asia.  Currently residing in ‘wreck diving heaven’ at Subic Bay, Philippines, he has amassed more than 9000 open circuit and CCR dives over 27 years of diving across the globe.

Andy has published many magazine articles on technical diving, has written course materials for dive training agency syllabus, tests and reviews diving gear for major manufacturers and consults with the Philippines Underwater Archaeology Society.

He is currently writing a series of books to be published on advanced diving topics.  Prior to becoming a professional technical diving educator in 2006, Andy was a commissioned officer in the Royal Air Force and has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Belize and Cyprus.

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