Originally posted 2018-03-07 23:55:38.
Sidemount Pouches and Pockets
A Look At Sidemount Stowage Solutions
IMHO, thigh pockets are entirely inappropriate for sidemount diving. They are difficult to access with sidemount cylinders in place; near-impossible with multiple deco/stage cylinders – and they can cause ‘A-framing’ of the cylinders by pushing the bottoms out away from the diver.
This leaves many sidemount divers in a conundrum of where/how to store critical ancillaries; like wetnotes, spools, DSMB, spare mask, line arrows etc,
There are a couple of known solutions for this;
1. Sidemount Butt Pouches. These are sold by a variety of sidemount manufacturers. They utilize the optimal space at the back of the sidemounter, clipping to rear D-rings via two double-ender boltsnaps. Good sidemount training courses include skills/drills to fetch the pocket, remove/replace necessary objects and return the pocket to it’s proper location.
- MDS Sidemount Pouch
- Razor Expandable Sidemount Pouch
- DGX Expandable Zipper Sidemount Pouch
- XDeep Sidemount Utility Pouch
- Bowstone Back-Mounted Pouch
- Diamond Sidemount Pocket
2. Chest Mounted Suit Pocket. If you can put pockets on your thighs, you can put them elsewhere. Don your sidemount rig… see where you’ve got free space on your torso in an accessible location. Get a suitably sized, streamlined pocket fitted there. The drawback to this is that it increases the profile of the diver, decreases streamlining and can lead to entrapments in confined environments/restrictions.
3. Waterproof Notebook. Abandon the bulkier, traditional wetnotes and get a small-sized waterproof notebook. This can be stored in a flat pocket sewn onto an exposure suit arm or even tucked/clipped (small bolt-snap) beneath wrist slates etc. I used these when I was in the military (they were issued) and I had a small box of them for diving use over the last 10 years… they work great. I use them in conunction with wrist slates… I put my deco plans and contingencies on the slates (permanent – sharpie on duct tape)… and I use the small notebook for any recordings or messages I need to make on the dive. The notebook also allows me to tear off pages if I need to pass on a message (i.e. left on a guideline or sent up with a DSMB to surface support).
example: Silvine Waterproof Notebook
4. Cylinder Pocket. Use existing, or extra, cam bands on the cylinder to attach a belt-secured type pocket. The sort of pocket you’d normally fit to a harness 2″ waist strap. It’s a FAR from optimal solution for technical/overhead environment diving, as per putting weights on your cylinders; because it can cause entanglement and entrapment. But it might be a workable solution for recreational, open-water sidemount divers (who aren’t ‘beginning with the end in mind‘ towards future technical/overhead diving).
More informational lists about sidemount and technical diving equipment:
- Top 5 Sidemount Adapter System
- A List of Modern Sidemount Diving Systems
- Sidemount Regulator Sets
- Top 5 Warm-Water Sidemount Fins
- The Best Technical Diving Computers 2016
- Stand-Alone Sidemount Harness Options