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 to sidemount conversion projects provide mixed results – some exceptional and inventive, others truly horrid… dismal failures…

bad sidemount diving

Using a conventional backplate & wing without a sidemount adapter leads to inevitable ‘taco’ of the wing. Control & stability are grossly impaired… let alone ‘sidemount credibility’.

To solve that inconsistency, several sidemount manufacturers have chosen to release modular-styled sidemount conversion systems, that adapt existing wings for sidemount use.  The main features of these adapters are a means to prevent ‘wing taco’, a secure mounting system to the harness/backplate and attachment points for bungees and sidemount cylinders.

Here is my list of the Top 5 Sidemount Adapters on the market in 2014:

1. OMS Tesseract/Profile

oms tesseract profile sidemountThe OMS  TEC/REC  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 ‘TEC’ 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 and is available in double/redundant bladder versions.

sidemount oms rec adaptor

The REC version of the OMS sidemount adapter

When used with other wing systems, the REC adapter is the best choice, as it doesn’t have the reinforced ‘top cover’ that interferes with most low-pressure inflators.   I have used a ‘Profile’ adapter as the basis for several DIY sidemount projects, including a 32lb single-tank donut wing and a 60lb dual-bladder horseshoe wing.

See my review of the OMS REC Sidemount Adapter: OMS Rec Sidemount Adapter

See my projects here: Some Options for DIY/Home-Made Sidemount Rigs.

  • 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

2. Dive Rite Nomad XT

Diverite-Nomad-XT-Sidemount

 

The Nomad is currently available in 2 models, suitable for different uses and diver preferences.   The Nomad XT is based around the transpac harness and is modular. The dedicated ‘Nomad’ wing has up to 50lb buoyancy capacity and is available in single or redundant bladder options, with a central/top mounted LPI.  However, other wings can be used. The system also offers a removable butt-plate.

  • 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

3. White Arrow S-Wing

white-arrow-s-wingWhite Arrow produce a wing system that utilizes a conventional back-mount backplate.  This is a different approach to the other adapters in this list – as it is the wing that is sidemount specific, not the harness system.  The diver can then make use of their existing back-plate and harness – interchanging easily between back-mount and sidemount configurations.  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

4. 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)

5. Sea Monster Sidemount

Sea-Monster-Sidemount-Diving-System-Adapter

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

andy davis sidemount courses philippines

 For a full list of sidemount systems, please see here:  A List of Modern Sidemount Diving Systems


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.