August 7th, 2007
The Nomad Buttplate is useful for more than sidemounting cylinders to squeeze into places a normal person wouldn’t go. If placing the bottles under the arm and along the body will let you get into tighter places, then you know it has to be streamlined. We all want to be as streamlined as possible when moving through the water in order to cut down on expended energy, which in turn means less gas consumption.
Incorporating sidemount-thinking to carrying stages for CCR bailout, decompression or extended range dives will help you dive with less drag. The buttplate is designed to let you attach the bottles approximately 6-inches lower than attaching the bottle at the waist; this pulls the neck of the bottle down so it will tuck under the arm. If you use the sidemount bungee straps around the neck of the bottle, then the bottles will float under the arm. The bungee straps attach to the backplate and clip to the chest D-ring where the bottle would normally be clipped. The bottle floats into position under the arm while the 4-inch rail on the buttplate lets the bottle find the “sweet spot”. In the water, you are only dealing with the negative buoyancy of the bottle, not its total weight.
The Nomad Buttplate is easy to attach to any harness. Two-inch webbing belt loops slide onto a standard waist belt and the stainless steel grommets line up with the bottom perimeter holes of a metal plate or the 1-inch D-ring of the TransPac.