October 19th, 2007
The Nomad is working well for people who want to sidemount. Over the past few months I have taught a few classes; both sidemount and CCR. One of the common problems I began seeing is getting the bungee routed through the regulator, around the tank neck and then clipped to the harness. It can be a pain to hold up the tank, while stretching the bungee enough to get it attached. The easy way to use it is to leave it clipped to the harness and just pull it over the cylinder neck. This appears to work, but depending on your attitude in the water the cylinder may slip out of the bungee. As I thought about this while watching a few students struggle and I remembered my problems diving out of a Zodiac on the Black Sea in Russia this summer. Sometimes the neck connection can be a real pain. The bottle needs to float under the arm to find the sweet spot for sidemount position, but there should be a secure and easy connection to keep the bottle in place.
After a few test dives I introduced my students to a new way to secure the neck of the cylinder in the bungee with 100% satisfaction from the divers. It’s very simple, use a standard stage strap with XL bolt snaps on the bottle. You need the XL snap because you are going to clip into the bungee. We have added a choker to the neck of the cylinder. It holds the top clip up against the neck of the bottle. We make the chokers but you can make one out of line as well. The key is to have the gate of the snap against the cylinder neck. I like the chokers because they are adjustable so they can work with your sidemount setup and or be loosened if you use the cylinder as a stage bottle.
The point is now you clip into the bungee rather than wrapping the bungee around the cylinder neck. The bungee needs to be 4” shorter than what you would normally use. I used to use the 17” bungee and I had to shorten it to 13”. Now it is easy to clip in and keep bottles side mounted for CCR bailout or 95’s on a sidemount dive.
So to see if anybody is actually reading my blog, I will ask interested divers to call Dive Rite and tell the guys you want the latest sidemount modification for your Nomad, you want the chokers. Send back your straps and we will shorten them and give you the chokers free of charge. I want people to enjoy it as much as I do.