September 8th, 2009
Sometimes the simple things are the best. Edd Sorenson of Cave Adventures, suggested we manufacture a stage strap for sidemounting a stage bottle when sidemounting primary cylinders. While we were diving Jackson Blue, Edd showed me his set up. James Clark came up with the idea. It looked too simple to work, but it did. Back at the office, we made some samples of this bungee stage strap and we’ve been using them on exploration dives ever since.
On the first sidemount, stage dive into a snarly area I used Edd’s system and didn’t even realize I had the extra bottle on even though I was moving through turns and squeezes. I even had Wes Skiles’ son Nate sidemounting four bottles, two on each side through passage divers with backmount can get stuck in.
The sidemount stage rig is designed to work with the Nomad. A couple of points to make the rig work, use it with aluminum 80’s or the new al 77 – don’t try it with steel cylinders. The bottom clip is 15” from the bottom of the cylinder. Both straps are made from 3/8 diameter bungee and just enough stretch so they clip in and stay out of the way behind the primary bottle. It’s not for everyone but if you want to stage with sidemount it’s the slickest thing I’ve seen. BC2720-STAGE is the model number if you’re interested.