I am constantly watching how divers stow gear when diving. Sidemount has presented its own issues for equipment storage with everything on the side from cylinders to reels.
Sidemount buttplate rails offer lots of real estate to attach cylinders and reels, yet the shared connection adds its own problems. The reels will sometimes fall between the body and the cylinder making it uncomfortable or difficult to remove a reel. The best thing to do is attach the reels to a more centered D-ring mounted on the crotch strap on top of the butt plate. Many divers use the scooter tow D-ring for this, but a better way is to mount two Offset D-Rings stacked on the 2” crotch strap so the attachment points do not interfere with cylinders or DPV tow. Easy access without interfering with other gear.
The Venture Wing has morphed into the Voyager Wing. Dive Rite has had doughnut wings in the product line since 1996 with the first Travel Wing that was a single bladder construction. As we reshaped the Travel Wing the original lived on as the Venture Wing, but since it had a large footprint, we decided to reshape it to fit into the EXP line and call it the Voyager.
As a 40 pound lift wing it is a Travel EXP on steroids with the same lookm yet an extra 13 pounds to make it work with heavy steel single cylinders. I need an original Travel Wing to show the staff, so I will gladly upgrade the first person to come out the closet and contact the office with one of the original Travel Wing/TransPac systems from 1996 to a new TransPac and wing of choice.
The Nomad EXP is the benchmark for sidemount systems. Everything you read about a sidemount system is a comparison to the Nomad EXP. Its single piece construction and 60 pounds of lift make it the choice of cave divers for high volume steel cylinders and stage bottles. Since it is one piece divers can take it from box to water with just a few adjustments.
The Nomad XT is the sidemount expedition rig for guys like me who want to make sure they can adapt to anything regardless of where they travel. Since the SuperFabric wing, butt plate and harness are separate you can customize it anyway you want and even cannibalize it if needed and swap out parts.
Soon we’ll have a Nomad sidemount system with less lift for aluminum tanks. Ideal for warm water divers or those who travel. Stay tuned.