Dive Rite introduced the Ring Loop bungee system as an alternative to classic sidemount bungees. We dress the bottles with stage straps and a neck loop that clips into the Ring of the bungee. The classic bungee has been around since the early 1980’s and is either a single piece of bungee connecting both bottles to the diver or two separate bungees, one for each bottle. It is important to note that when a single bungee fails it means the connection point for both bottles is severed and the diver should have a safety clip on the neck of each bottle to manage the bottles and abort the dive.
The Ring Loop bungee evolved from a desire to quickly don sidemount bottles when wreck diving or more complex cave entries. It allows the diver to manage the neck of the bottle independently, just like the lower bottle clip. The Ring Loop system requires stage straps in order to work and this puts some divers off. They believe less is more when it comes to diving. I believe you wear the gear necessary to get the job done and now that sidemounting is mainstream, rigs have to evolve to accommodate divers who don tanks while treading water in the ocean. Besides, you don’t notice the stage straps or bungee hardware while diving.
The classic method needs less bottle hardware, which seems appealing, however I believe this is the Achilles heel of the system. With the classic sidemount bungee the diver has to attach the lower bottle clip first, which doesn’t give the diver flexibility. When diving from a boat or in a cave system that doesn’t have a shallow water platform, the classic system is very challenging to don.
Anyone can attach a sidemount bottle kneeling on the floor, the real proof of a modern sidemount rig is the ability to do so mid-water, especially with steel tanks. Aluminum 80 sidemount divers have it easier because the tanks are light, yet northern wreck divers prefer steel tanks for weight and volume and today’s sidemount diving isn’t just for warm water cave divers.
We designed the Nomad to accommodate all divers and it really shines with larger cylinders. This rough cut video is a demonstration of the two bungee styles and it speaks for itself. I have dived all types of sidemount systems in some of the most inconvenient entries in the world and I know the Ring Loop bungee system is the best I’ve used in thirty years of sidemount diving. VIDEO: Classic Sidemount Bungees Vs. D-Ring Loop Bungees
With the launch of the new XT line we have the toughest line of wings available in the sport diving market. Coupled with the SuperFabric technology we also launched a new, tough 210 laminated bladder. It’s the same material used in lift bags and surface markers. It’s pinch-proof, poke-proof and snag-proof and we believe so highly in this product we now offer a lifetime warranty on all 2012 model EXP and XT Wings that carry the 210 bladder.
A lot of people ask us why the bladders are bigger than the outerbag. They discover this when they dismantle their wing to clean it. You don’t need to take your wing apart to clean. Just run fresh water through it, dump and inflate overnight. But to answer the question, the bladders are bigger than the outerbag to keep stress off of the seams. Due to the restriction of the outerbag, the bladder isn’t able to inflate to its full size. That’s a good thing.141
This month we are launching one of the toughest wings on the sport diving market today. Based upon the success of our Nomad XT Rig, plus input from our customers, we’ve developed a wing with three layers of protection from punctures, snags and abrasions. They’ll take a hell of a beating.
The first layer is the 200 weight inner bladder which is highly resistant to punctures. Next, we add a 1000 denier Cordura outerbag on the face of the wing with SuperFabric material on the reverse. SuperFabric is a technical fabric resistant to cuts and damage. Created as a base layer and then overlaid with plates, its flexible, yet will keep sharp objects from penetrating.The key to making a tough wing isn’t thick, heavy fabric. It’s layering. VIDEO: XT Series Wings
If you damage this wing, call me. I want to go diving with you and see for myself what could possibly hurt this wing.
Before launching the EXP line of wings in 2009, all Dive Rite wings had a solid mid-section with slots for cam straps. We changed that with the innovation of the EXP wings and it has worked so well, we will continue the same mid section design for the new XT wing series.
The webbing crosshair configuration lets the wing adapt to any backplate with or without slots or a single tank adapter (STA). The multiple grommet holes let you adjust the height to help with trim and placement. The webbing is actually stronger than a solid center panel. Another advantage is that it allows us to give a 3D effect to the wing, which creates the necessary lift in a smaller package. You can’t do a panel strip on the inside of the wing if it’s solid. VIDEO: Crosshair Backplate of Dive Rite Wings