When it comes to our recreational BCD’s, we often get asked “which one is best for me?”. We have two versions, the TravelPac and VoyagerPac. The TravelPac has 25lbs of lift and the VoyagerPac has 35lbs of lift. The system that is best for you really depends on the type of diving you plan to do.
If your plan is to dive mostly warm water with aluminum tanks, then the TravelPac is most likely the BCD you want. The 25lbs of lift makes it perfect for AL 80s and no more than 10 lbs of weight. The low profile of the wing will make dumping air easier and will help prevent the taco effect around the tank.
The VoyagerPac, with 35lbs of lift, makes it the perfect BCD for larger steel tanks or diving colder water with as much as 32lbs weight. The VoyagerPac is my rig of choice when diving the springs or teaching, since I normally use a LP steel 95 myself. With the VoyagerPac you are not just limited to a larger steel cylinder, it still performs great with an AL 80 when you go on your tropical vacation.
The RX10 light has proven to be our best light ever for performance and durability. We have worked to have every aspect of the light made in the USA including the electronics and LED mounting. Our last upgrade was on the LED mounting board: our electronics engineer improved the output by designing our own board and now the measured system lumens is 1000 and the LUX measurement at one meter averages 11,000. This was accomplished with better quality control standards and output measurements before and after mounting the LED. Every light module is individually tested prior to assembly and afterward to ensure peak performance on a Konica Minolta Chroma Meter for output.
Our thigh pocket design is our answer for storage of the tools technical divers need to carry: back up lights, spools and lift bags. It provides a convenient way to keep tools away from line traps or danglies. The Dive Rite AC3201-XT Thigh Pocket is mounted independently of the exposure suit – not everyone wants permanent glue-on style pockets. I have friends that buy a new wetsuit every 6 to 9 months, but they have had their thigh pocket for 3 years. I have even our thigh pocket wrapped around fins and mask to keep them bundled on a boat. I never thought of that but hey, if it works go for it.
After some diving in the islands I was talking to a few divers over a beer, (it’s amazing what you hear over a few beers) and learned that our thigh pocket design could be improved. I went back to the drawing board and made the 2013 model slightly bigger so that a spool would fit while still attached to the surface marker and we changed the straps up to keep in line with the new trend to ride the primary lift bag on a deco/bailout bottle.
The new thigh pocket is just a little bit larger, you can hardly see any difference since most of it was in the side panels. We also added an ingenious way to connect it. Now you can mount the pocket upside down and attach it to tanks if you want to.I changed the elastic length for a better fit on small legs and aluminum 40′s while not comprising it for the guys or aluminum 80 cylinders. You can easily add it to a bottle or put it on your leg with very little effort. Watch our Dive Rite TV for the skinny on it.
We get a lot of questions about how to assemble twin tanks. Today, it is definitely much easier than it was years ago thanks to the standardization of manifold spacing and center isolation crossbars. As dive season in the Northern Hemisphere is getting started, it’s a good time to refresh our knowledge of double tank assembly and also gain perspective on today’s band and manifold designs as compared to years past when compatibility was more of an issue.
Video: How to Assemble Double Tanks
Article: Understanding Tank Bands, Manifolds and the Bolt Kit Debate