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
I wrote a blog back in October on the new Nomad XT model with the reshaped wing (Oct blog). Since that time, I had not switched the inflator and OPV on my own rig, primarily because I had started diving the Nomad LT. Recently, I wore my Nomad XT for a dive and it reminded me of how much I like this rig.
The fit is more comfortable with the addition of the TransPac XT. I went ahead and moved the inflator and it was then I realized how much I like it positioned on the bottom and the pull dump on the neck. You can put the pull dump over the left shoulder or right and also adjust the cord length. I prefer to keep the cord higher up on the shoulder, above the D-rings. This keeps it away from the busy area with cylinders and regulators. The BC2748-TP comes as a kit with a long pull string and ball so you can find the sweet spot for it. The inflator is positioned just like my Nomad LT Cave. I like to run it on the right side so I still have my lower left pull dump that I use for trim.
I put D-rings on the belt that are high enough to clip off reels and keep the bottle area clear. This was something I have done for years but couldn’t always recommend it with the older style TransPac. Now it works perfectly on the TransPac XT, so it will be added to all the Nomad XT rigs from this point forward. I’ll show you my rig in this short video. VIDEO: Nomad XT Mods
Dive Rite makes equipment for serious divers, and those divers who are taking the first steps to becoming serious divers. Our new XT series regulator is no exception. We have seen numerous Dive Rite regulators in the field being used by single tank, open water divers. Since we get a lot of product ideas from the divers who use it, we dug deeper into this to discover that while the users were happy with the regulator, the common downfall that we heard was that the first stage would hit the diver in the back of the head. The one thing that we saw from all of these divers was that they were using the DIN first stage with the spin-on DIN-to-yoke adapter. While functional, using this adapter added to the depth profile of the first stage, moving it nearly an inch closer to the diver’s head. We also found that a large number of these divers rarely, if ever, used the regulator with a DIN valve. The solution was simple – offer the first stage with the choice of DIN or yoke. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the performance of this regulator, no matter what kind of diving you’re doing or what kind of experience you have. Like many other Dive Rite products, this regulator can grow with the diver. If the owner of a yoke XT regulator decides to change it to a DIN, this can easily be done by any authorized Dive Rite dealer, or by our technicians at Dive Rite. XT Regulator Performance Stats
Mike Engle, Dive Rite Sales Manager
It’s been very busy over the past few months. We have been swamped with orders from public safety dive teams. We give these priority production because we want to show our support however we can. We have equipped a number of teams in harness/wing systems and especially our RX10 lights. With over 100 lights recently going to public safety dive teams we are proud they looked to a US made product. Our lights are made in the USA, from the electronics to the housings. The teams were looking for products made in the USA for local service and reliability. We don’t buy off the shelf but rather design it and build it here. The engineers designing our lights are divers and take every aspect of performance and quality personally, as if they were going to dive it themselves just like we do.
The RX10 is getting brighter, we haven’t changed anything but improved heat sink and boards yield longer burn time and some more light output. Every module comes in tagged with its individual quality control analysis for color frequency, current draw and LUX output at one meter. We are going to start including these specs with every light so you know they have been individually tested and inspected.
Look for some new accessories coming out for the RX10 light: our new comfort fit Goodman style hand mount with large footprint pad for the back of your hand. This new pad has three sets of mounting holes for single or double light head mounts. As with any hard hand mount it feels better with a glove on. In the Florida caves I wear fingerless gloves to protect my hands from the light mounts and gear, it’s the little things that make the sport comfortable.
If you are at the springs over the next week I will show you some of the new accessories since I will be testing them.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a scuba diver hasn’t been how to clear a flooded mask or how to hover effortlessly in perfect trim, although both of those skills were challenging to learn. The biggest challenge I have found is to find gear that fits. In fact, my quest for well-fitted dive gear is what ultimately garnered me a job at Dive Rite…I was trying to learn how to sidemount and needed a rig designed for my petite frame. I knew Dive Rite was the only company that had gear designed for all shapes and sizes and if they couldn’t fit me, they would do a custom rig.
I happen to know that I’m not the only diver who is frustrated with gear designed for a 6-foot tall male or has a footprint the size of Sasquatch. The beauty of diving is the effortlessness that comes from being free of gravity. To glide rather than walk, to travel easily with speed, to move with grace and explore! The last thing I want is to take Sasquatch along for the ride.
This brings me to write this shout-out for the Dive Rite NiTek Q dive computer, which I love. The reason I love it? It has a tiny footprint, yet packs all the features required of a 2-gas or mixed-gas computer and displays them on a HUGE screen. Now I have a dive computer that sits upon my arm that I can read and easily scroll through the menus. Other dive computers are so big and heavy that they won’t stay put and flop around my wrist. I find myself constantly repositioning them on the dive, which is annoying and anti-productive.
Ah, thank you, Dive Rite, for once again delivering just what I need!
Kathleen Byars, Marketing Director
Too BIG! Screen too tiny This one is just right!
Allison post dive at Ginnie Springs
When we shoot a video for Dive Rite TV, we are not using actors or models. The stars of Dive Rite TV are all of us that work at Dive Rite or those who are a part of the Dive Rite family.
The recent video for the XT AOW Regulator setup featured Lamar, myself, and my girlfriend Allison. Off camera, Allison made an interesting comment. After taking the new XT regulator for a dive, she made the comment of ‘wow, this breathes so much better than any of your other regulators’. Keep in mind, I don’t have to do much selling to her. She has her choice of any of my regulators (3100’s and Hurricanes) to use whenever she wants. Also at some point I was able to convince her to go on a date with me. I’ve done all the selling and convincing I needed to do well before this video was produced. When she made this comment, it made me think that if a recreational AOW diver can notice a breathing difference to the point that it brings up an unsolicited comment like this, she can’t be the only one that will have this reaction.
Try it for yourself. I know you won’t be disappointed. If you’re diving the XT regulator with a single tank and haven’t tried the hose configuration in the video, I encourage you to give it a try. You’ll be amazed by how streamlined and comfortable it is on top of how great it breathes.
Mike Engle, Dive Rite Sales Manager
I want to say the Nomad LT is my most favored Nomad for the side mount diving I do. Usually it’s travel and aluminum 80′s or LP 85′s in our backyard springs. For me, if I need anything more, it is most likely a rebreather dive on the O2ptima.
We introduced the Nomad LT Cave last fall because we selfishly had some exploring to do. There are a few holes close to home I wanted to check out that required a close fitting rig without any snag points on the back and the Nomad LT Cave’s positioning of both the inflation and dump valve near the wing base gives divers the ability to easily reach them swimming prone inside caves.
Now we have the Nomad LT Bluewater, a rig more suitable for my travels since the inflation is on top and a dump valve on the bottom just like a standard BCD so now you can dump gas when vertical, ascending on a downline or coming up a wall. I’m taking the Nomad LT Bluewater with me this week to St. Croix, as a matter of fact. Here is a video comparison of the two: Nomad LT Cave & Blue
I tend to specialize my equipment to the mission. What do you like to do?
Since the day I got my first GoPro Hero all the underwater video I have shot is with it, then the Hero 2 and now the Hero 3. When the Hero 2 came out we started working on a video light for it. The RX Video Light is a proprietary light from Dive Rite with a four LED array spaced and mounted on a reflective board, which gives us the even light seen on the video. The Hero 2 needed 2 RX video lights to fill the capture area and now the Hero 3 only needs one RX to do the same job. This is a great upgrade since in a cave setting the rule was you can never have too much light, now you can.
For me one of the tricks was use the LCD back screen to make sure you have the subject matter in view and the lighting correct. Tilting the camera can create dark spots around the edges. The system I came up with uses the attachment pieces that come with your camera and this mounts directly to the leg of our Goodman style handle. You can easily check your lighting and subject matter set up like this. You can set up more lights for fill lighting, but remember with the Hero 3 anymore than one on camera will overpower it. Here’s a sample of a single RX video light in action with the Hero 3. VIDEO: RX & GO PRO DIVER WALKING ON CEILING
I see divers in the field settling for a regulator with a lower performance for their stage regulators. I think this thought process on regulator selection should be analyzed again. Let’s separate usage first, travel and decompression regulators are one class while stage regulators, deep travel and bailout regulators for cave CCR are in a different class. Travel and decompression regulators have depth limitations, usually shallow or limited use by nature. The argument for a regulator of performance not equal to the “primary system” can be debated.
The other class of regulators is different and you should look at all regulators in this class being of equal performance. Since I am always testing gear I find myself with multiple models on a dive doing the “Pepsi/Coke taste test” which is better breathing what makes them different. When you get in to high stress conditions, brought on by current, visibility or some other stress related event, regulator performance can be the little thing that magnifies the problem. I know, I have switched back to the better breathing regulator in stressful situations because I needed to feel good about something while everything else was hitting the fan. This can lead to over breathing a bottle’s gas planning and create another cascade of issues.
When it comes to regulators that I use at the same depth under the same conditions they are all just as important and I don’t compromise. At 200′ all my regulators need to be up to the task not just my primary. Food for thought.
Dive Lab Reg Performance Article