Sidemounting for Chicks

See what Jill recommends for women when selecting sidemount gear.by Jill Heinerth

Women who are configuring their sidemount kit have a few additional challenges over men. Retailers often assume that we will fit into the same harness that men will. Our different shapes need to be accounted for:

1. Women have a shorter torso. If you measure form the neckline to the waist, even tall women have shorter torsos. Be careful that your harness does not hang too low on your hips.

2. Women usually need a chest strap, since wide shoulders seem to slide off our narrower frames. The chest strap needs to be placed high enough that does not cut into our breasts. Carefully adjust shoulder straps.

3. The crotch strap needs to be the right length to secure the low end of the harness firmly and in the proper location for the tank connection.

4. Wider hips mean that the upper bungee should not be so tight that it creates a V profile with the lower end of tanks sticking out.

An instructor can help you make small adjustments to perfect your trim. They should look at your gear from all angles for comfort, safety and good streamlining.

Australian Instructors, John Vanderleest and Linda Claridge sidemounting in Tank Cave ©Jill Heinerth, IntoThePlanet.comImage of Australian Instructors, John Vanderleest and Linda Claridge sidemounting in Tank Cave