Dive Rite has probably has put more research and development into sidemount equipment than any other company on this planet.
They have devoted over two decades of in-water and manufacturing experience to this style of diving. Consequently when this Floridian brand unveils a new sidemount product, 'divers in-the-know' sit up and take notice.
Dive Rite's latest evolution of their popular 'Nomad' sidemount system was unveiled at DEMA.2016 in Las Vegas.
Thanks to its unique design, the 'LS' is a streamline, low profile system. If you want something to stay in one place, you use engineering to keep it there. Dive Rite has cleverly utilised a series of baffles. The baffle at the top of the wing allows air to travel to the top dump but prevents an air bubble forming. Additional baffles ensure the air in the custom-made bladder stays below the waist, towards the bottom of the wing, in the hip/butt area. This helps reduce drag in the 15.8kg / 35lb lift diamond-shaped wing. Divers wanting redundant buoyancy have not been forgotten either - Dive Rite manufacturers a 4.5 kg / 10lb bailout bladder.
The outer shell of the wing is manufactured from SuperFabric™ - a double-ply 600 denier durable fabric – whilst the inner bladder is made from 420 denier laminated nylon. Dive Rite states this “material is resistant to the elements of diving”.
Dive Rite has listened to divers demands and evolved their Nomad side-mount system accordingly over the years, launching the LT and LTZ models. What is different about the LS? This customisable one-size-fits-all system has been tweaked so that it will fit smaller divers better. The top of the wing is tapered, whilst the shoulder straps sit closer together on the torso.
Dive Rite has also totally revisited their bungee system and removed the 'daisy chain' loops that used to be located on the inside back of the harness. Instead, the diver can choose whatever bungee configuration they so desire. You can dive it as is. Or take off the rings and have a loop bungee with a snap. Alternatively, simply remove all of the hardware and just dive just the bungee cord, if you so wish.
The bottom end of the cylinder is fastened to the harness via a rigid butt plate. This system neatly holds the cylinder in position - the diver simply clips off their cylinder to the 316 marine grade stainless steel rail on the butt plate.
One feature Dive Rite has retained throughout the whole of the Nomad system is the location of the dump exhausts. One exhaust is located at the top of the wing by the nape of the neck, whilst the second dump is located by the left hand hip, at the bottom of the wing. Both dumps are secured to the inside of the wing. This means that the exterior of the wing is completely smooth - nothing can catch. Divers soon learn that it is easy enough to get hung up on something, without adding poorly designed equipment into the mix. Therefore having equipment that helps eliminate snagging is a boon. Especially when you are donning it for 'no-clear surface' penetration dives.
As with previous models, Dive Rite has again secured the low-pressure inflator hose to the bottom right of the wing. The LPI itself is fastened at the top of the 'golden triangle' on the divers chest.
Divers like having choice and we all have our preferences as to how we want our equipment rigged. Therefore Dive Rite has provided choice when it comes to exhaust valve / LPI hose placement. Should a diver prefer to dive with a right-hand hip dump and a left-hand LPI hose, they can. Simply unscrew both items and swap.
- Outer shell: SuperFabric™ material with double ply 600 denier fabric
- Inner bladder: Heavy duty 420 denier nylon laminated
- Lift capacity: 15.9 kg / 35 lbs
- Bailout bladder (optional) lift capacity: 4.5kg / 10 lbs
- Corrugated hose: 30.4 cm / 16 in
- Padded crotch strap: 5 cm / 2 in c/w scooter ring
- Hardware: Marine grade stainless steel throughout
- Weight: 2.58 kg / 5.7 lbs
- Made in the USA