Wanted. A backplate with the strength of stainless steel and the weight of aluminium.
It would seem that Dive Rite has the answer with the launch of their next generation backplate, the XT Lite.
Spotted at New York's 2015 Beneath The Sea Dive Show, this eye catching backplate is manufactured from marine grade 316 stainless steel. (316 is the preferred steel for use in marine environments because it has a greater resistance to corrosion, hence surgical steel is also made from 316 grade stainless).
Dive Rite has a simple solution. They have lost the excess weight, whilst ensuring the strength of the backplate is not compromised, by laser cutting a series of cut-outs from the body of the plate. The plate is then hand finished to ensure that there are no rough or jagged edges.
It is good to see that the Dive Rite has considered that divers have changing needs for their kit. The XT Lite backplate has two sets of 2 inch slots cut along the centre spine so that the plate can be dived with a single cylinder without the need of a single tank adapter. Plus a series of 3/8 inch holes and 1 inch slots have also been cut along the outer edge of the plate, thus giving the diver a plethora of choice when it comes to mounting lights, lift bags, pony bottles and other paraphernalia. And the ever useful crotch strap has not been forgotten either. There is a slot cut for that too.
As you would expect, Dive Rite have complied with the standard twinset / doubles bolt setup measurement of 11inches between the two holes. But that is no surprise. Dive Rite introduced this measurement back in 1984 when it started manufacturing backplates. This measurement was then adopted by the tech community.