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Seeking Advice on first BCD Purchase and Insights on Sidemount Diving in PNW

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2023 8:34 pm
by krittkul
Hi everyone,

I'm a certified sidemount diver from warm water and I'm new to the PNW region. I just got my sidemount certification and I'm planning on buying my first BCD. I've noticed that not many people dive with sidemount here, and I'm curious about why.

I'll be in PNW for quite some time and I'm thinking of buying a sidemount BCD because I'm going for a cave diving training in Mexico this year, and I want to get used to the sidemount configuration. After finishing the training, if I can't find an opportunity to dive with sidemount here, I might only dive with sidemount twice a year, which is not many compared to backmount diving which I'll do at least once a month.

So, my question is: Is buying a BCD (e.g., Xdeep) for sidemount a good idea, or should I buy a BCD for backmount? Or should I buy a BCD that can go both configurations, like the Dive Rite Nomad XT or the Hollis SMS75? I'm not sure which BCD to buy, and I'm curious to hear from experienced divers in the PNW region about their thoughts on sidemount diving and whether it's worth investing in a sidemount BCD.

Also, I'm curious about why Sidemount is not popular in this region. It looks like more people are into double configuration than Sidemount. Can anyone share their thoughts?

Thank you!

Re: Seeking Advice on first BCD Purchase and Insights on Sidemount Diving in PNW

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2023 2:25 am
by YellowEye
I suspect it might be based on what the tech instructions use in the area. As a case in point, if you go just a couple hours north to Vancouver bc, you'll find lots of side mount. From what I understand, it is one instructor who made it very popular there.