So the sidemount diving bug has bitten you huh? Are you shopping around for a sidemount rig to call your own so you can stop using that rental one that has the funny smell to it? Hey, I completely understand! While it is a great time to get into sidemount diving, it is also a confusing one. You see, when I got into sidemount diving we only had 2, maybe 3 options for sidemount rigs. Nowadays it seems like a new one is hitting the market monthly, leaving you shaking your head and confused. Well, unless you’re doing some heavy technical sidemount or only sidemount diving in tropical waters with aluminum tanks, it’s a good bet that you’ll need what we like to refer to as “mid capacity” sidemount rigs. With that in mind, let’s have a short discussion on two of the most popular options; the Dive Rite Nomad LTZ and the Hollis SMS75.
The SMS 75 Sidemount Diving Rig By Hollis
First, let’s take a look at the Hollis SMS75 which is constructed of rugged 1000D Cordura, and has a bladder capable of 40lbs of lift. According to good folks at Hollis; “The SMS75 is an evolution from years of sidemount development, which started with the SMS100. A product that has been copied, modified and a benchmark for technical sidemount for years. Even more popular has been the lightweight SMS50 line. These two have taken sidemount mainstream and the building blocks this new harness. While it will cater more to hardcore cave divers, SMS75 was created to handle all environments. Proper trim is key and the wing is designed to promote horizontal diving with increased lift towards the hips where it’s needed most, and without modification. The SMS75 will also support rear mounted tanks and reversible inflator positions.” The Hollis SMS75 comes in 3 sizes(S/M, L/XL, and XXL), and is priced accordingly ay 699.99.
The Nomad LTZ Sidemount Diving Rig By Dive Rite
Up next we have the Nomad LTZ by Dive Rite. Like the SMS75, the Nomad LTZ has been an evolution from previous models in the Nomad line up. The good folks at Dive Rite have this to say about the Nomad LTZ; “Evolving to provide superior performance, the Nomad LTZ takes sidemount diving to the next level. The extremely durable exterior SuperFabric material is resistant to the elements of diving, whether diving on a quiet reef, pushing deep into a cave system, or scooting through a deck opening on a wreck dive. With the inflator and exhaust valves placed at the front/inside of the wing and not on the exterior, the valves are safe and free from exposure.With 35 lbs (15.8 kg) of lift and a low profile design, the Nomad LTZ performs in all levels of sidemount diving. With additional lift typically needed toward the lower back when sidemounting, the combination of shape and contour of the bladder create this lift achieving the optimum trim.” The Nomad LTZ by Dive Rite comes in a “one size fits most” style and carries a value price of 499.99 with an option to upgrade to a dual bladder.
Let The DRIS Team Help!
Given the above information, I’m sure that you can see that both of these options for a sidemount rig are solid, well built, and backed by amazing manufacturers with a commitment to quality dive equipment. In addition, you have the team here at DRIS behind you to make sure that your equipment buying experience is second to none! So, grab some tanks and let’s go sidemount diving!