With the buzz going around the dive world about this new thing called side mount, it’s hard to believe that it’s roots lie in the garages divers who needed a new solution that would allow them to explore caves too small to get into with large steel tanks on their backs. Even as recently as 5 years ago I was diving a side mount rig I sewed together and Dive Rite had this new “Nomad” wing that you attached to your Transpac. Yeah, that was it. So, here I am writing and thinking how confusing it may be to a diver looking to enter the side mount game nowadays. In the spirit of being helpful, the team at DRIS have written this simple, multi part guide to side mount harnesses and rigs. In this installment, we’ll cover minimalist side mount systems.
Lets take a look at these smaller, or minimalist side mount rigs. This type of rig is great for those who want to do single tank side mount, warm water with aluminum 80’s, or small steel tanks with a dry suit. In this category we have the Nomad LT by Dive Rite, the SMS 50 Sport by Hollis and the Stealth 2.0 Harness by X-Deep. The Nomad LT’s exceptional design creates the first sidemount rig of its kind that is simple to setup and configure with an all-in-one webbing harness and wing combination. Pivot points at the chest provide comfort for women and large-chested divers and stainless steel slides at the waist provide a customizable fit. The SMS 50 Built for sidemount only, this kit can be used in any environment from open water to overhead. Includes an adjustable, one size fits most harness based on a minimalist design; ideal for traveling sidemounters. First of its kind harness, wing and plate all in one. Like all Hollis SMS harnesses, ready to dive out of the box. The Stealth 2.0 modular harness by X-Deep is a great out of the box solution for warm water, single tank, or aluminum tank side mount. WIth this system you can also easily add weight pockets for those situations where you find yourself in cooler waters where a wetsuit is needed.
As you can see, these rigs are great for traveling to warm water destinations as well as use at your home dive site for single tank or multiple aluminum tanks. These systems all feature an amazing streamlined profile, simple adjustment and use as well as an entry price point that won’t break the bank. Just, remember that side mount is an ever changing and dynamic style so these units reflect the ones we carry as of this article. In the next installment, we will take a look at the mid range side mount systems for those of you who want to adventure a little deeper and longer as well as make use of steel tanks and exposure suits. So stay tuned, you know the team at DRIS has got you covered!