Kit for SCUBA diving...

#1
I'm after a new STAB jacket for diving and I was wondering what kit was used in the military... I think Buddy claim that their jackets are standard issue but so many brands claim to be military issue for various things so I would be unwilling to trust this...

Also, anyone know what other kit used for various types of diving?
 
#2
Rebreathers, Dry suits, Nitrox, or did you specifically mean what Military diving kit is used??
 
#5
Don't do military issue, but if its for ordinary sport diving go for the SEAC 3000. Best BCD in the world.
 
#6
A very personal thing, well, as much as a financial thing. Lots of new and old divers are also followers of fashion and the advancing capabilities of nitrox and tri-mix divers does not help.

So you can see a novice open water diver wearing the latest BLACK kit with 300 rings on it but not knowing much past putting another dollar in.

Read a few magazines (Diver if it’s still out there) buy the best reviewed kit you can afford and (If my memory of all Army divers is anything to go by, you will still be using it 15 years hence).
 
#8
booty_cadet said:
Don't do military issue, but if its for ordinary sport diving go for the SEAC 3000. Best BCD in the world.
I'm affraid I have to disagree, after doing over 200 dives in mine I have to say I would much rather go for a more basic model, it's too bulky and drags too much in current, it's too heavy (excess bagage charges) the outer pockets keep coming open, the zip pockets are awkward, the velcro hose retainer keep coming undone, small things you may say but when you are trying to manage a group of 8 divers it's just stuff you dont need. Having said all that the bouyancy is awsome, nothing like getting to the surface and inflating your li-lo, makes surface swims a doddle!

Damn I wish I was diving now! (Caveat - Somewhere warm!)
 
#9
guys- i wasbrowsing and this caught my eye.
i have been interested in trying all sorts of different sports and am interested in diving- where can one dive but not pay vast amounts of money- are there courses that you can do?
cheers
 
#10
williammcmanners said:
guys- i wasbrowsing and this caught my eye.
i have been interested in trying all sorts of different sports and am interested in diving- where can one dive but not pay vast amounts of money- are there courses that you can do?
cheers
A friendly BSAC club would be your best bet - but if you take this route you are likely to wait a while before any of the better Ocean Diving...
 
#11
Some good tips here...trouble is of course what one diver thinks is the dogs danglies another hates....personally I'm a Mares man and always reccomend them. Maybe get yourself on a dive trip somewhere and try out the dive schools kit using different BCDs until you find one you like?
 
#12
I don't understand why you want to buy something just because the army uses it. You should buy whats best for you. Just because the army uses it, doesn't means it's the best.
 
#13
It depends on what diving and how often you will be diving. If you are going to be diving all year round in UK waters then you want a durable double skinned BC like a Buddy – they are virtually indestructible but expensive. If you just plan to dive now and again and mostly in warm water then go for something cheaper. Most military dive clubs will use Buddys.
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
There is no simple answer to what is best to buy.

The first question you need to ask is what do you want it to do?

If you want a bit of recreational diving when on holiday and want to take your own kit then a company like Mares or Scubapro will be able to provide an excellent bit of kit. It will be light, fairly robust and okay for single cylinder or single and pony.

If you want to do a bit of rougher UK cold water diving with a club then a Buddy Commando is the route to go, especially the Commando with the steel D rings of they still do it. You can side sling a 7 litre stage bottle for deco but I would avoid the crack bottle (dangerous, expensive and unnecessary although a lot of the Campaign for Real Ale/BSAC/Little Corporal types will scream through their beards that you cannot dive without a half pint rusty bottle of death as a supposed emergency inflation system. They are great if you want to rupture your lungs in an emergency) and auto air (unreliable and prone to grit ingestion) if you want it to keep working. The other great thing about these is that where ever you are there is someone who can fix it.

If you want to start regularly using stage bottles side slung then you need to go for a wing and harness.

Take your advice from someone who is not a self appointed dive God in an insular BSAC club, look for someone who doesn’t know the BSAC 88 table by heart and you will enjoy diving in a friendly, safe and non beardy environment.
 
#15
cleanbluesky said:
williammcmanners said:
i have been interested in trying all sorts of different sports and am interested in diving ...
cheers
A friendly BSAC club would be your best bet ...
cleanbluesky is right there, BSAC will probably make you do the pool sessions first as this progression is considered necessary due to the potential for having a drama in UK-style diving (deep/cold water, heavily weighted divers).

Look up your nearest Garrison or civvy dive club, I guarantee they will be very welcoming and guide you through the process at your own pace.

If you prefer, get yourself out to Sharm al Sheik (Egypt) on a cheap package deal and book yourself onto a PADI course with one of the many operators out there. If you take this option, be aware of your limitations - that you have just become a warm-water diver - and progress carefully if you intend to dive in UK waters on your return.

Use Google for info on PADI courses, look out for 5-star operators, there are some in UK but you may be better off going somewhere like Puerto del Carmen (Lanzarote), Gozo (Med) or Sharm.
 
#16
cleanbluesky said:
I'm after a new STAB jacket for diving and I was wondering what kit was used in the military... I think Buddy claim that their jackets are standard issue but so many brands claim to be military issue for various things so I would be unwilling to trust this...

Also, anyone know what other kit used for various types of diving?
Buddy are SAR issue, bloody good jackets. Mine's 15 years old and still going strong though the velcro pockets[]1 are quite frankly, carp.
The real benefit of buddy is apart from the excellent build quality and back-up service, you can use twinning bands for an unmanifolded twinset whilst abroad or indeed in the UK with the need for a seperate twinset.

Corn.
[1] Now comes with zips IIRC.
 
#17
I don't think a PADI resort course is the best way to start off, it often tends to breed a false sense of what you can do. Also, commercial operators in resorts have been known to speed people through with the minimum of preparation. Nothing wrong with PADI per se, of course. If you learn with BSAC, you're less likely to go wrong and what's more, your first dip into warm waters will be a very pleasant change!
On the gear front, just about everything has something going for it. I've used Mares and Scubapro BCs, I've used Mares, Scubapro, Sherwood, Aqualung and Poseidon DVs. They all work, there's something for everybody, and it all depends on what kind of diving you're into. For instance, if you go the trimex/technical route, you'll end up just using a wing and backplate rather than a branded BC with multiple D-rings. You can buy a lovely, expensive Poseidon BC, or a Triple L made to the same spec for half the price. You could just go mad with all the choices.
If I've one suggestion, it would be not to buy a BC or DV at all, yet. You'll spend enough on a wetsuit and mask to begin with, don't spend more until you know you like diving. Rent the expensive stuff from whatever club you learn with. Play around with different kit until you're in a position to judge for yourself what you want.
 

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