|Nomad Weight Plate|
|Written by Tony Richardson|
|Wednesday, 29 September 2010 14:41|
Dive Rite have recently released the Nomad Weight Plate. Designed to hold about eight kilos of weight in four separate pockets, the Nomad Weight Plate attaches to the back of the Nomad side-mount rig using the existing grommets in the backplate. Formed in the shape of the backplate, the outside of the plate is covered with SuperFabric®, a flexible, yet abrasion and puncture resistant material. The grommets of the plate measure 11.5-inches center-to-center, giving an extra 0.5-inch of spacing as compared to the grommets of the Nomad backplate. This allows the plate to align once it is filled with weight as the extra length is absorbed as the plate "thickens".
One of the issues while side-mount diving in a drysuit is where to carry lead. Back mounted twins have a convenient space behind the backplate where a V-weight or similar can be added. Side-mount divers by their nature are innovative and have managed to add weight to their rigs in various locations including the shoulder straps, waist strap, and attached to the rear of their rig. (It is not recommended to add weight to the cylinders while side-mounting in the event a cylinder needs to be temporarily removed to negotiate a restriction.) The Nomad Weight Plate is an out of the box solution for side mount divers.
I used this weight plate on my Nomad recently on a weekend diving some of the more confined passages in Tank Cave in the Lower South East. I added a two kilo weight to each of the bottom two pockets and a one kilo weight to each of the top two pockets – a total of six kilos.
The first issue I had was the two supplied stainless steel sex bolts were not long enough to accommodate the weight plate, Nomad wing, Transpac and butt plate, all of which are separate items in my rig, unlike the newer EXP one piece Nomad system. A quick hunt in my toolbox produced the correct stainless bolts and locking nuts to do the job.
The attached weight plate adds some bulk to the rear of the Nomad, so I decided to wear it inside the rig with the smooth side against my drysuit where it filled the space in the small of my back quite well. Diving the rig with plate attached in this way was streamlined and did not seem to alter my external profile. After two long dives in one day my back did start to object to having so much lead in the one location – the same dull ache you can get after lugging a big weight belt around your waist. I would not recommend carrying a full complement of lead in the plate. Before or after a dive it is quick and simple process to add or remove weights to the plate by undoing one bolt to enable access to the Velcro pockets.
In summary, the positives:
and the negatives: