By Daren Marshall
Dive Rite were the guys first to come up with the commercial sidemount system and it’s CEO Lamar Hires has a strong history and influence of the development of sidemount as a concept. This year saw the introduction of a new rig to the Dive Rite stable, the Dive Rite nomad lt extreme or Nomad LT X. The X is for eXtreme. For more information about diving Sidemount CLICK HERE
The DEMA show is the worlds premier trade only expo which launches new product lines for the upcoming year. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Jared Hires over drinks the night before DEMA 2013 in Orlando and mentioned that I really loved the Nomad LT, but wish it had a little more lift for those of us in open water.
Drop by the stand in the morning he quipped. As it turns out I was not disappointed and there was the new LT X. Several months later, how does this new rig stack up ?
The first thing you will notice is that the Dive Rite nomad lt extreme wing is made from Superfabric, the tough as nails stuff that seems to resist everything that my abusive torture that kills other gear. When compared to the LT the LT X sports considerably more lift, but this is internally baffled to ensure an even distribution of that lift.
The inflator hose is routed over the shoulder and whilst I personally thought that I preferred this running from bottom of the wing as in the LT Cave, Dive Rite have come up with a nifty little quick disconnect for low pressure inflator hoses, making it a breeze to get rid of annoying kinks or torque on the power inflator.
Two dumps on the outside of the wing at the rear make easy venting of gas. More importantly, any sidemount diver will tell you that finding dumps on the inside is tricky when fully loaded with cylinders, moreso with gloves. This makes it
Finally for those people who are of the mindset that redundancy is the way, another secondary bladder and inflator is easily fitted.
The harness system improves on the LT Cave by offering the now familiar adjustable plates making easy length adjustments and tough 2” webbing throughout with reinforced cross stiching makes you wonder if this system will outlast the cockroaches come the end of the world. It really is that well made.
Interestingly, Dive Rite pride themselves on the fact that the gear is produced and made in the USA, rather than outsourcing to Asia. This produces a quality product that you immediately notice the tactile difference to when comparing to the numerous sidemount systems available.
The real winner remains the use of the exclusive Nomad Ring Bungee system created by Lamar to make the loading of tanks and manipulation underwater a breeze. Speaking from experience, the ring bungee system makes for a quick attachment and much easier for divers to use than a simple piece of bungee and no safety clips are required, with the metal on metal connection providing stability when gearing up and carry tanks landslide. This video shows the marked difference.