These 200m Warmbac rope bags are brilliant for lugging heavy kit around. Can almost get the full sidemount setup in there (yeah, just use backmount..). That bag's also useful if stashing the kit on a boat (as in sailing boat where the bag stops them rolling around).
I found the 8.5 litre steel tins to be excellent. Right balance of weight out of the water and available gas. Steel tins means less lead, so donning and doffing the harness is easier, not to mention it's lighter to carry as ali tins are the same weight out of the water as steel, but need more lead to compensate for their buoyancy. Ali tins may require an adjustable harness D ring, or using two rings as they begin to float.
As Scotty's alluding to, some up front faffing makes for an easy life later.
Once confgured and practiced, it's just as quick and easy to don and doff as backmount.
There were around 16 duvers in the quarry today when I went pit wanking. Out of that there were 3 x XCCRs, 2 x Visions, 2 x Hammerheads, my Lada and at least 3 sidemounters. The rest were "normal"
Remember anything you read on the internet was probably written by some guy sitting at home in his underpants! Including this !!
Illegitimi non carborundum
Wot, no-one diving sidemount CCR?
Loads of sidemounters at NDAC today, wouldn't be surprised if the BM to SM ratio was near 1:1.
I don't dive in the UK any more, but have been diving in Mexico for the past 5 years, and the move from backmount to sidemount there has been really noticeable. I was at Cavecamp this year, and there were 5 of us backmounting this year, out of 31 divers. The rest were sidemount/rebreathers. At the first Cavecamp (3 years ago) it was more like 50:50.
Lanny also ran backmount experience dives, as some people had never dived a twinset/doubles before! On the prior Cavecamps he had just run sidemount experience days.
Having dived with people in backmount and sidemount, the kitting up time for sidemount is significantly longer, particularly when there is a long walk to the water. It the water, there is no doubt that it works very well.
Once practised, the kitting up time's not that different. You can get the wing on some time before the tins and only really need a gunwale to perch on to attach the tins.
Can walk a fair way with the sidemount tins attached, but it's a lot more uncomfortable than backmount as the weight's mainly held on the hip belt (it's lower than the backmount waist belt). If carting tins for any distance a nice Warmback 200 metre rope bag comes into its own. Or carrying the tins separately from your other kit.