Sidemount diving is getting popular also among recreational divers. For this reason we have got more and more demands for an easy-to-use sidemount buoyancy compensator. TecLine Side16 BCD will fulfil all essential needs of beginners and recreational SM divers. Every piece of this BCD is easy to configure and adjust. It’s construction makes it intuitive to use both in diving and teaching conditions…

SPECIFICATION

Side 16 Sidemount BCD (ref. T11050)
  • Buoyancy: 16 kg/35 lbs
  • Integrated weight pockets and external weight pockets on the waist belt
  • Weight pocket capacity: 16 kg
  • Aluminium backplate
  • Adjustable waist and chest belts
  • Adjustable crotch strap
  • 5 D-Rings (stainless steel)
  • Movable D-rings on the waist belt. 
  • K-type inflator (33 cm/13’’)
  • Inflator and quick dump valve can be mounted on the left or right side.
  • Integrated shoulder pads
  • Material: Cordura 2000
  • Ready to use with all hardware and bungees needed

📝CERTIFICATE CE EN1809 CE1463

INDEPENDENT EQUIPMENT TEST & REVIEW

by Dominik ‘KESSER’ Kesserling
(PADI OWSI / SIDEMOUNT / EFR INSTRUCTOR)

By courtesy of Tecline, last weekend I tested the new version of Tecline Side 16 BCD. Tecline clearly listens to the market and quite rapidly adapts to its needs. Given that the sidemount is a relatively fresh branch in recreational diving, responding to needs that arise in the “battle” is essential here.

It’s worth to mention that Tecline has a lot to offer in the Sidemount category. In addition to several harnesses there are also regulators, torches and accessories dedicated for sidemount configuration.

What I like most is that Tecline solved the main problem of instructors and students on sidemount courses. Long and complicated harness configuration is no longer an issue.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The BCD and harness offer solid and compact construction. Everything looks well thought out and suited. The BCD itself is triangular. Permanently fixed butt-plate is also relatively wide. All this creates a “turtle shell” which helps to streamline the whole setup.

The inner-bladder is covered by rough Cordura 2000, which is quite pleasant to the touch and feels very durable. In this version we can find an additional dump valve just behind the neck. To use it we can simply grab the red ball on the left shoulder strap and pull the cord. The same purge-system as on the jacket-style BCD. The manufacturer wanted to facilitate the switch from classical BCD into the sidemount set. On the other hand a blind plug comes with the set. It can simply eliminate the valve and turn Side 16 into  fully ‘pro’ bag. In my opinion, the idea hits the jackpot and honestly speaking, recreational divers will simply appreciate having this valve. The purists have a plug :-).

DIGGING INTO DETAILS

The crotch strap goes through the butt-plate. It is equipped with a folding d-ring. The butt-plate merits attention. Since the beginning of the Side, we can find there quite massive, ‘triple’ d-rings. I think that this is a better solution than one long piece of wire. This allows for easier management of equipment and easiness in operating the carabiners.

The BCD is equipped with a standard inflator like in other Tecline products. In summary, the harness makes a very good impression. Tecline manufactures only well tested constructions, so there is no doubt that this is also robust and durable.

CONFIGURATION AND FIT

I still remember my sidemount course and 3 hours lost on adjusting the harness. And still after classes at the pool you had to adjust the whole equipment to the dry suit again. The Side 16 setting is as simple as adjusting the waist belt.

The shoulder straps are adjusted as in a jacket. In my case, the bungee seemed ideally suited. From my experience of diving with aluminum tanks I know I have to put the weights as low as possible to compensate for the displacement of the bottom of the tank. It turned out that the 2kg weights fit ideally on the crotch belt under the butt – plate. Important information for the aesthetes – it is mounted on the inside, so it’s not visible from the outside.

As you can see the initial setup took just a moment and the harness was ready to use.

It is also worth saying more about the weight system. The BCD has 4 solid pockets inside, which can easily accommodate 16 or even 20 kg of weight. There is a small zippered pocket that can accommodate 1 kg of weights in the upper part (behind the neck). Ideal for trimming! Additionally, 2x5kg weight pockets have been assembled on the belt, which in my opinion are not necessary for 2 x 11.1l alu set.

As you can see, the Side 16 configuration does not differ from the configuration of a jacket. Hence, this is a great solution for instructors, course participants and all those who appreciate comfort, especially travelling and diving in dry and wet suits interchangeably.

UNDER WATER

Putting on the harness was something. Immediately after putting it on and fastening the belt, I got the impression that the harness was clinging to my back. My approach was a little skeptical about the issue of the adjustable harness that it would not loosen under the weight. Nothing like this happened.

Throughout the dive the harness was always in place. Attaching the tanks did not cause any problems.  I immediately got used to this additional dump valve and I must admit that it was simply convenient. I had the impression that the harness was glued to my back.

In the upper part, the harness does not restrict any movements. Thanks to the easy adjustment system it allows you to make corrections and adjustments during the dive. The moving d-rings deserve praise. They work without any question and allow you to easily manage your aluminum tanks during the dive.

Another pleasant surprise was my position on the surface. I did not feel the effect of lying on the face, which is often the domain of a typical side mount harness. The only thing that I could complain about was that with a full BCD the compression effect occurs because the BCD is attached to the waist belt. On the other hand, buoyancy jackets also have this effect and the need to fully pump the BCD is rather occasional :-).

Anyway, after diving and visual inspection, it turned out that you can easily convert the harness in order to compensate for this effect, e.g. you disentangle the belt while fixing the BCD to rubber bands with the carabiners to the d-rings.

To sum up, under the water everything is as it should be; nothing bothers you; everything is where it should be.

SUMMING UP

The harness with the BCD is a well-arranged structure, where nothing has been left to chance. It works fine in the water giving the impression of unity with the diver. The technical solutions to the type of dump valve on the back of the neck, the divided rings on the butt plate and the fully adjustable shoulder belts deserve to be called a thoughtful design that meets the requirements of everyone:

  • instructors and centres will appreciate the ease of adjusting the harness for each customer
  • people who value the comfort of donning the harness or diving in different suits will also appreciate the adjustable harness

Some bottom-line keypoints which should be highlighted:

  • possibility of removing the upper dump valve, can develop with the diver and the environment in which he/she dives.
  • a compact one-piece design
  • the construction imposes the correct position under water
  • spacious weight pockets
  • the pockets are rather set low – convenient for aluminum cylinders
  • good position on the surface
  • split ring on the butt plate (sensational)
  • movable d-rings on the belt
  • with the addition of the weight pockets which I got there is no problem of taking 26-30 kg without the need of putting the weights on the belt

Dominik ”Kesser” Kesselring

Did you like this article?
Join our newsletter to be informed about new publications:

You can cancel this subscription at any time. SCUBATECH sp. z o.o. is the Controller of your personal data.
Click here to learn more about your personal data protection.