Metal Plate

Highly modular, these systems allow you to choose your type of harness, type of plate, and type of wing (aircell) to build a configuration uniquely suited to your needs and style of diving. Traditionally a hard backplate system was used for double tank diving ONLY but with the new backplate designs that accommodate single tank straps, the BPW (Backplate and Wing) configuration has become increasingly more popular with experienced and new divers alike. All of the backplates we sell do NOT require a Single Tank Adapter(STA) when diving with one cylinder.

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Backplates and Your Height

A typical metal backplate is about {15.5 in | 39.4 cm} long and about {10.5 in | 26.7 cm} wide at the base. In our opinion that size is suitable for divers with an average build between {5 ft 3 in | 1.6 m} and {6 ft 3 in | 1.9 m} tall, although this just a generalization as some rare individuals may have a disproportionate amount of their height distributed between their legs and torso.

If you are extraordinarily long in your torso, we don't recommend using any metal backplate and continuous webbing harness. If the harness shoulders are set to hold the tank and wing at the correct height, then the waistband is going fall on your diaphragm or possibly even your ribcage and thus implead your breathing. If the harness shoulders are set too long in order to lower the bottom of the plate and harness to your waist, then the tank and wing will also ride too low on your body thus affecting your in-water trim plus possibly making the inflator difficult to reach. if you are extraordinarily short in your torso, a typical size backplate is less of an issue with usability and more about comfort. The bottom edge of the typical size plate will rest below your waist and feel uncomfortable, especially if you are only wearing thin exposure protection.

If you are not a good fit for a standard backplate, we recommend you consider a 'soft plate' BC system such as the TransPac. These are available in X-small and XX-large sizes that are tailored for your body build, along with adjustability and configuration options to deliver a perfect fit. You will find them much more comfortable, yet they still provide the benefits of a back inflation system with a plate and webbing harness. You can find our soft plate TransPac packages in our BC category under Dive Rite BC Systems.

If you are determined to use a metal backplate, short and long plates are occasionally in-stock at suppliers other than Dive Gear Express. However, the demand for specialty backplates is very low thus you may find they do not represent a good value.