What valves do you use for sidemount.
In Sidemount diving one of the important factors in of our tanks and ease of Donning and Doffing is the valves we use. and what kind of tanks we use Steels or Aluminum. I always like to go for what I can have readily available. so these choices would be different if I was here in India or sitting in cave country like Mexico. Here in Asia we mainly find aluminum tanks,so I will skip the Steel vs AL discussion for now. however, the option of what valves is growing with more distributors coming to the country, but not yet widely at dive centers across the continent.
The modular or Normal option?
In Sidemount we would ideally like to have right and left handle valves, Also know as modular to make sure that the First stages can be protected and kept facing our body. Another great advantage of the modular valve is that they have a great place to connect the loop bungee( the other side of the Wheel)
However, when we travel and go to places that may not be catering to the Sidemount diver, we generally find normal valve’s like the Thermo Pro(din if we are lucky) these valves are what the majority of Backmount divers use and with a little practice we can use them with as easily as the modular. Below is an image of one of the ways I would put the Bungee loop around the tanks.
Here at Eternal Divers we like to use normal Pro valves as we find it’s always best to be ready and practice what we are likely to be using. and considering the current market in Asia its very unlikely you’ll be lucky and find modular valves.