Zeagle Tech BC product report

Zeagle Tech BC product report

Post by T Robe » Tue, 30 Aug 1994 11:23:05


I recently purchased a new B.C. to replace the Dacor horsecollar that I
bought new thir*** years ago.  I wanted something with the durability to
match the length of service that I had gotten with my first B.C.  I
shopped around and was impressed by the materials that go into the
construction of, and the features of the Zeagle high-end B.C's.  The Tech,
which I bought, is a rear-bladder type of B.C.  While this is my first
experience with ANY jacket-style B.C., I understand that this design is
preferred because it eliminates squeeze as air is put into the bladder.  I
can vouch for its effectiveness in this regard.  The vest is made out of
extremely durable ballistic type nylon.  It is conformable to differing
body types in that the shoulder straps, cummerbund and bladder assemblies
are interchangeable.  The quality of the design is apparent in numerous
ways.  For instance, there are six, heavy duty D-rings firmly attached to
the strap assemblies for securing incidentals.  The tank is secured by two
soft bands, and the use of twin tanks can be accomodated without any major
modifications, you simply employ longer tank bands and thread them through
the backpack portion a little differently.  One of the nicest features is
the use of integrated weight pouches.  I bought 24 lbs of lead shot in two
8 and two 4 lb bags and they fit real nicely into the low slung pockets.
They can be dropped quickly by pulling a ripcord, allowing them to drop
out of the bottom of the vest.  This is definately a well thought out
product and although I've only dived with it twice since I got it, I think
I'll be very happy with it.
No, it wasn't cheap.  This vest sells for $439.00 normally at the shop I
frequent in Danvers, MA, but I got it at their one-day-a-year sale for
$389.00.  Plus another $50 for the soft weights.
I'd be interested to hear any other comments or questions.

Stay wet.

Tim

 
 
 

Zeagle Tech BC product report

Post by Tracey Bak » Wed, 31 Aug 1994 04:14:42

A couple of additional comments...


Quote:
>[...] It is conformable to differing
>body types in that the shoulder straps, cummerbund and bladder assemblies
>are interchangeable.

Yes, this is a nice feature.  I have a small vest with XS shoulder straps.
I discovered a potentially *** gotcha on a wreck dive last weekend, though...
The bladder is held on by two straps which run through the back of the vest
and are threaded through buckles on the other side.  On my second dive, the
bottom strap came loose from the buckle at some point (the canister light I
fasten to these straps may have contributed to this; rolling in from the boat
might have also pulled it loose).

Anyway, towards the end of my dive (at ~75fsw), I started getting slightly
buoyant.  At first I thought it was my drysuit with its tempramental
auto-exhaust valve, so I just held onto the wreck and managed to get a little
more air out of the suit.  No dice, I was still floating.  Nothing was coming
out of the shoulder dump on my BC, I knew there was air _somewhere_, so I
reached back to feel the bladder -- sometimes air gets trapped on the side
away from the dump valve.  I couldn't find it.  I wasn't sure quite what had
happened, but I deduced that the bladder was somehow fouled up, there was
air in it, and I wasn't about to get it out.  Time was a concern at this
point, so I ascended carefully with one leg wrapped around the anchor line,
completed a 5 minute hang, and got out just fine.  I tried getting into
different positions to see if I could get the air to move around, and some
did, but not enough to make much difference.

What had actually happened (pieced together from looking at the darn thing
after I got out & observations of the guys who were up on the bow watching me
on my hang) was that the strap had come loose and the bladder folded up with
some air trapped in the bottom -- they said the wings were up around my ears.
I might have been able to vent from the back if I'd gone vertical, head-down,
but I didn't quite hit the right position.

The m***of the story?  Those straps are getting stiched up before they
go into the water again.  I doubt I'll ever need to change the bladder
anyway.  Anyone with one of these BCs, at least check those straps before
you get in, if you don't want to permanently fasten them somehow.  Oh, yeah,
the leg around the anchor line worked like a charm.  Keep it in mind if you
ever need to make a controlled ascent while positively buoyant.

Quote:
>and the use of twin tanks can be accomodated without any major
>modifications, you simply employ longer tank bands and thread them through
>the backpack portion a little differently.

I haven't tried this myself, but have been told that this is NOT a good BC for
use with doubles, especially if you want to use a manifold, due to the lack of
a hard backplate.  I like it fine for single tanks, even with a pony, but
I bought a Dive Rite for my doubles.

--tab

--

  "I don't think safety is the main issue here...
                          You'd be stupid not to be safe." - J.Comly

 
 
 

Zeagle Tech BC product report

Post by Jim Sulso » Wed, 31 Aug 1994 05:45:31

Quote:

> I recently purchased a new B.C.....

> Stay wet.

> Tim

Tim, it sounds like you have the same BC I have, which they call the
Zeagle "Ranger" here, even though I'm not sure that is the official name.
I love it, as it provides ease of movement without being cumbersome.  It
seems to be of extremely durable material, and should last many, many
years.  I managed to break the plastic clip that came attached to the
internal strap in the right-hand pocket, but I just replaced it with a
metal ring that I like better anyway - I connect my dive computer to it
across my body - great place to keep it out of the way when I'm otherwise
occupied.

--

AOL: BBud Jim        CIS: 76440,227

 
 
 

Zeagle Tech BC product report

Post by Scott Bro » Fri, 02 Sep 1994 11:06:58

|> I recently purchased a new B.C. to replace the Dacor horsecollar that I
|> bought new thir*** years ago.  I wanted something with the durability to
|> match the length of service that I had gotten with my first B.C.  I
|> shopped around and was impressed by the materials that go into the
|> construction of, and the features of the Zeagle high-end B.C's.  The Tech,
|> which I bought, is a rear-bladder type of B.C.  While this is my first
|> experience with ANY jacket-style B.C., I understand that this design is
|> preferred because it eliminates squeeze as air is put into the bladder.  I
|> can vouch for its effectiveness in this regard.  The vest is made out of
[snip]

I would like to echo Tim's sentiments about the Zeagle BC's. I purchased
a Zeagle Ranger a while back and have been very pleased with it. Some of the
features I like about it are:

It is composed of two pieces, the shoulder strap assembly and the waist belt
assembly.  They each come in different sizes so that you can mix and match
for best fit. There is a guide for this in their catalog. It's also very
adjustable.

The shoulder straps are well padded, and relatively comfortable.

Three ways to dump air out of it. Once I got the hang of it, it's
easy to get air out of it now no matter which way I'm swimming.

Thick dennier nylon is pretty abrasion resistant. I think it will protect
the bladder very well.

The dump valve comes apart easily and stays all together so that there are
no stray parts to worry about. This makes it pretty easy to rinse out the
bladder.

I was told the bladder is made of waterbed material and is easily patched.
It is also replaceable.

The BC itself uses standard "backpack" types of fastners and straps. I
wanted to have a strap around the tank valve, and to relocate the chest
straps off of the cumberbund and onto the rear part of the waistband. This
was a very easy thing to do, a quick trip to REI for the parts, then to
the shoe repair (they have the heavyduty sewing equipment for the thick
material) to have it sewn on. It looks factory made and works much better
for me. Cost was about $10 or so in parts and labor.

There is also a pocket on the right side perfect for holding my Octo.

Things I wasn't too crazy about were:

The straps on the shoulder don't secure the inflator too well, but a
carabiner at the D ring fixed this easily enough.

The straps fastened right in front rather than at the sides (like the
Seaquest Dimension), it made it feel very loose on me. I had a couple
buckles sewn on more to the sides, and this helped a lot.

The pricetag for it is a little hefty compared to the competition, but
worth it.

But these were nits compared to the overall quality of the Zeagle BC.

Scott.


 
 
 

Zeagle Tech BC product report

Post by T Robe » Fri, 02 Sep 1994 11:15:05


Quote:

> it sounds like you have the same BC I have, which they call the
> Zeagle "Ranger" .....

No, the one I bought is not the Ranger, that model is available also and
very similar, it seemed to have some features mine does not, but none that
made me want it instead.  Another person wrote me that he had purchase the
same vest that I paid $389 on sale for $310 through an 800 number,
PLAN-FUN?  Has anyone else heard of this outfit?  BTW, I'm getting wet
tomorrow am at Halibut Point state park in Rockport, MA.  That's the site
of my biggest ever lobster, 11 lbs 3 oz.  I'm psyched!
 
 
 

Zeagle Tech BC product report

Post by Brian Tayl » Tue, 06 Sep 1994 15:57:34

I use my Zeagle wings with twins ( separately
valved ) and it is superb. I use either steel
bands to tie the twins together OR use the
brilliantly designed AP Valves cam pack for
twins. There's no movement - which I suspect
is the reason for Tracey's comment regarding
use of manifolds.
Dived in Scapa Flow last week , got a chance to
use the Prism semi-closed rebreather - brilliant!
- if anyone wants to buy me a late birthday
present........
Brian ( whose toys just get more expensive with age)
My opinions not Amoco's
 
 
 

Zeagle Tech BC product report

Post by Carl Hein » Fri, 09 Sep 1994 10:17:09

Reading all this interesting information on the Zeagle Tech made me take
a look at it today while at the dive shop.  Pretty nice.  THe one
*MAJOR* thing that I forgot to ask is...  How much lift does it have???

This is pretty important since this is a BC often used to dive with
doubles and twin Genny 100's or twin 120's with a pony can really weigh
you down (can you say no weight belt and still be negative!!!).

-Carl-

 
 
 

Zeagle Tech BC product report

Post by Chris Vauti » Sun, 11 Sep 1994 06:22:15

Carl

I dive with a group of deep divers in sydney and a few of them are now
using zeagles.  some of these divers get into the water with twin 150's,
up to 4 stage bottles (usually around 50cf each) and other assorted junk.
They all come back so i guess the answer to your question about lift is
there.
To the best of my knowlwdge, Zeagles give around 50 - 60lb lift in each
bag.  My own dive-rite set up give me 60lb in the primary and around 45 in
the redundant bag.

hope this helps
Chris