Backplates & Harnesses

The metal backplate and harness may seem at first sight to be a step backwards from todays modern buoyancy compensators, with their adjustable shoulder and waist straps, quick release clips, and multiple d-rings.

However, the simplicity of the plate and harness is actually its strength. It is the platform upon which all of the rest of our equipment is mounted, and the means by which we attach it to our bodies. It is a scalable device – you can carry a single cylinder for shallow short diving, or you can attach double cylinders, stage bottles, and even rebreathers – all with the same backplate.

The harness is similarly simple. It has no shoulder clips, and the waist straps and waist belt are made from one continuous length of webbing. This means that the harness must be adjusted to fit the diver perfectly to ensure that the equipment remains stable on your back. This reduces the risk of a clip failing, but the true advantage lies in the way in which the harness fits you so well.

Going on from there, we add a crotch strap, going from behind the bottom of the backplate and round to the waist strap. This stabilizes the whole harness, and prevents the plate from lifting up at the back as the cylinders become light when you get to low cylinder pressures.The harness has very few d-rings. There is one on each shoulder, one on the left hip, and two on the crotch strap – one front and one back. The reason we only use five is that we only need five! If they’re well placed for the individual, then we don’t actually need any more, regardless of what type of diving we choose to undertake.

In summary, when fitted properly, a backplate and harness system will allow unrivalled comfort and flexibility, regardless of the type of diving you choose to do today.Wreck and cave have two different backplates available. One is made of polished stainless steel, and one is aluminium.

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