Dive Rite kit originates with cave-diver Lamar Hires in Florida. The Transpac wing system is quite well established, with its harness and various different buoyancy cells. The harness is called the Transplate, because it is used in conjunction with a metal backplate.
It has a full complement of D-rings, and I tried it with the 360 Travel Wing, but without the optional single-tank-adaptor. I felt I could do without the extra grief at the airport check-in.
The harness employs two cambands with big stainless-steel cam-buckles. This adds up to a lot of metal, but it still weighed only 3.6kg, so it was no problem to take it to Sharm for a trip.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't get to keep the kit I try. This meant that I was unable to cut the webbing harness to suit my physique, and had to contend with enough surplus webbing to accommodate a diver that comes from a country that serves 3kg steaks, even though it had been supplied in a slim size L.
The anodised aluminium backplate I used is curved enough to stop the wing-nuts protruding uncomfortably.
However, with no integrated weights, a lightweight backplate and a buoyant 7mm semi-dry suitable for use in the northern Red Sea in January, I ended up with a lot of weight as ballast. Thankfully, I was able to use a Bowstone weight harness to avoid it all being loaded onto my hips.

I may have won credibility aboard mv Typhoon because I looked like a serious diver, but I care little for credibility, and a lot for efficacy.
This Dive Rite wing-style BC has a simple doughnut-style wing buoyancy cell, and at first glance it seems DIR-compliant, but it isnt, because the harness is not a continuous unbroken length of webbing.
As with any BC, during horizontal swimming the air for buoyancy control is positioned high up at the back of the shoulders. If this sounds eminently comfortable, it wasnt.
Many divers who buy this wing will use it with a drysuit, and therefore not as a main buoyancy-control source but as redundant kit. They will never discover that the wing tends to ride up and pull away from the divers back, making the direct-feed hose and its control disappear over the left shoulder and the regulator, unless on a long hose, pull away from the divers mouth.
Other divers said I looked as if I was hang-gliding under water during my first dives with it.
I made all sorts of adjustments to the harness during the first part of my weeks diving, but to no avail. Even experienced technical diving instructor Gary Fox was unable to come up with a solution.
He made a valiant effort to sort it out during a dive. Well, at least that was what he said he was doing, although I did start to squeal like a pig!
It was not until I contrived a borrowed weightbelt strap as an improvised central jockstrap that I cured the problem. Even so, it became more than a simple jockstrap. I found that I needed to run it from a slot in the backplate up and under the waist-strap, and attach it to the sternum strap at the front. Only in this way did I manage to make the Transplate harness and Travel Wing 360 become part of me, and keep the wing with 15-litre steel tank attached from flying above me while under water.

Control of Ascent
You can opt for a simple corrugated hose, but I prefer the version with the remotely operated exhaust valve at the top, operated by a wire inside it. You just pull to dump. If you ascend horizontally there is a lower dump with a long cord attached, but I often had difficulty locating it.
With this doughnut-shaped wing, it was necessary to get the last bit of the air I needed to dump over to the side with the dump valve, which took a bit of rotation in the water. The rig has evolved for use with twin cylinders and, with a single cylinder, its something of a pigs ear, but without the crackling. The absence of the single-tank-adaptor made no difference.

Surface Support
Maximum lift of 14kg is not a lot when part of the buoyancy cell is clear of the surface and so not helping with flotation, so I usually found myself fairly low in the water at the surface, even with the Travel Wing 360 fully inflated.

Ease of Removal
The breaks in the harness with pinch-clips made it easy for me to unclip and extract myself from the wing while in the water, despite having to remember to undo my improvised jockstrap.
There was a bit of confusion between the waist-strap buckle and the identical buckle of my Bowstone weight harness but, because it was not a simple weightbelt, I avoided the embarrassment and expense of dropping my weights by mistake.

Halcyon Eclipse, £535
Seac Sub Icaro, £385

PRICE (Available in component form) complete as tested, £400
D-RINGS 6 stainless-steel
CONTACT www.sea-sea.com
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