Side mount

Hi all,

I recently underwent my side mount certification from SSI. During the certification, I used a UTD Z system. Thereafter I did a couple of dives with Hollis SMS 50. I liked both. After a thorough research, I have decided to buy the Razor system. Since I haven’t used Razor system, I want some input from experts who have, before I order it.



what do you want to know. What are your questions?


Welcome to the SM-Family :wink:

I am sure that you will get all informations you ASK for :wink:


Thanks guys. I am a novice diver with 50 dives to my credit, having started last April. I am looking to get into technical diving in the months to come. I have a back problem and can’t use BP/W and hence decided to go the side mount way. My question is will the Razor system be able to handle all combinations of tanks for tech diving?

Also, I found that most of the dive shops do not encourage side mount divers. How do I handle this so that I can get enough experience in side mount once I have my own gear?

The questions may be very amateurish but I do not want to take a decision without clarifying my doubts.

It woud be highly beneficial to know where you plan to dive. Dry or wet, the type of tanks (steel aluminum) and your usual weight requirements. Depending on that information, the best advice could vary.


I mostly dive in warm water, wet suit and with aluminium tanks. During my training and subsequent open water dives with 2 AL80s, I used 6lbs of weight and it was perfect, both with UTD Z and SMS 50.

Ok. Just to explain the reason for my question. If you are suffering from back issues and plan to dive in cold water, if that were in a drysuit with heavy insulation, you would likely need a lot of additional weight. Placement of the weight would be crucial in regards to your back issues and the rigs obviously differ a lot in this regard.
Just imagine the need to strap up to 30lbs onto the harness webbing of a Razor, your back would probably not like that. In that case I would have advised to be very cautious and maybe go for a backplate (hard or soft) based sidemount harness instead.

With 6lbs of weight this should not be an issue at all and the Razor is probably a good choice for your type of diving. Certainly it will be more suited for technical type diving with up to two stage tanks, which the SMS50 and UTD would not be able to handle with their very limited lift capabilities.
The Razor will also offer you some form of limited redundant buoyancy since it has two seperate air chambers in the wing. If you need more redundancy diving wet (I know I would) you can always strap an additional MSR bag under the Razor wing as redundancy.
It’s no secret that I’m no big fan of the Razor, the reasons can be found by searching in the forum, however my key criticism applies only in an overhead/cave scenario. In Open Water wetsuit diving, especially with aluminum tanks and stage tanks, the Razor is probably one of the best choices you can make.


I totally agree with Oliver :smiley:

In warm water conditions you will have a very good system - with Razor2 and Hollis SMS50. Both are very light and easy to handle.

Thanks guys, your input is really appreciated and I went ahead and ordered a complete system. Unfortunately, it is on back order and I probably need to wait for a while before I can lay my hands on it.

Thanks once again!

fingers crossed :smiley:

Where are you diving? So maybe we know someone who can help you get the best out of the first dives.

I am in Jeddah from 19th till 21st of this month. I usually dive with Sheraton Resort there.

Very nice.
Is it actually true that the coral reefs and the fish population are more intact on the Saudi Arabian side of the Red sea when compared to the Egyptian side?
I’ve heard that rumor many times, but never any factual information.


I haven’t done any dives on the Egyptian side of Red Sea. The closest I came to it was Eilat. The Saudi Arabian side definitely has healthy and variety of coral.

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My Razor Side Mount System is delivered! Hope to dive it in Netrani to check it out after my Rescue Course!

I have a question on the regulators…I have a aqualung legend LX supreme with Legend 2nd stage and legend Octo and Apeks DST 1st stage. Don’t want to invest in another set of regs. Any serious disadvantage in using these for sidemount apart from servicing and cosmetic issues? Will the performance difference be noticeable?

The Legend LX Supreme first stage and the Apeks DST are very similar and both use the same intermediate pressure of 9-10 bar. According to my personal experience, your Legend Octopus will work just fine on the Apeks DST as it would on the Legend LX Supreme first stage. There won’t be any difference in performance if the regulators are tuned correctly.

The only difference between the Octopus and the primary second stage, other than cosmetic differences, will be the missing dial to tune the breathing resistance. In my opinion this is not really a disadvantage. If the Octopus second stage ist properly set up, it will perform just as well as the „main“ second stage…


Thanks very much. Saves me a lot of money that I can use for proper training.

Please note that next to the technical details where I would say nakatomi is totally right there might be legal issues in some countries or problems you might get with your diving insurance.

But I cannot tell you much details as all of this stuff you hear are mostly rumours. Everybody tells a bit different.

Technically you even lose all warranty for your regs by adding 3rd party hoses like Miflex or a 3rd party mouthpiece.
I had some interesting conversations with Apeks about this.
Also the testing for CE is always done with one first stage and one second stage, both with the factory delivered hose.
Adding an Octopus will technically void the CE, as would other modifications like using a 3rd party longhose.
Towards the end of our conversation, I asked them why adding pressure gauges from different manufacturers didn’t void the warranty, that couldn’t be answered :smiley:
When it comes to the insurance, as long as you configure and use your gear properly, I don’t see any issues with that.
I personally do not worry at all about this and do my own regulator servicing to. If in doubt, just ask the insurance.