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Quinn,

> I'm interested in moving to a backplate and wings configuration. I have
> decided on stainless steel, and 2 wings - one for singles, and eventually

SS is real nice for local dives, but if you TRAVEL a lot with your
equipment
and are trying to keep the travelling weight down, Aluminum is a great
option too (I travel with my Aluminum plate).

> one for doubles. I like the Halcyon 27# Travel Wings for the single, but am
> undecided about a double. Given gear, wetsuits (7mm, 5mm, 3mm)and
> potentially moderate cave diving, I guess about 45# lift for the double.

Until you get more dives under your belt and are getting closer to
diving
doubles don't both with it.  The last batch of 104 tanks that came
out a few years ago tended to be much more negative than the previous
batch, which was several years before that.  Consequently more bouyancy
was required.  BTW, cave diving with a wetsuit, well, that's not the
best way to do it.  Drysuit for backup bouyancy is optimal.  But, once
again, don't even THINK about cave diving until you are an accomplished
OW diver.  The 27 lb wings should be reasonable for single tank ow
diving, even taking a pony with you if you'd like.

> Without getting into DIR discussions, can anyone recommend a plate and
> wings? What are advantages/disadvantages of name brands like Halcyon, OMS,
> DiveRite? I do not plan on eventual WKKP type explorations, I only plan to
> be "qualified" to photograph in overhead environments, caves and deep
> wrecks.

Dive Rite makes an ABS (plastic) plate.  I had one of those once and
sold it
before I ever dove it.  I'd hate to be walking to the water with my
doubles
on and have it break (it definitely bent a LOT).  I like the Halcyon
plates, haven't seen on OMS plate.  Does DR even make a SS plate?

Remember, just because you're not doing extreme explorations doesn't
mean
your gear shouldn't be the best.  Not doing extreme diving isn't an
excuse for a sloppy or poor gear configuration.

Carl