I recently started making the transition to technical diving from sport. As a part of that transition I decided to prefer sidemount over backmount. Ideally I would go with the Hollis SMS 100 setup, but unfortunately I cannot yet afford such a rig so I worked with what I had. I currently own a Hollis HTS 2 harness system which was not ready for sidemount. I also have the single bladder 38 pound Hollis S Series bladder. Luckily, Neptune Divers came to the rescue.
First thing’s first: Removing anything unnecessary. I was sporting the Hollis weight pockets and the cummerbund… gone. I tightened up the webbing and re-attached the crotch strap so the whole setup was ready for modification.
Jake from Neptune ordered me a sidemount plate from Dive Rite and attached it to the harness. Once the webbing was pulled off and threaded through the plate the whole setup was attached with the back screw and is very secure.
No Me Gusta Taco
With the Hollis S Series there are a couple of problems with sidemount. The primary one is the fact that with no tank on the back of the rig the bladder will inflate on itself or “taco.” Jake again came to the rescue by having someone actually sew webbing attachments to the bladder itself. Two of the attachments on the right and left allow the waist webbing to run through, and one on the bottom allowing the crotch strap to run through. The result? When the rig is on the sides of the bladder are safely strapped to me so they cannot expand outward.
I added two more shoulder d-rings (not pictured) and another waist d-ring for my lift bag and reel. Using stabilizer plates I can switch this rig back to recreational sport so I can dive with my buddies. I have dove this setup twice and it is working great!