When I was at Beneath The Sea (BTS) I stopped by the Light Monkey booth to look at some new products. Consequently, I purchased the Light Monkey Bailout Attachment System (BAS) for use with my rebreather. Now I’m finally getting around to writing a quick review. I know it’s ultimately just a bunch of bungee, webbing and large rings but I think it’s a pretty slick setup. All things considered, it’s compact, unobtrusive and the large rings are easy to find and manipulate with thick dry gloves. You can read more about it here: http://www.lightmonkey.us/bailout-attachment-system
I have been sidemounting my bailouts for a while like a lot of rebreather divers. For example, I typically attach the bottom clip of my bailout bottles to either my DSix rebreather stand or a DiveRite buttplate however there are a couple minor issues with either setup. While I really love using my stand, it adds approximately 3lbs of weight to the wrong direction. All things considered, this contributes to an even more butt-heavy unit. I have the old aluminum version of the stand made for the rEvo which is a bit heavier than newer versions of the stand. Furthermore it’s also kind of a pain in the ass to travel with so I usually take it off the unit. On the other hand, having a stand on my unit is awesome for boat diving.
Consequently, in preparation for my CCR cave crossover course that I took in March I took the stand off my rEvo. I switched to using a DiteRite buttplate before heading down to Florida. A lot of people utilize a buttplate for sidemounting bottles in either traditional open circuit sidemount configuration or for managing bailouts on their rebreather. The 2 rigid rails on the side of a buttplate make it easy to clip off bottles and reels. Regrettably, the issue I have with the buttplate is that it sometimes gets in the way when sitting or gearing up on a dive boat bench. More annoying is that my rebreather doesn’t always sit up straight when the buttplate gets in the way.
Enter the Light Monkey Bailout Attachment System. The large 3″ stainless steel rings are very easy to reach and locate with dry gloves. In addition, the rings also don’t get in the way when you’re gearing up on a bench.
The previous owner of my rEvo drilled a couple holes in the bottom of the split backplate which I think they used to attach a buttplate. I simply used a couple SCUBA sex bolts (assembly screws) to attach the bailout attachment system grommets on the webbing to bottom of my backplate.
I didn’t bother using the provided bungee for top portion as I utilize Dive Rite Nomad-style ring bungees. I find the ring bungees much easier with dry gloves. Secondly, I prefer having a hard connection to clip off to when diving on a boat. A lot of people seem to utilize this style of connection. I just merely copied it so I can’t really take any credit for this. My instructor actually suggested I sidemount my bailouts this way during my MOD1 class. It seems to be pretty popular with rebreather divers and sidemount divers. While it’s not exactly ground breaking stuff I felt like I should add some pictures for clarification.
Rather than buy the ring bungees I just made my own with a couple stainless steel 2.5″ rings, quick clips and some thick bungee. I did experiment a little bit without using the rings and just simply using a loop of bungee but I didn’t like it as much. I’ll admit that just using the bungee does make the bottles ride a little higher and closer but I much prefer the bungee ring system. Of course I suppose if I were diving without any gloves I could get away with the latter.
I’ve got a bunch of dives with this system in the past month. In my opinion, the Light Monkey Bailout Attachment System works great. I like it much better than using a traditional buttplate. I honestly think it would work pretty well on any other rebreather. Sadly I don’t really have any great pictures in the water yet of how the bottles ride. A friend took these from a GoPro video screen grab. I’ll try to get some better pictures at some point.