So diving using double tanks is all about deep technical diving? No, that simply is not the case, it’s only one aspect of double tank diving. The versatility of double tanks is enormous. For those diving within recreational limits the benefits are huge. For example:
- Redundancy within the equipment configuration
- Self reliance with equipment failures
- Gas benefits
- Improved positioning in the water
At any depth of diving, from shallow to deep, double tank diving is safer due to the inherent setup of the equipment. For example, just like single tank diving, the configuration has two regulators, a primary and an alternate, a low pressure inflator and a pressure gauge. Initially the ‘double tanks’ are configured as essentially one tank, but at any point if a regulator, a pressure gauge or low pressure inflator fails, this piece of equipment can be easily switched off, but unlike a single tank setup which would switch off all the air, hence the diver would be out of air, with double tanks all the gas is still available for the remaining equipment that is still functioning. Hence the diver has self reliance with failures without needing buddy assistance, which is of course always available too. More options are available to the diver in an emergency, with minimal training, hence a safer dive.
Further there are gas benefits from a double tank system. A diver using double tanks typically has more gas, Simple as that. A double tank system doesn’t have to be big and heavy. It could be double 80 Cuft tanks compared to a single 80 Cuft system giving an extra 80 Cuft of capacity. More gas means safer diving and perhaps a longer bottom time. i.e. More diving for your dollar!
Finally although a single tank system can be configured with a wing system for buoyancy control most people use a BCD. With a twin tank system a backplate and wing is used. This is new to most people but almost all who use a backplate and wing buoyancy device for the first time never return to a BCD. The backplate and wing configuration is more comfortable, i.e. no air squeezing the torso, and holds the diver in a natural horizontal position, the ideal position for diving.
Prerequisites: Open Water Diver (minimum logged dives 25)
Required Equipment: Double regulator setup, backplate and wing system