Why dive sidemount?

With its roots dating back to 1960s UK Sump explorations, Sidemount diving has become astronomically popular in recent years. It has become the configuration of choice for many recreational and technical divers across the globe. 

And for good reason!

Sidemount as an art form

Sidemount diving is a form of art. Not just in aesthetics but more importantly the freedom of movement through the water. In properly configured sidemount, you become one with your equipment and your environment. You can stop, pause, breathe, completely relax and be still. You’re balanced, stable, and in control.  You move through the water as a streamlined unit.

This is the feeling that we chase here at Sidemount Society. It takes a lot of time to get there. Sidemount diving properly isn’t easy. It’s a challenge and it takes a lot of work, effort and practice – but that’s what makes it worth doing!

We appreciate the beauty of sidemount in the way it looks but most importantly, in the way it feels. You have to experience it to believe it! 

On top of this, sidemount has many benefits for all divers: 

The benefits of sidemount


You will learn to manage two completely independent diving systems which means that you will be able to respond to and deal with gas emergencies efficiently. Not only will your dives be safer, but the increased gas supply means you can dive longer.  

Streamlining, Balance and Trim

The positioning of the cylinders alongside a sidemount diver’s body creates a balanced and streamlined unit which allows the diver to achieve optimal horizontal trim. You will find that remaining stable in the water is much easier than when the cylinders are worn on the back. A more streamlined profile reduces drag which means less effort to move through the water and improvements in gas consumption.


Sidemount diving offers a variety of options for entering and exiting the water. Cylinders can be easily carried individually and left almost anywhere until it’s more convenient to collect them. For divers who enjoy wreck or cave diving, sidemount provides endless opportunities for attaching and removing cylinders when manoeuvring tight spaces. Best of all, sidemount can be adapted to any cylinders and requires no special brackets, manifolds or valves which in theory means you can sidemount anywhere on the planet. 

Less stress and strain on the back and spine

Diving is tough on the musculoskeletal system. Divers carry heavy loads on their backs and waist and spinal and knee issues can be common. Sidemount divers not only have the option to put cylinders on and take them off in the water, but they also remove the need to carry heavy weights on belts around their waists.

Final thoughts

Sidemount looks great, feels great and has a plethora of benefits. We think you’ll love it. Just don’t expect to get the results out of a tin! You’ll need proper equipment, the right instruction, in-depth knowledge and time to practice. All this with a healthy dose of patience and you’ll be asking yourself ‘Why didn’t I sidemount earlier!’ 

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