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Lift Bag or Sausage

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

What do you Carry on a Dive?

  • Lift Bag

    Votes: 11 24.4%
  • Sausage

    Votes: 17 37.8%
  • Both

    Votes: 15 33.3%
  • Other (if so - post what it is)

    Votes: 2 4.4%

  • Total voters


Working Class Spearo
Mar 17, 2002
Who Carrys what?

For emergency signals? for Deco?

lets here the pros and cons.

I carry a 100# OB bag w/ my name for normal deco. If there's an emergency situation or my primary bag is comprimised I use the sausage.
since all of 5 people have voted at this point....

this poll was intended to help me figure out what to get. I like the idea of both, but whated to see what the "experts" are using.

I have been looking at the diverite 50lb bag, nice and soft and rools into that little pouch that can me mounted on the side of a plate.

anyone know a good sausage/SMB? I have an old plastic one that I carry all the time, that rolls into a tube the size of hotdog, but i don't trust it not to rip. (cheap) I was thinking of keeping one in my drysuit pocket and doing:

lift bag = deco/safety stop
lift bag + SMB = HELP

any suggestinns?

My first items were the two SMBs (red and yellow) and a year later the lift bag. I'm using various configurations but my favourite choice are the two SMBs. Try www.divesystem.com in the accessories page for a top quality SMB or lift-bag. I think you won't be disappointed.
I usually use the two SMB config. so I put the one in a pocket in my BCD, and the other most of the times on my doubles using a piece of rubber, as shown in this pic, or like my buddy Stavros, on my stage bottle.

The way may not be "DIR", but is "DIFMOC" for sure!

Doing It For My Own Comfort...


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I keep my bag and SMB bungeed @ the bottom of my backplate. It takes a little getting used to, to be able to grab the right one but it works and they are out of the way. If I need additional bags I usually put them on my deco bottles. Bottom line is where ever they work for you the best.
I keep my liftbag bungeed to the bottom of my backplate and my safety-sausage clipped off in my right thigh pocket.

I've been using device from Halcyon which is a combination of lift bag/deco bag and signal tube. Essentially an oversized signal tube, it is closed at both ends, has a dump valve and inflator conncetion, and can be lipped to itself (end to end) for use as a lift bag. (60 lb lift)
I thought it was a brilliant way to reduce the clutter, and keep it rolled in a pouch I hang at the back of my backplate. I end up using it most often as a deco bag.
I'm with Senor Styron on this one. A 100 pounder and a sausage for when things get buggered. My bag(s) are velcro'd under and below my plate, the sausage is clipped to the front left, upper D ring. The other sausage is tucked up nice and warm and dry in my Unisuit, thanks.


Doesn't that sausage on the upper left D-ring get in the way of your stage bottles??

Nope. I run my lengthened hoses from bottles hung off my altered lowered rings, almost gun slinger if you will. I've got a thing about keeping the chest and arms area free of gear and as such have the hoses threaded and run in light loops of neoprene and with the different second stages it's very much like looking at a golf bag with the club heads poking up next to my chest.

I'll admit that most of my deep stuff is surface supplied as I'm not only not a fan of wearing a grundle of gear, but having a compressor and gas rack above is pretty smooth.

Hi Guys,

I am from the UK and a majority of deco is done free floating in the channel with SMB’s for reference for the boats etc.

The general procedure under which most people dive, is based on a standard Red SMB is used for normal ascents and deco, so that we have a reference on long stops. In the event of emergency a Yellow SMB is deployed to advise the skipper there is a problem. Some divers including myself keep a back up Red SMB and reel in case of reel jamming or some form of failure.

We do not tend to advise use of a lift bag for decompression as good buoyancy skills should not require people to ‘hang off’ of the Lift bag, which I am aware does occur in some areas in the world.

And most SMB’s stand much prouder in rough conditions, so are clearly identifiable.

As I have said, the procedure I use is appropriate for the diving and conditions in which I dive in and I have had no problems with it.

Just find something that suits you and your diving needs and practices, just be open to new ideas and ways of thinking.

Right now I'm running a OMS yellow "emergency" SMB and a Halcyon #80 closed liftbag in orange.

Orange for standard marking/deco - yellow run up as a secondary if things get FUBAR.

Emergency sausage is tucked up under my BP in one of those funky Halcyon Pockets the liftbag is bungied to the bottom of my plate. have done gloveless drills and it all seems smooth, with have to give it a go with my drygloves on when I get home.

Guess I could make a poll on reels vs. spools......
Last edited:
Dear Fellow Divers,

Carrying a Lift Bag or a SMB, is not too complicated.. It's important to have 2, an orange one which will be deployed normaly for safety or deco-stops and a yellow which will deployed in emergency cases.
The important thing is to have the SMB with a high lift capacity, starting with a 55 lbs as minimum and it should be equiped with an overpressure relief valve... so this will make the perfect combination... otherwise it will the diver's choice that will determine what to carry?!

Ziad S. Samaha
Extended Range Diver
Assistant Instructor
Hi Divers,

I carry 2 smb at all time, 1 is in orange & 1 is in yellow ... orange is for normal ascent & yellow is distress .. I have slate on the yellow SMB.

Both are diverite with dump valve.

I use semi-closed circuit 60lb. lift bag, stowed in my pocket, as well as 6-foot long diver alert marker stowed in a storage pak attached to my backplate. Generally, I use the lift bag for underwater deployment and the alert marker for surface deployment, if needed. Both are red.

The semi-closed circuit lift bag has over-pressure valve and a baffled inflation chamber that prevents accidental dumping in rough conditions. I particularly like the semi-closed design since I don't have to detach the LP hose to fill it.

The dive alert marker has 52 lbs of lift with a closed-circuit (one-way valve) design. I also has a strip of Coast Guard approved SOLAS reflective tape across the top. Typically, I inflate it at the surface to attract attention in the event seas are high and I can't see the boat. At 6' in length and 8" in diameter, this piece of equipment will get you seen.

I have a closed circuit orange SMB for normal use, and keep a 65kg (about 150lb) liftbag on me as well (I know its a bit big but I won it at the dive shop christmas party). Both are clipped off to the rear d-ring on my crotch strap, just below the cylinders, a la 'DIR'.

I usually keep a spool attached to the liftbag all the time, and just attach a spool from my pocket to the smb. The reason I do this is if I need to use the liftbag, it means I have lost the SMB, therefore I have a problem, and may be starting to get stressed, so I do not want to be fumbling, in mid-water, with gloves on, trying to attach things. I just want to unfurl, inflate, and calm down.

As has been stated before, here in the UK, most deco is done on the drift, with the boat following. No my usual skipper is one of the best, and sometimes he has problems due to weather etc. with seeing liftbags. In fact, if it is really bad he has probs with SMB's (8ft waves a couple of weekends ago, just blew up while we were on the wreck - made the 6m stop a bit lively!!). In that situation, out comes the flag. It is lighter, longer than the SMB (6ft) and bigger (the material is 3ft by 2ft). Because it is lighter it can be waved about easier.

Just my way of doing things to suit my conditions and diving style

I usually carry two smb's, both attached to either the base of my rebreather or backplate on my twins attached by a couple of bungees, both have reels attached which are clipped off on nearby D rings, one on the right on on the left. I also carry a spare reel and a 50Kg lift bag in the event that everything goes horribly wrong.

You can also use a lift bag as a spare BC, if the need arises....
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