ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST SCUBA DIVING BCDSCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST SCUBA BCDS SCUBA BCDS REVIEWSZEAGLE EXPRESS TECH DELUXEZEAGLE RANGERHOLLIS HD200DIVE RITE NOMADCRESSI AQUARIDE BLUE PROCRESSI START PROMARES DRAGONCRESSI TRAVELIGHTZEAGLE STILETTOOCEANIC BIOLITEHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST SCUBA BCDTYPEFITWEIGHTLIFT CAPACITYSTRAPS AND POCKETSWEIGHT-INTEGRATED OR NOT Controlling buoyancy is one of the most important aspects of scuba diving. Your (buoyancy control device) BCD is the main piece of dive equipment that will keep you in control during your dive. That’s why it’s important to choose the best scuba BCD to suit our personal needs. Buoyancy control allows us to safely ascend and descend, as well as stay in a streamlined position during our dive, without crashing suddenly to the bottom. BCDs are quite an investment. They come in various shapes and sizes with many different features. How do you know which one is right for you? Here at The Adventure Junkies, we’ve done the hard work for you when it comes to deciding on what BCD fits you best. In this guide, we’ll show you what to look for as well as some of the best models of the year. For more of our top scuba gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: BCDs | Regulators | Gauges | Masks | Fins | Dry Snorkels Wetsuits | Boots | Gloves | Drysuits Travel Bags | SMBs | Knives | Lights | Compasses Rebreathers | DPVs | Tanks | Watches | Computers Cameras | Housings | Lenses | Strobes LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR AFELLOW DIVER?Check out our gift guide that includes 100 ideas to surprise your diving friends.From big ticket presents to stocking stuffers, there is something for everyone. VIEW NOW QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST SCUBA DIVING BCDS 1. ZEAGLE EXPRESS TECH DELUXE VIEW AT AMAZON 2. ZEAGLE RANGER VIEW AT AMAZON 3. HOLLIS HD 200 VIEW AT AMAZON 4. DIVE RITE NOMAD VIEW AT AMAZON 5. CRESSI AQUARIDE PRO VIEW AT AMAZON 6. CRESSI START PRO VIEW AT AMAZON 7. MARES DRAGON VIEW AT AMAZON 8. CRESSI TRAVELIGHT VIEW AT AMAZON 9. ZEAGLE STILETTO VIEW AT AMAZON 10. OCEANIC BIOLITE VIEW AT AMAZON COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST SCUBA BCDS PICTUREBCDBEST USETYPELIFT CAPACITY* PRICERATING PICTUREBCDBEST USETYPELIFT CAPACITY* PRICERATING Zeagle Express Tech DeluxeOverallBack Inflation24 Lbs - 10.8 Kg $$4.7 Zeagle RangerOverallBack Inflation30 Lbs - 13.6 Kg$$$4.8 Hollis HD 200OverallBack Inflation34 Lbs - 15.4 Kg$$4.9 Dive Rite NomadOverallBack Inflation/Harness35 Lbs - 15.8 Kg$$$4.5 Cressi Aquaride BudgetJacket29.2 Lbs - 13.3 Kg$$4.7 Cressi Start ProBudgetJacket 30 Lbs - 13.6 Kg $4.2 Mares DragonBudgetJacket38.2 Lbs - 17.4 Kg$4.3 Cressi Travelight TravelJacket20.2 Lbs - 9.2 Kg$4.8 Zeagle StilettoTravelBack Inflation35 Lbs - 15.8 Kg$$$5.0 Oceanic BioliteTravelBack Inflation32 Lbs - 14.5 Kg$$4.6 * Lift capacity listed is for the medium size BCD DIVE TRAVELPACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free dive gear packing list to prepare for your next adventure.Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time underwater!UNLOCK THIS LIST* You will get weekly emails with practical diving advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. 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SCUBA BCDS REVIEWS ZEAGLE EXPRESS TECH DELUXE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A BEST FOR: Overall TYPE: Back inflation WEIGHT: 6.75 lb (3kg) CAPACITY: 20 lbs (9 Kg) PROS: Allows twin cylinders, lightweight, comfortable CONS: You might want to buy more D-rings and pockets ZEAGLE RANGER Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro WOMEN’S VERSION: Zeagle Ranger Women’s BEST FOR: Cold water, technical diving, deep diving TYPE: Back inflation WEIGHT: 9.5lbs (4.3kg) CAPACITY: 30lbs (13.6kg) PROS: Can accommodate single or twin tanks, durable, plenty of attachment points CONS: Heavy, expensive, not ideal for recreational or beginner divers HOLLIS HD200 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A BEST FOR: Advanced divers TYPE: Back inflation WEIGHT: 9.4 lbs (4.3Kg) CAPACITY: Releasable: Two 10lb (4.5kg) pockets, two 5lb (2.27kg) Rear Non-Releasable Trim Pockets PROS: Heavy duty construction, back pad and lumber support, good sized pockets CONS: Heavy and bulky DIVE RITE NOMAD Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A BEST FOR: Side mount diving TYPE: Back/Harness WEIGHT: 8.8 lb-9.1 lb (4kg) CAPACITY: Not available PROS: Durable side mount diving BCD, twin cylinder CONS: Side mount only, extra straps required for back mount, heavy CRESSI AQUARIDE BLUE PRO Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A BEST FOR: New scuba divers, divers buying first BCD TYPE: Jacket WEIGHT: 7 lbs to 8.3 lbs (3.1kg – 3.7 kg) CAPACITY: Releasable: 20 lbs (9 kg), Non-Releasable Trim Pockets: 8 lbs (3.6 kg) PROS: Comfortable, large pockets and several D-rings, affordable CONS: Small mouthpiece on oral inflator CRESSI START PRO Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A BEST FOR: New divers, student divers TYPE: Jacket WEIGHT: 5.55 lb – 7.55 lb (2.5 – 3.4kg) CAPACITY: 20lbs (9Kg) Releasable PROS: Extremely affordable, simple design, lightweight CONS: A little bulky for travel, not suited to cold water diving MARES DRAGON Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro WOMEN’S VERSION: Mares Hybrid She Dives BEST FOR: Divers with lower back problems, comfort TYPE: Jacket WEIGHT: 8.4 lbs (2.8 Kg) CAPACITY: 26 lbs (12 kg) Mrs, 10 lbs (4.5 kg) Trim PROS: Comfortable design, affordable, women’s version helps take pressure off lower back CONS: Not as durable as more expensive BCDs CRESSI TRAVELIGHT Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro WOMEN’S VERSION: Cressi Travelight Women’s BEST FOR: Recreational, warm water diving TYPE: Jacket WEIGHT: 5 To 6.2 lbs (2.3 To 2.8 kg) CAPACITY: Releasable: 20 Lbs (9 kg), Non-Releasable: 10 Lbs (4.5 kg) PROS: Lightweight, packs down well for a jacket style BCD, plenty of D-rings, padded back CONS: Lightweight means it skimps a bit on durability and features ZEAGLE STILETTO Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A BEST FOR: Advanced divers TYPE: Back inflation WEIGHT: 7.4 lbs (3.36 kg) CAPACITY: Releasable Weight: 24 lbs (10.9 kg), Non-Releasable: 16 lbs (7.26 kg) PROS: Rugged design CONS: Could have more padding, inflation hose a bit short OCEANIC BIOLITE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | LeisurePro WOMEN’S VERSION: Oceanic Biolite Ladies BEST FOR: Recreational diving, female divers TYPE: Back inflation WEIGHT: 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg) CAPACITY: Releasable: 14 Lbs (6.4 kg), Trim Pockets: Dual 5 Lbs (2.3 kg) PROS: Lightweight, takes up little space so ideal for travel, minimalist design CONS: Not as stable, minimalist design PLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST LIVEABOARD TRIPPLAN & PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST LIVEABOARD TRIPEnter your name and email to get instant access to the Quick Starter Guide to Liveaboard Diving, which has been used by hundreds of people to plan and prepare for their diving adventures! Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your scuba safari!UNLOCK THIS GUIDE* You will get weekly emails with practical diving advice that complement the information contained in the guide. You can always opt out of these emails.LET US HELP YOUGET YOUR SCUBA FIXFor more email-based advice and inspiration, select additional areas of interest below. GET STARTED DIVINGLIVEABOARD DIVINGDIVE TRAVEL DEALSDIVE DESTINATIONSGEAR UP FOR SCUBA UPDATE PROFILE SKIP FOR NOW HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST SCUBA BCD TYPE Buoyancy control devices typically come in three different styles – jacket, back inflation or hybrid. The jacket style is the most common and widely recognized version of BCD. It inflates the entire BCD including the back, sides and front. The jacket BCDs are usually best for new divers as they are often easier to control at the surface and tend to help its users become more streamlined. Back inflation BCDs, which are more lightweight, only inflate the section on your back. This style is often more comfortable and helps divers move more freely. This is also more ideal for frequent dive travelers as they take up less space. A hybrid version combines the jacket and back inflation BCD styles. FIT Many BCDs come in both men’s and women’s versions. Women’s BCDs fit a little differently due to the positioning of the chest straps, the shape of the shoulder straps and the length of the back, taking into account the typical features of a woman’s body. For both men and women, BCDs should be snug when inflated and should not be too loose. A BCD which is too big will drag in the water and prevent you from gaining a streamlined position while underwater. Remember that you will need to be able to tighten and close straps and buckles when the BCD is fully inflated while at the surface, so make sure you have room to breathe. You can orally inflate your BCD to test the fit. WEIGHT If you are planning on doing a lot of dive travel, then the weight and size of your BCD will be important as you will want something more lightweight and compact. Back inflation BCDs take up less space in your luggage and are much lighter as they don’t have the extra straps and harness points of a jacket BCD. So, these advantages make them a good option for frequent travelers. LIFT CAPACITY Lift capacity is about how much the BCD will be able to hold when it is fully inflated at the surface. So, you should figure out how much lift capacity do you need. The answer depends on a few factors such as whether or not you are diving in cold water and will be wearing a thicker wetsuit. The thicker suit will add buoyancy, so you will need a higher lift capacity in your BCD. If you dive in tropical destinations, you won’t need as much lift capacity as you may only have a very thin wetsuit, if you are wearing one at all. STRAPS AND POCKETS Pockets, straps and other attachment points are important for storing your dive accessories. You should always have somewhere to attach your dive torch and dive knife as well as your whistles, lights or surface markers. Look for BCDs with several D-rings. Pockets can help you stay streamlined by tucking your dive accessories inside. This way, you won’t have to worry about anything dragging you underwater or dragging and potentially damaging precious marine life and structure. WEIGHT-INTEGRATED OR NOT Some BCDs are weight-integrated, which means you can put your dive weights into little pockets or compartments of your jacket or vest. This means you don’t have to wear a separate dive belt strapped around your waist. SCUBA DIVING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSSCUBA DIVINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BASICS 5. SCUBA EQUIPMENT 2. DIVING COURSES 6. UW PHOTOGRAPHY 3. SPECIALTY DIVING 7. LIVEABOARD DIVING 4. DIVE SAFETY 8. DIVING DESTINATIONS 1. BASICS 2. DIVING COURSES 3. SPECIALTY DIVING 4. DIVE SAFETY 5. SCUBA EQUIPMENT 6. UW PHOTOGRAPHY 7. LIVEABOARD DIVING 8. DIVING DESTINATIONS Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.