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Reviewed by our Scuba Instructors:

The 15 Best Scuba Diving BCDs in 2022


Our divers at work

We gave our two scuba diving BCD geeks one job:
Test 21 different Scuba Diving BCDs and write reviews of the best.

The result is 14 of the best Scuba Diving BCDs on the market today.


Summer Worsley

PADI Instructor & Writer
Summer has been teaching scuba for the last 10 years.

Torben Lonne

Scuba diving BCDs geek and editor Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for dive gear and especially Scuba diving BCDs.


BCD stands for buoyancy compensation device. These handy and essential bits of equipment allow a diver to offset their negative buoyancy by adding air from the tank to the BCD while underwater. They’re also essential on the surface for maintaining positive buoyancy.

BCDs have come a long way since the old-school Fenzy collars which featured only an oral inflate function and a single air bladder which was worn around the neck. Today’s models are incredibly comfortable, user-friendly, and come in a variety of styles.

Here, we’re going to go over some of the best BCDs. But first, let’s cover what you should look for when making a new BCD purchase.


We have a huge guide on What to Look for When Buying a New BCD and below you’ll see a guide of best BCD’s.


Top 10 Best Scuba Diving BCDs of 2022

  1. Oceanic OceanPro (M / Unisex) – One of the best BCDs
  2. Zeagle Ranger (M / Unisex) – One of the best BCDs
  3. Tusa Tina (W) – Great budget BCD
  4. Cressi Start (M / Unisex) – Great budget BCD
  5. Sherwood Silhouette (M / Unisex) – Fine budget BCD
  6. Zeagle Scout (M / Unisex) – Good mix on price and quality
  7. Cressi Aquapro (M / Unisex) – Good mix on price and quality
  8. Seac Sherpa (M / Unisex) – Good mix on price and quality
  9. Sherwood Luna (W) – Good mix on price and quality
  10. Cressi Ultralight (W) – Good mix on price and quality
  11. Oceanic Hera (W) – One of the best BCDs


If you have questions about what is the best BCD – then jump to our comment section below and ask our experts.


Best beginner BCDs

Best Budget Scuba Diving BCDs

We’ve gathered a selection of the best budget Scuba diving BCDs. All stable a reliable, but at a low cost.

Best Advanced BCDs

Best Mid-Range Scuba Diving BCDs

You’re diving alot and you want a diving BCD that meets your needs. Here’s the best mid-range scuba diving BCDs.

Best technical BCDs

Best High-End Scuba Diving BCDs

Best high-end scuba diving BCDs needs to be durable, realiable and easy to read. Here’s the best choices in the tech scuba diving BCD selections:

Best Budget BCD

For recreational and beginner divers, budget BCDs are just the ticket. There’s really no need to spend huge amounts of money for features that you will never use and budget doesn’t necessarily mean poor quality. All the options listed here are from trusted, top name brands in the industry.

The Cressi Start was initially intended to be used by dive schools and resorts. It has a basic design but is highly functional making it ideal for beginner divers too.

One nice feature is that the waist strap is independent of the air bladder, so if you tighten it while the jacket is deflated, it’s not going to squeeze your stomach too much when you inflate.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Jacket
  • Capacity: 29.2 lbf / 13.25 kgf (XS) to 45 lbf / 20.4 kgf (XL)
  • Integrated Weights? No
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of dump valves: Three
  • Number of D-rings: Two plastic
  • Designed for: Unisex
What we like:
  • The waist strap is separate from the air bladder.
  • Inflator hose is easily disassembled for cleaning.
  • From a dive center perspective, the size is clearly displayed on the shoulder pad.
  • Great value for money.
What we don’t like:
  • No metal D-rings.
  • Edges of the shoulder straps are a little rough and can chafe against the neck.
  • The chest strap is quite high.

If you are looking for a BCD that is reliable and almost bullet-proof, the Cressi Start is a great entry-level option.

Another dive school and rental shop favorite because of its rugged and adaptable design. The waist strap comes with a cummerbund for extra comfort. Both these and the shoulder strap are simple to adjust for a good fit. Sturdy and reliable, the Sherwood Silhouette BCD should provide years of dependable service.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Jacket
  • Capacity: 17 lbf / 7.7 kgf (2XS) to 40 lbf / 18 kgf (XL)
  • Integrated Weights? No
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of dump valves: Two
  • Number of D-rings: Two plastic
  • Designed for: Unisex
What we like:
  • Simple to use.
  • 3D designed air bladder.
  • Built-in carry handle.
What we don’t like:
  • Only two dump valves.
  • Although large, there is only one pocket.

Sturdy and reliable, the Sherwood Silhouette BCD should provide years of dependable service.

The Oceanic OceanPro BCD is the kind of work-a-day jacket unit both dive centers and divers love. It’s easy to use, hardy and performs well underwater. Two large velcro-closure pockets allow plenty of space for spares and slates. Divers can choose to purchase the additional integrated-weight system. If they don’t, the OceanPro has four pockets.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Jacket
  • Capacity: 18 lbf (XS) to 38 lbf (XL)
  • Integrated weights? Yes, 10lbs/4.5kg QLR pockets / 20lbs/9kg total dumpable weight
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of dump valves: Three
  • Number of D-rings: Eight plastic
  • Designed for: Unisex
What we like:
  • The option to have integrated weights if preferred
  • Good lift capacity across a range of sizes works for all divers
  • Plenty of D-rings (eight)
  • The padding is comfortable and located in the right places
  • Plenty of pocket space
What we don’t like:
  • The Air XS 2 Alternate Inflator option. BUT, we accept some divers like these. For the rest of us, this is an optional add on and is easily avoided.
  • The D-rings would be better if made of metal

And hats off to Oceanic for including trim weight pockets on an entry-level BCD. Always a useful addition.

This stylish BCD is tailored for women. With its wrap-around style, there is additional padding in the shoulder straps and at the back to provide extra comfort and support.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Jacket
  • Capacity: 18 lbf / 8.2 kgf (XS) to 38.2 lbf / 17.3 kgf (L)
  • Integrated Weights? Yes
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of dump valves: Two
  • Number of D-rings: 4 stainless steel
  • Designed for: Women
What we like:
  • Low-profile, wrap-around bladder.
  • Lightweight.
  • Not an overtly feminine design.
  • As the Tina is designed for females, the smaller sizes are ideal for teenagers as well
What we don’t like:
  • A bit long inflator hose

TUSA’s Ultimate Stabilizing Harness (U.S.H.) holds the cylinder snug against the body and helps prevent tank roll. Made from heavy-duty Cordura Nylon, the tina BCD is made to last.

Best Mid-Range BCD

This is where we start getting into BCDs with some additional features like integrated weight systems and rear inflation. If you are happy to spend that little bit extra but are not quite ready to splash the big cash, these mid-range options could be for you.

The Zeagle Scout is compact and weighs in at 3 kg / 6.6 lbs, making it an ideal lightweight choice for travelers. The rear-mounted weight system consists of two pockets which hold a maximum of 16 lbs (7.26 kg).

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Back-inflate
  • Capacity: 24 lbf / 10.9 kgf (S to XL)
  • Integrated Weights? Yes
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of D-rings: Four stainless steel
  • Designed for: Unisex
What we like:
  • Being able to properly wash out the bladder using a hose.
  • Rear weight system.
What we don’t like:
  • All sizes have the same lift capacity because of the lightweight, travel-ready design.
  • Weight pockets are hard to reach.

Zeagle’s power inflator system can be hooked up to a standard garden hose making it super easy to wash out the interior of the air bladder. If you have never dived with a back-inflate BCD or a wing before, the Zeagle Scout is a good way to get started.

The Cressi Aquapro is a popular choice, suitable for the majority of recreational divers. A rigid but fully padded back support provides stability for the cylinder and prevents it from moving around. Gravity-release weight pockets are located on either side of the jacket. Give the securing buckle a squeeze, the pocket drops down, and the weights fall straight out.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Jacket
  • Capacity: 13 lbf / 6.1 kgf (XXS) to 36 lbf / 16.3 kgf (XL)
  • Integrated Weights? Yes
  • Number of air bladders/cells:
  • Number of dump valves: Three
  • Number of D-rings: Four stainless steel and two plastic
  • Designed for: Unisex
What we like:
  • Location of weight pockets.
  • A good number of D-rings.
  • Sits high on the waist giving the option of wearing a weight belt.
What we don’t like:
  • Pockets are high so difficult to access the zipper to open them.
  • A second tank band would be helpful.

The Cressi Aquapro is a simple design but has loads of great features.

Definitely, a BCD designed with women divers in mind. It features thick padding on the inside with a plush nylon finish. The jacket and air bladder are specially cut for a snug fit to female curves.

Sherwood uses a unique Halfpac backplate which offers the versatility of soft backplate with the stability of a hard backplate. This means it’s extra comfortable but will also hold your cylinder firmly in place.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Jacket
  • Capacity: 18 lbf / 8.16 kgf (XS) to 25 lbf / 11.34 kgf (L)
  • Integrated Weights? Yes
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of dump valves: Two
  • Number of D-rings: Three stainless steel
  • Designed for: Women
What we like:
  • Slimmer cut for women.
  • Extra padding at the back of the neck.
  • Stylish design.
What we don’t like:
  • If diving in cold water, there may not be enough releasable weight (16 lb / 7.25 kg).
  • No right shoulder exhaust valve.
  • Zippered weight pockets.

One great feature of the Sherwood Luna is the padded neoprene neck. A small hint of color adds a nice feminine touch.

The Cressi Lightwing has to be one of the lightest BCD’s on the market at just 4.6 lb / 2 kg (M). It features a fast folding system for quick, easy, and compact storage. This does mean that there are not as many fancy features—it has all the essentials and does the job well.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Wing
  • Capacity: 20.2 lbf / 9.2 kgf (XS to M)
  • Integrated Weights? Yes
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of dump valves: One
  • Number of D-rings: Four lightweight plastic
  • Designed for: Travel
What we like:
  • It really is ultralight!
  • Easy to pack away with the fast folding system.
  • Soft backplate.
What we don’t like:
  • Being so lightweight, there are no metal D-rings.
  • No cummerbund. Need to make sure the straps tighten up enough to fit around the waist.
  • Best for Travel diving

Rear inflation means this BCD will not obstruct your movement when in the water. For any male or female diver who likes to travel, the Cressi Lightwing is a great choice.

For those looking for a BCD which offers more advanced features, the Seac Sherpa is a great option. The padded backplate has extended lumbar support. This allows you to transfer the cylinder weight from the shoulders to the hips.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Capacity: 37 lbf / 16.7 kgf (S) to 52.9 lbf / 24 kgf (XXL)
  • Integrated Weights? Yes
  • Number of dump valves: Three
  • Number of D-rings: Six stainless steel
  • Designed for: Unisex
What we like:
  • Wing design gives better weight distribution.
  • The simplistic design is clutter free.
  • Six D-rings.
  • Easy to locate dump valves.
  • Extended lumbar support. Takes all the stress off the shoulders.
What we don’t like:
  • The dry weight of the BCD is heavy. Size L is 9.25 lb / 4.2kg.
  • Sizes are on the large size and are more appropriate for men. Even an S will be unsuitable for the majority of women.

One of the stand-out features is the 3D air cell which has wings that wrap around the air cylinder. Weight distribution is improved and the tank is held securely in place. The Seac Sherpa provides a comfortable experience both on the surface and below it.

Best High-End BCD

When your budget can stretch that little bit further, you might want to enter the world of gadgets and flash accessories that will make you the envy on the dive boat. If you want all the bells and whistles that a BCD has to offer, look no further than at some of our high-end suggestions.

Another BCD designed specifically for women divers. The custom fit harness has a multi-position cummerbund and shoulder straps which adjust easily for ladies of all shapes and sizes.

The Oceanic Hera brings together the benefits of a jacket and rear inflation styles making it easy to use whatever position you dive in. The patented and adjustable depth-compensating cummerbund ensures you are comfortable and snug however deep you are.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Capacity: 20.46 lbf / 9.3 kgf (XS) to 40.7 lbf / 18.5 kgf (L)
  • Integrated Weights? Yes
  • Number of dump valves: Two
  • Number of D-rings: Two pre-bent welded and four standard stainless steel
  • Designed for: Women
What we like:
  • Lots of places to place and hang accessories.
  • Front placement of weight pockets.
  • Ergonomically designed.
  • Adjusts to fit women of all shapes and sizes.
What we don’t like:
  • Clips holding the weight pockets are stiff when first using the BCD.
  • Pockets can be hard to access when at depth.

There are two generously sized utility pockets as well as numerous D-rings and mounting grommets for all of your accessories. And being made from Cordura nylon, the Oceanic Hera is exceptionally durable.

The Aqua Lung Dimension has been around for a while but is it still a leading BCD on the market. There is a patented Wrapture harness system that attaches to swivel buckles at the shoulder and includes lumbar support. An adjustable strap across the chest can be moved up or down. This is a great idea when diving in a dry suit. The strap is prevented from sitting across the valve.

When out of the water, the Wrapture allows you to stand straight and the cylinder will sit perfectly vertical.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Wing
  • Capacity: 35 lbf / 15.88 kgf (S) to 50 lbf / 22.68 kgf (XL)
  • Integrated Weights? Yes
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of dump valves: Three
  • Number of D-rings: Four stainless steel and one plastic
  • Designed for: Unisex
What we like:
  • i3 control system.
  • Octopus holder for tidy storage.
  • Console sleeve.
  • Streamlined appearance.
  • High lift capacity.
What we don’t like:
  • Because the i3 control system takes up one side of the BCD, pocket storage is limited.
  • Tank strap is a little low.
  • No carry handle.

The most impressive feature of the Aqua Lung Dimension i3 has to be the inflation/deflation system. Instead of providing the dangling LPI hose, the patented i3 control system uses a simple lever on the side of the BCD. Lift the lever up to inflate and push down to deflate. Pushing down also opens all the dump valves at once so whatever position you are in, air will be dumped. It can take a bit of getting used to, but once you have, you will see how convenient and easy it is to control your buoyancy.

The ScubaPro Ladyhawk is designed to give women a sense of freedom in the water. A narrowed neck yoke, rotating shoulder buckles, swivel clips on the chest strap, and rear inflation give you a well-fitting BCD. This allows for plenty of movement around the chest and shoulder areas.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Wing
  • Capacity: 33.7 lbf / 15.4 kgf (XS to L)
  • Integrated Weights? Yes
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of dump valves: Three
  • Number of D-rings: Four stainless steel
  • Designed for: Women
What we like:
  • Depth-compensating cummerbund.
  • Rear inflation.
  • Decent amount of storage.
  • Narrow neck yoke for small shouldered ladies.
  • Swivel clips on the chest strap.
What we don’t like:
  • Limited on number and size of pockets for storage.
  • Quite heavy for traveling.

A flexible cummerbund compensates for changes at various depths to keep a good fit. The hard backplate is contoured for extra comfort. There are two rear trim pouches for additional weights to help with achieving the perfect, well-balanced position in the water.

Probably the most advanced BCD we are featuring. ScubaPro has developed the first 3D injection, molded gel harness. What that means is that this BCD has loads of features to improve comfort, movement, stability and buoyancy control.

The gel conforms to your body giving you an ergonomic fit, adjusting to your torso length and shoulders. Less lead is needed as the ScubaPro Hydros has near-zero inherent buoyancy. This gives better buoyancy control which leads to a more enjoyable diving experience.

Because of the lack of fabric, the harness retains no water so it’s quick drying and will weigh less after your dive. The waist and shoulder straps pack into the wing making a compact package which is great for both traveling and storage.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Wing
  • Capacity: 35 lbf / 15.9 kgf (XS) to 40 lbf / 18.1 kgf (XL)
  • Integrated Weights? Yes
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of dump valves: Two
  • Number of D-rings: Numerous plastic + 4 metal D-rings
  • Designed for: Unisex
What we like:
  • Ergonomic design. Has a harness that molds to your body for ultimate comfort.
  • Stylish and streamlined.
  • Quick drying.
  • Easy to pack away and compact.
  • Near-zero inherent buoyancy.
What we don’t like:
  • Although the lift capacity is good, there is little difference between the sizes.

Practically every component can be replaced without the need for stitching so is easy to repair. It may be an expensive purchase, but the ScubaPro Hydros Pro is definitely the future of BCDs.

The Ranger is a scuba classic and has been going strong (with minor tweaks over the years) since 1994. Renowned for its heavy-duty build quality, this BCD will be with you for years to come. We admire the Ranger for its flexibility — it can be used for both technical and recreational diving.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Capacity: 44 lb lift standard with other capacities available upon request
  • Integrated Weights: Yes
  • Number of air bladders/cells: One
  • Number of dump valves: Three
  • Number of D-rings: Eight steel
  • Designed for: Unisex
What we like:
  • Flexible wing-style BCD that can take a recreational diver to technical diving
  • Super hard-wearing nylon and quality stitching
  • Steel D-rings in clever places
  • The bladder is well-positioned and aids good trim
  • One of the most comfortable BCDs we’ve ever tried
What we don’t like:
  • Pockets are on the smaller side but this is a minor point and there are plenty of D-rings to clip accessories to

Techies might not love some elements, such as the quick-release system, but must admit it’s not a bad wing and handles twins no issue.

What to Look for When Buying a New BCD:

Whether you’re making your very first BCD purchase or upgrading to a newer model, the following considerations should be kept in mind.

Capacity / Lifting Capability

Each BCD has a certain amount of lift which is directly related to the size and volume capacity of the air bladders. The amount of lift capability you’ll need depends on a number of factors including your own body weight, the amount of weight you need to dive with, the number of tanks you carry, and the type of exposure suit you wear.

If a diver wears a neoprene drysuit and goes diving in a very salty sea or ocean (such as the Red Sea) that diver will need significantly more weight than the same diver wearing a skin suit and diving in a freshwater lake. More weight equals a greater lift requirement.

Because of the above variables, there is no set rule concerning the amount of lift a BCD should have.

As a general rule, sized BCDs offer the right amount of lift for all recreational diving. So even if you’re a larger individual who needs a lot of weights, an XL or 2XL BCD will have big enough bladders to give you all the lift you require.

The only time an inappropriate amount of lift would be an issue is if a diver who uses a lot of weights, and wears no exposure suit, manages to squeeze themselves into a BCD many times too small and cannot maintain positive buoyancy on the surface. Or that same diver loads themselves up with steel twins and deco tanks and hits the depths.

We could come up with a few more situations like the above, but as you can tell, these are very unlikely scenarios so rest assured that for recreational diving purposes, a properly sized BCD will offer you the lift you need.

Types of BCD

There are three main types of BCD; jacket or vest, back-inflate, and wing. Let’s have a look at each type now.

Jacket BCDs

Jacket BCDs, also called vests, are the most common type in recreational diving. They’re kind of like an inflatable waistcoat. The air bladders sit behind and on the sides of the diver. For entry-level divers, a jacket BCD is a great option.

Back-Inflate BCDs

As the name suggests, back-inflate BCDs have the bladders solely at the back of the diver, where they sit on either side of the tank. This style is relatively new but proponents champion the streamlined style and the fact that there is less drag than with a traditional jacket BCD.

One drawback to back-inflate BCDs is that new divers may struggle with them on the surface as all the buoyancy is at the rear, this effectively pushes a diver forward.

Wing and Backplate

As the name suggests, this type of buoyancy device involves a solid metal backplate that is mounted with a wing bladder. Tech divers and cave divers prefer this set-up because it is customizable—different wings can be used with different backplates.

What Is a Hybrid BCD?

You may have heard the term ‘hybrid BCD’. A hybrid aims to combine the best elements of wing systems and jacket-style BCDs. The distribution and shape of the bladders mean that maintaining a trim position while diving and being comfortable on the surface are both easily attained. This style of BCD is growing in popularity.

Older hybrid models offered a lot of lift by combining a partial wing at the back with the jacket bladders at the front. These have largely fallen from favor because of their bulkiness and the, often unnecessary, amount of buoyancy they provide.

Weight System

Many BCDs offer integrated weight pockets, others have no weight integration system. Very basic, entry-level BCDs are usually of the latter variety. There’s nothing wrong with that and a lot of divers actually prefer to use a weight belt.

Some BCDs offer trim weight pockets at the rear. These are usually small, situated near the tanks, and hold about a kilogram / 2.2 lbs of lead each.

What about the BCD Pockets

Everyone loves pockets, right? Well, when it comes to BCDs that’s not strictly true. Many divers prefer to keep the front of their BCD clear and don’t want big pockets.

Other divers prefer large pockets where they can stash a spare scuba mask, their SMB, a torch, and all those other essentials.

This one is really up to personal preference but keep in mind that without pockets you may have to clip all of your extras onto your BCD. Some people don’t like having too many bits and pieces hanging off them, for others, it’s no issue at all.

Find a BCD that fits you

Getting the right BCD fit, even when you’re buying online, isn’t hard so long as you take the time to measure yourself properly. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines on their website before making a purpose. For the most part, BCD sizing is down to height and weight.

A good rule of thumb is that your tee-shirt size is approximately the right size BCD you need.

Many divers make the mistake of buying a BCD that is too large. Try to avoid this as an oversized device will make it harder to stay streamlined while diving and will contribute to tank roll, even when it’s fully tightened.

Buying a BCD for Small Children?

If you’re buying for a child, look for a simple, jacket style BCD without unnecessary straps, buckles, and pockets. Basically, you’re looking to avoid the potential hazard of hoses and straps getting tangled up.

Because children do not need a lot of weight to dive, a BCD with weight pockets is a good idea and saves them the hassle of a weight belt.

You don’t need to buy a purpose-made BCD, a good option is the basic, but hardwearing and reliable, Aqua Lung Wave. It comes in multiple sizes including XS, 2XS, and 3XS. Unfortunately, the new model 2XS and 3XS Wave BCDs don’t feature a gravity-release, weight-pocket system. For this reason, these BCDs are better suited to older kids.

Overall, our top recommendation for a young diver’s BCD is the Zeagle Ranger Jr . It has the same weight release as the adult bcd, and an overall great trim that will fit even the smallest bubble makers.

Number of D-rings

D-rings are in-built rings that a diver can use to attach additional gear to his or her BCD. Metal is the preferred material but plastic or resin D-rings are more than solid enough to attach a whistle, an SMB, or a slate.

If you intend to carry stage tanks or would like your BCD to do double duty as a sidemount device, look for a BCD with enough metal D-rings placed accordingly.

Do you have a favorite BCD?

What do you love about it?

Let us know in the comments below what you think makes for the perfect BCD.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Scuba BCD’s

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What is the best scuba BCD?

    The best scuba BCD is the one that fits your needs best. There are a few that we highly recommend though, check out these BCDs:

    To read our full reviews of each BCD and find out why we like them, just follow the links above.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    How much is a BCD?

    BCD prices vary depending on how many features the unit has. Base model, or entry-level, BCDs are cheaper than top of the range models. You can expect to spend anywhere between US$400 to $1000 or even more.

    To learn more about the BCDs available in different price categories, check out our in-depth round-up here.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What does BCD mean in scuba diving?

    A BCD is a wearable unit that can be inflated and deflated by a diver.

    BCD stands for Buoyancy Compensation Device.

    That’s because a BCD allows you to offset your negative buoyancy underwater by adding air to the unit. And on the surface, the BCD keeps you positively buoyant so you can float.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    How do I choose a BCD?

    First up, you need to decide if you want a jacket style, hybrid, or a back-inflate unit. Not sure yet? Check out the differences here.

    Once you’ve decided, start narrowing your search based on your budget, and the features you need. For example, do you want to use a weight belt or would you like integrated weights? For more BCD info, take a look at our in-depth BCD buyers guide.


  1. Lenore Grunsell

    I need to find a BCD with its own integrated emergency inflation system. I have experienced running out of air, and found that when I reached the surface, I was exhausted and could not inflate my BCD manually. Luckily I had something nearby to cling to, otherwise I might have drowned. I note that yachtsmen’s floatation vests have integrated inflation, and I am seeking a BCD with its own separate air canister.

    This would also be very helpful when helping a buddy who has run out of air i.e. instead of trying to inflate his vest manually, one could initiate the built-in inflation and his flotation would quickly be restored. Do you know of any such vest?

  2. Torben Lonne

    Hi Lenore,

    When I started out diving, we use to have a small tank attached to the back of the BCD that could be used to inflate in case of an emergency. I haven’t seen BCD with the attachment valve on BCD’s for many years, so I’m quite sure it’s not made anymore.

    My best advice to you would be to monitor your air better instead of looking for solutions once you’re this close to an emergency.

  3. Kevin Whiting

    I believe “AP Diving” still offers a pocket on the back of their “Commando” BCD for an emergency bottle that actually connects to the lower right purge valve thereby sending air into the bladder for both buoyancy and breathing through the inflation hose.
    Hope this helps.

  4. Jason New

    I started with a ScubaPro Night Hawk rig. I love the design and features. It comes with ScubaPro’s Air2 inflator and secondary breathing regulator. It also has two pockets as well as removable weight pockets. 4 metal D rings and two trim weight pockets also help round this unit out. Mine has 10 hard years on it and is ready to retire, but ill be looking to get another one.

  5. Ahmed Shdid

    hi , what do you think of seac sub smart BCD !?
    My usage is average not that big much .

  6. kevin

    is there a list of bcds with two tank straps?

  7. Torben Lonne

    We didn’t include this in the guide. You might be able to find it elsewhere.

  8. steven sheldon

    Get a pony bottle. Plenty of spare air to get toy you to the surface. There are several different size bottle to choose from. Steve S

  9. Bill Weast

    Learn the rule of thirds.


    My wife and I have had Cressi Travel lite BCD’s … did about 60 dives with them in 4 years. The inside bladder on both (we always rinsed the BCD’s after every dive) have ben disintegrating. A local dive shop said that this has been seen with the travel BCD’s, apparently due to the folding and packing of then when traveling. We like the travel lite options for the obvious travel benefits, but we’re hesitant to buy another due to this concern. Have you sen or heard of this? Are there any you would recommend? Thanks.

  11. Sergio

    In my opinion, Scubapro BCDs a re the most versatile in the market, good air capacity, multi tank position, and super comfortable.

  12. Laurie

    What is the best BCD designed for women

  13. Richard smith

    You shouldn’t be diving unless you can control your your air properly! If it’s an emergency, you should be able to use a buddy’s air, and if you are competent at diving on your own, bring a pony – but if you said you have ran out of air during a dive and are concerned about this being a regular occurrence I’d suggest not diving on your own!

  14. Nigel

    Which integrates BCD and Wing has the best lift

  15. Torben Lonne

    This is often part of the technical specifications, but it’s not something we tested specifically when going through the BCD’s. How come you’re looking for extra lift? All the BCD’s in the guide will be more than capable of carrying a diver that fits the sizes of the BCD. If you’re looking for more lift, I’d recommend you look at a lift bag.

  16. Irene

    I am looking at Cressi ultralight. Is there any difference between men and lady?

  17. Torben Lonne

    Hi Irene,

    It’s a great choice. No, not in terms of features, the only difference is the size and color.

  18. don

    Should my BCD deflator valve release all air in the BCD? I purchased a new one as nd zm having troble decending. I float a long time on top with a small air releasing . It takes for ever to decend.

  19. Torben Lonne

    Hi Don,

    Yes, you should be able to deflate it completely, and it shouldn’t take that long.

    How long does it take to delate on the surface?

    Do you have a dump vale on the shoulder or bottom-back? If so, try using that, if it’s faster you might have a block in the inflator hose.

  20. Torben Lonne

    Hi Elliot,

    This should not happen on a travel BCD. I’d recommend you to get a hold of Cressi, and hear what they have to say and if it’s an issue they now.

    If you’re looking for new options. I’d recommend the Zeagle Scout.

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