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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

Oceanic Islander 2 Scuba BCD Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Oceanic Islander 2 Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

Oceanic Islander 2 is a travel BCD that comes with many of the features found on larger, heavier and bulkier BCDs. Although sources differ about how much the Islander weighs (Oceanic says six lbs, while some reviewers say the BCD has a dry weight of 7 lbs), the BCD is clearly a lightweight piece of dive gear and well-suited to the needs of a traveling diver. All you need to do is unbuckle the shoulders, put the BCD in the bottom of the bag and lay the rest of your dive gear on top of it.

The Islander 2 is a back-inflater, and depending on the size it has either 26 or 30 lbs of lift. Inherent buoyancy is a mere half-lb, and the BCD has an integrated weight system. Weight pockets in the front can hold up to 14 lbs (6 kg), while pockets in the tanks strap can store a further 10 lbs (4 kg). Those rear pockets, however, cannot be dumped in an emergency. Unlike most travel BCDs, the Islander 2 has a carrying handle and a tank strap. In most travel BCDs, these two functions are performed by the same strap, so the handle is of little or no use once a diver’s kit is assembled. This is precisely the time when a solid handle is most useful, making the Islander 2 a cut above most travel BCDs in terms of handiness. Attachment points consist of two carabiners, one at chest level and one at waist level, mounted on the left-hand side.  The front pockets are big and roomy, and set in front of the ditchable integrated weight pockets.

Overall, this BCD isn’t suitable for cold water use, but no travel BCD is. Instead, the Islander 2 offers a number of features that many travel BCDs are lacking, and all of it without a hefty increase in weight. LeisurePro users loved it, and gave the Oceanic Islander 2 a solid 5-Flag rating.

Average Price: $500