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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.

Cressi Start Pro Scuba BCD Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Cressi Start Pro Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

Cressi’s Start Pro is the upgrade on its Start BCD, and meant for the rental inventory of dive shops and liveaboard ships. Like most BCDs of this type, the Start Pro is a tough piece of gear, but unlike most BCDs meant for the rental gear market, it has many features more often found on higher-end BCDs.

The Start Pro has an integrated weight system which is cheap, easy to use and reliable. The system is based on vertical pockets, fastened by a buckle at the top. To dump the weights, a diver only needs to undo the buckle. Gravity and a little wiggling or shaking will do the rest. For cargo-carrying, the BCD has two huge pockets and four D-rings on the waist, as well as the usual D-rings at the end of most straps. The buoyancy system has up to 45 lbs (20.5 kg) of lift, and comes with three exhaust vents in addition to the inflator. Finally, the back is comfy and thickly padded, and comes with a built-in carrying handle. The tank strap and tank-positioning strap both follow traditional models.

It is easy to see dive students choosing Cressi’s Start Pro as their first BCD, based on their familiarity with it. In the opinion of Dive Gear Reviews, choosing this BCD is a pretty good move, as the Start Pro combines toughness, simplicity, functionality and real value. Scuba Diving named it a Best Buy for 2011.

Average Price: $330