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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 Air Travel Scuba BCD Review

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

Updated July 8, 2013

Cressi’s Air Travel BCD is a true piece of travel-friendly dive gear, so compact and light that it could fit into a carry-on bag or accompany a backpacking, traveling divemaster. The medium version weighs 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg), and with little fuss the BCD can be folded up and tucked away. This compactness does not come at the expense of comfort or security. The Air Travel is a back-inflator with good backplate padding, and has a reliable integrated weight system that can carry up to 20 lbs (9 kg) of weights. The tank is secured by a pair of adjustable straps. The unit has 20 lbs (9 kg) of lift capacity and retains three dump valves. In a nice touch the pull cord for the dump valve on the right shoulder is threaded down along the shoulder strap, making it at least as easy to find as the inflator. Speaking of the inflator, it is Cressi’s new and improved Commando design.

However, the Cressi Air Travel needs to sacrifice a few things to be so travel-friendly. Cargo carrying is limited on the Air Travel, with only one storage pocket and four small plastic D-rings. Also, the Cressi Air Travel is made from 420 Denier nylon, so despite what Diver Wire said, it is not made with durability in mind. Use of a lightweight nylon was necessary to get the overall weight down, of course, but some travel-rated BCDs use moderately heavier nylon and therefore score higher for toughness. The BCD also doesn’t have trim weight pockets, so to achieve balanced weight distribution a diver must either wear a belt or use tank strap weight pouches.

Those are all minor drawbacks, however. The Cressi Air Travel is meant first and foremost to be a BCD that is almost effortless to travel with, and it is impossible to be that compact without some sacrifices. Scuba Diving gave the BCD it’s Tester’s Choice Award for 2013.

Average Price: $400