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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.

Zeagle Zeus Scuba BCD Review

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Zeagle Zeus Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Over $500

The Zeagle Zeus is a travel BCD featuring some very innovative ideas, but as sometimes happens, those innovations turned off some consumers in the diving community. The key innovation (and the root of the complaints) is the BCD’s replacement of a cummerbund or belt with a zippered pad. This pad covers most of the abdomen, has greater surface area than any cummerbund, and thus offers more grip and a snug, super-comfortable fit. However, some divers complained that setting all of the pad’s straps was a complicated process, and others said that the zipper on their Zeus was not as easy to use as advertised.  Complaints about this waist-zipper pad were far from universal, but certainly not confined to a disgruntled fringe group either. The waist pad has a quick release system similar to that used in most BCD shoulder straps, which multiplies the number of waist buckles to undo in an emergency from one to at least two (freeing one side of the waist) and perhaps all four. At the end of the day, the waist pad of the Zeagle Zeus is one of those features that some divers hated, some loved, and some didn’t even notice.

One of the features the Zeus dropped to keep its weight down were storage pockets, but it makes up for it with 8 D-rings, not counting the rings on the ends of the adjustment straps! With so many rings, pockets (and anything else) can be attached at will. Those zippered things that look like pockets in the picture are actually the ditchable weight pockets, using Zeagle’s Zip Touch weight system and carrying up to 20 lbs (9 kg). The ditch handles of this system are within reach, but the zipper pockets for the weights are not. All versions of the Zeus have 24 lbs (10.8 kg) of lift, and the BCD has a dry weight of only 6 lbs.

The design of the Zeus makes it a very compact and light BCD, perfect for travel. Making the most of all those D-rings increases the bulk and weight of your travel package, of course, but in that respect the Zeus is modular and divers can add or subtract accessories on the basis of need and travel baggage capacity. Stripped down to the bare minimum, a diver could even leave the weight pockets at home if necessary, just to get that extra bit of volume out of the bag, and rent a weight belt instead.

Dive Gear Reviews believes the Zeus is one of those ideas that is so outside the box that conservative divers (and a lot of divers are conservative about their pastime) just don’t get it, and just maybe it is so outside the box that it doesn’t quite work the way it was intended. Scuba Diving named it a Tester’s Choice in 2009, it’s flexible and functional, and well-suited to travel. However, it is very expensive, and given the vehement feelings of some divers about the Zeagle Zeus, you should try it on and see for yourself before buying one.

Average Price: $515