Log in

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.

Best BCDs

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Best BCDs Posted in: BCDs, Dive Gear Tips, Scuba Product Guides
Aqualung Axiom i3 BCD

The Axiom i3, the best sport BCD around.

Updated September 16, 2013

The BCD sits in the same stratum as a regulator, in that its usually expensive and one of the two items a diver must have as part of their kit if they want to get away rentals.

Today, BCDs come in many shapes and sizes, and in the last couple of years serious innovations have taken place in terms of inflation control technology. To pick out the best BCD from all that diversity, a diver needs to consider their priorities at least as much as their budget.

– To see all our BCD reviews, click here –

Top 5 BCDs

1. Aqua Lung Axiom I3: * Hands down, the most exciting thing to happen to BCDs in the last couple of years has been Aqua Lung’s introduction of its i3 inflator technology, banishing the sometimes-awkward corrugated hose to the past, and the top of Aqua Lung’s i3 line is the Axiom. The bottom line on this BCD is that it has so many features that it would be a high-end winner even without the i3 tech. Throw that in, and you’ve got the best recreational BCD around.

2. Cressi Travelight: * Although it is a travel BCD, it is better to look at the Cressi Travelight as a jack of all trades. It’s comfy, light enough to put in checked baggage with little worry, and unlike most travel BCDs, it has integrated weights. The Travelight isn’t the toughest BCD around, or the lightest, and the lift capacity is merely average. However, being a jack of all trades necessarily means not excelling at anything. Still, it’s do-anything capability made the Travelight a favorite with field-reviewers, and you’ll be hard pressed to find something as all-around flexible as this.

3. Sherwood AxisThe Sherwood Axis is billed as a BCD light enough for travel, but with the lift for cold water use, and it lives up to that billing. The wedge-shaped air cell is streamlined while packing plenty of lift, and the BCD has all the expected frills of a modern, general-purpose BCD: integrated weights, comfy padding, lots of cargo-carrying rings and pockets. While not as light or as compact as a true travel BCD, it’s not exactly a bulky item either. You might not be able to fit it into a carry-on, but you could easily squirrel it away into an ordinary check-on bag.

4. Cressi Start Pro: * Although marketed primarily as a BCD for rental inventory, the Start Pro has a number of features that make it logical for many private kits as well. It’s simple (the integrated weight system is the simplest available anywhere), tough, and comfy, and all of that comes at a reasonable price tag.

5. Tusa BCJ-2100: * The BCJ-2100 is a winner on one count, and one count only. While this jacket-style BCD is about as no-frills as no-frills can get, it is probably going to be the cheapest BCD you are liable to find on the market that is new, comes from a major brand name manufacturer, and has a decent warranty attached.

* Held over from 2012’s list