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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.

Category Archives: BCDs

Reviews of scuba buoyancy control devices.

05
August

Seac Pro 2000 HD BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Seac Pro 2000 HD BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500, Uncategorized

Seac Sub’s Pro 2000 HD BCD is a hybrid design, in that while it is primarily a back-infating wing BCD, it also has some modest capability to inflate on the front like a jacket, making bobbing around on the surface more comfortable. How this works is that the diver tightens the webbing while in the […]

05
August

Cressi Back Jac BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Cressi Back Jac BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

The Cressi Back Jac is a middle of the road wing-style, back-inflating BCD system with all the expected wings and dings. The design of the air cell has earned the BCD high marks from owners and reviewers, with most of the inflation taking place across the lower back and none at all at and above […]

09
June

Apeks WTX3 Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Apeks WTX3 Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Over $500

A wing-style buoyancy controller, this BCD comes from British company Apeks and (unsurprisingly therein) has a tec diving-orientation. The way Apeks runs the WTX line is by having a core harness, and then selling a range of air cells to attach to it, so by focusing on the WTX3 this review looks at the WTX […]

07
June

Sherwood Axis Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Sherwood Axis Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

Sherwood’s Axis BCD was designed as a flexible, back-inflating BCD, suitable for cold water use while light and compact enough for travel. The air cell is wedge-shaped, making it steamlined while retaining enough volume to give the XL-sized Axis 42 lbs of lift. The integrated weight system can store 10 lbs (4.5 kg) in each […]

03
June

Mares Prime BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Mares Prime BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

The Prime is the new starter BCD from Mares, and is therefore the de facto successor to the old Icon BCD. The basic version is very straightforward jacket BCD, featuring a rigid backpack with a solid carrying handle on the inside, the usual cummerbund and sternum strap, and sizable pockets. It’s made from Cordura 420, […]

11
February

IST Dolphin Tech JT40D BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on IST Dolphin Tech JT40D BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Over $500

With it’s modular design and heavy duty construction, the primary virtue of the IST Dolphin Tech JT40D is its adaptability. The harness and its set of doo-dads allows a diver to add pockets, weights, crotch straps and just about whatever else might be desired for a particular dive. The hefty 5 lbs stainless steel backplate […]

09
January

Oceanic Flex 2 Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Oceanic Flex 2 Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Over $500

The Flex 2 is a jacket-style BCD with an air cell made from BioiFlex, a stretchy, airtight material that allows for the BCD to get the same lift from a smaller air cell. The air cell is also supposed to be more flexible, for a better fitting BCD with minimal drag. The main part of […]

10
August

Best BCDs

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Best BCDs Posted in: BCDs, Dive Gear Tips, Scuba Product Guides

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 […]

15
July

Oceanic Probe HLC BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Oceanic Probe HLC BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Over $500

Oceanic’s Proble HLC is a high-end, tech-oriented, hybrid-design BCD. As such, it is a very heavy-duty rig with plenty of cargo-carrying capability and serious lifting power. In terms of cargo-carrying, the BCD comes with six steel D-rings, not counting rings on the end of the various adjustment straps, plus two over-sized, zippered pockets that are […]

09
July

Tilos Mission BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Tilos Mission BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

The Mission is the economy entry in Tilos’s BCD line, and in keeping with that intent, it is a simple, straightforward piece of gear with few frills. Fashioned from 420-denier nylon, the Tilos Mission is has only middling fabric durability. The rig has two big velcro-sealed pockets and six stainless steel D-rings scattered about for […]

05
July

Mares F-Light BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Mares F-Light BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

A travel-friendly jacket-style BCD, the Mares F-Light is exactly what the name implies: a BCD meant for flying, possibly even in your carry-on bag. As checked baggage becomes ever more expensive, super-light travel BCDs like the F-Light are set to become more popular. The BCD scores high in the travel-light category. It weighs only 5 […]

18
June

Sherwood Avid CQR-3 BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Sherwood Avid CQR-3 BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

The CQR-3 is the latest evolution in the Sherwood Avid BCD, the company’s top-end jacket BCD, so don’t confuse it with the CQR-2. Also don’t be alarmed by blog posts and internet threads about recalls for Sherwood Avids. The recall dates to 2004, and therefore is completely irrelevant to a model introduced in 2012. The […]

30
April

ScubaMax BC-7000 Integra 2 Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on ScubaMax BC-7000 Integra 2 Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

The most recent evolution of ScubaMax’s buoyancy controller line, the Integra 2 (BC-7000) is a rugged, highly functional jacket-style BCD, with an emphasis on the “rugged” part. The Integra 2 is made from 1100 denier Nylon, a very heavy and tough grade of fabric. While that adds to the weight of the BCD (8 to […]

09
April

Scubapro Go BCD Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Scubapro Go BCD Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

Just in case the name wasn’t enough of a hint, the Go is Scubapro’s latest travel BCD, offering some improvements over older models (such as the Litehawk). Like all travel BCDs, the Go is made with compactness and low weight in mind. The L size weighs only 6 lbs, and the package is collapsible enough […]

Updated March 19, 2013 Most scuba divers acquire and replace equipment on a budget, and some budgets are more expansive than others. While most divers shop on either the basis of the best gear for the least cost, or even the lowest cost outright, some divers enjoy much more expansive budgets. Also, non-divers are often […]

22
February

Integrated Weights, BCDs and Safety

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Integrated Weights, BCDs and Safety Posted in: BCDs, Dive Gear Tips

The tragic death of police diver Timothy Schock at Greenbrier Lake points directly towards BCD maintenance issues and the safety of integrated weight systems, two often neglected subjects in the scuba community. There is only so much that can be gleaned from even a detailed news article, but some lessons are very easily drawn from […]

15
December

Oceanic Excursion 2 Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Oceanic Excursion 2 Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Over $500

The Oceanic Excursion 2 is Oceanic’s latest premium BCD entry. The unit is a back-inflating design with 50 lbs. (22.7 kg) of lift in S, M and L sizes (58 lbs in XL), so it has plenty of lift for cold water conditions. However, the Excursion 2 comes in at only 9 lbs (4 kg), […]

03
October

Aqualung Axiom i3 Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Aqualung Axiom i3 Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Over $500

The Axiom i3 is the premium jacket BCD entry in Aqualung’s i3 inflator control line (such as the Pro QD i3 and the Dimension i3). Sporting a snazzy design in Aqualung’s black, grey and navy blue colors, the Axiom i3 has earned high praise for its comfort, loads of features and ease of use in […]

01
September

How to Care for and Maintain BCDs

Written by Editor. Comments Off on How to Care for and Maintain BCDs Posted in: BCDs, Dive Gear Tips, Scuba Product Guides

Even a second-hand, budget BCD is a major investment, and along with a dive computer and a regulator, your BCD is probably one of the most expensive pieces of scuba equipment you own. BCDs are also important because they are the foundation of your gear assembly, the one thing that almost everything you take on […]

30
August

Tusa BCJ-3200 Liberator Sigma Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Tusa BCJ-3200 Liberator Sigma Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

The Liberator Sigma is a fairly middle-of-the-road BCD from Tusa. The design includes Tusa’s Ultimate Stabilizing Harness, which mounts the tank close to the body and uses stabilizing rails, features that promote stability and prevent tank rolling. The BCJ-3200’s rig is made from 840 denier nylon, so it stands up very well to wear and […]

25
August

Zeagle Zeus Scuba BCD Review

Written by 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, […]

25
August

Tusa BCJ-2100 Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Tusa BCJ-2100 Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $101-$250

The BCJ-2100 is the bargain basement, entry-level BCD in Tusa’s product line. The BCD uses Tusa’s Ultimate Stabilizing Harness with its pair of side rails to secure the air tank, while the Independent Harness System reduces the space between your back and the tank to an absolute minimum. The 2100 comes with two deep zippered […]

24
August

Cressi Travelight Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Cressi Travelight Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

Updated June 9, 2014 The Travelight from Cressi is designed as a super-serious travel BCD, and strongly oriented toward contributing towards a light, compact travel package for flying. The basic design was drawn from the Flex BCD, and Cressi chose to make the Travelight from 210 denier nylon, sacrificing durability for extreme lightness. This isn’t […]

17
August

IST J1300 Artemis Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on IST J1300 Artemis Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

The J1300 Artemis from IST is women’s BCD design. That shows in what has become the standard style for a woman’s BCD, namely a shorter overall design with more of the BCD’s material distributed to the lower back, hips and waist. The Artemis has thick padding on these areas, making it very comfortable. As an […]

02
August

Cressi Aquaride Scuba BCD Review

Written by Editor. Comments Off on Cressi Aquaride Scuba BCD Review Posted in: BCDs, Between $251-$500

Updated June 15, 2012 In the Aquaride, the Italians at Cressi have created a BCD that occupies a niche between a travel BCD and a general-purpose BCD. With a dry weight of 8 lbs, it is light enough to help stay below the 50 lbs checked bag limit, but it is by no means the […]