The best scuba diving buoyancy control devices: My top picks for 2018

Scuba diving buoyancy control device
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

If you’re interested in buying a scuba diving buoyancy control device, here area few things to look for that may help you to chose the right one for you.

Bear in mind that your buoyancy control device is one your your most important pieces of scuba diving equipment. Therefore, it’s worth investing in a good buoyancy control device. It’s worth making sure the one you buy is going to last too.

My top pick of all the buoyancy control device reviewed is the first on the list. This is the Cressi Start Jacket Style BCD. You can’t go wrong with Cressi and this BCD is great value for money too.

The first buoyancy control device to review is Cressi

Cressi Start jacket style BCD

Cressi is an Italian scuba diving manufacturer and has been making scuba diving equipment since 1930. Their equipment is top quality, built to last, and for those of you who want your equipment to look the part, Cressi won’t disappoint you on that score either.

Features of the Cressi Start Jacket Style BCD ***MY TOP PICK*** | TRAVEL BCD – NO |

The Cressi Start Jacket Style BCD whilst ideal for dive centres, is also a great value BCD for general scuba diving use too. The fact that it’s good for dive centres will mean it will be longer lasting for the regular scuba diver.

  • The outside panel is made in resistance 1000 Denier Cordura. This Denier Nylon Cordura is more resistant to erosion caused by long-term friction. This extends the life of the weldings, as it is harder than Nylon.
  • The inside layer is made from 500 Denier.
  • Ideal for Dive Centres where the jackets are often inflated to their maximum capacity.
  • The waist strap is independent of the air bladder.
  • The waist strap can be tightened while the jacket is deflated without squeezing the diver’s stomach when the jacket is inflated.
  • Inflator with double air filtration system; under the hose connection stem and around the valve. The inflator can easily be rinse to remove sand and other debris.
  • The back plate system is made by ultra-durable thermoplastic, which is small and compact for lightness.
  • There’s a rubber damper help grip the tank.
  • A second tank strap can be added. A nylon locator strap is included to ensure proper tank positioning every time.
  • 3 exhaust valves for buoyancy adjustment in any position.
  • 2 large pockets cargo pockets with Velcro closure.
  • On top of each pocket there is a compartment for hold the pressure gauge and the octopus.

This in my top pick and the reviews on Amazon are excellent for this BCD. Click this link to find out more and to check the current price of it on Amazon.

Features of the Cressi Travellight BCD | TRAVEL BCD – YES |

Cressi Travellight BCD

This BCD is a travel buoyancy control device. It’s lighter than most and is ideal for taking with you on your holidays or vacations.

  • Extraordinarily practical for transport with space and weight restrictions
  • The medium size BCD is 2.5Kg and it can be folded, a stowage volume of just 135 cm³, (36x25x15), a simple “little package”
  • Two spacious, deep pockets with zipper closures and bottom and side gussets ensure plenty of carrying capacity
  • Direct System Inflator 2011: Metal filter for air inflow below the stem and a cylindrical filter around the valve. Attractive and durable. Recalibrated speed of inflation, now 50% greater. “Anti-sand” design with smaller inflation nozzle. Push button with wide opening compared to its casing to prevent it from becoming blocked by grains of sand. Watertight deflation button with exterior washer. New highly durable inflator with very gradual curve. Includes hose clamp
  • Padded back panel. 3 relief valves. Fast system for folding and compacting the BCD.
  • 2 rear trim pockets | 2 large accessory pockets. A total of eight D-rings in light alloy.

The reviews on Amazon are excellent for this BCD. Click this link to find out more and to check the current price of it on Amazon.

Cressi Aquaride Pro BCD, Fully Accessorized Scuba Diving Buoyancy Compensator | TRAVEL BCD – IN-BETWEEN |

Cressi Aquaride Pro BCD Fully Accessorized Scuba Diving Buoyancy Compensator

The Cressi Aquaride Pro BCD is well made like all Cressi scuba equipment. The Cressi Aquaride Blue Pro BCD is a dual purpose BCD that is great for travel and so incredibly versatile. This light weight BCD (3.2kg (M) can be compacted enough to be packed away for your warm water trip to the Caribbean.

  • Adjustable shoulder straps. Steel D-rings on shoulder straps
  • Superlight rigid backpack with handle. Flat lock-aid system
  • Next generation anatomical inflator with hose retainer. 3 purge and overpressure valves
  • Expandable sundries pocket with zip closure
  • 2 trim weights pockets up to 5 pounds each. Quick-attach rear weight pockets (capacity 2 kg/5 pounds)
  • 2 rear trim pockets | 2 large accessory pockets. A total of eight D-rings in light alloy.

The reviews on Amazon are excellent for this BCD. Click this link to find out more and to check the current price of it on Amazon.

Mares buoyancy control device review

Mares is another Italian scuba diving equipment manufacturer. The company Mares was founded in 1949 and their headquarters are in Rapallo, Itally.

Mares Hybrid Pro Tec Scuba Diving Buoyancy Compensator *** Top Travel Pick *** | TRAVEL BCD – YES |

Mares Hybrid Pro Tec Scuba Diving Buoyancy Compensator

The Hybrid Pro Tec has a new level of comfort, which is achieved via special shoulder pads which are longer, pre-shaped and reinforced. These shoulder pads work in perfect unison with the lumbar suspension system. This is a 2 in 1 BCD, making it extremely versatile for home-use and travel-use.

  • Made with very tough Alutex material, making it sturdy and durable.
  • Has a modular integrated weight system.
  • The XS/S holds total of 28lbs, Medium/XLarge holds 36lbs in total.
  • 10 metal D-rings, 3 of which are customisable
  • Has a detachable vest comprising the MRS plus system which is removable.
  • Great for travelling, as it’s lean and mean. Heavier than most lightweight travel BCDs weighing in at 4.4kgs, but it has unique detachable sections to reduce the weight for travelling.
  • Has a folding backplate to make it easier to fit into your luggage. Which has holes incorporated to make it lightweight. See Mares video below.
  • Back-lift system where the air bladder is on the back of the BCD.
  • This travel configuration can be expanded by adding the optional lumbar trim weight system and/or the Cruise Add-on pocket. But equally this makes it a very versatile BCD, as you can remove the retaining pins to create a very lightweight BCD for travelling. In fact this makes the Mares Hybrid Pro Tec, which is a 2 BCDs in 1, about half the total weight.

Here’s a quick video to explain more about this flexible 2-in-1 BCD

The reviews on Amazon are excellent for this BCD. Click this link to find out more and to check the current price of it on Amazon.

Scubapro buoyancy control device review

Scubsapro was founded in the United States in 1963. The company merged with dive computer manufacturer Uwatec in 1997 and became part of Johnson Outdoors.

Scubapro Litehawk BC with Air 2 Alternate Air Source Inflator 5th Gen | TRAVEL BCD |

Scubapro Litehawk BC with Air 2 Alternate Air Aource Inflator 5th Gen

Scuba divers get the benefits of back flotation in this super lightweight BCD designed for easy traveling. The Scubapro Air 2 Alternate Air Aource Inflator 5th Gen is also very easy to use and has great reviews.

  • Low-drag, low profile progressively-shaped air cell on a light back flotation BCD.
  • Elastic cords automatically control the size and keep the air cell streamlined when partially inflated.
  • Constructed in durable 1000 Denier Nylon for light weight and long life wear and durability.
  • Adjustable belt-style waist strap with Nylon lightweight buckle.
  • Lightweight, perfect for travel: just 5.2 lbs / 2.36 kg.
  • Soft backpack makes it perfect for dive travel.
  • Optional weight pockets are available.
  • Large inflate and deflate buttons are easy to distinguish.
  • For reliable performance without dangling hoses, the AIR2 is a standout.

The reviews on Amazon are excellent for this BCD. Click this link to find out more and to check the current price of it on Amazon.

As noted above my top pick is the Cressi Start Jacket Style BCD.

Why I picked the Cressi Start Jacket Style BCD

When you compare the BCD’s on the market and look at all of the above BCD’s, this Cressi represents great value for money.

  • Cressi have been around for the longest of almost all scuba diving equipment manufacturers – so you’re in safe hands.
  • The outside panel is made in resistance 1000 Denier Cordura.
  • It’s recommended use is for dive centres because how it’s been made to withstand heavy usage. Therefore for the average diver this means it will last and be extremely durable.
  • The Denier Nylon Cordura is more resistant to erosion caused by long-term friction, this extends the duration of the weldings.
  • As the waist strap is independent of the air bladder, the strap can be tightened while the jacket is deflated without squeezing the diver’s stomach when the jacket is inflated.
  • The inflator can be easily rinsed to remove sand and other debris after a dive.
  • A nylon locator strap is included to ensure proper tank positioning. This makes it an ideal starter BCD for new scuba divers.

I hope you enjoyed this article about scuba diving buoyancy control device

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof Gopro’s!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about scuba diving buoyancy control device), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.

Have fun and be safe!


Leave a Reply