The 10 Best Scuba BCDs Of 2017

Buying Guide & Advice

Image Brand Best For Type Capacity Price
Atomic Aquatics All Type Of Divers Jacket / Vest Type 39lbs (17.7kg) $$
Best Scuba BCDs Cressi Ace Beginners and Pros Back Inflator / Wing Type 37lbs (16.7kg) $$
Best Scuba BCDs SEAC Sherpa Beginners and Pros Jacket / Vest Type 37lbs (16.7kg) $$
Best Scuba BCDs Zeagle Ranger All Diver Type Back Inflation Type 30lbs (13.6kg) $$
Best Scuba BCDs Mares Dragon All Diver Type Jacket / Vest Style 13lbs (6kg) $$
Best Scuba BCDs Oceanic BioLite Casual / Recreational Divers Back Inflator 14lbs (6.4kg) $$
Best Scuba BCDs Hollis SMS 100 Side-Mount All Diver Type Back Inflator – Side Mount System 13lbs (6.4kg) $$
Best Scuba BCDs Sherwood Avid CQR 3 All Diver Type Jacket / Vest Style 16lbs (7.2kg) $$
Best Scuba BCDs Dive Rite Nomad XT-Harness All Diver Types Back Inflator ‘Wing Type’ 16lbs (4.3kg) $$
Best Scuba BCDs SEAC Icaro 2000 All Divers Back Inflator ‘Wing Type’ 4.4lbs (2kg) $$

[Updated 5/6/2017] One of the most important influencing factors of a good scuba diving experience is your buoyancy compensator/control device (BCD). It can mark the difference between a good and better diver. So, to no small extent, getting the best scuba BCDs for yourself as a scuba diver should be among the most important choices to make before entering scuba diving.

In scuba diving, just like many recreational exercises, control is a significant factor if not a lifesaving thing. You don’t want to find yourself grappling with the elements and not have control over your body; this could be quite dangerous. That is why your scuba bcd is pertinent to having a great time underwater. Making the best selection of your scuba bcd should be factored around personal needs like stability and comfort.

Making a buying decision regarding the perfect scuba bcd for divers may not be as easy as you think, especially for beginners and just as important for pros too. The importance of this decision is hinged on getting the right knowledge and insight beforehand. In this scuba BCD review, I will acquaint you with a list of the best BCDs for scuba divers in 2017 while revealing key influencing factor for making each selection on the list.

Before entering into the area of making choices for this diving gear, I think it is good that you equip yourself with adequate knowledge of various BCD styles available. This will lead you to understand the features and coverage of each scuba bc kit type and how they can be used to your advantage. In this scuba BCD review, I will take the pain of furnishing you with all the requisite information needed to make the best scuba bc choices for divers. First, let’s get to know which buoyancy gears are available and their features.


Scuba diving gears are factored around different user needs and preferences, and every style is designed for specific needs. It is of utmost importance that you know which of these is best for your buoyancy. Let us meet them below

Integrated Weight BCD


This type of BCs has an in-designed weight that is built right into it. Hence, you don’t need to worry about carrying an extra weight equipment for excellent buoyancy. It gives a free diving experience that relieves you of all the weight straps that come with other BC styles.

Hybrid BCD


The Hybrid BCD type is a blended fusion of the vest and wing type hence the name ‘hybrid.’ It delivers more flexibility for the diver and allows for a comfortable position in scuba diving. With this kind of BC, most of the buoyancy is placed behind the diver while allowing for only a small amount of buoyancy to the sides.

Jacket/Vest Style


This can arguably be the most common type of buoyancy control available. It is made up of wearable sleeveless jacket onto which the air bladder is attached. As opposed to the hybrid, this type of BCD is strapped around and inflated in the front and both sides of the diver making it an all-around buoyant inflation model.

Given the overall inflation style available in scuba BCs, the jacket style ensures a better and stable experience for scuba divers. More so, you can easily deflate the vest style by pressing the chest part to let out air.

Back Inflate/Wing Type


If anything, this style of BC is bare and loose thereby allowing more flexibility for the diver. Designed with no inflatable bladder around the chest and sides, this BC type only possesses flotation bladder at diver’s back. This design makes it look more like a ‘wing’ therefore the name.

As an advantage, this type of gear helps you maintain a horizontal body position while diving because the bladder is strapped on the back.


Getting the best out of your scuba diving experience is mainly a matter of getting it right with your buoyancy control device (bcd). You want to pay considerable attention to all that is needed regarding your kit so that you don’t have any problems while diving.  In this aspect of the best BCD 2017 review, I will be analyzing individually, the top 10 best BCDs for scuba diving factoring in efficiency and user-friendliness. Follow me as I go on this expository journey.

  1. Atomic Aquatics BC1

BEST FOR: All Type Of Divers

TYPE: Jacket/Vest Type

WEIGHT: 9.5lbs (4.3kg)

CAPACITY: 39lbs (17.7kg)

The Atomic Aquatic BC1 is a standard high-performance scuba gear that is designed with ultra-powerful double-laminated polyurethane textile materials that have the capacity to withstand more pressure. Without a doubt, the BC1 is just about the best BCD with high quality you will see around today.

Given the failures of most scuba diving kits on the market today, Atomic Aquatics took the pain of creating a super durable and efficient gear that gives divers actual security.  What more can you expect from a scuba diving gear that is built with exclusive engineering-grade plastics, textiles that have polyurethane coats and metal body parts that are corrosion-resistant? This diving apparatus will deliver the best experience for you as a user.

For underwater experience, it does not allow for water penetrations and sheds it like your regular raincoat. With this advanced feature, you are greeted with a dry experience using the Atomic Aquatics BC1. Much more than just water shedding abilities, it also tear, cut and leak-proof which is made possible because of its extra coating feature.

There is no denying that this BCD is excellently designed to provide both pros and beginners scuba divers with a superb diving experience using it. When it comes to the assurance in the diving tank hold, users do not need to worry about wire meshes that are difficult to fit. With its ratcheting CAM-LOK tank band, your scuba air tank is perfectly held in place with no issues. If you are searching for an extra-durable and efficient scuba diving gear, Atomic Aquatics BC1 is a choice pick.

  1. Cressi Ace

 BEST FOR: Beginners and Pros

TYPE: Back Inflator/Wing Type

WEIGHT: 7.27lbs (3.3kg)

CAPACITY: 20lbs (9kg)

You do like some amount of freedom when you are scuba diving right? Then, Cressi Ace is your choice BCD for that. Built with a fascinating light-weight rear inflation technique, it offers premium level comfort for you as a scuba diver while delivering the assurance of a durable scuba diving bcd. With it, you have enough freedom for all your underwater diving maneuvers and then some more.  When scuba diving, it is important that you are kitted with an outfit that can be credited with extra speedy deflation volume control. This will further enhance your performance and aid the ease with which you glide in the water. Well, I can tell you categorically that Cressi Ace renders just that and more besides.

Let us consider a few metrics that the Cressi Ace brings to the table. The lift capacity is an awesome range between 29.2 lbs. to 50.6 lbs. that is some 13.3 kg to 22.9kg of release power. If this doesn’t dazzle you enough, there is the 2 inches and 1 inches shoulder aluminum D-Rings that are positioned in the pocket and the lower sides of the harness respectively. For durability purpose, it is fabricated with internally laminated urethane 420-Denier Nylon that offers a more lasting assurance for you.

Weight is also a key feature in scuba diving and should be well considered when going in. Cressi Ace has a Flat-Lock-Aid integrated weight pocket system that bears some 2 lbs. i.e. 9kg of releasable capacities. Thus far, there is no denying that the Cressi Ace has enough pound-for-pound match for a pro or beginner scuba diver even though it doesn’t cost as much as the other brands.

  1. SEAC Sherpa

BEST FOR: Beginners and Pros

TYPE: Jacket/Vest Type

WEIGHT: 9 lbs.

CAPACITY: 37 lbs.

SEAC Sherpa is one of the most efficient among the SEAC brand of BCDs around. Designed with a special 3D bag that possesses wings which wrap around the air tank to improve the weight reduction capacity, it is a good choice if you need great flexibility when scuba diving. The highly durable urethane coated Cordura 1000 nylon fabric boast of anti-tear and fierce resistance to abrasion. So, you are confident of a secure and tamper proof scuba diving BC kit.

The popular ‘Quick & Safe’ weight pocket system of SEAC give scuba divers an ingenious black-inflate design that wraps around you firmly and ensures the guaranteed safety of fast release that is crucial underwater. For efficient weight distribution and stability, SEAC designed the Sherpa with the 3-D effect that has been trusted by many divers for a long time coming, so you have no reason to lose confidence in the efficiency of the Sherpa BC kit.

For when you need to adjust your straps a little for the much-needed comfort, you can count on the steady AHS frame-to-back harness system that comes with fully adjustable straps. Having served many scuba divers for years now, Sherpa, like all SEAC BCDs have that reassuring strap that guaranty safety and ease anytime.

  1. Zeagle Ranger LTD

BEST FOR: All divers type (Cold Water, Extreme Depths, Recreation, Warm Water and more)

TYPE: Back Inflation Type

WEIGHT: 9.5 lbs. (4.3kg)

CAPACITY: 30 lbs. (13.6kg)

Putting aside the relatively steep cost, if you fancy comforting fit as a prime factor for your underwater maneuver and effectiveness, then you will be thrilled and attracted to the Zeagle Ranger. From the outset, you will inevitably fall in love with the super duty Airlock buckle that the shoulder is fitted with. This eradicates the inhibition of movement that usually occurs around the underarm and chest area with the swivel effect. If you want or value the freedom of movement that is pertinent to safety underwater, you will understand the import of the Airlock buckle.

Utmost safety is pertinent for divers and it is further important that you are kitted with a gear that has that assurance served without a doubt. Furthermore on security precautions, your Zeagle Ranger BCD has a pull-able knob that is suitably situated in the right shoulder pad. This knob doubles as an overpressure valve that controls the pressure in your vessel. This helps to prevent over-inflation in your gear.

It is not just the shoulder buckle that enhances sure fitting of this BC gear. There is also the Personal Fitting System design that it is equipped with which allows users to enjoy and perform custom adjustment to specific parts of the BC. Whether your air need is singular or twin tank, the Zeagle Ranger LTD has just enough provision to cater to that need for you. You can’t get it wrong if you chose this kit as your preferred BC for scuba diving regardless of your experience diving.

  1. Mares Dragon

BEST FOR: All divers type (Cold Water, Extreme Depths, Recreation, Warm Water and more)

TYPE: Jacket/Vest Style

WEIGHT:  9.9 lbs. (4.5kg)

CAPACITY: 13 lbs. (6kg)

I can’t overemphasize the importance of safety enough when talking about scuba diving. In this recreational sport, the slightest mistake can cause the most drastic effect on the person involved. Bearing this in mind, Mares Dragon BC boasts of one of the safest systems available in this field – the Slide & Lock System (SLS). This weight pockets works just fine with light or thick gloves and can conveniently bag weight capacity ranging between 9 lbs. and 13 lbs.

Much like a dragon in look and function, the Mares Dragon is sturdy in fitting and exquisite in performance. With much improvement on earlier versions, the Dragon brags of a design that drastically reduces underwater drag that may hinder free movement and maneuver of its user. Furthermore on comfort, when inflated, it is just as comfy around you as it enhances your flotation.

Now, let me talk about the look and feel of the Dragon. It has a material combination of 3D Alutex net for much more user protection. This material is lastingly resistant to abrasion and scratch which is made more effective with smooth covering. Scuba diving gears can’t get any better than this.

  1. Oceanic BioLite

BEST FOR: Casual/Recreational Divers (Recreation, Warm Water and more)

TYPE: Back Inflator

WEIGHT:  5.5 lbs. (2.5kg)

CAPACITY: 14 lbs. (6.4kg)

By far a light-weight scuba diving BCD, Oceanic BioLite comfortably sits in the position of being a choice kit for traveling and recreational diving.  This cannot obviously be disputed as it weighs a mere 2.5kg. From the look alone, it is evident that it is well suited and designed for recreational diving. This will be the joy of any beginner diver because of its lightweight and simple design that will not pose a clutter and inevitably drag the user back.

In addition to the simplicity and ease, it is designed with fabric type that can easily stretch to harmonize with your body size thereby enhancing your performance. You may also find the adjustable shoulder strap a huge convenience to complement the Quick Drop weight style that enables a very easy and comfortable loading.

As a recreational gear that it is, it is only important that the design and end usage focus primarily on ease of use and comfortability. Living up to this repute, the Oceanic BioLite can deliver bespoke air cells that ultimately aid your accomplishment of high volume lift by contracting while hermetic.

  1. Hollis SMS 100 Side-Mount System

BEST FOR: All Type Of Divers

TYPE: Back Inflator Side-Mount System



If versatility and multiple grade user intents are anything to consider when fabricating a scuba diving BC, then we are talking the Hollis SMS 100 Side-Mount gear. Not very often do you get to see a kit that possesses the one-size-fits-all quality. Well, this one does. It is fitted with the strength and quality to deliver for any grade of diver – beginner, intermediate or pro. It is also well adapted for cave diving as well as deep water – matter-of-fact, it fits every available diving condition.

It allows for a single or dual cylinder mounting and is highly easy to set-up that does not require any help. So, a complete beginner, you can quickly set-up the BC and hit the water with no hassle.

For accessories, you are rest assured of the highest grade fabrication material. The Hollis SMS 100 comes with some six D-Rings that guarantees a well-fitted fastening experience for every user. There is also the adjustable shoulder harness that is designed to fit all user body type. With this, you don’t have to worry about a slacked strap around your body, all you need to do is adjust it to fit.

  1. Sherwood Avid CQR 3

BEST FOR: All divers type (Cold Water, Extreme Depths, Professional, Recreation, Warm Water and more)

TYPE: Jacket/Vest Style

WEIGHT:  9.5 lbs. (4.3kg)

CAPACITY: 16 lbs. (7.2kg)

It is imperative that you know the fabric of your gear when opting for a diving kit. For the Avid CQR 3, it has a bladder designed with extra-durable 1000 Denier Urethane backed nylon. In itself, this spells assurance and comfort. More so, it makes the Avid well suited for different kind of water temperatures.

Redesigned with a noticeable improvement on the existing style, this is one of the comfiest and reliable of Sherwood products. With the ‘jacket style’ design, there is a better promise concerning flexibility of use and ease of maneuver for the user. Much more than that, the user is gifted with adjustable shoulder straps that readily allows proper fit and better performance. If it assures you any better, Sherwood fitted the Avid with six stainless steel D-Rings that are positioned for easy reach and efficiency in usage.

For accessories, you have a two-cylinder band that can hold down your tank conveniently, two zipper pockets that provide you easy reach when needed and a small pocket for storing any needful thing.

  1. Dive Rite Nomad XT-Harness

BEST FOR: All divers type (Cold Water, Extreme Depths, Professional, Recreation, Warm Water and more)

TYPE: Back Inflator ‘Wing’

WEIGHT:  9.6 lbs. (4.3kg)


Your survival and delight in scuba diving can be marred by a breakage of your gear. That is why it is utterly important that you take the quality of your equipment’s fabric. The Dive Rite Nomad XT is made out of a super-tough exterior (Armor-Clad outer) making use of SuperFabric brand technology for the state-of-the-art resistance. This makes it resistant to puncture, tear and abrasion yet as flexible as will be convenient for you.

Further enhanced with a modular system that allows you to modify the parts to suit your fitting, you can adjust the harness, wing, buttplate and crotch strap to fit your size. There is no denying that this is very user-friendly and considerate for overall user satisfaction.

Just so you can have the best lift when using the gear, the Nomad XT is designed to be thin at the neck with well-angled sides. These particular designs are sure to aid your lift in the hips area when you need it most.

  1. SEAC Icaro 2000

BEST FOR: All divers

TYPE: Back Inflator ‘Wing’

WEIGHT:  2 kg


For its price, the Icaro 200 is packed with more than is enough for top notch diving experience. Starting with the super durable exterior, it has 1000 D Cordura coats that are placed atop a polyurethane inner bladder and an aluminum backplate for your tank. There is also the presence of three dump valves which allows easier venting at any position in the water. These valves are strategically placed at the lower back, the shoulder and near the inflator for the bet experience.

It also has some six aluminum D-Rings so that users can have enough attachment areas for other accessories. Another point through which SEAC is showing off it much-bragged and patented ‘Quick Adjustment System,’ the Icaro is well fitted to allow for the best fine-tuning regardless of user size.

Another fascinating feature of Icaro is the light-weight nature of the gear. This feature makes it very comfortable for carrying about and more so, gives users a better flexibility under water.


From the above list of top-notch buoyancy compensator, I am optimistic that you will surely find one that not only meets your diving needs and requirement but also match your pocket.  Have fun as you can now make well-guided buying and utility decisions regarding scuba diving and BC gears for doing so.