If you are planning for a beach holiday with the opportunity of scuba diving then the best deal is to carry equipment from your home. It is not feasible or cost-effective to buy such expensive stuff from tourist areas as they might charge visitors a lot.
Getting it on rent might not also be a good idea as it destroys the fun of enjoying the activity to the maximum. The BCD of the Buoyancy Control Device is what you need to carry with you. It allows scuba divers to come eye to eye with the fish and other marine life while hovering almost weightless underwater.
A BCD does the same job as its name suggests. It gives you the best control that you could have underwater. If you are planning to buy one travel BCD ahead of your trip then this guide has got all that you need for the purpose.
The list below is a carefully devised one that looks at all the aspects of the BCD and to offer you the best available products in the market. The selected items are based on the customer reviews, critical feedback, and the quality of features that they have got to offer.
This is a unique and highly productive BCD that no other product in the market could beat. It is because of its super convenience for travelers. The gear comes as a system with two parts. It is a BCD and a semi-dry type of a day backpack as well that clips with the main unit.
This system allows you the liberty to not stuff your BCD in a bag as you could carry it easily like a backpack with your other scuba gear stuffed inside. The total weight of this system is only 3.75 kilograms and there are as many as 42 liters of available space in the dry bag. Multiple travel-friendly compartments also include a laptop sleeve.
Apart from this and the main compartment, there are also a couple of easy access external pockets. The BCD is made from 420-Denier nylon urethane, 1000-Denier Cordura, and i00-Denier double-coated nylon of quick dry type. There are elastic bungee straps in its air cell that helps in keeping the back inflation bladder low profile for rapid deflation.
Here is a quick preview of our top 5:
If you look at this equipment at a glance then this is one of the most lightweight BCD that the travelers could consider. The scuba enthusiasts would enjoy this one with a weight integration option that comes with a patented system. It also has 4 x D-rings and grommets along with a useful lined pocket as well for the travelers.
The D-rings however are made from plastic and are found to be a bit smaller in size as well. Their placement is also not much practical. The adjustable chest strap makes it a very comfortable BCD, which is equally well supported with the ideally engineered E valves for the sake of reducing bulk.
If lightness is your top priority then this is by far the best possible option for you. The users have found it quite productive in scuba diving besides a few mentioned flaws with the D-rings only.
This travel BCD promises to return great value for your money. It is a highly productive unisex gear that could accommodate the BCD and travel needs of both men and women. It became an instant hit among travelers, scuba diving schools, and resorts.
The manufacturer offers this with a basic design suitable for travelers, and it is highly functional for beginner divers. You will love this one for its waist strap which is independent of the air bladder. Therefore, if you tighten this one while having the jacket deflated then it wouldn’t squeeze your stomach at all when been inflated.
The material is durable and almost as good as a bullet-proof jacket. The equipment comes with three dump valves, a couple of plastic d-rings, and a single air cell. There is no integrated weight option for this one. The maintenance is quite easy especially when you see the inflator hose getting disassembled quite conveniently.
If you are an experienced diver and look for diving in caverns and caves mainly then this is a perfect BCD for you. The equipment is suitable for travelers for its ultra-lightweight. It comes with a metal back-plate and wing supported by a fully adjustable type of a diving harness.
The manufacturer has structured it well through the flexible webbing that adds great value to the overall gear. If you look at the shoulder straps then those can also be adjusted to provide you with a customized fit.
They are setup up well by a convenient crotch strap. This crotch strap brings a supplementary webbing piece for the sake of preventing the equipment from getting riding up.
On top of that, the travel convenience is par excellent with its compact size and could be easily carried wherever you are on the move. It is available in 4 distinct sizes including X-small, small, medium, and X-large sizes. In short, it is a complete BDC travel pack that you can have with the best value for your money.
This is the best possible travel BCD for women for all its lucrative features specific to traveling women. It comes with an elastic front panel with productive zipper closure.
This allows a much comfortable and secure fit that comes with a streamlined profile. There are dual waistbands on offer that allow the weight to be positioned right below the level of the waist. This helps in giving superior balance and comfort. The buckles provided on the shoulder and the body are of quick-release type so wearing it and taking off works like a charm.
The gear is offered with a highly useful expandable pocket at the waist. It also included 8033QP. The component sizing ideally fits women for their waist, chest size, and the torso length completely independently.
The length of the torso comes with a shorter build which is desirable for women-specific BCD. Moreover, there is also a lesser width for the shoulder straps area. The manufacturer has given excellent padding on the shoulder straps which is designed to curve away from the back and chest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Travel BCDs
Q: What are the key benefits that I get with a travel BCD?
A:The lightness of the equipment is the major benefit for scuba diving enthusiasts who are traveling as compared to the standard BCD. The travel BCDs also come with extra pockets and with some other storing features.
Q: What are the key comfort features to look for in a BCD?
A: Travelers need to have a compact size and lightweight gear. They must look for better buoyancy padding with such support around the back and shoulder area.
Q: Can I use travel BCD for regular use?
A:Of course, you can use it, especially when lighter BCD is your preference.
Q: How to maintain my travel BCD?
A:It should be one of your top concerns. Refer to the user manual of your BCD for product-specific maintenance information.
What is the best beginner BCD?
Most divers start out wearing a jacket style BCD, which is often used by scuba instructors as well. Jackets are great for beginners because they provide stability while underwater. Jackets are also easy to store when traveling. However, jackets aren’t ideal for travelers who dive frequently or those who want to travel light.
What is the best type of BCD?
The best travel scuba gear for beginners is a jacket-style BCD. You should master your buoyancy before trying other types of BCDs. Back-inflation BCDs help you maintain a horizontal orientation in the water. Hybrid BCDs allow you to stay in an upright position at the surface while maintaining a horizontal orientation in the ocean.
Travel BCDs are compact and lightweight. Most are back-inflation style and use lightweight materials and innovative design to reduce their bulkiness and weight. Some technical divers may want to consider customizing a backplate BCD to suit their specific needs.
How deep can I dive with a travel BCD?
A travel BCD should be lighter than a regular BCD, but still durable enough to withstand long periods underwater.
What are the differences between a budget and a high-end BCD?
- Travel BCDs are designed to protect against water damage and other hazards.
- The features of a travel BCD depend on how much money you want to spend.
- Budget models are good for warm climates, but expensive models are better for cold environments.
Things to consider when buying the best Travel BCD
Are you still confused about the type of BCD that will suit your needs and which one will make the best deal for you? If so, then the below factors once evaluated carefully would give you the best BCD for your money.
The BCDs can be of the following 3 types:
This by far is the most common BCD that you as a traveler or even otherwise could think about. Such styles come in different shapes and sizes. You may also consider a gender-specific version to get a customized fit.
Such jacket types come with large pockets that are good for carrying your supporting stuff such as pocket masks or torches etc. They could be tough to access when you are inflated fully on the surface. Divers love this for their ability to attach seamlessly with a cylinder. They are productive but could be bulky while taking a lot of space of travelers.
This type has come in case of single-tank diving. The diver uses a harness connected to steel or an aluminum back-plate. The inflatable wing type is hooked to the back-plate and sits on the back of the diver which is between the cylinder and the diver. You can get such BCDs in horseshoe or doughnut shapes. Using such type, you have the advantage of swapping the BC with a larger one for a technical dive, which requires a better lift, such as a twinset. On the other side, this is more difficult to work within a vertical position as the air is on your back.
It is a combination of both the above styles while offering the advantages of both in one. You can get these with an air cell and a detachable harness. They tend to fit your body like a jacket around your shoulders and waist. Moreover, they could also provide some sort of lift from the bladder. This makes horizontal positioning quite feasible. In a vertical position, they could be tough to feet smooth and steady when at the surface. They could also come with large pockets.
The weight of the travel BCD is relevant when you are on the brink of making your most valuable buying decision. The novice scuba divers set for traveling needs to evaluate this feature quite carefully. You need to think here about your style preference including your size, weight, and the physical strength level.
As we are talking about travel BCDs, you must expect to carry it by yourself all the time. Make sure that all the diving sites at the scuba points are not accessible by car, so you may need to walk for some distance carrying your gear.
If carrying weight could be an issue for you during your trip then you must go for the lightest available BCD. Make sure that it is not all about the amount of weight you could carry. But, it is also about the capacity of the BCD itself that it can accommodate with your stuff and without resulting in any equipment damage.
Having a perfect BCD fitting is not a matter of comfort only, but it is also about your safety underwater. Therefore, it is advised to consider only the BCD equipment that is right as per your fitting requirements.
Pockets and Rings
The pockets and rings are always vital in all sorts of travel-oriented equipment and the BCDs are no exception in that. As you will be using your gear while traveling then you will need to carry a lot of stuff in it. Therefore, every pocket and ring feature is an opportunity for you to optimize this gear.
The female BCDs are different and they are made to provide a customized fit to the ladies based on their body shape. Such BCDs usually come with a much shorter back and this helps in fitting the tank in a much comfortable position.
On top of that, the cut just around the chest area means that there will be far less constriction. A few other women-specific features are the inclusion of much smaller inflator units. These are far more convenient to be operated by smaller hands. If not the female, then all other available BCDs are unisex.
You may locate as many as three of the dump valves on the BCD. On your back and over your right shoulder, there are valves 3that can be used for dumping air. Its usage depends on your orientation and position.
You can employ this by pulling the given toggle, considering the positioning and shape, and how convenient it is to find. These also act as a sort of overpressure releasing vales as well. Their quality and all the mentioned features usability matters a lot for your preferred BCD.
The travel BCDs are all about lightness while you travel to your preferred scuba diving destination either on a single day or a multiday visit. You need to find the most customized fit for yourself. You must make sure that for the sake of your travel comfort, you do not compromise on the critical operational features of the BCD.
Otherwise, it will ruin all the fun as the BCD wouldn’t be much practical for its specific needs. Once you determine your preferred style of BCD, then you need to be considerate about the weight needs and size of your body.
The travelers also need to have the best travel BCD that comes with a range of pockets and rings. You need these pockets as the enthusiasts on a multiday trip for scuba diving tend to carry a lot of supporting stuff where their BCD equipment could act as a backpack as well.
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