Our Tips for Choosing a Suitable BCD for Enjoyable & Safe Scuba-Diving

By Maria Rogerson

July 7, 2017Sports

Scuba diving is one of the best ways to explore the hidden treasures of the ocean and enjoy in a fun and unique underwater adventure. Learning how to dive at different depth to discover the vivid marine world is not that difficult. The only thing you need is proper training and equipment that will provide comfort and safety underwater. One of the most important pieces of equipment every diver should have and know how to use is the Buoyancy Compensating Device (BCD). Diving with a quality and efficient Bcd will help you have a safe and enjoyable diving experience so you can easily learn all there is to know about this thrilling sport.


But what is the main purpose of the Bcd in the whole process of diving? Well, this is a device that helps you remain neutrally buoyant underwater, which is one of the most important skills you should learn as a newbie diver. The chances of crashing on the reef bottom and hurting yourself are considerably reduced when using a Bcd. When wearing one, the diver can easily control his/her ascent and descent underwater by simply adding or reducing air within specifically designed inflation chambers.

However, it’s important to mention that not all buoyancy devices are created equal and to ensure safety and comfort underwater, you need to choose the right one for your specific needs and diving style. Here are some tips that can help you make the right choice.

The perfect fit for your body

To adjust your buoyancy and stay safe underwater you need a BCD that fits properly. While there are many unisex models, these often don’t provide the desired comfort and fit. That’s why more and more divers prefer using gender specific models, which have some essential differences. Models designed for women usually have narrow shoulder straps and shorter torso, along with chest straps that basically prevent compressing the chest. Men’s BCDs on the other hand, have a longer torso length and usually don’t feature chest straps.

Choose the right type

What type of BCD will work best for you will depend on your skill level and the style of diving you plan to do. There are three main types of buoyancy devices: back inflation, jacket and hybrid. The back inflation model, as its name implies, is inflated only at the back and doesn’t feature inflatable bladders on the front. It is quite comfortable and makes it easy to dive in a horizontal position. The jacket model features inflatable bladders on the front and back and can also inflate on the sides, therefore, if provides great overall buoyancy. The hybrid BCD combines features of both the jacket and back inflation model, thus it offers enhanced buoyancy, while at the same time it is very comfortable to wear.

Consider your diving conditions

Before you decide what kind of BCD will work best for you, it’s important to consider your specific diving conditions. When diving in cold waters you should wear thicker and heavier wetsuit, boots and other equipment, therefore you need a device with enhanced lifting capacity that can keep you afloat at the surface. If you plan to dive in warm waters, then a BCD with a standard lifting capacity can be a great choice. These things are important to consider because too much lift in warm water can lead to a bigger dragging which can affect both the comfort and safety of your dive.