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View Full Version : Which Zeagle BCD is best for me?



mixahl
04-21-2008, 00:05
I heard you guys are the best when it comes to zeagle products. Here is my dilemma. Im an AOW diver, mostly caribbean, with some california waters. Im looking for a zeagle bcd that is rugged (including bladder). I like the lumbar support, need the D rings and nice to travel with (air travel).
Im 5'7 male, 195lbs, 42in chest, 36in waist, use 16lbs weights with jacket.
I like the ranger (great features, build quality, but i dont know if I will ever need the 2 tank capacity or be able to travel often with it), stiletto (build quality and travel ease, but not efficient as the brigade), brigade (not sure about bladder quality, since its thinner).
I would love to hear your recommendations. I plan on becoming a divemaster soon to work in a local dive center.
thanks for all your help!

ScubaToys Larry
04-21-2008, 00:58
We have sold thousands and thousands of the BC's that have that bladder between brigades, zenas, escapes... We have yet to see one fail. Not one hole, not one tear, not one seam issue. So I would not worry about the bladder.

fisheater
04-21-2008, 01:21
I'm a California diver, with occasional trips to warm water. I bought a Brigade and a larger bladder (Tech). I use the Tech bladder for local diving and the Brigade bladder for warm water diving. Best of both worlds and the change-over takes mere minutes.

mixahl
04-21-2008, 09:32
Sounds great. Looks like I would be getting a brigade soon then. Wondering if I need a special size fit or if a Large would be just fine. Im stalky, wide shoulders. Check first post

fisheater
04-21-2008, 10:31
Sounds great. Looks like I would be getting a brigade soon then. Wondering if I need a special size fit or if a Large would be just fine. Im stalky, wide shoulders. Check first post

Call ST. They'll tell you what measurements to take and they can set you up with a Zeagle with different sized parts to fit you exactly.

mixahl
04-21-2008, 16:27
thanks for all your help...
does the zeagle brigade come with a lumbar pad or no?

harb99
04-21-2008, 17:05
thanks for all your help...
does the zeagle brigade come with a lumbar pad or no?

I do not think so, but you can add one if you feel it is necessary

Zeagle Lumbar Pad, Zeagle Accessories, Zeagle, Zeagle Lumbar Pad (http://scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=ZeagleLumbarPad)

fisheater
04-21-2008, 17:09
thanks for all your help...
does the zeagle brigade come with a lumbar pad or no?

Not standard, but one is available.

reactive
04-21-2008, 17:21
Let us know how you like it when you get it. I'm in the market for a Brigade as well.

mixahl
04-21-2008, 17:32
Im also not sure if a 35lbs bladder is sufficient for 200lb man + tank + weights?? Ideas?

reactive
04-21-2008, 17:36
Correct me if I'm wrong, but your weights should make you neutrally buoyant with your exposure suit. You shouldn't need a huge BC bladder unless you are carrying stage tanks and what not which would make you negatively buoyant. It should be fine.

Largo
04-21-2008, 19:25
You are right.

mixahl
04-21-2008, 20:21
also, do the zeagle bcds usually come with a warranty card for registration or how does warranty usually work? is it implied? can i just take any zeagle bcd to any zeagle authorized reseller and they will fix it for me?

fisheater
04-21-2008, 20:29
also, do the zeagle bcds usually come with a warranty card for registration or how does warranty usually work? is it implied? can i just take any zeagle bcd to any zeagle authorized reseller and they will fix it for me?

You register with Zeagle (on-line) and bring your owner's manual and retail receipt to any authorized dealer.

Penguino
04-21-2008, 21:30
My guess is that if you are diving mostly warmer waters, the bladder should be enough

mixahl
04-21-2008, 22:26
why do you require a different bladder in colder waters?

mixahl
04-21-2008, 22:28
also, do the zeagle bcds usually come with a warranty card for registration or how does warranty usually work? is it implied? can i just take any zeagle bcd to any zeagle authorized reseller and they will fix it for me?

You register with Zeagle (on-line) and bring your owner's manual and retail receipt to any authorized dealer.

what if i lost my receipt but registered online with zeagle and have my manual? will any authorized dealer be able to fix or repair my zeagle free of charge? is the warranty transferrable?
thanks for all the help!!

reactive
04-21-2008, 22:30
I doubt it's transferrable to prevent people from selling their BC and including the warranty. A call to ST and/or Scott, may help you in the department of a lost receipt.

TAH 73
04-21-2008, 22:37
I bought the Ranger needing the larger bladder for drysuit, lots of weight and big tanks, and am in the process of ordering a Brigade bladder for travel

mixahl
04-21-2008, 22:44
I bought the Ranger needing the larger bladder for drysuit, lots of weight and big tanks, and am in the process of ordering a Brigade bladder for travel

I dont think I will ever dive in a dry suit. The coldest waters will probably be california waters. I surfed in california and used to wear a 3mm suit, was cold but not shivering, so I dont think I will need a dry suit later on. Aside from the fact that I need a bigger bladder for a dry suit, or twin tanks, why else might someone need a bigger bladder than 35lbs? thanks!!

mixahl
04-21-2008, 23:05
I also have another dilemma. I have 2 options.
1) buy a brand new brigade from ST for $400 and fully warrantied.
2) buy a brand new, 2 yr old ranger for $350 from friend and no warranty.
what would you do?

fisheater
04-22-2008, 00:01
Where in California? There's a difference in what you'll need between southern and northern waters.

mixahl
04-22-2008, 00:11
southern california
catalina islands, san diego and such
thanks!

reactive
04-22-2008, 03:40
Spend the extra 50 bucks!

Once you hit 250 posts on the message board, you get a free $50 gift certificate. You also get a free $10 gift certificate by hitting 10 posts. AND you get an extra 10% off by saying that you are a member of the forums when ordering. so that's about 100 bucks off a brand new brigade.

Penguino
04-22-2008, 10:43
I also have another dilemma. I have 2 options.
1) buy a brand new brigade from ST for $400 and fully warrantied.
2) buy a brand new, 2 yr old ranger for $350 from friend and no warranty.
what would you do?

Definately spend the extra $50. If you make 50 dives, its like $1 a dive insurance that your BC will be fixed if anything goes wrong. If you dive more, the cost goes down. It would be a quick decision for me. (Plus I own a Brigade and am a little biased...)

MSilvia
04-22-2008, 11:21
Im also not sure if a 35lbs bladder is sufficient for 200lb man + tank + weights?? Ideas?
I use a 40 lb bladder as a 270 lb man with steel HP100 doubles, and it's just fine. I don't think you'll have any issues with a 30.

I'm a cold water diver, and actually need less weight/lift with a drysuit than I do with a wetsuit, so I'm not sure why you think a drysuit requires a larger bladder. I use a 30 for single tanks, and a 40 for doubles.

Some reasons people may want large lift capacities:

diving wet with heavy tanks, neoprene will compress at depth and lose buoyancy. Extra lift may be needed to compensate.
Using heavy steel stage or deco bottles might require additional buoyancy.
Carrying heavy tool bags or other negatively buoyant gear.IMHO, there are often better ways to address situations that seem to require a larger bladder than by using one.

Largo
04-22-2008, 11:40
Don't forget the yellow weight pocket thingies.The weights tend to shift without them. I really think that Zeagle should include these as part of the BCD when they sell it.

reactive
04-22-2008, 13:39
Don't forget the yellow weight pocket thingies.The weights tend to shift without them. I really think that Zeagle should include these as part of the BCD when they sell it.

Yeah I agree. If they address a problem of shifting weights, they should be included whether than being charged extra for the fix.

mixahl
04-22-2008, 14:06
Do I still need the yellow weight thingies even if I use the soft weights?

mixahl
04-22-2008, 14:42
And what is the advantage of adding the trim rear weights on the upper tank belt than the lower? As far as I hear it helps, but why?

reactive
04-22-2008, 18:00
The trim weights are supposed to keep you more horizontal in the water with less effort. You don't have to have the yellow weight thingies, but as Phil said, they help prevent the weight from shifting around.

Largo
04-22-2008, 18:13
Hard weights won't stay in the system. They slip through the webbing.

I used some small bags made of rip-stop nylon to hold me soft weights, then finally broke down and bought the Yellow Weight Pocket Thingies (YWPTs).

mixahl
04-22-2008, 20:02
Thanks guys! I cant wait to get my brigade soon!

mixahl
04-22-2008, 22:08
Can you attach the zeagle smb to the brigade or is that for the ranger ltd?

Penguino
04-23-2008, 02:01
Hard weights won't stay in the system. They slip through the webbing.

I used some small bags made of rip-stop nylon to hold me soft weights, then finally broke down and bought the Yellow Weight Pocket Thingies (YWPTs).

Really? Mine stayed in there just fine. Where are they falling out from?

harb99
04-23-2008, 08:12
Hard weights won't stay in the system. They slip through the webbing.

I used some small bags made of rip-stop nylon to hold me soft weights, then finally broke down and bought the Yellow Weight Pocket Thingies (YWPTs).

Really? Mine stayed in there just fine. Where are they falling out from?

I think what happens (cannot speak from experience - just from reading about others) are that the smaller hard weights will slip through the bottom of the weight pockets of the zip cord system - I just ordered my brigade and added the rear trim pockets and the YWPTs just to make sure i would not drop any weights while diving in the ocean when I use smaller weights - plus they also say that it keeps them from shifting and moving around while diving - for roughly $25 it is cheap for piece of mind and keeping my from having to worry about something else while underwater

FYI - my wife is looking at a LaZer and a Zena in XS - Joe told me that she would not need the YWPTs with a BC that small, b/c the gaps at the bottom are small enough that the weights will probably not be able to slip through

mixahl
04-23-2008, 08:23
good points noted

Largo
04-23-2008, 17:05
The ripcord is good quality nylon, but still:

The YWPTs don't wear on the ripcord as much as loose weights.

Penguino
04-23-2008, 17:33
I can definately understand the weight shifting. I'll probably go ahead and get the yellow thingies if it helps it.

imasinker
04-23-2008, 17:41
if your not planning on diving with doubles, you can't go wrong with the Zeagle Stiletto. I dive alot of cold water up here in Canada. It is a great rugged BC light weight for travell and very comfortable. It has dumpable trim weight in the rear so you can displace your weighting so your not all front heavy. The rear inflation system works really well and I dont find it pushes me forward at all as some have stated. I dont regret buying mine. Nice thing to is you can add pouches and accessories easily. Hope this helps.

Largo
04-23-2008, 20:11
I don't want to be the jerk who contradicts people, but...

The brigade is less expensive than the stiletto, for some reason.

mixahl
04-23-2008, 20:19
I wonder why that is actually, I find it that there's more to the brigade than the stiletto....
can scubatoys give a reason why? Larry, Joe.......

reactive
04-23-2008, 20:22
Hey, be careful. Maybe it's a mistake. Don't point that out until buy mine!

mixahl
04-23-2008, 20:24
oppppssss sorry I should have waited as well

Penguino
04-24-2008, 00:50
Just a guess, but I do know that they always seem to have a lot of the Brigades in stock (for good reason) so they may get a volume discount that is not available on the Stiletto

Penguino
04-24-2008, 00:52
I just looked at the description and the Stiletto comes with rear weight pockets. They are $40 more for the Brigade. That should count for some of the difference.

ScottZeagle
04-24-2008, 08:13
Just a guess, but I do know that they always seem to have a lot of the Brigades in stock (for good reason) so they may get a volume discount that is not available on the Stiletto


The "Brigade" is a name that belongs to Scuba Toys. They came up with the name, paid for the patches, and order them in pretty good quantities, so basically they can sell them (and advertise them) for whatever price they choose.


I just looked at the description and the Stiletto comes with rear weight pockets. They are $40 more for the Brigade. That should count for some of the difference.

Correct.

harb99
04-24-2008, 08:29
I just looked at the description and the Stiletto comes with rear weight pockets. They are $40 more for the Brigade. That should count for some of the difference.

If you are going to buy a brigade, talk to Joe, sometimes he can deal on the pockets ;)

reactive
04-24-2008, 11:51
I am going to get the yellow weight thingies but I'm going to wait on the pockets to get familiar with the bc before trying to trim out.

Largo
04-24-2008, 12:35
HEY! Scott is about to hit the 250 post mark. Are you going to buy some cool Zeagle gear with your gift certificate?

reactive
04-24-2008, 12:48
I was wondering the SAME thing!

ScottZeagle
04-24-2008, 13:04
HEY! Scott is about to hit the 250 post mark. Are you going to buy some cool Zeagle gear with your gift certificate?

I think I mentioned in a different thread that Larry was taking me diving in some exotic location instead of giving me the gift certificate.

I am just waiting on him to confirm the date and location.

;)

Largo
04-24-2008, 13:05
Does Possum Kingdom count?

ScottZeagle
04-24-2008, 13:12
Only if it is a song by The Toadies.

reactive
04-24-2008, 13:50
Only if it is a song by The Toadies.

That's a great tune. It's been on my ipod for years.

highdesert
06-14-2008, 23:02
Im also not sure if a 35lbs bladder is sufficient for 200lb man + tank + weights?? Ideas? I bounce between 215 and 230 lb, and the 35 lb Brigade wing is way more than I ever need. This is diving with a 3 mil suit in saltwater. I've used as low as 10 lbs in some areas, 16 in others. Difference in salinity from one side of the ocean to the other really does make a difference in weight required.

fisheater
06-20-2008, 14:10
Im also not sure if a 35lbs bladder is sufficient for 200lb man + tank + weights?? Ideas? I bounce between 215 and 230 lb, and the 35 lb Brigade wing is way more than I ever need. This is diving with a 3 mil suit in saltwater. I've used as low as 10 lbs in some areas, 16 in others. Difference in salinity from one side of the ocean to the other really does make a difference in weight required.

BUT, if you're a big guy and dive in cold water, you'll likely want to add a larger wing. I use the 35# wing for warm water (up to 5 mm wetsuit) and a 65# wing for local, cold water (7 mm FJ demidry).

boerique
08-08-2009, 04:34
Spend the extra 50 bucks!

Once you hit 250 posts on the message board, you get a free $50 gift certificate. You also get a free $10 gift certificate by hitting 10 posts. AND you get an extra 10% off by saying that you are a member of the forums when ordering. so that's about 100 bucks off a brand new brigade.


hai reactive...

are those discount apply for online shopping ??
how does it work ??

i'm in the market for Brigade, $10 off & another 10% discount would be sweettt.... :smiley20: :smiley31:

bigman241
08-08-2009, 18:13
SO does that work if i post i love scubatoys and scubatoys forum untill i get to 250. :smiley20::smiley20::smiley20:
Getting ready to spend 3k on gear then jan after ow everything but my custom wetsuit from scubatoys.

Spend the extra 50 bucks!

Once you hit 250 posts on the message board, you get a free $50 gift certificate. You also get a free $10 gift certificate by hitting 10 posts. AND you get an extra 10% off by saying that you are a member of the forums when ordering. so that's about 100 bucks off a brand new brigade.


hai reactive...

are those discount apply for online shopping ??
how does it work ??

i'm in the market for Brigade, $10 off & another 10% discount would be sweettt.... :smiley20: :smiley31:

hoova-scuba
08-11-2009, 13:18
I have a brigade. I bought it used and it came with the lumbar pad. I took the pad off since it seemed to soak up lots of water. I would use it if the waist was too big and I needed to tighten things up though.

ScottZeagle
08-13-2009, 08:52
I have a brigade. I bought it used and it came with the lumbar pad. I took the pad off since it seemed to soak up lots of water. I would use it if the waist was too big and I needed to tighten things up though.

Can you elaborate on "soaks up water" with the lumbar pad? The "padding" inside is bonded dacron, which does not soak up water. When you first exit a dive it should drain out quickly.

Thanks,

Scott

Largo
08-13-2009, 21:42
For Clarification: Hoova-Scuba is not the same person as Hooba-Scuba.

Where has that guy been, anyway?

I have been thinking about adding the lumbar pad, but had similar concerns. Does that part stay pretty clean?

Still love my Zeagle BC.

hoova-scuba
08-14-2009, 19:17
When I dove with the lumbar pad that came with my Brigade( I googled it and mine doesn't look like the pic although it has a Zeagle sticker) the first time, it did not drain quickly IMHO and seemed like it weighed an extra 5 lbs when wet. Now in its defense I only dove with it once so maybe I didn't give it a chance but the Brigade feels totally fine without it.