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longtailbda
08-30-2008, 05:47
My lovely wife needs to know weather she should pick the Zena of the Diva. She's comfortable in either but is worried about back inflation. Any opinions on either one will be helpful. Unfortunately none of the local shops will let her try out the Zena under real conditions they are not available for rent.

Zenagirl
08-30-2008, 07:50
My first BC was a Diva, I now dive a Zena. Quick rundown, but only my opinion (I put 10 dives on my Diva before it went to ebay and I bought a Zena...and now I'm a Zeagle fan (including regs) all the way):

Diva: Jacket style...heavy, bulky, well padded, pretty buoyant, good pockets. Air Cell....wrap around style, can squeeze when inflated, also can cause the BC to ride up on the surface. Weight pockets....pull out sleeves that can fall out, not always easy to put weights into. Tank...1 strap with a hard plastic pack, keeps tank stable. Packing...heavy, bulky, takes up tons of room.

Zena: Fully modular design with 4 pieces that can be mixed and matched for a custom fit. Corset...very light (~5#), 6 points of adjustment, when fastened properly does not move on the body, before, during, and after a dive, no pockets per se. Wing/air cell....attached to the back, out of the way, no squeeze. Weight pockets...ripcord design, weights go in and out through zipper, pull cord to release in emergency, takes 2 minutes to rethread, no danger of accidentally losing weights, no pouches to replace when one gets lost (happens a lot). Tank....2 straps to hold tank securely. Packing....folds up small, light (~5#), takes up little space.

Honestly, if your wife feels the only reason to not buy a Zena is concern over the back inflation, then she shouldn't worry. A wing style/back inflate BC is nothing to be concerned about since even when the bladder is fully inflated, all you have to do is lean back slightly and it's no worry. I've never had to fully inflate my BC at the surface anyway, so there's no push forward.

Although both are excellent quality BCs, I'd have to give a big nod toward Zeagle for its LIFETIME warranty and outstanding customer service. There have been far too many reports of people sending in old BCs for some kind of service, only to have it returned with new parts and with no charge. Plus I'm a huge fan of Scott(Zeagle) and find his "make it right" customer service attitude, excellent character and high integrity to be unbeatable.

One really cool thing about Zeagle is that they LISTEN to their customers. A few of us have been talking about wanting a good add-on pocket for our Zenas and Scott has informed us they are developing one as I write this. I also wanted a lumbar pad earlier this year but Zeagle doesn't make them for the Zena. After jerry-rigging the Ranger lumbar pad to fit my Zena and diving on Bonaire for 2 weeks with it, I fell in love with having it in my Zena and suggested to Scott they look at making one especially for the Zena...and they ARE!! :D I guarantee you won't find them listening and responding to customers like this at SeaQuest....

Remember, what works for me and what I like does NOT matter in the end. The quality in both products is very high, and as long as the BC fits her well and SHE IS HAPPY WITH HER CHOICE, that is all that matters in the end. :D

scubarobin
08-30-2008, 09:48
I have one of the original Diva BCs and it was really nice, jacket style but not bulky, fit my curves on my little (5'3" body). I agree with Zenagirl that the new Diva is bulky. I don't like it much for that reason.

I now use a Sequest Libra, which is a back inflate. After using the jacket-style for 5 years, it was a bit odd going to back-inflate. The whole feeling is different and you don't feel the air going in, you do hear it though. I had to trust my inflator, that when I pushed it, the air was going into the bladder! It was a bit rough the first few dives getting used to it. But now I love it. It just took me a dozen dives or so to get used to how much air to add, trusting it to go in, etc.

So what I am trying to say is - I prefer the back-inflate style BC but switching from one to the other was difficult. It is best to start with one style and stick to it. Pick the one that you like...:smiley20:

Diver Kat
08-30-2008, 10:15
No experience with the Diva, but have had a Zena for 5+ years (and 250+ dives!) - She shouldn't worry about the back inflation at all - personally I have never had any problem with being pitched forward - a big concern when people discuss back inflation. In fact, if you lean back slightly, it's almost like floating in an innertube, very comfortable and relaxing (while waiting on a boat to come get you!!) Zenagirl said it all - extremely well, so I'll second her post with 2 thumbs up!! :smiley20::smiley20:

catra8104
08-31-2008, 06:49
I'm a brand new diver.. Took my cert yesterday with a Zena.. No probs with tipping forward at all.. Just wish my diving was as good as the Zena performed..

Tried a Selene.. Very bulky and heavy.. No experience with a Diva..
I'm glad I chose the Zena...

Splitlip
08-31-2008, 07:38
Do some searches here and on Scubaboard re: the Diva. I read somewhere that they tend to trap gas. I checked one out for my daughter and I can see how the folds in the bladder might do that.

Bassoonin
08-31-2008, 17:00
I'm a new diver and I love my Zena. I certified with a jacket style and always felt constricted. I dove with my Zena for the first time in July and it was like not having a BC at all. I feel so free. I have been free diving for a long time and this feels like free diving only with air. I can turn around in the water and move like I want to. With regard to the forward tipping issue. I have not felt it at all. In fact, when I'm on the surface, I'm as relaxed as in a swimming pool. I just love my Zena!!!

longtailbda
09-01-2008, 17:17
Thanks folks, one more question. When looking at sizing her measurements just gets her into a med.; every other bc she has worn has been a small. How accurate is the Zeagle size chart.

Zenagirl
09-01-2008, 17:44
Personally, I'd take her measurements and call ScubaToys. The guys there can take her measurements and build the perfect fitting Zena for her. AND if it doesn't fit when you get it, they'll pay for shipping whatever needs to be exchanged to get that perfect fit. :D

longtailbda
09-09-2008, 07:07
Well the guys @ scubatoys tell me that her Zena will be in Wednesday.

Zenagirl
09-09-2008, 07:27
Cool, let us know what she thinks later.

maggs_the
09-09-2008, 08:18
talk about timing.. i just yesterday had conversations with my LDS about switching to a back inflated BC and was going to ask some of these same questions you guys just answered!!
:smiley20:

i love it when a plan comes together

srhtech
09-10-2008, 08:42
My wife dives the Zena and I dive the Stilletto. She really likes the comfort and the zippered front. Also she likes that there is no velcro to mess up her wetsuit.

Zenagirl
09-10-2008, 15:28
I have to agree with your wife about the no velcro thing, but even bigger for me is no cumberbun!!

Diver Kat
09-10-2008, 22:07
I've almost forgotten how much I hate velcro, until I help my DH with his BC and the dang velcro on his cumberbund sticks to my wetsuit!!

Having the zipper front is nice because it's so easy to snug up once you're at depth -if needed - just a quick tug on the hip and waist straps!

highlandfarmwv
09-21-2008, 21:31
I bought a new Diva LX as my first BC. I felt like it WAS big and bulky (and heavy to take to the tropics), so I bought a used Eva. Now I interchange them by doing wrecks with the Diva (good pockets and lift and it is strong) and tropics with the EVA, and like both of them fine.

Zenagirl
09-22-2008, 07:45
Which is exactly why you have to try different BCs on to find the one that is perfect for YOU!

As much as I love my Zena and recommend that people try one, it isn't for everyone and I totally get that. ;)

gotwake
09-23-2008, 19:04
Any idea when the lumbar pad will be added to the Zena? I'm ordering a Stiletto for me and a Zena for the wife in the next few days. She's in the middle of getting certified and I can already tell the regular BCs aren't going to be to her liking.

coral cowgirl
09-23-2008, 19:39
My wife dives the Zena and I dive the Stilletto. She really likes the comfort and the zippered front. Also she likes that there is no velcro to mess up her wetsuit.
___________________

That zippered front is really fast and easy to get out of.
And don't have to worry about any velcro ruining my new rash guard....heh, heh.

Diver Kat
09-23-2008, 22:43
And don't have to worry about any velcro ruining my new rash guard....heh, heh.Now I just recently bought a rash guard, and I do seem to get the darn thing stuck in my zipper if I'm not careful ...

Zenagirl
09-24-2008, 06:40
Any idea when the lumbar pad will be added to the Zena? I'm ordering a Stiletto for me and a Zena for the wife in the next few days. She's in the middle of getting certified and I can already tell the regular BCs aren't going to be to her liking.

Scott said the new Zena lumbar pad and pocket will be unveiled at DEMA this year, which is a month away. Rest assured that the Zena is very comfortable without the lumbar pad, the only reason I added one initially was to take up space since I had lost some weight. It was then I discovered how luxurious it made my BC feel.

Diver Kat
09-24-2008, 11:00
Scott said the new Zena lumbar pad and pocket will be unveiled at DEMA this year, which is a month away. Rest assured that the Zena is very comfortable without the lumbar pad, the only reason I added one initially was to take up space since I had lost some weight. It was then I discovered how luxurious it made my BC feel.I was wondering about the lumbar pad .... my Zena is so comfortable, I couldn't figure out why you would need one ..... I guess this really means I need to seriously lose some weight! :smiley13:

Zenagirl
09-24-2008, 16:17
I was wondering about the lumbar pad .... my Zena is so comfortable, I couldn't figure out why you would need one ..... I guess this really means I need to seriously lose some weight! :smiley13:

Oh, I absolutely don't think anyone "needs" a lumbar pad for their Zena, it's a very comfortable BC without it. Although I only put it in to take up a bit of space after losing a few pounds, I have to say that I really enjoyed the padding while doing a lot of shore diving on Bonaire. It filled in my lower back space nicely which in addition to the extra padding, made walking around with tanks a lot more comfortable.

Next trip is boat diving in Maui and I'm removing the lumbar pad since I'll be wearing a 7mm full and falling off boats for nearly 2 weeks. BUT it'll go back in place again for Bonaire next summer!!