View Full Version : Noob BCD questions

07-11-2007, 20:57
Another option is a backplate with wing. The reason I like mine is options for different diving. You can get a stainless steal backplate that will take 6-8 lbs off your weight belt and placed over your back, or you can get a hard plastic backplate that weights almost nothing. Also, a bp&w setup is simple, no pockets {unless you add them} and can pack down small.

07-11-2007, 21:10
I haven't tried the BP&W combo, but I went with a back-inflate Zeagle Brigade from our good friends here at scubatoys. For my level of diving it works great and I don't have any problem getting it into my luggage when traveling.

07-11-2007, 21:42
The transpac is indeed tiny and travels well, but you may also want to consider a backplate and wings, which also travels very well, and gives you the benefit of extra weight over your lungs in the form of the steel backplate. In the UK, you will be diving in very cold water with thick exposure suits, so this helps a lot.

On the other hand, if you'll only be diving while traveling to warm tropical locations, the TransPac could work quite well... and so could a bp/w with an aluminum plate to keep the weight down, but still provide a rigid platform that packs well. If you'll be doing both, you could start with steelfor local diving and switch to an aluminum plate once you start traveling (or vice versa, whatever works)... the bp/w is a great modular system that way.

07-11-2007, 22:35
I'd agree with the BP/W suggestion. I'm sure you could get some suggestions on what pieces to get (The Oxycheq Mach V wing is a great travel wing).
<DIV></DIV>The only thing I'd suggest, if it is possible, is to try to dive the BC or wing that you want to buy prior to purchasing it, at least in a pool. It sucks to purchase something and then find out that you hate it. Of course that's not always possible, and in that case the best you can do is weigh suggestions with what you think you'll like - then make the plunge :)</DIV>
<DIV>The best part about the BP/W is the modular nature of the setup. It can grow with you and you can always change out various parts to adjust to your diving style as you advance your training and experience over the years.</DIV>

07-11-2007, 23:25
Add another vote for a BP/W. Myself and my fiance use them and love them. I had bought a jacket style BC and used it for the first half a season or season of diving. After switching to my BP/W and going through the learning curve, I'll never go back. It's much more streamlined, it's expandable (different wings, etc), and it just feels better in the water. My Mrs. has never dove in anything other than a BP/W, so it's all she knows. But she also has no interest in switching.

07-12-2007, 08:12
I hated (!!! cannot emphasize more) jackets, everytime I wear one, I thought I'm going to get suffocated and die. I'm not sure how much you've researched and know about the types of BCs, forgive me if I'm saying something you already knew. Here are the options:

Jacket - Air inflates all around you. Mind you, there are some better designed ones that don't squeeze so much on the sides. Some divers like them for the sense of security (air everywhere!).

Back Inflate BC - Pretty much like the jacket BC, but the air-cell is on your back and nothing on the side. They don't squeeze. Have a look at the Zeagle range, IMO they're no nonsense TOP quality stuff. Not to mention customer services that come with.

Backplate &amp; Wing (BP/W) - It's really a "back-inflate BC", but you get to mix and match components yourself. It has a lot of advantages. Just to name a few, the backplate comes in different materials to give different weights (stainless steel, aluminum, plastic) and wings come in different lift capacities to suit different kind of dives. They also pack small, you can take them apart and assemble just before you dive in it. Very durable (how do you break a stainless steel plate?!), and cheap to maintain ($10 to replace the harness).

The "compactness" of your BCD depends on what kind of dive you're trying to do, water temp, thickness of your suit etc. You mentioned Transpac, which is closely similar to BP/W, they're great, but don't rule out the other great brands, like Oxycheq (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/scubavendors.asp?txtsearchParamCat=ALL&txtsearchParamMan=68), their quality is second to none.

MEL-DC Diver
07-12-2007, 20:10
The Zeagle Escape is a great small BCD. Packs beautifully, very comfortable, and gives you the back inflate that we all love.

07-13-2007, 22:30
I've also heard good things about the Oceanic Islander (~30lbs lift) and the Mares Icon (~41lbs lift), both travel type BCDs.

07-15-2007, 21:44
Look at the Rip Tide Zone from Scuba Toys. It seems big and bulky, but it is soft so you can roll it up pretty well. I was surprised at how well my wife's traveled compared to my Sea Quest Balance, which looks smaller, but had a hard tank pad. It has lots of neat features, the only thing it lacks is a pocket, but overall I think it is a better bargain than my Balance, and it is easier to use and more adjustable. Also it can take a backplate and doubles if you want to do that sort of stuff down the road.

07-16-2007, 03:03
The transpac isn't bad, but is actually more bulky than a BP/W with a hog harness. The transpac has the padded/quick release harness which takes up a little more room in a carry on for example. Can't get much more compact than a BP/W- i fit mine with regs/fins/mask and a handful of clothes in my carry on.