IST Sports’ J-1000 Alpha is a full-featured, all-purpose BC. During ScubaLab’s 2010 BC tests, the Alpha earned big points with test divers for its ultra-compact yet responsive power inflator, and its overall valve system. Both provided dependable buoyancy and ascent control. The Alpha’s harness system, which is independent from the air cell, can be cinched snug against the backpack for a personalized fit. The backpack’s molded rails that flank the tank provide a stable ride at depth. And the integrated weight system uses double-lock weight pouches that ditch easily. Two large cargo pockets plus a cummerbund mesh pocket offer lots of carrying capacity. Test divers liked the placement of the seven stainless-steel and two delrin D-rings as well as the extra clips for accessories. Carrying only a little over a pound of inherent buoyancy, the Alpha aced ScubaLab’s rigid flow rate tests, with all three of its applicable deflate methods able to stay ahead of a simulated stuck inflation valve. The bottom line: The Alpha is a solid BC, offering plenty of comfort and exceptional control. It comes in five sizes, with 24 to 44 pounds of buoyant lift. Click here for more information. Find this product at your local IST Sports dealer.
60 Second ScubaLab: IST Sports J1000 Alpha BC
Zeagle’s new featherweight Covert back buoyancy BC is a dream come true for divers looking for a lightweight BC that can be taken anywhere. The Covert can be rolled into a package not much bigger than a folded newspaper and is loaded with tons of features.
When it comes to a lightweight BC designed for travel, it’s hard to beat the Air Travel. no surprise, it earned the Testers’ Choice in the Travel category.
Voted Testers’ Choice in this category, the Axis delivers the functions, features and performance most coveted in a streamlined general-purpose back- buoyancy BC without unnecessary bells and whistles.
This year’s Testers’ Choice winner in the jacket-style category is a comfortable and stable BC with a good weight system, efficient valves, and a long list of convenience features.
Divers looking for an entry-level BC that’s well appointed and performs admirably — and doesn’t cost a lot of money — will be drawn to Prime MRS. It nails the important stuff at a good price, earning it the Best Buy award.
Cressi’s R1 jacket-style BC is comfortable and easy to use. It features padding in the back and lumbar areas as well as underneath the shoulders, and the air cell slides on the cummerbund, eliminating body squeeze. The rigid backpack delivers a stable ride, and the Lock Aid integrated weight system loads and ditches easily. Available in five sizes with buoyant lift up to 36 pounds
From buying new dive equipment to taking care of what you already own, these simple tips will help you get the most out of your money.
The winner of both a ScubaLab Testers Choice and a Best Buy, the Travelight is a full-featured jacket-style BC designed for traveling divers. Constructed of featherlight 210-denier nylon, it comes with Cressi’s Lock Aid integrated weight system, two zippered pockets and six alloy D-rings. Its soft pack design can be folded in seconds and stowed in its own carry bag. For 2013 the BC features a new range of colors.
Sure, there might be other dive gear deemed more important to basic survival (a reg) or your general well-being (a dive computer) than a BC. But when it comes to being able to comfortably acclimate to being underwater — to the point where you feel like a resident rather than a clumsy topside tourist — the BC is the most important component of your kit.
Follow these 8 tips to keep your BC in good working order and ready for your next dive.