ScubaLab: BCs - ScubaMax Versa 3000 | Scuba Diving

ScubaLab: BCs - ScubaMax Versa 3000


Style Jacket
Warranty One Year
Size/Buoyant Lift (in lbs.) S-32, M-39, L-51, XL-60
Integrated-Weight System Yes
Dry Weight 6 lbs., 10 oz. (Size M)
Price $311


  • 420 TPU nylon construction
  • Soft backpack for easily folding
  • High-lift air cell with internal gussets
  • Two large zippered pockets
  • Substantial buoyant lift in larger sizes
  • Less than 1 pound of inherent buoyancy


The Versa 3000 is a big BC in many respects: It tends to be cut big; it comes with big cargo pockets; it also offers some big-time buoyant lift and a large-capacity weight-ditch system. On the other hand, the BC is surprisingly lightweight; in fact, it’s one of the lightest BCs in this category, and its soft pack makes it foldable for easy traveling. The BC offers some extra back and lumbar padding, and the power inflator is sized and shaped for easy handling. The double tank straps grab the tank securely, minimizing tank wobble. The integrated-weight system uses squeeze-buckle-style releases that increase security but make ditching weights a bit more involved, though test divers still considered it easy. The lack of a lift handle made hefting and hooking the BC to a tank more of a challenge than with other BCs, though not untenable.

Bottom Line:

While a little bulky for some tastes, the Versa 3000 offers the lift capacities and weight system for temperate water use, and it’s foldable and lightweight for easy traveling.

June 2010 Issue Scuba Lab Review Quick Links
General-Purpose BCs
While they can be used for any type of diving, general purpose BCs are designed primarily for temperate- and/or cold-water diving with 7mm wetsuits or drysuits. General Purpose BCs tend to offer lots of buoyant lift across their size ranges along with heavy-load integrated weight systems. They often have large cargo pockets and larger D-rings for attaching additional gear.
Aeris EX100| Aeris EX200
Aqua Lung Pro QD| Aqua Lung Pro LT
IST J-1000 Alpha| IST J-1200 Hydro D
ScubaMax Versa 3000| SCUBAPRO Seahawk
SeaSoft Sealion| Sherwood Tortuga
Zeagle Tech 10|
Travel BCs
Travel BCs are lighter and more compact than General Purpose BCs. Many are designed to fold or stow in handy storage pouches for easy globe-trotting. Travel BCs tend to offer less buoyant-lift capacity and smaller weight pouches to suit warm-water diving scenarios.
Aqua Lung Zuma| Cressi Aquapro 5
SeaSoft Travlite| Zeagle Express/Deluxe
Women's BCs
Women are shaped differently than men, so it makes sense that a women’s BC would be shaped differently too. Women’s BCs are often cut higher along the waist and are more expansive in the chest area. Straps and adjustments accommodate shorter, narrower torsos, and power inflators are ultracompact to fit comfortably into smaller hands.
BARE Curve| Sherwood Luna
Tusa Selene II|