14 of the Best BCDs in 2022
A diver getting ready to go diving with a Seac buoyancy compensator.
How We Evaluate BCs
When testing BCs, ScubaLab aims to evaluate how the gear performs at providing stable, comfortable support underwater and at the surface, while giving the diver control over attitude and trim.
Testers rate BCs in 10 areas, including ease of setup, range of adjustability, simplicity of loading and ditching integrated weights, and placement and design of D-rings and pockets.
Evaluation also includes performance of the BC inflation/exhaust system, with a focus on how well they allow a diver to control buoyancy and ascent rate. Two factors—a BC’s stability and attitude control—get extra attention because they’re key factors in a BC’s performance.
We also conduct objective tests of important metrics for each BC. These include measuring buoyant lift (how much weight the fully inflated BC supports) and inherent buoyancy (how much weight it takes to sink the BC, which affects how much weight you need).
In addition, we test flow-rate performance—whether a BC’s upper exhaust valves can release enough air to avoid a dangerous rapid ascent if a power inflator sticks open.
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Single tank strap makes it easy to get in and out of a tank holder during boat dives.
This travel-oriented BC is suited for far-flung tropical destinations where divers don’t want to carry a ton of weight. The back-inflation air cell, streamlined and restrained by a series of bungees, provides 25 pounds of buoyant lift in sizes XS–M and 36 pounds in L–XL. The BC is weight-integrated with two trim pockets. The system weighs just 7 pounds and folds down flat for easy packing.
MSRP $506 | genesisscuba.com
Hog Hybrid Pro
Optional slip-on cargo pockets can be added to increase stowage capacity.
The Hybrid Pro’s air cell combines back buoyancy with an air cell that wraps under the arms for better body orientation underwater and a more stable surface floating position. Supportive padding at the back and lumbar regions enhances comfort, and an adjustable sternum strap helps to fine-tune fit. Integrated weights are secure and easy to load and ditch.
MSRP $499.95 | edge-gear.com
Hog Total Buoyancy Control System
Flexible harness can be modified for divers of all types and diving styles
This modular wing system consists of a variety of components that allow divers to tailor the system to their needs. Options include different bladder sizes, weight pockets and back-plate type—including a flexible, soft back plate. The system is easy to adjust and can be dived as a back-mounted front-adjustable BC or as a traditional tec harness.
Starts at MSRP $549.95 | edge-gear.com
Hog Travel Pro
Travel-ready back-inflation BC offers a ton of features at a competitive price.
Weighing just over 5 pounds in size medium, this BC features a compact air cell and a soft foldable back pad for easy packing. The stable, streamlined system has rotating shoulder buckles and plenty of padding for a comfortable ride. Additional features include four heavy-duty D-rings, three over-pressure relief valves and integrated weight pockets.
MSRP $449.95 | edge-gear.com
Lightweight design folds easily and doesn’t take up much room in your bag.
Designed with travel in mind, this lightweight jacket BC folds up for easy packing. Despite its travel-ready nature, the GO is packed with features, such as integrated weight pockets, large, quick-draining cargo pockets and three over-pressure relief valves. Securing the BC to any size tank takes minimal effort thanks to Scubapro’s new Quick Cinch tank buckle system.
MSRP $679, $819 (with Air2 inflator) | scubapro.com
Full-featured jacket BC is capable and comfortable.
The updated Level has been outfitted with fresh graphics, plus new built-in trim weight pockets and rotating quick-release shoulder buckles. The durable wraparound air cell provides a comfortable body-hugging fit without squeeze. The Level features integrated weights, large cargo pockets, mounting grommets and four stainless D-rings. The full-size backpack and Super Cinch tank buckle provide rock-solid stability.
MSRP $589, $729 (with Air2 inflator) | scubapro.com
Scubapro S-Tek Pro
Customize with eight color options for shoulder, waist and back pads.
Designed for utility and comfort, this back-plate and wing system has angled slots for a more natural, comfortable route for webbing. The 3D formed back-plate (available in stainless or aluminum) has an ergonomic curved profile and comes with a molded Monprene pad to cushion the shoulders, waist and back without adding bulk or buoyancy.
MSRP $1,159 (30 lb), $1,009 (40 and 60 lb) | scubapro.com
Scubapro S-Tek Pure
Clever reinvention of a classic backplate wing system.
This system features a streamlined back plate (available in stainless or aluminum) with a continuous webbing harness, curved central profile and angled webbing slots for increased comfort. Recessed wing nuts are designed for easy use with wet or gloved hands. Optional harness mode allows shoulder straps to extend for easier donning and doffing.
MSRP $1,039 (30 lb), $889 (40 and 60 lb) | scubapro.com
Lightweight easy-travel design with full features
Lightweight easy-travel design with full features.
Packed with top-notch features, the jacket-style EQ-Pro has a pair of large cargo pockets, plush padded back pad, rear and shoulder exhaust valves, secure integrated weight pockets, tank-mounted trim pockets, eight stainless-steel D-rings and more. Its design allows the air bladder to slide along the harness to prevent uncomfortable binding or squeezing.
MSRP $519 | seacsub.com
Seac Modular BC
Disassembles quickly and takes up little space, making it ideal for travel.
This modular dive platform starts with a sturdy harness featuring a steel core in a soft backpack. From there, add or replace a variety of interchangeable components (weight system, trim pouches, storage pockets, air cells, crotch strap, etc.) to create a BC that is uniquely tailored for your personal diving style.
MSRP $529 | seacsub.com
Sherwood Avid Phantom
3D-designed air cell hugs the body for stability and flotation.
This update to Sherwood’s jacket-style Avid BC offers the same tough, durable reliability of previous models, but is now offered in a new “Phantom” color option. Another notable update is the BC’s new integrated octo holder and the improved forward buckle location of the CQR-3 integrated weight system. The wraparound harness is designed to create a stable, secure ride that minimizes squeeze.
MSRP $696 | sherwoodscuba.com
Sherwood Luna Magenta
Capable, comfortable jacket-style BC designed specifically for women
Capable, comfortable jacket-style BC designed specifically for women.
This jacket-style BC is tailored specifically for women, and features a contoured air cell, shoulders and cummerbund to better conform to the female body for a comfortable and stable fit. The 3D air cell design and elastic adjustable sternum strap allow for full inflation without uncomfortable squeezing. The system is weight-integrated with zippered cargo pockets and stainless D-rings.
MSRP $633 | sherwoodscuba.com
Tec-inspired design is lightweight, stable and allows for easy customization
Tec-inspired design is lightweight, stable and allows for easy customization.
An aluminum back plate ties together a donut-shaped air cell with 27 pounds of lift and a quick-adjustment harness with a crotch strap for a stable dive system. Streamlined and lightweight, the T-wing provides excellent attitude and buoyancy control. Optional accessories include removable weight pockets and an aluminum tank adapter set. One size fits all.
MSRP $549 | tusa.com
Designed for women, with an emphasis on comfort and performance.
Designed for women with an emphasis on comfort and performance.
Designed specifically for women, this jacket-style BC has a high-cut waist and a plush back pad that provides support along the lower back and distributes weight evenly around the hips. The wraparound fit is comfortable and provides easy attitude control and stability underwater. The Tina is outfitted with two large zippered pockets, movable D-rings, octo pockets and a zippered pocket on the cummerbund.
MSRP $529 | tusa.com