Cressi Patrol BCD: ScubaLab Best Buy
We tested the Cressi Patrol. It was our Best Buy for back-inflation BCs.
We tested BCs at Blue Grotto Dive Resort in Central Florida. We conducted objective tests in the pool to measure buoyant lift and inherent buoyancy and to gauge each BC’s ability to cope with a runaway power inflator.
We also conducted a series of test dives where testers scored BCs in eleven categories including comfort, stability and ascent control.
Compact and streamlined, the Patrol offers a travel-friendly solution that gives up little in terms of convenience or performance. Though the rear-inflation air cell provides an impressive 46 pounds of buoyant lift in size medium, an elastic bungee keeps the system stable and streamlined, with very little drag. Test divers scored it very good for attitude and stability. “Like being cradled in the hand of God,” as one tester described it. Scoring very good for comfort, the harness features soft plushy padding throughout. Integrated weights scored very good for security and ease of ditching, but just good for loading, as the pockets can be a tight fit when filled with more than a few pounds. The power inflator was a little sluggish when exhausting, but three pull dumps are easy to reach and quick to vent excess air. Six D-rings and a spacious drop-down pocket provide room for all of the essentials. A favorite among test divers and modestly priced, the Patrol was our Best Buy for back-inflation BCs.