ScubaLab: BCs - Aqua Lung Zuma | Scuba Diving

ScubaLab: BCs - Aqua Lung Zuma


Style Back Buoyancy
Warranty Two Years
Size/Buoyant Lift (in lbs.) XXS/XS-22, S/M-22, ML/L-34, XL/XXL-34
Integrated-Weight System Yes
Dry Weight 4 lbs., 11 oz. (Size ML/L)
Price $395


  • 600-denier nylon construction
  • Lightweight and foldable
  • Unique tank band design
  • Upgraded SureLock II integrated weight system
  • Open-cell foam padding in shoulders, back and lumbar areas
  • Sternum-strap rail system with 14 adjustment points


In the water you’d never guess the Zuma was a soft backpack BC. Its unique tank-security system — with a standard band positioned low on the tank and a smaller strap weaved around the valve — locks the cylinder in solidly without a hint of wobble. This not only makes the Zuma comfortable to wear, it contributes to its excellent stability at depth. “It’s virtually molded to your frame,” said one test diver. “No bulk, no wobble.” Testers found that the low-pro power inflator’s inflate/deflate buttons allowed for pinpoint buoyancy control. The SureLock II weight system also worked like a charm. Weight pouches — positioned well forward — self-align on a rail system, making them very easy to load when wearing the BC. Aqua Lung ratcheted up the system’s security by increasing the pull force required to release the pouches, but test divers found they still ditched easily. The BC comes with a very usable fold-down cargo pocket, four plastic D-rings for clipping extra gear and grommets for attaching a knife.

Bottom Line:

The Zuma was this year’s runaway favorite BC in the Travel category. It not only earned the first place spot on every test diver’s favorites list, but it also turned in the best ergo scores.

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|