Achieve perfect balance with the best scuba diving gear. Whether you’re cruising along a reef or hovering midblue with no sensation of effort, or holding perfectly still to capture that once-in-a-lifetime photograph, the right BC is your key to underwater comfort. These models in every price range will help you discover your inner fish.
What You Need to Know: Buoyancy Compensators
BCs come in two basic configurations: jacket style and back inflation.
With jacket style, the bladder is primarily located along your back, but also sweeps forward under your arms.
Back inflation has the bladder located strictly in the back and places you in the most natural position while diving.
Besides buoyancy, your BC provides the point of attachment for all scuba equipment — lights, knives, safety sausage, etc. — so make sure yours has enough pockets and D-rings for everything you’ll want to take with you underwater.
For ergonomic ease, choose a BC with both a shoulder-dump pull-cord (for feet-first descents) and a rear dump (for inverted/head-first descending).
To maintain your BC properly and ensure a long life, after every dive always drain and rinse — and drain again — before storing on a hanger in a dry place.
Lift capacity of a BC is not a justification for over-weighting. Learn to dive with the least amount of weight possible. Talk to your instructor about the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty course, and visit padi.com.
Get the Perfect Fit: BCs
Back inflation offers greater mobility and easy trim underwater but can be prone to tipping divers forward when floating on the surface.
Jacket style can be more cumbersome when cruising at depth but offer greater stability and comfort on the surface.
Today’s women’s BCs aren’t just cut-down men’s sizes but full-featured products anatomically designed and sized specifically for female divers.