Best New BCs for Scuba Diving | Sport Diver

Scuba Diving Gear Buyers Guide 2016: Best BCs

The BC is the foundation of every diver's kit — make sure yours fits well and does everything you need it to do for your type of diving

To find a BC that delivers comfort, control, balance and stability, check out our 2016 dive gear guide for this year's best models.

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Hollis Prism scuba diving rebreather


Courtesy of Hollis

  • The unit offers a choice of electronic or manual control for maintaining the loop PPO2

  • Includes shoulder-mounted counterlungs and rear-mounted radial scrubber for easy breathing

This is a fully closed-circuit rebreather for adventurers interested in serious cave diving, wreck diving or open ocean exploring. The standard kit comes ready to dive right out of the box, but the unit can also be purchased with or without tanks/valves.


Cress Aquaride Blue Pro BC scuba


Zach Stovall

  • Harness arrangement improves tank grip and comfort without restricting movement

The Aquaride Blue Pro’s inflator is more ergonomic and has an improved hose retainer. There’s an expandable zip pocket, and it has Cressi’s integrated-weight system.


Cressi Aquapro BC scuba diving


Jon Whittle

  • Simple gravity-ditch ballast pockets load easily and secure with durable Fastex buckles

The Aquapro 5 has been upgraded with a jacket-style design that provides reliable stability at depth as well as on the surface. The harness eliminates squeeze when the BC is fully inflated.


Cressi Ultralight BC scuba diving


Jon Whittle

  • Comfort comes with shoulder straps and a soft back pad

This new back-inflation BC is feather-light — a size medium weighs only 4.4 pounds, yet provides from 20 to 33.7 pounds of lift. It comes with a low-profile integrated weight system, hideaway cargo pocket, and folds compactly for travel.


Dive Rite Travelpac BC scuba diving


Jon Whittle

  • Tech tough, under 6 pounds and built for travel

The minimalist travel rig folds fl at for easy packing, but still boasts burly nylon webbing, a 1.5-inch crotch strap and four large D-rings. The 360-degree doughnut wing, made of 210-denier nylon, is designed to maximize underwater trim and keep divers upright at the surface.


Genesis Scuba Gemini Drift BC scuba


Jon Whittle

  • QDS Weight System holds 16 pounds of ballast and ditches with a simple pull of the cord

A lightweight jacket-style BC made from 420D nylon, its features include a rapid exhaust valve for efficient buoyancy control, a cummerbund and a removable sternum strap.


Hollis SMS Katana BC scuba diving


Jon Whittle

  • A compact sidemount system built for cave diving

The SMS Katana is the newest addition to Hollis’ line of sidemount systems. Building on the innovations of the SMS 100 and SMS 75, the Katana was designed in collaboration with cave instructors to perform in extreme environments.


Oceanic Hera QLR4 BC scuba


Jon Whittle

  • Fine-tune fit with the Adjustable Position System (A.P.S)

The BC is made for a woman’s body and features a wraparound air cell, contoured shoulders and an adjustable cummerbund. The integrated weight system holds 20 pounds of ballast; rear pockets hold 5 pounds each.


Oceanic Oceanpro QL4 BC scuba


Jon Whittle

  • Made of durable 1000D fadeless nylon

This jacket-style BC is tough yet has a comfy padded backpack and an easy-to-use inflator system. It is available with or without an integrated weight system that holds up to 20 pounds of easy-ditch weights.

$390 w/o weight pockets;

Seac Sherpa scuba BC


Jon Whittle

  • 3-D design wraps around tank for even distribution

This rugged back-inflation BC is built with polyurethane-coated 1000 denier Cordura combined with 420D nylon. It also boasts an AHS Frame-to-Back harness system, a proprietary Q&S integrated weight system, and a half-dozen stainless steel D-rings.


Seac Trip scuba BC


Jon Whittle

  • Semi frame-to-back harness anchors shoulders directly to the bottom of the backpack for better load distribution and stability

Travel divers who prefer a jacket-style BC with wraparound bladder will respect the fact that the style is lightweight and designed for easy packing, it features easy-release weight pockets, six alloy D-rings and an efficient valve system for pinpoint buoyancy control.


Sherwood Scuba Ventura BC


Jon Whittle

  • Made of double-coated TPU so it doesn’t absorb water

The low-profile BC weighs less than 5 pounds and is perfect for dive travel, but it can handle local diving too. The TPU aircell is extremely durable. The best part is that the BC still weighs 5 pounds after a week of diving. It absorbs no water.


Hollis Explorer scuba rebreather


Courtesy of Hollis

  • The single-gas nitrox system is electronically controlled to optimize the balance of PPO2 and dive time

  • Simple user interface is easy for newer divers to learn and easy to dive

A true recreational rebreather, the Explorer is a hybrid design, combining the best elements of fully closed circuit and semi-closed circuit rebreather systems. This innovative design provides a fun way to explore the depths without disturbing sea life with your bubbles.



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