Since the invention of scuba diving, people have been eager to dive under the waves. But, as with any sport, it is important that you are prepared and have all the correct scuba diving gear for your dive. For beginners, it is even more important to have entry level equipment that is easy to learn how to use. One essential piece of equipment is a BCD, or buoyancy control device.
But for beginners, knowing what a BCD is used for is just the beginning. You will need to invest in a top rated beginner BCD before you can dive under the water. The best BCD for beginners will be easy to use and control, so you can confidently train to go on deep dives. To help you in your search for beginner scuba gear, we have made a list of the seven best BCDs for beginners and included a comprehensive buying guide so you can stay safe and have a great time scuba diving.
How To Choose A Beginner BCD – Buying Guide
The most popular type of BCD is a backpack or jacket style design because it is easy to use and carry around. A backpack type scuba pro classic BCD will have two shoulder straps and a waist belt, which will secure the device to your body as you dive. A variety of pockets and compartments can be filled with weights to control your buoyancy and there should be space to hold at least one air tank. A vest design is similar to the backpack and jacket type BCDs and is also a popular choice.
But the best beginner BCD will be a type that isn’t complicated or bulky. When you’re just trying to learn the requirements for scuba diving, complicated or advanced gear can make it more difficult and frustrating.
It is also important the top rated beginner BCD you choose fits your body well. An ill-fitting BCD will be difficult and even dangerous to use on your dives. Now, most brands will offer their beginner BCD in a variety of sizes, so everyone can enjoy the dive and get over their scuba phobia.
All scuba diving gear should be properly fit, but for the best BCD for beginners you want it to be snug and not too tight. The shoulder straps, sternum strap, and waist belt should keep the BCD snug, but if they dig in too much or cause discomfort, the device may be strapped too tightly.
While the device shouldn’t move around too much, divers still need their freedom of movement to swim and navigate the dive. A backplate can ensure that you have the proper fit and makes a BCD more comfortable to wear.
Scuba equipment can be heavy. Very heavy and while the weight in the water is eased, it is still important that you can manage the total weight of your combined scuba diving gear. To help offset the weight of your tanks, the best BCD for beginners would be one that is lightweight. Most BCDs will weigh under 10 pounds, but you may find an ultra-lightweight design that weighs only 5 pounds.
Valves are what you use to stay safe and control your buoyancy in the water. The best beginner BCD would have 2-3 valves, which would allow you to dump or release air from the device as needed. Most valves are located in the shoulder areas, but some may be in the lower waist area.
The lift of a BCD will determine how much weight you can add to the device to safely control your buoyancy. Boyles Law and scuba diving are constantly working to maintain or change your buoyancy in the water. By adding weight to your BCD, you can control your comfort and safety as you dive.
However, a BCD that doesn’t have enough lift and is weighed down too much can become difficult to use when you’re floating on the surface. Ideally, more lift is better because it will ensure that you can always float on or to the surface.
However, BCD for beginners reviews can help you determine whether the lift of a BCD is suited to your body type and weight. Reviewers may comment on how the lift affected their dive and whether it was sufficient, or they had trouble on the dive, which can help you determine which is the best beginner BCD.
Extra features, like pockets, are always nice to have on a BCD because it allows you to carry smaller gear items and keep them close by for safety. The best BCD for beginners will feature multiple pockets and D-rings, which you can use to store and organize your extra scuba equipment.
Q: Is It Better To Rent Or Buy A BCD If You Are A Beginner?
It will depend on your scuba diving needs. If you are only looking to go scuba diving once or twice, or you only go on dives when you’re on vacation, it may not be worth the investment to purchase your own BCD. But if you happen to love scuba diving, it can be worth it to eliminate the hassle of rentals and invest in your scuba diving gear. The best beginner BCD will be a pricey investment, but for frequent divers it is often more beneficial to own rather than rent a BCD.
Q: What Is A Hybrid BCD?
A hybrid BCD is normally a jacket style BCD that uses ¾ back inflation and ¼ front inflation to control your buoyancy in the water. By splitting the location of the inflation, divers stay more comfortable and have more control in the water. With a hybrid BCD, it is also easier to maintain position horizontally or vertically for extended periods of time.
Globo Surf Overview
For scuba divers, nothing beats the experience of seeing a whole new world under the waves. But you can’t have a good dive without the proper beginner scuba gear. For those who are just testing out the water, the best BCD for beginners should be durable, reliable, and functional to ensure your safety during the dive. We hope that our guide has given you all the information you need to find quality scuba equipment and the best beginner BCD.
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Do you own one of the beginner BCDs that made it onto our list? Let us know which one is your favorite to take diving in the comments section below.