Underwater exploration needs the proper gear before it becomes that enjoyable and exciting experience all divers are craving. A BCD (buoyancy compensator or buoyancy control device) is an essential part of this scuba diving gear. Without it, you could not achieve a proper neutral buoyancy while underwater or a positive one at the surface, helping you stay afloat.
Since for many of us the best diving adventures happen in places far from home, your diving gear should also be appropriate for it. That’s why you need a good travel scuba gear, and we aim to help you find the best one. Since each diver has their own needs and preferences, there isn’t a one size fits all. Each model that made it to our list of the best travel BCD has its strengths. Let’s check them out together!
How To Choose A Travel BCD – Buying Guide
Still confused about what travel BCD scuba gear is the best fit for you? Don’t worry, we know this can be a tough call to make. Here are the main criteria you need to consider, broken down for you.
The weight of travel buoyancy compensators is relevant whenever you’re about to make a buying decision. First of all, think about your own size / weight and level of physical strength. Since this is about travel scuba gear, you should expect to have to carry it yourself sometimes. Not all diving sites are accessible by car all the time, and besides, a truly immersive adventure sometimes involves some periods of walking or trekking on purpose.
Therefore, limit yourself to the best travel BCDs that you can also carry comfortably for some time. If you know carrying weights can make you too sore or tired to be able to enjoy diving afterwards, then stick to the lightest BCD you can find. Better safe than sorry.
Also, bear in mind that it’s not only about how much your body can carry. If you’re packing it all in a scuba gear package, you need to also consider the maximum weight that your backpack can take without sustaining damage.
Having your travel scuba gear fit you well isn’t just a matter of comfort; it’s also a matter of safety. You can have the best BCD for travelling and high-performance dives; if it’s not a good fit for your body it can dangerously fail you.
Just imagine how it would be like if you’d slip out of it during your dives! Of course, with modern equipment such an incident isn’t likely to happen, but you can imagine the discomfort of being tense all the while, fearing that it might.
Pockets and Rings
Pockets and rings are vital in any travel-oriented gear, so scuba BCDs are no exception. Since you’ll use them for traveling, you’ll obviously need to carry more stuff on you, so every pocket and ring feature is another chance of optimizing this.
As always, style is a matter of personal taste when it comes to colors and the like. Just choose what you like best and feel great when wearing it. But there’s another matter of style for travel scuba gear, one that requires more attention.
As you’ve noticed from our list of the best travel BCD options above, some models are jacket-style and some are backpack-style. Making a choice between the two will have a great impact on your future diving experiences. For more movement freedom and less bulky feel, go for the jacket style. For greater lumbar support and more carry capacity, go for the backpack style.
Q: What Is The Best Way To Use Travel BCD?
A: First of all, you should shop for the best travel BCD for your most likely location, and not for your personal preferences as a diver. Knowing where exactly you plan to use your new gear is essential when picking it out and will impact the gear’s performance as well. We covered before the topic of buoyancy in saltwater and freshwater, so make sure you read it and consider it before buying your next travel BC device.
In order to use a travel BCD to its best level of performance, make sure its design is a good fit for the type of environment where your dives will take place in, and for the type of trip. Will you just be driving to the diving site and back or will there also be walking or trekking until you reach it? In the latter case, you should be prepared to carry all the gear and still be energetic enough when you reach the water. This would mean minimizing total weight as much as possible.
If you’re unsure about the answer to these questions or of any other technical details of your upcoming diving trip, ask your diving instructor or drop us a line.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Using A Travel BCD?
A: The most immediate benefit is the lightness that makes a travel BCD far more portable compared to a regular one. The best models also include a few other perks such as more pockets and storing features, faster set-up and packing up, as well as a reduced storing space needed.
Q: Can I Use A Travel BCD For Everyday Use?
A: Of course you can, especially if you prefer a lighter model to the traditional BCDs out there. But you need to remember that all such choices are a trade-off. You do get to enjoy the extra lightness, it’s true, but you will also wear out your gear faster with more intensive use. Even the best travel BCDs can suffer from wear and tear damage if you use them so often.
Q: How Deep Can You Go With A Travel BCD?
A: There aren’t special restrictions to a travel BCD’s depth on account of it being a travel piece of gear. However, knowing how deep you can go warrants an entire discussion and it would be too simplistic to answer it here.
You can read our guide to learn how to calculate maximum operating depth in scuba diving and take it from there. Also, familiarize yourself with a few key diving concepts to always remember, especially if you’re a beginner. Trust us, they may save your life!
Q: How To Maintain Travel BCD?
A: Maintaining your gear should indeed be a top concern, so here’s our best advice on it. Start by reading the care and maintenance instructions of every piece of gear very carefully. They may differ from one item and brand to another, so pay attention.
Second of all, never push a travel BCD beyond its stated limits (for example, by carrying more in it than its upper weight carry limit and so on). Third and last, if you can afford a greater initial investment, go for a more expensive and qualitative model. It will end up saving you more money on the long term, since it will require fewer repairs and will last longer.
Globo Surf Overview
We hope our travel BCD reviews helped you pick your best fit and that you’re now one step closer to the scuba vacation of your dreams. As long as you think of your preferred diving style, how long your vacations tend to take, how deep you’re usually diving and the other key criteria mentioned above, you’re going to pick the best travel scuba gear.
Remember the scuba diving etiquette, research and bring along some extra dive safety gear, make sure you have someone more experienced with you if you’re a beginner and you’re ready to go. Enjoy your diving lessons and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need further advice. Have fun!
What kind of buoyancy compensators have you used so far? Are you loyal to a particular brand or do you look strictly to features when shopping for a new BCD? What would you advise a beginner looking to buy his or her first BC scuba diving equipment?
Share your thoughts and insights with the other Globo Surf readers in our comment section below! We all need to stick together and share experiences so we can then have the best experiences on our next adventure.
Globo Surf Travel BCDs Reviews