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5 Best Travel BCDs (2022)

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For scuba divers that fly with their gear often, a travel BCD is an absolutely essential part of your diving equipment.

Something easy to pack, compact and lightweight for those last-minute dashes for the final call at the boarding gate!

AT A GLANCE: OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST TRAVEL BCDs

If you’re looking for other options to take on your next trip, then check out our reviews of the best BCDs for recreational diving, the best back-inflate BCDs, and the best BCDs for women

Keep reading for our expert reviews of the best travel BCDs.

Best BCDs For Travel

TravelPac_T4000_Right-Side-View

  • Configuration: All-in-one harness and wing
  • Features: Chest strap, one standard 36-inch cam strap w/stainless buckle, and a 1.5-inch crotch strap.
  • Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz (2.62 kg)
  • Price: High

If you’re an experienced diver and you mainly dive in caves and caverns, then the perfect BCD pick for you would be the Dive Rite Travel-Pack.

This device features a metal backplate and wing, along with a fully adjustable diving harness structured by flexible webbing.

What’s more, is that the shoulder straps can be easily adjusted to fit your size comfortably and are held still by a crotch strap. A crotch strap represents an extra piece of webbing that prevents your equipment from riding up.

Moreover, it’s one of the most lightweight BCDs on the market. Thus, you can carry it wherever you go smoothly.

What we love

  • Highly customisable design
  • Very durable
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Camera strap included

Downsides

  • Quite expensive

with Worldwide Shipping

with Free US Shipping (Over $50)

zeaglescout

  • Configuration: Flexible backplate with integrated weights
  • Features: Two zippered utility pockets
  • Weight: 6.7 lbs (3kg)
  • Price: Mid to High

When it comes down to exceptional comfort, you can’t go wrong with the Zeagle Scout BCD. The device lays against your body curves snugly, especially on the shoulders and hips. Moreover, it’s designed with extra padding and a flexible backplate.

This makes your dive trips enjoyable and convenient. It features the traditional weight system, which is quite decent in terms of stability and security. The uniqueness of this BCD stems from its extra pockets, which keep your dive accessories such as scuba cameras within hands reach.

Moreover, the jacket is designed to dry quickly, and it can be easily packed in the carrying tote in a couple of seconds.

What we love

  • Zeagle’s lightest and most compact BCD
  • 4 Stainless-steel D rings
  • 24-lb lift capacity
  • Quick-drying

Downsides

  • Can be quite small

with Worldwide Shipping

with Free US Shipping (Over $50)

bcs_biolite_3qtr_blue_1_8-600x600-1

  • Configuration: Ultra-lightweight BCD with integrated weights
  • Features: Dual 2.25 kg tank band with non-drop weight pocket
  • Weight: 5 lbs 5 oz (2.5 kg)
  • Price: High

The Oceanic Biolite BCD is the perfect buoyancy device for those who love to dive no matter the weather conditions.

What’s more, is that due to its lack of backplate and plastic rays, the BCD becomes exceptionally lightweight.

And this actually makes the carrying process a breeze. Moreover, you can fit it in your backpack without any hassle.

However, the jacket lacks any extra pockets. To compensate this, the Oceanic Biolite BCD comes with various D-rings that keep all your accessories in hand’s reach.

What we love

  •  Right shoulder carabiner adjustable positioning system
  • Generous soft pad
  • Self-adjusting sternum strap
  • Lightweight and can be folded for travel

Downsides

  • Weight system cannot hold too much weight
  • The two D-rings are made of plastic

with Worldwide Shipping

with Free US Shipping (Over $50)

SCPGO

  • Configuration: Jacket style BCD with integrated weights
  • Features: 6 aluminum d rings and 2 large, easy access zippered pockets
  • Weight: 5 lbs 5 oz (2.6 kg)
  • Price: High

You just got certified as a diver, and you’re looking for the perfect buoyancy device to suit your needs. If that’s the case, then you can’t go wrong by picking the Scubapro GO BCD. Also, make sure you get yourself a dive computer for effortless dives.

It weighs only 6 pounds, which makes the carrying process effortless. It comes with a backplate, which can be easily folded.

Therefore, the device can fit in a backpack without any issues. When it comes to comfort, the adjustable swiveling straps make your dive endeavors enjoyable and convenient.

Moreover, the jacket delivers plenty of storage. It comes with an outstanding buckled-in weight system, which makes you stable and secure. To justify your buying decision, this jacket comes with a travel bag for more comfortable transportation.

What we love

  • Travel sack included
  • Easily fit into cabin baggage
  • Integrated weight system
  • Comfortable, one size fits all design

Downsides

  • Quite expensive
  • Not as light as the other options, but still very light!

with Worldwide Shipping

with Free US Shipping (Over $50)

oceanic

  • Configuration: Back inflation with integrated weight pockets
  • Features: 2 Stainless-steel D-rings
  • Weight: 6lbs 25oz 2.84 kg
  • Price: High
 

If you love to travel to the outdoors and consider yourself as a “diver on the go,” then the Oceanic Jetpack BCD will definitely suit your needs. This BCD, suitable for backpackers, can be actually converted in a travel bag where you can store all of your other equipment (fins, dive computer – 2 link).

What’s more, is that it comes with adjustable straps that snug perfectly against your body curvature. This makes your dive endeavor quite comfortable.

After you’ve finished your diving trip, a few folds are what separates the BCD from becoming a carrying tote. Moreover, it comes with a couple of compartments that allow you to keep your wet and dry stuff separated.

What we love

  • Doubles as a BCD and a day bag
  • Can be carried like a backpack
  • Quick-drying
  • Ergonomic design
  • Rapid deflation

Downsides

  • No D-rings
  • When fully packed with dive gear, is unlikely to fit into overhead cabin

with Worldwide Shipping

How To Choose The Best Travel BCD

When choosing a BCD for travel, there are a few things to bear in mind. Not every BCD will be the best one for you, so to help you decide we’ve put together a guide on choosing the best travel BCD for you.

Style

BCDs come in various styles. wing, jacket, and hybrid are the most popular designs. Back inflate BCDs have air bladders solely at the back of the diver where they sit on either side of the tank.

Back-inflated BCDs are more streamlined and a lot easier for travel due to their lightweight and easy-to-pack design.

Jacket-style BCDs fit over the shoulders and are secured at the waist and chest, just like an actual jacket. The air bladders sit behind and on either side of the diver. They’re the most common models and are considered to be the “traditional” BCD fit by divers.

Dry Weight

When it comes to travel-friendly items, they should preferably be as light as possible. This will ensure ease of travel and you can potentially take your BCD as carry-on luggage.

Of course, lighter doesn’t necessarily mean better. if a BCD is too light that might mean it’s made of low-quality, non-durable material.

Fit

How a BCD fits is one of the most important things to take into account when choosing a BCD. A BCD should fit snug around the chest and waist, but not too tight that it constricts your movement. A correctly fitting BCD is vital for your comfort during a dive.

Lift Capacity

The Lift capacity is how much weight a BCD can compensate for underwater.

If you’re diving in warm water destinations, lift may not be a major focus when it comes to choosing your BCD. However, if you are diving with a lot of lead or in cold water – you will need to offset the weight.

Male Or Female

Most BCDs are unisex, meaning they fit well for both men and women.

However, a BCD’s fit is paramount for a comfortable dive.  Because a women’s cut is narrower at the shoulder and wider at the hips than a man’s, some female divers may decide to choose a women’s BCD.

For more information on BCDs for women, check out our review of the 5 best BCDs for women

Frequently Asked Questions

A travel BCD is much more lightweight and compact than standard BCD’s.

When traveling, especially for dive trips you need to take an airplane for, having a dive BCD that is light, compact and easily packed away will make your trip a lot easier.

When it comes to servicing your travel BCD, the safest bet is to service it either once a year or after 80-100 dives.

If you are diving frequently and in salt water, you may want to service your travel BCD more regularly.

A scuba BCD is a vest-like fitted jacket, or back inflated wing, that connects to your scuba tank through your low pressure hose.

This piece of equipment contains an inflatable air bladder that helps you maintain proper air buoyancy whether you’re on the surface or beneath the water.

Traveling with scuba gear may sound like a stressful situation at first… But with modern technology and new, improved designs, it’s never been easier!

Now you can have the comfort and confidence of having your own scuba gear that you are familiar with and fits you well anywhere in the world.

Have you ever traveled with scuba gear?

Let us know in the comments below!

 

Austin Tuwiner Administrator
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    My name’s Austin, and I created OtterAquatics to help readers become better divers, help them buy their first gear, and plan their next dive vacation!




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