Jun

13

How do you know you have the right BCD (Buoyancy Compensation Device) ? And seriously
what could possibly be the difference between one or another you may ask. There
is very little about the BCD in general that many people find attractive or
enjoyable but more a necessity. I understand possibly better than most a BCD’s
function and the reasoning behind it; but the fact remains that the number 1
most disliked piece of gear in many divers kit is the BCD. It’s too restrictive
or clumsy, its too bulky or I just would like tit to have more function than
just holding my tank and helping me trim or float.

These days if your BCD is not bulky; then you feel like you are wearing body armour
underwater or they have so many unnecessary added features that you feel like a
walking Christmas Tree wearing one. The feature of “welds” in the air cell that
causes the unit to “wrap around” you simply gives the manufacturers a method of
adding more crud to the unit and keeps it comfortable. To avoid the cumbersome
feel and bulkiness of a jacket style BCD, you have the option of going with a
back inflation style BCD (my proffered option). Be careful when you go this
route; as you may find that many manufacturers concentrate more on lift than
function;  some BCD’s have enough lift to
raise the Titanic which equates directly with more fabric and more bulk.

To me, the perfect BCD would look like something that you could use easily out of
the water as in, the bladder would perform all that it needs to do (buy a lift
bag if you really want to raise objects other than yourself) it should also
come with just enough strap material to hold the tank on the back and keep it
against my back and connect your essential objects to streamline your dive but
have all that you really need (you really do not need 24 stainless steel D
rings ). Now, I have to admit my Zeagle Stiletto BCD doesn’t quite match that description,
but when compared to many of the units on the market today, it’s pretty darn
close.

It is a very simple, comfortable design that isn’t packed with a lot of needless
“features” and “frills” to make it overly cumbersome. It’s 35lb (16 KG) lift
capacity is still far greater than I need but the folks at Zeagle have figured
out how to make that bladder not quit as obtrusive as most. This for many
divers equates to a piece of gear that is completely functional for most diving
in most waters. I’ll be the first to admit that on warm water dives the padding at the back is quite
comfortable, and welcome, and the 5 stainless steel D-rings are tucked away in
just the right spots to secure an octopus, console/computer, small light or whatever
other trinket you may be taking along on your dive, but never seem to be in the
way or “dangle” excessively.

Zeagle’s integrated weight system is also equally as streamlined and simple. No bulky
pockets at each hip. The finishing touch on this BCD is the fact that it’s a
soft pack design. You can literally roll this thing up into a tiny little wad in your luggage/dive
bag jump up and down on it to compress some space (careful not to step on your
power inflator) and take it out when you reach your destination and it’s ready
to go diving. The bladder has a good pair of access ports for rinsing after
your dives and is overall a simple very functional piece of equipment for many
divers.
All the important information:
Integrated ipcord Weight System – 44 lb capacity (24 lbs Diver releasable – 20 lbs non-diver releasable trim weights for improved weight distribution and
balance)

35-lb (16-KG) lift capacity low profile bladder

Twin tank bands for single tanks included

1000 Denier Material

Two flap utility pockets

Adjustable Cummerbund

5 – stainless D-rings

Adjustable Sternum Strap

SIZES: XSmall through XLarge

So if you are looking for a light weight BCD that has all the features and
functions of a real heavy-weight contender this should be one of the first you
take for a test dive. Zeagle has a list of suppliers on their web page http://zeagle.com/Find-a-Dealer/

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