Scuba diving can be one of the most thrilling and relaxing experiences you can take up. But this statement applies only to those who wear and use the right equipment while underwater. As buoyancy control is a pivotal aspect of diving, the requirement for a buoyancy control device or BCD is dire. This is where the BCD scuba enters the picture, a piece of diving equipment you need as it allows you to safely ascend and descend, and it keeps you in a streamlined position during the diving session. But beware, as the pricing for this gear piece is quite considerable, so it is preferable you do a little research and make sure you are investing in a qualitative product. To get a better idea of what the market has to offer, check out the following listing and comparison of the top BC jackets for underwater diving.

Top 6 BCD Scubas Comparison

Photo Product Style Size Capacity Material User Weight Compatibility Price

Best Overall
1. Scubapro Litehawk Back inflator XS/S, M/L, XL/2XL 29.2 lbs 1000-denier nylon 119 – 170 lbs, 150 – 209 lbs, 194 – 271 lbs Check Price

Our Choice
2. Cressi R1 Jacket XS, S, M, L, XL 16.9 lbs, 20.2 lbs, 23.6 lbs, 33.7 lbs, 36.0 lbs 500-denier Cordura nylon 99 – 132 lbs, 110 – 154 lbs, 143 – 187 lbs, 176 – 209 lbs , 198 – 254 lbs Check Price
3. Sherwood Avid Jacket S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL 16.9 lbs, 20 lbs, 26 lbs 1000-denier nylon urethane laminate 120 – 145 lbs, 140 – 175 lbs, 170 – 210 lbs, 205 – 240 lbs , 235 – 270 lbs, 270 – 300 lbs
4. Cressi Aquapro 5 Jacket XS, S, M, L, XL 17 lbs for XS, 20 lbs for S, 23.5 lbs for M, 34 lbs for L, 36 lbs for XL 420-denier urethane laminated nylon 121 – 143 lbs for XS, 139 – 172 lbs for S, 165 – 187 lbs for M, 176 – 220 lbs for L, 243 – 265 lbs for XL Check Price
5. Genesis Drift DRT507 Jacket S, M, L, XL 24 lbs for S, 28 lbs for M, 34 lbs for L, 40 lbs for XL 420-denier nylon 120 – 145 lbs for S, 140 – 175 lbs for M, 170 – 210 lbs for L, 205 – 240 lbs for XL Check Price
6. Cressi Start BCD Jacket XS, S, M, L, XL 29.2 lbs for XS, 31.5 lbs for S, 33.7 lbs for M, 38.1 lbs for L, 44.9 lbs for XL 500 and 1000-denier Cordura 121 – 143 lbs for XS, 139 – 172 lbs for S, 165 – 187 lbs for M, 176 – 220 lbs for L, 243 – 265 lbs for XL Check Price

Scuba BCD Reviews

Scubapro Litehawk

Freedom of movement is the most important aspect for any diver, yet protection is needed and there is plenty of gear that should be taken underwater for safety and other purposes. As the Litehawk is designed to provide thermal protection without feeling bulky or heavy, it is a back-flotation BC that we recommend to all divers, ensuring complete freedom of movement underwater. It ensures comfort and stability as you go deep, and it is designed to suit tropical and temperature water diving experiences.


With the wearable, it is important for it to ensure long-lasting durability without feeling heavy as you want to enjoy maximum mobility when you dive. Due to the fact that it is made with 1000 denier nylon, the Litehawk ensures just this as the material is durable and light. It features a soft backpack that ensures diving for prolonged periods with it on will feel comfortable. It comes in 3 different size options that you can select between, including XS/S, M/L, and XL/2XL.

  • Two-position sternum strap ensures comfort during use.
  • Features 2 non-ditching pockets where you can store various accessories.
  • As it features a 3-dump deflation system, you can dump the air in different positions when you are underwater.
  • As it features 4 D-rings that are made with aluminum, it provides a convenient manner to clip additional gear on it.
  • Stability when you are at depth is increased, as well as the security of the tank by the multiple band and strap system it comes with.

Adjustability is important with any wearable, especially gear that you put on when you go diving. As the design of this product allows adjustability, you are set to have a pleasant experience when using it. The belt-style waist strap it features that has a nylon buckle ensures a snug fit regardless how your weight shits as it can be adjusted to your needs. There’s the rotating quick-release featured for the shoulder buckles that allows you to customize how the straps sit on your shoulders to ensure a perfect fit as well.

  • Adjustable waist strap allows a snug fit
  • Does not come in as many sizes as other products
  • It does not carry inherent buoyancy, so not a lot of ballast weight is needed
  • Rapid release shoulder buckles allow you to route the straps conveniently, under your arms

Perfectly suited for recreational diving sessions, this BC back inflator style wearable is a must-have for any passionate diver. It is made with quality 1000-denier nylon, and it comes with a plethora of features, including pockets where you can store accessories and an adjustable waist strap that allows customization, so there basically only positive aspects to purchasing it.

Cressi R1

A jacket style buoyancy compensator you will become dependent on after the first time you use it, this Cressi entry is our favorite, by far. It comes in 5 different sizes – extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large –, and there are two color options put at your disposal as well, more precisely black grey, and a combination of black, grey, and red. In terms of chest size and weight compatibility, it is quite versatile, each size option for the wearable being suited for a certain body type. Thus, you will have an easy time finding the right size option for you. Furthermore, it has received a great reception from customers, most of them reporting a perfect fit that complied with what was promised to them.

  • Features two large side pockets where you can place diving accessories
  • Great reception – customers were very pleased with this acquisition from all points of view
  • Cummerbund can be adjusted to fit you perfectly
  • Features adjustable shoulder straps to ensure a good fit
  • Among the higher priced buoyancy compensators

As comfort is definitely one of your main searching parameters when looking for a buoyancy compensator, the apparition of the R1 in this top comes as no surprise. Made with 500-denier Cordura nylon and boasting an ergonomic harness design, it exceeds expectations as it allows an unparalleled freedom of movement.

Sherwood Avid

A jacket-style BC that ensures you will float easily due to the 3-D air cells and suspension strap system it features, the Avid provides a stable and secure fit that ensures safety when you are exploring the waters without squeezing you. It is made with heavy-duty 1000 denier nylon urethane laminate, and the adjustable sternum strap it feature ensures you can fit it to your body size in case you lose or gain some weight after buying it. As it comes in 6 different sizes ranging from S to XXXL, you are sure to find a perfect fit for your body type. The lift capacity it offers ranges from 16.9 to 26 pounds, depending on the size model you opt for. Furthermore, it features three dump valves that are strategically placed to make dumping air a breeze.

  • Features webbing that makes shoulder and waist strap adjustments go a lot smoother
  • 6 different size options ensure you will find the right fit for you
  • Removable and adjustable sternum strap ensures a great fit
  • Features three dump valves that make it easy to dump air
  • Price tag makes it one of the more expensive selections on this market

Not necessarily the cheapest option to go for, but one made with high attention to detail and so durable that you won’t regret spending your money on it, the AVID is a jacket-style BC we recommend to any water enthusiasts who want to stay safe on their journeys and adventures underwater.

Cressi Aquapro 5

Made with 420-denier urethane laminated nylon and mesh fabric, this BC is seen by many, including us, as one of the most comfortable jacket-style compensators. As it comes in 5 different sizes, more precisely extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large, it is compatible with a wider range of customers in terms of their weight and height. It features two convenient wraparound weight pockets that you can use to carry accessories and any useful items with you. Additionally, it features three over-pressure dump valves that you can conveniently dump when it is needed. The two shoulder valves are dumped manually, while the lower valve can be dumped with the help of the power inflator mechanism. Best of all, it is one of the more reasonably priced entries on this market, which makes it a lot more accessible when compared to other similar products.

  • Features two weight pockets which can hold a little over 6 pounds each
  • Mesh fabric is self-draining, ensuring years of dependable use
  • Features corrosion-resistant Fastex buckles
  • Good price to quality ratio – quite affordable in comparison to other products in its niche
  • Independent suspension system ensures you will enjoy proper stability when diving, the cylinder not changing position
  • Some customers have reported issues with handling the weight release system

Affordable and available in 5 different sizes which ensure you will surely find the right one for you, we strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy diving sessions without any type of inconvenience.

Genesis Drift DRT507

Unlike most BCs out there, the DRT507 does not skip on quality regardless of the design or construction element we are focusing on. It features two gravity style pockets that you can easily ditch by simply pulling on some release handles, pockets that can fit up to 8 pounds of items/accessories in them each. It is available in 4 different sizes, more precisely small, medium, large, and extra-large, and all customers praise the wearable due to the fact that it fits as expected. Another noteworthy highlight is the 2-year warranty offered by the manufacturing company for it, company that shows how much trust is put in it. Furthermore, it is quite affordable, thus presenting an appealing and approachable option for most customers.

  • Manufacturer offers a 2-year warranty for it
  • Allows easy control over buoyancy due to the power inflator mechanism it features
  • Radio frequency welded seams ensure airtight integrity of the wearable
  • Gravity style pockets allow you to place accessories in them, and can be easy to ditch in case of emergency
  • Reasonable price makes it affordable for a wider range of customers
  • Only comes in 4 different sizes – industry standard is of at least 5 different size options

In terms of convenience in use and buoyancy control, few BCs come close to this Genesis entry. It is reasonably priced, thus being accessible to a wider range of customers, and the 2-year warranty it is backed by ensured product durability and trustworthiness.

Cressi Start BCD

We end our listing with the Start BCD, a diving gear piece you will love using as it presents a comfortable and snug fit in all points. Furthermore, the cheap, affordable price makes it a viable option even for those who are on a tight budget. It features two large pockets with Velcro closures where you can conveniently store accessories you need for the diving session. Additionally, it comes with adjustable sternum straps and torso straps that ensure you will be able to produce a tight, snug fit each and every time you wear this jacket. Five different size options are put to your disposal, more precisely extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large. Also, it is made with the highest quality materials, more precisely 500 and 1000-denier Cordura which ensure excellent buoyancy for years on end.

  • Adjustable sternum strap allows a snug, comfortable fit
  • Padded back support panel makes it convenient for you to wear it for prolonged hours
  • Comes with 2 D-rings and 2 snap hooks that allow a fast and easy attachment of scuba diving accessories or instruments
  • Features two large Velcro closure pockets where you can store various accessories and items
  • Independent cummerbund is suspended from the air cell to allow it to inflate conveniently

When it comes to affordability, this is the BC we recommend the most as it comes at the cheapest price among the top entries on this market. Furthermore, it presents you with everything you need from a buoyancy compensator, the price tag not affecting of reflecting its quality at all.

A pivotal part of your scuba gear, the BCD should be chosen as carefully as possible as it makes a big difference when it comes to the safety of your scuba sessions. Thus, the fact that we chose the Scubapro Litehawk as the best option to go for comes as no surprise as it truly helps you experience utter safety when you are diving. It is a back inflator style jacket that is made with 1000-denier nylon and comes in 3 different sizes to suit all body types. If you don’t find the right fit for you in this product, we recommend you check out the Sherwood Avid as it comes in a total of 6 sizes ranging from Small to XXX-Large, thus being a certainty that you will find what you need. Furthermore, it comes at a bit of a more reasonable price, so there’s this aspect to take into consideration as well. However, if your budget is limited, the one we recommend you check out is the Cressi Start as it is one of the cheaper quality options to go for. In addition to being affordable, it is one of the most comfortable options out there as it features an adjustable sternum strap that enables you to fit it perfectly to your body.

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