Home > Equipment > BC’s Same, Same… BUT Different!

BC’s Same, Same… BUT Different!

October 30, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments
Mares BC BCD Scuba Diving

Mares Hub

At the root of it a BC or “bouncy compensator” is nothing more than a giant bag of air you press a button to deflate and another button to inflate.  MOST new devices and subtle changes you’ve seen over the last while are to entice us as the consumer to purchase.  I don’t foresee any earth-shaking changes in the would of BC’s anytime soon.  So does that mean that they’re all the same? No, not at all, there is a big difference between the assortment of styles.  Some of the most common designs are wing style or vest/backpack style.  We will take a look at these as well as some of the functionality differences like the high pressure inflator systems to the air trim systems.  So let’s get started.

The first BC we’ll take a look at is the Hud from Mares it’s a very comfortable BC and can stand up to some demanding diving as well.  The biggest positive and negative lies in the same device on this BC.  It has an Air trim system.  This inflate-deflate system is fantastic for comfort and stream lining.  However, for a Divemaster demonstrating quality skills or an Instructor teaching, it is a very hard device to show a student what you are doing.  Almost all students everywhere use the Low Pressure Inflator Hose.  So to make it easier on the student I recommend sticking with the same type of gear you’re teaching your students with.  If your students are all wearing the HUD then that’s different (and please let me know where you’re teaching… I wanna teach there!).

Aqua Lungs Pro QD 2009 BC BCD

Aqua Lungs Pro QD

Seac Sub Tec 2000

A perfect BC that would be great for Instructors or Divemasters would have be either the Pro QD from Aqua Lung or the Pro 2000 from Seac Sub.  The Pro QD is a superb BC in many ways.  Comfort and style are fantastic and the low pressure hose deflate and inflators feel solid.  If you have the chance to try this BC on try it you’ll be surprised by the comfort level.  The Pro 2000 like the Pro QD has metal “D” rings and is made of very sturdy construction.  The pocket placement and size on this BC is hard to match so if you’re a Recreational Diver, Instructor or Divemaster that like his toys this might be the BC for you.  Even though I like the build, comfort and style of the Pro QD I still dive with the Pro 2000 simply because of the pocket room.

There is one other fundamental style we have not talked about yet and that would be the Back Inflation/Wing Style BC.  Primarily this style is used by Tec divers.  However, this BC style is available for recreational divers as well and is a very comfortable setup keeping you very trim in the water.  Again the down side of this BC is teaching and Divemastering.  Because all the air is on your back trying to kneel and do skills becomes exceedingly difficult, because the wing design tends to send your body forward and off-balance while kneeling.  Some IDC centers I have seen even refused to teach new Instructors if they used a Wing Style BC.  If you are a Tec diver or like the idea of having that total trim ability in the water you might want to look into a Halcyon Wing.  These wings seem to be the industry leaders.  The Evolve Wing shown below is the Tec Dual Tank version but you can get it in a single tank setup as well.

So take a look at where you are going with your diving these are not your only choices of course, just a few of the better ones I’ve seen out there.  If you’re a super traveler you might even want to look into the Zuma from Aqua Lung.  For more information on the Zuma take a look at my “Traveling and Equipment” blog.   This goes over not only a traveling BC that weighs less than 2kg, but a whole traveling light weight set.  Happy Diving!!





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