The scuba BCD short for Buoyancy Control Device is the central hub of your scuba diving gear, and grants you buoyancy control wherever you are in the water. As most products are targeted towards male customers, find the right scuba BCD for women will most times take some extra effort. The ideal scuba BCD for women should be very comfortable, offer excellent buoyancy control, and easily adjustable to conform to the more curvy, female figure.
Best BCDs for Women
Check out our favorite selections for BCDs for women that boast of outstanding functionality and reliability.
The Zena BCD from Zeagle was designed by women to serve female divers. It adopts a buoyancy system that utilizes adjustable twin straps that fit the waist and hips independently and a patented sizing system allows the waist, chest, and torso size to be fitted singly while focusing weight around the body’s center of buoyancy.
- Durable metal D-rings.
- Give a secure fit with an independent twin waist and hip straps.
- Quick-release shoulder and side buckles easy wearing.
The Cressi Travelight BCD is an all-time favorite for women mostly because of its incredibly lightweight and fast folding construction, making it easy to pack and use on-the-go. It also features a well-padded back for the most comfortable fit and is pocket-friendly.
- Suitable for beginners.
- Durable with a light structure and backplate for easy folding.
- Non-heavy alloy D-rings.
Hydros Pro has a pricier tag than most female BCDs out there, but with good reason. It employs a new Fluid-Form 3D Gel System and kicks the old Cut, Trim, Make process common in orthodox BCDs to the curb, resulting in infinitely more comfortable and controlled diving experience.
- Highly durable with UV and chemical-resistant IMP gel harness.
- The 3D gel system promotes neutral buoyancy.
- The BCD material diminishes water retention and makes you feel lighter during a dive.
The Pearl Women’s BCD from AquaLung is a hybrid product that incorporates both the jacket-style and back inflation design. This unique design promotes buoyancy on the water surface and a smooth, streamlined dive underneath. For novice divers, this model has everything you’ll need to begin without overloading on unnecessary features.
- Adjustable chest and waist straps to fit all heights.
- Features a Wrapture harness system.
- Two zippered front pockets to keep your accessories within reach.
The Mares Women’s Kaila BCD comes with a free DDF slap strap and hanger. The Kaila SLS goes a step further than its flagship model with a range of new features including the intensely comfortable SLS weight system, better Aircell slides with “dragon” winglets, and a sturdier, more durable construction.
- Efficient trim weight positioning.
- Mono-plate back ideal for carrying one or two tanks.
- Adjustable 40mm swivel buckles and cummerbund.
BCDs for Women Buying Guide
Scuba diving was once a man’s sport but not anymore as women now compete on equal footing with their male counterparts in exploring the deep blue of the seas. Of all the equipment to have in your dive gear, a BCD for women is one of the most important and will grant you excellent buoyancy control while in the water, so you can maintain your position and be where you want to be. The ideal BCD for women should be very comfortable to wear, yield impressive lift, and should be easily adjustable to fit the curvature of the female structure.
As BCDs for women are so important, choosing the right product can be a herculean task, thanks to the host of brands that all claim the top spot in terms of performance. To save you the hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five BCDs for women on the market that boast of impressive features and customer feedback.
In a niche that was mainly male-dominated, choosing a BCD for women requires just a little more care and effort. With a BCD for women, you are granted an extra degree of freedom to control your position in the water using gravity and lift. Many BCDs for women can also double as support and storage for other diving equipment and choosing the right product will have a direct effect on the quality of your dives.
Our buying guide reviews the best scuba BCDs for women on the market based on their specified features and customer feedback to give you the best options to choose from. We then take it a step further and outline the key qualities you should be on the lookout for in any scuba BCD for women before you make a purchase.
Comfort and Fit
Of all your scuba gear, your scuba BCD will be on your body for the longest and so it becomes important that you choose one with a proper fit. It should be very comfortable to wear and should hug your body in a decent grip. Prior inflation, the scuba BCD should not move freely, and after inflation, it should also not be too tight. For the ideal fit, any scuba BCD you are considering should come with adjustable straps to accommodate your body shape and size
Women have more defined curves than men, so the BCD straps must be able to accommodate your bust line and be flexible enough to align with your waist. Always use sizing guidelines of you’ll be ordering a BCD online or physically test different products at your local store.
Another important factor you want to consider when choosing a BCD for women is the lift capacity. The primary purpose of scuba BCDs is to control buoyancy while in the water and vary lift. It is therefore intuitive, that the scuba BCD you go for has a high lift rating. If the lift rating is too small, you will have to expend more energy to stay afloat or ascend. Also, keep in mind that as you descend, the increasing pressure reduces the buoyancy of your BCD.
The higher the lift rating of any BCD for women you are considering the better. There is nothing like too much lift. With a high lift, you can ascend quickly and stay afloat without needing to do much leg work.
For the scuba diver who will be traveling to her favorite diving spot, your scuba BCD must be very portable. It should be lightweight and foldable so it fits into a backpack conveniently. It should have a very low dry weight and should be convenient to carry around. The scuba BCD for women you go for should properly balance bladder size and ultimately, lift capacity with a compact size for portability.
Scuba BCDs for women come in different designs; jacket, wing, and hybrid designs. Jacket designs are the most common you’ll see in scuba BCDs for women and feature a simultaneous front and back inflation, and are ideal for novice divers and tend to a vertical orientation. Wings, inflate on the rear and are ideal for more experienced divers. Their design makes them more comfortable and naturally orients the diver in a face-down position. Hybrids, you guessed it, are somewhere in between jackets and wings. They are easy to regulate and keep the diver in a mid-vertical mid-horizontal orientation.