What diving vest should I buy?

0

How to find the best scuba diving vest

After getting your scuba certification, you probably plan to buy your own equipment. It’s a substantial investment, so having the right equipment is essential. A quality scuba diving vest, also known as a buoyancy compensator, is crucial. Some divers also call them a hydrostatic vest or a stab (stabilizing) vest. Here are some tips to help you find the right scuba vest for you.

Scuba Diving Vests vs Wetsuit Vests

A scuba diving vest is not a vest at all. Instead, it looks and functions more like a tactical vest or harness, and it’s the main component for neutral buoyancy underwater and keeping your oxygen supply firmly on your back.

Most people mistakenly refer to a wetsuit vest like scuba diving vest, but they are different things. A wetsuit vest is often a neoprene sleeveless garment that you would wear for all water activities to maintain your body temperature. It is similar to a rash vest that surfers wear to protect themselves from surfboard wax. Make sure you get the right type of vest before making a purchase.

Types of scuba diving vests

It can be easy to assume that all scuba vests are the same, but generally there are three types of vests that divers use:

  • Buoyancy compensator jacket are the most common, especially when renting equipment. It has a single air pocket that sits comfortably around your back and sides.
  • Wing BCD are slightly different from jackets and take on a horseshoe shape while all the air is in a cell on your back.
  • Hybrid BCDs combine elements of jackets and wings. They inflate three-quarters in the back and one-quarter in the front, giving you better buoyancy control.

The best scuba diving vests

Vest Style Scuba Diving Vest Tops

Cressi Durable Start Vest

The vest-style BCD features three exhaust valves for easy buoyancy adjustment, while the durable harness provides excellent load distribution. It also has two large pockets with a Velcro closure and an octopus holder.

Sold by Amazon

Scubapro Hydros-X

Scubapro Hydros-X

Based on the same Monprene modular harness as the previous Hydros model, this vest uses a high tenacity EndurTex fabric bladder. The harness is UV resistant and does not absorb water, reducing drying time. It has quick release rotating shoulder buckles and the tank is held in place by a Super Cinch buckle system. There are two zippered cargo pockets for accessories and stainless steel D-rings give you clip options.

Sold by Amazon

Top Back Inflatable Scuba Diving Vests

SEAC smart buoyancy compensator

SEAC smart buoyancy compensator

This scuba diving vest features a comfortable and supportive two-position adjustable sternum strap and safety release weight pockets, so it’s perfect for beginners. On the back and shoulder straps there is light padding. It’s a great vest for those traveling to dive sites, as the dry weight is less than 7 pounds. In addition, the vest has metal D-rings for hanging accessories and pockets with zippers for storing additional equipment.

Sold by Amazon

Zeagle Covert XT CBD

Zeagle Covert XT CBD

This vest fits relatively well, and it has several steel D-rings for accessories and a few pockets for extra gear. The increased width of the rubber strap helps to better secure the tank, and there is a durable elastic strap over the bladder to prevent excess bulk. Open cell foam padding on the shoulders and lumbar area provides better support, and there are knife mounting points on both sides.

Sold by Amazon

Aqua Lung Rogue Vest

Aqua Lung Rogue Vest

The Rogue is a great option if you have a few dives under your belt and know what type of BC you prefer. Shoulder and waist straps easily disconnect and reattach, and the GripLock tank band won’t pinch your fingers. The three-position bladder retraction system prevents this by pulling on the sides to make it more streamlined.

Sold by Amazon

Riptide Mutineer Lightweight Men's Back Vest

Riptide Mutineer Lightweight Men’s Back Vest

The Mutineer is one of the lightest scuba diving vests available, weighing less than 5 pounds when dry. It has a soft back plate and minimal padding on the shoulder straps and harness belt. Built-in trim weight pockets help with the 38 pounds of lift, and it features a water-activated strobe light. The air cell design allows air to move around the waist and shoulders which helps stabilize you vertically as almost no air will be on your back.

Sold by Amazon

Beuchat Masterlift Tek

Beuchat Masterlift Tek

The Masterlift is a great all-around vest that is perfect for scuba diving, spearfishing and free diving. Its fit resembles a pre-shaped backpack with an anodized aluminum back plate, bungee compression cord and 35 liter air pocket. It is compatible with double-pack bottles and there are 12 aluminum D-rings for accessories.

Sold by Amazon

Register here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.

Charlie Fripp written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.