The best BCD for women!

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Diver_jo

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Messages
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Location
Wichita, Kansas
# of dives
100 - 199
I hated the squished feeling I got from my old jacket style BC and the way the weight belt always seem to cut into me. My dad knew I was looking for a new BC, and when he saw an aqualung pearl on sale, he snatched it up. I tried it on, and it immediately went back!! The wraparound style was not for me! (I am small-breasted and wear men's wetsuits because of this)
Enter the Oceanic biolite-integrated weights, wing-style inflation. Chest strap can be adjusted up or down. It doesn't have any pockets, but it does have enough 'loops' where I can secure my computer & octo, camera gets attached to the shoulder straps by a locking d-ring and wrist strap. As an added bonus, it's lightweight which is great for travel, and lifting that bag full of dive gear. Ultimately it comes down to just finding what fits you best.
 
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Location
Palm Beach FL & CT
# of dives
100 - 199
I also have a Aqualung Libra. I am a short femail (5 feet tall) and really have no waist. My Libra is short and fits really well. Not to tight in the chest area and the intergrated weight pockets mean no separate weight belt, which for me is important.
 

RTee

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Scuba Instructor
Divemaster
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Location
Ottawa, ON
# of dives
500 - 999
Persian Diver. My girlfriend had a Mares Kayla for a number of years and then switched to a Zeagle Express Tech (Synthetic BP/W with an upgraded 35 lbs horseshoe bladder, 20 lbs zip pouch and a crotch strap. As others have already mentioned with regard to BP, adjustments are somewhat unlimited and it has independent integrated weight dumping system (in comparison to the ripcord system I have on mine) that can be easily and quickly removed or re-installed. She uses it both locally and when we travel. In addition to being very light to carry, it also takes very minimal room once packed.
 

kdl

Registered
Messages
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Location
Canyon lake, Tx USA
# of dives
500 - 999
A BCD is such an important piece of your gear. I was very lucky and my original BCD fit perfectly and the tank didn't hit my head. I loved it but it was stolen and is not longer on the market. Since then I have gone through 2 BCDs that were very uncomfortable for me. I would recommend asking the dive shop if they have a demo or maybe you could rent one you are considering and try it out. They aren't cheap and the fit is so important that you want to make sure you are happy with it. I'm having a hard time finding one that has straps positioned where the tank doesn't hit my head. Very frustrating. Even with the straps as far up on the tank as they will go. Good luck ladies and if anyone finds the perfect back inflate, low profile, light-weight BCD where the tank doesn't hit your head, please let me know. I'm considering renting a Backplate / Wing for my next trip.
 

rivers

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Scuba Instructor
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Location
Bristol, UK
# of dives
500 - 999
Good luck ladies and if anyone finds the perfect back inflate, low profile, light-weight BCD where the tank doesn't hit your head, please let me know. I'm considering renting a Backplate / Wing for my next trip.

just do it
 

Musicgirl

Contributor
Messages
104
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39
Location
Sabah, Malaysia
# of dives
500 - 999
Even with the straps as far up on the tank as they will go. Good luck ladies and if anyone finds the perfect back inflate, low profile, light-weight BCD where the tank doesn't hit your head, please let me know. I'm considering renting a Backplate / Wing for my next trip.

I just bought a backplate/wing style BCD last weekend. It's OxyCheq. I haven't actually dived with it yet, but I've met and seen many people including female divers who have and love it. I had the straps fitted with the tank on my back, and it seems (from surface experience with previous BCD's) to fit well. I'll check back after my next dive trip in June if that helps. :)
 
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Location
Seattle, WA
# of dives
200 - 499
I've dived with the Cressi Travelight Women's for years. I hated a back plate with wings. I'm 5'5" with an hourglass figure and muscular legs. That means that my top floats and my legs sink. I have to add weight at the top of my back and buoyancy at my waist. For that reason, I wear a vest. I bought 3 different BCDs before settling on the one I liked. My problem was that they felt fine in the shop, but when I dove, they kept pulling me upright. Even the wing.

About me: I'm a warm water recreational diver. I have no desire to do any tech diving. I do cavern dive and drift dive, and proper buoyance is important to me. Also, I like to pack all of my gear into my carry-on. If I get to a Caribbean island with my gear, swimsuits, and 2 outfits, I'm happy. I pack extra clothes and sunscreen in my checked bag. I'd rather be short on clothes than have to rent dive gear.

Specifically, I love the Cressi Travelight Women's (~$350).
1. It packs tight to fit in a carry-on suitcase.
2. It has 2 tank straps so that I can secure the tank exactly where I need it, and add weights to the top strap.
3. The back padding is great. I never notice it.
4. There are weight pouches on the back to help you distribute your weight well.
5. The cumberbund is adjustable, if my weight changes. And it stays put at my waist, since I have an hourglass shape. My straigh-framed adult daughter loves it, too.
6. The chest strap sits ABOVE my 36DD chest.
7. The vertical straps allow us to adust the torso length - shorter for me since I'm short-waisted and longer for my daughter that has a long torso.
8. POCKETS!!!! I keep things in my pockets when I dive, like my travel snorkel, backup computer, etc. This BCD has two large pockets on each side of the vest.
9. I like the integrated weight pouch that disconnects easily in an emergency. I've never had to remove them, but it's a good safety feature.
10. 2 dump valves. Someone on here complained about dump valves. I've dived with 2 valves for years and never had an accidental dump. This one has the BCD inflator on the shoulder, one dump valve on the right hip. That one is useful if you're underweighted and having to swim down on your safety stop. While upside-down, shimmy and dump from the bottom of the BCD.

My only complaint is that it only comes in pink. I'd love it in aqua or even white trim.
 

Manneca

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Messages
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Location
Memphis (TN, not, unfortunately Egypt)
# of dives
1000 - 2499
I hate my LadyHawk. I'll sell it cheap. (It's a large and too big for me) I don't like the BCDs with only back inflation. I'm a photographer and I want to be able to easily get into different positions and I have difficulty with back inflates. As someone earlier said, there is no single BCD that every woman adores! I use an AquaLung Wave and it works for me. I MUST have a quick release on the shoulder strap because I hand my gear up on every dive and rolling out of the BCD is too difficult if the water is rough.
 

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