Travel BCD Recommendation for a Petit Woman

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jjmochi

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Singapore
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I'm almost your exact size - 5'2", 105lb. My first BC was Cressi Start Pro 2 in XXS - bought it and fit perfectly when I was ~100lb. Now it's quite snug and uncomfortable to put on/take off without using the quick release buckle (my shoulders/back are too wide after gaining some muscle). In other words I think XXS will be too small or at least be an annoyance if you gain any weight at all.

I searched for a travel BC that was as light or lighter than my XXS Cressi for a long time and couldn't find one I liked. I tried a backplate and wing for the first time last weekend and loved it. I have ~250 dives in my old jacket and it took me less than 1 pool dive (where I had access to an instructor to ask questions and fine-tune the harness fit) to get the hang of the backplate and wing. It is much more comfortable, you don't feel the tank at all, and easier to maintain trim due to where the weight pouches are (at the back near the tank vs in front). I used the Halcyon carbon fibre size small backplate - tried the standard and it was too big. Ordered that with a 20lb wing. Halcyon is expensive but I was told no other brand makes a backplate that small so that's what I went with.
 

Eric Sedletzky

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This Aluminum Freedom plate will be coming up for sale soon if you’re interested in it? It’s the smallest one I’ve made so far (XS) for very short people or kids. The shoulder strap slots are a little different than previous models and use two harness straps, one on each side instead of a one piece continuous piece of webbing. It is only 13” tall and weighs way under two lbs. I had to do it this way in order to get 11”center holes for the wing to attach, but it’s more versatile because you can use either the upper or lower holes in the wing which gives you about 1 1/2” adjustability up or down. It’s designed for the VDH Argonaut 18# wing.
It’s a hand formed custom plate that fits your body.
This plate is still somewhat experimental.
This one is polished too so it’s pretty!
 

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ddavin

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Location
Georgia, USA
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Sorry I'm so late to this party! I have the Zena and love it. I discovered that once you unclip the shoulders and side buckles you can completely remove the front of the BC from the back. This is great because I then put the BC into my suitcase with the cam bands facing UP and then store things in the middle of those big loops. Before I discovered this trick I was putting the whole BC in, cam bands down, and created a lot of wasted space. The Zena is pretty light, easily packed, and with all the ways to adjust it you can make it fit any body. It does not come with a pre-installed tri-glide on the vest for a crotch strap, but you can ask your dive shop to order it with one attached (don't know what the upcharge is).

Btw, somehow, something poked a hole in the bladder of my Zena during this last trip. I have to replace the bladder. It's expensive at $345 just for the bladder. But that's how much I love my Zena. Rather than opt for a different BC I'm going to fix this one (and get it retrofitted with the tri-glide for the crotch strap rather than continue Frankensteining one!).
Thanks for the packing tip! I tried your suggestion of taking off the front panels and packing my Zena with the cam bands up. SO MUCH BETTER!
 

kyle191

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Location
Puerto Morelos Mexico
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I know this is a women's forum.....but I have been diving with my petite wife for a looong time. She went through several travel BCD's and settles on the Scuba Pro Lite Hawk.

She is 5 feet tall and about 115lbs.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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