PARTS OF A BCD
The BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) or colloquially called diving vest, is a key piece to ensure optimal and safe dives, since it will allow us to regulate your buoyancy and hold the bottle and the attached components that allow us to breathe underwater.
That is why it is so important to choose the type and model that best suits your diving needs and style.
And although it seems that they are a very expensive item, it is not important how much we spend on them but how tight and comfortable we are.
Now that you are familiar with the basic nomenclature, let's see what types of BCDs exist and which type best suits your diving level and characteristics.
It is the most used type of vest in recreational diving. The gas bladder, responsible for inflating and deflating to regulate your buoyancy, is located on your back and also runs under your arms. This allows for better buoyancy and balance when on the surface.
It is the safest option, especially for inexperienced divers.
In addition, some models have integrated weights on the sides, more comfortable and quicker to remove than a conventional belt.
They are lighter and more manageable because they do not have a back pack or, in some cases, this plate is foldable.
Some models opt for maximum portability by also eliminating the side pockets and some of the rings to hang accessories.
The main drawback is that they tend to have less buoyancy, so many are not suitable for cold water diving, where you will need to use a lot of weight due to the thickness of the suit.
Like the conventional jacket, both the back and the sides swell. However, the air ratio is ¾ in the back and ¼ in the sides.
This type of BCD has the gas bladder located only in the back. Thus, it allows you to regulate your buoyancy in the finest possible way, being the type of BCD most used by professional divers.
They are also the vests that are usually used when diving with double tanks.
The main drawback is that, on the surface, it tends to turn you upside down. This can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for inexperienced divers.