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I have a young family member who is quite a bruiser (active in body contact type sports) and is on the very heavy side. He's going to spend part of the summer with me learning to dive. We've determined that he needs a custom wet suit due to his height/weight ratio - he is 5'10" and weighs 260+lbs. We are trying to figure out the best BCD for him and have discovered that not all of them are large enough. Does anyone have any good advice about fitting the bigger diver? Thanks much!
You can get a BP/W setup. Those can be customized/adjusted to fit any size. I've noted that diving is a chore for "very large" people as they have to wear massive amounts of weight and nothing ever fits quite right. Normal weight belts tend to fall down on large people do to the amount of weight and to their body shape. May want to consider a harness system for weights so that the weight is supported by the shoulders rather than having to be worn around the waist.
The two divers I dive with that are large are the best divers I have ever been in the water with. They both wear the raider back inflation. I have used theirs and loved it. He will have to get weighted right for balance. It allows us big men to be able to move. Good Luck.... CLay
I am 5:11 and was 260 when I started diving. I use a Sea Quest Black Diamond BC. It is a jacket type, comfortable, and rugged. Its also very adjustable by unbolting the belt moving it to a new location and bolting it back in. It would be able to grow or shrink around the waist as needed. The only drawbacks are it is a bit more expensive than some, and a bit more bulky than most. My experience has been that for recreational diving it works well.
I'm pretty close to those dimensions (5'9" @ 260 lbs).
If you are looking for jacket style, then a SeaQuest BCD has larger sizes. I personally own a ProQD XL. Fits very well and is a good performer. As suggested above, the Black Diamond is an high end model and a back inflate BCD which will fit well too.
I also fit into a Genesis Tropic XL which is a lighter back inflate BC I use for travel and warm water. It has recently been replaced by the "Axis" model but, they look very similar.
Anytime we have folks that are not "off the shelf" sizing... a zeagle comes to the rescue. Since they are made component, you don't have to get an XXL, or an XXXL. You can get a XXL waist with L shoulders. Then the additional beauty of the Zeagle is if the weight and waist measurement changes, not only are they very adjustable, but you can buy just a different size waist panel instead of buying an all new BC.
As far as which Zeagle... that depends on the diving you are doing. If cold water, or multiple tanks, go with a Ranger. If you want something that is heavy duty and great for travel, my vote is a Brigade.
I am that size maybe a little bigger, and I use a xl Oceanic chute 3, its fits over my dry suit, and when I used my seven mil wetsuit, it was great with that too, if your looking for a wet suit, i have a 7 mil one piece, that I had customized (arms shortened) for me that may fit him,i f your looking for something that heavy. PM me if interested.
When I started diving I weighed around 310 pounds. I wore a IDI Nelton Ballistic size XL weight integrated jkt style BC. I also have an Akona 5xl 3mm Farmer John wetsuit. The BC has 35-40 dives on it and the wetsuit has 8. 4-pool and 4-open water.
Both are like new and for sale. I am currently about 265# and just bought a Dive Rite Transpac II and a DUI weight harness. The Transpac is an XXL and the harness is the Classic in XL. Both are able to adjust considerably larger than I need. PM me if he is interested in either, otherwise I am going to attempt to resize the wetsuit since it is new.