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Beginner - how to buy BCD

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by Sbiriguda, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. Sbiriguda

    Sbiriguda Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Italy
    1,158
    248
    63
    Now, I would like to buy equipment and as a beginner I really don't know where to start from... of course I will also ask to my instructor anyway I would like to get some hints from you

    1) Buy or rent: in Italy renting the equipment is like 30 euro per dive. I would say that in more or less 10 dives you could pay back the cost of a used BCD + regulator first and second stage
    Which is best for you in the beginning? Provided I already have basic equipment (mask, boots, fins, computer), is it worth it to buy or better wait until I understand if I really like this sport?

    2) Used or new? In my opinion, in scuba diving you can find incredible bargains, some people buy new equipment and after very few dives they sell it almost new. Or perhaps BCD and regulators should be bought new since they can be dangerous if not well maintained?

    3) Any suggestions on brand and types? There are several different kinds of BCD, if you could link a good resource or thread about the different kinds of BCD that would help

    Thank you very much
     
  2. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    6,296
    2,425
    113
    1. Buy.

    2. New as first choice but if "practically new" top of the line equipment comes to you and you are certain there is nothing wrong with it, then I'd consider it.

    3. You are in Italy/Europe the list is very long of good brands. There is Aqua Lung, Scubapro and Mares as the top three with Atomic, etc. around. You need to see what Dive centers around you have, sell and support and decide.
     
    Sbiriguda likes this.
  3. Sbiriguda

    Sbiriguda Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Italy
    1,158
    248
    63
    I am considering this one: Mares Pure SLS
    Mares Hybrid Pure BCD versions
    I like the idea of a very light one, for travels. Anyway I never tried one myself by now
     
  4. snowdog61

    snowdog61 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida's East Coast
    864
    555
    93
    Pretty much will echo what Burhan said. I bought all used EXCEPT for my BC which was kind of an impulse buy - we were in the shop and headed down for a week of diving..... Looking back, yeah probably should have waited. Still like/love my Zeagle but in hindsight, wish I had at least tried a BPW. Mine is a back inflate so I didn't loose much but there are times that I wish I had a little more versatility in d-ring placement.

    YES! you can find some really great deals on used equipment especially if you are patient. There's truly not much actual difference in the performance of most good regulators and they will last nearly forever provided they are maintained. Service and parts availability should be a focus. Lots of threads on most everything here so you certainly came to the right place. Again, I bought used and learned how to service my gear myself - YMMV. Would have loved to bought new but prices IMHO are hard to justify. Savings was spent on actual diving instead of gear. You do get a peace of mind knowing all the history of your gear though for new and if you abuse it, then it's all on you. #1 in my book is finding a mask that truly fits
     
    chillyinCanada and Sbiriguda like this.
  5. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    60,709
    29,062
    113
    I'm a big fan of buying new. It's all a matter of controlling what happens and doesn't happen to the equipment as well as growing intimately familiar with that equipment. Most of today's "budget" gear exceeds high end gear that was available 10/15 years ago. It's OK to buy something cheap now and upgrade it when and if you want later down the road.
     
    chillyinCanada, Bob DBF and Sbiriguda like this.
  6. Sbiriguda

    Sbiriguda Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Italy
    1,158
    248
    63
    Please pardon my ignorance...
    I think the best choice for me would be Mares Pure Sls, based on weight and other considerations (of course I am also open to other suggestions).
    I would like to make it sure that the size is correct when I buy it. I noticed that based on different brands and BCD types I can use both Medium and Large (or other similar size in a different scale) and feel comfortable in it. I have tried several BCDs both during training and during dives with rented equipment.
    How can I make 100% that the size of the BCD I am buying is correct without trying it in the water?
    Thanks
     
  7. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    60,709
    29,062
    113
    The most important quality of anything you buy, except a wetsuit, is fit and comfort. Have them put your BCD on a tank and walk around a bit. Better yet, see if they have a rental unit of that BCD you can try in a pool. Make sure you can get horizontal easily underwater.
     
  8. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    4,221
    1,891
    113
    1) Buy, saves money if you dive somewhat regularly.

    2) I dive almost exclusively used gear. you can save a lot of money, but it takes patience and knowing exactly what you want and when the price is good. when starting out, a set of used rental gear from a shop that is in good condition can be a short term option if your budget is tight.

    3) if you want a bpw, xdeep, tecline, apeks, mares, and dive rite. for back inflate, zeagle/scubapro.
     
    Sbiriguda likes this.
  9. Dizzi Lizzi

    Dizzi Lizzi ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: California
    1,065
    1,010
    113
    As a relative newbie I rented from different shops to see how different BC's felt. It helped me know what I liked/did not like about each style. I wasn't able to rent the product I ultimately choose (Scubapro lady hawk) as it was not available as a rental, but even wearing it dry I could tell it was much more comfortable FOR ME.

    I went with new. Now that I have more experience I would go with used/almost new, but there was a certain peace of mind that came with buying new.

    100%. Well, I'm not 100% sure I will get home tonight so...o_O Seriously though, there are many adjustments that can be made. Make sure you are not at either extreme--having to cinch it all the way down to keep it tight or having to loosen it all the way out to be able to close it. Don't forget that further adjustments can be made in the water as needed--I always have to cinch up my waist when at depth to increase comfort.

    good luck, happy diving and dive safe!!
     
  10. TONY CHANEY

    TONY CHANEY Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Mount Holly, NC
    1,747
    611
    113
    I’ll take a much different approach to answer your question. See, as my dad would say, if you give me a minute of your time I’ll save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars or Lira / Euro. Many of us have bought and bought again and again. When deciding on a piece of gear, ask yourself where do you want to be in a couple of years. If you are going toward the teck side, then get a BC that will support your future plans. If you are just going to remain OW 101 and dive a couple times a year then go cheap but dependable. I bet that there is not a technical diver on here that uses a jacket style BC. Just my thoughts.
     
    FirasR and Sbiriguda like this.

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