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What do I lose with a travel BC

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by Kirk Perilloux, May 6, 2019.

  1. Kirk Perilloux

    Kirk Perilloux Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: New Orleans
    New diver, I trained with a Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD. I am starting my search for gear, and an early contender is the Zeagle Covert XT. Before I start finding one to try, what are the consideration for choosing a travel BC.

    I get it lighter and fold for travel which is attractive, but what am I giving up? Would you expect the setup to move more on my back or be less comfortable? Should I expect diminished durability?

    What's the trade off?
    BradStyle likes this.
  2. arcticat99

    arcticat99 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Saskatoon Sask canada
    mostly pocket space in a travel bcd and really only a couple lbs difference jacket style i started a couple years ago with the aqualung pro hd jacket it packed nice but i switched to the oms wing travel bc i really like it they both weight close to the same but wing packs flatter.just my thought
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  3. driftwood

    driftwood Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Central Texas
    I switched from a Ranger to a Zeagle Express Tech that comes with no accessory pockets. It doesn't weight that much less, but as already mentioned, it packs a lot flatter. Added two pockets without impacting either the weight or packing to a noticeable degree.

    BTW, just noticed this is your first post (and a very good one). Welcome to SB!
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  4. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Somewhere
    The ability to pack flat(ter) does matter. We’re about to get rid of our pretty new bcd’s in favour of one that will pack flatter, and is also lighter (bp/w). I’m not advocating you get a bp/w but that’s where we’re headed for ease of packability, weight and all the other benefits.

    What you might lose in terms of a true travel bcd is thickness (durability) of the materials, plastic parts instead of metal parts, pockets maybe. It might feel flimsier on. I have an Oceanic Biolite which is just under 5 lbs and I’m not getting rid of it! Only downside on that one is no pockets and no option to add pockets.
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  5. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    One big difference is usually the amount of lift. It may not be enough for some people who do cold water diving in drysuits or much thicker neoprene. Pockets, padding, etc., and some comfort might be sacrificed to keep weight down and to allow it to dry quickly.
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  6. chris kippax

    chris kippax Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
    I had an oceanic excursion biolite. I always felt like it could be destroyed at any minute.
    I use a VDH 18# wing and aluminium plate now.
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  7. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

    I would also recommend you consider a back plate and wing. An aluminum back plate is very light weight but will be more than sturdy enough to handle your travel diving needs unless you travel to do serious cave diving. It will also serve double duty by providing protection to the stuff you pack beneath it in your travel baggage. An additional benefit is that because a BP/W has relatively little padding, if any, adding to unnecessary positive buoyancy, one can typically shed some of the lead they need to wear to get down.

    There are a lot of good options on the market for lightweight travel friendly BP/Ws:

    -As already mentioned Vintage Double Hose (VDH) 18# wing and aluminum plate
    -Edge-Hog Aluminum plate and 23# wing
    -Dive Rite Ultra light stainless steel plate and 25# travel wing
    -Dive Gear Express (DGX) aluminum plate and 30# travel wing
    -XDeep Ghost system
    -etc, etc, etc

    If one is used to having integrated weights in their BC, quick dump weight pockets are available from some of the companies above as well as others, or one can forego the expense and clutter of the pockets and just use a weight belt which should be less cumbersome with the reduced amount of lead needed. Trim pockets to mount on the tank straps are always good to have and are relatively in expensive and will help to get the lead positioned where it is needed for proper trim.

    The SB community tends to recommend BP/W when the question of buoyancy compensation decisions come up. Whether the BP/W is over-recommended is the subject of another discussion, but in the case of travel, unless there are clear design features you are looking for in a BC, the bare-bones one can achieve with a BP/W without sacrificing durability lends itself to packing and travel in a way that some jacket/vest style travel BCs have a hard time approximating.

    MichaelMc and Kirk Perilloux like this.
  8. Altamira

    Altamira Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Canyon Lake, TX
    I use a Zeagle Covert (wish I had the XT), and after adding two light weight Zeagle pockets to the waist strap, I find I give up nothing except weight over my previous Sherwood Avid. It is very light weight, comfortable, packs flat or rolls up, has integrated weight pockets, 32# of lift, and seems very durable. For me, iI is perfect for my warm water dive destinations, but would have chosen a wing for greater flexibility if diving cold water or doubles.
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  9. GrafCanuck

    GrafCanuck Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: London, Ontario, Canada
    Welcome to SB. I was in a similar situation a year or so ago. I did not go with a travel bcd since I plan on diving some cold water and lift was a factor. I ended up with a ScubaPro Knighthawk. This BCD packs flat in my luggage albeit it is around 9+ lbs. This BCD should last me a long time unless I win the lottery and then. :)
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  10. Kirk Perilloux

    Kirk Perilloux Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: New Orleans
    Thanks! I expect most of my first dives will be in a warmer water. I expect to be only in a rash guard. Will I miss the padding like in the Covert?

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