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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. FezUSA

    FezUSA Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Hiram, OH, USA
    168
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    LP has Zeagle Covert XT for $399 and 25% off other Zeagle's right now. Not saying that's the way to go, but if you're heading in that direction, could be worth checking out their pricing.
     
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  2. BDSC

    BDSC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    7,192
    3,763
    113
    I can highly recommend the Scubapro Litehawk. Great travel BC and Scubapro quality. Enough padding to be comfortable and an upper and lower strap holds the tank securely in place. You can place weights in the rear trip pockets as well as the two side pockets. It’s the only BC I own now. Once I dove with it, I sold the others.
     
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  3. IncreaseMyT

    IncreaseMyT Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Naples, FL
    1,386
    374
    83
    Consider the Zeagle Stiletto. It has the best reviews of any BC from Zeagle. I have it and love it, it still has 2 pockets. Small though and travels well.
     
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  4. jgttrey

    jgttrey ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Houston
    653
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    I don't miss the padding at all. I dive a backplate/wing with singles, doubles and a CCR. If I'm in a conventional BC, it is an ExpressTech, which has no padding either.

    There just isn't much weight that presses "in" on your back. It's on your shoulders. Even then, simple 2" webbing is fine for me. I think padding is largely unnecessary, but if you want a little extra, just get a vest or somethink like a Lavacore top. I'd rather "wear" my padding and get the thermal benefit.

    I would suggest figuring out how much lift you need/want and work backwards from there. As you get to "travel" models, you generally lose pockets and padding, which is a good thing IMHO. If you want a pocket, just buy one and put it on your waist belt, or glue it to a wetsuit.

    The express tech with the zip weight system is a pretty compact package if you are okay with a continuous weave style harness (it isn't actually CW, but it fits like it).
     
    Kirk Perilloux and Zef like this.
  5. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

    1,911
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    I just want to throw into the mix that I have been using a BP/W with a simple webbing harness for a couple seasons now. Prior to last June I was diving with a 5.5mm wetsuit, and since June I have been diving in a drysuit...but at least once each week I am diving in a pool either assisting with students or doing a Try Dives/Discovery Scuba Dives...and I use my BP/W with nothing more than a swim suit and lycra rash guard type top....I have zero padding on my BP/W and I do not feel any discomfort in our out of the water with a 12L tank strapped to my plate.

    I think the biggest revelation that most people experience, besides how much easier it is to obtain good trim with a back inflate system, is that they do not need the padding that typical BCs employ.

    I understand from my own experience, that when one looks at a BP/W that has a raw nylon webbing harness and naked metal plate that they would think "how on earth can that be comfortable?"....but the pleasant surprise is that it is very comfortable and when properly adjusted it is so comfortable that it virtually vanishes when in the water.

    I am not here to bestow the virtues of BP/Ws, even though it may seem like it, I really don't care what anyone chooses to purchase/use. But if the OP is looking for replacement that is conducive for travel, is rugged to withstand the rigors of everyday use, and is looking for something they will not need to replace in 2 or more years then I can't help but recommend a BP/W. Should one's diving take a new spin, for example warm water diving in a 3mm wetsuit to cold water diving in a drysuit with thick undergarments, the BP/W is more than capable of adapting.....one can easily and inexpensively change between an aluminum plate and a steel plate for local diving if one wanted to further reduce the amount of lead worn on the waist.

    There are lots of great products on the market to choose from among BCs regardless of configuration...I just want to offer that one does not need all the positively buoyant padding to be comfortable.

    -Z
     
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  6. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Miami, Florida
    7,200
    1,998
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    Your question really cannot be answered because both regular and travel BCs vary so much in design and quality one manufacturer's travel BC may be more durable than another's regular BC.

    My recommendation for a travel BC is a wing with a soft plate, plastic hardware and cam straps. This will give you the lightest weight and smallest pack size for air travel. For weighting I would just use a weight belt but you can add pockets if you want. If you want a hard plate you can add an aluminum or steel cut-out plate. One of the advantages of a BP/W is that you can customize it to your liking. A disadvantage is that it can be confusing to set up for someone unfamiliar with it.
     
    Kirk Perilloux likes this.
  7. Kirk Perilloux

    Kirk Perilloux Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: New Orleans
    12
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    Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses. The idea of losing all that extra buoyant materiel is appealing. I am a big guy and already pretty positively buoyant and with a long torso. This sounds like the direction I should head.
     
  8. Snoweman

    Snoweman Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    2,346
    1,330
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    I wish my Aqualung Zuma had more D rings, but that's about it.
     
  9. MikadoWu

    MikadoWu Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    292
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    Welcome to SB.

    As mentioned above, you basically just loose Pockets/Storage and Lift in travel BC's. That said, the Dive Rite Voyager packs almost as small as its Travel bladder. So you really do not have to loose that much lift. I have been on the hunt for the perfect BCD. Well, I do not think there is one. I have the previous mentioned, Zeagle Express Tech, which as been all over the Caribbean with me and a Ranger, for Gulf and Wreck diving in Florida.

    I plan on selling both this summer and moving to the Dive Rite System. I whish my first instructor would have educated me better on this.

    In the end, its about what type of diving you want to do. Are you looking at Fish, wrecks, lobsterings? are you a future cavern or cave diver? Being from New Orleans, is spearfishing in your future. I would spend some time to answer these first, before I buy.
     
  10. Andre_N

    Andre_N Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Seattle
    87
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    What’s wrong with Hydros Pro?
     
    Kev in CT likes this.

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