Best Travel BCDs | Best Lightweight Travel BCD
Keen divers know that a diving trip means not only a quest for the best travel BCDs but when your trip includes a plane journey, you’re on a search for the best lightweight travel BCD.
While travel suggests minimum weight to carry, we don’t want to compromise on quality. Here we will give you our top travel BCDs taking weight into consideration for air travel.
Our top choice
For those in a hurry, our top BCD for travel is the Cressi Patrol Travel Friendly BCD. With high quality features and at between 5-6lbs (2.5kg) (size depending), we consider this to be the best lightweight travel BCD. (More specs. below). Click text link or image for best price.
Our Top Choice: Cressi Patrol Travel Friendly BCD
Let’s get straight to the winner’s list to find the best travel BCD for your travels. You can read about the various features you should look out for in a travel BCD below our list of best options.
BEST TRAVEL BCDs
1. Cressi Patrol Travel-Friendly BCD
Weight: 5.5lbs (2.5kg)
- Lightweight Design: Weighs approximately 5-6 pounds depending on size, making it ideal for travel.
- Back Inflation Design: Provides better buoyancy control and a more streamlined profile underwater compared to traditional jacket-style BCDs.
- Ample Lift Capacity: Offers sufficient lift for a range of diving conditions.
- Multiple Attachment Points: Includes several D-rings for attaching additional gear.
- Storage Options: Features pockets for extra storage.
- Adjustable Straps: Comes with fully adjustable shoulder and waist straps for a comfortable, secure fit.
- Versatility: Its combination of lightweight design, functionality, and comfort makes it a versatile option suitable for a variety of diving conditions and environments.
For divers on the go, the Cressi Travel-Friendly Light Back Inflation BCD is a reliable buddy – it’s light, easy to pack, and designed with your comfort in mind, making it a great companion for your underwater adventures.
2. Oceanic Biolite Travel Scuba Diving B.C.
Weight: Less than 5.5lbs (2.5kg)
- Lightweight Design: Weighs around 5.5 lbs or 2.49 kg, making it ideal for travel.
- Back Inflation Design: Provides better buoyancy control and a more streamlined profile in the water compared to traditional jacket-style BCDs.
- Ample Lift Capacity: Despite its compact size, it provides a significant lift capacity, suitable for a wide range of diving conditions.
- Low-Profile Air Bladder: The air bladder is designed to be low-profile for less drag underwater.
- Adjustable Straps: Features adjustable shoulder straps and a self-adjusting sternum strap for a secure and comfortable fit.
- Integrated Weight System: Includes a built-in weight system for better balance and buoyancy control.
- Multiple D-rings: Comes with several D-rings for attaching additional gear and accessories.
- Quick Release Buckles: These buckles make it easy to put on and take off the BCD.
- Versatility: The Oceanic Biolite Travel BC’s blend of light weight, substantial lift capacity, and integrated weight system makes it a versatile option for various diving environments.
The Oceanic Biolite Travel BC is an exceptional travel companion, offering a lightweight design, ample lift capacity, and an integrated weight system in a compact package that is both easy to pack and versatile for a wide range of diving environments.
3. Scubapro Litehawk BC
Weight: Less than 5.2lbs (2.36kg)
- Lightweight Design: Weighs around 5.2 lbs or 2.36 kg, making it an excellent choice for travel.
- Back Inflation Design: This design helps to maintain a more streamlined profile underwater, improving your movement and control.
- Ample Lift Capacity: Despite its lightweight design, it offers a substantial lift capacity, suitable for a variety of dive conditions.
- Low-Profile Air Bladder: The air bladder retracts when deflated, creating a more compact unit and reducing drag underwater.
- Adjustable Straps and Buckles: Comes with swiveling shoulder buckles and adjustable straps for a secure and comfortable fit.
- Multiple D-rings: These provide ample options for attaching additional gear and accessories.
- Integrated Weight System: This feature makes it easier to balance and control buoyancy while diving.
- Versatility: Its combination of lightweight design, high lift capacity, and an integrated weight system makes the Litehawk a versatile BCD suitable for a range of diving environments.
With its lightweight design and high functionality, the Scubapro Litehawk BCD is a perfect travel-friendly companion, offering a comfortable and streamlined diving experience.
4. Hollis LTS Light Travel System BCD
Weight: Approx. 5lbs (2.27kg)
- Lightweight Design: Weighs approximately 5 lbs or 2.27 kg, making it ideal for travel.
- Back Inflation Design: Provides better buoyancy control and a streamlined profile underwater compared to traditional jacket-style BCDs.
- Ample Lift Capacity: Despite its lightweight design, it offers a solid lift capacity, suitable for a variety of diving conditions.
- Integrated Weight System: Comes with a built-in weight system for better balance and buoyancy control.
- Multiple D-Rings: These provide plenty of options for attaching additional gear and accessories.
- Adjustable Straps: Features adjustable shoulder and waist straps for a secure and comfortable fit.
- Durable Materials: The Hollis LTS is made from durable and robust materials that can withstand the rigors of travel and frequent use.
- Versatility: Its blend of lightweight design, ample lift capacity, and integrated weight system makes the Hollis LTS a versatile BCD suitable for a range of diving environments.
The Hollis LTS BCD pairs a lightweight design with robust functionality, ensuring an effortless, streamlined dive experience – a top choice for the discerning traveler.
5. The Oceanic Jetpack Travel System
Weight: Approx. 6.25lbs (2.83kg)
- Travel-Friendly Design: This BCD features a unique 2-in-1 design that includes a detachable semi-dry backpack. This makes it extremely travel-friendly, as you can pack your gear and personal items all in one unit.
- Compact Size: When packed, the Oceanic Jetpack fits within airline carry-on restrictions, making it convenient for air travel.
- Ample Storage: The backpack component provides plenty of storage space for your dive gear, as well as personal items for your trip.
- Customizable Fit: The BCD component is adjustable and can be customized to fit a wide range of body sizes.
- High Lift Capacity: Despite its compact size, the BCD provides a high lift capacity suitable for a wide range of diving conditions.
- Durable Materials: The Oceanic Jetpack is made from robust materials that can withstand the rigors of travel.
The Oceanic Jetpack Complete Scuba Diving Travel System BC/BCD Dry Backpack has an approximate weight of around 6.25 lbs or 2.83 kg for the BCD alone. The total system including the backpack may weigh a bit more.
The Oceanic Jetpack Complete Scuba Diving Travel System is a unique combination of a BCD and a dry backpack, designed specifically with travel in mind.
This BCD is a great choice for divers who travel frequently and prefer to pack light. It combines the functionality of a high-quality BCD with the convenience of a travel backpack, making it a truly unique and versatile piece of dive gear.
Features to consider when choosing a TRAVEL BCD
Before you make your final decision on the best dive BCD for you, let’s examine the most important features to consider.
As you can see from our list above, the market for travel B.C.s is getting more competitive, with manufacturers trying to outdo each other on the lightweight feature for travel. The Hollis LTS travel light BCD at 5lbs (2.27kg) comes in at our lightest recommendation for travel, fit and durability. However, don’t just jump into buying the lightest option, make sure to consider the big picture and do not ignore the other all-important features. The other BCDs on our list are all excellent choices for travel. Consider the best features for your specific needs.
Many B.C.s are gender specific. Male versions may include a longer torso length and longer chest straps. Some are unisex and combine a fit that provides custom features to adapt to all body types. Many B.C.s have padded shoulder/neck sections for added comfort. Adjustable straps and buckles allow a custom fit and flexible material means greater agility and freedom of movement.
WEIGHT INTEGRATION/LIFT CAPACITY
To get down under the water we need weight. Weight belts are often used for this but most BCDs now provide weight integration features such as removable pockets. You’ll notice “quick release mechanism” is a feature that many BCs boast and this is important. In case of an emergency, you need to be able to quickly dump your weights. The lift capacity indicates how much weight the BCD is capable of carrying. Don’t forget to consider your wetsuit and the type of water you will be in. In warm water you’ll have a lighter wetsuit and in cold water thicker, more buoyant wetsuit. Remember, your BCD is part of your safety gear. The “lift” provides balance against the weight of you and your equipment to allow you to safely float at the surface.
Although pockets may seem like an added luxury, they are a essential storage feature. You need to store your gear such as a torch, dive knife, whistle etc. D-Rings also allow you to store gear on your person by clipping it to your jacket. The more D-Rings and the stronger they are, the better!
Choosing a BCD is dependent on your needs. For example, are you primarily going to be diving in cold or warm water? We’ve done our best here to outline the best travel BCDs and the features you should look for.
If you’re unsure, re-read our features in this post and see what features are best suited to your personal needs. If you’re still hesitant, you can’t go wrong with our top choice, the Cressi Patrol travel friendly BCD. Its lightweight and feature heavy! It has all you need to scuba dive with ease, it’s comfortable and perfect for travel.