Come visit us instore - Try our products before you buy - Ask about our diving lessons - Seek general diving advice
Home >  BCD/Wings


Diving BCD & Wings

BCD or Buoyancy Compensating Device come in different styles and with different features, below is a short description of some of the features of each type of BCD

Traditional BCD Style
The traditional style jacket offers a snug fit which hugs the diver at the sides as well, providing inflation at the rear and sides ensuring the diver remains in a heads up position comfortable at the surface.

Wing Style BCD
The wing style puts the inflation cell on the divers back and many divers feel this is exactly where they want their buoyancy to be underwater. Wings offer a more streamlined appearance and are less cluttered at the sides and front. This style of BCD can also be modular in that it can grow with the diver and can later be adapted with a bigger buoyancy cell if required. There is a belief that a wing can have a tendency to tip a diver forward at the surface but this is less true with the new wings as they have compensating weight pockets on the rear which negate this effect.

Weight Integrated

Some BCDs both jacket style and wings come with the weight system integrated into the pocket areas. This can be beneficial as the jacket has been designed for the weight to be carried in this way as opposed to wearing a normal weight belt. It should be considered that this does make the jacket heavier on exits if the pouches are not removed first and if they are not secured properly pre dive then they can become dislodged. In the event of an emergency the pouches can be dumped easily and quickly.

Travel BCD
These are a fairly new development over recent years and are in response to the Airlines constantly cutting back on the weight allowance for passengers. These new jackets offer all the features of standard BCDs but at a much reduced weight. Some designs save weight by utilising the cylinder as the back plate for stiffness to save weight. Metal D Rings are often substituted for a lighter weight material.

Power Inflate V Standard Inflate
Some designs have a power inflate option operated by a lever on the side of the jacket. Jackets from Mares and Aqualung offer this option with the I3 and Airtrim range. This will likely be a different type or option than that which you learned to dive with. Many divers find the power inflate system easier to operate and easier to adjust. The standard inflate options are the type where the inflator hose comes over your left shoulder and the inflate button is at the end of this hose, this is a proven design that works. In the end it comes down to personal choice of the diver.


Modern BCD's offer the diver plenty of lift if they are being used for the type of diving they were designed for. If you start adding extra cylinders for deeper diving or twin cylinders then you may adversely effect the amount of lift you have. It is vitally important and prudent to carry out a buoyancy check at the start of your dive to ensure you are weighted correctly for the environment and conditions in which you will dive.

BCDs and Wings from Brands such as Oceanic, Mares, Hollis, Scubapro, TUSA all go to make up our large stock of equipment we offer to customers Looking for the latest sidemount systems then give us a call on 01708 227122