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Buoyancy Compensator (BCD) Styles and Features

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A buoyancy compensator (also known as a buoyancy control device, BCD, or BC) has two basic functions in scuba diving. It allows a diver to control his buoyancy, and therefore his depth, during a dive, and it attaches the tank to the diver.

While all buoyancy compensators share these common functions, they accomplish the functions in a startling variety of ways. From the differences between vest-style and back-inflating buoyancy compensators, to the various kinds of accessory pockets, scuba divers should have a clear understanding of the different styles of BCs before purchase. Here are twelve common features of BCs to consider.

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Cressi Start and Aqualung Libra Buoyancy CompensatorsInflation StylePhotos of the Cressi Back Jac and Cressi Aqua Pro 5LiftPhotos of the Cressi Aqua Pro 5, Oceanic Aeris and ScubaPro Equator Buoyancy Compensators.Integrated Weight SystemsPhotos of the Cressi Aqua Ride and Aqualung Zuma Buoyancy CompensatorsTrim Weight Pockets
Dump ValvesPhotos of Integrated Alternate Air Source Regulators for Buoyancy CompensatorsIntegrated Alternate Air SourceScubaPro Geo and Cressi Aqua Ride Lady Buoyancy CompensatorsD RingsPhotos of the ScubaPro Geo, Cressi Flex in the Sea, and Aqualung Zuma Buoyancy CompensatorsLight Weight and Easy to Pack
Hollis Wing and Back PlateBack Plate and WingScubaPro and Aqualung Buoyancy Compensator PocketsAccessory PocketsChest StrapsWomen's Styles
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