Chest straps are standard on most contemporary buoyancy compensators (BCs), although it is still possible to find models without chest straps. Chest straps keep the BC from sliding off over a divers shoulders. Scuba divers with thin shoulders may find chest straps a useful feature, while those with wider shoulders may find them unnecessary.
Many divers complain that chest straps slide up against the base of their necks and choke them. This usually happens entering or exiting the water, when the full weight of the tank is pulling down on the buoyancy compensator. To address this problem, some dive equipment manufacturers, such as Aqualung, have developed adjustable-height chest straps, which can be lowered so as to not press on the neck.