Oceanic Biolite BCD features and review
The Oceanic Biolite is a flat out travel bcd. It's lightweight, compact, and rear inflation. Everything about it screams out travel. The Biolite is an outstanding bc in it's class and Oceanic really did a great job in it's design. At 5.5 lbs, you really can't go wrong. Let's talk about this thing now and give you some features!
Here are the features on the Oceanic Biolite travel bcd:
- Total bc weight is only 5.5 lbs
- Includes right shoulder carabiner adjustable positioning system
- Streamlined, integrated weight system accommodates up to 14 lbs.
- Includes dual 7 lbs. front weight pocket "quick drop" weight release system
- Low profile backpack, makes it easy to fold in half for traveling purposes
- Low profile bladder design and made with patented Bioflex material
- Self adjusting sternum strap
- Generous soft pad
- Dual 5 lb. tank band "non-drop weight pocket"
- Free back massage every time you dive! ::wink wink::
Yes, the Biolite is a really bad puppy when it comes to doing some diving at travel destinations. It comes with, perhaps, enough weight pockets (integrated mind you) to sink you in salt water depending on how buoyant you are. However, I wouldn't recommend the Biolite for local diving, unless you absolutely do not carry much with you. The Biolite doesn't come with any d-rings, but you have the option to attach some to the bcd right shoulder strap. There is also not a lot of pocket room on this thing. If you like to fill your pockets with all kinds of dive goodies or stuff you find on the bottom, I'm not sure how much you will be able to actually carry. Not too much though.
Is most of your diving local or travel?
The Oceanic Biolite is comfortable. When you wear the Biolite, it feels almost as if you weren't wearing a bcd on your dive at all. It's very simple and minimalistic. I really liked the minimalist design of the Biolite and everything just felt more natural on the dives. You definitely are not encumbered by this bcd. Like stated above, at 5.5 lbs. it almost feels like wearing a bigger backpack. Being a rear inflation bcd, you are streamlined in the water and have very minimal drag.
The ascent and descent control was easily one of the best features on the Biolite. You will find that ascent and descent is made easier to control with the Biolite being so lightweight and minimal. Provided you have no breathing issues that need to be adjusted, you should have no problems with your ascents and descents. Enough said about that.
All in all, this is a pretty nice travel bcd. I would recommend it to someone who needs 14 lbs. or under for weight and for someone who doesn't carry much. The Biolite is a great bcd for "shallow" dives where you do not need to carry a lot of equipment. If you are a local diver and only need 14 lbs. of lead, you could buy the Biolite. However, for $450 I would go for something with a little more features, like more d-rings and weight options. This bcd is made for travel and should thus be used for travel. So if a lightweight, minimalistic travel bcd is what you are looking for, go to your local dive shop and check out the Oceanic Biolite. I hope this review shed some light on this bcd for you.