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Top 5 BCDs for Women
Choosing the correct BCD for a Woman can be Difficult
Scuba gear for women is often not easy to come by since the sport seems to be dominated by men. But, things are changing and these days, it's easier than ever to find women in scuba and equipment specially designed for them.
It's really not ideal if you're a woman choosing from a collection of male BCDs. Women are anatomically different from men, especially in the shoulder, hip and chest areas, all of which effect BCD fit, so it doesn't really make sense for a woman to just use a small version of a male BCD. It may be okay, but it won't really be truly comfortable. And when you're in the water, sometimes under stressful conditions you just want a BCD that fits and works for you.
The best way to buy a BCD is to go to your local dive shop and try several on in the shop. Then, test the top 2 or 3 that you like in the pool (if possible) and choose the best one from there. If that option doesn't exist for you, you can buy online. I have my top 5 recommendations for you to choose from. I'm a PADI Scuba Diving instructor and have talked to many ladies about what BCDs work for them and what don't. These 5 BCDs are some of the most popular ones, and they have all have a reputation for quality. Check the manufacturer's websites for sizing charts and match it up to yours.
#1 Pick for a Female BCD: Oceanic Hera
Scuba dive in style with this well-designed, nice-looking BCD made especially for a woman. This is the BCD that I own. The first time I tried it on was when one of the instructors that I work with bought this for his wife. It was love at first sight. It was the first time in my scuba diving career that a BCD actually felt like it fit. My shoulders are quite small and narrow, so all the man's BCDs don't really fit me. In water, it's even worse because on the surface the shoulder straps would always be at least a couple of inches off my shoulders.
Anyway, I tried this BCD on in the pool and ended up buying it from that instructor!
-it's a hybrid which combines the benefits of rear-style and jacket-style inflation.
-the custom fit harness is adjustable to provide perfect fit.
-it has integrated weight pockets in the front and the rear as well.
-reinforced in the right places to ensure comfort.
-some nice add-ons like d-rings and knife attachment.
Oceanic Hera BCD Review
Does it matter whether you get a female or male BCD?
#2 Choice for Woman's BCD: Sherwood Luna
This is a BCD that I keep hearing more and more good things about. When I was doing research for this site, this is the name that kept coming up on the forums as a BCD that women love. It fits well, on the surface and underwater.
-integrated weights on some models
-super-easy power and oral inflation
-thick padding make this one super-comfortable
-it's stylish too!
-2 roomy zippered pockets
Sherwood Luna BCD Review
#3 Ladies BCD Choice: Mares Kaila
Mares is one of the most trusted names in scuba diving equipment, so you can be sure that this Women's BCD is well-constructed with care and that it will last you for years. This is another one of those BCDs that gets lots of praise in the forums and in scuba review magazines.
-designed by women for women
-back and neck protection system
-adjustable shoulder straps to accommodate different torso lengths
-large pockets and D-rings
Mares Kaila Features
#4 Choice: Zeagle Ranger Women's BCD
The Ranger always features in the top 10 on lists of women's BCDs for good reasons! It really does fit most women well and it's a name that people trust. It has lots of features that will make you love it:
-rear bladder inflation
-cut to flare over the hips and allow straps to be placed naturally
-fully adjustable for tropical to ice diving
Zeagle Ranger Review
#5 Choice: Genesis Women's Sirene BCD
Designed by women for women, this BCD fits women well. Features:
-easy to use integrated weight system
-high grade materials and quality construction
-2 large zippered pockets
-back inflation, which many women prefer