The 10 Best Buoyancy Compensators

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Although scuba diving is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable activities, it can still be dangerous if you don't have the right equipment. These buoyancy compensators offer a reliable and comfortable method of keeping you neutral underwater and afloat on the surface while accommodating one or two tanks. We've ranked them here by durability, lift capacity, storage, and ease of use. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best buoyancy compensator on Amazon.

10. Genesis Drift

9. Tusa Liberator Sigma II

8. Cressi Start

7. Zeagle Stiletto

6. Sherwood Avid CQR-3

5. Zeagle Ranger

4. Scubapro Glide X

3. Scubapro Hydros X

2. Cressi Aquaride Pro

1. Atomic BC2 Backmounted

Special Honors

Aqua Lung Axiom This upper level model offers a lot of convenient features, like a reliable and easy-to-use tank strap, dedicated instrument pocket, and locking weight system. It's slim body is streamlined to give the diver as much maneuverability as possible, and it has several attachment points, including one dedicated to your dive knife. It's priced just below the level of many professional options. aqualung.com

Editor's Notes

May 07, 2020:

We replaced a few outdated models by ScubaPro from our previous list with newer offerings from the company, namely the Scubapro Glide X and the Scubapro Hydros X, with the Glide representing a more budget-friendly option for casual, but frequent divers, and the Hydros edging more toward a professional setup thanks largely to its modular system that lets you both customize its layout and replace any small components that might come to harm on a dive without having to replace the entire BCD.

We also added the pro-level Atomic BC2 Backmounted to our list, with its excellent weight system and titanium-coated d-rings. It's funny how important these little rings can become when you get used to diving with certain tools — more than just a nice dive watch — and plastic ones just won't cut it if you're serious about your pastime or you dive professionally. And while we take lift capacity seriously, it's such a personal thing depending on your body's positive or negative buoyancy that we only saw fit to point it out where it seems lacking or particularly versatile.


Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on May 10, 2020 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).


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