The 10 Best Buoyancy Compensators

This review has been updated 11 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Although scuba diving is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable sports around, it can still be dangerous if you don’t have the right equipment. These buoyancy compensators offer a more reliable and significantly more comfortable method of keeping you down and bringing you back up again than the average resort rental unit. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the review.

Editor's Choices
The 10 Bilge Pumps

10. Cressi Travelight

  • Large inflation nozzle won't clog
  • Dries quickly after use
  • Pockets tend to rip when overloaded

9. Sherwood Avid CQR-3

  • Multiple gear pockets
  • Removable sternum strap
  • Stitching can split over time

8. Zeagle Ranger

  • Accommodates one or two cylinders
  • Allows for lots of modification
  • Too heavy and bulky for travel

7. Genesis Drift

  • Weights can be quickly ditched
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Could use a bit more padding

6. Tusa Liberator Sigma II

  • Lots of d-rings for attaching gear
  • Weight is distributed well
  • Easy buoyancy control

5. Cressi Aquaride Pro

  • Can be used with a dry suit
  • Lots of padding on the frame
  • Secure zippered pocket

4. Scubapro Litehawk

  • Easy-to-locate purge button
  • Precise buoyancy control
  • Removable weights pockets

3. Zeagle Stiletto

  • Low-profile air bladder
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Lift capacity of 35 pounds

2. Cressi Start

  • Effective air filtration system
  • Lightweight yet durable backplate
  • Two large storage pockets

1. Scubapro Knighthawk with Air II

  • Triple-dump deflation system
  • Compression straps control volume
  • Sturdy buckles and clips

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