The buoyancy compensation devices (BCD), are the devices that give a scuba diver control with their buoyancy during a scuba dive.

Basically the BCD allows the diver to inflate or deflate the device of air, allowing the diver to sink or rise when in the water.


There are two popular BCD styles are the jacket style and vest style. Most scuba resorts and organizations rent out jacket style BCDs these days. The video above showcases a jacket style BCD.

The BCD has several functions & features:

  • A back-plate and straps to hold the divers air tank
  • Straps to hold your gauges and octopuses,
  • Newer BCDs have integrated weight systems – allowing divers to place their weights inside their BCD, instead of using a weight belt.
  • A low pressure direct feed that transports gas from diving cylinder and diving regulator to the BC.
  • A vent valve that allows gas to escape from the bladders of the BC.
  • An inflation valve that allows gas from the direct feed into the bladders of the BC.
  • An over pressurization valve that automatically vents the bladders if the diver over inflates the BC by ascending or by injecting too much gas.
  • A harness that the diver wears with straps around the torso and over the shoulders
  • D rings or other anchor points, for clipping on other equipment such as torches, strobes, reels, cameras and stage cylinders
Have something to add to this post? Share it in the comments.
New stuff
marbled grouper

Marbled Grouper Spawning in French Polynesia

The yearly marbled grouper spawning in Fakarava, French Polynesia attracts thousands of grey reef sharks.
by Chris Vyvyan-Robinson
Jill Heinerth

Scuba Diver Life Interviews Author and Explorer Jill Heinerth

“If I die, it will be in the most glorious place nobody has ever seen.” So begins the breathtaking book, Into the Planet part of our personal interview with famed cave diver, Jill Heinerth.
by Beth McCrea
Tamaulipas

Preserving America’s Underwater Battlefield: the Tamaulipas

This year, Scuba Diver Life and NOAA are partnering to profile 12 different ships in the Graveyard of the Atlantic. This month we visit the Tamaulipas.
by Guest Author
dive industry

New Brand Partnership Advocates for Stronger Dive Industry Collaboration

A new brand partnership advocates for stronger dive industry collaboration to catalyze exploration, ocean awareness, and inclusivity
by News Release