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So you’ve got some experience scuba diving and you’re ready to buy yourself a back inflate BCD.

But as these buoyancy control devices have become increasingly popular, there’s now an almost endless list of back inflate BCDs available. So you’re not really sure which one to go with.

And that’s why the ScubaOtter team has done all the hard work for you.

We’ve put together a list of the best back inflate BCDs on the market and our top tips for buying your first back inflate buoyancy control device.

AT A GLANCE: OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST BACK-INFLATED BCD'S

Want to review some different options?

Below we’ve compared and contrasted all our top picks so keep reading to find your perfect fit!

QUICK COMPARISON
ScubaPro Hydros Pro
  • Top quality construction, comfortable + lightweight
  • Integrated weight
  • Customisable modular design
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AquaLung Rogue
  • Lightweight + foldable design
  • Integrated weight-pockets
  • Comfortable + sleek design
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XDeep Ghost
  • Option to add weight pockets
  • Modular + highly customisable design
  • Superior streamlining + trim
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Hollis 200 HD
  • Super rugged construction
  • Integrated weight pockets + 8 D-rings
  • Highly comfortable + affordable
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Apeks Black Ice
  • Integrated weight-pockets
  • Extra padding
  • High-quality construction
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Looking to review all the options in more detail?

Keep reading…

Best Back Inflate BCDs

  • Style: Hybrid
  • Modular Design: Yes
  • Weight: Avg
  • Integrated Weights: Yes
  • Comfort: High
  • Price: High

Highly durable, lightweight and stylish, the ScubaPro Hydros Pro is a seriously impressive piece of scuba diving gear. And without a doubt, it’s one of the best BCDs you can buy.

A unique manufacturing process has created an innovative and highly ergonomic design that perfectly conforms around the body without any pressure points. The efficient load distribution provides excellent maneuverability, superior buoyancy control, and unbeatable comfort.

And if that’s not enough almost every piece of this modular designed BCD can be removed or replaced without the help of a service technician. Making it fully customizable, super easy to repair and incredibly long-lasting.

In addition to coming in a variety of colors, the ScubaPro Hydros Pro is also available in a men’s or women’s cut to further ensure the best possible fit.

If you’ve got the budget, there really is no better back inflate BCD out there than the ScubaPro Hydros Pro.

What we love

  • Women’s fit available
  • Ultra-durable & long-lasting
  • Color customisation available
  • Flexible backplate
  • Very comfortable
  • Quick-drying

Downsides

  • Expensive
  • A little heavy for travel

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  • Style: Hybrid
  • Modular Design: Yes
  • Weight: Low
  • Integrated Weights: Yes
  • Comfort: High
  • Price: Avg

If you’re looking for a minimal and lightweight design that still features everything you need, then look no further than the AquaLung Rogue.

This back inflate BCD features Integrated weights, 2 folding pockets and 4 stainless steel D-rings as standard. You also have the option to add a waistband extender, trim pockets or SMB pocket.

Despite its sleek design, the AquaLung Rogue is surprisingly comfortable. Extra padding on the back and harness make sure that you don’t feel anything digging in, even when moving around on land.

The unique ‘ModLock’ connectors allow all sections of the AquaLung Rogue, and it’s various accessories, to be interchanged. This creates an impressive 27 different sizes. So you’re sure to find the perfect fit.

What’s more, is that the AquaLung Rogue is super lightweight. Weighing just over 2kg when dry, this BCD is ideal for a traveling diver.

What we love

  • Lightweight & easily disassembled for travel
  • Extra padding on backplate and harness
  • Optional accessories available
  • Highly customizable fit
  • Affordable

Downsides

  • Small weight pockets
  • Fragile line to dump valves

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  • Style: Wing
  • Modular Design: Yes
  • Weight: Low
  • Integrated Weights: Extra
  • Comfort: High
  • Price: High

Robust, streamlined, and very stable underwater, the X Deep Ghost is easily our favorite backplate and wing BCD.

Not only does the minimal design look awesome, but it also makes maintaining horizontal trim underwater effortless. The X Deep Ghost is perfectly streamlined to optimize your diving experience.

Normally recreational BPW BCDs have an annoying habit of pushing you facedown when on the surface. But not the X Deep Ghost. The upper section of the bladder is intentionally smaller which makes it surprisingly easy to sit upright.

At less than 2.5kg, the X Deep Ghost is one of the lightest backplate and wing BCDs on the market. Thanks to the aerospace-grade alloy backplate with large cut-outs to further reduce weight.

If you’re a traveling diver who’s serious about optimizing your time and performance underwater then the X Deep Ghost is the ideal back inflate BCD for you.

What we love

  • Lightweight for travel
  • Doesn’t push you forward on the surface
  • High-quality materials
  • Perfectly streamlined

Downsides

  • Only 3 D-rings
  • Integrated weight system is extra
  • No pockets

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  • Style: Hybrid
  • Modular Design: Yes
  • Weight: Avg
  • Integrated Weights: Yes
  • Comfort: High
  • Price: Avg

The Hollis HD 200 is one of the toughest back inflate BCDs out there. Carefully constructed from heavy-duty materials you know that this BCD is going to last you a long time.

Despite its rugged build, the Hollis HD 200 is very comfortable; with a lightweight, contoured backplate and pad, added lumbar support, and a rolled neoprene neck.

A crotch strap prevents the BCD riding up when on the surface whilst promoting good trim underwater.

A specially designed and fully adjustable harness provides a custom fit that’s easy to take on and off. Plus an abundance of D-rings, mounting grommets, and zippered pockets offer an unbeatable array of storage for accessories.

Combining the best of tech and recreational buoyancy control devices, the Hollis HD 200 is a fantastic option for advanced divers looking for long-lasting and affordable back inflation BCD.

And if you’re looking for a hard-wearing modular design, we recommend checking out the Hollis backplatewing, and harness set up for more flexibility.

What we love

  • Highly durable
  • Supremely comfortable
  • 8 D rings & 2 pockets
  • Great value

Downsides

  • Bulky
  • Heavy for traveling
  • Dumping air quickly can be a little tricky
  • No women’s fit

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  • Style: Hybrid
  • Modular Design: Yes
  • Weight: Avg
  • Integrated Weights: Yes
  • Comfort: High
  • Price: Avg

The Apeks Black Ice is a rugged and heavy-duty back inflate BCD that’ll look after you in every dive environment. This BCD offers the perfect balance between function, design, and comfort.

The wraparound design of the Wrapture harness system provides unbeatable fit and stability. With straightforward straps, this BCD is easy to put on and take off, even when wearing thick gloves. And the extra padding provides much-appreciated comfort both in and out of the water.

Featuring AquaLung’s innovative Sure Lock II integrated weight system, 2 large pockets, and 5 stainless steel D-rings, the Apeks Black Ice has everything you need from a hybrid BCD. Plus its modular design and 3 different size options ensure you’ll find the right fit.

What we love

  • Large pockets
  • Extra padding
  • Very stable
  • Great for cold water diving

Downsides

  • A little bulky
  • Heavier than most hybrid BCDs
  • Only 1 color available

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What is a Back Inflate BCD?

A back inflate BCD is a buoyancy control device with an air bladder that sits only at the back of a diver, rather than around the torso like those found in a traditional jacket style BCD.

There are 2 main styles of back inflate BCDs: hybrid and wing.

What is a hybrid BCD?

best scuba diving bcd

A hybrid BCD fits like a traditional jacket BCD but only inflates behind you. Most hybrid BCDs feature integrated weight systems and pockets.

The hybrid, sometimes referred to as a semi-wing, is the most popular back inflation BCD. They’re stable on the surface, provide storage for accessories, and are easy to put on and take off.

What is a wing BCD?

best scuba diving bcd

A wing-style BCD, also known as backplate and wing (BPW), combines a doughnut-shaped bladder, a backplate, and a harness to create a much more minimal and agile buoyancy control device.

A wing provides perfectly horizontal trim underwater and a huge range of motion. But it can be a bit uncomfortable to stay upright on the surface. A wing BCD is easy to travel with and super streamlined but it doesn’t offer integrated weights or storage for accessories.

What Is A Modular Designed Back Inflate BCD? 

A back inflation BCD with a modular design means that all of the individual parts (the bladder, harness, backplate etc) are interchangeable and replaceable. These models are easy to service, repair and will last you much longer than a traditional BCD.

What’s more is that a modular design BCD can be fully personalised for a perfect, custom fit.

Why buy a back inflate BCD?

Although most people learn to scuba dive with a traditional jacket style, most divers with some experience prefer a back inflate BCD.

And here’s why…

Because the air bladder sits behind you, a back inflation BCD automatically positions you in a super streamlined, horizontal position. This makes swimming easier and as a result, improves your air consumption.

What’s more, is that back inflate BCDs are extremely comfortable to wear. With minimal equipment around your torso, you have a much better range of motion than in a jacket style BCD. Plus there’s absolutely no constriction around your chest when fully inflated.

Trust us, once you try a back inflate BCD you’ll never go back!

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Still not sure which style of BCD is for you?

Check out this video for a more detailed comparison:

 

With a back inflation BCD, you’ll be more streamlined, more comfortable and improve your air consumption.

Seriously, what’s there not to like about this style of BCD?

And you’ve now got the full low down on the best back inflate BCDs on the market, so it’s time to make your choice.

Didn’t quite find the buoyancy control device you were looking for?

Take a look at our guides to the best BCDs for travel, the best BCDs for women or our complete guide to the best BCDs for more options.

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Alexa Worswick Administrator

Alexa Worswick is a PADI + SSI scuba instructor, experienced freediver, and travel writer. With over 15 years of scuba diving experience in many locations across 3 different continents, she’s now based in Indonesia.

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Comments

Tanwir

Great article, thank you 🙂

Alexa Worswick

Hi Tanwir!

Thank you for your comment, we’re really happy to hear you enjoyed the article.

Please do let us know if you have any questions, and what back inflated BCD you choose.

Thanks,

Alexa