What is a Buoyancy Control Device

If you’re new to scuba diving, you may have heard the term “buoyancy control device” or “BCD” thrown around. But what exactly is a buoyancy control device and why is it an essential piece of equipment?

On this page we’ll dive into the details of what a buoyancy control device is. We’ll also look at why it’s important for your diving experience.

What is a Buoyancy Control Device?

A buoyancy control device, also known as a BCD, is a piece of equipment worn by scuba divers. It helps them control their buoyancy while underwater. It is essentially a vest a diver wears over the scuba tank and has an air bladder that inflates or deflates to change buoyancy. The BCD also has straps and buckles to secure the tank and other equipment, as well as pockets for storing small items.

How Does a Buoyancy Control Device Work?

The air bladder in a BCD connects to the diver’s air tank through a low-pressure inflator hose. By pressing a button on the inflator hose, the diver can add air to the bladder, making them more buoyant.

To decrease buoyancy, the diver releases air from the bladder through a dump valve on the shoulder or lower back of the BCD. This allows the diver to achieve neutral buoyancy, where they are neither sinking or floating. This can easily control their depth and movement underwater.

Why is a Buoyancy Control Device Important?

A BCD is an essential piece of equipment for scuba divers for several reasons. Firstly, it allows divers to achieve neutral buoyancy, which is crucial for maintaining proper control and stability while underwater. Without a BCD, divers would have to constantly adjust their weight and position to stay at a desired depth. This can be exhausting and distracting.

Additionally, a BCD also serves as a safety device. In case of an emergency, divers can quickly inflate their BCD to the surface, providing them with a buoyant lift. This is especially important for divers who may become fatigued or disoriented while underwater.

Choosing the Best Buoyancy Control Device

When it comes to choosing a BCD, there are a few factors to consider. Firstly, you’ll want to make sure the BCD fits comfortably and securely. It should not be too tight or too loose, and the straps and buckles should be easy to adjust.

You’ll also want to consider the type of diving you’ll be doing and choose a BCD with the appropriate features. Such as weight integration, multiple pockets, and D-rings for attaching accessories.


A buoyancy control device is an essential piece of equipment for scuba divers. It provides divers with control, stability, and safety while underwater.

By understanding how a BCD works and choosing the best one for your needs, you can enhance your diving experience. View our range of BCD’s on this page and for more support and advice get in touch.