So I have just purchased a Sea Quest Pro XLT BCD. I bought it from a company in Germany off of eBay.
Here is a quick demonstration of the product by simplyscuba.com. The BCD is no longer stocked by them.
I had also used an older version of the Sea Quest Pro LT when I was diving in Malta. I found it very comfortable and loved the trim weight pockets. I never felt crushed by the BCD when it was fully inflated.
So why did I buy this BCD?
Firstly, my desire to buy technical diving kit hasn’t dwindled it has just been put to the back burner. My goal of being a PADI Instructor requires me to use similar equipment to my students, hence I need a good BCD that I can teach with.
Secondly, Aqualung (Sea Quest) are a well known brand for their durability. This thing is built like a tank…it’s also quite heavy. So this should last me.
It has integrated and trim weights. These are features that I love as I don’t have to wear an uncomfortable weight belt.
Pockets are an over looked feature on a BCD. It seems to me that manufacturers of BCDs include them as an afterthought, they often become useless once the BCD is inflated as they are filled by the expanded BCD bladder. They can also be difficult to access. The pockets on this are HUGE, easy to access and the left one expands to twice its size!
It has the usual features like D-rings, inflater hose, dump valves, and grommet attachment for a diving knife. I have a diving knife of sorts, it’s an Eezycut trilobite. Basically it’s a hook knife. It is good for cutting cords and lines that could pose problems to scuba divers, and since it is a hook knife it means there is a lesser chance of injuring yourself while using it. I have I attached it to the waistband for easy access.
Finally, one of my instructors, Howard, had the very same BCD. He is a fantastic instructor, very patient and very knowledgeable. So if this BCD is good enough for him then it should be good enough for me.
I can’t wait to try it out when I go diving in Porto Ercole next weekend. I’ll report back on how it goes.