Some may see the only difference between a jacket and back-inflate style BCD is where the air sits; the air is around the diver in a jacket, and behind them with a back-inflate. However, it is a common mistake to think that is where the differences end. How they fit and, more importantly, how the BCDs are fitted is different too.
Back-inflate BCDs have more wiggle room when fitting. Since the air cell sits behind the diver, most of these types of buoyancy compensators have extra webbing one can let out or cinch in as needed. Of course, one needs to start with around the right size and go from there. Fortunately, Zeagle’s Personal Fit System (PFS) takes things a step further by allowing a diver to fine tune the fit for ultimate support and stability.
A jacket-style BCD is a bit more complicated to size; getting the right fitting jacket is more important. If someone is diving with a BCD that is too big, the jacket will shift around during the dive. A too small BCD will sit too high on the waist or squeeze the diver when inflated.
The Halo BCD is Zeagle’s first jacket-style BCD. It offers the comfort of a jacket and incorporates a modified Personal Fit System (PFS) for the best fitting Jacket BCD on the market.
The Personal Fit System (PFS) is a system of interchangeable components that allows a Zeagle dealer to custom-fit a buoyancy system to your body. For the Halo, the waist and shoulders are fitted independently. Once measured, the correctly sized vest and shoulders are put together to create a custom-fitting BCD. This modular approach makes it possible to get a better fit than any other BCD brand on the market.
The vest module is sized by measuring the diver’s waist. Once upon a time, one would simply measure around the waistband of one’s pants. However, as fashion trends change, men’s and women’s waistbands have moved further south. Measuring too low could result in a BCD that is too large or small.
To get an accurate number, measure at the natural waistline. This the point above the belly button and below the rib, the place at which a crease forms when doing a side bend.
SM 28”- 35”
MD 33”- 41”
LG 37”- 45”
XL 42”- 50”
Having the shoulders properly fitted will afford the diver a comfortable, yet snug fitting Jacket BCD. This prevents movement while in the water and allows for better trim and buoyancy.
To measure the shoulders, have the Zeagle sales associate start at the top of the shoulder (where a properly fitting shirt seam rests on the shoulder), near the base of the neck. Move down back to the natural waistline (see step one to locate the right spot).
SM 14”- 18”
MD 18”- 22”
LG 22”- 26”
XL 26”- 29”
Once properly measured, the Zeagle retailer will either locate the right size or build a new Halo. A properly fitting Halo BCD, with the Personal Fit System (PFS), will allow room to adjust for multiple thicknesses for wetsuits and drysuits while ensuring an easy and stable fit.
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