The CRESSI Back Jac BCD Review
This is a great all-rounder BCD, it's back inflate, has integrated weight pockets and ideally positioned somewhere in between a hard wearing everyday and light weight travel BCD. This is the BCD I use as part of my own personal gear and I have done about 50 dives in the unit and found it very comfortable while diving and I have dived it in both cold and warm water environments.
When diving in my dry suit I have it at its maximum strap extension but it fits great in warm tropical waters where I'm diving in shorts and a rashie. It has lots of padding around the back "spine" and over the arm straps so it does not dig into you when you are diving without a wetsuit.
Look & feel - 5 Stars *
It's a really funky sleek looking BCD
Value for money - 5 Stars *
It is Cressi's top end BCD and would sit in the same class as the Scubapro Knight Hawk, Mares Hybrid and the Apex Black Ice, so from this point of view its the best value for money as it is the cheapest. This could be due to the local agents aggressive price point... let's see what happens when new stock arrives later this year based on the revised R/$ exchange... But at the moment, nothing beats it on price.
Ease of use - 4 Stars*
It's a great comfy BCD. It is ideally suited for warm water diving. I found the arm cuffs on my dry suit kept getting caught on the BCD shoulder straps whenever donning the BCD when boat diving. But overall its easy to use. The dump valves are easily accessible, the weight pockets are easy to get in and out and the back inflate bladder holds good trim in the water.
What I like least...
I did find the BCD pockets to be quite high on the BCD so it was difficult to reach my SMB & pocket reel, especially when in a dry suit. I also found the dump speed of the air from the main dump on the low pressure inflator hose to be a bit slow, so I have often had to use both the main dump and shoulder dump to get down in rougher seas.
What I like Best...
It's really comfy and well padded for warm water diving in my rashie. I dragged this BCD all through Malaysia and it was great to dive in. It is lighter when compared to other BCD's in its class but it is a bit heavier than your traditional purpose-built travel BCD. It fits in the middle but great to travel with as it gives more cylinder support when compared to other floppy travel-style BCDs
I would definitely consider this BCD if I was in the market for a high-end leisure BCD. It looks great, is light yet heavy-duty enough to last for several years of local and travel style diving. The secret to the BCD is it's price point, its the best value for money in its class...
More info or to buy now : CLICK HERE
Happy diving guys! Stay tuned for my next review...
Cheers for now,
PADI Course Director