Cressi Travelight BCD

The Cressi Travelight BCD is one of the most packable buoyancy devices we’ve seen. It might even make a hand-baggage-only trip possible for some bare-bones adventurers.

It packs down to a paltry 8.23 cubic inches (135 cm squared). Its low price point also makes it appealing as a beginner or 2nd BCD for travel.

As an entry BCD, the Travelight does a great job balancing the tradeoffs between function and weight. The adjustment points mean it will fit comfortably and has the right number of “extras,” like full-sized pockets and 8 D-Rings to make it feel more like a non-travel BCD.

This is especially important if this is your only BCD. Its light weight allows new divers to easily take their own gear to dive with while traveling, increasing their confidence underwater in new or exotic locations.

If you are an adventurer whose motto is All Who Wander Are Not Lost, this is the BCD for you.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Designed for travel, Lightweight & Compact
  • check-mark
    Weight Pockets Slide for comfortable fit
  • check-mark
    Thoughtful placement of the 8 D-rings
  • check-mark
    Cinch Strap doubles as a Crotch Strap

Things we don't like:

  • check-markChest Strap is not adjustable or removable
  • check-markTank Safety Strap is not a Memory Strap

Where to buy:

Cressi Travelight Bcd Product Image

Cressi Travelight BCD

Specs & Features

  • Chest Strap: Yes, not moveable/removable
  • Adjustment Points: 2 shoulder adjustable straps, cumberbund
  • Integrated Weights: Weight-Lock Aid System
  • Tank Attachment: 2 Tank Straps and a tank safety strap that is not a memory strap
  • Inflation: Back Inflate
  • Dry BCD Weight (Med): 5.5 lbs/2.5kgs
  • Weight Capacity: 19.8 lbs/9 kgs
  • Lift Capacity (Med): 20.2 lbs lbs /9.19 kgs
  • Clips/D-Rings: 8
  • Colors: Blue for Men, Pink for Women
  • Easy to travel with: Yes
  • Trim Tabs: 2
See the complete list of the best BCD here!

Designed to Travel Light

It is clear that the Travelight BCD is designed for divers on the go. They have thought of almost everything, down to the small cinch bag to carry it in.

In fact, this travel-friendly buoyancy compensation device carries on the series of Cressi’s packable BCDs, like the Patrol and Lightwing.

The Travelight’s lightweight design and small footprint allow you to carry 95% of your dive gear onto a plane. This little BCD (weighing 5.5 LBS compared to the Zena at 6.2lbs, LadyHawk at 8lbs, and the Pearl at 10lbs) would allow you to put your BCD, Mask, Regulator, and even airplane-safe accessories, like flashlights into a carry-on bag.

Remember, dive knives should be packed into checked backs. The Travelight is perfect if you fear losing your checked bag with your dive gear on your travels or regularly take short trips with only a carry-on.

Unique Features

For a Travel BCD, there are plenty of features. There are ample (8) Light Alloy D-Rings to manage gear. The location of the chest D-Rings is perfect for flashlights, tank bangers, and cameras.

cressi-travelight-women-bcd-d-rings

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The D-Rings on the side of the pockets, help to control the safe second/octopus and console computers. We love the D-Rings under the weight pocket to manage things like surface marker buoys (SMBs).

Cinch Strap/Crotch Strap
Cinch Strap/Crotch Strap

Some of the features of this BCD even serve a dual purpose. For example, the cinch strap used to pack the BCD for travel can double as a crotch strap. The cinch strap is either folded away and attached mid-back to the inside of the BCD or threaded through the legs and attached to the velcro inside the cumberbund.

This optional crotch strap is an ingenious design feature, given the BCD chest strap is not adjustable and feels high on the chest. The crotch strap should help to prevent the jacket from riding up on a giant stride entry.

The BCD feels secure and well-fitting out of the water, even when you choose not to use the chest strap.

cressi-travelight-women-bcd-safety

Cressi added a tank safety strap, but it is not adjustable. If the safety strap were an adjustable memory strap, it would have made more sense to us.

When you are on the go, having one less thing to adjust, i.e., BCD to tank height, makes achieving the perfect dive setup easier. Other BCDs like the Zena, LadyHawk, and Pearl include a memory strap.

Instead of trading two tank bands for one to reduce weight like the LadyHawk or Pearl. Cressi made the top tank band on the Travelight a simple slide-through buckle. It doesn’t have the same secure feel as the bottom band, but the redundancy is nice.

The Travelight’s trim tabs are attached to the back of the BCD, not on the tank strap like some other BCDs, and close with a snap. The Travelight also has two full-size pockets, like the Pearl making storage of extra gear easy.

Fit and Function

Because the Travelight is designed to travel, there is not much to it. It is back-inflated, like other women-focused BCDs (ex. Zena & LadyHawk). To help prevent tank roll, the Travellight uses an extra nylon patch versus a rigid backplate to improve tank stability.

It has well-placed side pockets; they sit over the locking weight pockets. The weight pockets function like most jacket BCDs and click into place with an intuitive design.

However, they are also configured to slide backward. The weight pocket sliding feature improves the fit and comfort of the BCD by allowing the weights to sit more comfortably on the hips.

Chest Strap

The chest strap on a typical jacket-style BCD either adds to comfort and security or increases anxiety. If the strap sits too high, which is often the case for women, it feels like it is choking you, especially after a boat entry.

Cressi Travelight Women Chest

The Travelight chest strap is its one drawback on fit. Comparing it to its closest competition, it falls a bit short. The Zeagle Zena uses a corset-designed front panel in lieu of a chest strap to create a more comfortable fit for women.

The LadyHawk and Pearl chose to keep the chest strap, but they made theirs adjustable and removable.  We are surprised the Cressi Travelight couldn’t incorporate a removable chest strap, given its streamlined, minimalist design.

The Travelight tends to run a bit on the small side, and the addition of a high and unmoveable chest strap affects the overall comfort of the Travelight’s fit. If you purchase one, make sure you try it on, or fully understand the return/exchange policy.

Price & Quality

Cressi manufactures sturdy BCDs, and the Travelight is no different. Areas, where BCDs tend to wear, fray, or fail, have been reinforced. The Light Alloy D-Rings will hold up better in the ocean environment than the plastic ones found on BCDs like the Aqualung Pearl.

Along with dive computers, BCDs are one of the most expensive pieces of your scuba diving kit. Both the Aqualung Pearl and the Cressi Travelight come in on the low end of the price spectrum.

Comparatively, the Zeagle Zena and the Scubapro LadyHawk are more expensive but also have more unique features.

Overall, the Travelight is a high-quality BCD for a fair price.

Do We recommend it?

Yes, we do! We recommend the Travelight BCD for a diver who is especially concerned with the weight of their gear.

The Cressi Travelight has a sturdy build and will last, but you need to be willing to sacrifice some comfort for the portability of the gear. The price matches this; it has a pared-down price for its pared-down design.

The Travelight can be a great first BCD for a new diver looking for a lightweight, fully functional BCD that can travel with them. Or as a second Travel BCD for those looking to travel with minimal gear.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Designed for travel, Lightweight & Compact
  • check-mark
    Weight Pockets Slide for comfortable fit
  • check-mark
    Thoughtful placement of the 8 D-rings
  • check-mark
    Cinch Strap doubles as a Crotch Strap

Things we don't like:

  • check-markChest Strap is not adjustable or removable
  • check-markTank Safety Strap is not a Memory Strap

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FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is a Travel BCD?

The big difference between a regular BCD and a travel BCD is weight. Manufacturers, such as Zeagle created the Scout, which is light-weight, only 6.6 lbs (3kg), and the Zena, which is only 6.2 lbs (2.81kg).

To limit weight, manufacturers often sacrifice functionality, so travel BCDs often have fewer bells and whistles. For example, they have fewer D-Rings or pockets. For example, Cressi’s Travellight substitutes light alloy D-Rings to save weight.

Check out our full guide to BCDs to help you choose the right gear.

Can I Use a Travel BCD for Regular Use?

The answer is yes; you can use a travel BCD for regular use. But, you must understand the difference between travel and non-travel BCDs.

The biggest differences are weight and features. So if you want to have a BCD that does double duty, identify the features that are important to you and balance what you want against the weight of the BCD in order for it to be travel friendly.

Our top picks for Travel BCDs are:

Zeagle Scout

Zeagle Zena

Cressi Lightweight

How Do I Choose a BCD?

Check out our BCD buying guide. As you review the guide, keep these things in mind.

First, make sure that you are working within your budget. There are many great BCDs at multiple price points, so don’t break the bank by purchasing the most expensive one. Instead, focus on your needs.

Do you like to have multiple D-Rings for gear, or are you a minimalist? If you are going to be traveling, then look for a lighter BCD, so it is easier to travel and meets bag weight restrictions. Finally, make sure it is comfortable. Divers come in all shapes and sizes, find one that best fits your body.

Keep in mind that as your skills improve, your gear needs may change, and that is ok. You can always upgrade as time goes on.

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