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The virtues of simplicity are too often overlooked in scuba gear. A significant contingent of new or infrequent divers need streamlined, accessible equipment with the familiar feel of the gear they learned with.

Oceanic’s rental-ready Oceansport BCD is an excellent example of something any open water diver can pull off the rack and operate without any introduction.

Below we’ll familiarize you with the specifics of this very practical jacket-style BCD and discuss what we think it does and doesn’t do well.

Our Overall Review

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

4.3

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Simplicity makes it great as a starter BCD or a mass rental model
  • check-mark
    Emphasis on durability
  • check-mark
    Emphasis on basic functionality

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markVelcro pockets are different than zippered pockets
  • check-markNot much in the way of accessories or amenities

Where to buy:

Oceanic Oceansport Bcd Product Image

Oceanic Oceansport BCD

Oceanic calls their Oceansport BCD “a new benchmark for rental and training operations” and further espouses its utility for divers of all inclinations and certifications.

We agree that it’s a fine example of dive gear targeted towards budding scuba enthusiasts and occasional divers. But certain factors leave us questioning how well it will fulfill the needs of more savvy users.

Specs & Features

  • Jacket style BCD
  • Alliance Integrated Inflator
  • Adjustable fit with points at cumberbund, waist strap, and chest strap
  • Deep open side pockets along with two velcro-fastened pockets
  • Fade and abrasion resistant nylon build
  • Integrated backpack carrying handle
See the complete list of the best BCD here!

Functionality

Two of the Oceansport’s main selling points are its simplicity and familiar functions. In a sport that requires a degree of precise gear operation, it’s hard to undersell the value of instinctively knowing where your hoses and buttons are. Particularly if you’re renting unfamiliar equipment or are new to the underwater world.

There’s nothing extraordinary in the BCD’s makeup, but all essential components work within our expectations and are easy to use.

The standard array on the Alliance Integrated Inflator is intuitive for anyone with basic dive training, and allows for nuanced buoyancy adjustments without too much finesse on the operator’s part.

The high-flow exhaust valve is handy in a pinch, allowing you to dump air quickly in event of any overzealous inflation. On this note, dump valves are easily accessible and have prominent pull tabs if you need to lose air in a hurry.

Regarding how it actually feels in the water- the Oceansport is a typical jacket style BCD and as such doesn’t have the same precise, dialed-in feel more common in performance models. Fortunately this isn’t necessarily a critique on comfort.

oceanic-oceansport-bcd-torben-using-regulator

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Comfort and Adjustability

Jacket style BCDs rarely present a one size fits all situation, and the Oceansport is no exception. That said, given the Oceansport’s intention is as a mass-rental option for novices, there’s quite a bit of wiggle room to get the fit right for different bodies.

A large velcro cummerbund is foremost among these adjustments one can make. These straps are fairly common in beginner and rental BCDs, and are a very reliable means of keeping your kit from floating up off your shoulders if you haven’t fine tuned your other adjustments.

On that subject, the Oceansport features additional adjustment points on the waist, sternum, and torso which can be tinkered with as needed. These points also have quick release buckles which make getting into the jacket a little easier, as well as slipping out quickly when you’re cold, wet and tired after a dive.

As with the note on performance above, there are some trappings in this style of BCD. In this case it’s going to feel a little bulkier than a lightweight travel model or something more performance-oriented. It’s nothing so extreme as to say that the Oceansport is exceptionally uncomfortable, but models like this can feel a little claustrophobic if you’re not used to them.

oceanic-oceansport-bcd-torben-and-nicolai

Durability

When it comes to longevity the above-mentioned robustness of the build helps keep the Oceansport going stronger, longer. The heavy nylon used on abrasion points is appreciably burly, and the rest of the body is made up of more malleable but still durable fade-resistant nylon blends. The overbuilt body and welded seams help protect the BCD from everyday wear and tear, leaks, and other issues that pop up after years of use.

In short, the Oceansport is built to withstand the kinds of routine abuse rental gear is normally subjected to – namely extended soaks in chlorinated pools, and long exposure to sun while sitting out waiting for use. This is good on two counts- whether you’re looking for something that can handle a lot of wear or a sound investment that will hold up for years of infrequent diving.

The Oceansport’s durability is one of its stronger suits, yet another benefit that arises from its basic build. Unfortunately this comes at the behest of features that more advanced divers may appreciate or expect in their equipment.

oceanic-oceansport-bcd-underwater

Features

Simplicity seems to be the key word in this review but before we discuss what else we’d like to see in the Oceansport, let’s talk about what’s already included.

Stowage and pockets are always an important consideration depending on your style and preferences. The Oceansport has two large octo pockets on either side of the jacket. Their appreciable openings make stuffing hoses and gauges inside hassle-free. There are also two velcro topped pockets situated towards the belly side of the BCD for storage.

Finer points of the inflator hose and exhaust mechanisms were covered above, there’s not much else to add other than reiterating that they function as expected. Finally, the backplate features a carrying handle for easy transport- this is another key feature for rentals and new divers to keep them from carrying their kit by their octo.

Moving on to what’s missing- we’d love to see things like integrated weight belts and secondary regulators, even though they feel a little beyond the scope of basics. In a much more practical sense, we felt that the Oceansport was lacking some of the basics.

The velcro pockets aren’t as secure as zippered options, and your room for storage is limited overall. Similarly there aren’t many rings or easy attachment points for accessories or personal effects. Again these features are unnecessary for rental BCDs, but not having them limits who may be interested in the Oceansport beyond brand new divers.

Who it’s for

Oceanic makes it clear from the get go that the Oceansport is best suited as a rental option for dive operations, or as a safe starting place for newcomers to the sport.

As far as who might be interested beyond these specific demographics it’s harder to tell. It could be a good option for infrequent divers who want a tough piece of gear that will last a while.

With this in mind, it’s worth stating that the Oceansport is a simple BCD but not necessarily a budget BCD. There are more affordable options out there if budget is your priority. For everyone else, it’s worth considering alternatives with a more diverse feature set, or at least better travelability than the Oceansport.

Below we’ll cover a few alternatives that you can start with, but we encourage you to take a look at our guide to the best BCDs if you’re in need of more guidance.

Oceanic Oceansport Bcd Two Pieces

The Competition

The idea of a super rugged, simple BCD is appealing, but we found ourselves wanting a little more out of the Oceansport. The good news is you don’t need to stray far to find just that. Oceanic’s OceanPro adds integrated weight options, zippered pockets and additional D-rings while retaining the durability that we appreciate from the Oceansport.

Keeping with the theme of rugged, bulletproof BCDs, Zeagle’s Ranger brings all of the best comfort and durability qualities in the industry with features and aspects that more seasoned divers will appreciate. It’s a great option that can bridge the gap between basic rec diving and beginning tech dives.

Finally, for bread and butter recreational divers, the Cressi Aquapro is a function-forward and feature-rich option somewhere between the OceanPro and the Ranger above. Well placed weight pockets and a solid back plate help with weight management, and components can be easily cleaned and serviced.

Oceanic Oceansport Bcd Three Pieces Black

Conclusion

Oceanic’s Oceansport doesn’t push the boundaries of what is possible in dive technology, but it does harken back to the basics and does justice to the essentials. Our only real issues with it are features that it doesn’t have, and in no way promises.

Our Overall Review

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

4.3

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Simplicity makes it great as a starter BCD or a mass rental model
  • check-mark
    Emphasis on durability
  • check-mark
    Emphasis on basic functionality

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markVelcro pockets are different than zippered pockets
  • check-markNot much in the way of accessories or amenities

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FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Oceanic Oceansport BCD

What is the best BCD?

The best BCD for you is going to meet your performance needs as well as your financial restrictions. There’s a lot of variety out there and sorting through the masses can be a real chore if you don’t know where to start. To save you some time, here are a few of our favorites to get you started.

  • Oceanic OceanPro
  • Zeagle Ranger
  • Tusa Tina
  • Cressi Start
  • Sherwood Silhouette
  • Zeagle Scout
  • Cressi Aquapro

To read our full reviews of each BCD and find out why we like them, just follow the links above.

Do I need my own BCD?

There comes a point in most diver’s careers where they decide that they need to start gathering their own complete setup. Owning your own BCD lets you curtail your dive experience to your preferences, and add various safety features and amenities that aren’t available with rentals.

If you think you’re ready to take the dive and look at your own BCD, our buyer’s guide is a great place to start.

How to wash a BCD?

Regular maintenance is one of the best ways to keep your gear working for long seasons on the seas. Cleaning your BCD is a little more intuitive than you may think.

It starts with giving your BCD a good rinse with a hose, paying attention to all of the nooks and crannies where grime or sand could build up. You should also pay attention to the buttons or other mechanisms to make sure they get attention as well.

From there you can rinse out the inflator hose, and use one of several methods to fill and clean the bladder. You want to make sure that you get all of the water, along with caked on salt and grime out of the inside of the BCD. After this you need to hang and dry your BCD somewhere out of direct sunlight before you store it. Make sure it’s bone dry before you leave it unattended to prevent mold buildup.

For more information on BCDs, with details on how to choose your next model- take a look at our buyer’s guide.

What does BCD stand for?

BCD is one of many basic acronyms in the scuba world. It stands for Buoyancy Compensation Device, and allows you to adjust your level of buoyancy over the course of your dive.

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