Best High-End

The Zeagle Ranger is one of the preferred Buoyancy Control Devices (BCDs) for the technical or professional diver. The Ranger is listed in the Authorization for Navy Use (ANU) by NAVSEA.

Our considerable experience with the Ranger–not to be confused with the more feature-filled Ranger Ltd–has been good.

It is also an excellent BCD for the new diver who knows they want to expand their skills because the Ranger grows with you.

The Ranger is rugged and will stand up to all environments and daily use. It also has a slew of features, such as adjustable D-Rings and the ability to hold two tanks. In addition, it has a great lift capacity (44 lbs/19.95 kg). However, the Ranger’s big drawback is that it is heavy (8.4 lbs/3.8 kg) and doesn’t fold well for travel.

Dive-In further and explore the details of the Ranger to see if it is the right BCD for you.

Our Overall Review

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    6 D-Rings – 2 Adjustable on the shoulder
  • check-mark
    Single or Double Tank Use
  • check-mark
    Durable - Nylon
  • check-mark
    Ripcord Weight Release System

Things we don't like:

  • check-markIt doesn't fold well for travel
  • check-markMultiple Features are not needed for the basic Open Water Diver

Where to buy:

zeagle-ranger-product

Zeagle Ranger

Specs & Features

  • BCD: Ranger - $829.95
  • Chest Strap: Yes
  • Adjustment Points: Shoulder Straps & Cumberbunb
  • Integrated Weights: Rip Cord Release
  • Inflation: Rear Inflate
  • Dry BCD Weight: 8.4 lbs/3.8 kg
  • Weight Capacity: 36 lbs/16.3 kg
  • Lift Capacity: 44 lbs/19.95 kg
  • Clips/D-Rings: 6 Stainless Steel (2 adjustable)
  • Trim Tabs: 2
See the complete list of the best BCD here!

Comfort Fit and Color Too

The Ranger is a rigid, durable BCD that works for technical divers and professionals alike. It is a popular BCD among divers looking to grow their skills. The Ranger comes with the Zeagle Personal Fit System that allows you to create a custom fit depending on your wetsuit and your size.

One recent addition to the Ranger is the ability to customize colors, making your BCD uniquely yours and easier to identify on crowded dive boats.

zeagle-ranger-front-view

While few divers complain about the fit of the Ranger, the Ranger LTD has more adjustment features reducing movement restriction even more.

Additionally, the Ranger LTD comes with an Airloc Buckle that swivels, creating an even snugger fit. However, the LTD has more features and a higher price tag (approximately $200-$300 more than the Ranger).

One reason the Ranger is popular is its ability to grow with the diver’s skills. The Ranger works for a basic open-water diver as well as an advanced technical one.

zeagle-ranger-airloc-buckle

If you are diving with a younger child, consider the Ranger Junior. The Ranger Junior is an excellent option for kids; it has all the bells and whistles of the Ranger but with adjustable straps allowing the Ranger Junior to grow with the child. If your dive family dives the same gear, you know they will be 100% comfortable with its operation.

The Ranger, Ranger LTD, and Ranger Junior all have adjustable shoulder straps, chest straps, and cumberbund, completing Zeagle’s Personal Fit System.

Weight Release System

One criticism of the Ranger is it only comes with the Ripcord Weight Release System. The Ripcord System is Zeagle’s patented weight-dumping system.

In an emergency ascent, there is one cord on the left side of the BCD to pull to drop most of your weight. Note your trim weight will not dump with the Ripcord release. The Ripcord release system functions much like a parachute ripcord.

zeagle-fury-weight-release

As an alternative, Zeagle’s newest BCD, the Fury, allows you to purchase it with Quick-Lock Release (QLR) Pockets instead of the Ripcord System. QLR pockets are common on most jacket-style BCDs.

The Ripcord System is a drawback for some instructors. But the Ranger, like much of the Zeagle line is designed to cater to non-teaching, tech divers

For technical divers, Ranger having a Ripcord means your gear is just a little different from most other divers.

While the Ripcord system is different, rethreading the system is easy. Check out the company’s YouTube Video for a quick tutorial.

zeagle-ranger-orange-lock

Rangers Use Pockets

One historical criticism of the Ranger is that while it has two pockets for extra gear, they are smaller than desired. The more technical your diving, the more likely you need specialty gear like – different knives or cutting tools (insert knife link) Insert Technical diving link.

The pocket size issue appears to be corrected on the latest version of the Ranger. If you know the gear you like to have, make sure you choose the right size when ordering.

zeagle-fury-pocket

D-Rings

The Ranger has six stainless steel D-Rings: four on the shoulder and two on the vest. In addition, the top two shoulder D-Rings are adjustable. If you have ever had your gear feel like you have to reach behind your head and grab it, having the top D-Rings adjustable is a fantastic feature.

If you need more attachment points, explore the Ranger LTD. In addition, you can add more D-Rings and accessories to the shoulder straps; the added space comes from a new harnessing webbing and a new threading arrangement on the shoulder straps.

Expanding how and where you wear accessories is essential for many technical and professional divers and recreational divers looking to expand their limits.

Zeagle Fury D Rings

Travel

The Ranger is a well-rounded BCD that will do most things except travel easily. The Ranger is not a lightweight vest. It weighs 8.4 lbs/3.8 kg. There is a ridged backplate that–while great for carrying a lot of gear and two tanks–prevents it from folding easily into a travel bag.

If you are looking for a suitable travel BCD, check out the Cressi Travel Lite. The Travelight cannot carry two tanks, and you don’t have as much ability to carry extra equipment like dive lights or cameras, but it does come with its carrying bag making travel a cinch. Check out our tips on traveling to dive here.

Twin Tank Capabilities

If you are interested in technical diving, the ability to carry two scuba cylinders simultaneously is essential. Two tanks and increase bottom time and safety. The Ranger can take a second tank.

Ranger LTD allows for two tanks, but it also allows you to carry different accessories such as Pony Bottles & Spare Air.

Zeagle Fury Twin Tank

Price & Quality

The Ranger is a popular BCD but is more expensive than other BCDs on the market. Its reinforced 1050 denier Ballistic nylon construction means that it will last. Its ability to expand with your skill development makes it a good investment if you want to add to your diving skills.

If diving deep, cave diving, or professional diving is not in your future, you should check out the Cressi Start.

zeagle-ranger-front-view

Summary

The Ranger BCD is popular because it offers excellent value for divers looking to dive recreationally, technically, or professionally. The Ranger even comes with the Navy’s seal of approval.

Like much of Zeagle’s line of BCD’s there’s also a cool factor to accompany the quality. Add that to useful for technical diving like undersea maintenance, cave diving and marine archaeology, for example.

The additional color options and larger pockets make it an attractive BCD for many other dive enthusiasts too. However, dive instructors may prefer something other than the Ripcord Weight release system. The one limitation of the Ranger is travel. It is a heavier BCD that doesn’t fold nicely into travel gear bags.

Related Reviews

Our Overall Review

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    6 D-Rings – 2 Adjustable on the shoulder
  • check-mark
    Single or Double Tank Use
  • check-mark
    Durable - Nylon
  • check-mark
    Ripcord Weight Release System

Things we don't like:

  • check-markIt doesn't fold well for travel
  • check-markMultiple Features are not needed for the basic Open Water Diver
FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is the best technical BCD?

The Zeagle BCD series offers technical vests for scuba divers. They are among the best in quality with utility first and foremost.

A few of the best technical BCDs from Zeagle include:

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