Up until now I have been using the Oceanic OceanPro 1000D which is a jacket style BCD, primarily because it was on sale as a package at the local dive shop when I signed up for my Open Water certification however I have never really been happy with it.
The OceanPro 1000D did not fit me very well at all because I am in-between Large and Extra Large sizes. I assumed that I would be able to use the adjustable straps to make it fit better, however this turned out not to be the case. It always flopped around on me underwater and I had to constantly adjust it throughout the dive, so it was time for a change.
I checked into more expensive back plate style BCD’s that the other instructors were using, but I just could not afford to invest that much money into something that I had no experience with to know if it would work better for me or not. I finally decided on the Excursion 2, back inflate BCD from Oceanic which I was able to try on at Island Divers Hawaii’s brand new Scofield Barracks location and it fit me like a glove.
The Excursion is a back inflate which took some getting used to instead of inflating around my sides, but I found this actually more comfortable. When the BCD is fully inflated on the surface it does not feel like it is squeezing or suffocating me. On the first dive using the Excursion 2, my trim and buoyancy drastically improved and I was able to loose 4 pounds of my weights immediately.
I have been using the Excursion 2 for a week now and I absolutely love it. It has plenty of “D” rings positioned down both sides between the bladder and the vest, as well as more above and below the side pockets and on both shoulder straps. These are not the cheap plastic “D” rings that were on the OceanPro 1000D, these are sturdy stainless steel and are actually meant to be used instead of just being for looks.
The Excursion 2 also has mounting grommets on the side pockets to attach a Spinner Knife and two built-in trim weight pockets on the tank strap.
Because of my past experiences and fears, I always dive with a 3 cubic foot Spare Air alternate air source which can be difficult to mount to a jacket style BCD, but with the Excursion 2, I can mount it on the “D” rings going down the side and it tucks nicely right behind and under my arm, I don’t even notice that it’s there and have to reach back every once in a while to make sure it’s still with me. It feels so comfortable there and does not affect my trim at all. It is almost like it was meant to be attached to this BCD in that location.
With the Excursion 2 BCD I now have the option of diving with a single tank mounted onto my back, or side mounted tanks with the built-in “D” rings on the sides if I decide to pursue that PADI specialty. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate an instructor in Hawaii that offers that course as of yet, but I am still looking.
Overall, for the price, I think this is one of the best equipment upgrade decisions I have made. I love the new Excursion 2 from Oceanic.
My Product Rating: