PRICE $1,399.95 CONTACT atomicaquatics.com
Atomic says it “rethought every material and component” when designing its first BC, and it shows: racheting tank-band lock, self-sealing zippers, a rugged waterproof fabric that dries almost before you get it off, integrated-weight latches that look like they were sourced from the space program. The compulsive attention to detail — the corrugated inflator hose is secured not with zip ties but by tiny clamps with stainless hardware — and, frankly, the price, seemed to verge on overkill. But test divers gave it top scores in nearly every category and overwhelmingly selected it as their favorite of the test, not because of titanium-coated stainless D-rings and the like, but because the BC1 excels in the qualities a BC needs: stability, comfort, control, convenience and durability. Some shorter divers found that the side panels extended a little too high, and some found it hefty topside (just over 10 pounds, but neutral in the water). That its design spared no cost shows in its price. But what impressed was its level of performance. The BC1 is our Testers Choice for jacket BCS.