As the price suggests, this new jacket from Dacor is a no-frills design, but in the water the Nautica turned out to be a real gem, with very good scores for comfort and stability and one of the highest scores for surface floating position. It has excellent trim pockets placed just right, and the integrated weights load securely and ditch reliably with a pinch of the buckles. It has just 1½ pounds of inherent buoyancy despite the cushioned back pad that works well with the rest of the harness to create a secure, comfortable fit. The zippered cargo pockets are big enough to be useful and you can access them without double-jointed elbows, and the octo pockets are well-placed. Test divers would have liked a right shoulder exhaust, more and better D-rings, and a less abrupt inflator. But they praised the Nautica’s stable comfort, and several picked it as one of their favorites of the test.
PRICE $369 CONTACT westmarine.com
“Stable at surface and depth.”