Photo of Scuba Jay with words "Sherwood Axis BCD"

Why The Sherwood Axis is the best Back inflate Buoyancy Compensator (According To A Scuba Instructor)

I’ve been diving for most of my life and have had the opportunity to wear various BCs. The Sherwood Axis is by far my favorite BC I’ve worn. This is Scuba Jay’s go to BC in both the open water and the pool during training.

Picture of a Sherwood Axis BC
The original Axis model BC owned by Scuba Jay. (photo courtesy of Sherwoodscuba.com)

I purchased my Axis in about 2021. Sherwood has since updated with a new model, that appears to have approved even more on this fine BC.

Picture of a Sherwood Axis BC
The updated Axis model. (Photo courtesy of Sherwoodscuba.com)

Fit

Without a doubt, the Axis is the most comfortable and best fitting BC I’ve put on. The Three Point Harness system allows you to make minor fit adjustments to the shoulder, cummerbund and waist straps that most other BCs can’t touch. This allows for a superior fit with little to no shifting of your tank.

picture of the Axis BC Three Point Harness System
The Three Point Harness system of the Axis is key to a great fit.

I have used my Axis with my 7mm and 5mm while diving in Lake Erie and with my 3mm while diving in Key Largo. No matter the wetsuit, I was able to adjust my Axis to the size needed to ensure a proper fit.

Durability

As mentioned above, I use my Axis BC not just for my regular diving, but in the pool to train students as well. This means my BC has been subject to not just salt water, but high amounts of chlorine. Other than some fading, which I attribute to the cholerine in the pool, my BC has held up just fine and has not required any maintenance other than the normal yearly inspection.

While on the topic of maintenance, I always rinse off my BC no matter what type of water I am diving in, even fresh water, to keep it clean and free from debris. Remember, take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you.

Integrated Weights

The newer model of the Axis has the updated CQR-4 weight integration system, which Sherwood claims allows for easier placement and removal with a more secure fit. The Axis comes with side drop-weights (holding up to 10lbs each) that can be removed quickly in an emergency, as well as easily accessible trim pockets (holding up to 3lbs each).

Depending on your diving needs and habits, the Axis may offer more than enough room for weights for you to not have to wear a weight belt, if you so choose.

Picture of Axis BC integrated weight pocket
The CQR-4 weight integration system is a nice update. (Photo courtesy of Sherwoodscuba.com)

Some Cons

The only con that I’ve found regarding the Axis model that I have is the size of the pockets. They are rather small, barely fitting my emergency cutting shares. Other than that small issue, no pun intended, I honestly cannot think of any other cons on this excellent BC. While I have the older model, the newer model also seems to have small pockets.

Final thoughts

With a superior fit and a design built to last, you cannot go wrong with the axis BC. What type of BC, whether back inflation, jacket or hybrid, is right for you is a personal choice. I personally like back inflation BCs as I feel they allow me to get really good trim while being horizontal during my dive. And of the back inflation BCs that I’ve used, the Axis is my favorite.

Picture of Scuba Jay wearing his Axis BC
Scuba Jay in his Axis BC diving in Little Cayman.

More of Jay’s Faves

Check out the below, if interested in more of Jay’s Faves.

“How boring would the world be if everywhere and everyone were the same. Safe travels and good adventures.” Scuba Jay

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