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Cressi Commander Evolution – Review

by DiveMaster
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Cressi Commander Evolution

If you’re looking for a good BCD or buoyancy compensator, perhaps you’ve considered the “Commander Evolution” by Cressi as one of the options. However, before purchasing it, let us help you find out if it’s the right option for you.



  • Large gear-mounted air cell (made of 420 denier nylon)
  • It has Cressi’s weight system integrated
  • The backplate is considerably rigid, and it has a carrying handle.
  • Includes a next-gen anatomical inflator, which also has a hose retainer integrated.
  • Zip pockets
  • Includes quick-release shoulder strap, 50 mm each
  • Semi-rigid backplate

It also includes the following items:

  • Two rear ballast pouches
  • Three pressure relief valves.

Additionally, its shoulder straps have four aluminum D-rings (50 mm). Last but not least important, it has four stainless steel D-rings (25 mm) – two for the pockets, and the last two can be found in the lower area of the harness. Cressi Commander Evolution – Review


The Cressi Commander Evolution was first introduced to the market in 2018. It is categorized as a jacket-style BCD with peculiar features compared to other options. It has a large air cell and considerably large cargo pockets. Therefore, the Cressi Commander Evolution is probably larger than the regular BCD, but don’t worry – it still has a good performance.

The harness has been padded to provide the user with as much comfort as possible. The air cell is constantly streamlined thanks to the wraparound bungee system integrated.

One of the main disadvantages of the Cressi Commander Evolution is that it is quite large in comparison with other options. Despite that, it is still lightweight and comfortable to use, and it only weighs nothing more but a few ounces over the norm within its category.

Overall, we can say that this BCD’s differential factor is comfort. While it still offers mildly good stability and attitude control, other options may have better functioning as they are more compact.

It’s worth noting that the Cressi Commander Evolution is the enhanced version of the Cressi Commander, which at the same time comes from a previous model by Cressi as well, the “Back Jac.” However, there are a few differences between each option:

  • The harness is now separated from the bladder.
  • The Cressi Flat-lock Aid weight System includes two separate zip pockets.
  • This design has removable tank straps weight pouches integrated into the rear.
  • The bladder now possesses elasticity to some degree, allowing it to be as compact as possible. Furthermore, the bladder is built based on the semi-rigid backpack.
  • Additionally, you will find two large D-rings in the shoulder strap area, while the smaller D-rings can be found in the pockets. The other two can be found in the harness’ underside.

Cressi has had some best sellers in the market now and then, so you can expect the Cressi Commander Evolution to have a similar quality.

There was a time when the Cressi Commander Evolution was only available in physical shops. However, it is now possible to find it pretty much anywhere on the internet. Initially, it was sold at a price of $549.95 (£461).

Strong points

Some of the key differential aspects of this BDC include the zippered cargo pockets, which allow easy access at any time. These pockets, combined with the integrated metal D-rings, make it an excellent choice when it comes to storage. The no-fuss Flat Lock latches are often referred to as “excellent for loading and ditching.”

The Cressi Commander may have a large backplate, but it actually is almost as lightweight as other BCDs of the same category are.

Weak points

While the zippered pockets allow easy access to storage, some divers have found that they start “digging” into their hips after a while. Thus, such an area of your body may feel a bit uncomfortable after diving for a while.

Other than that, some divers may find the whole unit to be a bit large. Surprisingly enough, it is lightweight and comfortable to wear most of the time – except for the issue mentioned above, which can vary from one person to another.

Final thoughts

The Cressi Commander Evolution is the revision of the previous model, the Cressi Commander, which at the same time is the “enhanced” version of another model, the Back Jac. With each revision, the unit ended up getting more “compact” and comfortable to wear while also providing the user with more “convenience” while using – which is evidenced by the zipper pockets.

Some of the outstanding points of this option include comfort and storage. However, the former is compromised by the latter for certain users.

Still, the Cressi Commander Evolution is a great choice, and if you’re willing to test how such a unique construction can help you out, we advise you to go for it. After all, choosing a BCD is quite a subjective topic.

How to choose the right BCD for you

The Cressi Commander Evolution falls in the Jacket or Vest category, but there are more types of BCDs out there. If you think this one won’t do it for you, perhaps one of the following styles will do. The following styles are described as alternatives in case you want to explore more options.

1.   Jacket or Vest

These BCDs are quite common. You can find them anywhere, and they are highly prominent within the industry as part of rental gear. Typically, they’re extremely easy to adjust. They’re composed of an adjustable harness and a backpack that’s attached to an inflatable bladder, granting buoyancy to the user and the unit’s rear.

2.   Backplate/Wing

Backplate/Wing BCDs are less common and are composed of three main parts, the fixed backplate, most of the time referred to as “the win,” an oval or maybe horseshoe shape for lift (it varies from one model to another), and finally, the harness, which straps the whole unit into the diver’s body.

This option does not provide as much adjustment as jacket-style BCDs, but they’re typically more secure as the crotch strap prevents it from moving to a different position. Additionally, you can switch the bladder (wing) and the backplate, so it matches the requirements of your tank and weighting.

3.   Hybrid

Hybrid BCDs combine features from the Jacket style and the Backplate/Wing design. In hybrid BCDs, an air cell generates most of the lift. This air cell is located behind the diver but includes small blades on each side. It is often better for horizontal positioning.

4.   Sidemount

Sidemounts honor their name by providing the diver with a better underwater profile. This is possible because the tanks are placed underneath each tank instead of being attached to the diver’s back. Therefore, Sidemounts are often the best option for tight spaces. Additionally, this style is often less bulky, but it requires more training than other options.


The Cressi Commander Evolution is a good choice for a Jacket-styled BCD. However, whether it is good or not, it’s up to you. What one diver may find uncomfortable, a different person may find quite useful. When it comes to BCDs, things are quite subjective and are quite dependent on what you, as a user, prefer. Thus, the only way to find out the best BCD for you is by testing different options until you find one that accustoms better to your preferences and necessities.

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