The use of weight systems is crucial when scuba diving. You can make a quick, simple ascent whenever you need to, and they give you a much easier descent. It’s nearly impossible to choose between the many scuba diving weights and belts that are available from manufacturers.
This article on the most popular weight systems for divers was created for this reason. Weight belts and built-in weights make up their two main categories. Here’s a closer look at these systems and the different weights included.
- Lead Block Belts
- Pocket Belts
- Lead Shot Belts
- Brace Systems
- V-Weights Belts
- Tail Weights Belts
- Ankle Weights Belts
What Are the Different Scuba Dive Belts & Weights?
Weight belts are nylon belts with lead weights sewn into them. They fasten around your waist and operate just like regular belts. Diving weight belts are the oldest system used in scuba diving, and they’re the “tried-and-true” system for a few divers. These belts are very easy to find and are affordable, too.
Weight belts for diving come in the following types:
Lead Block Belts
Nylon belts are the most common dive belt used by scuba divers and can be two to three inches long. Lead block belts have a quick-release buckle where you can attach or lace lead weights. Depending on how much weight you’ll need while diving, lead weights can weigh anywhere between two and 15 pounds.
The least expensive weight belts available are made of lead blocks. Every time you rent scuba equipment, you can frequently find them at dive shops.
Regular nylon belts with pockets running the length of them are known as pocket weight belts. To these pockets, you can add lead blocks or lead shot pouches made of neoprene. Pocket scuba belts make adding or subtracting weights easier as you change your buoyancy. Additionally, the weights you attach to these belts won’t press as hard against your sides. They are an improved version of the lead block belt because of this feature.
Lead Shot Belts
Round lead shots can be placed in the pockets or pouches on lead shot belts to achieve the desired weight. In comparison to a block belt, they are much more comfortable, and depending on your requirements, you can get cylinder- or rectangle-shaped pouches for them.
However, adjusting the weights on lead shot belts may become challenging because buoyancy changes over time. More weights can be purchased to help you solve this issue. Smaller pouches can be made or purchased as well, and you can add or remove them from your shot belt as needed.
Harness belts with or without a backplate that you can use to attach quick-release weights are known as brace systems. Divers with back issues will benefit from these scuba dive belts’ ability to spread weight over a larger surface. When equipped with steel plates, brace systems can also evenly distribute the weight of tanks. You can even quickly release the weight bags or pouches on these systems in possible emergencies.
Your BCD (buoyancy compensator) has weight systems that are integrated into it. You can dive without carrying an additional belt thanks to these systems. You won’t have anything hanging around your waist, either. By far more comfortable than weight belts, integrated weights are preferred by the majority of divers.
Even though these weight systems have some advantages, there is one drawback: moving around with them inside your BCD unit will feel more difficult. But if you need extra weight while you’re plunging into cooler waters or while wearing a drysuit, integrated weights are an ideal choice.
Here are the different types of integrated weights that you can use during a dive:
V-weights are typically used on BCDs by twin tank divers. These dive weights are lumps of lead weight in V or “Toblerone” shapes. V-weights are comfortable to carry because they keep the weight off of your lower back. A diving belt is not required if your BCD has V-weights. However, you can’t remove these scuba weights from your BCD unit if you need to ascend quickly.
V-weights are available in a different type in addition to their standard form. You and a backplate are separated by Polish weights, also known as P-weights. This type of V-weight can be used by single tank divers when paired with a backplate and harness belt system (brace system).
Similar to a V-weight, the following class of integrated dive weights. Divers attach tail weights to a much lower part of their twin tanks and often bolt them to the bottom plate for extra trim. Additionally, because these weights evenly distribute the weight lower on the twin tanks, they make it simpler for divers to maintain a horizontal position.
Over the past few years, tail weights have changed. Divers have the choice of using them as air tank end caps or as a means of attaching a lead weight belt.
Due to the tendency of their legs to float upward, divers typically struggle to maintain their buoyancy. This issue can be resolved with the aid of ankle weights because they reduce the buoyancy of your legs and fins. Additionally, for a more comfortable dive, these weights relieve back strain.
However, if you want to take advantage of these advantages while submerged in water, be sure that these weights are snugly fitted around your leg. You may also want to get ankle weights with easy-release buckles.
How to Pick the Best Scuba Weight Belt Or Diving Weight
When you’re picking the best diving belt or weight, it mostly comes down to what you want. The best method for selecting one is to test these pieces of equipment in a pool. By doing so, you’ll find out which belt or weight is most comfortable for you. Try on scuba belts or weights to determine which type you’ll require. Renting various weight belts will allow you to test your buoyancy and trim to determine which works best for you.