weight belt with a wing setup ... help for newbie

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Jim Lapenta

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Weight pockets on your harness / cam bands, best solution.

Diving a weight belt with BP/W is not only uncomfortable but also unsafe, if you have to dump weights you will struggle getting to it and it can get caught on your harness.

If you need a lot of weight try getting a heavier back plate or a P weight (slots on the backplate) so it will reduce the amount you will have to carry on your harness.

Safe diving

This is not true. I've been diving a BPW for nearly 15 years and have always worn the belt under the crotch strap. If positioned correctly, weights and harness, it is not uncomfortable nor dangerous when you are properly weighted. If properly weighted you only need enough weight on the belt to be neutral. Not heavy. Weight distribution is the key and putting lead on several systems, using steel cylinders, and some common sense is called for. Weights on the cam bands, bolted to the plate, on the harness, etc. as well as the belt.
If you need to dump weight to get slightly positive a couple of velcro pockets on the belt to hold a couple of pounds is all you need. Once on the surface, then you can drop the belt quickly by undoing the buckle and harness buckle in one smooth motion with practice.
The waist belt will come undone, the crotch strap drops away, and the weight belt goes. I teach rescue classes using my belt under the crotch strap. In that case, you simply slice the harness and crotch strap like I have my students do and drop the belt.
Not being able to ditch a belt efficiently in any well-planned gear set up is a skills and training issue. Not a fault of the belt.
I have never struggled with getting to the belt in a BPW. The only time it was somewhat of an issue was in a jacket BC that was two sizes too big on me. Practicing with using any BC of any size to get neutral and in trim within 5 minutes in the water just for fun. The overly large cummerbund and sloppy fit covered the belt and it took an extra 30 seconds to get it.
I use a MAKO freediving rubber belt and it's one of the smoothest operating pieces of gear out there.
 

Colliam7

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Not being able to ditch a belt efficiently in any well-planned gear set up is a skills and training issue. Not a fault of the belt.
A very good point! It also relates to a 'bigger picture' issue.

You have received quite a bit of constructive advice on possible approaches to address the problem you outlined. Several of us have recommended rubber weight belts. That is a matter of personal preference. Others have recommended a DUI weight harness. That is also a matter of personal preference. Both approaches, and others that have been mentioned WORK. But, NONE of the various approaches are 'user-proof'.

Whatever you decide to do - practice with it! Make certain you can ditch weights smoothly, so when that unlikely, but nonetheless possible, moment comes when you NEED to ditch weights quickly, you can do it.

For me, part of the fun of developing as a diver has been exploring gear configurations. For weighting, as an example, I have used nylon weight belts, rubber weight belts, weight-integrated BCDs, I have a DUI Weight and Trim harness, I have moved to a SS BP, and I use HP steel cylinders. MY personal preference - at this point - is the SS BP, steel cylinder and rubber weight belt. Yours may end up being another approach. I practice skills in my preferred rig, regularly. I encourage you to do the same, and enjoy your growth as a diver.
 

Eyegore

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I dive with a wing set-up and use a weight belt. Should it become necessary to dump the belt, I have a quick-release buckle on the crotch-strap. There is a very slight possibility of entanglement; not something I'm particularly worried about.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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