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Weightbelts, why does everyone hate them so much?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Eric Sedletzky, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Gareth J

    Gareth J Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: UK
    I think there are two different point of discussion.
    Ditchable weight and integrated weights.

    The easy one first.
    Integrated Weight
    Personally. I don't like integrated weights in BCD's.
    This is because most of the divers I dive with wear Drysuits. Most integrated weight BCD's don't have the capacity to carry the required weight need for single cylinder diving and a drysuit.
    In truth, I don't have a problem if the weight is split between a weight belt and the integrated weights. However, in practice, I see too many divers cramming all the weight into the integrated weight pouches. This means that the integrated weight is too much for the BCD. Resulting in lost weights, and the resulting buoyancy issues.

    As a general rule, I think that integrated weight systems provide more negatives than positives. I treat them with extreme suspicion.

    Ditchable Weight
    If I dive a single cylinder rig. I use a weight belt with pockets, and ideally, shot bags.
    When I dived my twin 12's (Doubles). By the time I had trimmed them properly, with a tail weight. I needed 1kg of additional weight (2lb). In fact, in fresh water, I needed no additional weight, in the sea, I 'could' just get away with no additional weight, especially when carrying stages.
    On the smaller twinset (twin 10's), I do need additional weight, however, these have not yet been trimmed for me. The twin tests are a set I don't really use much (the 12's are on loan to another diver). Twin 10's are a bit of a pain to trim because they are short cylinders, and normally I need the additional weight low down on the set.

    My main diving rig is a CCR. This has trim weight fitted (high up to counter the effect of the counter lungs). In addition to the trim weights, I wear 2kg (4ib) on a weight belt for sea diving.

    I am basically negatively heavy, with the twin 12's and the CCR, so the ditchable weight will have little effect.
    The 10's and a standard rig, then there is a benefit to the ditchable weight.

  2. dlofting

    dlofting DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I hate anything the least bit tight around my waste (also hate ties and long sleeve dress shirts :shakehead:). I like to travel with a light backplate so a harness works best for me. If I dive locally the harness can also carry the additional weight required.
  3. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    I keep a weight belt rolled up in my weight bag as a backup. I used to use it every dive but now I generally dive with redundant gas (most often sidemount, but not the only configuration i use), so ditchable weight is not a priority. When i do dive single tank its with a bp/w that has ditchable weight pockets that work really well with the rig and can be dumped 1 at a time, whereas a belt can get hung up on the crotch strap when ditching and generally doesn’t allow a partial weight dump for better control of emergency ascent.
  4. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    I have no problem with the belt. And with 42 pounds needed with my 7 mil farmer john, putting it all in the BC is not an option (plus the plus of being able to ditch 20 pounds from the BCD while keeping the rest). I use diving suspenders, so never any slipping off my slim hips--the reason I bought the suspenders. My belt is pouched, each holding 2 pounds, so no threading and awkward 5 pound weights to deal with. Only negative is it would be difficult to ditch the belt should I have to. I make sure a dive buddy knows to release the BC weights.
    If just using my shorty (or less) in warm water, all weight is integrated--even better.
    The suspenders puts the weight on your shoulders same as a harness. Advantage of the harness is I assume weights are easily dropped. I didn't know about harnesses way back when I bought the suspenders.
  5. ScubaBunga

    ScubaBunga Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: wright city, mo
    I was certified with weight belt and still use it. I love my light bcd. My boys both started with integrated BCD’s and both have now moved to lighter BCD’s with weight belts. So whatever works for ya.
    shoredivr likes this.
  6. Ontwreckdiver

    Ontwreckdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: St Thomas, Ontario, Canada
    I only use a weight belt. I hate how the weight pockets make a BC feel bulky.
    shoredivr likes this.
  7. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    Have any of you divers that don't wear weight belts given any thought how you would maintain depth if for some reason, like entanglement for example you had to take your rig off. If all your ballast is on your rig that'll give you one hand to work with while you hold on tight to your rig with the other. I keep a 12lb belt on, which is enough for me to stay slightly negative without my rig at any depth.

    The entanglement scenario has happened to me which is why I ask.
  8. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
    Never had an issue with them and I bring my own on all trips.
    AfterDark likes this.
  9. Diver below 83

    Diver below 83 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: SoFlo
    I’ve had this thought. In our training we had to remove our bcd which was integrated, put our left arm through the straps to keep the bcd on us while propping it up on our knee which would hold us down with the integrated weights. This way we could do anything needed to the gear or make adjustments etc with the bcd off and not floating up. It worked. Granted we were only at 30fsw and no entanglements
    DBPacific likes this.
  10. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    Weight belts are no good. Shops gotta sell expensive weight pockets and proprietary replacements for the poodle jackets.

    Some things stand the test of time and a rubber weight belt with hard lead is one.

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