What To Do With An Unwieldy Weight Belt
Updated: Feb 11
I get a lot of questions from students about how to manage weight belts. Specifically, how to keep them from slipping off your hips while getting in and out of the water, or while floating on the surface. The struggle is real, and we have tips to help you!
Why do we use weight belts?
Diving with a weight belt in warm water is a lot easier than in cold water: we have to wear less thermal protection in warm water, and we need significantly less weight to keep us underwater.
Using a weight belt with 10-16 pounds of lead on it is no big deal. However, here in the Pacific Northwest we have to wear thicker gear (7mm wetsuit or a drysuit) that is more buoyant, so divers often use between 25-40 pounds of lead.
Unfortunately, a 25-40lb weight belt is really difficult to manage. Buying a BC with integrated weights is an easy solution if you have the funds. If you’re going to stick with a weight belt, I would recommend buying a rubber weight belt and stringing it with the correct amount of lead.
Rubber belt benefits
Rubber belts are stickier than nylon belts, and won't slide around as much.
Rubber weight belts compress and expand as you descend/ascend--they won’t “get bigger” when you’re underwater after your thermal protection has compressed.
We sell an easy to use cam buckle-style closure that makes getting it on and off (and as tight as you need it) really easy.
Consider switching to an Integrated BC
The easiest to use, most comfortable, and most popular weight system is a weight integrated BC. The Aqualung Axiom and Balance (men’s), Soul and Lotus (women’s) are all weight integrated BC’s.
The rapid release weight pockets hold 10-12 pounds each, and there are two trim pockets on the tank straps that each hold up to five pounds, allowing you to carry 30-34 pounds of lead in the BC.
The quick release pockets also allow you to put your scuba unit on before adding weights. Instead of having your buddy lift all your weight and tank, they help you put on your tank and trim weight, and then help you add the pocket weights!
Apeks Black Ice can hold more than 34 pounds
If you need more than the 34 pounds of weight, checkout the Apeks Black Ice. It is a heavy duty BC and holds up to 50 pounds of lead--more than enough for any diver to ditch the weight belt entirely!
Try a BC today!
We carry all these BC’s, and always try to have a full size range in stock ready for you to try on.
If you’re struggling with how much weight you need or adjusting it to be trimmed properly in the water, I would also recommend either the PADI Advanced Open Water Course, or the Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty Course. In both of these classes, we spend time properly weighting you, and watching your trim in the water to adjust to that perfectly horizontal in-water position we’re all striving for!