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View Full Version : What to look for in a weight belt?



Scout
08-18-2007, 22:31
My son and I have been renting weight belts since we're fairly new divers. However, it looks like purchasing our own belts will quickly pay for themselves.

What should I look for in a belt? Mesh or neoprene? Stainless buckle? "Depth adjusting buckles"? Solid weights or pellets?

Thanks for the advice!

NitroWill
08-18-2007, 22:36
One that holds your weights :smiley36:

No really....


The basic $7 plastic weight belt will do the trick just fine..
If you insist on paying the extra for the pouches thats your business..
I dont see a flaw w/ the $7 belt setup..works fine for me..If you lose it or someoen picks it up on accident - no big deal..

cummings66
08-19-2007, 08:06
I personally bought a stainless buckle, 2 inch mesh and cast my weights for it. I use 8lbs on the webbing and if something were to happen and I lost it I wouldn't cry too hard.

I think you can buy whatever you like, but I myself don't see the point of spending extra if I don't need to.

Texas Girl
08-19-2007, 08:35
I have always used a simple mesh belt with pouches. The pouches allow you to easily place and change weights around; with only a strap, the weights can slide unless you secure them. With the pouches you can use either hard or soft weights. I personally don't see a need for a fancy "depth adjusting" buckle, but you do want one that is secure.

Phestr
08-19-2007, 09:00
I also used the pocket-belt. Mine had a plastic buckle, never had a problem with it. I liked the soft weights, much more comfortable.

Xspect
08-19-2007, 09:45
I have used both pockets and non pockets

I prefer the pockets because its very easy for me to reach into my belt to either give weight to someone who is light or add weights.

I dont like others touching my BC (bad experience) to put weights in my trims

I dont like to put weights in the pocket of my BC because when and if I need to dump weights I want to dump weights. (knocking on wood)

Basically I like the control pocketed weight belt gives me.

and I own a weight intergated BC !!!

BuzzGA
08-19-2007, 09:54
Until recently I always used a simple mesh belt but a gift of a new BCD has converted me to weight integrated. The nice thing about the weights in the BCD is comfort and it does keep the gear a bit more streamlined. But if I hadn't gotten the new BCD, I would still be perfectly happy with a good ol' weight belt

subsur
08-19-2007, 11:26
i use pockets on my bp set up. my buddy uses a belt with pockets and likes it. i'd go with a steel buckle but either will last for a while. pellets vs. sealed lead - it's easy to rinse a lead covered by plastic (sealed) then pellets. i have soft weight and ok with them but it takes more effort to rinse those mesh bags.

MxDiver
08-19-2007, 11:36
I agree the $7 weight belt should serve all your needs.
The only thing I would add is a belt slide on the opposite end of the belt from the buckle, that way if you ever hold the belt from the buckle side your weights won't fall off.

NitroWill
08-19-2007, 11:39
The only thing I would add is a belt slide on the opposite end of the belt from the buckle, that way if you ever hold the belt from the buckle side your weights won't fall off.

Or you can just twist the belt each time you go thru the weight and they wont budge :smiley20:

medic001918
08-19-2007, 12:05
Or you can just twist the belt each time you go thru the weight and they wont budge :smiley20:

That's what Kristen does with her's. Fortunately, I end up not needing a weight belt when I dive due to my rig. But if I were using one, it'd be with the twist.

Shane

scubaguy4409
08-19-2007, 12:12
I prefer the pocket weight belts as I just unzip pull or add what I want and gop on about my way. Also my belt unzip from one end (as I'm sure they all do) so I use the last (small) pocket for nic naks. Can't use while diving but extra pencils are there when I need one!

MxDiver
08-19-2007, 13:09
The only thing I would add is a belt slide on the opposite end of the belt from the buckle, that way if you ever hold the belt from the buckle side your weights won't fall off.

Or you can just twist the belt each time you go thru the weight and they wont budge :smiley20:

Simple and cost effective, not only the weights won’t come off but also they won’t shift, yet I have never seen anybody do it. My wife is going to love this, no more arranging the weights before she puts her belt on. Thanks for the idea.

Scout
08-19-2007, 13:10
Thanks so much for the valuable opinions! There's so many things to spend a lot of money on, and I'd prefer to keep costs and complexity low, when possible.

I'm going to start shopping for the belts with the mesh pockets.

wxboy911
08-19-2007, 14:36
I have a pocket weight belt I use hard weights in...or used to. I have a weight integrated BC now with two dumpable and two non dumpable pockets so the belt stays in the bag unless I want to snorkel. When choosing a belt I bought one I was sure I would not miss to much if it ended up on the bottom.

Splitlip
08-19-2007, 14:57
People gave you good suggestions.
I would suggest, which ever belt, you put a depth compensating buckle on it. Worth every penny.
http://www.xsscuba.com/weight_access.html

thesmoothdome
08-19-2007, 16:04
People gave you good suggestions.
I would suggest, which ever belt, you put a depth compensating buckle on it. Worth every penny.
http://www.xsscuba.com/weight_access.html

I agree with splitlip, especially if you'll be diving cold water. a depth compensating buckle makes a belt a lot less of a hassle.

MxDiver
08-19-2007, 16:52
Never considered cold water, the thickest suit I have ever needed is a 5 mil. and over 90% of my diving is done with a 3/2. Never dove with a dry suit so I didn't see much use for a compensating buckle.

thesmoothdome
08-19-2007, 18:19
depth compensating actually works well on 7 mil wet suits, and I'd assume 5 mil wet suits too. As you go down, the wet suit compresses. At 4 ATM, it's roughly 1/4 of the thickness it is at the surface, causing the belt to losen up. Depth compensating buckle fixes this. So would a rubber belt.

Ross
08-19-2007, 20:53
I'd been used to a webbing belt, SS buckle [plastic gives way too easily], hard weights each with clips to retain them where they were put ... but I've a different BC to play with that has integrated weights, advice was to buy a pouch belt [cheap on ebay], so trip in 2 weeks will be to try it out. Like most SCUBA things, it'll be a personal preference. My suggestion - do just that, borrow different belts, try them ......

Hex92
08-20-2007, 08:46
I only use my weight belt when on vacation. I have one with pockets. That way when I have to go through the weight bucket I can just slide them in the pocket instead of having to thread them through the belt.

At home I use a DUI Weight and Trim2. Its better than a weight belt and when diving dry and having to have 20+ lbs of weight it supports the weight much better.

Vercingetorix
08-20-2007, 12:22
I paid the extra $2 for a stainless steel buckle versus the plastic. I saw a plastic buckle fail during OW class. Fortunately, student was already on the surface.

Concerning self-compensating buckles, I simply readjust the belt at depth. I dive with a 7mm farmer john, so re-tightening the belt at depth is a must.

Rather than twisting the belt to hold weights in place, use the weight locks. They're a buck a piece and, at most, you'll need only six (that's all the room I have on my belt.) Quite often, I don't even need the locks.

The soft/lead-shot weights are known to shed white powder (lead) into the water. Comfy for you, bad for the environment. Hard weights don't shed.

I dive with a BP/W; therefore, weight belt is a requirement with thicker suits. With a 3mm suit, I use no weight belt at all. That 5five-pound backplate is all I need.

cummings66
08-20-2007, 13:00
People gave you good suggestions.
I would suggest, which ever belt, you put a depth compensating buckle on it. Worth every penny.

How does that work? I can't picture how it's going to pull my belt tighter on me, please treat me like an idiot and explain it in simple terms.

CompuDude
08-20-2007, 14:03
Just save yourself the time and hassle of buying and returning inadequate belts, and go buy the XS Scuba Pocket Weight Belt.

Best weight belt made, period.

http://www.scubadiving.com/upload/images/ss/200211GR_08_xsscuba.jpg

Then pick up a stainless steel buckle for it. It's not expensive, and I've seen too many plastic buckles break. Tanks get set on them, you name it... plastic breaks.

The XS Scuba Pocket Belt is consistently rated #1 every time a magazine does a test.

Buy vinyl coated hard lead weights. They're more environmentally friendly (lead power from soft weights is bad for you and bad for the environment), and in the pocket belt, they're not uncomfortable at all. Also less expensive and very easy to swap back and forth to adjust your weight to changing needs (such as 3mm to 7mm to drysuit to drysuit with thicker undergarments).

If you want the ultimate in comfort, once you buy the XS Scuba Pocket Weight Belt, replace the weight belt itself (the pockets are just groups of pockets that slide onto a regular weight belt as one piece for each side) with a rubber weight belt, and then the entire thing becomes self-adjusting to depth, suit compression, you name it. Mine wasn't uncomfortable before, but since I put the pockets on a rubber belt, I can't even feel the belt anymore, and never need to adjust anything at depth. Far more effective than the 1" or so you get from the "self-adjusting" buckles, and safer, too, IMO.

cummings66
08-20-2007, 17:20
Where do you find a rubber weight belt and how long can it be expected to last?

CompuDude
08-20-2007, 17:36
Where do you find a rubber weight belt and how long can it be expected to last?

Dumpster Diver over on SB sells them cheap (that's what I use), made from heavy duty tractor tire innertubes. Or you can buy them from LP or most freediving shops. They're really popular with freedivers, since their wetsuit compression swings tend to be dramatic ... and frequent.

I can't recall how long he said they should last, but count on 3+ years at a minimum, perhaps a lot more. He's had his for a long time. I keep a length of regular webbing in my weight bag just in case, although I have yet to need it. There is a thread or two on SB on the topic.

Splitlip
08-20-2007, 19:17
People gave you good suggestions.
I would suggest, which ever belt, you put a depth compensating buckle on it. Worth every penny.

How does that work? I can't picture how it's going to pull my belt tighter on me, please treat me like an idiot and explain it in simple terms.

The cam part of the buckle will actually slide about 2 " (max) under tension away from the "passive" part of the buckle which retains one end of your belt.
When you put on the belt and thread the "active" end of the belt the cam portion is pulled to the desired tension. When the belt is buckled and the cam locked, the two parts of the buckle are in tension. As you desend and your exposure protection compresses, the buckle holds the belt tight as the buckle tries to return to it's natural position. It will tighten the belt up to 2 inches.

fire diver
08-20-2007, 19:38
I find it rather coincidental that I find this thread after I get back froma weekend of diving. I just lost a 2 pound softweight from my pocket. It's a velcro weight pocket, but it's on my hog harness and I only have 2. Thankfully (and oddly) the weight fell out after the dive as I was about to climb up the ladder. Anyway, I decided right then that I needed to go back to a regular weight belt, for several reasons.

I decided to drop down and get it. I mean it's straight under me. straight down about 75 feet, at night, in an unfamiliar spot, solo. I made it down to 53 feet. The water was FREEZING and I had no hood or gloves. I was looking at these beautiful tree branches right under me. I decided that it wasn't worth it for a 2 pound weight.

Anyway, I think I will order one of those XS weight belts. Looks good, and I may try that rubber belt thing with it. Of course I plan on getting the SS latch for it too.

FD

MEL-DC Diver
08-20-2007, 20:25
You guys don't need to go to all that trouble. Just buy from ST and Larry and Joe will throw in this special buckle. It is Texas, after all.

fire diver
08-21-2007, 04:22
You guys don't need to go to all that trouble. Just buy from ST and Larry and Joe will throw in this special buckle. It is Texas, after all.

Hell yeah! I'm putting one of THOSE on my weight belt!!!

FD

cummings66
08-21-2007, 16:03
I decided to drop down and get it. I mean it's straight under me. straight down about 75 feet, at night, in an unfamiliar spot, solo. I made it down to 53 feet. The water was FREEZING and I had no hood or gloves. I was looking at these beautiful tree branches right under me. I decided that it wasn't worth it for a 2 pound weight.


I had a 3mm on and had to go down and free an anchor once, at 50 feet without a hood or gloves I got quite cold and hated ever second of it. Luckily the only tree around happened to be the one the anchor was stuck on so it was no big deal, plus it was day and I could see what I was doing.

At night, in your situation, I'd have aborted as you did. I think the cheapest solution is best, the weight belt and solid lead works for me. Now all I've got to do is cast a couple 2 lb weights. I think I'm going to drop from 8 lbs on my 7mm to 4 lbs. I think I'm a bit heavy and hope this will be a solution to trim as well. I'm perfect in the drysuit with 8 lbs on, but heavy in a 7mm. Weight belts make the testing easy.