A diving weighted belt is something that all divers need to familiarize themselves with. They are ideal for helping to achieve the neutral buoyancy you need and at an affordable price when you compare to other pieces in your scuba gear.
When you come to buy dive weights you will see that there are a variety of different types and styles of lead dive weights on the market right now, which can be off-putting if you’re new to the whole thing. So we have made it simple for you and spent some serious time looking at what is the best out there for you. Here are the dive weights we have reviewed for you to make your choice easy.
We hope our guide has given you the information that you need to find the right products to suit your own setup, we understand that for many of you this might be the first time even looking at them.
So we wanted to give you additional advice by providing a buying guide with all the important information and considerations you need to make before buying as although individually they have a low price point, but you will need more than just the one so you really don’t want to get it wrong.
One of the biggest issues a lot of divers, even the extremely competent, have is being unable to accurately calculate the amount they need. Along with knowing the best way to distribute the weight properly and also the type they should be using. There are also issues revolving around adjusting the amount to match any changes to conditions or gear they are using.
Below we are going to discuss the main factors that come into play when you are working out how much ballast you require for a dive.
Your Body Weight – You need to know your own body weight and body mass index.
The water you are in – The general rule is that you will not need to use as much when in freshwater as you would in salt water which is approximately 10% of your body mass.
The equipment you are using – Buoyancy and ballast are directly related to the equipment you are using. This includes the style and thickness of the type of wetsuit you are using. As well as the type of cylinder you prefer.
Diving weights will help you get below the level of water required for scuba diving to obtain neutral buoyancy. The amount of weight required to enable you descend below the surface will depend on the following factors:
The type of weight belt you choose will depend on your personal preference. Below are some of the common types of weight belts:
Lead Block Belts
These are the most inexpensive and common type of weight-belt for scuba use. They’re uncomfortable because they dig into the diver’s hips. They consist 2-3 inch nylon belt with a quick release buckle onto which lead weights may be coated or uncoated of varying weights that range from 2-15 pounds.
These are systems built into your BCD to eliminate the need to carry a separate belt. They’re more comfortable than weight belts but make your scuba BCD unit heavier making it difficult to move around before and after the dive.
It’s easy to add and subtract weights from this weight belt in order to adjust buoyancy after every dive. They’re also comfortable as the weights don’t dig into the diver’s hips. They comprise of a regular nylon belt with pockets running along the length of the belt.
Hard weights are used by dive instructors to anchor equipment down. Also, divers completing marine or coral surveys weigh underwater survey equipment when swells are changeable.
Salt or Fresh Water
Fresh water has a low density while the density of salt water is high making you more buoyant. To reach neutral buoyancy in salt water, you’ll need more weights.
You’ll need more weights if your wetsuit is thicker because the neoprene material from which a wetsuit is made contains millions of air bubbles that make it buoyant.
There are many types of weights; ones that are integrated into your scuba BCD and those that rest on a weight belt around your waist.
Hard or Soft
There are both hard and soft weights; hard weights are uncomfortable because they don’t conform to the body causing them to dig in and easily gets damaged when dropped on a hard surface.
Soft weights are flexible and conform to your body shape. Unlike hard weights, they aren’t damaged when dropped.
A scuba divers weight belt will also conform to your body shape and enable you add or remove weight easily. Remember different underwater environments can affect your buoyancy. Thus, being knowledgeable about how and when to make the necessary adjustments is a crucial skill you need to cultivate. After reviewing some of the best dive weights on the market our chose was the Sea Pearls Soft Mesh Weights .