Best Freediving Weights For 2021
Buoyancy is a fundamental concept of physics. When a person dives into the ocean, the water around him pushes or thrusts him upwards. It is the same principle of science that allows a person to float in water. But if you are going to do underwater diving to different depths, you need to add more weight to your suit and body so that your density becomes more significant than the thickness of seawater.
Under the water, you would always have only seconds to react, readjust as well as to regain calmness before the risks of deep-sea diving surround you. When you are a diver, you must have the ability to descend into the water and ascend without facing any problems. It is the most critical factor in Freediving as well as in spearfishing.
Now that you know what buoyancy means, you must be wondering why you need a weighted diving belt. The primary purpose is to add just enough extra weight so that you can see descent easily to the required depth without having to overexert your body during the ascent or descent. The value that you want to add will solely depend on your actual weight.
It will also depend on your body’s shape and the depth you plan to dive into it. It could also depend on the water’s salinity level and location. Diving weight belts are an essential component in your scuba diving gear. To help you balance your natural buoyancy.
Top 5 Best Freediving Weights – Detailed Reviews
★ Top Pick
Riffe Rubber Weight Belt
Cressi Nylon Weight Belt with Metal Buckle
Cressi Quick-Release Elastic Belt
Riffe Marseilles Rubber Weight Belt
Spear Pro Safety Buckle Weight Belt
List of best Freediving weight belts
While looking for a weight belt, you will want something that fastens securely and something that stays put even if your hands are occupied with an underwater camera or a spear gun. You would also like a weight belt that will allow you to ditch weights quickly if you are ever faced with an emergency.
Besides these, affordability, durability, and construction quality are also important factors to consider when buying a weight belt. Below is a list of five best Freediving weight belts for 2021.
Riffe Rubber Weight Belt
This belt by Riffe is quite a tough one and has excellent flexibility. The rubber belt has a glass-filled nylon buckle. Since it can withstand a lot of wear and tear, it is exceptionally durable. Since it is made of rubber, you can also easily trim to the required length without worrying about frayed ends.
Another great feature of this Riffe belt is the buckle. It has been designed in a way that it can be opened easily with a single hand. It could become a life-saving feature if you face a need to drop your weights fast or if the belt gets snagged on something.
The belt also has a ribbed back, which prevents you from slipping on your wetsuit. This rubber weight belt features a length of 54 cm and can be easily adjusted by cutting it to size. It has a weight capacity of 10 kg or 20 lbs.
- It lasts very long and can withstand quite a lot of abuse.
- It can be adjusted or trimmed to fit any waist size.
- The buckle can be quickly and easily opened to allow you to ditch weights fat in any emergency.
- It does not come with any weight or weight stops. So, essentially it is just a belt.
Cressi Nylon Weight Belt with Metal Buckle
Cressi is a very well known diving company founded in 1946. They are known for their design, innovation, development, and manufacturing. This belt by Cressi features a rigid, woven nylon material alongside a stainless steel buckle. The stainless steel is of the quick-release type, which is excellent if you face an emergency and want an intuitive and rapid release. The hook is solid, too, and it is riveted at both ends. This weight belt is perfect for Freediving as well as spearfishing. Also, it can be used comfortably for tank diving.
Since most Freediving belts are flexible and stretchy, but this belt is reliable and more challenging, it works well for tank diving. It measures 58 inches in length, and you can trim it to your size. It is also quite affordable.
- It works very effectively, and weights slide on easily.
- The buckle is secure and easy to operate.
- Since the belt is super long, you will need to cut it to size but with a flame to not fray it. It could become a bit inconvenient.
Cressi Quick-Release Elastic Belt with Metal Buckle
This is a premium quality belt that allows professional spearfishermen and freedivers to snug upon it and forgets it is there while fishing or diving. This belt is manufactured with a highly stretchable rubber. So that your weights are positioned comfortably during your ascent and descent. The belt has elastic properties that contract and compress along with your body and your weight when you descend.
It also stretches and expands during your ascent to position your weight belt comfortably around your hips. This belt also features a standard latch style and a quick release buckle design. It has a length of 140 cm or 55 inches and can be used with challenging slotted block weights and soft pouch weight pockets.
The buckles are formed out of stainless steel, which gives it heavy-duty corrosion resistance. The hook is attached to the belt with stainless steel rivet on both ends.∙
- It is excellent for underwater sports, namely spearfishing, free diving, and scuba diving.
- It compresses while you descend and expands while you ascend along with your body and wetsuit.
- The belt is too long and doesn’t come with weights.
Riffe Marseilles Rubber Weight Belt with SS Buckle
This weight belt is 57 inches or 145 cm in length. It is a Marseilles type of rubber weight belt that can be used for both Freediving and spearfishing. It is quite a flexible weight belt, and it stays in place while you are descending into the water, and while you are ascending.
When you are on a deeper dive, your waist compresses. It is when the belt’s flexibility comes into play and provides you a snug fit, thus ensuring that your weight belt doesn’t ride or slip up to your chest.
It features a stainless steel roller buckle, which is quite heavy-duty and therefore makes the buckle corrosion-resistant. It also makes releasing weights easier underwater during any emergency. It has a weight capacity of 20 lbs.
- It provides a snug fit and ensures that your weights stay put.
- The buckle is a quick-release one and provides safety in case of an emergency.
- The finish of the color on the belt is not very good.
Spear Pro Safety Buckle Weight Belt
This SpearPro safety buckle weight belt features a safety buckle made out of plastic. It does not have a standard plastic buckle, unlike the previous models. This belt comes in a variety of camo patterns. The strap itself is made from the perfect blend of polymerized rubber and UV inhibitors. It allows for the appropriate amount of stretch, which is neither too much nor too little.
This belt is different from most belts in the market, made from materials that either do not flex or made from pure latex, which stretches too much and becomes useless in a year. It is, thus, very durable and will last a long time. It can be loaded up with 15 lbs or 6.8 kg of weights, and the belt is 3 mm thick.
- This belt has the perfect amount of stretch and offers a good layer of safety.
- It is more expensive if you buy it at a store instead of online.
What Should You Look For In A Weighted Diving Belt?
You need to consider some crucial factors and look for when you are out for buying a weighted diving belt. These features are-
The diving belt material –
Weighted diving belts could feature any of these three materials: skin, rubber, and silicone. Nylon does not work very well if you are Freediving. Rubber is the best for Freediving as it provides safety, comfort as well as functionality. Silicone works as nicely as rubber; they are more flexible though a little less ordinary.
Generally, an average diver prefers to use a rubber weighted diving belt because of its flex and remarkable ability to stay put and remain properly compressed against their wetsuit. However, some divers prefer nylon as they are more suitable and safer for tank/scuba diving.
Adjustable belt styles –
Some belts do not come with holes, requiring you to trim them to size. Though rubber or silicone won’t fray if you cut them, nylon will need some extra steps if you plan to cut it. Trimming could pose both as pro or con. It depends on whether you are alone using the belt or not. If your belt has holes, you won’t have much of a problem to adjust. But if you plan to drill any extra holes, it should be done at your own risk.
Pockets are generally available in belts to hold weights. They could be adjustable or removable and could be switched on. Depending on your needs, bags could be an advantage or a disadvantage.
Types of Buckles –
There are two types of buckles available, i.e., quick release and traditional ones. They are made either out of stainless steel or nylon/plastic. Quick-release hooks provide you another layer of safety during emergencies.
Diving weight belts help you to counteract the weight of your body underwater safely. It should be weighted according to your needs, your body, and your diving gear. Though purchasing a diving belt isn’t enough to erase all underwater dangers, they provide an extra layer of safety.
The strap that you are buying has to be strong enough so that your weights stay in place without shifting, slipping, or just falling out of your body. Newer designs are continuing to flood the market, but the factors mentioned above will ensure usefulness and safety. Thus, before buying anything, make sure you have done your research and look for the essential features.
Buying Guide For Best Freediving Weights For 2021
Thinking about freediving and not thinking about weights is not possible. Values are a necessity for the freedivers to achieve the proper buoyancy of their bodies along with wetsuits. So, here is a buying guide for the best freediving weights.
Dive weights are significant for a diver. As said, they help the body along with wetsuits to attain the proper positive buoyancy. Having an adequate buoyancy is very important in themselves as they play an essential role in our experience of diving. Weights help to get below the water level, and the amount of extra weight required can vary from person to person and depends on other factors.
But the necessary amount of weight is often an important question among the majority of people. The blocks of metal, mostly lead, is expensive. So, you would never want to buy more than what you need. But you have to make sure that you don’t get fewer weights than required.
Problems related to being overweighed
Not knowing the exact amount of diving weights you require can bring in the risks of being overweight, and it can be hazardous while diving.
- While diving, you require to take adequate rest and breathe when you are on the surface of the water. If you fail to do either, it will result in shorter breaths followed by reduced time under the water.
- Blackouts near or at the surface of the water are common. If any such case occurring, you will sink and the trained person accompanying you in your dive has to pull you up. The added weights will make it harder for that person to rescue you.
- Increasing bottom time is the biggest wish while diving, isn’t it? Increasing bottom time will require you to decrease the time and effort you put in your descent. But the real struggle will begin in your fight to come back up to the surface, and it becomes more difficult when you are overweighed.Deep inside the water, we are negatively buoyant as our lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and wetsuit are compressed because of external pressure. Working harder to get the air back and return to the surface, being overweight is undoubtedly dangerous and stressful.
Factors that help you choose your weights
Many factors play an important role while buying your diving weights.
Type of water: saltwater or freshwater
The water environment you will be diving in also plays a role in determining the number of diving weights you need. The function of density comes into play here. Saltwater has more density because of the dissolved salts present in it, and our bodies are more buoyant in it than freshwater, which has less density. Therefore, more weights are required in saltwater for achieving neutral buoyancy.
Wetsuits are made of a substance called neoprene. It is a material filled with bubbles, and its primary function is to reduce the heat loss from our body. The bubbles in the wetsuits make our body more buoyant, and hence more weights are required to get the neutral buoyancy.
The thickness of the wetsuits determines the number of bubbles present in it and thus affect the buoyancy. Therefore, the thicker the wetsuit, the more bubbles it contains. The wetsuit thickness is measured in millimeters.
Wetsuits should be of the same size as that of the body and should fit like a second skin. It should fit in tight to allow a thin layer of water to stay in contact with our body. This water layer keeps the body temperature the same, and the core heat is preserved to prevent hypothermia. Thicker wetsuits keep the body warm but require more weights to keep the buoyancy neutral.
There are different types of diving weights –
Lead block belts –
These are nylon belts commonly used for diving by scuba divers. These can be two to three inches long. They are equipped with a quick-release buckle where lace lead weights can also be attached. These lead weights can weigh from two to fifteen pounds, depending on the amount of weight required by the diver. These are readily available in the dive stores and are the most affordable weight belts that one can get.
lead shot belts –
The unique feature of lead shot belts is that they contain pockets or pouches where round lead shots can be added, according to the required weight. These are said to be more comfortable than black belts. Cylindrical or rectangular pockets are available for purchase according to requirements. Adjusting values on lead shot belts with buoyancy changes can get complicated with time.
So having some additional weights and pouches might do the trick and do the needful when required to add or subtract some values from your shot belt. But the purchase should always be made after considering everything.
Pocket belts –
Pocket weight belts are usual nylon belts that have pockets along there length. Lead blocks or neoprene lead shot pouches can be added to the bags as the weights are required. These pockets are helpful as any adding or subtracting in the values can be done. Moreover, these over lead block belts’ benefit is that these belts will never dig into your sides, making the experience more comfortable.
Ankle weights –
It is usually challenging for a diver to maintain his buoyancy as the legs tend to float upwards. Ankle weights can solve this issue as they give less buoyancy to the feet and the fins. These weights are also less stressful on the back and provide a better and more comfortable experience during the dive.
It is essential to ensure that these weights have a proper grip around the ankles when considering them for an underwater time. Many come with buckles for quick-release of values, for emergencies.
Integrated weight systems –
The integrated weight systems are built in the BCD ( Body Compensator ). In the presence of these systems, no separate weight belt needs to be carried by the diver. Integrated weights are more comfortable than weight belts, as there would be nothing hanging around the diver’s waist.
Everything has its pros and cons. The drawback of this system is that when they are inside your BCD unit, it feels bulkier to go around in between the dives. But it serves well when you need more weights in your descent or when you are wearing a drysuit.
Twin tank divers usually use these, especially on their BCDs. These dive weights are made of lead weights that are given a V or “toblerone” shape. V-weights are comfortable carrying the actual weight away from the lower back and making it easier to carry during dives. When your BCD has V-weights, a weight belt is not necessary to be put on.
But the drawback of this product is that the diver cannot unload the BCD unit’s weights quickly to ascend fast. V-weights are also available in another form apart from their standard way. P-weights, the other name for polish values, can be mounted between the diver’s body and the backplate.
Tail weights –
Divers prefer attaching tail weights to the lower part of their twin tanks and often join them to the bottom plate for getting an extra trim. These weights offer an equal weight distribution in the lower part of the tanks, which helps the divers stay in a horizontal position more quickly. Divers can also choose the tail weights that make lead weight belt attachment possible or even the ones that play end caps on air tanks.
Brace systems –
Brace systems are harness belts where a backplate may or may not be present where quick – release weights can be attached. These diving belts help distribute the values over a larger area, making them suitable and ideal for divers with back issues.
Brace systems are also capable of providing equal tank weight distribution when steel weights are present. In case of possible emergencies, the pouches or bags containing values can be released quickly.
Hard or soft weights
Just like everything, hard and soft values have their pros and cons. Challenging matters are mostly made of lead or plastic-coated lead. The plastic-coated values are believed to be more comfortable than the non-coated ones.
The benefit of using challenging weights is that they can be changed with ease, just by sliding the weights on and off the belt, and this can be regulated on a dive to dive basis. But many divers find challenging values uncomfortable for their hard form, which does not take the shape of the person wearing them.
Soft weights are usually lead shit in a mesh pocket. They come in two types: weight pockets and weight belts. The benefit of invalid values, which is appreciated by divers, is that soft weights quickly assume the body shape. The comfort level increases as these weights shift with the diver’s body, and they are also quite versatile.
But a significant disadvantage with soft values is that the amount of importance on the belt cannot be changed easily. Many smooth weight belts come with pockets that allow the diver to adjust the belt’s weights and provide more ease.
Steel or aluminum – steel cylinders become neutrally buoyant when used in water. Aluminum cylinders, when used, becomes positively buoyant. Therefore, when aluminum cylinders are used, more weights are required for the descent.
Have your buoyancy check –
After knowing the importance of the correct weight for diving and the different types of values, we come to a critical point where we have to determine our buoyancy correctly. A simple buoyancy check is essential for determining the correct weights that need to be bought.
Start by weighing yourself correctly and figure out about 10% of your body weight. Then enter the water and start on the water surface after getting equipped for diving, with an inflated BCD. Take a normal breath and fetch the BCD deflated.
If you start sinking, you are overweighed, and if your body is popped out of the water, you are underweighted. Regulate the weights, and when the ideal weight is achieved, the water level should be somewhere around your eye level.
The main aim of divers is to achieve depth, and this would only be possible when weights are put in. The manufacturers offer various choices for diving weights and belts, and it would become tough for someone to choose the correct values.
However, after considering all the factors, selecting the right consequences for freediving should not be hard. You can also discover the type of belts and needs you require for yourself. Again, you can try renting different weight belts and test your buoyancy to see what works for you the best.