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Weight belt vs integrated

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by Gil57usa, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. bridgediver

    bridgediver Instructor, Scuba

    I think we're describing zeagle because that is the specific type that Gil is using but if you check my post I've tried a few different systems (zeagle, halcyon, dive rite, aqualung to be precise)
    It is actually the velcro type that you mention where I had the accidental removal as I described earlier. I'm not an oddity with this either if you ask around

    Its your choice to use them of course but be careful. Bottom line for us is integrated weighting won't make us safer but may make us less safe - conveniance and comfort rank very low compared to safety for PSD
  2. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    Velcro is a brand name for a hook and latch material. There are several brands but the world has come to know all that material as Velcro.

    The bottom line with Velcro is when it's new it is very strong. But over time it gets weaker and weaker. Now add some adverse conditions and that weakening process is accelerated.

    The weaker the Velcro gets the easier it is for the weights to release on there own without any warning.

    I don’t care what you’re doing under water; an accidental weight release can be a serious problem. Integrated weights aren’t going to give you a warning they are going. The diver should notice a belt loosening up or being released before it goes and is easy to get a hand on to save it.

    The other thing we haven’t said much about is Belt Buckles. Use metal buckles. The biggest percentage of belt failures I have seen have been with those plastic buckles breaking. I have seen metal buckles get loose to where they didn’t hold very well but I have never seen one snap in two like the plastic ones. A few years ago we even towed a car with a metal one.

    It just boils down to having your weight separate from your BC and air supply.

    Bridgediver hit the nail on the head with; Convenience and comfort rank very low compared to safety for PSD. I am very comfortable in my set-up, as is the majority of my team if not all of them. But comfort does take a back seat to gear suitable for PSD use and abuse.

    My wife is one of the few I dive with that has not had an accidental release from using an integrated system. I casted her weights. They are thin and conforming to the shape of the pockets on her BC.

    For those of you that don’t know, she has MS. Even when she was stuck in a wheelchair she was diving.

    It didn’t take me long to realize that she needed a weight system that was as close to fail free as possible. A belt was out so we looked at about everything on the market. When we settled on one, it was a pink Zeagle. :D

    So see, we are not anti integrated just anti integrated PSD. They do have their place.

    Gary D.

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