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Which is the better style of weights
dawn319 - 8/24/2012 11:08 PM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 8

I’m thinking about purchasing my own weights pretty soon and I’m not sure what style to go with, the solid or the little mesh bags.. I like the thought of the mesh because it seems like they will "conform" to the shape of the BC better, but the solid ones seem like they will last longer, or at least not have to worry about acquiring holes in the bag. Any advice or feedback on either one would be greatly appreciated.
Rich-D-Fish - 8/24/2012 11:15 PM
I think you nailed it on the head. I currently have soft weights because they conform better in the weight pockets and are not hard when I bump my arm on them. But they take 2-3 days to dry out after diving, and it’s hard to get all the salt water out, so they leave a salt residue on the table I dry them on. I actually plan to switch to hard weights with the rubber coating after my soft weighs rip a hole and go bad.
RAWalker - 8/25/2012 12:52 AM
Soft weights to conform but they can also get caught up making installation a bit tougher. They aslo loose the coating off the beads and deteriorate faster because the lead then has greater exposed surface area. Coated lead weights last the longest but because of the coating may be tighter in a pocket. I’ve found that many of the rear BC pockets that are rated for 5 lbs do not fit soft or coated lead weights only the solid version which it seems barely allow the weight to slip in and flaps to lock down. Even the side pockets of many BCD function better with hard uncoated lead weight for the first to slide in as they dont tend to get caught and guide the second weight whether it is solid or soft. When used i a pouched belt soft aids comfort as it may in the BCD overall hard uncoated weights are the most reliable for function and probably will outlast the soft weight. I own and use a mix of hard and soft but when using my dive requires maxing out the rear pockets it’s hard weight and if I need more them 10 lbs between the dumpable side pockets the first weight will be hard. When I dive my Backplate & wing wet I use all soft and with the BP&W using drysuit is the only time I use coated hard weight in the way of 2) 5lb weights on the belt with a pocket in between them that can hold another 10 lbs which I prefer as softweight. So the answer to your question is it is highly subjective to your configuration.
John_giu - 8/25/2012 1:35 PM
As long as you don’t have to over-load the integrated pockets coated hard weights work fine.

You can easily do 2- 4# and 1- 2# in the pockets, 20# should be pretty close to what you would need even in a 7 mil wet suit.

Try renting both configurations on your next local dive to figure which you prefer.
dawn319 - 8/25/2012 5:49 PM
I will give them both a try the next few times i dive, thanks guys!
SeaGoat - 8/27/2012 3:54 PM
I like solid weights and they will last forever. Soft weights will eventually wear out and you will start dropping lead pellets into the environment.

For the most part, I use my solid weights with a weight integrated b/c. However, I have boney hips and solid weights bug me if I have to wear a weight belt so I use soft weights in a weight belt with pockets.