Scuba Diving Weights: Weight Belts vs Integrated Weights

Scuba Diving Weights: Weight Belts vs Integrated Weights

Scuba Diving Weights: Weight Belts vs Integrated Weights

When we go scuba diving, we all know that we need extra weight to account for the buoyant dive gear that we use while we’re diving. A secure weight belt or weight harness is an essential safety item for any diver. It has to be able to release instantly in any emergency, allowing you to drop your weights but be locked enough not to come loose during your normal diving activities. So we know that we need to use weights to be able to stay down underwater, but when it comes to choosing what weights to use, that’s where it can become a difficult decision-making process. 

Diving weights are used to act against the buoyancy of other diving equipment, such as diving suits and diving cylinders. The diver must be weighted so that he is negatively buoyant by default, and then adjust the amount of air in their BCD to achieve neutral or positive buoyancy as and when required.

When selecting your dive gear, you’ve probably heard the integrated weights and weight belts, but what's the difference between the two and how to decide which is the best option for your diving needs? Questions addressed and answered because by the end of this article, you’ll know the difference between the two to get a better idea on which weight system would suit your diving needs best.

If by the time you’ve finished this article and still confused on which weights to choose, then we’re here to answer all your questions about diving weights. Simply send us an email at and we will aim to help you decide which weight system will work best for your diving requirements. 

Scuba Diving Weights: Weight Belts vs Integrated Weights

What Are Weight Belts?

First off, let’s talk about weight belts. Weight belts and weight harnesses. The primary way of becoming negatively buoyant is to use a ballast belt with a quick-release buckle with block lead weights or integrated BCD pockets with lead shot bags. Weight belts are the most common option that people choose for their weights. They’re also the perfect option for freedivers and snorkelers who want to duck dive beneath the waves. 

At Mike's Dive Store, we offer a collection of lead block weights as well as lead shot bags in 1kg, 2kg and 3kg variants. 

Scuba Diving Weights: Weight Belts vs Integrated Weights

What Are Integrated Weight Systems?

Tuck your weights out of the way within your BCD with integrated weight systems. Integrated weight systems are the kind built into certain BCDs. By having the integrated weight system, this means you don’t need to carry weights in a separate belt.

Integrated weight systems are also a lot more comfortable to wear than weight belts when you are diving but they can bulk up and weigh down your BCD. 

If you’re looking for a weight system that tucks out of the way, integrated weights are most likely the best option for you.

Other Types of Scuba Weights 

What if we told you that there are a lot more types of weight systems that just integrated weights and weight belts? Yes, there are many different options and varsity to choose from to fit every diver’s needs. Here are some of the other most popular weights you can buy:

Trim Pockets weights are used mainly for two reasons. Firstly, to improve the fine-tuning of your trim in the water - the correct, horizontal position will make you swimming through the water more relaxed and more efficient. Another reason divers use trim pockets weights is to reduce some of the detachable ballast from your weight belt so in case of emergency you don't ditch the whole of your ballast. 

Ankle Weights and Clip-on weights. Another right way of fine-tuning your buoyancy is to distribute a small amount of weight around your body. Ankle weights are very popular with drysuit divers whose boots and legs are extra positively buoyant. Mike's Dive Store offers a range for ankle and clip-on weights including a collection of fantastically looking Bright Weights. 

V-weights and tail weights. Some technical divers choose to fine-tune their rigs with V-weights and tail weights. These are weights you can mount on your twinset rig or at the back of your backplate to off-load some of the ballast of your weight belt and to spread the load more evenly for better trim and more comfortable scuba diving position. 

We’re Here to Help

Your weights and weight belt are an important part of your equipment. If you need further advice, send us an email at, where we’ll be happy to assist with your weight system decision-making. 

Or if you’re ready to start looking at weights and want to see the range for yourself, have a look at our selection of weights on our website or come and have a look at them for yourself by visiting us in our London store.