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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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October 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 45, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Advances in Integrated-Weight Systems

from the October, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Have you lost weight pockets during a dive? Back in October 1999, John Q. Trigger wrote in Undercurrent: "I like my integrated BC, and, generally speaking, the concept of slipping weights inside the BC's attached, Velcro-fastened pockets works just fine. The guy who has to heft it back on the dive boat may not appreciate it as much, although in tropical waters I only add six pounds of weight to my U.S. Diver Alcyone BC's specially designed pockets, which allow a diver to ditch weight in an emergency by pulling a cord. While it's never been a big problem, I have lost lead from these pouches when an exceptionally high giant-stride loosened the Velcro holding the weights in."

Whether Velcro is employed to properly secure the weights in the pouches or the pouches in the BC, it is a design solution that has since been discredited.

For Undercurrent subscriber Dave Guccione, however, losing weights has become a big problem: not only do the weights fall out of his Genesis Phantom BC with giant strides from 6 feet or higher, but they've also fallen out at depth when he's been swimming horizontally.

We've all suffered the loss of such weight-pockets during a dive. I've swum down deep into the bowels of the wreck of the Vandenberg off Key West to fetch and reinstall my lost weights. Dive buddy and Undercurrent subscriber Robert Delfs (Sanur, Bali) remembers well my safe ascent up a reef using my reef hook as an anchor when I was unable to find lost pockets that tumbled out at 100 feet deep at a site near Komodo. The problem seemed to be that Velcro lost its holding ability in hot climates once it was salt-ridden and the material to which it was fixed gone a bit curly. That was then, and this is now.

Two decades later, we've probably seen the end of Velcro being used to retain weight-pockets. Nowadays, nearly every integrated-weight BC comes with weight-pockets securely held with pinch-clips or other patented solutions that offer quick release but not unscheduled weight release. And, once again we can jump into the water without fear of our weights tumbling out.

However, some divers are still using a BC with integrated weights retained by Velcro. Are you? Please write us and tell us whether you've had problems. Write to, and let us know your town and state.

- John Bantin

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