How to choose the best weight harnesses
Cold water, thick wetsuits and many kilos
Cold water needs thick neoprene wetsuits. We have presented the best solutions on the market in the dossier and x-rays column of the magazine, and are now publishing the tests. But thick neoprene needs a lot of weights to balance the buoyancy, and these cannot be all positioned on the belt, for two reasons. The first is that the weights might not all fit in the belt, when we think of up to 13-15 kg. The second is that having so many kilos on the belt will unbalance our body in the water and be definitely negative for our back. Weight harnesses are a great solution.
Which characteristics to look at
What seems to be simple is finally not. Number of weights, sizes and their distribution, material, size and regulation, safety release, optionals and camouflage or safety signalling. These are key aspects in our choice for a new weight harness.
Number of weights and distribution
Weight harnesses generally go from 4 to 6 slots where to insert weights. These can be of the tradizional almost square shape of the belt weights, or specifically made with a rectangular flat shape, or even more detailed solutions by each company. The weights can so be of 1 or 2 kg in the traditional belt solution, or also 300 g, 500 g or 750 g with the taylor made solutions.
The weights can be positioned all in correspondance of the back of the spearo. But also the weights can be positioned laterally on the bands of the harness passing along the sides of the chest. This can generate a better distribution, but not necessarily the best comfort.
In most cases the harnesses are made in neoprene for elasticity, and a very good adaptation and adherence to the wetsuit. Sometimes the harnesses are made also of nylon, for faster drying and greater resistance.
Size and regulation
For the harnesses, either you have different sizes or you must utilize a regulation system. This is necessary, as the spearfishermen’s bodies evidently vary considerably. Moreover, different thicknesses wetsuit additionally make the body of the spearfisherman bigger or smaller. Normally the regulation system is obtained with simple nylon straps sliding along clips in a very traditional solution.
Safety means being able, just as for the belts, to release the harness quickly and easily. On this point solutions vary from the absolutely effective ones, which permit the total and immediate release of the harness, to the slightly less prompt ones.
It is nice to see safety optionals like whistles included with the harness (it should be mandatory). Also comfort solutions like the place to position a small knife can be interesting.
Camouflage and safety colours
Most of the harnesses are black, just like the natural colour of the neoprene. Still, some harnesss are camouflaged, and some other have bright colours such as orange to be well visible at the surface. The latter is always a good solution to additionally help to be visible by rescuers or boats.
There are many interesting solutions of harnesses offered ont he market, and we have selected some very good ones that we will present singularly in the next days. These are designed and sold by: Beuchat, Cressi, Epsealon, Picasso, Salvimar, Spetton and Omer/Sporasub.