How Heavy is Scuba Gear – Weight of Diving Equipment

Last Updated: March 31, 2022

A complete scuba gear system, accounting for all equipment, weighs about 55 pounds (25 kg) at max. This weight seems heavy at first, but once you are in the water with the gear, it is evenly distributed and supported by the water. 

Most new divers have a significant concern about the wide range of diving equipment needed for dives. There are a lot of equipment options, with each piece having different weights. But this weight counts only when you are on land. In the water, this weight is essentially weightless, the same as your body.

So the issue surrounding weight arises only when you have to put the gear on and submerge, and then come up out of the water and get back on the boat or dry land.

This article will share interesting facts about your scuba diving gear weight, broken down by individual pieces.

Is Scuba Diving Gear Heavy?

Scuba diving gear is heavy when you are on land. But once you are in the water, the gear is almost weightless. 

Wearing scuba gear on the ground or on a boat can make moving feel awkward, clumsy, heavy, and make it hard to keep your balance. Scuba gear necessitates having good leg and back strength.

A typical setup you might wear could be around 40 to 50 pounds (18 – 23 kg).

When you are in the water with scuba gear on, however, you will feel weightless, light, and experience an ease in moving.

Average Weight of Scuba Diving Equipment (Chart)

Item Weight (kg)
Standard Scuba Diving Tank 14 – 18
BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) 2.3
Gauges and Regulators 1.0
Mask 0.2
Wetsuit (4 mm) 1.6
Fins 1.5

As it is evident through the numbers above, the heaviest item is the tank, which weighs about 16 kilograms. The remaining items make up the additional weight.

Further, if you would have to add cold-weather equipment such as gloves or hoods or a thicker wetsuit, the weight will be adjusted to compensate for this, being overall heavier.

Another thing worth considering during diving is the use of additional weights. Divers who need to be able to sink easily in the water need added weights that can be in the form of dedicated compartments on the BCD or a weight belt.

While it seems quite uncomfortable to wear extra weight for some people, they will get used to it in no time.

weight of scuba diving equipment

How Much Does a BCD Weigh?

The number of integrated components and features determine the weight of your BCD (Buoyancy Control Device). The metal backplate in a BCD helps decrease or increase the buoyancy of inflatable sections, attachments, holding diving cylinders, and deflator/inflator devices used for controlling buoyancy.

Some of the popular BCDs have pockets that hold weights, removing the need for a dive belt.

How Heavy is a Scuba Suit?

The weight of a scuba suit is widely dependent on its thickness, ranging from 0.1 millimeters to 0.7 millimeters. A scuba suit with 0.4mm thickness weighs 1.6 kilograms. Wearing light wetsuits will make you float, or be more buoyant, and therefore more weight is needed to easily dive deeper.

Moreover, heavy wetsuits can give you a tough time moving out from the water, as the extra weight collects water.

Various wetsuits are available in the market, such as combo suits and single suits. These are usually modified for various diving schemes.

Here is an average dry weight of wetsuits according to their thickness.

Wetsuit Thickness Average Dry Weight
3 mm wetsuit 2.5 to 4 pounds (1.1 to 1.8kg)
4 mm wetsuit 3.5 to 6 pounds (1.6 to 2.7kg)
5 mm wetsuit 6 to 8 pounds (2.7 to 3.6kg)
7 mm wetsuit 6 to 9 pounds (2.7 to 4kg)

Wetsuits assist in holding your body heat by confining a water layer hostile to your body.

They are beneficial in protecting against underwater scrapes, punctures, and cuts. When you go deep into the water, you will experience low temperatures in the surroundings, even in tropical zones. The temperature difference can drain heat from your body, but the wetsuits aid in preventing the loss of body heat. This is because the neoprene material is insulating.

The weight of a wetsuit is unnoticeable for an average person compared to a dive tank. While diving, wetsuits can hold water, and the weight may increase by 50 % when a diver resurfaces and attempts to get out of the water, which is usually an ignorable factor.

How Much Does a Full Scuba Tank Weigh?

The weight of a scuba tank ranges from 26 to 39 lbs, where a full scuba aluminum tank weighs around 30 lbs, and that of a steel scuba tank is about 40 lbs at the same capacity.

A steel tank is more substantial and has a greater capacity for holding air, increasing your time underwater as compared to aluminum tanks. The bigger volume the heavier it is.

Here is a table of some scuba tank models with their corresponding weights.

Manufacturer Volume Material Weight (kg)
DirZone 12L Steel 13.8
Faber 12L Steel 13.6
Faber 15L Steel 18.0
Beaver 12L Steel 16.0
ScubaPro 12L Steel 15.1
BTS 12L Steel 18.0
Luxfer 11.1 Aluminium 16.0
MES 11.1 Aluminium 14.3

Different types of scuba tanks made of other materials have distinct abilities for storing compressed air.

There are a variety of scuba cylinders in the market, and each is designed for a specific purpose. The manufacturing of air cylinders ensures the safety of the divers and can be found in different types and sizes.

how heavy is scuba tank

How Much Do Fins Weigh?

Regular diving fins are heavy, about 600g or more. More weight makes fins less efficient, causing stress on ankles or feet.

Lightweight fins are typically preferred as they are light and easier to kick.

How Heavy are Dive Weights?

The average dive weights are around 10 to 40 lbs. The reason there is no exact number of how much weight you need to add to your dive belt is because you will need to figure this out depending on your situation.

The variables that you need to consider are your own weight, the thickness of wetsuit, type of scuba tank, whether you are diving in fresh or saltwater and others. Don’t worry if it seems to complicated though, you can use this calculator to get an estimated extra weight.

A dive belt is a tool that you tie around your waist. It has many pockets in which you can add more weight so that it can prevent you from floating while diving.

How Much Do Scuba Diving Regulators Weigh?

The average weight of a scuba diving regulator set is about 2.38 lbs. These regulators have valves that play an essential role in controlling the squeezed air from the cylinders to the regulators.

The valves have screws through which you regulate the amount of air you need. The function of these regulators is to bring the air to your mouth, and they also can control the amount of air necessary for proper breathing in different depths.

Final Thoughts

The amount of gear a diver has to wear may seem like a lot for beginner divers. But most divers quickly become accustomed to it.

There are no hard rules in regards to the weight you must carry when diving, it will be different for every person because our bodies and wetsuits are different from each other.

Typical dive setup weighs approximately 20 – 23 kilograms, not including the weights needed to achieve buoyancy.

However, the reality is that diving gear is only heavy above the surface. You will be almost weightless once you enter the water.

Limiting the time you wear the equipment at the surface makes the task a lot less physically demanding.

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