How Heavy is Scuba Gear?

How Heavy is Scuba Gear?

When you see a scuba diver fully geared up just before they are about to go in the water, they look very bulky because they have a lot of equipment on them.

If you have never been diving before, I understand that this can make the equipment look really heavy.

Well, in this article we are going to answer the question.

How heavy is scuba gear? It is not hard to carry for most people. When you account for all the gear such as your tank, wetsuit, fins, weight belts, mask, and everything else, you are looking at about 55 pounds (25kg) of weight. While this may seem heavy, it is important to remember that once all the gear is set up, the weight is evenly distributed.

It’s funny how small things such as the weight of the equipment might throw some people off of scuba diving completely.

Well, because I believe that everyone should try scuba diving at least once, I decided to make an article where we address this issue.

So, for everything you need to know, keep reading.

Is Scuba Diving Gear Heavy?

When you combine all of the scuba gear together it can weigh quite a lot. In fact, some people struggle to carry their equipment.

The heaviest part of your scuba diving setup is most definitely the scuba tank and then your weight belt. Your wetsuit also adds to the overall weight.

Even though scuba diving gear can be heavy, if you are sensible while carrying your gear, it should not be that difficult.

All you have to do is carry the pieces individually however, once it is set up, it becomes easier to carry. This is because you carry the tank as if it were a backpack.

Once on, it is easy to carry your scuba gear!

As I mentioned, some people struggle to carry their scuba diving gear but it is hard to blame the weight.

I have noticed that when people carry their gear and they are struggling, it is because they are not carrying it properly or they are trying to carry too much at once when the gear is not set up.

How Heavy Is A Scuba Tank?

On the smaller side, a tank could weigh approximately 25 pounds (11kg). A larger tank could weigh up to 40 pounds (18kg).

The first being the size of the tank. Is it small, medium, or large? Then you need to consider how full the tank is. Obviously, it is ill-advised to go diving without a full tank so we all assume that all of them are full.

A scuba tank can be between 3 and 18 litres. That is the internal volume of a tank. The smaller the tank the less it will weigh.

How Heavy Is A Wetsuit?

Wetsuit ThicknessAverage Dry Weight
3 mm wetsuit2.5 to 4 pounds (1.1 to 1.8kg)
4 mm wetsuit3.5 to 6 pounds (1.6 to 2.7kg)
5 mm wetsuit6 to 8 pounds (2.7 to 3.6kg)
7 mm wetsuit6 to 9 pounds (2.7 to 4kg)

Again, all wetsuits are different. In fact, the differences can be quite significant so it would be disingenuous for me to just give you a random number or to just tell you how much one wetsuit weighs.

So, in this section, let’s discuss wetsuits and how much they weigh.

A 3mm wetsuit is your most common wetsuit. It could include either a spring suit (short arms and legs, sometimes called a “shortie”) or a full suit however, for diving, you will most probably be using a full suit. 

The 4mm wetsuit is normally used when you are diving deep or you are diving in cold water.

A 5mm wetsuit or even thicker will normally include gloves, boots, and hoodies. This can significantly increase the weight of the wetsuit. These wetsuits are used in cold water such as the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.

Scuba Equipment on a boat

How Heavy Are Dive Weights?

A good place to start is by calculating what 10% of your body weight is. Then add that amount of weight to your belt. 

Unfortunately, we cannot tell you how much a weight belt weighs. This is because on your diving belt you will need to determine how much weight you need to add for your situation.

The variables that you need to consider are the thickness of your wetsuit, your weight, and whether or not you are diving in fresh or saltwater.

You are always more buoyant in salt water than in freshwater. 

Do You Need To Be Fit To Carry Scuba Gear?

Well, before we even get into this section, we need to consider the fact that you should be at least somewhat fit if you want to scuba dive.

So, my answer is yes, you should be at least a little bit fit to carry your scuba gear.

With all of that being said, most people will be able to carry their scuba gear from point A to B especially if it’s already set up. The only problem you might struggle with is hoisting your scuba tank on your back.

You also need to consider that if you are going to walk long distances with your scuba gear.

If so, you might get tired but that is understandable and the more fit you are and the more strength you have, the further you will be able to walk with your gear.

Do Scuba Divers Experience Weightlessness?

When you are neutrally buoyant (i.e. you don’t rise to the surface or sink) you are as close to weightlessness as you can get while still on Earth!

NB: Wing = BCD (Buoyancy Control Device (the jacket that all your equipment is attached to)).

Some people might say yes while others say no. However, there is an accurate answer that we can give to this question.

The only way you can experience weightlessness while scuba diving is if you have a neutral buoyancy which means you don’t come up and you don’t sink down.

If you are too buoyant you will get pulled up to the surface and if you are too heavy, you will sink down to the bottom. So, by definition no, if either of these is happening to you then you are not experiencing weightlessness.

A good dive instructor will teach you how to achieve neutral buoyancy and then yes, you are experiencing weightlessness.

What If Your Scuba Gear Is Too Heavy Underwater?

Right, if your scuba gear is too heavy, this would often mean that you have added too much weight to your weight belt.

While most of the time you can just counter this with good buoyancy control, there is a point where it can become dangerous and not for the reason you might think.

If your weight belt is too heavy and it starts pulling you down, you might think that all you have to do is allow more air into your BCD.

If you do this too quickly, you will be pulled to the surface quite quickly but you would be doing it in an uncontrolled way.

The best thing you can do to avoid this is to pre-calculate the amount of weight that you need.

Also, if you have too much weight while diving, don’t panic. Just slowly try and counter the weight with good buoyancy control.

The minute you start to panic is when things could go wrong.

Don’t Forget Your Dive Insurance!

Before you go out on any dive trip or holiday, it is essential to make sure you have insurance that covers you if something goes wrong. Check out our dive insurance article for more information.

Or go straight to these dive insurance company websites:


Diver Alert Network (DAN)

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Look, when we go scuba diving we are basically going against nature. So, in order to do this, we need to have a lot of equipment with us and yes, this equipment can get heavy.

However, I don’t believe that scuba gear is heavy enough to make the activity inaccessible to most people.

In fact, I believe that most people can carry their equipment.

Remember, you should not rush or be impatient when it comes to scuba diving so don’t be afraid to make more than one trip to and from wherever all your equipment is.

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How Heavy is Scuba Gear? FAQs

Paul Fulbrook

Paul Fulbrook is a writer, scuba diver, ex-science teacher and marine biologist. He has a passion for coral reef biology, diving on coral reefs and writing about diving. He also loves cats and his children (sometimes).

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