Reviews

Northern Divers Weight and Trim Harness

Northern Divers are sometimes seen as a slightly upmarket Beaver, with the quite 'adequate' but not as glitzy as other makers, so how did this harness stack up against the Beaver part that I have been using for maybe four seasons.

Following the death of my Beaver Weight Harness which I had used and abused for a few years I was in a situation where I was in a remote area, diving, with no option to replace with a like for like so I got the cheapest available......which was this item.

As per the Beaver Harness I wouldn't want to dive with this piece of kit straight out of the box you do need to do some surgery, so don't bowl onto a dive boat and expect an easy time setting up the harness cos guys it doesn't work like that!

This piece of kit has some basic size options so pick the best for for you and then start to play!

Firstly the thigh pockets, I am sure that in some applications these are a boon.....it's just that sitting here I am unable to think of any, so with that in mind it was out with the shears and lighter to chop them off and seal up the free end of the webbing, with that done I was more than happy to load up and use the harness.

The pockets are secure, with two 'side' pockets and options for two pouches located just about kidney position. Now I have tried various weight configurations abut have found these kidney pockets to be extraneous, with my kit configuration they made 'throwing' on my wing awkward and they pressed in so I quickly relegated the 2kg shot pouches to the main pockets.

I haven't had any issues with slippages of pouches from the side pockets over the course of a good few dives, I would guess that these pouches have a total capcity of I would say 16kg in total if you use shot pouches. This should be enough for even the fattest UK diver who loves to dive with plenty of air in his suit. The emergency ditch arrangement is a bit simpler than the Beaver set up and is fool-proof meaning that you shouldn't loose a pouch mid-dive.

The pouches and pockets are robust and well designed with various drainage holes allowing seawater to quickly drain from the harness at the end of your dive, if like me you use shot pouches there is always a bit of residual water however there wont be a large 'sloosh' either on you or your car when you lift the harness at the end of the day.

The system still has quick release clips located at the 'bottom of rib-cage area', ideal if you are wearing a wing type arrangement but not so good with a traditional waistcoat type BCD, although that said with a BCD it would be nigh on impossible to remove the weight pockets, so perhaps an weight system integrated with the BCD would be a better option?

The harness itself is well made with some padding and has vertical straps from the cummerband, up over the chest which then pass over the shoulders and meet about between the shoulder blades and go down to the cummerband in a single, central strap. It's all padded so very comfortable when on although it can become a bit of a tangled buggers muddle if you tend to throw your kit about.

As well as the cummerband which has a large velcro area as well as a webbing clip arrangement there is also a second strap which passes over your chest just about at air inlet valve level, the one thing I would say with regards this strap is to either leave off or make sure that there is no chance of the strap snagging your direct feed and potentially causing problems, even worse I suppose that it could pass 'over' the valve and cause some unwanted injection of air and buoyancy to your rig.

On the price front this bit of kit at £55 compares very favourably against the DUI equivalent which is around £120 the Bowstone equivalent which is around £80 or the Halcyon pockets which are £110. I would say in this case it represents very good value for money even though the badge say Northern Diver and not one of the more tekkie brands!

Richies rating 8.5/10; Not sure what the thigh pouches achieve..........

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