We improve and simplify the minimization method for solitary waves in two cases: firstly, when the surface tension is weak (that is, the Bond number is < 1/3) and the depth is finite, and secondly, when the depth is infinite. In a previous work on the first case, minimizers were shown to exist for a sequence tending to 0 of values of the horizontal impulse. The main difficulty is that strict subadditivity in the concentration-compactness method is unsettled. Here we observe in both examples that strict subadditivity nevertheless holds for a set of horizontal impulses of positive measure and the related propagation speeds are estimated from above.