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Radiator Wetsuit review


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#1 Drew

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:05 AM

Radiator is an Australian company that makes predominantly surf gear. They've since delved into scuba wetsuits, maintaining the principles of flexibility and mobility while their titanium lining maintains body core temperature.
I tried the wetsuit and accessories for 20 days in the sub-tropical waters of South Africa. Here are my findings in the review:
Radiator Wetsuit Review
Basically, it's expensive for a wetsuit but worth the weight in $. I'll update the review as I use the wetsuit over the next year.

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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 07:51 AM

I think one of the biggest problems with all Wetsuits is their fall off in insulation performance over time. As neoprene compresses and seals loosen naturally over time. I have had so many wetsuits that I have said are the warmest I have ever had - only to discover a few trips later I am freezing again! But then again, maybe my portly frame stretches them more than most!

I'd love to see a diving magazine take this on and calculate some sort of standard fall off in insulation per number of dives - along the lines of 100 dives = 2mm reduction in insulation or similar. So we could know when to buy a new suit. I have long thought that wetsuits loose their insulation much faster than they get tatty.

It would also be great to hear about which suits resist this natural aging the best.

Alex

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#3 Drew

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 09:28 AM

Alex, I usually custom my wetsuits in various thickness. They tend to last much longer than off the rack. I have a wetsuit I made in 2000, a 5mm. It probably has the warmth of a 3-4mm now after 400 dives. I had to send it in for some material addition due to neoprene shrinkage (it became shorter in the torso) but now it sits in Asia ready for Komodo/Bali Indian ocean upwellings. So my experience is opposite to yours. Mine get faded from the sun long before they get worn from use.
One off the rack item that has lasted me the longest is the Radiator rash vest. This 0.5mm shirt has been with me since 2000, having a lot of dives on it and still does its thermal voodoo. Hopefully this wetsuit will do the same. My surfing buddy also swears by his radiator.

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#4 tie

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:18 PM

How can titanium lining keep you warm?

#5 Drew

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:14 PM

If you read the review, there's an explanation on the technology involved. I suppose it has something to do with the conductivity properties of Ti. As far as I'm concerned, it works well and that's the important thing.

Drew
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