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Chris Yorke

Rate your wet/semi/dry suit.

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Hi everyone.

 

Me and me other half are looking at replacing our wet suits and were looking for comments from people with regards to there current suit choice.We have been looking at 'waterproof' semi dry and dry suits as well as 'paragon', 'cressi' (though i have seen major probs with the new zips on this brand), 'aqualung', 'bear' and so on. We are both drawn to the 'waterproof' brand.

 

I am based in Australia so not all brands are available here but comments more than welcome. Looking for comments on durability, do what they say they will do eg, it does keep you warm, dry, flexible, seals last longer than 5 min and so on.

 

Thanxs for your time on this one.

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We have 3mm Pinacle wet suits with over 300 dives on and their like new.

I also dive in a commerical public aquarium and we use 5 mm Pinacle. They hold up very well to the 7 day a week diving done with them.

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Dry suit: DUI. It was my second dry suit (the first being a UK-made Polar Bear) and has been (and still is) superb. Its done about 200 dives, looks as new and is tough, comfortable, flexible. And expensive. But it was worth it.

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Hi there!

 

I use Waterproof's Draco drysuite. Absolutely superb piece of equipment. Very warm, still amazingly flexible for a compressed neoprene suite. I have had two, and I would buy it again anytime :-)

My wife uses Waterproof wetsuite (5 mm. + 7 mm.) She is allso very satisfyed with it.

So waterproof get's a 100% recommendation from me :-)

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I have Henderson Goldcore 5mm wetsuit that I love and after 5 years had to replace with a new one. I think it's a great wetsuit, and it acquires no odors!

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The Pinnacles are great. I have the Seal 3mm and Elastiprene/Merino 5. However it also depends on your body type etc. For semi-dry, I have mine custom made in Thailand by Hotwaves. They may not have all the latest materials but it's made especially for me and fits me perfectly, especially around the collar, where medium is too tight and large is too big for me. I'm lean and don't fit any mold out there. My Hotwaves 7mm semi dry serves me very well in South Africa every year... plus I get my superhero kicks while at it. ;)

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Drysuite I use Finnish made http://ursuit.com/. Its a laminated suit and very flexible.

 

Wetsuit: I use both http://www.mareasub.it/index.php and http://eliossub.com/html/enl_news.php. Both are tailormade with great attention to detail. I know i never want to use a suit that isnt tailormade again.

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My wife has the Waterproof 5 mil semi-dry (Lynx?). Very sturdy piece of gear. Her only complaint is fit - they're so 'anatomical' in cut that any lack of fit is painfully obvious. She had to go up to the women's XL for shoulder width and shoulder-to-crotch height, which is a bit 'roomier' for her than it needs to be in the waist region (a little gappy from bottom of ribcage to hipbones). (They've got a "large, tall" type size in the thinner suits, but not in the 5 mil.) So she has to do a purposeful "flood" on entry -- accompanied by the expected scream as the cold water hits her ;) -- or she has an air bubble that makes buoyancy control that much more annoying. So she doesn't really wear it as a 'semi-dry' since she does have to flood it.

 

Of course, the fact that the bubble stays there and doesn't leak thru the zipper seal on her back during a dive pretty much tells how good it is as a semi-dry, in that it's never pumping water in and out beyond what you do manually. The arm and leg cuffs go pretty much full length of the forearms / calves respectively. Compared to my cheapo Bare 5 mil with dinky little half-inch or so membranes that always leave a painful looking 'welt' on my forearms and ankles after a dive.

 

Outer finish of the suit is just superb - its so structural even hanging it you're never going to get those 'hangar bumps' between neck and shoulder that we always end up with in other suits.

 

I've lusted after the Draco drysuit for years, but just can't justify buying one for the diving I get to do.

Edited by rtrski

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I have a Pinnacle (Paragon) Elite 7/5 wetsuit; the torso is merino lined. It was very warm when I got it, but after around 500 dives it has compressed. Aside from that, only the colour has faded and it shows no other signs of wear. One of my friends has gone through five Henderson suits in the same time period. I would buy this Pinnacle suit again in a heartbeat if I could find one!

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i stopped diving wet about a year ago (and dont regret it). personally i find it easier to take picture in the dry suit since you can make yourself negative (or stop an unwanted accent) without taking your hands off the camera or your eye off the viewfinder.

 

I went with a DUI and its worth every penny. would I buy it again? ABSOLUTELY! but I would make some different choices...

 

1. NO shoulder entry.

cheaper, yes. but tends to be a big pain in the butt, particularly on hot days. I also use a ballistic nylon harness and backplate which tends to wear on the zipper a little bit. no leaking yet and after 2 years (i've had it a while, but only started using it exclusively a year ago) its still in good shape, though it will need to be replaced eventually im sure.

 

2. if you dont fit a stock suit, get a custom one!

Seriously, its not that much more. I've got about 5" of extra material in the legs and not enough in the torso (im a short, stocky velodrome sprinter) and i really wish I'd have spent the money early on to have that changed. I can still get it cut down (but not let out) but i hate being away from my suit since it means i hae to dive wet.

 

3. get zip seals or SI-5's

this is just another "dont want to be away from your suit" thing. plus its nice to have spares, no worries about breaking seals on a dive, ability to put on dry gloves for cold water diving and you'll save a ton by not having to pay someone to replace your seals.

 

my biggest suggestion with ANY gear you buy. dont skimp. why buy it twice? Or why pay more to have your stuff sent out for labor later on when you want to use it?

 

Mike

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Hey Bluediver, I've only used DUI suits so I can't compare with other brands but I have used differant types of suits. The first was a trilaminate suit which was great.

They are lightweight, in and out of water, they dry quickly, they are easy to repair should you get a hole in them, and they offer a lot of freedom of movement. The downside is that they don't hold up to a lot of abuse. I now have a DUI CL 450 which has a crushed neoprene bottom half and a cordura top half. The crushed neoprene is very tough and abrasion resistent, which is great if your penetrating wrecks, there's a lot of sharp objects that can cut the suit. The cordura top is almost as tough as the crushed neoprene but offers a little more flexibilty. The downside to this suit is that it is much stiffer than the trilaminate, it is heavier, and it takes much longer to dry. As far as zip seals, they are great. If your not familiar with them, they allow you to remove and install new neck and wrist seals very easily, kind of like using ziploc bags. The only downside is when using dry gloves, the gloves themselves are great, but they have to be installed prior to donning the suit which means as soon as you have the suit on, you have the gloves on, which makes it a little more difficult to gear up. If your not planning on penitrating wrecks then I would deffinatly suggest a trilam suit.

Mike

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I had to buy a new drysuit a few years ago and bought another DUI. This is my 4th drysuit. I have more than 20 years of drysuit use. My new suit is a self-donning TLS350 (tri-laminate) with quickzips (zippers go in the opposite direction so it closes on the bottom). It has a neoprene neck-seal, soft booties that require external hard boots, and no dry gloves. I have had latex neck seals, attached boots, and dry gloves before.

 

I especially like the TLS suits because they dry quickly allowing multiple dives in one day. One does get condensation on the inside! The TLS material is also lightweight which is good when traveling. Neo and vulcanized suits are heavier and do not dry as quick (the ones I have used - DUI and Viking).

 

I would try several suits (rent or borrow and dive them) - see what is more comfortable for YOU. A good fit means less wrinkles (these can be painful!) and easier buoyancy control. DUI features a telescoping torso that ensures a good fit on my largish bod. Since I am a "no-necker", the neo neckseal works better for me.

 

BTW, I find that simple just plain neoprene gloves to be better than all the nonsense the industry thinks we need. I stick my hands very frequently into water near the freezing point wearing neo gloves. Good flexibility (problematic with all the "extras" such as terrycloth like stuff on the outside) enables good circulation in ones fingers so they stay warm. If dry gloves get wet on the inside they are nearly worthless. Putting them on wet hands or even moist hands (think rainy day) renders them useless.

Tom ;)

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Thanxs to all those who replyed. Some good tips and information for me yo ponder over. Thanxs again everyone :wacko:

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I noticed that the latest Pinnacle Kodiak semi-dry actually uses a dry suit zipper. I have the previous version and it works well.

 

For a dry suit I use the Local Diving Concepts. I like their simplest suit the all neophrene one. Very warm and comfortable from Santa Barbara to Juneau AK.

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My experience is limited to DUI. I currently have a TLS350 that has performed admirably.

 

Use a shop that has experience measuring correctly for drysuits, try/test several if you have the opportunity, and don't skimp. (Sounds like any piece of dive or photo gear, huh?)

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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My O Three 3mm (wet) is still going strong after 500 dives but I have recently replaced it with a Fourth Element 3mm Proteus (semi-dry). This is a seriously nice suit and available in a range of thicker neoprenes too.

 

My Aqualung 3mm (wet) is rubbish and just decorates a hangar.

 

My 5mm O Three 'SD' (semi dry) is lovely and warm specially with a shortjohn undersuit.

 

I also have an old style Oceanic 5mm semi dry which is built like a brick out house but the neck seal does flush a bit so it dosn't get worn much.

 

My dry suits are from O Three - a 'Ri' 2.5 mm compressed neoprene and a MSF 500 tb 5mm. Both are excellent.

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HI,

 

I use a 5mm waterproof semi dry great suit very warm, I have just started to use a fourth- element 3mm proteus which

is a great suit. As for dry suit I use O'threes RI 200 which is a 2.5mm compressed neoprene it is the best dry suit I have owned & the after

sales care is second to none.

 

Andy :(:wacko:

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TUSA HRS Drysuit: Actually love it, it's my second. First one did around 1000 dives this one has done around 500. Previously owned Northern Diver x2 (more like a semi dry as they both leaked) and a DUI (liked it but a pain in the arse with all undergarments and I put a couple of holes in it plus bloody expensive!)

 

Wetsuit 5mm Aqualung, pretty average it's done about 500 dives and the arse is about 1mm thick now, wouldn't buy again (in fact I didn't pay for this and I still think it's average)

 

Looking at the waterproof suits if anyone has one and can offer any recommendations.

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I've got the Pinnacle 8/6mm Kodiak Semi Dry Suit. I dive mostly off California. I used this suit all last winter. The warmth is unbeatable! Never got cold and barely got wet. It is easy to don and doff.

 

My only complaint is that not having a built in hood on an 8/6mm seems odd and is annoying. I don't like having to cram the neck of the suit with a separate hood. Because it is a semi dry suit there is a slick skin gaiter built into the neck. So when I add the separate hood it ends up being 3 layers of neoprene coverage around my throat. It seems odd to me, because I can't think of a time anyone would dive an 8/6mm and not use a hood.

 

Still love the suit and highly recommend it to cold water divers who don't drysuit dive.

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If you are based in Coffs Harbour, I can't see why you'd need anything else that wet suits. Maybe a 5mm for Winter and a 3mm for Summer.

 

I dive year round in Sydney in wet suits and Sydney is somewhat colder than Coffs. Most of the year I just wear a 2 piece 5mm suit and I'm plenty warm. As it gets cooler I add a long sleeve Prove vest with a hood. For the last month I have been wearing the Probe vest then my 2/3mm one piece and then the 2 piece 5mm. I have not felt cold at all.

 

For the really warm months, or if I head north (e.g. Seal Rocks), I just wear the 2/3mm one piece.

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if you looking for a really good quality suit , go the seatec

 

http://www.seatec.com.au/

 

Australian Made , very good quality, he will do modifications (like Pee Zip , integrated Hood, zipperd ancle or wrist ) or even custom make .

 

ive purchaced cheaper suits that looked good at first but actually started to fall apart within a year of regular use .

 

advice

buy suit that fits , or is custom made .

 

every time you use a suit that is not quite rite you shiver and think im not really happy with this suit grrrr

 

every time you use a propper fitting suit , you thing MMMMM warm comfy .

 

money well spent !

 

i use a seatec Drysuit , custom made , which would be a overkill for Bizzy , and am very happy with it .

 

Regards

Matty

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Diving in Canada - Atlantic mostly!!

 

Wet suits - Bare Progressive Stretch (3mm, 7mm 2pc) - would buy again - great suits, easy to don, keeps you warm because it hugs you with the extra stretch.

 

Dry suits - Abyss (Canadian made) Compressed neoprene suit (7mm compressed to 4mm) - lasted for 300 dives and then the zipper went bad. Happy with the suit, but now that I have a shell suit I'm not going back to neoprene.

 

Dry suit - Otter (UK made) Britannic front entry - love the latex seals, love the front entry, love the cargo pockets that are standard (no extra cost), love the sock boots!! Would buy another in an instant!!

Edited by KimInNB

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if you looking for a really good quality suit , go the seatec

 

http://www.seatec.com.au/

 

Australian Made , very good quality, he will do modifications (like Pee Zip , integrated Hood, zipperd ancle or wrist ) or even custom make .

 

I second that I have owned a few Seatec suits and Brian is such a great guy. Great for repairs and custom jobs. You can even pick the colour ; )

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Another vote for DUI drysuits! :D The TLS 350 Explorer (trilaminate) is superb - excellent quality and perfect for dives from cold lakes to tropical waters.

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Switched to Pinnacle for wetsuits and haven't looked back...

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