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Dry Suit Recommendation Needed

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Hi All,

 

Looking for some advice and guidance. Ive not really got into UK diving as im not a fan of the cold or the really bulky kit. Currently ive got a 7mm semi dry suit but find it really cumbersome and a pain - plus I get cold. Looking to invest in a cheap dry suit as ive been impressed with all the local pics people have been putting up recently. Im sure with something less bulky and more free to move around in where I stay warm and dry im far more likely to get out in the water.

 

So im looking for a recommendation, from what I gather I may prefer a membrane suit as this is a lot less bulky but on the negative more prone to damage? Its not going to get a great deal of use and dont have a fortune to spend so any recommendations would be great!!

 

Many thanks

Mark

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Hi All,

 

Looking for some advice and guidance. Ive not really got into UK diving as im not a fan of the cold or the really bulky kit. Currently ive got a 7mm semi dry suit but find it really cumbersome and a pain - plus I get cold. Looking to invest in a cheap dry suit as ive been impressed with all the local pics people have been putting up recently. Im sure with something less bulky and more free to move around in where I stay warm and dry im far more likely to get out in the water.

 

So im looking for a recommendation, from what I gather I may prefer a membrane suit as this is a lot less bulky but on the negative more prone to damage? Its not going to get a great deal of use and dont have a fortune to spend so any recommendations would be great!!

 

Many thanks

Mark

 

O'three all the way although I canny remember if they do membranes ??? I've had an O'three for 12 years and have only replaced the neck n cuffs once :-) the service is awesome and their a real friendly bunch. Okay you may have to dig a little deeper in the pocket department however i feel their worth the extra pennies.

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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For neoprene either an O'Three MSF 500 if its cold or a Ri for summer (or a spare) - I have both. For membrane I'd choose a DUI.

 

Though for a budget price neoprene suit both Northern Diver and Outer Edge seem pretty good and are often being sold very cheap at the shows.

Edited by Timmoranuk

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Most of the membrane suits on sale in the UK are OK: the expensive suits aren't that neccessary unless you are diving all the time, or doing decompression diving (DUI suits are wonderful and ridiculously over-priced). A good undersuit, like a Weezle or 4th Element makes all the difference. Some people hate the rubber neck seals and use fold-over neoprene neck seals, like those on neoprene drysuits. Whatever you choose, you need a couple of dives in a pool and open water to get used to the suit, and need to decide on +/- ankle weights, +/- air in the BCD as well as the suit, and so on.

 

Tim

 

:lol:

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As Tim and Tim (and this Tim) say, DUI. But as Tim says, they are very expensive. Seriously good deals on offer though for instructors.......

I've had mine for 8 years and it's as good as new and has done several hundred dives.

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I'll be a dissenting opinion here.

 

I've had quite a bit of experience with DUI suits over the last 15 years. They earned a big reputation in the early years because they turned out a good product, compared to the miserable offerings from the other manufacturers of the time.

 

Times have changed and most manufacturers turn out a better product than DUI in terms of quality and durability. DUI however has maintained their premium pricing.

 

Honestly I wouldn't touch a DUI suit right now. In the last 4 years or so they've truly earned their nickname of "Dry Until Immersed". Suits that are expensive, leak straight from the factory, take a month to repair and have seals that last less than a year? Woof. The only DUI suits that lately have been any good are the ones repaired by Superior or Gamble.

 

To be honest, most of the other drysuit manufacturers are comparable in their high quality build. Pick a suit based on a design feature that you really need, and price.

 

And perhaps the most important reason to buy a particular suit: the manufacturer is close to you. For some reason this has been more important with suits than regs and stuff, I'm not sure why.

 

 

All the best, James

 

PS - If pressed, I would recommend giving Santi a good hard look. I recently tried on a eSpace and was amazed; the undergarments are easily a generation ahead of everyone else's, and the warmest I've tried.

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Thanks for the comments everyone.

 

Ive seen Typhoon do some cheap suits and also ROHO suits which offer free made to measure at a reasonable price so I may investigate these.

 

Im ruling out ebay as an option as you never quite know what you will get...

 

Mark

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If you are off-the-peg size, I recommend a Scubapro Everdry 4. (Review in Diver Mag May 2010)

If you are not off-the-peg, you will need to get a suit made-to-measure, in which case I suggest http://www.divernet.com/Diving_Gear/diver_...ree_ri2100.html

 

Either will allow you to swim like you are in a wetsuit!

Edited by John Bantin

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To add my thoughts....

 

I like the look (but haven't used) the Northern Diver Aquarius. I have had a suit with a similar entry system and really liked it for movement and ease of donning.

 

It is also in a nice light, flexible fabric!

 

Adam

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Hi Adam,

 

Very much like the look of the Northern Diver you suggest, and a reasonable price.

 

I was in my local store earlier today as they have some offers on suits at the moment but was too busy and didnt have any free assistants. Their suits are predominantly Typhoon ones. So far knowone has mntioned these so im guessing they are not going to be as good as the others.

 

On the other hand its not likely to get much use and they have so suits with undersuit for £400. I probably fit the description of being a standard build as well so shouldnt have a problem with sizes...

 

Mark

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I've only ever used O Three, I've only had it for a few months, and I love it almost as much as my housing.

 

Neoprene only available but so comfortable!

 

And you are welcome to join us on our next jaunts along the south coast. Actually, you might be OK in the semidry in a couple of weeks time :lol::) :)

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Hi Mark,

What size are you? My old dry suit may be still available as he has now got a O three like me, i only got rid because once I got my proper undersuit I found it too tight.

I know someone in our club who got a new one for under 400 quid last month, i think it was a robin hood suit incl undersuit..www.roho.co.uk O three suits are 700 + undersuit, come round tomorrow and have a look at my 0 three if u want

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Thanks Alex,

 

Im planning on braving my semi-dry in the next few weeks with down at Swanage with my bro as ive not been in the water since June last year (god its been that long). If I can get myself a suit at some point I would be keen to come along for some photography tips :lol: Your recent pics have been converting me I hadnt realized there was so much worth snapping in the UK. Do you take a torch down with you as well?

 

Mark

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Their suits are predominantly Typhoon ones. So far no-one has mentioned these so im guessing they are not going to be as good as the others.

 

I have an unused :lol: Typhoon replacement suit if you are interested - it replaced a leaky one under warranty! You can always pm me...... for the full story. Its going cheap.

 

My current suit is a DUI - very flexible and comfy, takes a long time to dry and is not as watertight as I'd like - new neoprene seals from O3 helped as did replacing the (rather stupidly glued in) auto dump, but for the price I'd expect better. I've used Gates - tough but heavy - Aquion - the original, pretty good but finally wore out, and by far the best suits, a couple of ex-NATO Avon rubber divers suits - incredibly good, but took a lot of hammer until they became too worn to repair. And others no longer in production. Friends use O3 and like them, also Northern Divers, and Typhoon but by far the best reputation and value for money and the suit I will go for next; Otter. I know schools that use these and are delighted with them.

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Looking to invest in a cheap dry suit? Is there really such a thing as a cheap dry suit?

 

I would look into getting a GOOD dry suit, not a CHEAP one.

 

I spend a few years traveling around North America for work. I got to look at a whole lot of dry suits.

 

I was most impressed with quality manufacturing of DUI and recently bought two DUI TLS350 dry suits (one for me and one for my GF). We have been very happy with both. If you look at the details, you will see that few manufacturers can match the quality of DUI.

Edited by harrym

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Hi,

 

Most important with drysuits nowadays: get one that fits you.

That is even more true if you choose a Membrane suit, since they have no stretch.

I can recommend the Membranes for their sturdiness and the easiness to fix leaks.

 

If you can find one of the Shelf that fits you. Be happy and buy it, since you have saved money.

If you can not find one that fits you, then spend more money on a semi-fitted suit.

 

Then do not save money on the Undersuits.

 

 

/Erik

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Thanks for all the comments guys,

 

Sounds like I should be investing in a decent suit that is a perfect fit as opposed to looking for a cheap solution. I shall keep an eye on the sale's etc at the local dealers for a bit while I save my pennies.

 

Of course the money I could spend on a dry suit and accessories (probably need to invest in my own cylinder and weights as well) I could have a week in Egypt diving in the warm waters instead.... decisions decisions..!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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As I said to you Mark, I started UK diving in May in a 5mm semi dry, save your pennies until the beginning of Autumn then decide on a dry suit when it gets colder! Thats what I did anyway, worked fine

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As with camera equipment I have found that it is very hard to buy cheap dive equipment. Invariable you pinch pennies and end up with something that is not fit for the job in mind, resulting in you spending more money to buy what you should have got in the first place.

 

I have learned this painful lesson over the years and now will only buy the best I can afford. Drysuit wise this comes in the form of a DUI TLS350. Having tried O three, scubapro, tyhpoon etc etc the dui is hands down the best and most importantly the easiest to dive.

 

I d recommend membrane over neoprene for a number of reasons. 1) quicker to dry and thus easier to repair 2) bouyancy doesn t change where as a neoprene will compress with depth meaning you will dive over weighted, resulting in fine bouyancy control being harder to achieve 3) more flexible thermal protection you can chose your level of undersuit more precisely meaning you can dive adequently insulated in everything from 0-30 degree water.

 

 

Just a couple of thoughts

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Food for thought here. I'd also look carefully at Otter as I have plenty of friends who use them. My wife started using one last year too and is very pleased with it indeed - she has even used it for her work diving despite having a (Gates) work suit provided! Otter aren't the cheapest but my experience with the more expensive DUI is mixed. Its very comfy but simply not as watertight as it should be (and never has been) unfortunately. O3 do have a good reputation but are in the DUI price bracket too.

 

The best suit I have ever had was an ex-NATO Avon - £80, lasted many years, very, very dry, quick drying, comfortable - a superb suit. But when I asked the company who made them (an ex-division of Avon) if they were likely to make any more I was told (several years ago) that to sell them at £1000 would not be profitable. I still have one but is is porous now and the seams are shot - it is 20 years old though.

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As Mark has not been diving for some time, I think all his photo opportunities would be spent on getting used to the dry suit - buoyancy wise, thats another reason as well as cost to him, it was 13 degrees in the water yesterday, getting warmer now! As well as the dry suit, weights and tank for Uk diving, you've also got an undersuit to consider if you get a dry suit. Mine was £170, not cheap either, but lovely and warm :D

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I really like my Diving Concept suit, it is far from your location but so far its been a great suit. I have used it alot for underwater work on docks and a handful of pleasure dives. Very durable and fits great.

 

http://www.divingconcepts.com/ultraflex.htm

 

They call it the ultraflex, but its not really flexable... it fits well and is really Durable, have rubbed against metal and rocks working and have had no issues leaking.

 

They have a few other models but i do know know anything about the other ones.

 

Great suit, good cost.

 

-K

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Paul,

 

As you say as I dont really dive much in the UK I would loose some of these dives to just learning to use the dry suit and wouldnt really be able to take my camera. I may well be better off sticking to what ive got for now and grin and bear it. 13 deg its definatly getting warmer, my 7mm semi dry is getting more appealing...lol I am planning a trip to Swanage in the next few weeks with my bro when I get my regs back from being serviced as his club has weights and tanks I can borrow. Its likely to be a week day to avoid the crowds and ive got some holiday to use but I will let you know when im going if you are interested..?

 

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, I will still keep my eyes out for something suitable but for now it may not be the best investment to make.

 

Cheers,

Mark

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Mark,

Thanks for the offer, I'm only a weekend and evening diver I'm afraid, got to work to afford it all! You know where to find my dive diary if you ever want to join us.

You may want to try and build up your own kit gradually so you can come with us, instead of your brother all the time :D, just the odd weight, and keep an eye out for a refurbed tank where I told you, they last longer than new ones and are an absolute bargain, give him a ring the odd day during the week (not open weekends), ask for Gary. Maybe the end of this season you could have a tank and all your own weight and a few UK dives under your belt, you may be tempted for the dry suit then, the dive show in October could be an idea for VFM, altho be careful that they measure you up right as I hear they sometimes rush it at the shows.

I also have a 12kilo shot belt you could borrow if you ever get a tank sorted, I have 4 tanks which you could borrow one if we are just out for one dive (I need them all if we are doing 2!)

My mate can bring my old dry suit round this weekend for you to try if you want still...you could still get in on the Mulberries this weekend too!

HTH

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