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I'm looking for opinions on drysuits, and dry gloves. I'm interested in one thats less bulky, integrated weights, and a system thats more travel friendly

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I have a DUI 50/50, but several friends have Diving Concepts suits, manufactured in Santa Barbara, that they rave about. It is a lot less expensive than the DUI.

 

Fletcher

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I'm looking for opinions on drysuits, and dry gloves. I'm interested in one thats less bulky, integrated weights, and a system thats more travel friendly

 

 

The fit is more important then anything else, also the right under garment for the temperature you will be diving in. We switched to 4th Element under garments and just love them, not as bulky and very warm.

 

I dive in a custom fit DUI TLS350, it fits perfect and that goes a long way towards buoyancy control. I have never heard of a weight integrated dry suit but have seen people use a harness with easy dumpable weights.

 

For gloves I like any that you can don after everything else is ready to dive. I had Zip Seal gloves from DUI that had to be put on the suit before you put it on, that sucks, very hard to get ready on your own, very expensive too. Look for something that you still have a little bit of dexterity left. The thicker they or the liners are the less dexterity you will have making using a camera tougher.

 

Ask four different divers and you will get four different answers though. If you have to buy off the shelf and can't swing the custom fit try several until you find one that fits.

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Any opinions on Northern Divers?

 

Neoprene or Bag?

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down here the DUI TLS350 is pretty much the suit of choice unless its contaminated water then a Viking suit is used. I use the zip gloves with my suit but others use the SI Tec system. As Paul stated ask four different divings and you'll get four different options.

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So I do about 100-120 drysuit dives a year.

 

I currently dive a DUI TLS 350 custom suit which I'm very happy with. It's much more comfortable and less restrictive than other kinds of drysuits I've used. Dries quickly and is light and thus very travel friendly as well. My previous TLS 350 (2003 vintage) suit did have a tendency to leak somewhat at the seams (the glue on the seams would de-laminate) but my new (2009) suit has been flawless.

 

I dove a Northern Diver 4mm compressed neoprene suit for a long time. It was rugged and dry but I found it to be a bit restrictive and it was heavy and took forever to dry. I also have a Diving Concepts shell suit which is OK. Doesn't fit nearly as well as the DUI and is more difficult to dive as a result. Also the polyester material tends to develop leaks from wear spots. The nylon on the TLS 350 is much more abrasion resistant (though at the expense of more difficult to glue and thus the leaks at the seams). The Diving Concepts suit is also heavier and takes longer to dry than the TLS 350.

 

Finally, as a photographer I find that the DUI suits (especially with a colorful overlay) look better in pictures that other brands of suits.

 

Clinton

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Whites fusion suit. Fits like a custom suit (better actually than my custom suit) and you can't argue the price. I love it and it dives like a 3mm wetsuit. When I teach students they find the skills easier in that suit over the other DUI, etc brands that allow more airspace in the suit. I have had mine since they came out.... Very durable and I love it.

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I'll put in a quick vote for Otter - I love my Brittannic Superskin. Much cheaper than DUI and from my observations of dive buddies, much more waterproof too. A good fit is crucial to easy buoyancy. I've moved to using a Santi undersuit which is less bulky for the same amount of warmth.

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Any opinions on Northern Divers?

 

Neoprene or Bag?

 

I have a Divemaster (old model dating back to 2002) which was a good suit, and I still use it as a backup, but I wouldn't get the current model - comparatively it seems much more poorly made. I have an RBX (first model not the RBX II) and I wouldn't recommend it, to be honest. I have been disappointed in it. When I next get a drysuit, I am afraid it won't be a ND one ...

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down here the DUI TLS350 is pretty much the suit of choice unless its contaminated water then a Viking suit is used. I use the zip gloves with my suit but others use the SI Tec system. As Paul stated ask four different divings and you'll get four different options.

 

I do hope that at McMurdo station there is no contaminated water !

 

PS: what about the Bare suit range ?

Edited by Cerianthus

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Interesting thread. Another question :

 

What drysuit would be the best combnaison to travel+freediving in 2°C waters for long time everyday? long walk involved too, with cameras, so as light as it can be, no matter the price.

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Hi all,

 

If it is to be light and portable-it's got to be a membrane. I've got a DUI TLS 350 that has around 1800 dives on it and is nearing the end of its life, but I like it so much I keep sticking it back together! I don't think I can afford to replace it with another DUI unfortunately. If money is no object it would be my suit of choice.

 

An important point about lightweight is the components in the suit. Neoprene socks rather then solid boots, compact (or no) rather than bulky pockets, lightweight zips and most crucially the material make a huge amount of difference.

 

I have the Si tech cuff rings and think they are great. The gloves I use with them are Showa 660 work gloves-very cheap and light.

 

Adam

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I dove a second hand DUI TLS 350 for about 5 years and it was great. Lightweight, dries easily, but has a tendency to sprout pinhole leaks (but then again, my suit was old with many hundreds of dives on it). I now dive mostly in the tropics and have a custom DUI 30/30 suit. I love it to death. It is perfect for places where the land is warm but the water is chilly. It breathes on land and I don't sweat much wearing it. Under water, it keeps me dry and is very comfortable and flexible. DUI makes great suits but they are pretty expensive.

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I have a Divemaster (old model dating back to 2002) which was a good suit, and I still use it as a backup, but I wouldn't get the current model - comparatively it seems much more poorly made. I have an RBX (first model not the RBX II) and I wouldn't recommend it, to be honest. I have been disappointed in it. When I next get a drysuit, I am afraid it won't be a ND one ...

 

Hmmm....not too happy to hear that as I am getting measured up for a Northern Diver suit this weekend....I know you get what you pay for but it boils down to price in the end...it is half what a DUI would cost, 30% less than a Santi, Bare is just as costly over here...waiting for the Otter agent to get back...

 

Any particular reasons the ND does not do it for you?

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I'll put in a quick vote for Otter - I love my Brittannic Superskin. Much cheaper than DUI and from my observations of dive buddies, much more waterproof too. A good fit is crucial to easy buoyancy. I've moved to using a Santi undersuit which is less bulky for the same amount of warmth.

My DUI failed (too many holes and zip gone) faster than expected. I'm back in a cheap Typhoon at present (which works), but my wife and many friends are using Otters (including dive schools) which have a good reputation in the UK at the moment, as do O3 (but they are costlier). It seems to me that drysuit manufacturers produce good suits until the 'next best thing' appears and then their popularity wanes. Whether this is because they produce a lesser drysuit after a few years or whether its because the scuba scene is faddy :D I daren't say......

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I've had an Othree for around 14yrs now and apart from a change of cuffs and the owners weight gain it's still going strong

 

Dean

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I've used Viking Pros for years. My current suit has about 600 dives on it and I am just replacing the zipper now. I just developed one tiny leak where my fin strap was rubbing.

 

Vikings are relatively light compared to a neoprene suit, but heavier than other "membrane" suit as they are very heavy duty. I dive from a RHIB here in the Great Lakes and I like it's "instant" drying and low maintenance qualities. The suit basically lives in my boat. I use the Viking dry gloves which are idiot proof although a little more challenging to put on than the SciTechs. (Friends her have often had sealing issues with these incidentally. Just lack of care mounting them I suspect. Presumably you are a photographer and more "skilled/careful" with O-rings than your typical northern wreckie!

 

Many of my friends dive DUIs and one is in a Bare. All are happy with their choices I think. It really depends on budget, features and so on that you need.

 

You mention you want integrated weights, but I don't think you will find such a thing...

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I do hope that at McMurdo station there is no contaminated water !

 

PS: what about the Bare suit range ?

 

Sad to say there is. This goes back to when the disposal of materials not needed or wanted was to put it out on the sea ice. When it melted, out of sight out of mind. At least its in a area on the sea floor that is a natural bowl and is contained.

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Interesting thread. Another question :

 

What drysuit would be the best combnaison to travel+freediving in 2°C waters for long time everyday? long walk involved too, with cameras, so as light as it can be, no matter the price.

 

The water is is - 2 C and the science divers do up to 4 dives a day in these conditions. As I stated earlier the suit of choice is pretty much the DUI TLS350. I guess I should mention that most divers here that I know are using there own suits and not something that is issued.

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Hmmm....not too happy to hear that as I am getting measured up for a Northern Diver suit this weekend....I know you get what you pay for but it boils down to price in the end...it is half what a DUI would cost, 30% less than a Santi, Bare is just as costly over here...waiting for the Otter agent to get back...

 

Any particular reasons the ND does not do it for you?

 

I've not found the RBX very robust for UK diving. A leak in the leg, I've had to replace wrist and neck seals, the zip flap is annoying and the pocket had no drain hole (not major but annoying). More generally, it's just not felt up to the job I need it to do in the relatively harsh conditions we experience year round in the UK. As for the current Divemaster model, compared to the model from 9 years ago, they feel kind of cheap to me. Just my perspective but I would rather save and pay more for quality that spend less on a false economy.

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I use a Pinnacle- it's my first drysuit so I can't compare it to any others. It seems to be fine, other than the neoprene neck seal which got replaced with latex after the second time I used the suit; the seal is very fragile and tore easily. It was a custom fit and the cut is fine. When I get around to a new one, I'll look hard at DUI.

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I'll put a vote in for Seaskin suits from the UK. I got one of their Nova membrane suits + under-suit (both MTM) delivered

to Australia for half the cost of anything else I could find locally or from OS. Very happy with the build and how it is wearing.

One feedback I've heard about their suits however is to steer clear of the built in boots. That was fine by me as I prefer to

have socks on a Dry-suit anyway and use the Bare rock boots which fit the same fins as my wetsuit booties.

 

Been also looking at 4th Element under-suits for additional layers in the coldest months. Is anyone on here using any, thoughts?

 

Regards,

Jim.

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Been also looking at 4th Element under-suits for additional layers in the coldest months. Is anyone on here using any, thoughts?

Both my wife and I have used 4th Element for years - excellent stuff - I've found that the fit can be a little odd sometimes so if possible try it on before you buy.

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I use the Fourth Element Xerotherm set as a base layer in colder water and as a standalone set in warm water. It fits well (if a bit snugly), dries easily, and is comfortable. I think the price is fair for what it is.

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