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2018 DrySuit Recommendations

Discussion in 'Dry Suits' started by Liam Anderson, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. Liam Anderson

    Liam Anderson New Member

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    So I have finally passed my Open Water in May after many issues with cancellations and abandoned dives. So I dive in Scotland which I am sure people will know is very cold and wet 95% of the year so I am looking to invest in a DrySuit so I can be confident of the warmth and comfort. I was using the Typhoon Seamaster during my Open Water which I quite liked apart from the odd fit. I am 6' 110KG 48" Chest and a 36" waist with reasonable size legs as I play Rugby. Due to this I am not seeing a lot of off the hanger options for myself.

    What are peoples recommendations for DrySuits? I have seen a lot of threads on here mention SeaSkin, Otter, O3 and ND, although the threads I have found are a year or 2 old.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, also second hand is still and option if people have any suggestions :).

    Liam
     
  2. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    I love my Otter brittanic mk2. Can't recommend Otter highly enough. Fantastic customer service. Not cheap though.

    I almost went for a seaskin as the price is so good for a mtm suit. There's a few mixes reviews out there, but a lot of people who are very happy with them.

    Fit is all important, so it's worth the journey down to get measured properly by someone who knows what they're doing, if you can.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  3. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    I’m an O3 fan. Not sure how you get on from your location but talk to them , think they do some sort of remote fitting thing. Warm , durable , excellent service.
     
  4. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    The main thing for a drysuit, aside from not leaking, is fit. Off-the-shelf sizes fit a lot of people but not all. Tweaking leg/arm lengths can help, but not all.

    So if you're outside of the normal sizes, it may be best to look at getting a custom one built for you. This is a no-brainer when you've been diving for a while -- only £1600+ for a decent one! I love my Predator, Santi, etc. However, when starting out price really is one of the main factors. SeaSkin, Otter, Typhoon and others all have drysuits for half that price by limiting some of the nice-to-haves: big pockets; Kubi gloves; replaceable neck seal; front-opening; lots of protection in wear areas.

    Having said that, all the nice to haves I really couldn't do without. Dry gloves really are brilliant in cold water. Massive pockets are great for all the crap you need if you're diving with a wing (two SMBs + spools, spare mask, spare spools, wet notes, Nautilus radio...). And a self-replacable neck seal means not sending it back when the neck tears. Given your cold environment -- it's several degrees colder up there than dahn sarf -- the case could be made for investing in the only suit you'll ever need (as long as it's black).

    When getting one made for you it's vital to get them to measure you so if it doesn't fit or there's some measurement cock-up, it's very much their problem.

    Sizing thoughts: need to be able to do a "superman"; need to be able to crouch into a ball; needs to be big enough for your winter plumage; needs to be not too big, but loose is better than tight.
     
  5. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    I have a Seaskin that I'm happy with - they only sell made-to-measure, which would be good for you - only 20 dives in it to date. Not so good is that they are only laminate or crushed neoprene, whereas you might need full fat being closer to the Arctic than most.
    Mine is the crushed neoprene, starting at a base cost of £426, quick neck system, trilobite, braces, cargo pocket, comfort zip (don't bother) etc. etc took that to £680 and under suit and base top/leggings added another £200. Other makes may be more or less spec'd but you have to allow for additions.
    Of course, you could always use the money to get Easyjet to take you somewhere warmer and dive there. :whistling:
     
  6. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    I have an O3, don’t like it at all.

    Current suit is a Predator.

    Thinking about getting a new one soon which will probably be an Otter.
     
  7. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    Also, I’d go for membrane over neoprene every time now.
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Wouldn't neoprene be better for someone starting out?
     
  9. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    Why?
     
    nickb and Tribal Chestnut like this.
  10. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    I would’ve thought that’s quite obvious - because it’s heavy, much slower to dry, uncomfortable, generally only available in rear entry and with those sodding awful wellies, is not as flexible for pairing up with different base layers to suit different conditions, is often more restrictive around the arms, can (apparently) be harder for some to dive due to the buoyancy characteristics and required a good bit of extra weight to sink it.

    There are probably other advantages I’ve forgotten.

    What’s not to like?
     
  11. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    Tbh though, a dive in neoprene is better than no dive at all.
     
  12. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    :)

    They're warmer, cheaper and easier to dive as they're less sensitive. They have warmth when flooded, are easier to repair a hole, etc.

    But mainly cheaper and more widely available.

    I hope for those reasons that this is the reason they're most common type on a dive boat with recreational divers.
     
  13. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    Common does not mean optimum, you know that!

    My membrane suit is nicer and easier to dive than the neo too.
     
  14. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    I liked my O3 crushed neo suit. It was warm, comfy and always dry. It was just a bit tight over my shoulders.

    I wouldn't go back to it now after a mtm membrane suit.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  15. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I found it took me quite a few dives to get used to the 'sensitive' nature of my membrane suit, especially ascents and controlling the dump.

    Neo suits have some elasticity which keeps them more under control.

    I find it interesting that some technical divers whom I respect for their skills and attitude use neoprene suits -- and I'm not talking of herd-following numpties. @Tribal Chestnut - isn't neoprene more prevalent for cave diving in the UK?

    All commie* (not followers of Jeremy Corbyn) divers that I've ever seen use neoprene.

    However, like you, I would never go back to neoprene as I like the control that my 'sensitive' membrane suit gives me.




    *Commercial divers
     
  16. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    There’s really not a technical = membrane/neoprene = recreational divide. Ive used and enjoyed both. I’m currently an O3 fanboy but not to say a decent membrane wouldn’t please me.

    I would say that over the last few years neoprene is usually O3 and membrane largely otter. This is based on my time on dive boats going Diving not quarrying. Recent trips have in fact been an O’three / AP ccr fest.

    My kit choices these days seems to be influenced by the product quality/suitability, back up & service, both O3 and AP are excellent.

    Re “technical” divers in neo. The group that do seriously deep stuff in Ireland I understand chose 5mm (O3) suits due to the warmth and in the event of a flood the material still retains insulation when flooded.

    The OP would do well to seek advice from local divers as well whose kit choices maybe influenced by local conditions.
     
  17. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Trouble with absolutes is that usually comes from those who have progressed and have
    the benefit of hindsight, often forgetting that the vast majority (by a serious margin) will
    never end up doing what they now do.

    You've also got to question objectivity and personal opinion based on such a limited sample
    rate when even really active divers may have two or three suits at best and even then once
    a brand is found it tends to be a repeat of the same.

    Look at the UK demographic.
    Number of beginners who will buy there own MTM suit prior to open water is not far off zero.
    Number of divers who do nothing more than entry level courses is around 80% and those
    that do eventually go onto technical is just 5% and that's being generous.

    So first off before saying what is the best, need to set the parameters of what the suit is for
    and IMO let's cut the tech BS and shutdown bollocks and pitch it at the 80%, a big chunk of
    which we'd like to stick around long enough to keep boats and dive shops running so we can
    all keep diving.

    A learner diver needs a suit that works, is comfortable and is cheap enough that will allow
    then to get into the sport without paying stupid money. Based on a sample rate of training
    about 600+ in drysuits over the last couple of decades with a 40-60% split in favour of neoprene.
    I can say 100% that neoprene is way better as an entry level learner and intermediate suit upto
    about 30m in pretty much all circumstances.

    However, once the dives stray into deco and the variety of diving gained by experience kicks in,
    then yes that;s when IMO membrane is king. Sure some high-end suits are compressed
    neoprene, but these are the top-end and can't in any way be matched with the typical cheapy
    neo suits.

    I often use club suit,s which are Typhoon Seamaster neoprene for teaching and easy stuff, but
    for "proper" diving it's Otter membrane all the way.
     
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  18. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    I would imagine so, wetsuits tend to be neoprene.

    Tel perhaps has a point; my dislike of my MSF500 has coloured my opinion of neo suits.
     

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