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Hollis drysuit (BTR500) vs Otter drysuit ( not sure which model yet)

Discussion in 'Dry Suits' started by Babycover, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Babycover

    Babycover New Member

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    Hi gents and ladies, I am moment away from purchasing a new drysuit. However, i would love to have some opinions from the experts about this investment as to me it quite a big sump of money.
    I'm in Melbourne, Australia and so we are not the expert about Drysuit.
    I love to have color on my drysuit so Red is a perfect color choice.
    I do a lots of wreck diving, so durable against sharp object is a must
    I currently own a second hand ( 2nd owner), very old DUI suit, did more than 50 dives with it ( military version with brass T-zip and neoprene seal wrists and neck) but it leaks, went to 2 LDS, come back with a fixing cost more than the price I bought the suit itself. Thus decide to get a brand new suit.

    I have my eyes on Santi ( don't know the model), Hollis BTR500 and DUI ( dont know the model). Obviously, DUI and Santi are out due to their price tag. My concern is :
    - If i go Hollis BTR500, will it be good? Will it last long ? I got a local Hollis LDS so maintain shouldn't be a problem. also Hollis got a promotion at the moment with full undergarment, beanie, glove and rock boots.
    i got drew in Hollis as the shop offer installing the Sitec neck and wrist systems with silicone seals for free.
    The suit cost 1,777AUD = 1414.85 pound

    - Otter has been a true and alway recommended brand but vs the new Hollis BTR500 how is it? Will it cheaper if i go for the Britannic Tech II version
    - Lastly, would saving for another year for Santi or DUI is worth the money?

    Thank you
     
  2. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    I'd say Otter, every time. I've only ever seen one Hollis suit in use, a couple of months back, a buddy diving a brand new suit. She was soaked after the dive. She was confident the wrist and neck seals fit ok, so was planning on returning it you the shop she got it from. Not seen her since so don't know the outcome.

    Brittanic mk2 will be my next suit. I've dived with several people who have them and all of them love their suits. I've had a couple of 2nd hand otter suits (Skins) and they've been great. The service from otter is superb here in the UK. I'm not sure what their dealers are like in Aus tho.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  3. nickb

    nickb Active Member

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    Santi make very nice drysuits and, for your diving, you'd be looking at an E-Lite. The E-Motion is much thinner and (counter-intuitively) lighter and less likely to withstand pokes and abrasions from wrecks. The equivalent DUI is the CLX which I think is their nicest suit. The TLS is the DUI equivalent of the E-Motion.

    I think DUI have lost the plot in the past 10 years. Their build quality isn't as good as it was in previous years and nowhere close to that of Santi or even Otter (IMHO). They appear to have rested on their laurels: for a long time they were the go-to suit for the GUE guys and consequently kept increasing their prices beyond what could be considered value for money, especially outside the US.

    However, I don't think that a Santi would be any better in practical terms than an Otter Brittanic, which is a great suit, although not as well-tailored as the Santi. If looking mega-sharp on the boat isn't too important, then an Otter will do everything that a Santi will.

    All of the above applies to UK users. Support is quite important for a drysuit and an Otter in the UK is very easy to get support for - their customer support is superb. DUI's support outside the US is pretty good but you'd need to investigate how it is in Oz and the same obviously applies for all the other brands.

    I can't speak about the Hollis as I've never seen one. I do have a few items of Hollis kit which I love, especially the M1 mask which is the nicest I've ever owned. Their kit seems to be well-made.

    Ursuit (Finland) make very nice suits but I would stay clear of the BDS Kevlar which is a great travel suit but not such a great wreck diving suit. Their cordura suits would be ideal.
     
    Cybes likes this.
  4. clique

    clique Active Member

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    The support of the drysuit is key, I'd look at which manufacturers are supporting their products in Australia as a drysuit is something you're realistically wanting to repair rather than replace if you have a problem with it.

    I fell foul of this with a Hollis drysuit in the UK, I had a FX100 which they were unwilling to support in the UK and Europe. So any repair work would have to be undertaken in the USA, meaning the cost was extortionate and the turn around times were ridiculous. I was quoted £550 and 10 to 12 weeks to replace a zip... Hence I've now got a strong opinion of Hollis.

    I ended up replacing it entirely, I was already 1/2 way to paying for a brand new made to measure suit and because of the slow turn around time I would have missed out on my mod 1 course and would have lost the first half of the UK dive season.
     
  5. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    Where are you planning on using your drysuit? In the UK Otter is second to none for service and I have heard some very bad things about Santi such as suggesting someone buys a spare drysuit for the times that their other one is away for repairs for a few months. What does everyone else dive with in Australia? Your support issues are going to be totally different from ours.
     
    Cybes likes this.
  6. Babycover

    Babycover New Member

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    Thank you for the advise.
    We got a super dealer and super support for Otter here in Melbourne, Aus. I can vouch for him as he is the only one fixing all drysuit brand + dealer/support for Otter.
    Also gave him a call just now, with a made to measure Britannic tech II version, basic model would cost me around 2,200AUD = 1315.54 Pound ( look like Pound value lost since the first time i posted)
    Everyone around me either got a Fourth element, White Fusion, Santi, Scubapro or Otter ( I can see here and there Dive Rite, Dui - myself)

    I will have to check with my LDS about the Hollis supporting, if it would be as per " clique" said, that would be a big no no for me even though it seem to be a super sweet deal.
    I will just do my diving in Oz and then all the Asia countries first before head off to somewhere else.

    My buddies here recommend Otter but i reckon it bias since we got quite close to the dealer/support for Otter - he one of our dive buddy
     
  7. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    If you've got good local support then I'd go for Otter I've got a Britannic 2 ultralite with Kubi dry gloves fitted. Just come back from a week in Iceland and more than happy with it.
     
    Doomanic likes this.
  8. Babycover

    Babycover New Member

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    To be honest, the more I read and research the more I got confused. I got my DUI which old, leak a little bit but good with the price I paid for it ( 294 pound)
    I want a new drysuit that would last me for years just like the DUI. But there are way too many brands now that it made do my head in.
    Fortunately, I got lots of dealers of lots of brands but not sure of whether the dealer will support in term of fixing, exchange if any any problem arise,etc
    Otter
    Hollis
    DUI
    SANTI
    Scubapro
    Waterproof ( this one the dealer is below average)
    Aqualung
    Mares
    Dive Rite

    Also look like Otter is the way to go around here, but about there life span? some buddies of mine saying that the Otter drysuit actually need doesnt last that long, there one that need fix just within 60 dives.
     
  9. clique

    clique Active Member

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    If I was in your position, I'd get an Otter suit, if the dealer / support guy is in the group you dive with then you've no worries about not being looked after. Also, the price you're getting it for is great! Cheaper than what you pay in the UK, although I suppose that's the advantage of the GBP making an attempt to being worthless =P
     
  10. Babycover

    Babycover New Member

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    Ye just finished talking with him
    Otter britannic mk 2, made to order. all red + p valve, SLT for neck and wrist, latex / silicone for wrist ( not sure whether i should go latex or silicone), 2 largest pocket ( 2 compartment), si tech valve approximately around 2k5AUD = 1500 Pound
     
  11. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    That's a really good price. Like clique said, better than we'd pay here and I'm only 30 miles from the factory!!

    The silicone seals are good, very comfy, but I found them quite fragile and they go without warning, so carry a spare set with you. They're easy to change.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  12. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    A drysuit made to fit -- but most importantly, measured by them -- is great.

    Personally I favour the "Quick Neck" seal system which means I can change the neck seal when it breaks. Also the Kubi fitted dry glove system which includes latex cuffs which you can change yourself when they break.

    I favour the socks and rock boots as this means you keep them separate to the suit -- so no manky sandy boots with the suit. Also you can change them if they wear out, plus you can turn the suit inside out for drying/repairing/testing.

    P-valve is mandatory IMHO. Halcyon is good. I've had a fly zip fitted which is useful for drying the suit and pulling the P-valve hose outside to let the smell evaporate outside of the suit.

    Massive pockets. The bigger the better. With velcro and two bungee loops at each side of the pocket.

    Valves: inlet on the centre of the chest (important if you've a rebreather later); exhaust on the side of the arm.
     
  13. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    Just throwing this it there but if you like ur current suit with the exception of the leaks, why not just fix it? It could be a saving of £1000
     
  14. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    WRT neck seals, I had a neoprene seal fitted recently. I'm never going back!
     
    Tribal Chestnut likes this.
  15. Babycover

    Babycover New Member

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    It a second hand suit, im the third owner so it quite old and i think it better if i sell it and get a new one. We all like new gears :D

    since im going with Otter now, everything will be custom made follow my will. Can i please have some opinions:
    • zip : brass or plastic ? i personally go with brass, but some front entry drysuit diver swear by plastic!!!
    • I love red, but the guy said the red material is not as good as the black amour skin, is that true? if it is, can some one rate it from 1 to 10 with 10 is the black amour skin
    • valve Si tech but open for suggestion ( Apek alternative) - pros and cons?
    • P-valve the guys suggest a Light monkey balance p-valve, according to him that a top of the line P -valve at the moment.
    • Exhaust valve location ? at the moment, my DUI got the valve just off the shoulder and on top of the triceps, toward the outside of the arm. i heard about GUE and DIR location? where is it?
    • 2 largest pocket with compartments, D ring, sock and rock boots
    • Quick neck seal system with neoprene seal? or latex? or silicone? What is WRT neck seal ? could you please tell me more?
    • Heavy duty latex or silicone for wrists ? or neoprene? I probably not going with the Sitech cuff as sometime i need to tight space and heard that it not gonna fit with the cuff!!!
    • Fly zip, imo im not sure if this needed or not as other than to dry up the p vavle, it just increase more maintenance for me
    If i miss something could you please add in ?
    thank you guys
     
  16. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    For the zip, I'd go brass. I've heard a lot of stories of the plastic zips failing early.

    No idea about the red material being less durable, but how about black body with red shoulders/Sleeves?

    Valves, personally I've had no issues with the apeks ones, but have no experience of the si tech.

    I know next to nothing about P valves, but am interested in the replies.

    Dump valve DIR position is on the outside of the arm rather than the front. That would be my preference.

    Pockets, big, on the outside of the thigh rather than the front and velcro rather than zips

    Socks and rock boots. I find them easier to get on and more flexible for different thicknesses of sock underneath.

    Neck seal, the quick change ones are for latex or silicone, not neoprene. Personally I have neoprene, I find it far more comfortable. Silicone would be 2nd choice.

    Wrist seals, depends on your wrists. If you have skinny wrists then latex or silicone. I have latex on my otter suit and neoprene on my O3. They both work for me. What did you have on your DUI? I'll be having the kubi dry glove system fitted to my next suit.

    No need for a fly zip in a front entry suit with a P valve, imo.



    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  17. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    Zip - Brass. I've heard that Otter have had issues with plastic and are no longer offering it.
    Colour - Mines all black, never heard of any issues with coloured material though
    Valves - I use Apeks without any issues
    P-valve - I have the standard Otter one
    Exhaust valve - I believe that is classed as the GUE/DIR position and is now the default position for Otter
    Neck seals - I use the Sitech silicon quick seals. The Neoprene warmer was included as standard. I chose the Sitech after seeing someone get theirs replaced on a boat. Neoprene neck seals may be more comfortable but if you tear it you're out of service until its repaired
    Wrist seals - I have Kubi fitted dry gloves with Scitech silicone seals. Kubis are excellent.
    Fly Zip - I don't have one, not sure why you'd need one if going for a P-valve
    What boot option are you going for? I've had both. My Otter has socks with separate rock boots. (The Otter supplied rock boots are some Chinese rip off and won't last more than 10 dives). I'm personally undecided which I would go of next time. Benefit of socks is that you can turn them inside out to get some air to them but apart from that I'd probably prefer integrated boots.
     
  18. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    WRT = With Regard To
     
  19. Babycover

    Babycover New Member

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    Lmao, i didnt even think it was an abbreviation. Thought it is a type of system

    thank you for your help guys. It been very informative and helpfull

    So most thing is sorted :
    Zip - brass
    Colour - i Go as much Red as i possibly can - still waiting for someone to chuck in idea if they know something
    Valve - Most people go Sitech, My Dui is Apek but i will go Sitech this time
    No Fly Zip
    sock and rock boots

    what left is :
    • Should i go neck silicone as well ? or neoprene ? i got neoprene on my DUI at the moment
    • It not that cold in Melbourne, but we always wear at least a 3-5m glove, should i install Kubi glove? will it get in the way of operate things ( lines, valves, etc). otherwise i just go with heavy duty latex, as per suggestion.
     
  20. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    You could just get the kubi system fitted to the suit and not buy the glove system. That way you can change wrist seals in a couple of minutes, so you could try both latex and silicone easily. The kubi rings don't look bulky at all. I cant see them being an issue.

    I've not tried the quick change neck seal. The ring looks to me like it would get in the way, but those who have used it say it doesn't.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     

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