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Need a new suit

Discussion in 'Dry Suits' started by pgarrish, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. pgarrish

    pgarrish Member

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    After a few soggy dives in my ND vortex, I popped it into the factory and it appears to resemble a teabag! several leaks, tired zip and (what it went in for) thin material up the legs... Bit miffed as I've replaced the seals and dump valve on it, but at least I've not done the zip so....

    Obvious replacement is a current ND suit as I'm 10 minutes from the factory so servicing is convenient and (I think) free on new suits but they have nothing under £800 other than the 'arctic survivor'. I've been looking at other options and SeaSkin seem good value for a MTM suit, RoHo a bit more expensive or o'three have an ex-demo suit for £500 but it's Neoprene and I'm used to a membrane suit (plus my undersuit is a onesie style). I'm resigning myself to £600 ish but is that a false economy?
     
  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    You're facing the standard challenge of what do you need to spend. Drysuits are one of the most expensive bits of kit we divers use and there's quite a difference between cheap and expensive suits.

    I resolved this by moving from my ND Voyager cheapo neoprene suit up to a full price bespoke Predator suit costing around £1600 all in. For this I got a great suit that fits, 8 have no problems doing valve drills, it's dry, has enormous pockets, and has been exceedingly reliable over the last ~250 dives. It's warm too as there's plenty of room for my winter plumage. It included a pee valve - a mandatory option for my bladder - and Kubi dry gloves. I'm exceedingly happy with this choice.

    There are plenty of other options available though. Off the shelf will reduce the price especially for mass market suits. They can tweak these, adding / subtracting length in the limbs. But the main issue is you need to be a standard size.

    Optional extras are another way of cutting down on costs, maybe fitting drygloves and pee valves later.

    Brands vary greatly too. One of the companies you mentioned will get some bad press from some people here; others are delighted with their suits.

    I guess it depends on the amount and type of diving you do and plan to do in the future. Not to forget your shape and size.

    Good luck!
     
  3. pgarrish

    pgarrish Member

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    Well the wife likes her ND suit so that’s the first option and we’ll go from there. I liked the vortex too - ND do seem to be marmite ....

    I will let folks know as more info is always useful
     
  4. nickb

    nickb Active Member

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    Santi E-lite/E-motion depending on what you need the suit to endure.

    Otter, especially the Britannic, are also great suits.

    I now have a bone-dry Ursuit BDS Kevlar and it's great, but the ballache I had for the last 4 years to get there would prevent me from recommending them.

    DUI - forget it. Absolute shite at top dollar prices. How they are still in business amazes me.

    O3, if you like neoprene, accept no substitute - bulletproof and with amazing support.
     
  5. pgarrish

    pgarrish Member

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    Other than an ex dem O3 at £500 they are all well out of budget - I dive maybe one day a week, 2 dives that day so I don’t need an armour suit

    Thank you anyway
     
  6. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    I got a second seaskin suit this year and am again very pleased with it.
    Had neo before. Membrane now.
     
  7. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    I got a crushed neoprene seaskin and very happy with it on very limited use so far.
     
  8. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    If I had £600 I'd be struggling to look past Seaskin MTM.

    You seem to suggest that having a onesie style undersuit precludes the use of a neo suit?
     
  9. pgarrish

    pgarrish Member

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    It’s quite a baggy undersuit, I thought neoprene drysuits we’re close fitting?
     
  10. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Can be because neoprene can stretch (a bit). Also there's a bit of insulation compared to membrane.
     
  11. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    Yep, completely agree.

    My first suit was an ND Cortex and the only bit that was dry was the name.
    When I moved to twinset it was too small for me to reach my valves so I drove to Bradford and was measured for an Otter Britannic. I then discovered what it is like to be dry. I still have that as my spare.

    My current suit is the Otter Britannic 2 I won in the raffle at Eurotek 2014 and it keeps my dry, apart from when I lost 20kg and the neck seal needed reducing.

    The after-sales service from Otter is very good and, if it is truly urgent, they can turn round work very quickly.
     
  12. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    Seaskin have shocking levels of customer service and the quality has (anecdotally) gone down hill over recent years. My membrane suit (purchased 2013 ish) went through a zip about once a year until I replaced it with an Otter in March.

    Each time they would tell me that it was user error, that there was nothing wrong with the cut of the suit and then give me a patronising explanation about how to operate the zip. I gave up on it when the cost of repairs equated to about the initial cost of the suit.

    I notice that the Seaskin Nova base price is £499... Doesn't seem to be anymore than it was 5 years ago? What has had to give to maintain that?

    I recently pulled it out of the cupboard and in comparison to my Otter, the material and quality feels really poor. The Brittannic costs 3 times as much but they have suits starting from £700. If you went to see John and told him you were trying to choose between one and a Seaskin I reckon you'd get a competative deal and be a fool not to take it.

    The customer service is the best in the business.
     
  13. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    It sounds as if you have had a bad experience but to say that Seaskin have shocking levels of customer service based on your experience alone is somewhat unfair. I have no knowledge of the issues you encountered but going through a zip every year is very unusual.

    However, let's balance that with the fact that Seaskin do not actually make the zips and look to any other common denominators. It would be very easy for me to conclude that the issue was with you (but of course I wouldn't do that ;)).

    To balance your view, I have had a Seaskin suit for over 5 years and it is given a hard time and dived a lot - and other than seals and user induced holes, has been perfect. lots of others on here who have or do dive Seaskin suits and the vast majority are complimentary.
     
  14. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    I've just been through the same decision process as you.

    My O3 compressed neo suit is a really good suit, but it's too tight across the arms and shoulders to do shutdowns properly. I decided after a series of leaky or I'll fitting second hand suits it was time to bite the bullet and buy a new mtm.

    I was torn between seaskin and otter. Seaskin appealed to my Yorkshire nature, being cheaper, but the otter brittanic mk2 gets such good reviews and I've a couple of mates who love theirs, so I decided to go for that. It's still early days but after a long weekends diving in it I'm happy made the right choice.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  15. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Just for reference, what's the sort of price for a Britannic 2?
     
  16. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    RRP comes in at about £1950 with mtm, kubis and pee valve. I don't know anyone who paid full price in the shop though. JJ had discounted the mtm before I even started asking about his best price. I paid £1600 in the end.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  17. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    £1600 is a good chunk of change but worth every penny if your suit fits and doesn't leak.
     
  18. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    Of course its personal opinion... We're all sharing them. Just add mine to the list of everyone elses.

    I had a poor quality suit. Wasn't handled particulary well and repairs were super slow. Wouldn't buy again. Perhaps it's better condensed.

    For those that are suggesting £1k+ suits though, lets not compare apples and oranges. In the range OP is looking at... Seaskin / budget Otter / ND / RoHo / off the peg Scubapro etc. Customer service might be the differentiating factor.
     
  19. pgarrish

    pgarrish Member

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    Thanks all for your thoughts. My wife’s ND is bone dry and several instructors at the school we use have ND kit.

    I can’t go to a grand, but 700 maybe possible.

    I would take away that the cheaper suits are less consistent - you risk good ones and bad ones by the looks of it.
     
  20. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    Unfortunately, you risk that with all suits. People have issues with top end suits too. The price difference comes in material and the methods used to make them. However, I'd expect more from a £1500+ suit and would want even minor issues sorting. A budget one perhaps less so.

    I was quite keen on a Predator suit but the one thing I've taken away from my intial dry suit experiences is that customer service and being able to get to the factory yourself makes things much easier if things go wrong. That's why I went for the Otter, with them just being accross the Pennines.

    I've heard bad things about ND but I've also got a buddy who swears by his suit. He had a leak fixed in no time at all quite recently. I don't think any of the manufacturers have an unblemished record and those who have had bad experiences tend to retell them more than those with good. (See my post above for example)...
     
    pgarrish likes this.

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