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Are all 7mm wetsuits created equal?

Discussion in 'Apparel' started by Geobound, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Geobound

    Geobound Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Ontario
    I have been tearing my hair out reading all the different manufacturers specs, and why one suit is better than all the rest.

    Yes that can be true for everything we buy now days, but can ones neoprene actually be better than the rest?

    As I scroll endlessly through pages and pages of wetsuits and why one should get brand "X" over another is not only time consuming, but mind boggling too.

    My LDS had for example an XL Bare Sport Flex 7mm that seems to fit me just fine for about $350.00, but then they drag out a Waterproof W4 7mm L that seems to be a little snug (assurances that it will stretch some and I will love it), but for $600.00??

    So I go home dazed and confused again, and as I continue my online shopping I can't help but notice all the manufacturers with 2 and 3 different 7mm wetsuits, with pricing all over the map?

    Yes some come with extra pockets, or hoods, or ankle and cuff zippers and such, but isn't that just bells and whistles?

    How can a few bells and whistles more than double the price of a suit?

    Shouldn't one 7mm wetsuit be just as warm as the next, from the same or different manufacturers, or am I missing something glaringly obvious?
  2. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
  3. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    neoprene quality can vary. some will be stretchier and others firmer and more resistant to compression and thus warmer at depth. a semidry with integrated hood or skin in freediving suit with integrated hood will also perform better than a more budget 7mm suit.
    Geobound likes this.
  4. msinc

    msinc Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Maryland
    No, they are not all created equal...and for the prices you are quoting I would find another seller!!! Suggest you look at Henderson Thermaxx Titanium. If you are looking for a 7mm then I assume you need it for the colder water dives...they have this stuff called "fire fleece" inside their wet suits that really does a good job of keeping you warm. I can dive my 3mm Henderson when many others are in a 7mm. Don't get me wrong, when it is cold it's cold and I go to my 7mm.
    It is a better neoprene fabric all the way around, is more "stretchy" and comfortable and I find them easier than most to get on and off.
    Geobound likes this.
  5. Geobound

    Geobound Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Ontario
    @runsongas Thanks for the reply, I wasn't thinking about the stretchy factor I guess?

    @msinc Thanks for your input on the Hendersons, I will give them another look.

    As for the pricing, I'm north of the border so our pricing is always stupid! However if I were to do the conversion it would work out to be about $270 for the Bare and $460 for the Waterproof.

    The Waterproof brand holds my interest, but mainly from their built in DC securing strap. I like that feature and wonder why more haven't adopted that idea?
  6. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Somewhere
    @Geobound, where are you in Ontario?

    We, husband and I, also have Henderson Thermaxx and the hand feel, stretchiness and conformation to our body is great. We have 5mm’s and I have a hooded vest. My husband also has a hooded vest from the Henderson Aqua Lock line. We never hesitate buying anything Henderson cause we know it will fit well.

    An LDS had Waterproof suits and my husband was drawn to the look of it and a built-in option for a pocket. He tried it on and the sizing just didn’t work for his body. He’s thin, 5’10” @150lbs, so should be pretty standard. But it just didn’t work. As a result he didn’t buy it. Wetsuit fit and comfort are paramount. Doesn’t matter how many gimmicks on the suit or price or claim of space age material.

    Find one that feels good on, like a second skin, and easy to get on and off. Think of a pair of comfy old jeans. You won’t regret it. I recommend Henderson and many people like Bare as well.
    Geobound likes this.
  7. Johnoly

    Johnoly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    LOL,,,I like their size chart,,,,,Go ahead,,pick a medium size.

    Medium Large-Short
    Medium Large
    Medium Large-Tall
    Geobound likes this.
  8. Themerrydiver

    Themerrydiver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: California
    Scuba.com is worth looking at when you want to buy a wetsuit. Good prices and a large selection and frequent sales. The extra stretchy is good when getting a thicker wetsuit. I've found Pinnacle to be a really nice suit and the size chart for men and women accurate. My honey and I have both bought from scuba.com and are very happy with quality, fit and price.
    Geobound likes this.
  9. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    I have a waterproof 7mm. Love it. And a 3mm bare shorty and a couple of Scubapro definition 3mms. To be honest they are all good, I don’t have a bad thing to say about the bare, although the zip broke out of the bag, so I needed to return it, but the new one has been reliable. It was cheaper than the others, but I’ll only buy wetsuits on sale. I do feel the waterproof is better construction/quality. The Scubapro are excellent as well. None of them are ‘needed’ but I guess it’s down to how much you want to pay.

    I’ll add that hoods are always great additions for reef night dives to keep bloodworms out of your ears. But I would also advise layering.

    If I had time over I still would spend the extra money on the waterproof, but none are old enough that they have broken down faster than the others..
    Geobound likes this.
  10. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Great White

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southern California...too far from the ocean

    Here's what one web site says about neoprene quality:

    Premium=Medium Grade
    Stretchy=Best Grade

    So, if you want something really stretchy this may be true. However, if you don't want as much suit compression at depth then the Medium Grade might be the best grade for you. Neosport used to sell something called X-Span but it no longer seems to be available. I read some bad reviews here on SB about the rubber separating from the nylon. So much for Best Grade.

    I just bought a 5mm Ocean Quest jumpsuit that has a titanium lining. It's supposed to be warmer than one without a titanium lining. It also fits much more snugly than my old 1/4" (7mm) farmer john so I'm expecting it to have about the same amount of warmth. This suit cost about $150. The other choice that I narrowed it all down to was the Bare Reactive 5mm at $480. I read a bunch of reviews and based upon other wet suits I've owned I decided that the Bare probably was not worth three times the money. No doubt it's a great suit, but all the reviews said that about the Ocean Quest too. I also have a 2.5mm full suit that I bought brand new on eBay several years ago for $30 total. It's been a great suit so to me it's not all about how much money you pay. As for the titanium, my girlfriend dove Catalina Island (California) in her Pinnacle 3mm full suit with the titanium lining and didn't get cold, but she's from Minnesota :wink: I figure if a 3mm works for her then a 5mm should work for me. If you do decide to go with Bare I suggest looking at the Reactive as it has amazing reviews. But so does the Ocean Quest for 1/3 the price.

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