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Choosing a Drysuit

Discussion in 'Technical Diving Specialties' started by Maxpcf, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
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    I have silicone seals. They are very soft and comfortable. I was fortunate that the standard size seals fit both my neck and wrists without having to be trimmed at all.

    Something else to consider about a dry suit: do you want dry gloves? There are glove systems like DUI's Zip Seals that attach gloves to the suit until you take them off. This means you have to get geared up with gloves. I have the SiTech QCP Glove Lock system. I get geared up and then put my gloves on. Sometimes I can get them on/off myself and sometimes buddy has to help me.
     
    Bubblesong likes this.
  2. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
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    there's no reason not to get a custom suit because there are reasonably priced high quality suits out there that can show up on your door custom cut, with p-valve, pockets, etc etc. for less money than most off the peg suits.

    For cave diving, there is a safety requirement for many of us to be diving dry. The water is "warm" but the length of exposure is long enough that even in a 5mm and hooded vest, you'll come out shivering after 90 minutes. You can't do the 3-4 hour dives *which aren't really that big compared to some* in a wetsuit without becoming hypothermic.

    If I can, I will always choose to dive wet vs. dry, however my drysuit is a necessary safety item for me
     
  3. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

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    I have never gotten a DS i had to order from the factory in less than 3 months. I could have had one in a day from EE but I didn't like the color option of the only one in the warehouse in my size, so it took >3 months to get one that was the color I wanted and wasn't screwed up. It was a standard size, but they needed to get it from Poland for some reason. And then the first one came with an ultra-tiny attached hood that we didn't even know was an option.

    But I had a DS I could use in the meantime, it just had issues.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  4. KathyIGH

    KathyIGH Dive professional

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    Hi Max,

    This is Kathy Long with DUI - Diving Unlimited. I came across your post. First off congratulations on your ever expanding diving. That's awesome.

    On the things listed of importance. I agree with the comment on ease of deflation. The Si-Tech and Apeks exhaust valves are so close either is a great choice.

    Trim & Fit. Trim is different in a drysuit from a wetsuit. Legs have more insulation on them in a drysuit and tend to be lighter. Learning how best to adjust weights will go a long way here on the trim.

    Fit is crucial. First off, for comfort. A great fitting drysuit will be comfortable to wear. If the opportunity to try on suits is available take the time to go through range of motion exercises with the thickest insulation you will be wearing. Can you life the knee up easily? Reach valves? Sit on your knees and relax. Do you have enough room? Not only is this for comfort it is also for safety. Could you reach for a climb a ladder no matter the water conditions?

    The seals are all about same so they will all fit/feel similar. Silicone has more stretch and most people say it feels more comfortable to wear.

    A well made drysuit will last a long time.

    Depending on the drysuit style a plastic zipper may not be an option. Take good care of the waterproof zipper and follow manufacturers instructions.

    On the fit - we make stock standard drysuits which come in a range of sizes from regular, short and tall We also make made-to-measure/custom drysuits. From the time we receive the complete order at the factory to time it goes out the door is 3 weeks or less.

    DUI has a few rental centers around... although I don't think these will work for you in Florida. Information is up at DUI DRYSUIT RENTAL CENTERS - be warm while scuba diving

    Good luck on your search.

    Kathy
     
    PfcAJ likes this.
  5. Gaucho223

    Gaucho223 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington, USA
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    So there is an actual, on the books, no kidding, "requirement" for a cave diving? Where? This may be a good practice or something highly recommended, or even personal preference based on conditions or bio-chemstry; but if I ever mention the "requirement" statements to the Italians, Greeks, and folks in the Bahamas--I am quite sure they would smirk and shake their heads. By way of illustration; The RBF medical results are pretty good evidence the value of staying warm. That could be what drives use of a drysuit vice other methods of staying warm (i.e. Warm water wetsuit heaters). Last time I was with the Dive Rite folks they were using their "light weight" drysuits for comparing wetsuits or drysuits for staying warm . But others were using wetsuits with no issues as well. Just an observation from the bleachers. No need to reply this is just an observation.
     
  6. LiteHedded

    LiteHedded Great White

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    at least with GUE training, yes. you wont be allowed to take the cave courses without one because of the buoyancy redundancy it provides.
     
    Doby45 likes this.
  7. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
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    The redundant buoyancy argument aside, which is an actual requirement by not just GUE, but many instructors, the thermal benefits drysuits give really are a requirement when conducting multi hours dives. Under 2 hours? you can easily do that in a 5mm with a hooded vest so long as you are doing one dive a day. Start doing 3+ hours? and a wetsuit isn't safe. Even with a heater, if the heater fails, you will be hypothermic at the end of the dive. No way around that.
     
  8. Gaucho223

    Gaucho223 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington, USA
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    Sounds different. I took cave courses with a redundant BC bladder setup it is built in memory. After many years, I switch between wetsuits and/or drysuits when ever I chose or to match conditions. But using drysuit for redundancy is different than mandating it's use for retaining warmth. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  9. LiteHedded

    LiteHedded Great White

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    im certain your class wasn't with GUE. they dont allow double bladder bcs
     
  10. Gaucho223

    Gaucho223 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington, USA
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    Labels like GUE mean something to somebody I suppose. It's all good. I learned from from guys/gals with over 100 of cumulative years of experience and miles of UW cave time. That is good enough for me. Anyway, at the end of the day, you end up adapting what works, practicing and tuning those skills until they become third nature-regardless of origin. No need to reply. Thanks and safe diving. Later.
     

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