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Dry suits: If you could do it all over again...

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by superheavydeathmetal, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. superheavydeathmetal

    superheavydeathmetal Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Cincinnati
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    If you could get back all of the time and money you have spent on dry suits and undergarments over the years to do it all over again, what would you do differently? What do you wish you had known when you started?

    Would you chose a different material? Different brand? Different seals? Different undergarments? Spring for a custom-fitted suit or save money by getting an off-the-shelf suit?
     
  2. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Woof! ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
    13,802
    13,918
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    Back when I got my suit, there were very limited opportunities for custom. I am quite jealous of the various offerings now days.

    My "mistake" was having active cave divers do my measurements and prepare my order. It is almost impossible to get out of it as the shoulders are so tight...
     
  3. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
    729
    495
    63
    Front zip, no matter what it takes.

    Also, I really don't like latex seals. I'd go neoprene on those at least.

    And you have to get thigh pockets. Easy to get stuff in and out and it's not in the way (like it is dangling from your BC).
     
  4. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    6,991
    3,759
    3
    BTDT, got the neoprene suit!

    That is exactly my experience. However, once I get into it I have much less drag. I love it. Conversely, my heavy, much repaired, DUI neoprene suit offers plenty of room for heavy thermals in nasty conditions. I love it. My answer is that I need three suits, the third being a neoprene wetsuit.

    Consider how you most want to dive before you size your suit.
     
  5. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    1,341
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    Almost 2 years and the Kubi rings are a dream. So those stay. I have only done off the peg sizing, generally OK but a bit baggy around the calves. Maybe a custom made to measure would be nice some day but for the cost a set of gators are an acceptable fix for me.

    There are a few things I did on the current suit that were a result of not liking my first suit. Attached boots. I know a lot of people who only do attached dry socks and put rock boots over them. I had that, I hated it. I tried a lot of things to make them work, but with my feet they just didn't. 2 different pairs of actual rock boots, pair of cheap shoes, even did a set of wetsuit booties once. Hated tying the shoes, laces always coming untied (or were impossible to untie), feet moving around inside the socks or squeezed too much. The wetsuit boots were the worst, I had my foot slip out while the boot stayed in the fin. So attached boots on this suit and they are great. Others will disagree, fine, you don't have my feet.

    Another change, lighter material. The first suit was a very heavy bomb proof tri lam. Felt like you were putting on a hard hat suit. Didn't conform very well, didn't pack very well, didn't do much well for comfort.

    Pee valve, yes. If I can do several hours in the suit without peeing, I am dehydrated. Not a good thing.

    As for undergarments, I have not found the perfect ones yet. make sure they will still be usable when wet, because at some point you will be wet and still want to be warm.

    Will only do Silicone seals. I kill latex. With dry gloves, no need for neoprene on the wrists. Have never tried neoprene on the neck. But it should be fine.

    And watching others, make sure the dry gloves are installable at the end of gearing up. Stuff like DUI zip seals require you to get out of the suit to get out of the glove. And gloves are going to be the number one place to have a leak.
     
    superheavydeathmetal likes this.
  6. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    1,507
    281
    83
    My legs are the length of someone who is 5 inches shorter; or you could say my torso is 5 inches longer than normal. I tried to save some money and bought off the rack. The shoulder was SOOOOO tight getting into it (front zip) and the legs were 4 to 5 inches too long. Additionally, I have REALLY big calves. So the biggest legs I could get were still really tight around the calves and ankles. I couldn't wear something like a BZ400 (possibly not even a BZ200) and get my legs in.

    Really should have just gotten a custom cut. Don't totally regret it however. Just using a drysuit and getting used to it was a great experience.

    Now I'd go to a place with a good selection of drysuit sizes, find something which fits my lower half. Find something which fits my upper half. Order a custom cut that mixes lower and upper so everything fits better.

    Also little things like zipper guards (had my zipper open on me because my weight belt caught it) and socks rather than built in boots (hard to turn the legs inside out when you flood it with built in boots).
     
    superheavydeathmetal likes this.
  7. melanie.

    melanie. Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    297
    225
    43
    Wouldn't change a thing.

    Started with a cheap second hand suit that needed work. Learned what I liked and what I hated. I didn't have worry about beating the suit up as I was learning to dive it as I didn't put a lot of money into it.

    Then I got a custom fit after saving up, and honestly love all of it. Fits me great and has all features that I wanted. I really figured the price difference wasn't that much to go custom, and everything I want I have (hard boots, hip pockets, suspenders, front zip, latex seals that are used replaceable both neck and wrist, pee valve that I have to learn, and rings for dry gloves).
     
    superheavydeathmetal likes this.
  8. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    3,834
    2,893
    113
    I've been diving high end Drysuit since 1996 in water from 30-80 degrees.

    This year I broke down and got a full custom DUI FLX Extreme. I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner.
     
    superheavydeathmetal likes this.
  9. ajduplessis

    ajduplessis Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: dry land :-(
    3,256
    833
    113
    Replaceable seals is a must IMO. The other important consideration is fit and in this regard the Fusion suit IMO is best possible solution. The suit allows you to scale up and down on thermals and bodyweight while maintaining excellent fit.
     
    superheavydeathmetal likes this.
  10. Danseur

    Danseur Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
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    Don't buy a used TLS350 unless you don't care how dry it is.

    Custom suits seem rarely worth the money. You're 90% there trying things on. "It won't fit" is just you're not in a 400g thinsulate in what equates to a ziplock bag. A women's XL may be your cave-cut, but $1500 less and warrantied.
     
    superheavydeathmetal likes this.

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