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Drysuit Purchase Question

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by dlofting, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. dlofting

    dlofting DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    My wife and I are going to buy drysuits before next winter season starts here in Vancouver. We certified in drysuits 7 years ago and did our AOW in them. After a handful of local dives we moved away from the cold water stuff and dove exclusively in the tropics. In January we took the Padi Drysuit Speciality, primarily to try things out again with someone experienced to answer questions and provide pointers.

    I've decided to get the suits from Seaskin. I like what they offer at a good price. The only thing that is still up in the air is should we go with neoprene or trilam. The cost of the trilam suit is marginally greater than the neoprene. We'll be diving the suits in the PNW only where water temps range from about 4-8 degrees Celsius (40-45 Fahrenheit). We will not be traveling any great distance with the suits so weight is not a concern.

    As I understand it the differences that are important to our decision are:
    • neoprene is less susceptible to tears than trilam
    • trilam can accommodate greater temperature variations (by changing base layers) than can neoprene
    • neoprene on its own (no significant base layer) is warmer than trilam
    • neoprene is heavier and takes longer to dry than trilam
    Is there anything that I've missed that could be a real "gotcha" if it wasn't taken into account ?
  2. lexvil

    lexvil ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    For me who has one of each from Seaskin, I like diving the neoprene much more than the Nova but I like the front diagonal zipper of the Nova more than the shoulder zip. You can get the extra space for thick undies built into the neoprene by clicking a box, if you wear lighter undergarments the excess material wrinkles up more comfortably in the neoprene with less sharp pressure points.

    The neoprene is heavier than the Nova, it takes an extra day to be fully dry, my buddies dive fushion suits, I’m storing one with the tech skin for one of them, I find it heavier and a lot more bulky than either of my suite and it’s smaller but they love the way they dive.

    If I were only going to dive in your colder water it would be neoprene without a doubt and maybe one even thicker like the black ice, all that said with the right insulation trilam is very versatile and very survivable if it’s your choice, I’ve yet to put a hole in either.
    dlofting likes this.
  3. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    If you are going to buy a membrane suit, buy it from SeaSkin. If you are going to buy neoprene, buy it from O'Three (O3). O3 can make a front zip self donning suit with our without fully telescoping torso on their neoprene suits in addition to other options.
    dlofting likes this.
  4. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    There are a lot of benefits to a membrane suit vs a neoprene. Flexibility, ease of repairs, weight, undergarment options, cost etc. More often than not, I recommend a membrane suit. Especially in our waters. Ive heard very good things about Seaskin, but I would certainly look into the extra fees (duty, brokerage) and you may find a local shop might be able to come close to price and offer service on top.
    dlofting likes this.
  5. Diesel_Diver

    Diesel_Diver Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Bay of Fundy region
    You could also check out Abyss diving suits here in Atlantic Canada. They do custom fit and made is Canada.
  6. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    This. I really like being to able to get in and out of my suit without help. The Seaskin Neo is so inexpensive, I thought of getting one for the days when I'm diving locally and the temp is that "in-between" area where I would not need undies in the neo suit, but I would in my Seaskin Nova.

    But, the back zip is a deal-breaker for me. And I don't know why they don't at least have a front zip option. I had a Bare XCS2 Tech, which is compressed neoprene (like the Seaskin) and it had a diagonal front zip. No issues at all.

    In the water temps the OP mentioned, I would be wearing real undergarments, even under a neo suit. In which case, to me, no real reason to choose neo over the Nova. The Seaskin Nova plus the Seaskin made-to-measure undergarments are working well for me. Compressed neoprene may be more durable, but the Nova is proving to be pretty darn durable, too.
    lexvil likes this.

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