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First Diving Suit for Northern New England Diving

Discussion in 'Diving Into New Gear' started by Patrick Star, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. -JD-

    -JD- Eclecticist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Greater Philadelphia, PA
    1,001
    678
    I have an Aqualung Fusion AirCore (Tec version) and am very happy with it so far. Aqualung bought Whites diving which developed and sold the original version.

    It is an unusual drysuit in that it has an inner and outer part:
    - The inner part is the "core" and is the waterproof bag to keep you dry. It has SiTech replaceable silicone neck and wrist seals. You can replace the seals in a matter of minutes, so, as long as you have a spare, you won't lose a trip due to a torn seal. Mine is the newer AirCore version and uses waterproof, breathable fabric that is easier to get in and out of. (Warning, there was a batch of AirCores that were made in Mexico and I got one which was replaced under warranty with a Canada-built one. My suggestion is to make sure that any AirCore is a made in Canada version.) The older version is the DryCore.
    - the outer part is the "skin" which is deliberately stretchy to help the suit keep snug over whatever undergarments you wear and not let the generously cut core blow up with excess air. Skins for the older DryCore and newer AirCores are not properly interchangeable as the AirCore versions attach at the chest with zippers and the DryCores with velcro. There are 4 skin versions going from lightest and most flexible to heavier and more durable, there are Sport, Tech, Bullet, and KV1 (KV1 is from Aqualung's Apeks tech-oriented division and has Kevlar for enhanced wear resistance.) All have thigh pockets except the Sport.

    They seem to be a love it or hate it thing. I like that it stays more fitted from rashguard to heavy arctic undergarments.

    On thing of note, the SiTech oval wrist seal system seems to have the most variety of Dry-glove system options. In addition to the Fusions, many drysuits have them as an option. I use Waterproof Ultima rings and Showa 720 gloves and have been very happy. A newer Rolock90 system is out and seems to be reviewed as even better.
    There are several hjghly-detailed threads discussing the compatible ring systems and gloves.
     
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  2. Cdncoldwater

    Cdncoldwater Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlantic Canada
    167
    106
    Abyss Drysuits are made in Nova Scotia, Canada (I know, not US) but they are also repaired in Canada so shipping etc is easy for a person in NH. They are focused on commercial dry suits but also provide for rec divers. Currently I believe they only offer neoprene, or crushed neoprene and integrated boots; they are built to measure.
     
    Ontwreckdiver likes this.
  3. lexvil

    lexvil ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    4,159
    4,017
    Here is a US made (?) suit that is not crazy pricy, maybe the LDS can get one of these in to look at. I haven’t seen it in person but I did have a black ice (China made) that was a nice suit, I want to give one of these a closer look;
    Tahoe — Pinnacle
     
  4. Patrick Star

    Patrick Star Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: New Hampshire
    18
    6
    Great suggestions. Thank you all. I have my list to take with me. I will be visiting a couple of LDS's in the next few days to see what they might have.
     
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  5. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    6,613
    2,665
    How expensive are they? I looked at their website and there are only two suits that may be of interest to a recreational diver.
     
  6. Cdncoldwater

    Cdncoldwater Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlantic Canada
    167
    106
    I have the Atlantis (front entry) two large front leg pockets and it was about $3,300 CAD including our sales taxes (15%). It was comparable to a compressed neoprene BARE Sentry Tech ($3,500-4,000 before tax) front entry and pockets etc but with less seams. I think the two you are referencing are specifically for recreational divers and possibly rear entry.
     
  7. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    6,613
    2,665
    I am referencing the Explorer 4mm and the Atlantis 2mm, both front entry. Now for the Atlantis with it being only 2mm, do you have to wear much thicker underwear to dive in cold Canada waters? How durable is it? This suit is of interest to me. I think that it will be suitable for use in Libya during the late fall to early spring here without being to warm. What do you think?
     
  8. Cdncoldwater

    Cdncoldwater Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlantic Canada
    167
    106
    The Atlantis is crushed to 2mm, so it is quite warm; I don't recall the neoprene thickness prior to compression. In colder water, 35F to maybe 50F for example, I wear a very thin marino wool base (Costco), poly pro mid and poly fleece outer (the last two layers are my retired military thermals). At 50-55F I wear my base and the fleece, 55-65F base and poly pro, above that just my base layer or the poly pro mid layer.
    I would say they are durable, I've had mine for around few years (no noticeable wear other that fingernail nicks on my neoprene neck seal). The owner of my LDS uses his suits (Atlantis and Atlantis with kevlar) for instructing, commercial dives, commercial prep courses, public safety work etc and they are holding up very well. He does hundreds of dives a year so that is a better gauge than my 25-40 dives a year.
    However being compressed neoprene it will take longer for the exterior to dry and is heavier for travel (flying).
     
    JBFG and Ontwreckdiver like this.
  9. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    6,613
    2,665
    Is the whole suit covered with Kevlar or just certain parts of it? I am wondering if that makes the suit inflexible and heavy to swim with on surface.
     
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  10. Cdncoldwater

    Cdncoldwater Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlantic Canada
    167
    106
    I'm not positive as I don't own one but I think just the knee and possibly seat area on the Atlantis.
     
    BurhanMuntasser likes this.

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