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Fusion Pockets, P-valve: My Custom Changes

Discussion in 'Whites Manufacturing' started by Rick Inman, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Rick Inman

    Rick Inman Advisor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Yes, I am coming to really love my Fusion drysuit. It's common knowledge that one less-than-perfect aspect is the sagging pockets after you get out of the water. So I made an addition to my suit that seemed to really help. I also then dealt with the hole around the P valve.

    I added a 6"-ish strip of velcro to the top of the pockets between the outer tech over suit and the inner dry core. To do this, I undid the velcro around the zipper and wrist seals, and removed the inflater and deflater. Then, with the suit on (and my MK3) and the pockets pulled into place, I reached down between the two layers and marked on the dry core where the top seam of the pocket sits against the dry core. I took off the suit and completely separated the two layers.

    I turned the over suit inside out and laid it out flat next to the dry core, and weighted both down nice with some soft weights with everything stretched out firm. Then I taped off the areas around where the 3" strips of velcro would go with blue painters tape.

    I cleaned the areas with rubbing alcohol on both inner and outer core, roughed it a bit and applied contact cement inside the taped area. I did this to the back of the pre-cut velcro strips, too. The location where the velcro would be attached to the over suit (the top of the pocket where it is stitched to the over suit) is mostly neoprene, so the rubber cement does a fine job or adhering. However, I did build up several layers (three or four, I think) and I let the first two dry completely to create a good base to attach the strips to. I did this on the outer core, the dry core and the velcro. Finally, I brushed on a final layer, let it get tacky and firmly applied the strips in place.

    Well, as long as I was at it, I did the same kind of thing at the P valve. I cut a 1/2" wide circular ring of velcro from a 3" wide square that would slip around the P valve. I taped and cleaned and roughed again, and then built up the layers of contact cement on the velcro, the over suit and the dry core. At this location, the over suit material is just the thin lycra, but the glue seemed to build up a fine base to glue onto anyway. After the last layer was ready I applied the velcro.` I let it all dry completely over night and then put the suit back together.

    If you've ever put the over suit onto the dry core, you know that as you pull up the ankles, the velcro just naturally slips into place and attach-es. Well, the pocket strips did the same thing. As I was pulling the outer layer up, the strips came naturally together and attached. Nice.

    I filled my pockets. In the right pocket I keep wet notes, spare mask and shears. In the left I keep a 150' spool and safety sausage. Walking around dry in my living room, the pockets held firmly in place. However, the real test would be wet, after a dive.

    The next night I did a 45 min dive. I carried an extra spool in my left pocket that I used during the dive to run a line from one small wreck to another, so during the dive I did open, remove the spool, replace the spool and close the pocket, and the Velcro remained firmly attached in place.

    After the dive, I took off my kit and walked around wet for a while while the other divers got un-kitted. And the did the pockets no longer sag? Well... there was still some small sagging. And the reason is that the inner dry core has extra material that can be pulled down with the pockets, and with the pockets attached now, they pull the core down with them. However, the sagging is very minimal, almost unnoticeable compared to pre-velcro. In fact, I would say that the sagging was reduced by at least 90%. To me, well worth the little bit of effort. After a half hour of walking around after the dive, I never felt the need to hike up my suit even once.

    The ring around the P valve held the two materials together perfectly, very neatly.

    So, I am very pleased with the result and glad I did it. No more hiking up those sagging pockets for me!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  2. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    Good job, Rick!

    You're using the pockets that White's provides with the suit, right? Do you find them big enough for easy use? (Asks Lynne, who is coveting the red oversuit . . . )
  3. Rick Inman

    Rick Inman Advisor ScubaBoard Supporter

    My spare mask is the SP frameless, which really is a bit too big for a back-up mask. When I was doing my wreck class, I had to dig the mask out to give to my buddy :eyebrow: and that was no problem. I did get it back in, but it took a bit of shoving past the wetnotes. With only a SS & spool in the left pocket, it's easy. So, the pockets are a bit smaller than I would have designed, but they are big enough.

    I have, what, about 20 dives on this suit now? I am already used to the pocket size and take stuff in and out without even thinking about it. So, I guess I would put the pockets in the "good enough" category.

    Oh, YES, you absolutely must get the red (pink, really :wink:) oversuit. And I'll need to see pictures! :D
  4. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    Nice to know there is a possible cure for the saggy pockets. As soon as Whites runs a demo day in our area, I am hoping my gal likes a Fusion enough to want one...a RED one! I like having a really bright orange drysuit, there is no mistaking me.

    Rick, please follow up after a few more dives and let us know how it is working out. Maybe Whites will even make a design change...or they might void your warranty Heheh
  5. potablewater

    potablewater Solo Diver

    Rick, thanks for the report and the workarounds for the Fusion/Tech!
    After 40 dives, I also love my suit and may update the design with your upgrades.
    I have been wearing the P-valve underneath the Tech skin, but I want to cut the hole in the outer skin and let it through. I have been thinking of methods to use, and it sounds like you have it figured out.
    The pocket sag has not been a big problem for me, I just keep pulling it up...:shakehead:, but I may implement the velcro fix as well. As to the pocket size, I find it big enough for wetnotes and backup mask in the left, and spool, shears, and extra double ender in the right (I keep the lift bag in the plate pocket behind my back). I think the pockets are streamlined underwater, and do not add much drag. I find them easy enough to use as needed.

    Thanks for the report,
  6. skdvr

    skdvr Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florissant, Missouri
    Rick, so you put a hole in your outer tech skin for the p-valve? How did you keep it from fraying? I have not installed a p-valve on my fusion yet. I had ordered the DR valve but it never came at my LDS so I may try Scuba Toys or one of the others to get it. My plan was to keep it under the sking because I was nervous about cutting into the lycra or neoprene.

    If you have any pics of your p-valve I would appreciate it greatly...

  7. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    No, actually, the overskin I want is RED -- it's ALL red, with black dots on the shoulders and knees, if I remember correctly. It is absolutely beyond gorgeous.
  8. Rick Inman

    Rick Inman Advisor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Hey Phil. The lycra doesn't fray. I made the hole smaller than the diameter of the P valve so the material stretches around it. The hole has been there since before my first dive and there is zero spreading or fraying. So, the inside diameter of the velcro ring I glued on is slightly larger than the hole in the lycra, so now it can't spread past the velcro ring anyway.

    It's hard to describe, and the only way I can take a picture is to remove the outer layer because the velcro is between the two layers and not visible from the outside.
  9. Rick Inman

    Rick Inman Advisor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Beyond is right. :vomit:

    (Just kidding! :wink: )
  10. Dive Right In Scuba

    Dive Right In Scuba ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Plainfield, Illinois, United States
    Great job Rick!! You should have no issues with that velcro...but I bet getting up the nerve to scuff up that inner bladder took a bit :wink: sandpaper and drysuit...LOL

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