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Preferred Drysuit Config

Discussion in 'DIR' started by Goindrinkn, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Goindrinkn

    Goindrinkn Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sarasota, FL
    151
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    I apologize if this has been answered I did some searching and did not see it. I seem to remember reading in a few places that a Front Zip drysuit is "more" preferred that a backzip in the DIR community. (I'll stop short of saying that it is "More DIR") but doesn't a telescoping frontzip drysuit have extra material, that could cause some effect (either drag or as a sail when exiting a cave with the flow) as opposed to a back zip? - if the answer is has to do with being somewhat more self sufficient, isn't that kind of a non issue? (i've seen folks that can zip a backzip without help, and if you're diving DIR your buddy's there anyway...?)


    Are there other reasons it's preferred? (Why not save the few bucks?)

    Thanks!

    J
     
  2. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

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    I have both a front zip (DUI TLS-350) and a back zip (Bare XCD2). I basically always dive the Bare. That said, there's no question that the rear zipper does reduce mobility compared to a front zip. It's not enough to impact safety, just means a bit more work when reaching for valves.

    Either type of suit is perfectly "DIR".
     
  3. ivobj

    ivobj DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
    350
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    As far as I know, there is no specifics in DIR configuration about zip positioning in a drysuit. I have a DUI TLS350 and a DUI CF200x, both front zip, but tryed a backzip from a friend as well, like Rainer I saw no difference in terms of drag. Between the TLS and the CF I use way more the TLS as the trilaminate gives me much more freedon and is easier to reach the valves.
     
  4. TSandM

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

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    What I have read is that the preference is for a suit you can manage by yourself. It IS more convenient to be able to get yourself zipped up, but as you say, we're always part of a team. More important, in my mind, is getting out of the suit by myself, in case I have had an issue during the pre-dive checks that has required me to return to the car or call the dive.
     
  5. AndyNZ

    AndyNZ Instructor, Scuba

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    Definitely an advantage of mobility! I used to have some major issues with valve drills, when I changed to a front zip DS it was a quantum leap in difference.
     
  6. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

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    If it was a quantum leap in difference, you just didn't have a rear zip that fit properly.

    It's a noticeable difference, for sure, but not one that should impact safety in the least (i.e. your "major issues with valve drills").
     
  7. AndyNZ

    AndyNZ Instructor, Scuba

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    Quite likely. The arms were quite short. The material was quite stiff, and the stitching under the arms was just wrong. it was just a bad suit.
     
  8. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, Washington State
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    I've had both styles. Get the front zip, you will appreciate the self-donning and doffing convenience down the road way more than the $200 saved now.
     
  9. Goindrinkn

    Goindrinkn Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sarasota, FL
    151
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    16
    Thanks for the help... it seems the consensus is that there's more mobility in the front zip, and this would certainly be a big factor over the money. Thanks again.
     
  10. jhoey

    jhoey DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC
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    Another difference between the two is supposedly in the longevity of the zipper. The theory being that a back-entry suit's zipper is more prone to damage/leaking from the rubbing of the backplate and torquing of the zipper where the shoulder joints flex.

    I've never owned a back-entry suit myself, so I can't comment on the practical difference from first-hand experience. A certain amount of wear and tear is inevitable regardless of which zipper configuration you have, but based on what I've heard from (mostly former) owners of back-entry suits, I would never get a one.
     

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