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Solo diving and back-zip dry suit?

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by IceCube, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. IceCube

    IceCube Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Bossier City, LA
    Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to zip up a back-zip dry suit by yourself without ruining the suit? Dragging the wife along just to suit me up and having her sit in the car while I dive doesn't seem to be a good option.

    My next dry suit will definitely be a front zip.
  2. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    Depending on fit, a mirror and lanyard are about all there is. Oh, and don’t forget silicon spray and patience.

    I have a system to get out of a no-zip pull-over wetsuit jacket solo if anyone needs it.
  3. redacted

    redacted Guest

    With my 5mm wetsuit that I couldn't zip solo, I found I can do the job with a lanyard and a high hook to loop it on. With the lanyard hooked off, I step away from it to tighten the lanyard and then squat down to operate the zipper without catching it in the spine pad.
  4. TheWetRookie

    TheWetRookie Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    A short piece of rope/chord with a hook of some sort on either end. I would hook it the hinge on the rear van door then just rotate my body to zip it up. Now I have whites fusion that zips up on the front, much easier :)
  5. Stoo

    Stoo NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Freelton & Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
    That's pretty much what I do. My boat has an A-frame on the back where I have a 3' line with a clip in the end. I dive in a Viking Pro, which is a fairly loose fit, so zipping in is pretty easy. I still prefer to have the Missus do it just because it's easier on the zipper...

    Also, isn't silicone spray generally considered to be harmful to zippers? I understood that the propellants in the spray are harmful and that beeswax or paraffin is still the preferred lube...
  6. LeadTurn_SD

    LeadTurn_SD Solo Diver

    Wetsuit user (back zip) here: Thanks for the great suggestions guys! Can't believe I never thought of doing it that way.

    I have maybe a 60% chance on any given day of getting my wetsuit zipped all the way up on my own.... and it has got to be pretty comical watching me going though all the contortions trying to get it zipped all the way :rofl3:

    I have a pipe rack on my pickup that will work nicely, using your suggestions.

    Now I just have to avoid "hanging" myself from it as I try my new "zipper technique" :rofl3:

    Best wishes.
  7. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    This is one of the truly legitimate uses you can find for a snorkel ... as long as it's a simple J-snorkel and not one of those silly things with the corrugated hose ... :D

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
  8. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    Parafin or some commercially available wax is preferable ... the problem with beeswax is that it sticks to the zipper teeth and attracts grit and sand, which wears the zipper out rather quickly. If you're gonna use beeswax, you need to be pretty consciencious about taking brush to the zipper afterward and getting all the old stuff off before re-applying. Parafin, on the other hand, gets rinsed off during the dive.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
  9. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    You can get a silicon spray in a pump bottle. I use it often, but also have the official zipper wax.

    Like others I use a motorcycle tie down and a mirror on back zips. Only use back zip drysuits for board sports though.
  10. Ana

    Ana Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    I like the back zipper for dry suits, some time ago I found this contraption originally designed for pets.
    It is a hollow metal bar. Has a handle with a trigger that open/closes a clip at the end of this bar/pipe/stick.
    The clip hooks into the zipper tab and the whole thing gives the proper leverage to move the zipper from shoulder to shoulder with minimal effort, obviously keeping the zipper clean and waxed is a must when not having additional pair of hands.

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