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Wetwear - Custom Wetsuit Review

Discussion in 'Wetwear' started by darylb, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. darylb

    darylb Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Key West, Fl
    The short of it is - if you're in the market for a wetsuit, call Connie and Kristi at Wetwear! They manufacture an All American Made superior product from American made materials. Their attention to detail and customer service are outstanding. They've earned my business for life.

    The details - I ordered my wetsuit within 3 weeks of the trip I needed it for. Connie was very helpful in making sure the measurements were correct; she spent 30-40 minutes on the phone going over each measurement while my wife measured, confirmed and corrected. She helped me decide which material and features to choose and had great reasons for/against certain features I asked about! These days I find it quite common to talk to someone about a product they're selling only to find that they can't answer your questions. That's absolutely not the case with Wetwear; they know their product inside and out!

    I live on the other side of Florida from their facility but made some time to drive over for a fitting once they had my suit tacked together. I put the unfinished suit on and Kristi marked and measured it to ensure an exact fit - another half hour or more. She suggested the spine pad and after I decided to add pockets (more on this later), she helped me figure out the best placement. For my custom suit I chose arm & leg zippers, spine pad and a diagonal zipper across the back. Having just returned from 4 days of diving in this suit I can comment on each:
    • Custom fit - this is the BEST PART of the suit! I'm built from spare parts :crafty: and have a hell of a time finding clothes that fit (big neck, no arse, short arms, barrel chest, no waist etc). So shopping for work clothes requires everything I get to be tailored. Even then, the fit usually isn't right... This suit however, it's like a second skin - it fits friggin perfectly!! Amazing to have the arms and legs just the right length and everything else to fit comfortably!! I have to say that I have always HATED wetsuits as I can't stand anything that fits tight, especially around my neck. This suit is tight enough to keep me warm underwater but I can't tell I'm wearing it!
    • Arm & Leg zippers - if you get nothing else, get these! They really make slipping into your suit as easy as pulling on a pair of pants & shirt. Moreover - they're great topside when you're moving from site to site - you don't have to peel out of the suit, nor do you have to sit uncomfortably constrained. These things ROCK!
    • Spine Pad - takes up space in my lower back to prevent excess water from flowing through the suit. I can tell it's there but it's not tight or uncomfortable.
    • Diagonal zipper - this is the bomb! All weekend I was zipping up dive buddies' suits but was able to reach and zip mine on my own every time! That's no small feat for a guy made from spare parts. :eyebrow: The way the zipper crosses the back makes it very easy to peel out of the suit as well.
    • Pockets - I never thought about having pockets on a wetsuit, but I have to say, now that they're there, I can't imagine not having them. I put my gloves in them, a small dive slate, various parts like O-rings, etc.

    As mentioned, I had a tight deadline and although they had just returned from a show with a lot of orders, Connie told me she should be able to make the deadline and that if she missed it at all it would only be a day or so & she'd send the suit to my dive location. As it turned out, the suit was in my hands almost a week early! She called a couple of times through the process with updates on progress and even called after it shipped to let me know it was on the way.

    I'm an extremely satisfied customer and will be telling everyone I know about these folks. Again - if you're in the market for a suit (custom or not) you really should give WetWear a call!

    - Daryl
    puerto and mselenaous like this.
  2. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    I will second this entire post. I got measured for my suit at DEMA and put off the actual order for a couple reasons. But when I did decide to put it through Connie was a gem in getting it fast and most important getting it right. I've attended a show in Ohio where I had a booth next them for 3 years. This year we ended up in different parts of the hall, but I was always impressed with the attention they paid to every customer. And mine fits like a second skin as well. I got the 3 mil cave/wreck model suit and it's far better than any of my other ones in fit, construction, and warmth. I haven't had the time to do anything with it except in the pool but first impressions is it is just as warm as another 5 mil I have that fits good. The rubbatex is the only way to go for a wetsuit that I will take now.
  3. LiteHedded

    LiteHedded Great White

    they made my hood. almost no complaints here
  4. Bigd2722

    Bigd2722 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Winter Park, fl
    I second everything darylb said about wetwear except as a personal preference I wish had chosen the front zip option. that's just because I'm a klutz. My next one, the 5 mil will have the front zip
  5. puerto

    puerto Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Orlando Florida
    Do anyone have the addrees for wetwear repair wetsuit??? Afull addrees will be nice, names and phone number would top this off !!!
  6. B Lo

    B Lo Nassau Grouper

    While WetWear appears to make good quality suits, I was displeased with their lack of communication to the extent I ended up deciding to look elsewhere. I had at least two emails to them with very basic questions and comments go unanswered for weeks. My phone experience with them was nothing to write home about - neither good nor bad. That said, I know folks who have had nothing but good to say about them. That simply wasn't my experience.
    TheRealScubaSanta likes this.
  7. B Lo

    B Lo Nassau Grouper

  8. pigsdive

    pigsdive Angel Fish

    I opened a dive shop in 1995 and met Gene and Connie, owners of Wetwear, at DEMA. I originally ordered stock suits from them for the rental gear and also had a custom suit made for me. The rental suits were basic black 3mm, back zips and I have to say that they were at a good price point and more importantly, they held up to the abuse of not so gentle customers.

    I acknowledge I was not sold on getting a custom suit for myself to begin with but having gone through the process I am so glad I did it. Over the years, I have probably ordered 12 - 15 suits for my personal use. It wasn't that they wore out and I had to replace them. It was an issue of me having suits in varied thicknesses to accommodate different water temperatures. For example, I have suits that are 3mm, 5mm, 6mm and even one that is about 8mm. I also have some where I elected to make the arms and legs a different thickness than the torso.

    Not only do I end up with a suit that fit me perfectly, I am able to customize it to incorporate the features that are important to me. The process is pretty simple. I am fortunate that I live within a few hours of WetWear and can have Connie or Gene measure me personally. This, however, isn't necessary. They require so many areas to be measured, that they are able to tell if something doesn't add up so to speak. Once my suits are are put together, I return for a final fitting. Again, this is an overkill on my part as it is fairly easy to mark the suit with tailor chalk or a grease pencil with any final adjustments one might need.

    Besides having a suit that fits perfectly, a major issue for me is the neoprene that Wetwear uses. All of my suits are made from a commercial grade neoprene (Rubatex Corporation G-231) that lasts forever. Without getting into the technical qualities that are explained on the Wetwear website, I can tell you that my suits retain their original warmth over the course of hundreds of dives. The neoprene is expensive, but my suits last for years and and I am in the water several times a week year round.

    Some of the features that I have on my suits include:

    - "pre-bent" knees and elbows (gets rid of bunched up excess neoprene that would exist while in a natural position underwater)
    - neck, wrist and ankle seals
    - spine pad (keeps out that nasty trickle of cold water that goes down the middle of your back when you jump in)
    - back zipper is at a slight diagonal (makes it easy to close/open you suit yourself)
    - ankle and wrist zippers (no more need for squirting ky jelly down the arms and legs to ease getting into the suit)

    In addition to my suits, I also have custom hooded vests made that I wear on top of my wetsuit. The way I choose to have mine done is to have a zipper opening down the back that starts at the top of the head. No more contortionist moves to put it on or get it off. I also usually have a seal around the face opening.

    I have been super happy with the quality of anything that I have ordered from them as well as the timeliness of receiving the final product. I only wish they could custom make gloves for me! Am sick of my Akonas that while they are warm, the fingers are too short and they are hard to pull on. Oh well, can't have everything.
    Jim Lapenta likes this.

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