Posted by Dave on April 20, 2005 at 08:18:15:
In Reply to: Re: Wanting drysuit feedback.. posted by coralcuts on April 20, 2005 at 06:12:49:
I have been diving drysuits for 20 years, and kick myself for not having switched to them sooner as a teen.
There are different materials. Their is fabric, wich may or may not stretch. If it stretches, it may stretch acrosss the bias, meaning diagonal to the weave, or it may stretch in both axis, or it may not strech at all. To overcome lack of stretching, manufacturers will make the suit looser. To some women, this is not flattering to a figure they take care of. Also, a baggier suit causes more drag while moving through the water. Fabric suits, sometimes called shell suits are usally ligher in weight. Neoprene drysuits have their own built in insulation in the form of the neoprene itself, so little is need in the form of an undergarment. They are so so in performance compared to the rest.
DUI in their higher end suits uses neoprene that is compressed. It is highly durable yet still has enough stretch in all axis of the material. The customization level of their CF200 suit is legendary. For those that care about that sort of thing, I have seen women divers in custom cut DUI suits that you could tell had athletic figures, and one woman told me that is why she had a custom cut, lol. Because of their material, they tend to be a little on the heavy side. DUI has a new trick system for attaching the wrist seal cuff to the suit without glue, that you can replace in a few minutes with no tools.
Andy's is a popular shell drysuit here in SoCal. It is a looser fitting suit, has decent stretch in the material, dries fast afterwards which can make the shell not get as cold in between dives on sucky weather days.
I dive a Viking drysuit which is made from a rubber coated fabric carrier, then all the pattern peices once assembled are heated up in an oven and it is vulcanized to be once piece. It is really easy to find a urchin pinhole if I got unlucky, and repair it with a dab of urethane. Also the rubber dries really fast It is the second Viking suit I haev bought and used, first one lasted 10 years.
Everyone I have talked to liked their Andy's shell suit, their DUI CF200 suits, and I have liked my Viking. If Viking didn't exist, I would probably look at either a Gates or switch to a DUI one and bite the $ bullet.
Always get attached boots, but I would stay away from attached hoods.
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