Re: Newbie questions about dry suits

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Posted by kelphead on November 17, 2000 at 16:00:59:

In Reply to: Newbie questions about dry suits posted by msblucow on November 17, 2000 at 11:38:09:

just to add to the others:

**latex seals are more popular than neoprene seals;
they are apparently easier to get in and out of instead
of the neoprene seals; i have latex seals on my suit
(...don't remember if you actually have a choice w/'dui'
or if it depends on the model).

**fit and comfort are a big consideration: w/non-crushed
neoprene suits, it's like fitting into a regular
wetsuit (b/c it IS a regular wetsuit but w/water
tight seals) and then at depth the neoprene suit
will compress like it normally would. if sized right,
there is apparently enough room to wear undergarments,
but you may be hot above surface in btwn dives, while
the undergarments work best to keep you warm
below the surface; there is also COMPRESSED and CRUSHED
neoprene, and only one or two companies claim to
have crushed neoprene. compressed neo means that
the gas bubbles were not completely squeezed down,
but the suit may be, say, half the thickness it was
before; crushed neo means that the gas bubbles were
completely squeezed down--at least as much as
physically possible, so, that type of suit would
lack bouyancy characteristics that the other two
neoprene suits would still have, but the crushed
neo suit apparently still has a little bit of
inherent warmth.

[[trilam/shell suits do not offer any warmth whatsoever.]]

crushed neo and shell/trilam suits offer more flexibility
while compressed neo and regular neoprene drysuits
may offer less flexibility. (this point was
recently made to me by someone who used
to own an 'apollo' suit and who now owns a 'dui
50/50' suit.)

**the advantage of a crushed neo drysuit over
a trilam/shell suit is that b/c of its inherent
flexibility, it can be tailored closer to one's
dimensions for a more streamlined fit; whereas
the trilam/shell suits do not contain any inherent
flexibility in the material per se and that's why
they have to cut the suit larger so that one has
more slack to be able to move about as well as
someone in a closer fitting crushed neo drysuit.

also, it is claimed that the crushed neo material
is practically indestructable, but i've also been
told that if i'm not wreck diving, the trilam is
just as good (mhk, i'm only repeating what i've
been told by other divers, but i'm sure you will
have something to say about this point).

there are advantages and disadvantages to each
type of suit and to each brand. you will need
to decide what features you need out of a drysuit
and then shop around for your needs.

i decided to get a drysuit not for the socal
diving, but for more northern diving (eventually,
God willing, i'd love to dive the emerald sea,
and suffering hypothermia in monterey was no
fun). so, i was looking for a suit that would
dry in shorter amounts of time while i was travelling.
coupled w/the good reputation of the company and product,
i decided to go w/the 'dui tls350'. a few other
divers i know actually prefer the '50/50' suit,
which is actually a hybrid suit:
crushed neo legs attached to a shell upper body--
one gets the flexibility in the torso area
where it's needed, but the streamlining feature
in the legs. it's a suit that is designed as a compromise.

now, i, too, was told that the crushed neo suit
takes forever to dry (and is heavier out of water
after a dive), but i was then told that w/the
'50/50' suit, the legs do not take long to
dry. so, poll as many people and find out
what their conditions are and then decide
for yourself which direction to go.

**as far as taking a full-fledged all out drysuit course,
i didn't and was told by many other drysuit
divers that the class itself is not a necessity; however,
practice in a pool w/an instructor (or someone
who at least knows drysuit diving very very well)
is a must.

jim hoffman was wonderful in introducing me to
another diver (a rep for a drysuit company) and
he was also kind enough to lend me his pool. the
rep told me topside what to practice and i went
into the deep end of the pool--solo = ; ) --
and practiced. so, it was not absolutely necessary
to have someone in the pool w/me, but it IS a must
to practice w/the suit before hitting the open water.

((i just refused to pay 200$ for a 'padi' drysuit
certification course, but you may find that investment

**i was told that ~20 dives was the magic number
before finally getting the hang of the drysuit.
i've been in mine for a total of only 8 dives now, and
i will confirm that it is a bitch trying to get the
hang of it--it's like learning bouyancy control
all over again--no fun!! (my only issue now
is just finetuning the amount of lead to wear and
finding out the ideal 'openness' of the exhaust
valve [some people like to dive the auto exhaust
valve completely open while others close it a bit]).

best wishes.


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