Posted by Curt Billings on July 11, 2001 at 23:52:49:
In Reply to: Are Scuba Lab Testers reviews objective and useful in picking gear? posted by moonpieboy on July 11, 2001 at 00:05:13:
Being objective is a relative term so it is really a leap of faith to think someone can be totally objective. Buying gear is a decision making process where you filter out the pig poop from the shinola. What you are left with is still hearsay or sales propaganda, but you get to make the final decision with you money. Or you can take/trust what the salesperson sells you for your money. Here are my comments, keep your money.
The company producing Rubatex is in chapter 11
It seems like most neoprene on the market is Yamamotto. From my experience I don't think it holds up very long. It looses its memory and tears in a short time. I would try Rubatex for my next suit, but I would not pay for it in advance. It is more expensive and nowadays cheap and disposable is better. Here is a case where you need to do you own math to figure what is better for you.
I have found the wrist, neck and ankle seals to be an insignificant option. I recommend the full suit to be skin in. Don't bother with the extra cost of seals. Over time tears and holes appear and the body weight changes allowing for pockets of water to move under the suit. A full skin in is the best defense against this cause of heat loss, short of a dry suit. Don't even go there (dry suit) with purple urchins on the rampage unless you are diving cold water. You need to try donning a skin in to see how difficult it really is not, despite what people will tell you. Just use a little conditioner and water - consider it a skin therapy treatment while you dive.
I have not been too happy with Oceanic gauges. It is simply because I do not like the plastic housings. I prefer metal. I have already replaced an Oceanic gauge after 2 years and several of their computers. It is quite a hockey puck assortment I have. The Oceanic gauge replaced a scuba pro metal gauge that lasted 20 years. Nothing lasts forever but 20 years exceeded my expectations. If you ever find a metal gauge with a range of 0-4000 psi let me know, that would be the ideal gauge.
I have seen instances of weights not releasing from weight integrated BC's and weights inadvertently falling out of them. I don't know why soft weights around the waist are so much worse for people then dealing with that potential weight rejection problem. Marketing may be part of it and the perception that something new has got to be better. Maybe it is better, but to me it is like power windows, they are great until they fail, and if they do, then they really suck. Gadgets, gizmos and luxury items are nice but when you need to rely on something you do not want to fail, simplicity has got to be better.
The best BC that I had, and wore a long long time ago was a ScubaPro Finseal. The doughnut hole design was simple and reliable. Few adjustment buckles to fail or get out of adjustment. But it was limited for attachments. It was not perfect but reliable. That old BC is still around but its use has been replaced with a just simple backpack - for those any will do.
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