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View Full Version : Buying a Drysuit



Wetnurse28
06-12-2008, 04:29
So many to choose from. I have no idea what would work best for me. Price is not really an issue. As long as I do not have to buy another one.

I have read in the forum that DUI and BARE are considered the Cadillacs?

Why? What is about these suits that make them worth buying?

I recently read a post where DUI would take a suit back and you could upgrade it. Is that true? Do any other drysuits offer that?

I basically wreck dive Lake Michigan.

thesmoothdome
06-12-2008, 08:31
In terms of DUI, they're great suits. A lot of their reputation was built on the fact that they were the only brand on the market to have front zip, self entry suits. Others now offer the same, and DUI has evolved. They have a wide range of products and can customize anything. They are also the only company to produce the pretty much indestructable crushed neoprene suits and now also offer simple to replace neck and wrist seals known as zip seals.

fire diver
06-12-2008, 08:35
I'm in the same boat as you. You need to do A LOT of research first. One thing I have noticed is that the "recommended" brand varies by region. Whites are Vikings also highly thought of. I would recommend you go to a local shop and ask thier advice, and what brands they carry. If you have a problem, you want a local fix. Me? I have no local DS dealers, so I have to buy "online". I will most likely be traveling down to ScubaToys and buy mine in person after I get home.

But I know what you are saying? Which is best for me? Crushed neoprene with warmth factors? Trilam which is lighter and drys fast? A combo suit? Which company should I go with? Models, custom cuts? warranties? tough tough choices.

skdvr
06-12-2008, 08:38
I dive a Whites Fusion and LOVE It... It is a new suit though so there is not a long track record yet. There aer a few people on the various boards that have 100+ dives on their fusions with no problems, but that is not many compaired to the numbers on Bare, DUI and other brands of suits....

Before I settled on the Fusion, I was really looking at Bare. I really liked the Bare XCD2 suit. I have never dove a DUI suit but they have a huge following of people that really like them. They do make a very nice suit from what I have seen of them but they are more expensive than I think they are worth. I think that Bare, Whites, and several other manufactures make a suit just a nice and just a tough and it is not nearly as expensive.

I have also heard Lots of good things about the Pinnacle Evo2. I have only seen one in person and the thing looks bulletproof. Very nice suit in my opinion.

I choose the Fusion over the others because I liked the fact that the suit was not baggy at all. The range of motion in it is incredible (undergarments make a difference). The bi-lam suit that is under the skin has been around for a long time and has been proven to be a tough durable suit.

The drysuit is a tough choice because there are so many options out there... Being from up north you should get to see quite a few different makes and models of suits. When it comes down to it I still recommend the Fusion to anyone who asks.

Phil

texdiveguy
06-12-2008, 08:39
For were you are diving chilly and tough Lake Michigan wrecks I would go with a neo rear zip model....perfc. for this job is one of the BARE DS , plus look at getting a BARE Tech Dry Hood and attached boots/suspenders/cuff rings and extra bellows pocket.....also a neo neck seal is warmer and more rugged. Pee valve to your persl. pref.. All said DUI has great suits also in the neo construction line as do a few other manufactures.

Charles R
06-12-2008, 08:47
The one that fits YOU the best is the right suit for you. There are many pros and cons to neo/crushed neo/trilam that is where to start. do you need a suit that drys quick? Buy a trilam. Do you want warmth with less undergarments? Buy a Neo suit. Great Lakes wreck diving you need a durable suit that will keep you warm but If are you planning any warmer water in your suit like NC or Florida? if so you may want to consider that as well cause if you suit is too warm you will not be able to dive and be comfortable in warmer water cause you can always add layers of undergarments you can only remove so much.:smiley20:

MSilvia
06-12-2008, 09:48
So many to choose from. I have no idea what would work best for me. Price is not really an issue. As long as I do not have to buy another one.
It sounds to me like you ought to rent different ones until you know what you want. Try a few different manufacturers, try crushed neoprene and trilam, try latex and neoprene seals, try attached boots and neoprene socks with "rock boots", and try a few different undergarments. We can each tell you what we like, but we can't tell you what you like.

Read up on some different drysuit threads and make yourself a short list of maybe 5 different suits to try based on recommendations. Then try them out!

Personally, I love my Bare ATR-HD trilam suit for cold ocean diving and wrecks... it's a very well made suit, dries pretty quickly, and is nearly puncture-proof. I use latex seals, a p-valve, aftermarket 5th Dimension bellows pockets, and Converse All-Star "boots". My Weezle Extreme undergarment is warm enough for ice diving, and is tolerable even in 60 degree water.

Wetnurse28
06-12-2008, 10:26
I like the Bare XCD2 for the front entry and mostly for all the good things people on the thread have said about it.

I thought everyone was saying stay away from neoprene suits. ST has it listed as saying:

2mm hyper-compressed Metalite neoprene, laminated with Diamond-Tuff nylon.

SHOULD'NT I GO with crushed neoprene?

skdvr
06-12-2008, 10:48
Compressed Neo is TOUGH... It is great for cold water diving (because of added thermal protection), and it can stand up to jagged rusty edges of wrecks. From what I understand they can take a lot of abuse...

Phil

texdiveguy
06-12-2008, 11:16
Compressed Neo is TOUGH... It is great for cold water diving (because of added thermal protection), and it can stand up to jagged rusty edges of wrecks. From what I understand they can take a lot of abuse...

Phil

Great material partc. for 'cold' water divers.....love mine, even in warmer waters just don't wear an undergarment or adjust the loft I pick.

Rainer
06-12-2008, 11:28
Compressed Neo is TOUGH... It is great for cold water diving (because of added thermal protection), and it can stand up to jagged rusty edges of wrecks. From what I understand they can take a lot of abuse...

Phil

My compressed neo suit (Bare) is a bit warmer than my trilam suit (DUI). I dive cold water and each is fine. The compressed neo is better for rocky shore entries / wreck penetrations (i.e. it's tougher), but doesn't travel as well (heavy), dry as quickly, or is as comfortable than the trilam. That said, I rarely dive my trilam suit. It's always leaking...

RoyN
06-12-2008, 13:13
Second on the research. Thats what I did but I factor in the price as well so what I came to a conclusion was just getting a mid-priced drysuit but it was the flagship for that company I bought it from. :D

Lone Frogman
06-12-2008, 15:19
I dive a Whites Fusion and LOVE It... It is a new suit though so there is not a long track record yet. There aer a few people on the various boards that have 100+ dives on their fusions with no problems, but that is not many compaired to the numbers on Bare, DUI and other brands of suits....

Before I settled on the Fusion, I was really looking at Bare. I really liked the Bare XCD2 suit. I have never dove a DUI suit but they have a huge following of people that really like them. They do make a very nice suit from what I have seen of them but they are more expensive than I think they are worth. I think that Bare, Whites, and several other manufactures make a suit just a nice and just a tough and it is not nearly as expensive.

I have also heard Lots of good things about the Pinnacle Evo2. I have only seen one in person and the thing looks bulletproof. Very nice suit in my opinion.

I choose the Fusion over the others because I liked the fact that the suit was not baggy at all. The range of motion in it is incredible (undergarments make a difference). The bi-lam suit that is under the skin has been around for a long time and has been proven to be a tough durable suit.

The drysuit is a tough choice because there are so many options out there... Being from up north you should get to see quite a few different makes and models of suits. When it comes down to it I still recommend the Fusion to anyone who asks.

Phil

I have been diving a White's Nexus for the past 3 years. I just tried on the Fusion, Wow what a fit. I'm going to have 2 dry suits this winter. The new one will be the Fusion and I think the Nexus is going to be doomed to dry rot.

MSilvia
06-12-2008, 16:17
My compressed neo suit (Bare) is a bit warmer than my trilam suit (DUI). I dive cold water and each is fine. The compressed neo is better for rocky shore entries / wreck penetrations (i.e. it's tougher), but doesn't travel as well (heavy), dry as quickly, or is as comfortable than the trilam. That said, I rarely dive my trilam suit. It's always leaking...
My Bare Trilam is so tough that when I installed my p-valve, it took 30 whacks against a big block of hardwood with a heavy hammer and brand new hole punch to even put a knick in it. I finally finished the hole with an x-acto knife and soldering iron. I've yet to come across any neoprene that seemed like it could stand up to that kind of punishment.

I used a loaner Bare Nex-Gen crushed neoprene suit for a week or two while mine was getting custom tailored, and I found it to be more buoyant and encumbering than I like. Neo may be warmer, but in my opinion the suit's job isn't to keep you warm, it's to keep you dry. I like a suit with little insulation, so I can dive it comfortably in almost any conditions by just changing the undergarment.

As I said before, it's largely subjective... you'll want to try several before you buy.

KennyD
06-12-2008, 18:01
Research! I did Alot myself and had the chance to dive in several different suits. First was a Pinnacle EVO2 Very nice suit! Did my drysuit cert. in a friends Bare Trilam. Again very nice suit! Dove in a friends DUI TLS350 and fell in love with the suit! Ended up going a step further myself and bought a new DUI CLX450 Sig. Series. With Zip Seals in neck and wrist. I've got about 40 dives in my DUI and it looks like it's brand new! Hell, I was in Cozumel for a week diving and I actually missed my Drysuit! But I'm twisted like that! Good luck!

Wetnurse28
06-12-2008, 20:52
Damn, I started this thread in hopes of picking out a nice suit.

My opinion is that a drysuit is not meant to keep you warm, but dry. So to pick out a drysuit with warming properties seems to me like a waste of time. Thats why I have 400 DUI undergarment.

I tried on a condura dive rite suit and liked it a lot, but the damn thing was heavy as a rock.

I like the DUI and think that going with a trialm suit say DUI 350 would be a great choice due to light weight. The drysuit of my choice must have front entry as I watched an instructor struggle with rear entry, SUCKED!

Is the DUI 350 rugged enough for wreck diving?
Should I go with the DUI 450 instead? (IS THIS SUIT LIGHT ENOUGH?)

I really like the zip seals!!!! BUT IS IT REALLY WORTH THE COST?

Rainer
06-12-2008, 20:56
My compressed neo suit (Bare) is a bit warmer than my trilam suit (DUI). I dive cold water and each is fine. The compressed neo is better for rocky shore entries / wreck penetrations (i.e. it's tougher), but doesn't travel as well (heavy), dry as quickly, or is as comfortable than the trilam. That said, I rarely dive my trilam suit. It's always leaking...
My Bare Trilam is so tough that when I installed my p-valve, it took 30 whacks against a big block of hardwood with a heavy hammer and brand new hole punch to even put a knick in it. I finally finished the hole with an x-acto knife and soldering iron. I've yet to come across any neoprene that seemed like it could stand up to that kind of punishment.

I used a loaner Bare Nex-Gen crushed neoprene suit for a week or two while mine was getting custom tailored, and I found it to be more buoyant and encumbering than I like. Neo may be warmer, but in my opinion the suit's job isn't to keep you warm, it's to keep you dry. I like a suit with little insulation, so I can dive it comfortably in almost any conditions by just changing the undergarment.

As I said before, it's largely subjective... you'll want to try several before you buy.

The Bare Nex-Gen is what 4mm? The suit I have is 2mm compressed. There's really little difference between the compressed suits and the trilams (at least the ones I've tried).

I agree, the trilam you have is quite heavy duty (same suit Bert and Bill dive). Would be a good cross between the two suits I have now. That said, it's nowhere near as light as my TLS. That said, I assume your suit isn't always leaking... :smiley36:

RoyN
06-13-2008, 00:18
Damn, I started this thread in hopes of picking out a nice suit.

My opinion is that a drysuit is not meant to keep you warm, but dry. So to pick out a drysuit with warming properties seems to me like a waste of time. Thats why I have 400 DUI undergarment.

I tried on a condura dive rite suit and liked it a lot, but the damn thing was heavy as a rock.

I like the DUI and think that going with a trialm suit say DUI 350 would be a great choice due to light weight. The drysuit of my choice must have front entry as I watched an instructor struggle with rear entry, SUCKED!

Is the DUI 350 rugged enough for wreck diving?
Should I go with the DUI 450 instead? (IS THIS SUIT LIGHT ENOUGH?)

I really like the zip seals!!!! BUT IS IT REALLY WORTH THE COST?

Have you thought about looking into the Pinnacle Evolution 2, White fusion suits, Mares, and others?

Wetnurse28
06-13-2008, 03:17
I am going to look into a Whites Fusion Drysuit. Going to the dealer tomorrow to take a peek at it. Anyone know how much they run

What accessories should I look into buying for this suit?

cummings66
06-13-2008, 10:35
IMO make sure you get the tech skin for pockets. I can't see owning a drysuit without pockets. Other than that I'd say a dryhood would be nice and if you dive the big lakes then perhaps drygloves.

CompuDude
06-13-2008, 13:16
Damn, I started this thread in hopes of picking out a nice suit.

My opinion is that a drysuit is not meant to keep you warm, but dry. So to pick out a drysuit with warming properties seems to me like a waste of time. Thats why I have 400 DUI undergarment.

I tried on a condura dive rite suit and liked it a lot, but the damn thing was heavy as a rock.

I like the DUI and think that going with a trialm suit say DUI 350 would be a great choice due to light weight. The drysuit of my choice must have front entry as I watched an instructor struggle with rear entry, SUCKED!

Is the DUI 350 rugged enough for wreck diving?
Should I go with the DUI 450 instead? (IS THIS SUIT LIGHT ENOUGH?)

I really like the zip seals!!!! BUT IS IT REALLY WORTH THE COST?

The TLS350 is a little light if you're going to be penetrating wrecks. Which I hope you will wait until you have extensive training, of course, to do so.

From what I've seen, most people who are really into wrecks go for the crushed neo suits, or the Cordura suits like the CLX450.

I have the CLX450 and love it. I like the lightness of the TLS350 better, but I find them frighteningly thin for anything but the easiest of dives. (jut my personal uneasiness/impression) The CLX450 is definitely not as light, nor does it pack as small or dry as fast. But it's still significantly smaller, faster drying, and lighter than the crushed neo suits, so I found it to be a great compromise.

As for zip seals, I knew I wanted them. I've seen them save way too many dive, first-hand. BUT I decided to break up my purchases a bit: I bought my suit without zip seals. But when it comes time to get new seals put on anyway, I'll send it in and have it upgraded to zip seals. Costs a little more this way, but really brings down the up-front cost of the suit. And of course, you can only do this if you have a DUI suit, since they won't install zip seals on any other brand.

MSilvia
06-13-2008, 16:57
I agree, the trilam you have is quite heavy duty (same suit Bert and Bill dive). Would be a good cross between the two suits I have now. That said, it's nowhere near as light as my TLS. That said, I assume your suit isn't always leaking... :smiley36:
Yeah... I just wanted to make sure the OP wasn't left with the impression that all trilams were lightweight and leaky, or that all crushed neoprene was tough and water-tight. Obviously the materials and construction can vary greatly between various models and manufacturers.

That was a pretty funny boatfull we had that day, huh? We must have looked like an advert for Bare drysuits and hogarthian diving.

thesmoothdome
06-13-2008, 19:36
IMO make sure you get the tech skin for pockets. I can't see owning a drysuit without pockets. Other than that I'd say a dryhood would be nice and if you dive the big lakes then perhaps drygloves.

Used to dive dry hood. Ended up cutting it off and going to a 7mil wet hood. I know...thicker than hell....Kept me warm though :), Now I have both a 3mil hood and the old 7mil hood that I haven't had to break out yet. I've never had pockets on a dry suit though and really have never missed them. What do you really need to put in them?

imasinker
06-14-2008, 06:08
I bought a Bare ATR HD Trilam. Man I am so glad I got it. I did 6 dives in two days two weekends ago. The water temp was 55 top and 42 - 48 at depths of 100 feet. I was warm, dry and didn't feel any fatigue. Best decision I ever made was to go with a drysuit and I will never go back to a wet suit. If you do alot of diving you'll soon appreciate a drysuit more.

CompuDude
06-16-2008, 13:33
IMO make sure you get the tech skin for pockets. I can't see owning a drysuit without pockets. Other than that I'd say a dryhood would be nice and if you dive the big lakes then perhaps drygloves.

Used to dive dry hood. Ended up cutting it off and going to a 7mil wet hood. I know...thicker than hell....Kept me warm though :), Now I have both a 3mil hood and the old 7mil hood that I haven't had to break out yet. I've never had pockets on a dry suit though and really have never missed them. What do you really need to put in them?

Wet notes, spare mask, pre-rigged spool/SMB, spare spool. I also keep my shears in a pocket. If I had to clip all that stuff off and let it dangle, I would rather leave it on shore... and then I wouldn't have it if/when I needed it.

cummings66
06-16-2008, 19:40
Yup, that's it. A drysuit without pockets isn't very useful if you dive a simple uncluttered config.

thesmoothdome
06-16-2008, 21:02
[quote=thesmoothdome;185982

What do you really need to put in them?

Wet notes, spare mask, pre-rigged spool/SMB, spare spool. I also keep my shears in a pocket. If I had to clip all that stuff off and let it dangle, I would rather leave it on shore... and then I wouldn't have it if/when I needed it.[/quote]

Wet notes are stuck in my cumberbund. SMB goes into a BC pocket. Back up light is in other bc pocket or on mask strap. I don't carry a spare mask or a spool at all and my knife is strapped to my leg. Shrug. Guess if I move into some aspects of tech diving, I'd consider putting pockets on.

Iceguy4
07-08-2008, 12:32
I just started dry suit diving Mine is the flex 50/50 Get the zip seals, and add the pee valve:smiley20:

gregor
07-08-2008, 12:50
Crushed Neoprene and Compressed Neoprene are two different materials.

DUI is the only company that offers a true "crushed neoprene", that means no bubbles left in it, so no compression at depth, no variation in buoyancy, and tough as nails. Also pretty darn expensive. I've never dove a compressed neoprene suit so can't offer opinions on them.

I like the trilam suits. Personally i've got a DUI TLS, but after looking at the prices for the i will not be getting another one. If i hit the lotto or find a sugar mamma, maybe i'd get another DUI custom suit (but the CLX cordura suit). I'm kinda in the market for a new suit as i've lost about 30-40 lbs since i bought my DUI back in 2002 (by the way i paid $2100 for a signature series TLS and 400gm thinsulate), now i think that combo would cost me a lot more. I'm looking heavily at the Bare cordura suit. I really like the front entry suit. I'm partial to latex seals.

As for the Zip seals, yeah they look cool, but man are they expensive. I've found a place where i can get a replacement neck and 2 wrist seals for less than 40 bucks. I guess the zip seals are good if you rip a seal as you are gearing up, but i've never done that before, and a little caution and not trying to stretch the life of your seals should prevent this from ever being a problem, in addition to well clipped fingernails :)

The key to a drysuit is proper fit. My next suit will probably not be custom, as it seems like i can probably fit into a off the rack suit, especially since bare produces "tall" sizes. I'm 6'2 and on my way down to 170 lbs, so fairly thin, with the telescoping torso i can fit into a smaller suit and just have less overlap at the waist. Gotta find a place that stocks different sizes so i can try them on. Also looking at Pinnacle, Dive Rite and a few British suits, but leaning towards Bare. Fit, Fit, Fit, all these suits are going to keep you dry, and service is pretty much the same across all the brands, aquaseal fixes almost all leaks, and the inflators/auto dumps are all interchangeable.