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giantturtle
09-03-2008, 21:53
Hello. I have been talking to various divers, manufacturers and vendors about dry suits including the new White's Fusion suit.

One criticism I have come across is that Whites suits have curved zippers - the claim is that this makes them more vulnerable to failure. Any thoughts.

Another criticism is that they are a PITA to get in and out of. YES, I have seen the videos on YouTube, but YMMV - so wondering if anyone can make an honest and objective comparison or otherwise testify.

Thanks :smiley20:

ScaredSilly
09-03-2008, 22:10
I tried one this weekend on land only. Pretty easy to get into. A few tricks but nothing that is that big of a deal.

The only thing I noticed with the zipper was that it is bulky in the chest. Not sure what this is like under the water.

skdvr
09-04-2008, 21:20
I love my Fusion.... It is different to get into but not difficult once you learn the tricks that makes it different. The zipper felt bulky to me at first but that is only because the rest of the suit is so tight. The zipper cannot be flattened down like the rest of the suit so it feels a little odd at first, but after a little bit you do not even notice it any more. I can get into and out of my suit by myself with no probs at all. Whites has been using that curved zipper for quite some time on other suits. I do not think that it is any more prone to failure than other zipper types. Great suit... IMO

Phil

bubbletrubble
09-05-2008, 01:29
@giantturtle: I tested a Fusion during one of the Whites drysuit demo days here in San Diego. I was really impressed with the flexibility that I had in the suit. I'm not kidding when I say that my flexibility in the Fusion was comparable to that of a 3mm wetsuit. The drysuit is lightweight and packs small. When lubricated properly, the curved zipper isn't difficult to operate. I'm not sure how failure-prone they are. At depth, the bulkiness of the zipper is a non-issue. The suit was quite easy to don and doff. Diving it was a dream. The outer layer of lycra ensures a uniform distribution of the air bubble -- to the extent that I felt quite comfortable hovering in an inverted position, which is something I try to avoid in my current drysuit. The outer lycra also confers a more streamlined underwater profile which reduces drag. I noticed that moving around underwater seemed more fluid. I was a skeptic before diving it...but no longer. The design simply works. The Si-Tech inflator valve and exhaust valves worked well. My gf bought one and loves it. If my current drysuit failed tomorrow, I would certainly purchase a Fusion.

Style-wise, I think the suit makes you look like a Power Ranger.

Long-term durability is still a concern. There's a guy on SB who reports very little wear-and-tear after 100+ dives. That's encouraging.

I really liked the Evo3 boots which had excellent ankle support and traction. However, I question whether they're worth $100+. If they come with the package, by all means, get them. Be forewarned that you might have to buy fins with larger foot pockets to accommodate the boots.

I wasn't really impressed with the MK2 undergarments. They're stylish, but they're more expensive than my Bare T100 and they aren't as warm. I thought that the MK3 might be too warm for my local waters, but it might be a good match for yours. I would recommend looking at other manufacturers' undergarment options for better solutions at more affordable price points. Keep in mind that the design of the Fusion "encourages" slight oversizing of the undergarment. This contributes to the greater flexibility I described. The lycra outer layer retains the extra material quite well.

You live quite close to the Whites company headquarters, eh. ;^)
I would recommend driving up there for the day and arranging to demo a Fusion. The suit is good enough to warrant a serious try-out. For comparison's sake, I would also try to demo a DUI drysuit at one of their Dog Days.

Start saving your pennies now. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the Fusion.

Good luck with your drysuit quest...

CompuDude
09-05-2008, 15:23
Curved zippers have been used for a long time. That's a non-issue that shouldn't prevent you from getting one if you like it.

LCF
09-06-2008, 15:34
I've got about 100 dives on my Fusion now, and I still adore the suit.

I have had some problems with my zipper, in that it is extremely difficult to slide and is fraying rather prematurely, but that is clearly MY zipper and not a problem with the suits in general, as I know several other people who have them and have not had any issues with the zipper. White's has also told me they will deal with it, but I haven't been willing to part with the suit long enough to let them work on it!

As far as getting into it goes, you have to have someone show you how it's done, and then it's trivial. The only comment I would make is that I don't think they designed it with the MK3 undergarment in mind, because it has to be rather stuffed into the suit. With a lighter undergarment, donning is very rapid and easy.

The mobility in the suit is amazing. It also makes buoyancy control easier, because the Lycra stabilizes the bubble in the suit to a significant degree. I thought the White's boots were wonderful; unfortunately, they were too big for me. They DO make you go up a fin foot pocket size.

Despite the number of dives, and some crawling around on Florida limestone, the Lycra shows very little pilling, and no significant wear or tears. I've had no leaks.

Overall, this is the best dry suit I've ever had, and I have owned or used a Mobby's trilam, a DC compressed neo, and a DUI trilam in the past. (The Fusion is MUCH easier to get in and out of than the DC suit!)

Grin
09-07-2008, 08:27
The critism I have is: By the time I get the boots, hood, tech skin and undergarments, I'll be closer to 2 grand than the base Fusion price of around $1100. I want one, but my area (I do live in tropical Florida right! :smiley29:) is borderline for a dry suit. I would only need it a couple months of the year, and for upwelling conditions. And then I would be the only one wanting to dive in the freezing upwelling conditions.
I might need a bigger wing and new fins with bigger foot pockets also.
We'll see! I keep looking, but it probably won't happen.

Catt99
09-07-2008, 12:27
The critism I have is: By the time I get the boots, hood, tech skin and undergarments, I'll be closer to 2 grand than the base Fusion price of around $1100. I want one, but my area (I do live in tropical Florida right! :smiley29:) is borderline for a dry suit. I would only need it a couple months of the year, and for upwelling conditions. And then I would be the only one wanting to dive in the freezing upwelling conditions.
I might need a bigger wing and new fins with bigger foot pockets also.
We'll see! I keep looking, but it probably won't happen.

Is that a critique against the Fusion, or against drysuits in general? Remember that whether Fusion or other, you have plenty of choices on things like undergarments, boots, hoods, etc. I wouldn't think you'd need to or want to pay a bundle for undergarments given your local conditions; you needn't spring for expensive boots at all; there are plenty of hoods from different manufacturers suitable for drysuit diving; and on the Fusion specifically, question whether you need / want the tech skin at all.

Grin
09-08-2008, 07:27
I have actually contemplated getting just the basic suit and wearing sweats/ lond johns etc... under it. Would I freeze and regret this? I am wondering if I could also skip the boots entirly and just slip the footies in a set of 3-5mm neoprene boots and wear my same old fins? Would that compromise the integrity of the drysuit material on my feet? Basically we get water down to about 48 worst case. Normal use for the suit would be mid 50s to about 64 degrees.
There is the get the basic least you can spend approach. And the better get all the stuff / forgat about price/ might as well get it over with approach.

Catt99
09-08-2008, 18:50
I have actually contemplated getting just the basic suit and wearing sweats/ lond johns etc... under it. Would I freeze and regret this? I am wondering if I could also skip the boots entirly and just slip the footies in a set of 3-5mm neoprene boots and wear my same old fins? Would that compromise the integrity of the drysuit material on my feet? Basically we get water down to about 48 worst case. Normal use for the suit would be mid 50s to about 64 degrees.
There is the get the basic least you can spend approach. And the better get all the stuff / forgat about price/ might as well get it over with approach.

Honestly don't know as I don't own / haven't dove the Fusion. I've just been looking around at drysuit options, am leaning fairly strongly in the Fusion direction, and was wondering if your comments were Fusion-specific based on your experience or more general. From my inspection of the Fusion and some other suits, I got the impression that many of your concerns would apply to many suits but just wanted to be sure.

That said . . . I don't think neoprene booties would compromise the integrity of the drysuit booties at all (Fusion or otherwise, from what I have seen), provided the neoprene booties are sufficiently tough for your intended uses. Every attached foot suit I've seen that doesn't include a built-in sole is of reasonably durable material -- not sufficient for walking around in generally, but not in need of extensive protection beyond what you might find in a typical wetsuit bootie with sole. I'm personally looking at "proper" undergarments as opposed to sweats -- proper in the sense that they're not so moisture retaining as cotton sweats and wouldn't become a cold soaking towel in the event of a serious leak or flood; I believe others have layered more generic thermal clothes and been satisfied (but that's solely what I've read on the internet so take that for what it's worth :smiley5:). I'm just trying to save money without compromising on my actual needs -- to that end, I'm not going to limit my thermals search to DUI or Wheezle or <insert popular thermal brand> alone.

CompuDude
09-08-2008, 19:21
I have actually contemplated getting just the basic suit and wearing sweats/ lond johns etc... under it. Would I freeze and regret this? I am wondering if I could also skip the boots entirly and just slip the footies in a set of 3-5mm neoprene boots and wear my same old fins? Would that compromise the integrity of the drysuit material on my feet? Basically we get water down to about 48 worst case. Normal use for the suit would be mid 50s to about 64 degrees.
There is the get the basic least you can spend approach. And the better get all the stuff / forgat about price/ might as well get it over with approach.

Lots of threads about wearing wetsuit booties over drysuit socks, rather than bulky expensive rockboots. The answer is: Yes.

As to thinner undergarments, that's fine, too, but not cotton/nylon/polyester sweats. Get some proper polypropeline/capilene/bergeline wicking undergarments, and you'll be fine diving dry in warmer waters.

bubbletrubble
09-08-2008, 20:15
I have actually contemplated getting just the basic suit and wearing sweats/ lond johns etc... under it. Would I freeze and regret this? I am wondering if I could also skip the boots entirly and just slip the footies in a set of 3-5mm neoprene boots and wear my same old fins? Would that compromise the integrity of the drysuit material on my feet? Basically we get water down to about 48 worst case. Normal use for the suit would be mid 50s to about 64 degrees.
There is the get the basic least you can spend approach. And the better get all the stuff / forgat about price/ might as well get it over with approach.

This is kind of a thread hijack, but I'll answer your questions since it might be helpful to the OP, too.

Yes, you can wear any kind of insulating clothing as a drysuit undergarment. Bulky sweats or long underwear should insulate just fine, but if there's a leak you'll be wet and cold (rather than just wet). You might be annoyed by the bulkiness of the material. Also, layering long johns might restrict your limb movement somewhat.

Yes, you can wear 3 - 5 mm neoprene boots and wear your old fins. In fact, this is exactly what one of my dive buddies (with a Fusion) does. This should not compromise the integrity of the suit. If you inspect the foot material of the Fusion, you'll note that it's a pretty slick material with zero insulation capability. Fit will have to be snug enough so that you don't slip right out of your neoprene booties. Wear thick socks or neoprene socks underneath to keep your toes warm. Take this into consideration when you try on those neoprene boots. Watch out for the ankle zippers that most neoprene boots have. They might prevent a good fit.

Once you plunk down money to buy a drysuit, your perception of small and large scuba purchases will change. Most who have made the investment in a drysuit are very happy that they did. Diving dry really makes diving in cold water more enjoyable.

Good luck.

Grin
09-09-2008, 07:28
Thanks! It appears I would be smart to get some decent thermal wear, but the boot / fin thing is resolved.

LCF
09-10-2008, 05:40
I use Chuck Taylor high top tennis shoes with my Fusion -- I buy them a couple of sizes bigger than I would normally wear. Looks a bit odd, but they work great, they're cheap, and they fit in my fins.

skdvr
09-10-2008, 09:21
I use Chuck Taylor high top tennis shoes with my Fusion -- I buy them a couple of sizes bigger than I would normally wear. Looks a bit odd, but they work great, they're cheap, and they fit in my fins.

Chucks will be my next DS boots... I think that they look cool:smiley20: The are less expensive and you have many choices of colors...

Phil

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
09-10-2008, 10:21
I have actually contemplated getting just the basic suit and wearing sweats/ lond johns etc... under it. Would I freeze and regret this? I am wondering if I could also skip the boots entirly and just slip the footies in a set of 3-5mm neoprene boots and wear my same old fins? Would that compromise the integrity of the drysuit material on my feet? Basically we get water down to about 48 worst case. Normal use for the suit would be mid 50s to about 64 degrees.
There is the get the basic least you can spend approach. And the better get all the stuff / forgat about price/ might as well get it over with approach.



Your temps are the same that I see. 48 worst case. Normal use mid 50s and up to around 70. Once you go dry you won't want to dive wet in 68 degree water again. I am able to get by normally with a polypro base layer, fleece pants and top and two layers of socks. No need for an expensive undie, though I do appreciate one from the low 50s and below. I did a 48 minute dive in 48 degrees and found that my hands were pretty cold with 5mm gloves, but not so bad that I'd fork over the cash for dry gloves. My same fins and hood worked for my drysuit.

CompuDude
09-10-2008, 18:42
I did a 48 minute dive in 48 degrees and found that my hands were pretty cold with 5mm gloves, but not so bad that I'd fork over the cash for dry gloves. My same fins and hood worked for my drysuit.

How much cash do you think drygloves cost?

My DC rings were under $100 (I think $75?) from some guy on TDS. Replacement gloves are $2.75.

Considering I used to easily go through a pair (or two) of wet gloves per year, you break even VERY quickly.

skdvr
09-11-2008, 07:33
I did a 48 minute dive in 48 degrees and found that my hands were pretty cold with 5mm gloves, but not so bad that I'd fork over the cash for dry gloves. My same fins and hood worked for my drysuit.

How much cash do you think drygloves cost?

My DC rings were under $100 (I think $75?) from some guy on TDS. Replacement gloves are $2.75.

Considering I used to easily go through a pair (or two) of wet gloves per year, you break even VERY quickly.

I agree, I got my viking rings for $100 new, and $2.75 for gloves and a couple of bucks for liners. WAY worth it to me for added warmth and dexterity.

Phil

frogman911
04-06-2009, 09:02
I wasn't even in the market for a drysuit. I have a Whites with crushed neo from mid chest down. It's an awesome suit with only 40 dives on it. But I stopped in a new scuba store grand opening with Whites demo, tried one on and ended up buying one. They had a great bundle deal. And since they didn't have the Tech shell, I get the lycra for now and they will send out the tech when available and I get to keep the lycra shell. I can't wait to give it a shot on a real dive!

Grin
04-06-2009, 10:15
I just dove mine this weekend. I ended up with one size bigger boots to go over the dry suit socks and used my same Mare Quattros (my small fins). I got the MK2 garments and was nice and warm in water down to 57 degrees. The thing is great. I also am waiting for the Tech skin. They gave me a standard skin and said my Tech would be sent to me soon (about 6 weeks ago).

Byte Me
04-08-2009, 11:07
The critism I have is: By the time I get the boots, hood, tech skin and undergarments, I'll be closer to 2 grand than the base Fusion price of around $1100. I want one, but my area (I do live in tropical Florida right! :smiley29:) is borderline for a dry suit. I would only need it a couple months of the year, and for upwelling conditions. And then I would be the only one wanting to dive in the freezing upwelling conditions.
I might need a bigger wing and new fins with bigger foot pockets also.
We'll see! I keep looking, but it probably won't happen.

Not necessarily so...call ST!

RoyN
04-08-2009, 14:03
Another option for drysuit boot is the boot by Hi-tech which I've been using for a long time. Too bad they never made one that is velcro instead of shoe laces.

Grin
04-09-2009, 09:13
The critism I have is: By the time I get the boots, hood, tech skin and undergarments, I'll be closer to 2 grand than the base Fusion price of around $1100. I want one, but my area (I do live in tropical Florida right! :smiley29:) is borderline for a dry suit. I would only need it a couple months of the year, and for upwelling conditions. And then I would be the only one wanting to dive in the freezing upwelling conditions.
I might need a bigger wing and new fins with bigger foot pockets also.
We'll see! I keep looking, but it probably won't happen.

Not necessarily so...call ST!

Crack me up when you don't read the post all the way and post. Check the dates and read! Maybe read the post, a couple posts before yours :smilie39:

frogman911
04-10-2009, 15:49
GRIN, One consideration of wearing Neoprene boots over your drysuit is the air in your suit. I don't think it's much of a problem, but if you use a lot of air in your suit and you get inverted, the air can actually blow off your boot and fin. However, i believe this to be rare circumstances. Rock boots have laces keeping them snug. You can also consider putting neoprene socks under your drysuit if your feet get cold.

CompuDude
04-10-2009, 17:13
GRIN, One consideration of wearing Neoprene boots over your drysuit is the air in your suit. I don't think it's much of a problem, but if you use a lot of air in your suit and you get inverted, the air can actually blow off your boot and fin. However, i believe this to be rare circumstances. Rock boots have laces keeping them snug. You can also consider putting neoprene socks under your drysuit if your feet get cold.

Very rare, especially if your drysuit fits properly, but definitely a problem if it happens. Something to consider if you are new to drysuits... rockboots do keep air out of your feet in a more certain manner. Once you're dialed in, it becomes easier to manage and less likely to cause any problems.

Grin
04-12-2009, 08:44
Actually I did get inverted on at least one dive. I did notice the air traveling to my boots, but it was no big deal and never seemed like my boot were going to blow off. I already have a pair of fleece socks I wore in them. My feet didn't get cold at all. I normally wear size 10 booties with bare feet in wet suits. I use 11s with the fleece socks and fusion suit, worked great!

RoyN
04-12-2009, 22:03
YOu can try a drysuit gaitors, that could be one option.

FoxHound
04-13-2009, 20:55
gators are an option, other whites drysuits come with a band at the top of the boot that you can tighten to restrict air from getting into the boots. Another option is to use ankle weights to keep you feet slightly negative anyway. Which ever way you go, i suggest getting into a pool, get inverted and see what happens when you get air into your boots before you get into open water and have it turn into a real emergency

frogman911
05-12-2009, 08:46
7 weeks into my order for the fusion. After a delay by the LDS to place the order, it finally arrived, but short. Whites said the balance of the order should ship by the end of the month. That means, by the time it goes thru customs, I should have it at the 10 - 11 week period. After being told by the regional sales agent that it would be a week or two, i find this a bit too long. Had I known, i would probably have not ordered it. Whites did offer to substitute other items, but after spending 2 grand, who wants to mix and match? I'd hate to see the back order time in a good economy!

skdvr
05-12-2009, 08:52
7 weeks into my order for the fusion. After a delay by the LDS to place the order, it finally arrived, but short. Whites said the balance of the order should ship by the end of the month. That means, by the time it goes thru customs, I should have it at the 10 - 11 week period. After being told by the regional sales agent that it would be a week or two, i find this a bit too long. Had I known, i would probably have not ordered it. Whites did offer to substitute other items, but after spending 2 grand, who wants to mix and match? I'd hate to see the back order time in a good economy!

That is a little silly. I hate it when crap like that happens. It really makes me crazy when I am told one thing and something else happens. I know that things happen and cause delays and such, but it can still make me a little crazy. Hopefully you will get it soon....

Phil

cummings66
05-15-2009, 15:02
It seems now a days there are a lot of things getting back ordered and taking forever to be delivered. I'm getting used to it, no use getting hyper because I can't change it other than to voice my displeasure.