View Full Version : Semi-dry suits

TAH 73
08-16-2007, 09:53
Looking for anyone who has had any experience diving in any of the semi-dry suits. Fiancee is always cold, should go dry, but the cost involved (would probably need a custom suit due to being 5'3) is a derement due to the fact that she is also buying a full gear setup as well. Wondering if there is a huge increase in warmth over a quality 7mm suit that would offset the issues that come with a semidry (dealing with extra seals, extra care, didderent zippers etc..)
I am usually fine with my 7mil, with the addition of a torso heater at times, but she freezes.

Most of our diving is in reasonably cold water 50's-60's ideal drysuit area but cost is an issue at this point.

08-16-2007, 10:14
I'd recommend looking for a good deal on a used dry suit. The "problem" with a semi-dry suit is that while they minimize the water flow through the use of wrist and ankle "seals" you still face the compression of the neoprene as you decend and that lowers the insulation factors significantly.

TAH 73
08-16-2007, 10:24
The only issue with finding a used dry suit is finding one that fits someone that isn't even 5'3, with size 4 feet.
Getting a used drysuit, and then dealing with the inevitable alterations to get it to fit, plus the cost of replacing her boots, and possibly fins etc to deal with the drysuit makes it cost prohibitive.
At this point it's either semi-dry or wet.

08-16-2007, 10:33
You'd be surprised what you can find if your patient. I just looked at DUI's closeout page, and even though they're not cheap, there were 2 Xsmalls and a bunch of Smalls they're trying to blow out. If they've made them, there are others out there and if there are others out there, someone's selling one.

I understand what you're saying and totally respect it. I'm just recommending keeping your eyes open for the perfect suit until you buy. Then, like buying a computer, never ever look again because you'll always find one cheaper and better the next day :). Good luck with your search.

08-20-2007, 18:30
My winter suit is a Mares Isotherm semi dry. A great suit. My torso never get wet and I am never cold.

08-20-2007, 18:36
Semi dry is like saying Semi wet. I'm not a fan.

Can't pee in them, either... that may or may not be an issue for her.

They will be warmer, but I'll second the advice to get a good core warmer for a 7mm and keep a sharp eye out for a used drysuit. A frequent dive buddy of mine is 5'4", 110#, and she just found the perfect used suit after looking for quite a while. (Note that depending on body shape, her suit would work just fine for a 5'3" woman, also.)

They're out there. You just have to keep an eye out and be patient. Hit Craigslist, eBay, ScubaBoard, DecoStop, and of course this forum. Every day. You'll find one.

08-20-2007, 19:11
I dive a Tilos 7/5 semi-dry and it keeps me pretty warm in the low 50's...Things to remember-if it does not fit perfectly water is more likely to get in, Semi Dry is Semi Wet in some cases, and you cant pee in it. When I dive with my buddy he wears a two piece and it takes more weight to sink him so his rig is heavier than mine(that kind of burns him becuase he has a lot less body fat than me).The only thing I don't like is the zipper is in the back and sometimes I need my buddy to zip it up when I get it stuck-Not a big deal but nice and warm.

08-20-2007, 20:08
:bath:You can pee in anything in a pinch even a :bath:

08-20-2007, 20:13
:bath:You can pee in anything in a pinch even a :bath:

That's true, you can even go in a drysuit, not that I'd recommend it without the proper hardware. LOL

There are ways to flush out (pardon the expression) a semi-dry, but they'll leave you pretty cold. Just invert, and purge your reg through the held-open neck seal, and the COLD water will flush out your suit quite nicely.

No thanks...

08-23-2007, 04:55
I got a cheapo 7MM(I think I paid 120?)semi-dry on ebay, its front entry with a neck seal and integrated hood. I dove it a few weeks ago in 62F...by the end of the dive I had more sweat in my suit than water. I'm thinking it'll be fine down to 50F.

08-23-2007, 08:06
Don't forget- with a semi-dry you have to warm the water in your suit up to your body temperature first...something that can take several minutes at the least. This can be murder some days.

08-23-2007, 11:45
Don't forget- with a semi-dry you have to warm the water in your suit up to your body temperature first...something that can take several minutes at the least. This can be murder some days.
Like I said, semi-dry = semi-wet.

That said, I do know people with semi-drys that get very little water in their suit. Of course, that brings us right back to downside #2...

I say wet or dry. No in-between.

08-27-2007, 17:51
I'll be movin to Vancouver within the year, and I hear the diving is great there. The only problem is the temperature. Anybody know if a 7mm would cut it during the summer? In the winter im pretty sure I'll need a dry suit (assuming I can afford one.)

10-14-2007, 01:02
I dive a Mares Isotherm and I do not get a drop of watter inside at all. smi-dry is not smi-wet all the time. just how much you want to spend

10-14-2007, 08:12
If it was truly a water tight seal all aroundyou would have a drysuit... with no inflation hose. I can tell you from experience that if you can't add air to a truly water-tight suit, you're not going to be able to breathe due to the pressure beyond a certain depth. It gets very difficult around 60 fsw in a drysuit if you haven't added air.

10-16-2007, 01:16
Well I take the wet T shirt test all every time I dive, I where a shirt and shorts all the time. The Mares Isotherm has an TIZIP Super Seal rear dry zip the same they use on there dry suits. Zippered double seals at the wrists and ankles with Metal Skin Seal. The first seal is water tight agents the skin then your gloves and boots go over that and the outer seal zips closed over that. My boots have the same zipper as the suit, so no water there. The neck seal is the same as a Metal Skin Seal.

As for diving deep and being able to breathe. For me I don’t go past 100’ but at that im fine.

I just Don’t see how anyone can say that there is NO semi-dry suit out there that does not keep you dry unless you have dived them all. Im not saying that your not right about most of them but mine does the job and I love it.

10-16-2007, 02:16
Any one can say anything about any suit good or bad. I can put down dry-suits the same way, I have dived them and hated it, but that’s me. I don’t like the way they fit, don’t like having to play with adding air, and really DON’T like if I get a small hole I can’t dive in it or end my dive.

As for the Physics of it, if anyone wants to come and go diving with me to test the shirt and see that Im ok at 30mts I would be happy to dive with them. Any thing to have a reason to dive.

What I am saying is that there are things you can say and it is right 99% of the time. There is just that 1% of the time that is not true. I know that a lot of smi-drys are smi-wet because I have dove other ones before I got mine, and maybe mine is that 1%. But it’s out there and if you look hard you can find it.

10-16-2007, 02:23
I can say I have never had the experience of being totaly dry after diving a semi wet, but I know they seem warmer to me than a wet suit. I have been told dry suits can fit strange it your not used to them as well... but to each there own

10-25-2007, 21:02
Im in the water all year and have found that when its really cold the best way to keep warm is to use a glove that is used in dry suit diving,(with the wrist seal) these will cut the water flow down 100%. then follow up with a good hood and boots for an all season warmth!

10-26-2007, 02:35
I have a 7mil Cressi-Sub semi dry and the last dive i did i was almost totally dry when i took the suit off.
I have done only about 10 other dives with this suit and each time i was quite wet after.

Before i did this last dive i noticed that the seals around my ankles and wrists were a little loose when i moved my arms and legs, so i rolled the seals up higher on my legs and arms until they were pretty tight.

I was much warmer on my last dive than the previous dives with this suit.
Like you guys said you wouldnt want it to be totally dry but when i actually made sure the seals were nice and tight it wasnt far from it.

Do you think it might be how good the seals are on each individual person that effects the warmth of the semi-dry suit.

Im still getting a dry when i can afford it though.:smiley2:


10-26-2007, 21:48
Do you think it might be how good the seals are on each individual person that effects the warmth of the semi-dry suit.


Yes it is all about the seals. If there not snug is will not be any better then a wet suit.

10-31-2007, 16:08
If your wife can find a good fit with the Pinnacle suits, the Polar is a very warm and comfortable semi-dry wetsuit. I dive mine in the low 40s with no complaints.