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View Full Version : So, I bought a Semi-Dry



paulwall
11-19-2007, 13:35
I was in Dallas over the weekend, and as I am wont to do, I stopped in to Scubatoys to try out some new gear.

I have been wanting to replace my 20+ year old 1/4" wetsuit with something new, and was impressed with a buddy's (wjefferies') Mares Semi-Dry.

Then I read a review of the Pinnacle.

So, since ST sells both, I thought I'd try them on and make sure of a size.

Now, I have a hard time accepting that I'm an XL. I have fairly broad shoulders and a little middle-age paunch, but still. I have an XL hyperstretch 5mm that fits me just fine, is easy to don and doff, and keeps me (fairly) warm down to 68* or so. I add a hooded vest, and I can go down to 60*, and only be slightly chilly.

So, I try the XL Pinnacle (Extreme?). I got it completely on by myself, the merino lining makes it slide right on, and the integrated hood isn't too difficult to deal with. However, I could not zip the front zipper by myself, and neither could the sales person. They're not lubricated on the rack (understandably) and are a little stiff to move.

Very nice suit, could squat and bend my arms comfortably, and EXTREMELY warm. Could not undress myself, though, the arms couldn't make it past the zipper without a buddy.

Next, I tried the XL Mares. Apparently I have big hands, because I had trouble getting them through the inner gauntlets of the suit. I also had trouble getting the inner suspenders up (paunch), and could not get the shoulders up enough to put my head through the neck hole.

Also, very warm, but only a 6.5mm as opposed to the 8/6 of the Pinnacle.
Rear-zip, and more difficult to don/doff. Tight seal on the gauntlet, neck, and ankles (but not constrictive).

I had ST order me an XXL (ugh!) Pinnacle to be shipped to my house. If it is too big everywhere else, I'll send it back and get a thicker hooded vest/arms to go over my 5mm.

Wish me luck, I'll need it. Now, to figure out the weighting difference.

Silverlode
11-19-2007, 14:49
Where are the zips on the Pinnacle? I thought it's on the back but normal wetsuit style instead of the sealed neck style (like the Mares). Let us know the model when you find out what it is.

Good luck. Do you have a place nearby which can alter the suit to fit you snugly?

paulwall
11-19-2007, 14:55
Where are the zips on the Pinnacle? I thought it's on the back but normal wetsuit style instead of the sealed neck style (like the Mares). Let us know the model when you find out what it is.

Good luck. Do you have a place nearby which can alter the suit to fit you snugly?

The Pinnacle has a horizontal Front Zip from Biceps to Biceps. The Mares has a horizontal Rear Zip from Triceps to Triceps.

The Pinnacle has an inner cowl (neck and shoulders) and a vented integrated hood, the Mares has an inner pair of zip Farmer-johnish suspenders (Chest and back), and a separate hood.

I'm pretty sure it's the Extreme (Not the Polar) 8/6.

If it needs alteration, I'll send it back, and regroup. Maybe try one of the Bare 7mm sizes from ST. <sigh> Cork!

frankc420
11-19-2007, 16:26
Where are the zips on the Pinnacle? I thought it's on the back but normal wetsuit style instead of the sealed neck style (like the Mares). Let us know the model when you find out what it is.

Good luck. Do you have a place nearby which can alter the suit to fit you snugly?

The Pinnacle has a horizontal Front Zip from Biceps to Biceps. The Mares has a horizontal Rear Zip from Triceps to Triceps.

The Pinnacle has an inner cowl (neck and shoulders) and a vented integrated hood, the Mares has an inner pair of zip Farmer-johnish suspenders (Chest and back), and a separate hood.

I'm pretty sure it's the Extreme (Not the Polar) 8/6.

If it needs alteration, I'll send it back, and regroup. Maybe try one of the Bare 7mm sizes from ST. <sigh> Cork!

Just buy yourself a dang drysuit :smiley20:

Silverlode
11-19-2007, 16:27
Where are the zips on the Pinnacle? I thought it's on the back but normal wetsuit style instead of the sealed neck style (like the Mares). Let us know the model when you find out what it is.

Good luck. Do you have a place nearby which can alter the suit to fit you snugly?

The Pinnacle has a horizontal Front Zip from Biceps to Biceps. The Mares has a horizontal Rear Zip from Triceps to Triceps.

The Pinnacle has an inner cowl (neck and shoulders) and a vented integrated hood, the Mares has an inner pair of zip Farmer-johnish suspenders (Chest and back), and a separate hood.

I'm pretty sure it's the Extreme (Not the Polar) 8/6.

If it needs alteration, I'll send it back, and regroup. Maybe try one of the Bare 7mm sizes from ST. <sigh> Cork!

Just buy yourself a dang drysuit :smiley20:

At a much higher cost! :)

Now I can understand why there's a problem doing up the zip with the Pinnacle as well.

Good luck!

CaribbeanDiver
11-19-2007, 19:18
I tried on a semi-dry once. it made me appreciate the wetsuit and almost had me thinking the wetsuit was comfortable as well as easy to put on and take off.
and maybe I am claustrophobic or just plain paranoid but there is no way I would put on a suit that I needed help to get off.

gibson1525
11-19-2007, 20:00
ok i feel like an idiot here, but could somebody explain the difference between a wetsuit and semidry suit?

paulwall
11-19-2007, 20:29
ok i feel like an idiot here, but could somebody explain the difference between a wetsuit and semidry suit?

A semi-dry is a wetsuit that has less flow-through. The theory is that any water that gets in is held in and warmed by the body.

In general, they have drysuit like zippers that will keep infiltration out. They also may have extra layers at the wrists, neck and ankles to keep the flow through to the bare minimum

paulwall
11-19-2007, 20:30
I tried on a semi-dry once. it made me appreciate the wetsuit and almost had me thinking the wetsuit was comfortable as well as easy to put on and take off.
and maybe I am claustrophobic or just plain paranoid but there is no way I would put on a suit that I needed help to get off.


If all else fails, there's always the knife.

Anyway, ST calls me today, and says that Pinnacle can't get me the suit I want due to model changeover.

So, back to Layering Neoprene.

paulwall
11-19-2007, 20:31
Where are the zips on the Pinnacle? I thought it's on the back but normal wetsuit style instead of the sealed neck style (like the Mares). Let us know the model when you find out what it is.

Good luck. Do you have a place nearby which can alter the suit to fit you snugly?

The Pinnacle has a horizontal Front Zip from Biceps to Biceps. The Mares has a horizontal Rear Zip from Triceps to Triceps.

The Pinnacle has an inner cowl (neck and shoulders) and a vented integrated hood, the Mares has an inner pair of zip Farmer-johnish suspenders (Chest and back), and a separate hood.

I'm pretty sure it's the Extreme (Not the Polar) 8/6.

If it needs alteration, I'll send it back, and regroup. Maybe try one of the Bare 7mm sizes from ST. <sigh> Cork!

Just buy yourself a dang drysuit :smiley20:

At 3 times the cost, for a suit that may be worn 2-3 times a year.

navyhmc
11-19-2007, 23:48
"Once you go dry you'll never ask why!" :D :D :D

paulwall
11-20-2007, 20:02
"Once you go dry you'll never ask why!" :D :D :D

Then I wouldn't be posting in this forum:smiley2:

mcc2318
11-26-2007, 15:36
problems with drysuits are i dont have the $$$$$$$