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terfmop
12-09-2007, 12:48
I live in Indiana, the quarries are getting a bit chilly. I dove last week in 47 degree water using a borrowed semi-dry. After the dive I thought my two dive buddies were just a bit more comfortable in their drysuits:smiley2:. Now I am am just kicking the idea of owning a drysuit, but I was just curious as to what are the things to look for in choosing a drysuit. I noticed that from DUI alone there are SEVERAL styles to choose from. I'm not looking for a brand vs. brand comparison, rather a "what features separate one drysuit from another?"

Kingpatzer
12-09-2007, 13:00
Material -- there are basically a few different types, each with their own characteristics.

Wikipedia has a pretty good dry suit article: Dry suit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drysuit)

The other big considerations are the zipper entry (back, front, diagonal front), the type of seals on the wrists and neck, and if the feet are "sock" feet or incorporated boots.

Madmax1997
12-09-2007, 21:02
Like Terfmop, I am looking also for a dry suit: the waters around Canada aren't clever either!

The most comfortable one I have try is a compressed neoprene (4mm), my choice (up to now) going for cuff ring installed also. Good or bad idea?

For the pocket should I go with pockets with flap or zipper?

And what about the relief (pee) valve? I heard they break or leak quite often? I don't want to end up diving with a diaper or a flooded dry suit!:smiley36:

Pros and cons? Thanks in advance for sharing your experience.

FroggDVR
12-09-2007, 21:25
HMMMMM lets see here. oh the pee valve.. if you do any long dives. I am talking longer than you can hold it dives. We did a 180 minute dive at Haigh Quary. I almost could not stand I had to pee so bad. So yes a pee valve is something to think about.
- A latex hood is nice. Yes you have to wear a cap under it in cold water but is nice to wear a thin hood in mild water.
Zipper, I am w/ students alot so I need to be able to get in and out of my gear myself without looking like a clown.
-SUSPENDERS!!!!!!!
- Drygloves??? What kind of attachment style.
- Neoprene, Vulcanized Rubber, Trilam

If I think of any thing else I will add them

Madmax1997
12-09-2007, 21:59
Hello Froggdvr,

thanks for sharing. So pocket w zipper is a must feature. Are the suspenders also a must have feature if you got a custom drysuit? In my case the dry will be custom fit ( I have tried several DS no luck), how about the heavy duty zipper? worth the extra money?

I wear the Proear mask so I need their special hood... unless someone else try something else?

How about the boots? Soft or HD boots? what do you have?

kancho
12-10-2007, 07:59
I just got my Drysuit last week and did my Dry suit course in the Pool. I like not getting wet.. I use pinnacle freedom, it is an entry level drysuit but is adequate for me. It wasn't too expensive. I think it is about convenience and cost. But that is my opinion. I am still a newbie when it comes to a dry suit.

Flatliner
12-10-2007, 10:09
There is a LOT to consider, but in my NSHO THEE biggest question is Trilam or Crushed neoprene.

For me that question came down to my use model. While the Crushed neoprene is more comfortable and more streamlined, it is also heavier and drys slower. As I travel a good deal for work, Trilam wins out for the simple fact that it dries faster and therefore travels better.

All of the other questions matter but they apply to either type of dry suit.

texdiveguy
12-10-2007, 10:18
Basic FIT!!

CompuDude
12-10-2007, 18:31
Tex is right, fit is the most important of all other considerations.

Second most important consideration is trilam vs. crushed neoprene (vs. compressed neoprene, vs. regular neoprene... neither of which I recommend for any but the coldest of climates... and even then it's iffy, IMO). Drying time, weight, durability, and the amount of weight needed to sink the suit all play into that consideration, and were covered adequately above.

After that, it's just a question of details. Suspenders are very handy, as are attached pockets (you want big bellows pockets, not useless flat pockets... zippers vs velcro is a personal choice, but many I know prefer velcro as velcro can't jam or break).

Sock feet, that you wear rock boots (or sometimes wetsuit booties) over, vs. attached hard boots. (Soft boots keep more air out of your feet, and offer more ankle support with the right overshoes, but hard boots are more convenient and you suit up faster) Either way you may end up with needing larger size fins.

Self donning designs (zippers diagonally across the front or sometimes horizontally across the front) are sometimes not very self-donning, and often make the suit tricker to get on and off... but if you can put them on and off yourself, it's very handy. Usually, however, they cost a lot more than simpler across the back of the shoulders designs.

Neoprene seals are supposedly more comfortable (and more warm, in the most frigid waters), but a lot more finicky and prone to leaks. They last longer, however, are less likely to tear and can be repaired in the field easier if they do. Zip seals (seals you easily replace that attach somewhat similar to how a zip-loc bag closes) can really save the day, but they're expensive... and only DUI has them.

Dry gloves are incredible, not may or may not be necessary. They can be added later. Dry hoods are sworn by for those in extremely cold climates, while in my 50-degree local waters I don't see the point (and hardly anyone uses them). For your 47 degree water, it's a possibility, but they still don't seem to be as popular as just using a good thick hood.

I don't care for cuff dumps, but some like them a lot. Avoid ankle dumps.

A pee valve is invaluable for males who intend to do very long dives (2+ hours, or dives with long deco hangs, for instance), but there is some medical risk associated with using them, so most people I know who have them don't bother to connect them on shorter dives. I don't have one, and don't intend to add one until I actually do the dives that necessitate one.

480 volt
12-10-2007, 19:10
Tex is right, fit is the most important of all other considerations.

Second most important consideration is trilam vs. crushed neoprene (vs. compressed neoprene, vs. regular neoprene... neither of which I recommend for any but the coldest of climates... and even then it's iffy, IMO). Drying time, weight, durability, and the amount of weight needed to sink the suit all play into that consideration, and were covered adequately above.

After that, it's just a question of details. Suspenders are very handy, as are attached pockets (you want big bellows pockets, not useless flat pockets... zippers vs velcro is a personal choice, but many I know prefer velcro as velcro can't jam or break).

Sock feet, that you wear rock boots (or sometimes wetsuit booties) over, vs. attached hard boots. (Soft boots keep more air out of your feet, and offer more ankle support with the right overshoes, but hard boots are more convenient and you suit up faster) Either way you may end up with needing larger size fins.

Self donning designs (zippers diagonally across the front or sometimes horizontally across the front) are sometimes not very self-donning, and often make the suit tricker to get on and off... but if you can put them on and off yourself, it's very handy. Usually, however, they cost a lot more than simpler across the back of the shoulders designs.

Neoprene seals are supposedly more comfortable (and more warm, in the most frigid waters), but a lot more finicky and prone to leaks. They last longer, however, are less likely to tear and can be repaired in the field easier if they do. Zip seals (seals you easily replace that attach somewhat similar to how a zip-loc bag closes) can really save the day, but they're expensive... and only DUI has them.

Dry gloves are incredible, not may or may not be necessary. They can be added later. Dry hoods are sworn by for those in extremely cold climates, while in my 50-degree local waters I don't see the point (and hardly anyone uses them). For your 47 degree water, it's a possibility, but they still don't seem to be as popular as just using a good thick hood.

I don't care for cuff dumps, but some like them a lot. Avoid ankle dumps.

A pee valve is invaluable for males who intend to do very long dives (2+ hours, or dives with long deco hangs, for instance), but there is some medical risk associated with using them, so most people I know who have them don't bother to connect them on shorter dives. I don't have one, and don't intend to add one until I actually do the dives that necessitate one.
Whats the medical risk? I hope mine is not going to fall off.

CompuDude
12-10-2007, 19:22
Whats the medical risk? I hope mine is not going to fall off.

Not likely, but be sure to keep it well-cleaned. But even with a clean valve, kinked hoses can cause worse issues than blow-out. UTI's are the biggest risk... or kidney infections, in more severe cases:

The Deco Stop: Laid low by a pee valve... (http://www.thedecostop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19544)

FroggDVR
12-10-2007, 21:31
I think the suspenders are a must. Great for surface intervals when 1/2 the suit is off. Also keeps the bottom of the suit pulled up durring the dive.
I have soft boots. I find them very compfy.

My suit is an Andy's. Toooooo bad they are not in business anymore. Andy's sold the front zip stuff to Whites.

I prefer Latex seals. Yes they are more maitenance than neoprene but once again more compfy.

ScubaJW
12-10-2007, 21:50
I like the front zipper, not the back zipper - so I can be self-reliable. Zip-seals will be a great feature to the drysuit.

Find something that keeps you warm since you are in the north, such as crushed/compressed neoprene - it will take forever to dry. TLS350 wouldn't do good for warmth, but it's fast drying.

texdiveguy
12-10-2007, 23:54
My .O2 ..........

I hear a lot of folks saying neo dry suits are really slow to dry,,,they do take longer than tri-lam suits but are not really that bad.

I dive a (BARE) neo dry suit because IMO of its better thermo protection, snugger fit over the baggier tri-lam dry suits, plus they are tougher for dives in environments requiring a more rugged suit....I prefer the rear shoulder entry verse the front zipper models and I also prefer the neo neck seal verse the latex--warmer/tough and more comfy.

I like the attached boots verse the rock boots for ease and speed of donning. I wear hd 5-finger 7mil neo gloves verse dry gloves for again the ease of donning and the mobility they allow...plus I don't have to concern myself with leaking/lol, which is not uncommon with dry gloves. I like and wear a tech rear zipper dry suit hood for the warmth. Suspenders! Pockets! Pee valve optional---I don't like them so I wear a hd Depends on long dives.

:( The draw backs of a neo dry suit are they are much heavier to tote around and for the most part cost a wee bit more $ comparatively. As mentioned above they take a little longer to dry.

BUT-- there are also many great tri-lam dry suits on the market that offer excellent value and great service.

Is one type dry suit better than the other--no...it boils down to being a persl. choice thing for the most part neo vs. tri-lam just as do all the options available for one to pick from.

Happy and safe diving wet and dry!!

ChrisA
12-11-2007, 01:11
Hello Froggdvr,

thanks for sharing. So pocket w zipper is a must feature. Are the suspenders also a must have feature if you got a custom drysuit? In my case the dry will be custom fit ( I have tried several DS no luck), how about the heavy duty zipper? worth the extra money?

I wear the Proear mask so I need their special hood... unless someone else try something else?

How about the boots? Soft or HD boots? what do you have?

Suspenders are for between dives. You can take the top of the suit off and not roast in the sun. As soon as you pull your head out of the neck seal your pants faall down unless you have suspenders

I can't operate zippers with thick gloves. Velcro flaps work well

Boot. Rock boots are best for entry on rocky beaches. DUI Rockboots are good but there are other over-boot options like high top tennis shoes.

Soft boots molded into the feet just donw cut it for hikeson a trail down to the beach but are perfect for boat diving.

A third option is to have crushed neoprene socks on the suit then but some thick soled wetsuit boots over the socks. They will need to be two sizes to big to fit over.

you will find that you will need to buy new larger sized fins if you go with any kind of boot.

One more thing to think about is swimming drag. A dry suit is slow. They are not so form fitting and the water does not slip over them like a wetsuit. Some suits are more form fitting than others

paintsnow
12-11-2007, 01:39
interesting info, thanx guys.
i want to get mine as soon as i make enough money
:)

bobcatdiver
12-11-2007, 08:01
I'm also thinking about getting that 1st drysuit. I try to make it to Florida a couple of times in the winter, but I would like to get a few extra dives here in Ohio during the winter months. So thanks for all of the info on buying a drysuit it has been very helpful.

480 volt
12-11-2007, 11:35
Whats the medical risk? I hope mine is not going to fall off.

Not likely, but be sure to keep it well-cleaned. But even with a clean valve, kinked hoses can cause worse issues than blow-out. UTI's are the biggest risk... or kidney infections, in more severe cases:

The Deco Stop: Laid low by a pee valve... (http://www.thedecostop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19544)


Thanks Dude, Thats a eye opener!