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snagel
12-30-2007, 09:34
After reading through all these posts and especially the poll put up by Cummings, now I'm thouroughly confused.....tooooo many options.

Let me start with what I hope is a simple question...Crushed Neoprene or Trilam?

I will be diving primarily in the midwest - lakes and quarry's. Surface temps in summer in 100's, winter 30's. Water temp 40ish (deep dives) and 70ish shallower dives in summer.

Priorities: 1) comfort 2) Warmth 3) dry 4) durability

I'm leaning toward the Pinnicle Evo 2.

Any thoughts?

S. Nagel

skdvr
12-30-2007, 10:45
I will be diving in a lot of the same places as you and I am thinking crushed neo. A good portion of my dives are on the deeper side and for those that are not that deep and would be to warm for the dry suit I will go with my 3 mil wet.

Now I just need to come up with the money...

Phil

Divingguy
12-30-2007, 14:59
I went with the Evo2. Waiting for it to arrive. I like the ability to adapt to changing temps by using different types or layers of undergarments.

cummings66
01-03-2008, 12:38
I think a membrane suit is best because you can use it in all seasons and depths with only a change in under garments. A thick crushed neoprene suit tends to run hotter and most divers using them tend to limit the seasons.

MSilvia
01-03-2008, 12:55
Personally, and having used both, I don't see why anyone would choose crushed neoprene over trilam.

Kingpatzer
01-03-2008, 13:13
Trilam is superior, in my mind.

CompuDude
01-03-2008, 13:55
I prefer trilams as well, although crushed neo has it's place. I don't really see that place in what the OP described, however.

MSilvia
01-03-2008, 15:04
I prefer trilams as well, although crushed neo has it's place.
I don't mean to seem arrogant or unfairly biased with my previous comment... I'm genuinely interested in what would posess someone to get crushed neoprene. What is "it's place"?

I honestly can't come up with any way in which it's superior, and I'm really trying to as I suspect there must be one.

CompuDude
01-03-2008, 15:25
I prefer trilams as well, although crushed neo has it's place.
I don't mean to seem arrogant or unfairly biased with my previous comment... I'm genuinely interested in what would posess someone to get crushed neoprene. What is "it's place"?

I honestly can't come up with any way in which it's superior, and I'm really trying to as I suspect there must be one.

Strongest, longest-lasting suit there is, period. Best abrasion-resistance means they're really popular with hardcore wreck divers (lots of sharp edges). They're easier to repair, and they add a small amount of inherent warmth (again, making them quite popular with great lakes wreck divers, for instance, and in the PNW). They are more stretchy and more streamlined than trilams.

They're not my choice, but they are the choice of many... and for some of them, I suspect the best choice. (for them)

texdiveguy
01-03-2008, 15:36
I prefer trilams as well, although crushed neo has it's place.
I don't mean to seem arrogant or unfairly biased with my previous comment... I'm genuinely interested in what would posess someone to get crushed neoprene. What is "it's place"?

I honestly can't come up with any way in which it's superior, and I'm really trying to as I suspect there must be one.

I like my crushed/compressed 2mil BARE neo dry suit.....it is very rugged and a tad warmer in nature than trilam, fits a bit more trim. I don't like the fact that it is 'heavier' and bulker when not wearing the suit than a trilam, but it goes along with the neo suit. I have attached boots for ease of donning/doffing. I have dove trilam ds also and they are good too! The way I look at it....either a trilam or neo dry suit is better than none at all!

kancho
01-03-2008, 15:38
I have only dived in tri lam.. So I dont know how crushed neoprene feels like but I am more worried about convenience. Tri Lam Dries quick someone told me alot faster than neoprene. Packing is quicker and easier..

texdiveguy
01-03-2008, 15:55
I have only dived in tri lam.. So I dont know how crushed neoprene feels like but I am more worried about convenience. Tri Lam Dries quick someone told me alot faster than neoprene. Packing is quicker and easier..

The trilams do dry faster,,,,but under normal conditions a neo ds will be dry over night if exposed to air circulation...I can usually put it away in its carry bag in under 24 hours, most times in much less time than 24 hours.

bjoseph
01-03-2008, 16:31
I am asking myself the same questions... after a lot of research and searching my bank accounts I am also leaning towards the Pinnacle Evo 2.

Now I am searching for an LDS that carries them so I can try to figure out what size would be best. I am one of those who falls in between 2 sizes. 5'9", 180lbs, 43" chest, 33in waist.

Im thinking ML but need to try one on before dropping $1500.

Kingpatzer
01-03-2008, 16:39
in dry suits, bigger is almost always better. Particularly if you're going to use any under garments that have a lot of loft.

MSilvia
01-03-2008, 16:49
in dry suits, bigger is almost always better. Particularly if you're going to use any under garments that have a lot of loft.
I don't know... you don't want the suit or undergarment to be restrictive, but you don't want it to be too big either or it's going to tend to trap air in places you don't want it. In my opinion, any more room than it takes to ensure loft and freedom of movement for your warmest undergarment is not only wasted, but detrimental.

You want a good fit, not a clown suit.

Kingpatzer
01-03-2008, 16:51
I don't disagree with that.

But if someone is "between sizes" going for the larger option is almost always the right choice unless you know you'll never need the extra space for a high loft under garment.

I'm not saying it's always right, but it's a pretty safe bet in most cases.

MSilvia
01-03-2008, 17:03
But if someone is "between sizes" going for the larger option is almost always the right choice unless you know you'll never need the extra space for a high loft under garment.

If someone is between sizes, they ought to get the suit adjusted or tailored. Bare has options not only for fully custom suits, but also for those who want an "almost" off the shelf suit with (for example) 2 inch shorter legs. I'm sure other mfgrs. do the same.

The way I see it, fit is really important with a drysuit, and drysuits are expensive. If you're going to spend that kind of money, isn't it worth getting a suit that fits? Given the choice of a $1000 suit that doesn't fit, and a $1300 suit that does, I think wasting a thousand makes less sense than saving up the extra $300 for factory alterations. (not that that's a price quote, just an example)

CompuDude
01-03-2008, 17:05
If you're buying a stock size suit, there is a good chance you can exchange the suit for the other size if 1) you find the right retailer, and 2) don't cut the seals.

If a quick trying the suit on session will answer the question, though, it's something to consider, tho you may eat some shipping charges.

texdiveguy
01-03-2008, 17:13
When picking out the proper size in a neo ds...it will fit snugger than a trilam....more kin to a wet suit....manfc. like BARE for example 'build' in the extra room in the different size cuts so a high loft undergarment will properly fit with all their ds models and sizes.

snagel
01-03-2008, 17:22
Thanks for the input and the information on the sizing. I'm taking my DS Cert Class this weekend. I will be trying differenty types of suits. I've dove the trilam, but not the crushed neoprene. Interestingly, from almost everybody locally (Missouri) when I ask them, they tell me crushed neoprene. But, I liked the comfort of the trilam that I tried (DUI Rally).

Thanks again,

S. Nagel

MSilvia
01-03-2008, 18:04
from almost everybody locally (Missouri) when I ask them, they tell me crushed neoprene.
Have any of them said why they prefer it?

snagel
01-03-2008, 18:32
Can't really pin it down - when I ask. They just say it works better for them. Some have alluded to it being a little warmer than the trilam. Obviously, this also has to do with what is worn underneath as well. Nobody really has said much about it being more rugged. All in all, the general response is it works for me and/or it is more comfortable for me. Oh ya, one persoa said that in the trilam they got that "squeeze feeling"; which, they really did not like. In the neo they didn't have that issue.

It kinda sounds like whatever works for you is best. It was just kinda strange that from the preceeding posts, many people preferred the trilam. But, when I talk to "the locals" they majorilly like the crushed neoprene.

S. Nagel

texdiveguy
01-03-2008, 18:41
Not sure howthat 'one diver' in a neo ds did not experience a squeeze...you get the squeeze regardless of material.

divingbuddy
01-03-2008, 19:08
I don't find much difference - I have a trilam suit and a crushed neoprene suit.

I like the crushed neoprene when doing early/late season dives, or when we are doing longer, decompression dives. The extra warmth of the neoprene is a nice feeling. The suit is quite rugged and stands up to exploring through the wrecks we have in the Great Lakes (although I have never snagged either suit on anything...yet).

I like the trilam suit when warmer topside temperatures would cause one to roast inside a crushed neoprene suit. The suit is also lighter and dries faster, which can make it a better choice for travel.

Both suits fit me well, and both work equally well underwater. The only adjustments I need to make when switching from one suit to the other is the choice/amount of undergarments.

Just my two cents....Cheers!

CompuDude
01-03-2008, 19:09
Not sure howthat 'one diver' in a neo ds did not experience a squeeze...you get the squeeze regardless of material.

Fewer suit hickies with the thicker material, perhaps. Dunno. (Never been an issue for me but I know many who have had issues with that, mostly thinner trilams, while my suits have been thicker trilam or cordura.)

texdiveguy
01-03-2008, 19:18
Not sure howthat 'one diver' in a neo ds did not experience a squeeze...you get the squeeze regardless of material.

Fewer suit hickies with the thicker material, perhaps. Dunno. (Never been an issue for me but I know many who have had issues with that, mostly thinner trilams, while my suits have been thicker trilam or cordura.)

Yea maybe so....I wear a 2 mil neo with lofty undies at times and experience squeeze on descent.

cummings66
01-04-2008, 11:15
If you take a trilam down with only shorts on you will find out quickly that membrane suits will hurt in comparison to a neo suit. Other than that I think the suggestions might stem from what's popular in the area.

For example one dive shop around sells DUI and most of the divers in that portion of the state have DUI and prefer that brand, usually the neo suits. Another sells Whites and in that area that is the suit and construction type, another sells Viking and that's popular there. If you ask the divers using drysuits in those areas you will get the answers based on that area.

To find an unbiased viewpoint attend a new years dive where hundreds of drysuit divers show up and you'll find out quickly what the divers seem to use.

To sum up that answer, Bare is the most common around here, DUI follows up with most other brands having a token appearance.

Dry hoods, Dry gloves, both are not commonly found. What you find are the traditional wetsuit hood and gloves being used. Crushed Neoprene suits seem to be very common, membrane suits follow second, and uncompressed neoprene suits are there but rare.

If you want a bullet proof suit and have the money to spend then the DUI CLX450 reigns surpreme, I'd have one only if they lowered the price and made a dryhood the stock config. Awesome suit. After that suit I'd go with Viking or Bare depending on fit, Viking for me because of the stock dryhood and reliability.

In any event I'd buy a dryhood for any suit I bought and use it, there is nothing like coming out of a dive completely dry. This weekend when I had ice forming on my drysuit I was nice and comfortable, the other drysuit divers had to strip and change in a heated bathroom because their hands and head got cold. Thus my preference for that addition to any drysuit. Why dive dry if you're going to get wet is my question?

None of our suits dried out, the water froze on mine and theirs just the same, in the Summer my gear is completely dry by the time I drive away from the dive site. Neoprene suits aren't.

texdiveguy
01-04-2008, 11:39
If you take a trilam down with only shorts on you will find out quickly that membrane suits will hurt in comparison to a neo suit. Other than that I think the suggestions might stem from what's popular in the area.

For example one dive shop around sells DUI and most of the divers in that portion of the state have DUI and prefer that brand, usually the neo suits. Another sells Whites and in that area that is the suit and construction type, another sells Viking and that's popular there. If you ask the divers using drysuits in those areas you will get the answers based on that area.

To find an unbiased viewpoint attend a new years dive where hundreds of drysuit divers show up and you'll find out quickly what the divers seem to use.

To sum up that answer, Bare is the most common around here, DUI follows up with most other brands having a token appearance.

Dry hoods, Dry gloves, both are not commonly found. What you find are the traditional wetsuit hood and gloves being used. Crushed Neoprene suits seem to be very common, membrane suits follow second, and uncompressed neoprene suits are there but rare.

If you want a bullet proof suit and have the money to spend then the DUI CLX450 reigns surpreme, I'd have one only if they lowered the price and made a dryhood the stock config. Awesome suit. After that suit I'd go with Viking or Bare depending on fit, Viking for me because of the stock dryhood and reliability.

In any event I'd buy a dryhood for any suit I bought and use it, there is nothing like coming out of a dive completely dry. This weekend when I had ice forming on my drysuit I was nice and comfortable, the other drysuit divers had to strip and change in a heated bathroom because their hands and head got cold. Thus my preference for that addition to any drysuit. Why dive dry if you're going to get wet is my question?

None of our suits dried out, the water froze on mine and theirs just the same, in the Summer my gear is completely dry by the time I drive away from the dive site. Neoprene suits aren't.

Some good points above!

I use a tech dry suit hood for the extra thermo protection--love it.

I don't use dry gloves though....opt. for 7mil neo..

In terms of a dry suit being dry when I get home....I rinse all my gear after every dive outing anyways so it gets wet again on the maintence rinse, then left to dry out completely.

I agree that in our area DUI and BARE have the dry suit market sewn up.

snagel
01-06-2008, 09:02
Thanks to everybody for all the input. I wish I could tell you that I've made a decision, but the more I research this the more farther from that decision I get. What did my old boss say, "paralysis through analysis".

Here are my thoughts:

I truely like the comfort feel of the trilam. I like the "perception" of the thought that you can control the warmth in the suit by altering the undergarments (atleast for me, bare with me here). I'm very cold natured (I guess). I tend to get cold on most dives unless we are diving very shallow. However, I do roast topside gearing up in the full 7mil and hooded vests on hot days. But, once in the water at most depths I'm chilled. The only time I have not had this feeling is when I dove the crushed neoprene dry suit and even with 42 degree water, I felt fine.

I've talked to so many people and read so many posts on this forum and yes, I have to say went over to the dark side for a little while (SB). Everybody keeps telling me that the trilam dries fast. Forgive me, I'm very new to this, but this really isn't a big issue with me. I mean, I want to dive dry so that I can be warm. This is my #1 goal. Is dry time important - sure and I'm sure down the road it probably will be more important, but for now I'm focused on what will provide me with the warmth so I can dive comfortably. Yesterday, it was the crushed neoprene. I keep hearing that warmth in a trilam is just a matter of what undergarmet you are wearing. At the same time, I'm reading so many posts saying that you will never be warm in a trilam, but just not cold. I'm not sure this is what I want. I want to be comfortable. Chilled diving is not comfortable. If I felt 100% that I could buy a trilam and a good undergarmet and be comfortable, I would buy one in a minute. But, I'm not seeing this. If I felt 100% that I could get away with diving the crushed neoprene all year and not have over heating issues, I would buy it in a minute.

I've dove several DUI Trilams with different undergarmets. I ranged from the thinist undergarmets to thickest that DUI offered and I was still chilled during the dive. I was very comfortable topside, but once in the water very chilled. Granted part of this could have been that this was DUI Rally and they really didn't explain how to maintain good air in the suit; which, is what helps with keeping you warm.

I want to buy the Pinnicle Evo 2. But, I'm so concerned that I will still have the cold issues with this suit. I wish I had the opportunity to try this suit with the proper undergarmets, but it's not possible in this area.

I'm not sure where I'm at here, but thanks for listening.

S. Nagel

cummings66
01-06-2008, 10:53
There is a lot to consider, but for starters if you think about it a Trilam can be as warm as any other suit out there given the proper under garment. I've got a buddy named Charley, he uses Weezle for his under garment and claims it's the warmest thing he's ever found. He's done all the DUI garments and though he can use them you'll find he ALWAYS uses weezle for his main under garment. It's rather lofty and I think a bit pricey, but by all accounts it's the warmest thing on the planet.

There is nothing wrong with a neoprene dry suit, they're fine and tough to boot. DUI has a couple different models of it as well. Coming up in April is another rally at Table Rock Lake, Andy may have mentioned it. Try out their neo if you think you're leaning that way. I've got some buddies that use the Bare Neoprene dry suits and are mostly happy with them, but they say they get cold.

Honestly, to me I think how cold a diver gets is completely dependent on the under garment. I don't get that cold myself, normally I never use my 400 gr thinsualte and stick to the 200 gr year round, and that includes temperatures down to 36 F in a local quarry. That's in a membrane suit. I've got buddies who in the same temps can't stand it at all no matter what they use.

I don't know if you have done this or not, but you can layer your under garments. Viking has a wool thermal layer you wear under your main under garment, it serves a couple purposes. One of them is to keep the stink off your under garment because thinsulate should not be washed very often, and the second is it adds additional warmth. I use a fleece thermal under mine.

To address the warmth issue. I'm never hot in a drysuit, rather I aim for something warmer than a 7mm wetsuit and that works for me. When I do get cold, ie I stay in the water during the SI not moving, on the next dive I use my drysuit as a BC and keep the under garment really lofted up. That does two things, it gives me practice in case of a wing failure, and two it warms me back up. It's the not moving that chills me.

snagel
01-06-2008, 14:22
Matt,

The more layers also equates to more - correct? If so, is this minimal or extreme? Of course, it all depends on exactly what layers we are talking about, but in general what are your thoughts.

Steve

cummings66
01-06-2008, 18:44
The more layers you have the more lead you'll need to be neutral would be a good way to put it. I can double the amount of lead I need by going to my 600 gr suit, but I've never really found a need for it beyond the surface.

It's always a trade off in diving.

CompuDude
01-06-2008, 20:13
Side note: diving dry means you will be warm on the surface as well, generally, but it does NOT mean you will be cool. If you're complaining about sweating to death in a 7mm wetsuit due to cold water but hot surface temps, it's really only marginally better in a drysuit, and only because you can pop the top and strip down easily. I can tell you that once you seal up, you get HOT in a drysuit, and if you sweat too much, you'll compromise the ability of your undergarments to keep you warm, since they'll be soaked, and that soaked undergarment hit the cold, it's not going to be fun.

Drysuits are amazing, but they do have drawbacks.

As to underwater comfort, everyone is different. I personally have never been 100% "warm and toasty" underwater... you can still feel that it's cold out there. And sometimes you can get a bit uncomfortable. What you have to realize is the difference between wet and dry is that you can ignore the discomfort... you're not going to get cold enough to start shivering, as long as you are wearing appropriate undergarments, and as soon as you get out you'll warm up very quickly and be ready to go again. Diving wet, you'll be much colder, and you'll stay colder longer because you're cold to your core, instead of just cold on the surface. It's a little hard to wrap your mind around the distinction until you realize you are ready for your third dive of the day and the wetsuit divers are all talking about going home, because they're just too cold and can't re-warm in time on the surface.

cummings66
01-06-2008, 21:51
I'd say that's a pretty good comparison. Wetsuit divers around here rarely make more than one dive during our Winter season. Even the ones who use the hot water trick still turn into an ice cube and just can't do the second dive in any reasonable time frame.

snagel
01-07-2008, 06:14
Thanks guys, this does make sense. Maybe, I'm expecting too much. I completely understand the concept of being dry and warm after the dive. Quick story..I was diving in Haigh Quarry outside of Chicago. Surface temp was in the mid to upper 50's, sunny, but a very strong wind - not sure what the "feels like" temp was due to the wind. We were diving 7mm and okay before and during the dive. Once we got out, we couldn't get warm. It was one of the worst experiences I've had with being cold. At one point, we were actually hugging the vehicle because the sun had heated it up and it felt good to just lay against it.

Thanks for the information, once again.

S. Nagel

Kingpatzer
01-07-2008, 10:21
. . . and if you sweat too much, you'll compromise the ability of your undergarments to keep you warm, since they'll be soaked, and that soaked undergarment hit the cold, it's not going to be fun.


Sorry, but that's simply not true.

Well, it is true if you're buying cheap undergarments that simply aren't designed and built to be used that way. But, really, good insulating materials don't care if they're wet or not.

If you choose down or cotton or other fibres which lose nearly all their insulating properties when wet, then what you say is true.

If, however, you choose silk, wool, most poly-fibers, and other engineered fibers that retain the majority of their insulating capacity when wet, then it's not true.

Now, if instead of merely having wet clothing through a small hole or an innocuous leak, you have a major hole in your suit so that cold water is circulating near your skin constantly, then no material will protect you, you will be cold.

cummings66
01-07-2008, 11:16
That's why I prefer Thinsulate based under garments, they work wet or dry. You can trust me on that, I've used it on enough DUI suits to be well versed in leaks and how it performs. Buy thinsulate and you won't worry about it.

CompuDude
01-07-2008, 13:27
Highest quality undergarments do indeed retain a significant portion of their insulating ability when wet, but are you really claiming that there is no difference whatsoever between wet and dry?

cummings66
01-07-2008, 14:57
I think you can tell a bit, but honestly not that much. Last time I dove a DUI suit my under garments got soaked. The DUI guy said it wasn't wet but rather perspiration, I slapped my leg and he got wet from a couple feet away, he agreed it was not perspiration. Sets the stage for how wet it was.

The point of the story, I was not aware I was wet during the dive. At the start I thought maybe I was getting wet, but after about 15 minutes I no longer noticed, until after the dive when I noticed it was soaked. However water temps were not freezing, I think it was upper 50's and that's pretty comfortable.

I dive with latex seals, they always feel like you're wet when you start diving, no insulation there so you feel the water temps better. The start of this dive gave me that feeling so I thought it was only that, but I was wrong and I was soaked all over, especially the legs.

I don't know if it's always like that, but the only leaks I've had have never resulted in me getting cold.

That brings to mind, all dry suits leak, eventually.

The worst leak I ever had was a couple weeks ago in my Viking, I had a hair trapped in the dryhood and it didn't seal. Once I went under water went all over my head and with only fleece for warmth there was none to be found, it was COLD. Luckily the body never leaked and so it was just a cold head. But I can tell you fleece gets mighty COLD when wet.

Kingpatzer
01-07-2008, 15:13
Highest quality undergarments do indeed retain a significant portion of their insulating ability when wet, but are you really claiming that there is no difference whatsoever between wet and dry?

I use a combination of natural and synthetic fibers that claim to retain 98% of their insulating capability when wet. Now, that assume that they aren't having cold water circulating over them, just wet.

I can say that that is about right. You'll know you're wet if you have a small leak. And if the leak is immediately near your skin, you'll feel it a bit. But you won't be cold just because the garment is damp.

Now, if you have a major hole, and you've got fresh, cold water circulating around in your suit .. yes you'll know it. But that's not a leak, that's a flood. And even in that case .. once your suit is finished flooding, the undergarmets will still do a fair job of retaining warmth. Of course, you'll also be on the bottom looking for your your lift bag to deploy . . .

cppike79
01-07-2008, 15:48
Of course, you'll also be on the bottom looking for your your lift bag to deploy . . .

Just curious as to what you mean by this........are you implying that the water in your drysuit will have a large negative affect on your bouyancy underwater????

CompuDude
01-07-2008, 16:03
Of course, you'll also be on the bottom looking for your your lift bag to deploy . . .

Just curious as to what you mean by this........are you implying that the water in your drysuit will have a large negative affect on your bouyancy underwater????

Even without any gas in it, your intact drysuit has a decent amount of positive buoyancy, simply because you are displacing a good amount of water. If you have a full blown flood (very rare), you will definitely displace less. Not as much as he implies, however, since your body is still displacing the same amount, just the DS and undergarments are no longer helping, and of course you cannot add any air. Better hope your wing has enough lift, nonetheless, else you will be looking for supplemental lift options like a lift bag (or a buddy). I wouldn't think a full blown worst-case flood would cause much more than 5-10 lbs of shift, but frankly I've never tried it to find out!

snagel
01-07-2008, 21:57
Okay...I finally made a decision. I went with (drum roll please) the crushed neoprene. After hours of debate and asking questions (thanks so much to all of you), I decided on the crushed neo primarily because I would have the better chance of being warm. Hopefully, this was the right decision. Additionally, I think I got a fairly good deal on a SeaSoft TiPro 3000.

S. Nagel

cummings66
01-10-2008, 13:19
When you get it give me a shout and we'll see about diving together.

snagel
01-10-2008, 18:20
You got it and thanks. I have a committment to my wife to work on my bathroom remodel before any more diving (It's been in the works for over a year now). I'm hoping to get enough done so she will allow me to make the trip down to Beaver on the 19th. (See what happens when you spend money on a drysuit - I have to ask permission to dive now)

S. Nagel

Gombessa
01-11-2008, 20:06
I liked the flexibility and light weight of a trilam suit, and the quick-drying properties are pretty handy as well. Warmth isn't really a problem with trilams, just have the right undergarments for the conditions.