View Full Version : Dry suits?
01-01-2003, 03:33 PM
Want to get everybody's feedback on drysuits....
What should I look for when buying?
What kind of $ are we talking?
Where is the best place to buy?
How comfortable are they?
Tired of not being able to find my balls after a winter dive:rolleyes:
01-01-2003, 06:13 PM
hey divin fool.i just started to do some research on drysuits.after having to end my dives early this past weekend grounds trip,due to freezin my ass off after 15 min on the bottom.what i,ve been told so far is to make sure the suit has suspenders in it to hold the suit in place.you use your suit to adjust your bouyancy instead of your bc.the local dive shop and a couple other people sugested taking a drysuit class before goiin diving with it.there are some things you need to know how to do,like how to deal with being inverted in case all the air goes to the boots.the neoprene suits are more expensive than the trialaminate suits.i,ve been looking at some on e bay.i take a small so i can probable buy one off e bay a little cheaper,seeing how not to many people wear a small.i,ve found them from 3 to500$.they run from a thousand on up new from the dive shops.hope this helps and maybe someone with first hand knoledge can give us both more info
01-02-2003, 08:39 AM
I do a fair amount of drysuit diving, but I don't like drysuits for spearfishing. Check the archives, I went into some of the details in November.
What to look for: For spearfishing …Durability/Reparability would be my number one criteria.
The dives aren't that long, but they can get pretty rough. Grouper spines and wreck rubble can puncture suits when you aren't paying attention, but this doesn't have to ruin your trip. Membrane suits don't have the buoyancy issues of neoprene and are easy to fix. The undergarments provide the actual warmth. Thinsulate is the best insulation material and it will keep you warm even if it gets wet. You will eventually get wet.
Costs: More than a real nice wetsuit. The diverite 905 is under a grand and the top shelf thinsulate undergarments max out around 400 retail.
Where to buy: Ebay if you want used. Local dealer if you want new. I have a few local sources down here that have always treated me right.
Comfort: Very comfortable. If your gonna wear the thing all day, get a pee valve.
Couple of quick points about drysuits: If you do use your suit for buoyancy instead of using your bc, you will always have more air in your suit than you really need.
If you do this while using a neoprene suit, it will be even worse (neoprene compresses and changes buoyancy with changes in depth, membrane layers do not, you'll need the same volume of gas in the suit throughout the dive).
If you don't remain horizontal, that "extra" gas will rush up to your feet the first time you reach or tilt down to string or shoot a fish. The size of that bubble of extra gas, and the condition of your fin straps will determine whether or not your fins stay on your feet.
The easiest and the cheapest way to avoid this problem is to avoid excess air in your drysuit in the first place. I mention cheapest because neoprene suits are usually quite a bit cheaper than membrane (trilaminate) suits. Simply using your bc for buoyancy as you always do will help prevent this problem. Perhaps a better, but more expensive solution, would be to consider buying a membrane suit in the first place.
Forget the drysuit classes that's where this kind of nonsense gets started. Intellectuals (Dive Agencies) try to solve problems, it takes a genius to prevent one. (Paraphrasing Einstein here.) Besides prevention is usually cheaper.
01-02-2003, 11:26 AM
When I started diving with a dry suit I started with a neoprene. All I wore under it was a polertech and added a little air into it to stay warm through out winter. The one thing about a neoprene dry suit is that you are more restricted in your movements than a shell suit, it also required a tremendous amout of weight. Now I have a suit made of Duralite using kevlar stiching that is lighter than a neoprene suit, gives me alot more flexibility to be able to string fish and pull my bands back. The suit also stretches unlike any dry suit that I have seen out there. The Pinellas Co. Sherfiffs dept. use this suit and they say it is the most durable, by far, they have ever used. This suit was very competitive price wise, but varys with options. Like all other dry suits, the undergarments are the key to warmth, I find that for most dives sweat pants and shirt are all you need in this area. My suit obviouly came from Jim's Dive Shop in St. Pete. You can drop by and take a look. I think you'd be as happy as I am with this type of suit.
01-26-2003, 12:17 PM
I went to a tri lam its the cat ass in my book . Easy to repair easy to don easy to stow its just easy all the way around. Be thinking about a pee valve its some thing I would like to add to my suit . If you fit in to a small I might know some one that has the decor dry suit for like $500.00 might be less if its the last one hes got .
01-26-2003, 08:38 PM
God you would have thought g-bag was here swimndive. Nah just kidding that is great info.
02-13-2003, 07:03 PM
I've not dove in a drysuit myself but I was with a diver recently
who wished she had gone with a semi-dry suit instead. Not
sure but I think the semi-dry is water tight but does not use
an air supply. The first problem she encountered was the boot
of drysuits would not fit into her favorite fins. Next she had
considerable difficulty suiting up and to me it did not look all that
flexible. Look into a semi-dry before going dry.
Kevin Falconer Fort Myers, FL
02-14-2003, 06:11 AM
I have made 2 dives with it other than a couple in my pool, before this I have dove wet for 11+ yrs. I was not even looking for a drysuit but a friend offered it to me at a price I could not refuse and it fits perfectly.
- It is WARM, even in 53 degree water (1st time was for an hour in the pool) and on the boat. Last time the other 2 on the baot were shivering after the last dive and I was balmy.
- It is more restrictive but not a lot more than a 6 mil jacket and john
- Requires much more lead, I went from 18 with a hendersone 5 mil gold core with a 3 mil hooded vest to 34. I think that will decrease a bit as I get more comfortable with it.
- I do not use it as a BC and have had NO problem with feet 1st ascent. I tried to make it happen in the pool and on one of the dives. I only add air to it when I begin to feel the inflator valve against my ribs.
- It is my understanding that if a laminate suit gets a hole, you have a really cold Hefty bag on you and the dive is over. If a neoprene suit gets a hole you have a really nice wetsuit.
02-14-2003, 07:48 AM
Sub... thanks for the info. Still a toss up for us to buy a drysuit or a Semi-dry. Dang 34 pounds?
Dabulltrouble.... how are you liking your suit? Still glad you bought the trilam?
02-14-2003, 09:25 AM
I have a trilam it is great. some of the undergarments still keep you warm even if you flood. mine is just about bulletproof .I ask a lot from my gear and my Bare trilam delivers. my drysuit has gaiters on the legs to restrict air getting into the feet and legs mine are built in but they can be added to any drysuit. Subdude had a good point about the drysuit class .I took one it was a waste of money .They basically said here is a drysuit jump in and figure it out. but you better practice first in a pool or shallow water it took me about 10 dives to get comfortable with the weighting and bouyancy.
02-14-2003, 02:28 PM
there is no need to use additional thermal garments with a neoprene, the SOB is plenty thick and warm.
Not trying to sell ya on one or the other, like I said I wasn't even looking. I have no experience with or even around a laminate suit.
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