Wetsuit Recommendations

Drysuits, semi-drysuits, wetsuits, undersuits, hoods...what do you want to know?

Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby Xman » Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:08 pm

***disclosure: I used to work for Pro-Dive***
I can't comment on the current state of production, but highly recommend the Pro-Dive suits. When I worked there, they were high quality and durable suits with decent seals that lasted well. I dive a MTM Pro-Dive Evolution one-piece and find it perfectly adequate down to 10deg or so, but I have more than average natural insulation. :)
As has already been suggested, fit is the most important thing. That being the case it is hard to go past a MTM Seaquel suit. I have been impressed whenever I have had dealings with them, and have not heard anyone disappointed after buying one of their suits. The ability to add pockets and pads at the buyer's discretion is also a bonus.
Don't settle for a less than perfect fit though, regardless of how good a deal it might be. A basic suit with no seals that fits well will be warmer than a high end suit with all the bells and whistles that is too big.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby gingerninja » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:12 pm

Ali - Of the Hamilton shops, Dive HQ has only got the seconds/old stock on sale, and Ocean Escape is always on sale, but they only have Atlantis and Apollo wetsuits. I don't like the third shop, and the fourth has just closed down earlier this month (no big loss).

I was up in Auckland over the weekend so I tried on a few suits:
- I tried to get a Cressi Lontra to try on - but nobody had my size. But seems to be a nice suit with good seals, at a reasonable price.
- Aqualung Inferno was too big across the chest, and has crap arm flexibility due to the ti-zip across the shoulders.
- Atlantis Intrepid was too long in the seals, and the seals were only average.
- Prodive Evolution was again too big across the chest, but seemed to be a good suit (even though I was originally looking for hoodless).
- Pinnacle Elastiprene fitted well (probably because of its stretchiness which then compromises the thickness and durability), but seals weren't that good.
- Aqualung Blaze (same as Inferno but wit normal zip) fit really well and had good seals, and a pretty good price too. The winner so far.

But I haven't bought one just yet - as Flipper from SODS has generously given my his old drysuit which luckily fits well enough! :D Just got to pressure test the zip and get new seals. If that works out then I will probably wait until Spring to get a wetsuit since I wouldn't use it till summer. And then I might go have a look at Seaquel, as they might be back open on weekends then (with the Aqualung Blaze the fallback suit).

One shop in particular was interesting - the wetsuit didn't fit, but they kept trying to tell me it wouldn't matter, and that my fourth element would fill up the gap. I told them I already had a suit that had gaps, and then he tried to sweeten the deal by knocking off $50, and said I could look at getting it altered. I didn't like that idea - might as well get a whole wetsuit custom made.

Thanks for everyone's advice. :)
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby Azza » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:25 pm

I have the Trident Explorer...They have no merino, dry fast and are very warm. As Andy pointed out the stitching does come undone but in saying that I have had mine for 8 years or so now with no issues. I must admit I haven't really looked after it either but it's a bloody good suit.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby DiveDiva » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:02 pm

I have a 5mm PROBE wetsuit, which is just fine for NZ summer. In fact I wear it most of the year round (adding a Fourth Element vest for 18 degrees and below).They are inexpensive and super stretchy and IMHO, it's like wearing a suit that feels like a 3mm but with the warmth of a 7mm. It has lasted me 6 years so far and I hope it lasts a lot longer but I'll definitely be getting another.

Here is their website: http://www.probedive.com/aboutus/index.html
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby binklebonk » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:49 pm

Too much internet diving... :lol:
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby DiveDiva » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:49 pm

binklebonk wrote:Too much internet diving... :lol:


Oi! :evil: Since I bought it, I have dived about 600 times (using a drysuit maybe 5% of the time). It's a goodie!
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby Andy » Fri May 01, 2009 6:45 am

gingerninja wrote:But I haven't bought one just yet - as Flipper from SODS has generously given my his old drysuit which luckily fits well enough! :D Just got to pressure test the zip and get new seals. If that works out then I will probably wait until Spring to get a wetsuit since I wouldn't use it till summer. And then I might go have a look at Seaquel, as they might be back open on weekends then (with the Aqualung Blaze the fallback suit).




OK, who is up for a wager? My guess is that you'll think more about a drysuit when the time comes.....! Dive dry, dive happy!!!

That's a score, getting someone to lend you a drysuit for winter.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby NEMES1S » Fri May 01, 2009 8:30 am

Andy wrote:
gingerninja wrote:But I haven't bought one just yet - as Flipper from SODS has generously given my his old drysuit which luckily fits well enough! :D Just got to pressure test the zip and get new seals. If that works out then I will probably wait until Spring to get a wetsuit since I wouldn't use it till summer. And then I might go have a look at Seaquel, as they might be back open on weekends then (with the Aqualung Blaze the fallback suit).




OK, who is up for a wager? My guess is that you'll think more about a drysuit when the time comes.....! Dive dry, dive happy!!!

That's a score, getting someone to lend you a drysuit for winter.

Yeah once you have dived dry in cooler waters there is no going back.....that sensation of cold water seeping in through all the seams in the wet suit...no thanks!! :lol:

Even in summer in Welly I will not be going back to a wetsuit....unless its wharf jumping!! :P
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby combers » Fri May 01, 2009 11:21 am

thanks for the post Gingerninja - I was about to ask an almost identical question!

The Stealth wetsuit you tried does get easier with practice, but they certainly aren't the most elegant things to get into or out of.

FWIW, my choice for thermal protection will probably be between a stealth (which I have dived in several times and found warm enough in 12 degrees) and a drysuit, and the more I read and talk to people, the more likely it is that Mr Mesley will get a call from me when I get a job!

cheers
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby Andy » Fri May 01, 2009 12:54 pm

You have no idea, Sean!

I've even converted my Canadian father-in-law and uncle, who religiously every year would do ice dives in 7mm two pieces. They saw the joy of drysuit diving after doing a liveaboard trip to the Poor Knights in winter, 14 degC water as opposed to -2 degC in the estuary of the St Lawrence. They now both dive dry in summer.

It is the way forward. Wetsuits are for people who don't have cajones big enough to admit that they've gone soft and love it. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby guru » Fri May 01, 2009 1:31 pm

Andy wrote:It is the way forward. Wetsuits are for people who don't have cajones big enough to admit that they've gone soft and love it. :lol: :lol:


Or can't quite afford a dry-suit :)
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby gingerninja » Fri May 01, 2009 2:07 pm

Andy wrote:
gingerninja wrote:But I haven't bought one just yet - as Flipper from SODS has generously given my his old drysuit which luckily fits well enough! :D Just got to pressure test the zip and get new seals. If that works out then I will probably wait until Spring to get a wetsuit since I wouldn't use it till summer. And then I might go have a look at Seaquel, as they might be back open on weekends then (with the Aqualung Blaze the fallback suit).




OK, who is up for a wager? My guess is that you'll think more about a drysuit when the time comes.....! Dive dry, dive happy!!!

That's a score, getting someone to lend you a drysuit for winter.


You've lost me Andy - what are you wagering on? Are you betting that I won't bother getting a new wetsuit if the drysuit works out?

Yep, Flipper is very generous indeed.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby gingerninja » Fri May 01, 2009 2:12 pm

combers wrote:thanks for the post Gingerninja - I was about to ask an almost identical question!

The Stealth wetsuit you tried does get easier with practice, but they certainly aren't the most elegant things to get into or out of.

FWIW, my choice for thermal protection will probably be between a stealth (which I have dived in several times and found warm enough in 12 degrees) and a drysuit, and the more I read and talk to people, the more likely it is that Mr Mesley will get a call from me when I get a job!

cheers
Sean


No worries Sean - its always good more than one person gets some benefit from a thread.

Regarding the stealth wetsuit - it was bloody hard to get into in the shop with a nice bench to sit on, and a nice dry solid floor. I agree it should get easier with practice, but it would still be bloody hard on a wet rocking boat, so to me its not a good choice.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby combers » Fri May 01, 2009 5:00 pm

I have to admit I have never tried a new Stealth on - only a trial one that has been around the block a few times... that might be the difference. But I have seen the locals gather when they hear someone is trying one on - it is a great spectator sport :D

As for cajones, I learnt in the hills that it isn't "toughness" that makes you put up with cold if you can (easily) do something about it, it is something else. Fingers crossed for a good paying job so that it IS easy to do something about it BEFORE winter comes! I am quite happy to man up and admit I have gone soft in my old age! :D
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