Wetsuit Recommendations

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

Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby gingerninja » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:07 pm

I have been freezing in my current wetsuit lately. I think it has done the opposite to most wetsuits and stretched with time. So its time for a new one.

I am after a good quality wetsuit suited to north island diving. No I am not getting a drysuit (not yet anyway). At this stage my preference is to have an unhooded suit - then I can be comfortable and only add the hood when absolutely necessary.

Does anyone have any recommendations for wetsuits?

I have heard good things about seaquel wetsuits - and their prices seem pretty good too. $551 for their semi-dry, with the elbow and knee pads added, and pocket. Or $671 made to measure (should be able to get it in something other than hide in the dark black too ). Only problem with them is they aren't open on weekends anymore (till next summer I presume), so I would have to a Friday off work to drive up and visit them.

I have been looking at the pinnacle/trident ones too, but their best suits (better seals etc) all have merino lining, which sounds like it would be a PITA to dry (and I doubt it increases warmth). And they are $800.

Or the Mares Isotherm sounds warm too, with nice seals. I think it sells for $700.

I have heard good things about prodive wetsuits in the past - but are they still making them? I think they might have closed down - or maybe just relocated manufacturing to china.

Other brands I have been looking at are Neptune, and Cressi. Anyone own these?

Any feedback on any of these suits (or others not mentioned) would be much appreciated.

(I have also posted this on http://www.sods.co.nz)
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby ChrisB » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:19 pm

I have recently splashed out on my first suit - a Mares Trilastic 8/6/5 with merino lining... no problems with drying. Its a big big around the armpits than ideal but have not found it to be an issue.
Does not come with a hood though, but water is still warm enough to not NEED one yet :)
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby tara » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:22 pm

i've got an atlantis trident - $599.00
7mm where you need it around your core. knee, elbow and shoulder pads.
not merino lined as far as i know.

i also own a mares trilastic - 7/5/3 but i cant remember how much i paid for it.
its my favourite suit but its in for repair at the moment as its ripped just underneath the bottom of the zip
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby binklebonk » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:24 pm

What thickness? I use a Prodive "Liberator" (why the silly name I'm not sure..) There's a whole bunch on TM at the moment at a pretty good price http://www.trademe.co.nz/Sports/SCUBA-snorkelling/Other/auction-214588020.htm

Mines a 5mm and I find it fine with a vest and hood down to about 12 deg before I'm in my DS.

EDIT* I should say it's just tolerable at 12 degrees..*EDIT

I've done about 90 or so dives in it and it's still very supple and in good knick.
Last edited by binklebonk on Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby Andy » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:45 pm

I think the Mares suits have a plush polyester lining rather than actual merino?

I used to have a Trident with merino lining - it would take two days to dry. I'm a little sceptical of the build quality on the Trident/PInnacle suits, I've seen a lot where the stitching goes quite quickly. I also didn't find it particularly warmer either.

I'd go with whatever fits, ginge. Certainly it's going to be hard to beat the Seaquel MTM price. Ali Perkins has got a MTM seaquel and she was very complimentary about it when we were up north earlier in the year. I'd give them a call midweek and ask them whether they'd open for an hour one Saturday for you, I'm sure they would.

I saw a test 4th Element wetsuit a while back in Global, it certainly looked very snug and warm. I don't think Pete is bringing in neoprene goods, though.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby JohnSymons » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:29 pm

Waterproof Aries, has roll over wrist and ankle seals helping trap water inside the suit and a 10 mm backspine pad. Also is lined with a material that makes donning very easily even when wet.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby justsimon » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:39 am

If your suit is just stretched and otherwise in good nick it might be worth looking at something to wear under it? Possibly a cheaper option.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby Ali Perkins » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:42 am

I absolutely love my Seaquel wetsuit. I do believe the 2 piece suit is key for me as I really feel the cold, 14mm on the core in winter is awesome! It makes valve drills a pain because you don't have the flexibility round the shoulders but for most people this isn't an issue.

Here's some of my dive stats from last winter, which I think speak for themselves.
21/06/08 - 15C - 81mins
06/07/08 - 14C - 77mins
17/07/08 - 13C - 63mins (night dive)
19/07/08 - 14C - 78mins
19/10/08 - 15C - 100mins :shock:
I should note that being distracted while diving is great for not 'feeling' the cold. I get so caught up taking photos, I just don't notice how cold I'm getting sometimes. When I lose total feeling in my fingers and can't push the buttons anymore I figure it's time to bail.

There are some down sides. If your buddy isn't as warmly equipped as you, they'll start shooting you dark looks at about 35 minutes and abandon you shortly after. Also, if you're boat diving with others, they'll be sitting on the boat shivering after their 35 minute dives waiting for you to return and hating you!
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby gingerninja » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:38 am

binklebonk wrote:What thickness? I use a Prodive "Liberator" (why the silly name I'm not sure..) There's a whole bunch on TM at the moment at a pretty good price http://www.trademe.co.nz/Sports/SCUBA-snorkelling/Other/auction-214588020.htm

Mines a 5mm and I find it fine with a vest and hood down to about 12 deg before I'm in my DS.

EDIT* I should say it's just tolerable at 12 degrees..*EDIT

I've done about 90 or so dives in it and it's still very supple and in good knick.


Ha ha liberator couldn't be more appropriate for you! I am after a 7mm so I will see if they have any of those to sell. (If I got it I might have to scratch the name off so I don't look like you :wink: )
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby gingerninja » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:41 am

justsimon wrote:If your suit is just stretched and otherwise in good nick it might be worth looking at something to wear under it? Possibly a cheaper option.


Nah the suit hasn't really stretched - I have shrunk. I was just playing on the old joke that wetsuit shrinks with age.
Its way too big under the armpits etc, and even with a fourth element thermocline long sleeve under its still not warm enough. Being a budget/entry level wetsuit the seals aren't very flash either.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby binklebonk » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:42 am

Yeah being the dynamic Liberation duo would be naff..
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby gingerninja » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:50 am

Ali Perkins wrote:I absolutely love my Seaquel wetsuit. I do believe the 2 piece suit is key for me as I really feel the cold, 14mm on the core in winter is awesome! It makes valve drills a pain because you don't have the flexibility round the shoulders but for most people this isn't an issue.

Here's some of my dive stats from last winter, which I think speak for themselves.
21/06/08 - 15C - 81mins
06/07/08 - 14C - 77mins
17/07/08 - 13C - 63mins (night dive)
19/07/08 - 14C - 78mins
19/10/08 - 15C - 100mins :shock:
I should note that being distracted while diving is great for not 'feeling' the cold. I get so caught up taking photos, I just don't notice how cold I'm getting sometimes. When I lose total feeling in my fingers and can't push the buttons anymore I figure it's time to bail.

There are some down sides. If your buddy isn't as warmly equipped as you, they'll start shooting you dark looks at about 35 minutes and abandon you shortly after. Also, if you're boat diving with others, they'll be sitting on the boat shivering after their 35 minute dives waiting for you to return and hating you!


At this stage Seaquel seems the way to go. Hopefully I can get up there when they are open.

I should add that I haven't yet tried any new wetsuits on. I am hoping to narrow the selection down as there are far more suits to try on than I would like.

Thanks everyone for the advice so far - keep it coming please. :D
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby gingerninja » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:00 am

I tried on a few trident/pinnacle wetsuits today. The first was a trident 'Stealth' zipless wetsuit. These must be designed for contortionists as they were nearly impossible to get into, and impossible to get out of unaided. And it turned out to be too big - so imagine what it would be like for the smaller size.

The others I tried on were conventional steamers. The only one with decent seals all round was the $800 merino one - way too much to pay for a gimmicky hard to dry lining I think.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby Andy » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:19 pm

gingerninja wrote:The others I tried on were conventional steamers. The only one with decent seals all round was the $800 merino one - way too much to pay for a gimmicky hard to dry lining I think.


Yeah, to my mind. At that price, it's almost worh biting the bullet and going for one of the Outer Edge drysuits that Pete Mesley imports - they are $1400, I think?

I think Seaquel will be your best best, ginge.
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Re: Wetsuit Recommendations

Postby Ali Perkins » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:24 pm

Any Hamilton dive shops having a sale heading into winter, to offload excess stock they're unlikely to sell until next summer? I see some of the Auckland shops slipping into sale mode.
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