Moaning about my previous dry suit for the last two years has become a bit of a hobby, so have been looking for a replacement. Not too many options in NZ, so when I saw the Fourth Element Argonaut, it caught my attention. I believe the suit is made by Ursuit.
Big thanks to Andrew at Global Dive for sorting this out for me.
Just done my first dive in it and the most important thing to say is that IT IS DRY!
It was a made-to-fit suit. It generally fits well, a little snug around the calves (I always have this problem, despite being measured, my previous suit had to go back for this reason). Legs about an inch or two too long, but I'll live with it. Feels like a lot of material on top, but it's my first front loader and it neatens up when the crotch strap is tightened - looks good in the mirror anyway!
Material is fairly light and flexible with reinforcements in all the right places. Reinforcements not over the top, it's a dry suit, not a suit of armour!
From the top then.
Hood - Choice of sizes and thickness which is nice, I went for 5 mm.
Neck seal - All options available, I went for latex. "Warm neck collar" over the top of the latex. A ring/quick change system is available, but all the suits I've seen with these rings look slightly awkward, like someone has left a coat hanger in it.
Zip - Front loading plastic and dry as a bone. Protective zip over dry zip.
Valves - Rebadged Apeks and no problems. Thick neoprene pad over inflate valve on the inside. Not sure what the purpose is, never had one before and don't need it. May take scissors to it.
Braces - I'm not a fan. Just another thing to get tangled up in, but these aren't bad and as I've discovered, helpful for a front loader.
Wrist seals - Again, various options available including a ring/quick change system. Having dived with dry gloves in the UK for several years, I know I don't like cuff rings, so went for standard latex which are the bottleneck variety.
Pockets - One large multi-section velcro pocket on each leg with various attachments, zipped compartments and D-rings. I think these are a little over-engineered. I just want a big, velcro single section pocket.
Socks - There are various boot and sock options. I went with socks and they are very well made, more like soft boots. My Converse boots go very nicely over the top.
Extras - Lube; changing mat; over-engineered dry suit dry bag (useful for something, but not storing a dry suit in); inflation hose; some other bag with no clear purpose.
Overall, a very well made dry suit with lots of good features and so it should be for the price.