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Best suit gas 1st stage for cold water?

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by Subcooled, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Subcooled

    Subcooled Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
    1,172
    352
    83
    I have been using Apeks DS4 as my drysuit gas 1st stage. It is a little bulky.

    I would like to replace it with something cheaper, and possibly smaller. I will, however, dive in very cold water, around freezing point at worst. Which suit gas 1st stage would you recommend, and why? Free flows are usual, but I still HATE them, so something that works is cold water is preferred.

    Thanks
     
  2. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    17,282
    9,236
    113
    suit gas is a really low flow application and it's also infrequent, so you shouldn't see icing all that often. That said, there is not a whole lot out there that is less bulky than the ds4, it's pretty tiny. Maybe a Scubapro MK2, but I'm not convinced it's actually smaller
    This is about as small as it gets since it replaces your whole valve as well
    Dry Suit / Pony Bottle Valve w/ Quick Fill Nozzle!
    This one is a sealed diaphragm if it makes you feel better
    Balanced Diaphragm First Stage - RG3V , Piranha Dive Shop |
     
  3. Subcooled

    Subcooled Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
    1,172
    352
    83
  4. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    17,282
    9,236
    113
    I think they're probably both going to be about the same. Unsealed pistons for both, but again you aren't breathing off of it so the flow is slow enough that it won't get too cold
     
    Subcooled likes this.
  5. davehicks

    davehicks ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Seattle
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    I used a Mares MR12 for DrySuit inflation for about ten years. Very small and simple, I see them on ebay for about $50. I had maybe 500 dives and 10 years before I serviced it. It was the first regulator I did DIY service on, so a good learning experience. It didn't need any new parts, just cleaned it and replaced the o-rings. Still works but I'm only using on my workbench now.
     
  6. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    1,573
    1,079
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    I just went from a DGX drysuit inflator regulator to a DS4 for 2 reasons. It's more compact (yes, the DS4 is more compact) and it is a spare for my other DS4 1st stages. The DGX runs a booster pump, but can be put back into service as a drysuit reg and the DS4 goes back to regular 1st stage duty or parts to fix a 1st stage.

    I did this after a training class was disrupted by a failed 1st stage on a Saturday morning. A pool side rebuild didn't fix it and a rush local shop rebuild cost me nearly what the DS4 did. If I had it, I could have done a shuffle and kept up with class. I got lucky or else the whole weekend would have been shot. Or worse a vacation.
     
  7. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    17,282
    9,236
    113
    and stories like this are why I don't believe in the horseshit that people spew about getting service anywhere you go. When buying regulators, buy a doubles set instead of a singles set, and that extra first stage will pay for itself the first time you need it...
     
    grantctobin likes this.

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