How do you shop for a drysuit?

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Texasguy

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Basically looking at drysuits online, I know a set of features I want, it is not a fancy list. I have a standard body type, no need for custom fitting.

The problem is, there are so many models and pricing is all over the spectrum. I am no longer even sure if the asking prices are good or not, the sold models are not widely sold elsewhere, making comparison shopping hard. Seems like every store has almost their own unique models. Therefore, I am confused how to approach the shopping. Another issue, I find it hard to understand how old is the model, not everyone advertises the year. I am afraid to spend $2K for some 3-4 year old model. I mean, most drysuits kind of look alike... I doubt I can tell simply by pictures.

What would you suggest?

PS: Also, how to get the deals?
 

Zef

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What suits in particular are you referring to and what websites are you looking at?

How to get deals?...depends on what constitutes a "deal" in your mind.

-Z
 

Mike1967

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I have a standard body type, no need for custom fitting.
No matter how "standard" you think your body is, there's no better fit than custom made. Referring to trilam of course, neo drysuits are a lot more forgiving.
 

lermontov

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a lot depends on the the type of diving youll do - -if you travel a lot then weight is a consideration - if your going to be squeezing through wreck and caves then durability, if your doing solo dives then front mounted zip is good, very cold water then allow a size for a thick undersuit etc. ideally more than one suit is good but that s not always within most budgets.

if your dives are going to be long ones then add a pee valve if its really cold water dry gloves etc. etc.

one option is can you loan some different ones from buddies to do a few dives in then you will have a feel for what you want

i wouldn't worry about the year they are all pretty similar in function but i would do some research to see if earlier models have had design or manufacturer issues
 

azgetaway

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I just bought a BARE Sentry Tech crushed neoprene. Here's my thought process (your mileage may vary) :

Neoprene vs Trilam - Trilam is less buoyant and will not compress at depth, more people I know and network with dive trilam by far. Neoprene, warmer, stretchy, little or no telescoping torso, easier to don and doff. Did I mention it's warmer (LOL)?

DUI vs BARE - more people I know and network with dive DUI suits by far, a few friends dive Santi. BARE about a $700 cheaper for a comparable suit, Santi = more$. I have to disclose I've been diving BARE XSC2 for seven years so that weighs heavy, I've had excellent service and support, except for the generation one scitech quick seal that failed and I had to replace with a DUI zip seal. I know there are a lot of other mfgs. These are the three on my radar/sphere of influence.

Zipper plastic vs steel- Dove the TZip for 4 yrs then BARE replaced it with a YYK for free, there was some recall on the TZip. I have little experience with steel but I know they fail over time as well, I like the lighter/cleaner plastic design, steel has a lot fraying loose threads.

Neck seal - standard BARE neoprene fold over seal vs Si gen2 quick seal. The gen2 Quick seal is an extra $250. that neoprene neck seal has mixed reviews, I've heard them last for ten years never leak, another diver told me every dive there was a trickle of cold water. I switched from latex to Si about three years ago and found Si is more conforming and comfortable. I'm sticking with Si.

Dump valve DUI vs BARE - BARE puts their dump valve right on the bicep, during ascents it's position makes it difficult to dump air while maintaining trim, the valve position is designed to dump while you are vertical in the water, you have to do a lot of twisting and manipulating to dump air. If you ever took a GUE fundies class you will know exactly what I'm talking about, I added a picture of the modification I made to my XSC2 that really works well. During an ascent I can by feel/know when air is expanding inside my suit, the suit goes loose. I want when I exercise my left arm to hear bubbles and feel that suit tighten directly. That's all. BARE will custom fit your valve placement for $125 and an extra 8 weeks to get the suit directly from Malta. I decided to purchase the suit as is and see if they've learned anything in the last 7 years about valve placement, I hate to modify the suit so I'm making a tradeoff here. That $125 fee will apply to any and all customizations I believe.

Custom vs off the rack - because I have a BARE suit that fit's to perfection this purchase was easy because I'm ordering the same size. Also someone wise here on this thread mentioned neoprene is more forgiving, if I bought trilam I might have had it custom ordered.

That's all folks, I'd be interested in hearing feedback you don't have to agree with me, I could be wrong LOL.
 

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flymolo

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I would suggest going into a dealer rather than looking online. In my experience they're more likely to give you a discount. In store you'll have a chance to check out any drysuits they have in stock and compare features, get advice, try on for sizing, etc. It's also nice to have a shop as your point of contact for any post-sale adjustments/issues.
 

Mike1967

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I just ordered the 4E Stealth and there was the option to move the exhaust towards the back of the arm. I chose the "standard" position, now I'm wondering if I've made the right choice. Does anyone with this suit have an opinion on this?

Cheers
 

azgetaway

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I just ordered the 4E Stealth and there was the option to move the exhaust towards the back of the arm. I chose the "standard" position, now I'm wondering if I've made the right choice. Does anyone with this suit have an opinion on this?

Cheers
Hey Mike, it depends on where their "standard position resides". Too far onto the tricep makes it difficult to reach, too far onto the bicep makes it difficult to purge while in trim. Cheers in 2021!
 

MaxBottomtime

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I prefer crushed neoprene or Cordura over trilam for durability. User-replaceable seals are a huge plus. I dive a Waterproof suit with dry gloves and a front plastic zipper. I can replace a torn neckseal or glove in less than two minutes. I shudder to think of the old suits I've had waiting for glue to dry on new seals.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/perdix-ai/

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