View Full Version : Tls350?



drysuit repair dave
04-03-07, 09:50 AM
Not trying to start a ruck, but I would be genuinely interested to know why the TLS350 is the DIR suit of choice (other than the fact that JJ uses one:) ), and more specifically what makes it better than a Protec or Polar Bears?
cheers
dave
drysuitrepair.co.uk (http://www.drysuitrepair.co.uk)

Clare
04-03-07, 10:00 AM
First things first - you do not need a DUI suit to dive DIR. A suit should keep you warm and dry (sadly not always true in any suit) not restrict movement in any way and inflict minimal buoyancy changes through the water column.

Given that I have just bought another TLS 350 though, an honest answer from my own point of view as a customer.

Protecs are nice suits having many of the features that the DUI has without the exhorbitant price tag. What I personally don't like is the zip cover, the way that the overlay is not attached to the drysuit inflate, the boots and the neck collar.

Polar Bears appear to be good if you can get one which fits and if you can get the dump valve positioned correctly. I do know of a couple of divers who have spent time working with Polar Bears to get a nice suit - and suceeded.

DUI suits have their problems of course, but I'm probably wedded to them now because of zipseals which, especially when travelling which I now do quite a bit, are just so convenient.

Their undersuits are another matter - they have changed the cut to a point where I just won't buy one and am trying to decide at the moment what to replace it with. Santi looks like a good bet at the moment but perhaps Polar Bears would be OK.

Keiron
04-03-07, 11:59 AM
IIRC:

The Protec overlay was purposefully not attached to the inflator so as to remove a potential failure point, in much the same way they added a piece of material to form a crotch "band" to stop the well documented leaky TLS syndrome.

Garf
04-03-07, 12:10 PM
we don't all use DUI, I wouldn't change my protec for anything other than another protec. DUI are so overpriced I refuse to get one on principle, and they offer few real benefits over the protecs. Polar Bears - sorry just heard too many horror stories about ill-fitting suits.

ratcliffe
04-03-07, 12:10 PM
So this would explain why generally you don't see any DIR divers in neoprene suits, as you get the buoyancy changes as you descend ?

milldog
04-03-07, 12:16 PM
I have a Explorer from Polar bear in Devon (in fact i have two) fantastic suit and i would stand it next to the DUI any day cost for mine 600 DUI 1500

I have all the stuff the DUI have and repairs can be done in the UK sometimes same day

Graham

colinicky
04-03-07, 12:21 PM
Again genuine questions as I know nothing about DIR ,but I was of the impression that the latest crushed neoprene suits had only minimal changes in buoyancy or am I wrong ?
Also from somebody who has never managed to get used to an auto dump were is the correct position ? or is DIR cuff dump only ?
Sorry to be thick but having just bought a 2nd hand DUI Cf 200SE with auto dump I wondered.
TIA

ratcliffe
04-03-07, 12:26 PM
Thats kind of what I was thinking Colin, whilst the older neoprene suits and the 4.5 mm compressed ones will have quite a big buoyancy change, something such as my 3mm hyper-compressed (or whatever its called) suit will have a relatively negligable change. I would think the main drawback is that it takes more weight to get a neoprene suit down than a membrane such as most DIR divers use.

HP
04-03-07, 12:27 PM
I have to say that Adrian's Polar Bears suit looked terrific when I saw it the other day and it fitted him beautifully.

The main thing with any TLS style suit (Protec, PBE etc) is that they are made of a relatively thin material material which along with a telescopic torso really does give you a huge range of movement - much more so than most neoprene suits. The first time you try one of these suits on - it just doesn't feel like you're wearing a drysuit.

The lack of buoyancy change is also a major factor - but you do need good undersuiting in order to stay warm as a consequence.

Looks like a few of the other manufacturers like PB are gaining ground on DUI fast - they need to watch out - the pricing is just stupid these days

colinicky
04-03-07, 12:37 PM
I actually went to Stoney (yes I know sad isn't it :redface: ) last Monday purely to try a DUI CF200 front entry suit with their 2mm compressed neoprene & I found I had far greater range of movement than I have ever had in my ND membrane suit .Also I needed the same amount of lead to sink with ,exactly none ! & that was without torches reals etc. I didn't buy a new DUI ,I found a very nice 2nd hand 1 on ebay for 250 which I think is a much more sensible price :teeth:

722
04-03-07, 12:52 PM
I have to say that Adrian's Polar Bears suit looked terrific when I saw it the other day and it fitted him beautifully.

The main thing with any TLS style suit (Protec, PBE etc) is that they are made of a relatively thin material material which along with a telescopic torso really does give you a huge range of movement - much more so than most neoprene suits. The first time you try one of these suits on - it just doesn't feel like you're wearing a drysuit.

The lack of buoyancy change is also a major factor - but you do need good undersuiting in order to stay warm as a consequence.

Looks like a few of the other manufacturers like PB are gaining ground on DUI fast - they need to watch out - the pricing is just stupid these days
You say the nicest things Howard. :)

The Polar Bear is a big test for me, having had full thickness neoprenes for 15 years or so. It is still a work in progress and I have not yet found the right combination of fair weather and time to do some weighting work with Arctics as undersuit. I also want to tryout some Rollock (sp?) drygloves. The orange ones works well when I get them on correctly, but latex against latex seals are a right pain. Not that gloves are needed most of the year. Not in the SEA anyway :D

Once I have the weighting sorted, anyone fancy some shutdown work with me?

Adrian

Adrian

HP
04-03-07, 01:38 PM
Once I have the weighting sorted, anyone fancy some shutdown work with me?


Sure no problem - Vobster some time soon?

722
04-03-07, 02:04 PM
Sure no problem - Vobster some time soon?
Suppose :(

tootricky
04-03-07, 02:18 PM
...mine 600 DUI 1500...
Cost doesn't have to be an issue, though. If you are lucky enough to be a standard size, I realise that many aren't, the you can pick up a bargain on eBay especially with the current US exchange rate. IIRC, Tricky picked his up for 650.

Cheers/Nic

milldog
04-03-07, 02:48 PM
Cost doesn't have to be an issue, though. If you are lucky enough to be a standard size, I realise that many aren't, the you can pick up a bargain on eBay especially with the current US exchange rate. IIRC, Tricky picked his up for 650.

Cheers/Nic

Cost isn't an issue mine was made to measure NOT off the shelf, it has twin pockets, zip guard, extra covers on legs and elbows, Halcyon P valve, shoulder dump all for 600 BRAND NEW

i had the option of integrated hood neoprene neck seals and dry gloves.

i chose not to get the rock boots

I'll post some pictures once i get them taken it's made from the light weight membrane material, it's not a dig but i looked at the DUI and to be honest the only difference was the price,

Graham

Mal Bridgeman
04-03-07, 03:11 PM
People generally seem to love 'em or hate 'em.

The thing that converted me away from my rather good Waterproof Antarctic 2000 was the desire to get flat trim which I just didn't seem to be able to nail in that suit. The turbo soles were the most desirable thing about the suit before I bought it.

After I bought it, it was it's astonishing comfort which made me enthuse about it more. I found diving it was similar to diving in a wetsuit from a flexibility and movement point of view. I also liked being able to "dress" myself.

It was very expensive and I am very pleased with it. I've spent more money on other things and been less pleased. The really good thing is that it set a new bar for SWMBO so when I mention I need a scooter and explain it's only a little bit more expensive than the drysuit I'll be okay ;)

Rgrds
Mal

johnkendall
04-03-07, 05:31 PM
Having had a Polar Bears Suit, I now dive a DUI. I have seen several (4 or 5) Polar Bears suits, that at first inspection looked good, but actually had major issues to do with the cut and size particularly in the legs and Arms.

On almost all the PB suits I've seen the arms are cut too large, this leads to a build up of gas in the arm on ascent, this then doesn't dump out of the valve unless you squeeze it out. This causes people problems with controlling their ascents propely.

The legs all seem to be cut too long, and too large. This coupled with the Welly style boots leads to issues with holding trim properly. Gaitors help with this, but really shouldn't be needed.

I've not dived a Protec suit, but my biggest issue with them comes down to the boots, Particularly now that they can't get the Hunter Boots anymore, and so have Welly style boots again. What they need to do is start making Compressed Neoprene socks, or a turbo sole style boot, and they would be a very good suit for the money.

For me at the moment though I've spent enough money in the past buying drysuits that i thought would work, and been proved wrong that I'll be buying DUI again for my next suit.

HTH

John

HP
04-03-07, 05:41 PM
Fair point John - I do love the turbosoles on my TLS - the flexibility of movement it gives you in the foot is great and almost no migration of air to the feet especially with fin keepers :)

722
04-03-07, 05:47 PM
Having had a Polar Bears Suit, I now dive a DUI. I have seen several (4 or 5) Polar Bears suits, that at first inspection looked good, but actually had major issues to do with the cut and size particularly in the legs and Arms.

On almost all the PB suits I've seen the arms are cut too large, this leads to a build up of gas in the arm on ascent, this then doesn't dump out of the valve unless you squeeze it out. This causes people problems with controlling their ascents propely.

The legs all seem to be cut too long, and too large. This coupled with the Welly style boots leads to issues with holding trim properly. Gaitors help with this, but really shouldn't be needed.

I've not dived a Protec suit, but my biggest issue with them comes down to the boots, Particularly now that they can't get the Hunter Boots anymore, and so have Welly style boots again. What they need to do is start making Compressed Neoprene socks, or a turbo sole style boot, and they would be a very good suit for the money.

For me at the moment though I've spent enough money in the past buying drysuits that i thought would work, and been proved wrong that I'll be buying DUI again for my next suit.

HTH

John
Can't comment on the leg length John - no baseline, but I'm using Rock boots over a neoprene sock on my PB.

Adrian

Gary K
04-03-07, 05:53 PM
do turbosoles make you fin quicker?

MarkP
04-03-07, 06:14 PM
Milldog's experiences with Polar Bears are clearly good.

Mine are varied. On the plus side, I was promised a suit and undersuit that made shutdowns a breeze and I got exactly that.

On the debit side, there are problems with the cut, with the crotch being too low and the legs slightly too short. There are several details that aren't what I asked for - the pockets aren't what I asked for, either on the shell or the undersuit.

The fit problems are the opposite of those mentioned by John Kendall as far as lengths etc. are concerned and I have no problems dumping gas.

It's frustrating. I like the suit because I can now shutdown as easily as I can scratch my neck, but I don't have a full range of movement to frog-kick properly. It's fundamentally good, but there are niggles thast annoy me whenever I wear it.

I had a minor spat with PB about a neckseal, but it was resolved to my satisfaction.

I mate of mine bought one and had similar problems to those I had. It's really annoying, as they have a product that's so close to being excellent, but let down by detailing.

Mind you, another mate went for the cave cut DUI with all the trimmings. It only worked out on the second suit, as the first one they sent him was a crock. I'd rather deal with a manufacturer on this side of the Atlantic when thigs go funny.

Regards,

Mark

722
04-03-07, 06:36 PM
Mind you, another mate went for the cave cut DUI with all the trimmings. It only worked out on the second suit, as the first one they sent him was a crock. I'd rather deal with a manufacturer on this side of the Atlantic when thigs go funny.

Regards,

Mark
That kind of think counted a lot for me too. PB are under an hours drive away. My second choice would have been Protec, but a days travelling each time.

Adrian

milldog
04-03-07, 06:55 PM
That kind of think counted a lot for me too. PB are under an hours drive away. My second choice would have been Protec, but a days travelling each time.

Adrian

have to agree with this i have had two fittings for my suit, and they are just 30 minutes up the road, to be honest the Explorer is a loverly suit and i have no restriction on movement shutdowns are a piece of piss and i wear the Xeotherm arctic under suit

if i have had problems they have been sorted over a cup of tea and fixed the same day.

Graham

Gary K
04-03-07, 06:59 PM
have to agree with this i have had two fittings for my suit, and they are just 30 minutes up the roadrumour has it they couldn't find the 'big' tape measure on Grahams first visit, so he had to go back when they did :)

milldog
04-03-07, 07:02 PM
rumour has it they couldn't find the 'big' tape measure on Grahams first visit, so he had to go back when they did :)

mmmm i reserve comment untill you need gas

Graham

i expected that from Sparky750 but not you :D

722
04-03-07, 07:02 PM
rumour has it they couldn't find the 'big' tape measure on Grahams first visit, so he had to go back when they did :)
Survey tape?

Digger
04-03-07, 07:05 PM
Survey tape?

You can get a boomerang to get it round him too :)

Digs.

Ooh, my first post taking it out of Graham for being a chubber. I feel priviledged. Like I've joined a little club. ;)

milldog
04-03-07, 08:38 PM
Hang on theres allot of people here throwing stones that live in glass houses

If i eat some more i could catch up with you lot :)

Graham

graham_hk
04-03-07, 11:41 PM
I had a Otter now I have a DUI - there is a world of difference and its worth the extra money. DUI are not especially expensive outside the UK.

Cheers, Graham

Tricky
05-03-07, 08:15 AM
IIRC, Tricky picked his up for 650.Indeed I did, although I was helped by the fact that my parents brought it back from the States for me so I only paid for delivery within the US. It's also a CLX450, not a TLS350, but it's still a fantastic suit.

milldog
09-03-07, 11:13 AM
Just a point here DUI asked polar bear to make their suits for them in the UK after polar bear refused to sell them the company .............. they refused

however they still get DUI suits there for repair when the seal glue rubs off

Graham

Ivon
09-03-07, 12:08 PM
I dive a DUI CF200x Signature Series. I have owned ND and O3 suits and the DUI is miles apart in terms of quality and materials. I have to say though that the big draw for me was the CF200 material, if I was choosing between a Trilaminate I don't think I would go down the DUI route as suits of similar quality can be bought for much less and from reports with less quality control problems.

I haven't had any problems with my DUI but considering the price I bloody well shouldn't. Possibly with it been a Signature they spend a little more time on them, but that been said it can be hard to fit a suit over the phone and local makers do count for a lot.

1138
09-03-07, 12:57 PM
I had a Otter now I have a DUI - there is a world of difference and its worth the extra money. DUI are not especially expensive outside the UK.

Cheers, GrahamAren't you a DUI dealer, Graham? Some would say that you might be a tad biased mate... :D

For my 5c worth, I'd absolutely love a TLS - especially one of the very nice European TLS Explorer suits that has reinforced panels in all the right places - but I simply cannot justify spending that amount on a drysuit, especially when I know that most of the extra cost is paying for the label and not any particularly clever manufacturing processes or research. Fact is, DUI *are* milking the DIR market and you'd be a fool not to think otherwise. Sure, they're great suits but don't kid yourself that you aint paying over the odds...