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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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I know its been asked before but as im about to spend a fair sum of money id like opinions:

Im definately in the market for a drysuit as im sick of getting soaked in mine.

Firstly, top of the range expensive ones are out.

Im looking at maybe Otterskin membrane, Otter Britannic or Northern Diver Cortex at the moment.

Anyone got any thoughts or used these to give opinions ?

Are there any reasons NOT to get one of these and so on ?

Im looking at getting MTM purely because the stock sizes for my height normally have size 8 boots and im 11.  Plus if im spending that much i may as well pay slightly more and have a customised one.

What about addons:-  I definately want a pocked (1 maybe 2).

Are the neoprene neck warmers and cuff warmers any good or dont they actually do anything ?

Dump valve - my existing suit is a cuff dump, i take it auto dump is the way forward these days ?  Apeks or Sitech ?

Any other advice for a first time new-buyer?  Any other makes/models i should consider ?
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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Otter is a damed fine start. I would insist on the light weight seels if your going membrain / laytex as the HD seels are like car inatubes and go rapidly from cutting off blood supply to the brain to leeking like a seive when cut to fit. My origional light weight ones were fantastic and never leeked but I snaged the wrist seel and thaught i would get a compleet new set and the HD replacements were a diferent story.

Defo get side leg pockets. Leg pockets are great and ones on the side are more accessable than ones on the front IMHO

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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No,no,no go for the HD seals not the lightweight ones don't listen to Chasey just because he cocked up cutting his seals to size
 The light ones if you are diving week in week out don't last 5mins where as the hd ones will. Trust me I have become quite the expert on otter suits over the last 18 months...enough of one as to never buy one again
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Right so thats 1 for and 1 against Otter.

Any thoughts of the ND suit to compare ? (i know they have/had a reputation for dodgy customer service).
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Chase @ Nov. 22 2003,20:00)]Defo get side leg pockets. Leg pockets are great and ones on the side are more accessable than ones on the front IMHO
<font color='#F52887'>In my opinion, front pockets are useless they catch the RIB as you are getting aboard for  a start. The side pockets are better, but they are more difficult to get into if you progress to sidemounts. you will have to find a good point in between.
 

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SI-Tech dump valve every time!
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>String,

Have a ND Dive Master and think it is brill, never been wet, but thanks to the expanding gut and the friendly tax man giving me a nice rebate I am now looking at a O'Three, if you can wait until March I am going to bung the NDDM on E Bay

Dive Safe,

Bert
 

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I have a ND Vortex and it's quite comfortable and doesn't leak (no pockets though).  I do have problems dumping all the air from the shoulder dump sometimes, maybe because the arms are a bit loose (I'll have to build up my biceps), maybe because it's an Apeks valve in it?
 

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wibble
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i have a Seac Sub membrane suit.  Never EVER EVER get one.  They could be sold to Tetley after a year.  Im onto the second set of seals, it has had two holes in it, a new zip and all new valves.  I got it in July 2001 and it has done about 80 dives, which is, in my opinion CRAP value.  When the zip went, i worked out that for the number of dives i had done, it would have been cheaper to hire a suit for each dive than to use my own.  I would go for a northern diver suit.  Go through a well established dive shop so if you have any probs they can argue for you with ND.  Get some lube for your seals (not talc as it can irritate your skin, and can be bad for the rubber if it is scented).  KY is expensive, so go to your vets and ask for Lubrel or Vetlube.  It should set you back about £4 for a 500ml bottle and will last you well over a season.
As for trimming the latex seals, stretch them first, only cut as a last resort.  A pyrex bowl for the neck, and a can of coke for the wrists.  Leave it in overnight.  You might need to do this several times to get it right.
If the seals dont last you at least two years complain like mad.  I have a drycag for kayaking that is about 10 years old, it has the original seals in it, is battered to buggery but doesent leak.  Anyone who tells you seals need replacing more often is trying to get you to part with your cash.  Look after them with silicone seal saver after every dive and they will last ages.  Lastly, if any bits start going, use aquasure or similar stuff to get them.  At the join between the boots is a fave, also the seams around the knees.

Good luck
 

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The low-profile Apeks valves are apparently more difficult to dump air with than the old ones. I've got a lot of mates who've swapped their old valves back onto suits to replace the low-profile option. Something to consider.

I like ND suits, and have used the thick neoprene suits they produce and the CNX. I liked the CNX, but after several years hard service is apparently coming to the end of its useful life. It went in for a pressure test a while back and they found lots of pinholes all over the place, but they're not noticeable when diving.
 

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All my last 3 Drysuits were Northern Diver, neoprene.
The last suit I purchased was a Divemaster model, whilst the suit was o.k. I sussed out I had paid over the odds for it in comparison to an equivalent Otter model.
My experience was that after sales was increasingly poor and I found routine repairs expensive.

I consider any of the Otter Range are better and what's really tipped it for me was their excellent aftersales, the prices for routine repairs are far more competative then ND.

On the subject of weird sizes, Otter managed to sort me out with a stock size even with size 10feet.
 

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<font color='#000F22'>Save your money & buy a crushed neoprene drysuit either a DUI or O3. I got fed up of getting wet & feeling like a michelin man in my membrane, so bought a DUI CF200 crushed neoprene, the best decision I've made, never had a wet dive, movement is so much easier, don't bother with low profile dump. My only regret is not getting the piss valve. (not that you'll be needing that.)

gareth
 

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Azdry Cordura Pro available from SDS Watersports... Best dry suit i've ever owned, very tough - but alot heavier than a typical tri-lam membrane... Never had a wet dive, and I think it's got HD seals, they give the wrists a squeeze on cold days!

(OK it's the only dry suit i've ever owned, but I like it!)

Couple of divers at our place have the DUI crushed neo, everyone looks on enviously, they are 'sposed to be the mutts, will probably consider one myself when/if I ever need to replace mine...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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A few more thoughts then.

As for a DUI or more expensive suit, its not an option, i need a suit ASAP (pretty much stopped diving as i can now empty several buckets of water out of my current suit) and i dont have anything like the funds for one of those.

£550ish is about my maximum price.

From the comments it seens ND vs Otter is about a draw, some love them some hate them.  Guess im going to need to take a gamble
 

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<font color='#000F22'>My only thoughts on the ND is that 5 club members got a group deal while on a w/end away & all have had problems. So much so for custom manufacture, 2 we're sent back for good and the rest leak on a regular basis. Julian has sent his back a few times & a couple of weeks ago he had to turn it inside out to dry after jumping in with the zip open, (classic) and it was like a patchwork quilt. This however maybe a limited view.

gareth
 

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<font color='#810541'>Can I jump on this thread and ask about dry suits too? Seems you all know what you are talking about and I could do with some basic advice. I have never worn a dry suit and I am coming to the UK this winter and hopefully will be shopping for one. I have been reading some stuff on YD that I found, inc. this thread. What's a crushed neoprene/ DUI suit? I know basic differences btwn neoprene and membrane suits.... which type is better and why? Do you need more weight for the neoprene ones? If anyone can provide any basic advice and reccommend any shops in the London area, please do so.

My limit is about 600 squid.

Cheers

Lisa
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]What's a crushed neoprene/ DUI suit?
Crushed neoprene is as it sounds. Because it's crushed there's less air trapped in the neoprene so it doesn't affect your buoancy as much. DUI is just a manufaturer of suit.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I know basic differences btwn neoprene and membrane suits.... which type is better and why?
Personal preference really!

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Do you need more weight for the neoprene ones?
I "think" it's about the same.

Dunno about the London bit. For what it's worth I spent £300 on a Typhoon Pro. 300-odd dives and many sharp bits of metal later it's still bone dry. So just because it's dear, doesn't make it good.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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An old thread but a final update on it.

I finally got around to getting a suit and its a Northern Diver Cortex.  I know a few people with them without problems and it didnt cost a lot (for a suit!).

All i need to work out now is how to use the auto dump thing (previously suit had a cuff dump).

Its dry-suit in the pool time again (and associated heat stroke)
 
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