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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Sep 5, 2001
Hi there!

I am training for my CMAS 1* Instructor diploma and will be doing some research diving next spring.

Being a genuine wetsuit diver I don't like suits that don't allow 'unencumbered' movement, so I'm looking for a flexible, 'minimum drag' drysuit that would be professional enough to use for research diving.

Any suggestions?
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I dive in a 4mm Compressed neoprene suit and I love it but it may not be great for everyone. I think you should find a dive shop that hires kit and hire a few different types. That way you can find the best one for your needs :)
Take a look at Mobby's Armor Shell Bib drysuit, it a front entry type trilaminate. Costs $900-1595 depending on where you look.
Undergarment runs around $200-300 and is 400gram thinsulate enough for Monterey CA 47degree ocean. I've had mine for 4 years.
DUI makes a good trilam. and also a crushed neoprene. We use them for research diving and they have held up well for quite a few years.
I have owned way more than my fair share of drysuits over the years.

I owned two 1/4 inch rubber suits. One bubble suit and one Jetsuit. One of them leaked like crazy, but it was the best that we had at the time.

Then,I bought an O.S. suit when they first came out- only lasted a year.

Next, I went to Viking. I owned two of them. The first one was tough as nails. The second one was junk- never again!

Finally, I tried DUI. I satarted with a TLS-50. It was a good suit that laste me over 7 years.

Then, I tried a CF-200. The thing was a pain to dry and even harder to repair. It held oil and oders form some of the wrecks I would dive in. It also fit like a glove. I liked it, but I wouldn't get another suit that was that heavy.

Now I use a CLX-450. It ius supposed to be their "wreck diving" suit. The outer material is more like Courdura than nylon. The suit is lighter than a CF-200 and heavier than a TLS-350.

If I had to do it over agian I would go with a TLS-350. The suit was light, easy to patch, quck to dry, light weight to travle with, and I could even get down to about 30' freediving with it!

Some friends of mine have had good luck with Diving Concept suits latley. They come in many differnt styles of material, like DUI's, and they are all custom. The big advantage is a custom suit at a stock DUI price.

I've just bought a Gates VSN 1100 Tek which i'm getting delivered in around 2 weeks time. Once i've tested it out i'll give you my verdict.

Incidentally i've heard great things about Gates Drysuits - I was going to do for the DUI but didn't feel it offered the best value for money - however they are quite a status symbol and are the pretty much the creme of the crop when it comes to suits.
A captain that I work with has a VSN suit. They used to be distributed by US Dievers. The suit has a nice feel to it. It even has a little bit of stretch. I don't understand why it was dropped from their line.
I looked into a Gates suit for my last purchase, mostly becasue they cost a lot less money. My Father-in-law has been diving one of their new CLX-450 suits a lot lately. I tried it for one dive but it just wasn't cut right for me. I tried on their next larger size and the cut was really off- too long in the legs and too short in the torso, ouch!
The DUI allows me to adjust the torso to something that fits. It also allows me to move things up for more room around my shoulders, very important for valve shut down drills.

The latest suit that more and more friends of mine are going to are the Diving COncept suits. You can get them made anyway that you want. They all come custom.

The full rubber suits are very heavy and not as tough as some of the new trilaminate suits. The dive rescue teams that I have trianed int he past love them for two reasons. First, you can decontaminate them a lot quicker. Second, they don't hold water in the fabric, which is very important when your diving under the ice.

I've just taken delivery of my new Gates VSN-1100 Tek suit. Haven't gotten near water with it yet but first impressions are high. Excellent fitting with stretch in the material will make putting on fins a breeze.

It came with an excellent 80 page manual on configuration, usage, care and basic technics whilst using the suit - as well as some basic repair materials, valves, and of course hose.

Very pleased with it so far however have to actually get wet in it before making any further analysis (and that doesn't mean standing in the shower!)
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