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Wetsuit comparison

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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I should be working
Nov 8, 2002
Okay gang,
Wrestling season is winding down (1 month to go) then another two weeks till I got some dive gear money. One piece of equipment that I am going to get right away is a new wetsuit. I am torn between gettning a 3mm Picasso, OMER or 3.5mm Cressi . I have found deals on all of these but I want the best suit for the dollar. People that have tried Picasso suits swear that once I try them, I will never use anything else. Can anyone compare these suits in terms of warmth, fit, and durability? They all offer open cell interior with some kind of lining eliminating the need for lube:D . Any and all input will be appreciated.

Brad :martial
omers and picasso's I'm sure are great but I have 4 Elios Sub suits and I'm very happy with them. If you're shopping price along with quality you may want to look into an Elios Sub out of of Italy. I think you'll find good quality in custom fit for about 1/2 the cost. I don't think I've read a bad post here on db about 'em either.

One thing you'll notice about the lined suits verses the unlined is that they will allow a bit of water in, negligible really, but still more water compared to the unlined. In my unlined suits I virtually stay dry except for the cream rinse mix.

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How does a boy from North Dakota order an Elios suit?

4 of them? They MUST be warm!

well Jon,
one is my wifes. a 2.5 mil double lined/sans hood. I first ordered a 5mil open/closed: very nice, soft, dry, and toasty warm, quickly found out it was too warm except in the early spring, late fall, quarries, or below the thermocline, that's the one I wear under the ice or scuba; then ordered a 3mil pro w/inside superstretch lining: very stretchy, warm, lets in just the slightest water because the lining is stitched on the edges, nice though.. it's my favorite summer suit; then a 1.5 mil econo suit w/inside nylon lining, still stretchy (not as good as the superstretch 3mil) for mexico and the heat of the summer here, lets in negligible water like the 3mil. I wear the top half almost everyday training in the pool but let the hood drag. Anyway, elios has been super to work with, I use their website, send 'em about 16 different measurements (only had to do that once), called 'em on the phone a few times to get their opinions. So, I end up with 4 suits for about the price of 1 picasso. I kinda wish I would have got the superstretch lining and pro neoprene in the 1.5 mil - that would have been a v. sweet package. (but not complaining)

"edit"- bad thing is the euro is now 'bout even with the usd. - first suit I was at about 85% - still good buys though.

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I've only seen pictures of their suits, but they look great.

By time I am ready to get another suit I hope that the dollar will be up again. :D

Do you have a link to the website?

Thanks for the link Fred.

How do you caluclate how much they cost?

Do you have to submit an order and they get back to you with a price?

They had a pretty wild website listed on their links page- fetisheyes.com?? Looks like a Sven site.;)


My friends and I were thinking of making a big group order with Elios (to save on shipping), and I have a few questions...

- Can you define the various options for inside/outside? They are vaguely explained on the website. What is a normal open-cell smoothskin picasso equivalent to? What is a normal nylon-out open cell picasso? And what would a nylon-out nylon-in suit be referred to? I don't understand their terminology with all the different options.

- What is the stretchiest option for a 1.5mm? I'm assuming smoothskin / open-cell would rip in an instant.

- What thicknesses of neoprene are offered, and how many grades of neoprene?

- How long does it take before they ship out your suit?

Help us out, our picasso suits are slowly falling apart. A major repair job needed after every day of diving! And having 5.7C water creeping in through pinholes doesn't feel that good.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Eric, in answer to your questions:

Can you define the various options for inside/outside? They are vaguely explained on the website. What is a normal open-cell smoothskin picasso equivalent to?
My closed outside/open inside suit is best described as shiney outside/dull inside, inside is very sticky if lube is not everywhere. This suit is tough, I have mended one fingernail cut that went ¾ of the way through and that is it. It was what they call their professional line - very soft and pliable. You would not believe the seam quality on the suits. I have had many compliments on quality of seams.
What is a normal nylon-out open cell picasso? single linedAnd what would a nylon-out nylon-in suit be referred to? double linedI don't understand their terminology with all the different options. yes, it's confusing, but 4 suits and 6 samples later I think I'm figuring it out to some degree.
My wife's suit has what elios called the Kanako and that is a sort of stretchy nylon/sort of elastic - nice, stretches both directions almost equally, durable - even this would have been a better choice on the 1.5mm than the nylon. The nylon stretches good one direction but lacks in the other, still I am donning this suit many times a week and have not done one repair to it. My 1.5mm is their econoline of neoprene.

- What is the stretchiest option for a 1.5mm? I'm assuming smoothskin / open-cell would rip in an instant.
I would think their gold lining would be but that would not add much strength. The best for stretch in the 1.5 if they would use it would be what they refer to as their super-elastic L.Pile. It is what I have inside my 3mm. When I first saw it I thought there may be a problem with chaffing of my skin as it seems rough, it looks similar in texture to the Kanako but is more stretchy and again. a bit rough to the touch.. has never bothered me, but as I stated, first impression was that it might chaf. Turned out to be a non issue. This is much easier to put on then the nylon inside 1.5. Both are very easy to put on dry but if you happen to be wet for some reason that nylon inside is sticky too. Plus the stretch of the L.Pile is super. Kanako would be 2nd choice, maybe more durable
- What thicknesses of neoprene
are offered, and how many grades of neoprene?
- I believe there are thickness from 1-10mm and 2 grades neoprene with 3 grades of compression. I have 6 samples of their material that I sure could drop in an envelope to you if you want to pm me your mailing address. Some are with nylon sandwich between neoprene, a 2mm closed/open (not sure if it's econoline or pro, econo I think), camo with the L.pile, a nylon outer w/gold inner (the gold inner is similar to what I've seen on expensive Henderson scuba suits), and some camo samples too.

How long does it take before they ship out your suit?
My suits arrived in approx. 3 weeks if memory serves me correctly.. maybe 4 but no longer. I think close to 3. Fred
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and they offer a big pouch for you clowns that dive in ice!:D

I dove with a guy last week that was sportin' an Elios and it looked to be of very good quality. He cautioned to have someone measure you rather than try to do it yourself and that the person not have a problem getting thtape measure in close- always a good thing. ;)

Picasso-wise, my four are dakine, but the BioTermic will let a tad more water in than my unlined ones. They are tougher though and so there's a tradeoff. Warm-wise, I'd give the nod to the bare skin, but if you have a problem keeping the nails clipped, go with the Bio Termic.

I'll agree with Sven, the bio-termics are nice, but it seems the bare skin ones are a bit warmer. Kinda defeats the point of their advertising....

W3ac even if you get the bio-termic lined suits, I wouldn't advise trying to put them on without some lube. I can do it with my 3mm, but it's so much easier with some lube(conditioner & water smells nice :D). Plus, if you're gonna put that much $ into a suit, why risk tearing the lining or stretching the material out?

Sven, I'm sending you a PM about the weight harnesses.
rig what was that green Picasso suit you were wearing in that wahoo pic? I'm looking for a suit
in that color but in 3 mm for warmer water diving in the spring and summer. I was looking at getting a Xcel camo Suit with a separate hood. I'm including a pic of what I'm looking at.

BladeRunner OUT



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That is my new 3 mil Picasso Apnos...direct from the DB store for less than 2 bones:cool:

It is open cell interior and hella nice...or dakine, depending on where youre from:cool: I would have preferred a 5 mil but that one kept me warm for over 7 hrs before I started to notice the cold. I highly recommend it. In fact I will probably get a 5 mil just like it for next years lump season...:D
well I already use a 5mm but i just want a warm water suit geared toward spearing. I thought
that camo pattern would work perfectly with thecolor shade of the water I dive in near the bottom.

I's strange because the pic on the Scubastore doesn't show it being that dark green.

BladeRunner OUT
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I am currently diving in the OMER mimetic 5mm w/ Blue camo. It has been great. I am typically a "wuss" when it comes to getting cold fast in the water but this suit is great. I dove this past weekend in 48F water 2hrs each day and I was fine. I would have been even warmer if I had gotten the correct size. I am in between sizes and I should have sized down. It is open cell on the inside and nylon on the outside. The seams are great and the outside has shown no wear even with a good bit of diving in the rocks. I am in the market for a 3mil and am considering another OMER or an ElioSub. The new smoothskin elios Camo suits look pretty sweet!

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