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Question
Posted : November 11, 2007
looking into buying a new drysuit i currently have a membrane suit but it leaks pressure testing repair didn't work. your thoughts on membrane v neoprene and any recommendations on a good buy.

Answer
Posted : November 19, 2007
Hi there,

Leak testing doesn't always work... you can have annoying seams that channel the leak to other locations. The highly mobile areas of the Groin and Arm Pits can be troublesome places... so can simnple thinks like dirt in your dump valve and worn O rings in a rotatable inflator valve... all cause dampness.

What is sometimes confused as leaks is excess sweatting - honestly I'm not suggesting this is the case - but it can be.

Neoprene can sometimes become porous like a sponge and this is very annoying.

Suits - Membrane are great for flexibility and ease of doning/doffing. Downside is warmth. Neoprene can be like fitting a glove and extra weight is required for the extra bouyancy.

With Membrane you have more choice of thermal layers and hence range of diving and no loss of bouyancy characteristics (in the suit) with depth. You can put Neoprene neck and cuff seals on these suits if you wish...

With Neoprene you get a great thermal protection in built into the suits design, however with depth this crushes and hence reduces.. beware of this... The suit manufacturers have gone a long way in addressing this by a compromise and crushing the neoprene so you get minimal crush with depth. These are called understandably Crushed Neoprene Dry Suits.

Good Suits for general wreck diving - which will last a good decade are Otter, Norther Diver, O3 to name only a few (many many more are equally good). If you want to spend a lot more money then DUI do a stunning range of drysuits which a so nice and extremely well made.

Personally I dive with a membrane DUI TLS350, I have a ND membrane as a backup suit. I would have no issue with buying and using OTTER or O3 as they are stunningly well made and durable suits.

Diver has done extensive testing and they have produced a good buyers guide and if you want more info then take a peek at their guides. If you let me know what type of diving you do mostly i'll give you a more specific recommendation.

cheers Andrew.
Answer provided by ADM Diving

Andrew Dawson-Maddocks
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