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Specialist Forums > Equipment Forum > Undersuit Advice Please
posted : April 7, 2008 Post subject: Undersuit Advice Please
Hi there.

I dive in an Otter Membrane or Trilaminate dry suit (sorry, can't remember exactly, but basically it's not a neoprene one) which is fine, but I've been having some issues with the Otter arctic 200 undersuit.

Basically, I'm only 5' and I find it too big and too bulky for me and really restrictive and uncomfortable to dive in (I also need a lot of lead to get me under the water). Plus, it's restricting the air flow to my cuff dump valve which is quite scary!

I do feel the cold, was diving in Loch fyne in Feb and my hands were so cold i couldn't use them to put air in my suit... dangerous me thinks!?! (Any one got any opinon on dry gloves!?)

Basically I'm after some adive on Undersuits, am after one with less bulk and that doesn't bring me near bend experiances. I've looked at the O THREE PPB and the Fourth Element Exotherm Arctic.

Any thoughts? Any advice would be much appreciated. Mel

posted : April 8, 2008 Post subject: Undersuit Advice Please
first off, dump the cuff dump and go for an auto shoulder dump valve instead. much less hassle and much easier to get gas from the suit and doesn't rely on getting your hand above your head to vent gas.
to stop the undersuit getting stuck in the valve, cover the parts of the undersuit close to the valve with tank tape. this'll stop it getting blocked with material.

i'm guessing the otter 200 is a 200gm thinsulate? it sounds like you need an undersuit that fits better ;-) although i'm not sure how too big and really restrictive fit together. it's usually either one or t'other.

one obvious question is what do you wear under the undersuit? if it's non-wicking material then you will get cold regardless. also bear in mind that any undersuit relies on air for insulation between the fibres, so having it tightly compacted will reduce its thermal properties.

to keep your hands dry, it *may* be possible to wear marigolds (under your normal gloves) and then fit the dry suit cuff seals over the top. if the gloves were to rip, there shouldn't be water ingress. keeping the hands dry will slow the chilling process. have not tried this so can't vouch for it. i just put up with having 'action man' hands for the tail end of the dive.

posted : April 18, 2008 Post subject: Undersuit Advice Please
well... some times when my local dive shop doesn't have any under suits in for me to rent (im still saving up for my own dry suit at the minute)
i wear many layers of thin- to medium thickness clothing, like T-shirts, thermal vests... ect and that generaly helps... as for the arctics ive hear they are VERY warm, there not for me as i dont feel the cold but they may help you.... hope i helped


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