2013 Dive Gear Buyers Guide: Protection | Sport Diver

2013 Dive Gear Buyers Guide: Protection

Editor's Pick - BARE VELOCITY 5 MM

Stretch panels are placed in specific performance zones in the suit and then double-glued with BARE’s Secure-Lock construction. A 360-degree Glideskin neck seal and internal skin-in flip seals at midforearm and midcalf help reduce water entry.
Contact: baresports.com

Carrie Garcia

AQUA LUNG SOLAFX 8/7

An attached-hood warmer with front zipper and graphics, the SOLAFX also has kneepads constructed from multiple panels that allow for stretch. Made with four-way-stretch neoprene, the skin-in gasket seals in the forearms and calves minimize water entry.
Contact: aqualung.com
MSRP: $535

Carrie Garcia

AQUA LUNG HYDROFLEX 3 MM

Offered in a new vibrant-blue color, the super-stretch Hydroflex has an improved hook-and-loop adjustable neck. It sports flat-lock stitching for comfort against the skin, prebent anatomic legs and arms, and durable high-stretch kneepads.
Contact: aqualung.com
MSRP: $189

Carrie Garcia

AQUA LUNG HYDROFLEX 1 MM FULL

Designed for warm-water divers who are looking for protection against cuts and scrapes but don’t want to get overheated, the Hydroflex 1 mm features flat-lock stitching that minimizes chafing, and kneepads that are rugged yet still stretchy.
Contact: aqualung.com
MSRP: $119

Carrie Garcia

AQUA LUNG HYDROFLEX 2 MM SHORTY

A good choice for scuba and snorkeling, the Hydroflex provides enough warmth to keep divers comfortable while allowing freedom of movement. O-rings seal arms and legs, while a hook-and-loop collar adjusts to all neck sizes.
Contact: aqualung.com
MSRP: $115

Carrie Garcia

AQUA LUNG AQUAFLEX TWILIGHT 3 mm

Part of the Twilight line of women’s gear, this high-stretch jumpsuit boasts glued and blind-stitched seams. A soft inner lining makes the Aquaflex Twilight easy to don and doff, and it’s equipped with a skin-in neck seal and ultrastretch wrist and ankles.
Contact: aqualung.com
MSRP: $299

Carrie Garcia

BARE VELOCITY 7 MM

The temperate-water version of BARE’s Velocity line is constructed with heavysuit features like seamless underarms to minimize chafing, embossed back knee panels to improve leg flex, heavy-duty zippers for easy donning and doffing, and beefy Protekt kneepads.
Contact: baresports.com
MSRP: N/A

Carrie Garcia

IST SPORTS PROLINE 5 MM

Comfort and durability combine with super-stretch neoprene and triple-glued and double-blind-stitched seams to create a suit that fits like a second skin. The Proline 5 mm also features smooth-skin wrist and ankle seals and flexible kneepads.
Contact: istsports.com
MSRP: $300

Carrie Garcia

SCUBAPRO 3/2 EVERFLEX FRONT C-ZIP

This unique warm-water suit is made with a front-entry chest zipper that makes the Everflex easy to get in and out of while also minimizing water entry. High-stretch neoprene and seamless underarm panels provide total freedom of movement.
Contact: scubapro.com
MSRP: N/A

Carrie Garcia

Body Glove EVX

Made of high-stretch Magna Flex neoprene with Thermolite torso panels in both front and back for added warmth, the EVX has a short rear zipper and smooth-skin seals on ankles and wrists, plus an adjustable Velcro collar.
Contact: bodyglove.com
MSRP: $200

Carrie Garcia

SCUBAPRO PROFILE 3/2 STEAMER

Simple, comfortable and economical, the Steamer has been given a fresh look. Elegantly cut and styled, it’s built with durable, fast-drying X-Foam neoprene, and provides maximum range of motion for both diving and snorkeling.
Contact: scubapro.com
MSRP: $179

SEASOFT SEAZERA

A semidry wetsuit available in 3 mm, 5 mm and 7 mm, the SeaZera is made from super-stretch neoprene with Titanium Flake Foil Technology to retain heat. It features a popover neck seal with a dam to stop water from getting in, plus ankle zippers and a hood.
Contact: seasoftscuba.com
MSRP: $500, 3 mm; $600, 5 mm; $700, 7 mm

Carrie Garcia

SUBGEAR DEFINITION 3 MM

This men’s 3 mm warmer is built with infrared-reflecting heat-shield technology on the interior torso and plush lining on the nonstretch panels. A short zipper on the front of the collar increases comfort between dives.
Contact: subgear.com
MSRP: $269

Carrie Garcia

SUBGEAR ELEMENT 3

Designed for women, the Element 3 is both fashionable and comfortable. Made of a super-stretch material with Ultra-Span panels, there’s also a protective spine pad, a diagonal back zipper, and anti-abrasion patches in the shoulder and seat areas.
Contact: subgear.com
MSRP: $269

Carrie Garcia

TILOS ZENITH 3/2 THERMOWALL

Tilos’ top-of-the-line suit is made of double-lined SupremeStretch neoprene. Seams are quadruple-glued and blindstitched inside and out. In addition to the heavy-duty rear zipper, there are zips on the neck, wrists and ankles.
Contact: tilos.com
MSRP: $340

Carrie Garcia

TILOS CAMO SUIT W/HOOD

Blend in with rocky underwater terrain with this suit made from 1 mm Metalite featuring a reflective coating that helps retain body heat (1.5 mm camo hood with smooth-skin skirt sold separately).
Contact: tilos.com
MSRP: $210, suit; $35, hood

Carrie Garcia

SCUBAPRO LOOSE-FIT RASHIE

This short-sleeved, loose-fitting top is perfect for wearing under a wetsuit or on its own to protect from the hot rays of the sun and the chilling spray of water. Made of water-repellent, quick-drying fabric with a SPF factor of 50.
Contact: scubapro.com
MSRP: $52

Carrie Garcia

BARE SUNGUARD LS

Benefit from both wind-chill and 50-plus UV protection with BARE’s long-sleeve rash guard made from a quick-drying, 6.5-ounce high-stretch fabric. Flat-seam construction eliminates chafing on bare skin. Available in three colors and four sizes.
Contact: baresports.com
MSRP: N/A

Carrie Garcia

THERMALUTION BLUE GRADE HEATED RASH GUARD FOR WETSUITS

This battery-powered, temperature-controlled heated rash guard is for use under a wetsuit. It heats up in minutes and provides up to two hours of warmth to a depth of 150 feet.
Contact: thermalution.us
MSRP: $499

Carrie Garcia

TILOS WOMEN’S SS V-neck RASH GUARD

Made of 6-ounce four-way-stretch UV Flex material, this eye-catching top provides protection from harsh ultraviolet rays. Flat stitching throughout increases comfort, as the seams won’t chafe a diver’s skin.
Contact: tilos.com
MSRP: $40

Carrie Garcia

CRESSI MINORCA 3 MM BOOTIES

The high-cut Minorca 3 mm booties are ultra stretchy and come with rubber overlays on the heels and toes to resist abrasion from fin straps and foot pockets. They come in eight sizes for that perfect fit. Also available in 7 mm thickness.
Contact: cressi.com
MSRP: N/A

Carrie Garcia

IST SPORTS B400 3 MM FELT-SOLE BOOTS

Cut tall so they can provide plenty of overlap with wetsuit leggings, IST’s B400 3 mm Felt-Sole boots have 3 mm uppers and 10 mm felt soles. Toe and heel caps provide the extra protection for both your foot and your boot.
Contact: istsports.com
MSRP: $50

Carrie Garcia

SCUBAMAX SO-105 TRACTION SOCKS

These lightweight Lycra socks have heavy-duty nonslip soles to protect feet and improve traction. Breathable, flexible and extremely soft, the SO-105 Traction Socks are ideal for snorkeling, warm-water scuba diving or just playing on the beach.
Contact: scubamax.us
MSRP: $19, kids; $21, adult

Carrie Garcia

THERMALUTION RED GRADE HEATED FULL SUIT FOR DRYSUITS

Rated to 300 feet, this electronically heated full-body undersuit is for use with a drysuit. A wireless variable-temperature-control system lets you stay toasty warm for up to four hours.
Contact: thermalution.us
MSRP: $899

Carrie Garcia

Cressi Women’s SS Rash Guard

The Italians know something about style, so it stands to reason the new women’s short-sleeve rash guard with pink accents is a real looker. With a 40-plus UV rating, flat-lock stitching, and Lycra construction, it’s practical and fashionable.
Contact: cressi.com
MSRP: N/A

Carrie Garcia

Cressi Men’s SS Rash Guard

Flat-lock stitched so it won’t leave marks on your skin, Cressi’s new men’s short-sleeve rash guard is undoubtedly comfortable; dark colors and a slim, form-fitting cut mean it’s stylish as well.
Contact: cressi.com
MSRP: N/A

Carrie Garcia

Cool Deal - WHITES FUSION ONE

A DryCore shell under a 1 mm neoprene skin provides a waterproof system that offers a streamlined, high-stretch fit. Abrasion-resistant materials protect high-wear areas, as Lycra panels enhance movement. It’s a Cool Deal for the price.
Contact: whitesdiving.com
MSRP: $1,000

Carrie Garcia

BARE TRILAM PRO DRY

Redesigned with a polyester/butyl/polyester trilaminate and Ti-Zip MasterSeal zipper, the Trilam Pro offers a number of choices, such as a latex or 3 mm neoprene neck seal, neoprene or bottleneck latex wrist seals, and attached vulcanized boots or soft socks. Available in stock and custom sizes.
Contact: baresports.com
MSRP: N/A

Carrie Garcia

DUI FLX EXTREME

Polyester-trilaminate material makes the durable yet lightweight FLX Extreme as comfortable as your favorite pair of jeans. A telescoping torso, suspenders, and adjustable waist cord and crotch strap help dial in the perfect fit.
Contact: dui-online.com
MSRP: $2,698

Carrie Garcia

FOURTH ELEMENT ARGONAUT

The ergonomic design has breathable Kevlar (shown) or flex Cordura trilaminate material and a telescopic torso that delivers comfort, durability and maximum range of movement. It has a YKK Aquaseal diagonal front zipper.
Contact: fourthelement.com
MSRP: $2,800 for Kevlar; $2,500 for Cordura

Carrie Garcia

SEASOFT TI3000 TECH

The TI3000 is built from 3 mm compressed neoprene sandwiched between Titanium Flake Foil for warmth and covered with abrasion-resistant DINA-HIDE exterior. The suit’s neck and wrist seals are fold-under neoprene for warmth and comfort, and the exhaust valve is conveniently located on the forearm.
Contact: seasoftscuba.com
MSRP: $2,300

Carrie Garcia

WATERPROOF D7 ISS PRO CORDURA

The D7 is built with a shell made exclusively of Cordura for maximum durability and abrasion resistance. A front zipper allows for self-donning. Silicone seals, Kevlar boots and kneepads top a long list of features on this well-equipped suit.
Contact: waterproof-usa.com
MSRP: $3,199

Carrie Garcia

DUI BLUEHEAT

This heating system includes a super-stretch jumpsuit with full-torso heating, a Smart battery and controller with multiple power settings to provide consistent heat throughout the dive, and a charger to keep you warm all the time.
Contact: dui-online.com
MSRP: $2,999

Carrie Garcia

FOURTH ELEMENT HALO UNDERGARMENT

This body-mapped insulating undersuit is designed for use with fabric drysuits. Made of three layers of high-density fleece, the one-piece design is simple and functional.
Contact: fourthelement.com
MSRP: $577

Carrie Garcia

DUI ACTIONWEAR PRO DIVEWEAR

DUI’s ActionWear Pro DiveWear insulation is made with double-layer, all-way-stretch fleece ideal for 45- to 60-degree water temps. Its great fit makes it perfect for other outdoor activities.
Contact: dui-online.com
MSRP: $356

Carrie Garcia

FOURTH ELEMENT THERMOFLEX GLOVE LINERS

For an additional layer of thermal protection, add Thermoflex liners underneath Fourth Element dry gloves or wet mitts.
Contact: fourthelement.com
MSRP: $50

Carrie Garcia

FOURTH ELEMENT 4 MM MITTS

Easy to don and offering lots of finger dexterity while maintaining warmth, these 4 mm mitts are made with a stretchy neoprene with sealed seams to minimize water seepage. Carbonite texturing on the palms enhances grip.
Contact: fourthelement.com
MSRP: $52.50

Carrie Garcia

It’s all about staying warm — and the world of exposure protection is making it possible. Super-flexible, ergonomic neoprene designs, and new technology in wetsuits and drysuits mean you’ll stay warmer, longer. First Know This Water steals heat from the body 25 times faster than air, so thermal comfort at depth is directly connected to the type of thermal protection a diver wears. When shopping for a wetsuit, choose a neoprene thickness that best matches the temperatures you’re diving. Then focus on fit. A wetsuit needs to fit snugly without restricting movement or breathing. Also keep in mind that if water can get into the suit, it can get out again, and when it does, it will steal body heat. Pay attention to a suit’s seals — a smooth-skin seal against body skin is the most effective sealing system. Seam stitching is important too — glued and blind-stitched seams stop water entry, making them the best choice for cold-water divers, while flat-seam stitches reduce but don’t eliminate water seepage, making them better suited for warm-water diving. Protective kneepads, anti-chafe overlays, and special linings are all great comfort and convenience bonuses. If the water you’re diving is very cold or if you dive often and regularly enjoy long bottom times, think about investing in a drysuit. There is nothing quite as cozy as spending an hour in 50-degree water wrapped in a warm, fleece undergarment beneath a watertight drysuit filled with air. Shell suits are made from a variety of fabric materials whose thermal properties depend on the thickness of the undergarments. Undergarments also help divers stay warm in neoprene suits — usually compressed neoprene — but these suits also offer inherent thermal properties in the neoprene itself. Some drysuits are bare bones and some are loaded with features, but they are all designed to keep divers warm and dry in a cold, wet environment.

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