Unified Team Diving

Hello All!

So I'm in the market for a new drysuit and could use a little advice on choosing one. This would be my first suit and experience diving dry so I really don't have much to go on.  

I was watching the series "Oceans" on BBC awhile back where a bunch of researchers were diving dry and they were all wearing suits made by a company called O'Three. In reading i've found that O'Three makes a couple different versions of neoprene drysuits of which by all accounts and measures seem to be pretty darn good. 

One issue though is that no one seems to have heard of O'Three here in the states.  When asking about this company while in my local dive shop the other day, two different instructors hadn't heard of O'Three and advised against getting a neoprene suit.  They instead tried steering me towards a trilaminate suit. Bare to be precise. Incidentally, that's pretty much the only drysuit they carried in the shop. Their opinion seemed to be a little biased so I thought I'd pose the question on this forum before making a decision. 

Has anyone heard of or know of anyone who uses O'Three?  Also what are your thoughts on getting a neoprene suit or trilaminate suit. 

Thanks in advance. 

Tags: Diving, Drysuit, Neoprene, Trilaminate

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I am not familiar with O'Three either, but regardless I agree with the advice you were given. I think you will be much happier with a trilam suit. It's lighter than a neoprene suit on the surface, and (more importantly) unlike neoprene it won't be subject to changing buoyancy as your position in the water column changes.


Good luck!

Hunter
Hi Matt,

I am familiar with O'Three suits, they are very high quality, not an "old school" neoprene style drysuit by any means, similar style to the DUI CF neoprene. I would however steer you towards a trilam suit. I dive a DUI TLS 350 signature series and highly recommend it. One question to ask yourself, do you want to send the suit back after you break a seal? Or just pull out a replacement zipseal (or zip dry glove) and get back in the water...

Things I would look for when shopping for a drysuit:
-User Replaceable seals
-A p-valve (though you can have one installed aftermarket)
-Custom fit
-Dump valve in correct location
I have dived a neoprene dry suit in the past (Bare). Now I'm diving trilaminate (DUI). For me Trilaminate is better because the neoprene was too warm in summertime. When it became colder I had to adapt using the drysuit again.
With trilaminate you choose the needed insulation according the water temperature. So since then I could dive always my drysuit and didn't need to adapt my diving due to seasons changes.
Wow! All really great info. Seems like everyone is pro trilam.

Here's some more info I've collected from different places as well.

NEOPRENE - 2 kinds

Crushed:
No real buoyancy change as depth changes because the neoprene doesn't compress.
Thinner Material 2-3 mm

UnCrushed:
Thicker Material 5mm

If there is a leak or flood the neoprene will still keep you warm. Neoprene tends to be a little more expensive and takes longer to dry.


TRILAMINATE

Very lightweight, easy to pack, dries super fast. Tends to be less expensive

Not as durable as neoprene and can tear somewhat easily.
I dive a Fusion from Whites and I really like it. I don't have to deal with custom cuts nor bunching of material.
I had an O'Three suit in my possession for a few months. Looked high quality and well constructed.

A neoprene (crushed or compressed) suit can be quite warm. And if you're only using the suit for local diving, then they can be nice. They are also very robust and if you abuse your gear, then this is worth considering.

I prefer trilaminate (or similar) because of travel reasons. However, the diving spouse likes her neoprene drysuit.
I also prefer the trilaminate, I'm using the fusion tec made by whites and it is very easy to reach my valves. I agree it is also nice to be able to adjust the type of undergarment for different weather conditions. Though it is advisable to use seal saver on the neck and wrist seals to keep them in good shape. 

Matt Johnson said:
Wow! All really great info. Seems like everyone is pro trilam. Here's some more info I've collected from different places as well.

NEOPRENE - 2 kinds

Crushed:
No real buoyancy change as depth changes because the neoprene doesn't compress.
Thinner Material 2-3 mm

UnCrushed:
Thicker Material 5mm

If there is a leak or flood the neoprene will still keep you warm. Neoprene tends to be a little more expensive and takes longer to dry.


TRILAMINATE

Very lightweight, easy to pack, dries super fast. Tends to be less expensive

Not as durable as neoprene and can tear somewhat easily.
Thanks everyone for contributing. I appreciate the feedback and although I was originally leaning towards getting a neoprene suit I may be take everyone's advice and get a trilaminate instead. I definitely have a little more reading to do.
Whatever suit you do choose, make sure you can reach your valves with it on.


Matt Johnson said:
Thanks everyone for contributing. I appreciate the feedback and although I was originally leaning towards getting a neoprene suit I may be take everyone's advice and get a trilaminate instead. I definitely have a little more reading to do.

Also keep in mind that uncrushed neoprene looses buoyancy with depth and as such is considered downright dangerous for any form of technical diving - in case of wing failure you have a huge buoyancy shift to offset.

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