Dive suits and clothing
 

"I wouldn't be seen dead in that..."

Dry suits, Wet suits and Undersuits




Northern Diver 'Cortex' dry suitThis page is designed to give you an idea of what's out there in the way of various suits and what to wear under them.  We supply all of the suits and undersuits that are mentioned on this page because we truly believe that they do the job and do it well.  It's true to say that if they didn't, we wouldn't sell them.  What's more, we actually use them!  We can supply you with our very own wet, semi dry and neoprene dry suits that are all made to measure to ensure a perfect fit.  We also supply suits and undersuits from all of the well known dive manufacturers such as Northern Diver, Otter, O' Three, Cressi, Mares,Weezle, Fourth Element etc.  Dive Odyssea club members of course get 10% off the price of equipment unless we've already discounted it!

 

Being a UK dive school, rather unsuprisingly we use dry suits a great deal.  Well we're not stupid!!  But of course we don't just dive in the UK alone.  The World's a big place and a lot of it has very warm water to dive in.  This of course requires wet suits.  The problem is, exactly what time of the year do you intend to go diving and where exactly in the world do you plan to do it?

The question is not as stupid as it may first appear.  I may be, but the question isn't!  Experienced dive travellers will tell you that diving in the Maldives during January temperature wise, is a whole lot different to the Red Sea at the same time of the year .  A 3mm 'shortie' wet suit is absolutely fine for the Indian Ocean but try using it in the Straits of Tiran and you'll wonder where the family jewels disappeared to, believe you me!

Likewise, you'll only dive in a 3mm wet suit once during May in the English Channel.  If you survive the experience you'll realise why God invented dry suits!

The point we're trying to make, is that in order to have a great diving experience, you need to be not only suitably equipped but adequately attired for the water conditions.  Do you remember that presentation during module two of your PADI Open Water Diver Course?  Never mind.



Wet SuitsRalph Tech ladies wet suit

Cressi Castoro 5mm wet suitWherever you dive, you will almost certainly buy a wet suit at some point. 
These come in various colours, designs and levels of warmth depending on your taste and level of insulation required.  The most common suits come in either 3mm, 5mm or indeed a 7mm version and can be supplied as either a 'shortie' or full length.  The full length options are supplied as either a one piece or two piece garment so you can vary the level of insulation  required from dive to dive.  The two piece option is known as a semi dry suit.  Which one do you need?  Well again that depends on where and when you're diving. Most are used in the World's more tropical oceans but the 7mm version is perfectly OK in British waters during the summer months.  It is also used in the Red Sea during their cooler months.  We have suits from Northern Diver, Cressi, Fourth Element, Mares and others as well as our own made to measure option.  Give us a call or drop in and we'll guide you as to what's most appropriate for your destination.
Prices range from £68 to approximately £200



Undersuits for wet suits Fourth Element Thermocline

You didn't even know you could get such a thing did you?  Honestly, I'm not making this up.  The picture to the right shows a great bit of kit called the 'Thermocline' and is made by Fourth Element.  It is about the same weight and thickness as a T shirt but has the same thermal properties as a 2.5mm wet suit.  So?!  So that means when you fly overseas for your next dive trip, you can pack something like a 5mm one piece wet suit but just in case it's a bit colder in the water than you were expecting, you can take this instead of another wet suit.  How does that affect your bag size and airline baggage allowance huh?  There is an even thinner and lighter version called a 'Hydroskin' which is ideal to wear as in-water UV protection whilst snorkelling.  It's also frequently used under a wet suit for those divers that have an allergic reaction to wet suits. (This is quite common)  There are other similar versions on the market by other manufacturers but this is what we at Dive Odyssea wear simply because we think it's the best on the market and offers great value.  These come in a long or short sleeved variety and with 10% off the price for our club members, they're a must for your dive kit.



Dry Suits

This piece of kit is pretty much essential for British diving.  As we mentioned above, during the warm summer months a semi dry suit is adequate for home waters but frankly if you're getting into UK diving then you're gonna get a dry suit.  Trust me on this!  This then leaves you the dilema of whether to buy a neoprene or membrane dry suit.  With a neoprene version, as a general rule they are made to a thickness of 7mm and are sealed in such a way that water does not penetrate the suit thereby keeping you dry.  Because of the thickness of the material, they also keep you warm and therefore don't require an undersuit unless you have water in your veins or are diving in particularly cold water.  With the membrane option, these also keep you dry but the material has no thermal properties so you do need an undersuit of some sort.  They could have called both versions " Zip up but don't let water in and so keep you totally warm & dry" suits, but it was felt this probably wasn't snappy enough!

Which one should you choose?

It's purely a personal choice.  Some divers prefer neoprene whilst others swear by membrane.  They both do exactly the same job but in slightly different ways so it really is a case of personal preference.  There is also a wide range of colours and styles to fit both men and ladies so there's no excuse for not looking good.  The added bonus of course is that none of our dry suits will make your bum look big! (Probably)  Of course we will always try to steer you in the right direction and offer you sound advice based on the sort of diving you're looking to do.  As a broad guideline, if you're looking to dive mostly during the main UK season (May to October-ish) then something like the Northern Diver 'Vortex' is well worth a look at.  If on the other hand you're looking to hit the water all year round for both training and fun dives, then you might opt for the Otter 'MK 2 Skin', ND 'Cortex' or the neoprene offerings by these maunufacturers.  These are more robust and will take a bit more of a pounding.  There are other suits available from different suit makers and we are more than happy to get them for you should you wish.  Your other choice is the Dive Odyssea made to measure neoprene dry suit.  This is a great cost effective way to kit youreself out with UK diving in mind but at a lesser price than the other options.  As you can see, there is a dizzying array of choices and we fully understand that it's all too easy to get carried away and spend your well earned cash on something that's not appropriate for what you want or need.  Come in and talk to us; we're here to help.

Prices range from £380 up to approx £900.



Otter 'MK 2 Skin' membrane suitUndersuits for Dry SuitsOtter 'Velvet' ladies membrane suitWeezle Extreme undersuits

There are almost as many variations in undersuits as there are for the dry suits themselves.  It doesn't get any easier does it?!  Again, depending on what type of suit you're wearing and what time of the year you're planning to dive, will determine what level of undersuit you'll need to wear.  I personally  dive in an Otter membrane suit and during the main dive season I only wear a Weezle undersuit with it.  During the early part of the season when the water is still that bit cooler I will also probably wear a Fourth Element Thermocline below the Weezle.  However, during the cold winter months when I'm kneeling on the bottom of Stoney Cove in 4 degrees of very cold water for training dives, then I'll swap the basic Thermocline for the Thermocline Arctic.  Both of them do exactly the same job but as the name would suggest, the Arctic garments are ideal for particularly cold water temperatures.



Fourth Element 'Xerotherm' undersuitThere is an even newer version on the market called the Fourth Element 'SubXero' which is earning rave reviews but it is a fair bit more Fourth Element SubXeroexpensive.  If you're a neoprene suit wearer and would like a bit more insulation, then the Fourth Element kit is probably ideal for you as it provides excellent additional thermal protection without the bulk of the Weezle.  All of these items wick moisture away from the skin leaving you totally dry in the same way that 'Gortex' fabrics do.  Ordinary thick garments such as a sweatshirt or similar, retain moisture (sweat) thereby cooling you down so you end up feeling both wet and cold.  If this all sounds suspiciously like a sales pitch for Fourth Element and Weezle products, you wouldn't be far off the mark.  Next time you're at a dive site or on a UK dive boat, take at look at what the other divers are wearing and we bet that both these products are common.  We did say that if we didn't rate it we wouldn't sell it and that's the reason why.  It's amongst the best dive gear that you can wear.  It does an outstanding job at a price that won't leave you gasping for breath and what's more, it will last for many years.  That's why Dive Odyssea sell it and why we as divers use it!

Fourth Element & Weezle products retail from £16 to £210 with Dive Odyssea members receiving a 10% discount.  Prices are also reduced as part of our special deals equipment packages.