Undergarments (again)...

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RVbldr
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Undergarments (again)...

Post by RVbldr » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:00 pm

I'm a fairly new dry suit diver and have tried USIA Exotherm and a DUI polartech bunny suit for rental undergarments and have been fairly comfortable in each one. I'm rapidly starting to figure out that putting a couple $ into a decent undergarment is probably a good investment while I try and figure out what I want in the dry suit. I've been researching Whites Thermal Fusion, USIA Exotherm III and Superstretch, and Fouth Element Arctic/Xerotherm undergarments and it appears that there's a fair amount of price difference from the USIA up to the Whites. If layering, is there a big difference in the performance of the insulation for local diving? I like the USIA pricing, 4e looks interesting for a mid-priced and then there's the TF which everyone seems to like, but is a bit pricy.

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by Scubie Doo » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:12 pm

I dive the 4th element and a weezle with my shell suit. Lately I have been borrowing a friends neoprene suit and just wear the 4th element. In both scenarios I am very warm.

I have dove the USIA and DUI undergarments. By far the 4th element and weezle are my personal favorite. But they are very different. So it kind of depends on your drysuit.

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RVbldr
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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by RVbldr » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:21 pm

I'm assuming that I eventually end up with a trilam shell.

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by Scubie Doo » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:25 pm

Personally I would recommend layering, that gives you options. My vote is a thin wool base layer and a 4th element. I got my base layer at REI. You can add to that if needed. I am sure others will offer additional recommendations. Investing in undergarments is definintely a good move.

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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by doubtingGunnel » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:51 pm

I use a White's Thermal Fusion with a Patagonia Capalene base layer. I have not been that impressed with the TF.

I initially went through 3 of them because they included factory pattern tests in distribution and I had 3 of them rip at the seams very easily. I finally got a production model and it has mostly been solid, but the stitching still came apart on one of the side pockets, which is not exactly something I would expect from a $400+ undergarment. I also had the zipper slide off and had to put it back on in reverse.

The other thing is it is not easy to get into. The inside polartec material bunches up, so I usually have to stick my arm through each leg and arm of the suit to unbunch the material make sure my foot has somewhere to go. Not huge, but a minor annoyance. The Bare SB undergarment is a pleasure to get into in comparison.

I'm also still pretty cold. Granted, I'm going on 80-90 minute dives and moving very slowly or not at all because of photo and video, but I've been shivering for the last 20 minutes ever since December started. I've been thinking of heated vests at this point.

Doing it all over again, maybe the 4th Element stuff, but I'm not sure if it would make a huge difference warmth wise.

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Jeff Pack
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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by Jeff Pack » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:12 pm

you arent layering enough under the TF. I wear a UA compression base Layer, a UA base layer 5.0, then my thermal fusion. And after an hour I still get cold, 1.5 hours, colder. If I'm scootering, colder still :)

The TF's arent that bad to get into, you get in just like the Fusion itself, but I do get leg snagged that last 1ft, and have to reach through the ankle, to get squared away. But the TF vents like a dream, so I deal with that part.

Its not as warm as my mk3 though, but the mk3 vents like plugged toilet.

But I too am perhaps considering a heated vest.
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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by Scubak » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:35 pm

I wear a base layer, sometimes 2...
Then the Weezle...love it and am warm.
Tim uses a 4th element and its good for him.
When I know I will be diving COLD water, I use ARGON
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LCF
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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by LCF » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:06 pm

I have owned and dived the Diving Concepts 200g Thinsulate (with 200g vest underneath); the Whites MK3; the DUI 400g (the old, red one); the Halo, and the TF. I have borrowed and dived the 4th Element Arctic, the DUI 300g fleece, and the Weezle Extreme +.

Of everything I have tried, I am happiest with the TF. I do wear a base layer under it (Kam Gear). It is NOT as easy to get on as others. My outer layer has had some raveling at the seams. But the danged thing is WARM. I have not ended a dive shivering since I bought it, even now that the water temperature has dropped. I did a 66 minute dive the other day in Cove 2 that consisted of 20 minutes of sitting perfectly still, photographing the same object, followed by a very slow swim with lots of picture taking. My buddy turned the dive on cold. I didn't. When I got out, I discovered my left leg was very wet from the crotch to the foot, because my p-valve wasn't closed all the way (I wasn't using it).

I don't know how it does what it does, but it does it. I am REALLY happy with this undergarment.
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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by jerryehrlich » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:14 pm

LCF wrote:I have owned and dived the Diving Concepts 200g Thinsulate (with 200g vest underneath); the Whites MK3; the DUI 400g (the old, red one); the Halo, and the TF. I have borrowed and dived the 4th Element Arctic, the DUI 300g fleece, and the Weezle Extreme +.

Of everything I have tried, I am happiest with the TF. I do wear a base layer under it (Kam Gear). It is NOT as easy to get on as others. My outer layer has had some raveling at the seams. But the danged thing is WARM. I have not ended a dive shivering since I bought it, even now that the water temperature has dropped. I did a 66 minute dive the other day in Cove 2 that consisted of 20 minutes of sitting perfectly still, photographing the same object, followed by a very slow swim with lots of picture taking. My buddy turned the dive on cold. I didn't. When I got out, I discovered my left leg was very wet from the crotch to the foot, because my p-valve wasn't closed all the way (I wasn't using it).

I don't know how it does what it does, but it does it. I am REALLY happy with this undergarment.


+1 on Thermal Fusion. Have also rode the entire stable. Donning the TF is a bit of an acquired taste, but worth it. All of the undergarments require layering for dives of any length in our waters. I use the Weezle extreme skin under mine, my dives are around 60 minutes and I am comfortable.
I am also very happy with Waterproof 10 mil hood :)

Good Diving,
Jerry

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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by spatman » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:22 pm

I can't speak to the other undergarments you listed, but I've been happy with my 4E Artic set. I do add an extra base layer when temps drop below 50f. Since you said you were comfortable in the USIA Exotherm (my first undergarment), you'll probably be happy with the Artics.
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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by CABGUY » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:22 pm

I 2nd the 4e artics with additional base layer. I'll also add a shameless plug That I have an almost new Whites MK3 size large available for $ 120.00 if your interested :)

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RVbldr
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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by RVbldr » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:17 am

That MK3 would be really tempting if I weren't favoring the XL right now (currently take an XL for the Exotherm and DUI bunny suits).

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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by RVbldr » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:32 pm

I did try on a TF and really liked it, even though it took a litte effort to keep the legs from bunching up. I did like the mobility and it did seem super warm. I'm curious how that compares to the Bare SB, which also looks interesting and seems to run a little less expensive (and easier to don).

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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by RVbldr » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:28 pm

To end the story, I did go with the TF and with two dives on it so far, it seems to work well in using it under a Fusion Sport I was trying. Towards end of 2nd dive I was starting to get a little chilly, but not even close to the shivering stage. I was wearing a Northface poly wicking tee shirt, UA base layer then the TF, but I suspect I should go with something a little better under the TF, at least right now. As for mobility, found no restriction in movement, so time will tell as I get more experience with the TF. So far, so good and no regrets (yet!).

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Re: Undergarments (again)...

Post by sekhmet » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:36 pm

I wear a White's TF and heavy weight body armor underwear. I have a tri lam suit. I went to a White's TF as I lost 50 pounds and there went my previous insulation :) I am warm and happy now, even on hour long dives combing eel grass. Body heat is such a personal thing you just have to get what works for you! :eric:
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