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  1. #1

    Default ?s before buying Santi heated vest

    So I recently had a friend get bent on a long rebreather dive after a drysuit flood, presumably from poor gas exchange during deco due to being cold. It got me thinking...and frankly, warm on deco sounds like a great idea to me.

    Anyway, I had been looking at the Santi vest and drysuit connector, with a UWLD controller. I already have a UWLD light with the big battery pack, so I really like the concept of the stack cap from the UWLD controller so I don't have to add a second battery if I don't want to.

    My question is largely in regards to the bulkhead options - is the valve height added from the drysuit connector large enough to make it better to consider a separate bulkhead, or a bulkhead-inflator combo? Or is the extra size not all that notable?

    And in regards to the combo bulkheads - are there still problems with poor flow through them? I had seen comments about this being an issue in the past, but I don't know if it has been addressed over time or not.

    And if the combo bulkhead is worth getting - which one is the best? And if it's not the Santi, how do you address the plugs for the connection to the vest?

    If a separate bulkhead is recommended, I'm curious if anyone has done something similar with Marshall connectors instead of the wet connectors that come with most bulkheads.

    And finally - am I way off track, and you feel that another brand is better to consider, I'd really like to know why!

    I'm giving myself a week to ponder all of this, then it's time to buy...


  2. #2


    depends on how much you value an extra inch of thickness on your inflator and the cost. I'd personally go with a combo one, but that's just me. The new one that UWLD helped Si-Tech design is super slick. I think they're all really about the same in terms of functionality, but the one they helped design is really nice because both connections swivel which is unique. I'd imagine you could swap out the connections to Marshall, Subcon, whatever kind of connectors you want, but I think the industry has stuck with e/o and it doesn't make much sense to me to have unique connectors even if the others are marginally better.

    The santi vest is an absolute PoS, as are all of the other carbon vests out there and you literally couldn't pay me to dive one heaven forbid make me pay the ridiculous price they want for it.. Dangerous as all get out due to shorts, not reliable, and not durable at all, they literally go against everything we look for in a piece of cave diving equipment. This is one instance where UTD actually has the best product on the market, hands down because they are using the Exo2 material. It's carbon impregnated rubber so you can punch all sorts of holes in it and it won't short, it's naturally current limited so it won't burn you like the others, and it's not brittle like the others. UWLD has one of the Exo2 vests that you can buy when you get the vest controller, and the best part is they aren't that expensive.

  3. #3


    Interesting! Anyone else with commentary on the utd option? I love the idea that they have a version that can be used under a wetsuit. My girlfriend would steal that from me in a heartbeat, though!

    The vest uwld offers says it won't work in a wet environment, which is my only hesitation there. I'm surprised they have that limitation, given what you were saying about the material. I really want something that will work with a flooded suit, and the Santi and the utd will fit the bill there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Roaming in Cave Country


    I quite like my santi vest. Had a connector failure and got fixed quickly.

    My Light monkey primary light has an extra whip for my heated vest. I have the thick inflators kit and it's fine. I've been I tight spaces in caves and it hasn't been an issue

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5


    I've use a POS motorcycle heated vest and its been nothing but great. So I doubt it really matters all that much. I flooded my suit on a 12 hour dive and no shorts or burns w/the vest.

    Now, having said that, I have a new Scuba Force heated undergarment which has a unique design. I have yet to use it but the new undergarment from SF is very nice....much warmer than my DUI for the same loft and thickness. Whatever they label them is not what I care about as they are nearly identical in weight/etc but differ greatly in flexibility and warmth. The Scuba Force garment wins hands down.

    I look forward to trying the SF heated piece.

    I feel we "test" our gear fairly well and quite regularly.

    No matter what, you will be warmer!

    As for heater combos: I would take a combo unit versus an additional hole any day. Slow flow or not. I have enjoyed my Light Monkey unit.


  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by floridabob View Post
    I have a new Scuba Force heated undergarment which has a unique design.
    I haven't heard anything about this one... Can you tell me more? I did a quick Google on this one - it looks like the vest has a couple heating pads in it? Is that the case, or is the heating material distributed throughout the vest? If it's just pads, are they removable to clean the vest? Also, is this a 12v vest?

  7. #7


    I heard the new Samsung phone works quite well as a heater as long as you don't mind the odd burn��

  8. #8


    the UTD vest doesn't work 100% reliably in a wetsuit as the bus bar isn't great but that shouldn't restrict use during a suit flood in fresh water.

    This is what SF is using and is preferable to the CF solutions out there, but not as good as the Fabroc.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Spartanburg, SC


    The Exo vest that we are reselling is not "water proof". We have done a lot of research in this area and there is nothing, right now, on the market that is truly reliable for wet scuba diving. We are working on a truly water proof heating solution however the development has been a bit slow. We will only call something water proof if it can be used in a completely submersed environment down to 200 meters.

    It is also important, for proper off gassing, that your controller does not drop heat output as the battery discharges. Our controller will maintain and one of the five heat settings even as the voltage drops. Here is more information regarding our controller if anyone is interested. There are links in the blog to Dr. Pollok's pod casts regarding temperature and off gassing, some interesting and important information.


    The Light Dude
    Innovation through exploration

    Local Zip Code Diver

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Right on the Ragged Edge


    I had a heated vest several years ago, one of the never use will short and kill you Gerbings motorcycle vests. For the dollar, it was fine, but it used a LOT of battery. A 14ah pack would be really warm for 30-40 minutes, you could tell it was there for another 30 minutes, and then it was no better than a undergarment. I just poked a hole in the drysuit and installed a EO bulkhead connector in the suit. I have had a pretty flooded suit, the vest was pretty wet, and it still worked.

    I found that I could turn in on for about 10 minutes and get warm, turn in off for 15-20, then turn in back on again. I was not doing over 180 minute run times, and it kept me comfortable at deco. I left the battery pack at my 50/50 bottle.

    Then, I discovered Ice Armor base layers and a Weezle Extreme plus. For the duration that I do now, 120 minutes max, it is fine.

    "I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap"
    "I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet."
    "Yeah, I know I'm ugly... I said to a bartender, 'Make me a zombie.' He said 'God beat me to it."
    "I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out."
    "I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand."

    Rodney Dangerfield 10-5-2004

    "Into the blue again; in the silent water
    Under the rocks, and stones; there is water underground" Talking Heads


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