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  1. #1

    Default Time to replace the 1970s era, Fathom, 7mm farmer john. Looking for advice.

    It is past time to replace my 1970s era, Fathom, 7mm farmer john. I think I may have bruised a rib trying to wrangle myself into it on the last dive.

    Not ready to make the leap into a drysuit so I am looking for the best possible wet/semi-dry suit that I can afford.

    I am cavern certified, looking to take intro to cave in the fall. So far, the 7mm
    farmer john has provided plenty of warmth and I do not suffer from feeling cold even after a few hours in 70 degree water.

    I have narrowed the possible replacements to the following choices. I would love to hear some input from those who actually own some of these suits as well as all other opinions before I
    make the purchase.

    Thanks for any and all suggestions!

    http://www.baresports.com/en-ot/dive...s/?color=black

    http://www.baresports.com/en-us/dive...s/?color=black

    http://www.baresports.com/en-us/dive...s/?color=black

    https://www.hollis.com/neotek-semi-drysuit/

    http://www.pinnacleaquatics.com/polarm8/


    Dominick Gheesling

    Hike your own hike.

  2. #2
    Administrator Forum Admin
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    Default

    My advice, get a drysuit. They are a lot easier to get in/out of. If you must get another wetsuit, get the cheapest one you can find, since you will end up with a drysuit eventually anyway

    Forrest Wilson (with 2 Rs)
    Any opinions are personal.
    Sump Divers

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FW View Post
    My advice, get a drysuit. They are a lot easier to get in/out of. If you must get another wetsuit, get the cheapest one you can find, since you will end up with a drysuit eventually anyway
    Thanks Forrest. I took your old 104s out for a test run with my instructor at Blue Grotto yesterday. Learned valve drill. Everything went well.

    Dominick Gheesling

    Hike your own hike.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FW View Post
    My advice, get a drysuit. They are a lot easier to get in/out of. If you must get another wetsuit, get the cheapest one you can find, since you will end up with a drysuit eventually anyway
    That's not always the case...


  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    High Springs, FL
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    486

    Default Neotek

    I will say +1 to going ahead and getting a drysuit. I fought it tooth and nail too, but caved in a few months ago.


    If you're dead set against it though:


    IMHO, the best semi-dry out there is the Hollis Neotek with a couple of small caveats. There is an inherent flaw in the design of the pockets. The Velcro thing is attached really weird on the pocket flap. When you first get it, smear a BIG gob of aquaseal on the back of the Velcro and glue the Velcro down to the flap. (You'll see what I'm talking about)


    The second caveat is that I'm not sure which way the quality pendulum is going to swing since Hollis was just sold to another company. Only time will tell that though.


    Even with the small design flaw in the pockets, I'd still buy another one today if I were going to dive wet. It can be fixed with a little aqua seal and the benefits of the rest of the suit far outweigh the day it'll take for the aquaseal to dry.


    Second runner up would probably go to Akona quantum stretch. For diving in the springs I'd probably go with the 5mm version.


    Seriously consider the drysuit though. If you're going to do a lot of diving you'll need one.


  6. #6

    Default

    My buddy just replaced his old stiff Bare semi-dry wetsuit with another of the same design...8/7, like your links described. $330 if I remember correctly, shipped, no tax
    He said he actually got hot in it diving in the flow at Manatee a couple weeks ago.
    Has a very good, easy to don front zipper, the inner seal/neck cowl requires a buddy's help to get dressed right before you pull the hood over for zipping.
    I had bought a Tilos 8/7 semi dry a couple weeks before....his is a better suit.
    I had to buy some neoprene "snake gaiters" to wrap around my lower legs to keep water from sloshing around there...the manufacturer must think everyone has cankles...and I don't have skinny legs!


  7. #7
    Member
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    Oct 2004
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    Homeless, USA
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    Default

    I recently bought a Pinnacle Polar M8 semidry. I have had 3x Pinnacle Polar suits up to this point and they have all been incredibly wonderful suits. While the new M8 version is very warm, I cannot recommend anyone buying one. The fit is terrible (my past three suits were a Large-Short, while this one is an XL-Short and still doesn't fit quite right), the included pockets are crap neoprene with no drain holes or attachment points (Dring or similar), the neck seal can't be put on without help, etc. I've had Gamble make modifications to this suit (replaced one pocket with a Golem Gear and a Dring, burned drain holes in the other pocket).


  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for the input thus far. Seriously considering the advice. Might have to save my pennies for the drysuit and keep wrestling with this monster until I get there.

    Dominick Gheesling

    Hike your own hike.

  9. #9
    Member
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    Default

    Over the last 45 or so years, I have had numerous wet and dry suits. My sincere suggestion is to get a 3mm one piece that is reasonably easy to get into, buy a 2mm hooded vest, and a 3mm step in shorty. That gives me the flexibility when I dive wet to choose the thickness of suit(s) based on my planned dive.

    Forrest is correct, however, if you are going to stick with this, get a drysuit.

    p.s. - I still have my 1970's vintage Baily suit, stiff as a board now and I need a large jar of Vaseline and a shoe horn to wedge my aged ass into it.

    "Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing"
    "If you can see the handwriting on the wall ... you're on the toilet."
    "You make me wish that birth control was retroactive."
    "A girl's legs are her best friends...but even the best of friends must part."

    Redd Foxx 10-11-91



    "There she was - the cave. Like a big craggy jaw, waiting to snap at anything that came along." Lloyd "Mike Nelson" Bridges 3-10-1998


 

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