|Virtual Customer Service
At DUI, we love talking to divers. We get all kinds of questions about our products and about diving in general. Some questions are more common than others. Since we can’t be available all the time, we’ve compiled a list of a few of the most common questions, and their basic answers. You can also email our Customer Support Team and we will get back to you promptly.
DUI offers more styles and designs than any other drysuit manufacturer. Period. You get to select the drysuit style, material, size, color, accessories, add-ons - you name it, we've got it. You get to select from virtually hundreds of options to design the drysuit that is just right for you.
Dive for dive, DUI drysuits actually cost less! That's right. Because DUI drysuits are more comfortable, you will dive more. You can dive all year round and multiple times a day. Dive anytime you want and wherever you want. And by varying the insulation underneath, you can dive from warm to very cold waters. That means you only need one suit. And with proper maintenance, DUI drysuits can easily last ten years. That all equals up to one fact: DUI actually costs less!
This seemingly simple question has a very involved answer. Imagine asking an athlete what type of shoe is best. The simple answer is “That depends on what you’re doing.” Football players require different performance characteristics in their footwear than do marathon runners. The same holds true for drysuit divers.
Ultimately each type of suit is designed to keep you dry, however, their performance characteristics can vary greatly, and your selection will depend on your needs and preferences. In terms of popularity, the TLS350 is our most popular suit due to its lightweight flexibility and comfort. The CF200 follows just behind the TLS, and is most popular with those who need or prefer something very heavy duty with high abrasion, tear and puncture resistance (like wreck divers). Moreover, it is also popular with those who prefer a drysuit that fits more like their wetsuit.
As briefly mentioned above, all DUI suits excel in different aspects, that is to say, for any given dive, they have pros and cons. In choosing a suit it is important to think about what you are looking for in a drysuit and under what conditions it will be used.
The TLS is DUI’s best selling suit. It is light and flexible and dries very quickly. It is also much tougher than it appears. On a scale 1 to 10 with 10 being the durability of a CF200, a TLS is an 8.5. Not bad for something so light and easy to move in. The TLS is the preferred suit of many recreational divers, underwater photographers, and cave divers.
The CLX design provides extra durability in the torso and upper body and arms of the suit, through the use of Cordura® fabric, so it is a great suit for underwater hunters who stick their arms in holes looking for lobsters and other critters. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it is a great looking suit, and will keep its good looks for a long time. Many divers who purchase a CLX drysuit over a TLS do so simply because of the way it looks.
The CLX is also available in many material combinations if ordered as a Special Production drysuit. For example, you can have the tough Cordura material used in the lower half of the suit as well. That will make the suit even more durable though you will lose some flexibility as the Cordura material is more stiff than the regular trilaminate material. You can also order a CLX drysuit with a CF200 bottom – a CLX50/50.
Both the TLS and CLX are available in a self entry and shoulder-entry design
The patented crushed neoprene used for the CF200 is the most durable material available for drysuits. It is so tough we use it to make kneepads and boots for our other suits! Given this ruggedness the material is heavier than other fabrics. Although totally dry inside, the outer nylon layer absorbs water making it heavier still when wet, and requires about as long as a wetsuit does to dry. Because CF200 material actually stretches like a wetsuit, these suits are cut with a more slender wetsuit –like fit.
The FLX50/50 is a hybrid suit that maximizes the effectiveness of the materials used in its construction. It combines the light weight trilaminate material for the upper body, thus ensuring excellent freedom of movement, and the toughness of crushed neoprene for the lower body where the average diver may experience most of the wear and tear. This popular suit is much easier on people with smaller muscles when compared with a traditional CF200 suit, since the trilaminate top of the FLX means they don’t have to work as much to stretch a crushed neoprene fabric upper body.
The CF200 is available in both a self-don and shoulder-entry version. The FLX50/50 is only available in a self-don version.
For durability, nothing beats a CF200. For many people CF200 is overkill, as a trilaminate (TLS or CLX) would have lasted just as long for the type of diving they do.
Aside from the obvious advantage of being able to get in and out of the suit unassisted, self-don suits have other positive features as well. The telescoping torso on a self-don suit allows for an excellent fit with complete range of motion. That is to say, the suit is actually fitted at the legs and hips, while the telescoping torso provides the extra material needed to reach or bend without adding extra bulk. It also means a stock size suit is more likely to fit you as the telescoping torso allows for a wider range of people to fit the same size and fit it well. Not having a zipper across the shoulders will dramatically increase the comfort of the suit as there is no pressure from the zipper when you move your arms and shoulders. The increased comfort and improved fit of the self-don suit will make your diving more enjoyable.
Divers who travel with their drysuits are usually looking for something that is light-weight, and will pack in as small a space as possible. The TLS350 and Tropical 30/30 are perfect for dive travel. Both suits are light and dry quickly. The TLS has a more broad range of application, as a standard drysuit, the attached boots keep your feet as dry as the rest of your body. This feature allows you to wear it in more varied climates than the 30/30, and select an undergarment appropriate for the water temperature. However, if your TLS is sized for diving in cold climates with thick insulation, it may feel bulky and oversized if worn with thinner insulation in warmer water.
For the diver that is typically going to dive in warmer waters, our lightweight 30/30 is a great option and is designed to be worn with thinner insulation in waters from 65-80°F (18-27°C). It is breathable so you will not get warm on the surface before and between dives. Unlike all of our other suits, it does not have any built in boots so you can wear your own wetsuit boots and fins.
Sure. But know that the drysuit is sized for light insulation only and increased bulk can put stress on the drysuit over a period of time.
Warmth is a relative thing. If the water is not body temperature, or near it, you will get cold. When making multiple dives in a day over multiple days, anyone can develop a heat deficit, even in the warm waters of the Caribbean or the South Pacific. As a diver with a heat deficit, you will feel more fatigue and use more air as your body unknowingly struggles to keep warm. You can add more neoprene but once you get thicker than a 3mm wetsuit, the 30/30 becomes a lighter and more comfortable option.
The TLS350 is unsurpassed as the suit capable of handling the broadest range of diving conditions. Its extreme durability and lightweight flexibility are second to none. This allows divers to use the suit in the warm waters of Florida to the chilly seas in Antarctica by simply varying the insulation worn underneath.
The 30/30 drysuit was designed for divers who dive specifically in warmer waters and climates. It is a slender cut, low drag design to accommodate lightweight insulation only. The material breathes making it more comfortable on the surface and between dives. In terms of durability, the non-breathable TLS trilaminate fabric is more durable than the 30/30’s breathable M3 material.
A Stock suit is a suit that is one of our standard sizes and colors and is usually in inventory ready to ship. For example, a men’s stock large TLS350 has a black body with black overlay and royal blue piping, and can be shipping in about a day.
A Select suit is a suit that is one of our stock sizes and the diver wants a custom color, a boot style or size change and/or neoprene seals. The Select Series are also available in short and tall versions of our stock sizes. This is a fantastic way to customize your suit without paying the additional cost for a Special Production drysuit.
A Special Production drysuit is made to order using your measurements, and we will also make a boot size change or install neoprene seals if needed at no extra charge. You can also select from a broad array of colors and overlays.
A Signature Series drysuit is a Special Production suit with a special options package that includes two pockets, kneepads and a hood. The Signature Series is only available on our self-don suits and the CF200SE.
A “short” version of a size is 1” shorter in the arm length, 1” shorter in the leg length and 2” shorter in the body (girth) length.
You can get options installed on any DUI drysuit at any time*. DUI’s options and accessories are practically “unlimited”! The Sport Package is a special options package that includes a pocket, kneepads and a hood or two pockets and a hood at a special price if purchased on a new drysuit when the drysuit is ordered.
ZipSeals are also another very popular option and can be installed on any DUI drysuit Older DUI drysuits can be retro-fitted with ZipSeals through our Service Department.
DUI requires 21 separate measurements for a Special Production drysuit. Some of these measurements adjust the pattern and some of the measurements are used to verify the sizing of the pattern. Other measurements are used for sizing a hood or a neoprene neck seal if requested.
Similarly, an “hourglass” waistline is not a viable design, given that the waist can only be tailored to a certain point. When donning and doffing a drysuit, the hips must pass through the waist area, and an hourglass configuration is simply not favorable.
As technology improves, DUI will continue to improve its sizing process and procedures, DUI is recognized as the world leader in drysuit research and development.
Please call or visit your dealer as soon as possible so they can evaluate the fit of the drysuit and contact DUI if necessary. DUI requires dealers to inform us within 30 days of any potential fit issues so it is important to ask questions sooner rather than later. Your dealer will likely need to re-measure you and will need to evaluate the fit with the thickest insulation you will be wearing. You should plan to try on the suit when you pick it up so the dealer can evaluate the fit right away. In many cases, they can contact DUI while you are in the store and have any questions answered immediately.
DUI will guarantee the fit of a Special Production drysuit provided the supplied measurements are accurate.
The Classic zipper is the original self-donning zipper design from DUI. The zipper begins over the left shoulder and extends diagonally across the chest ending at the right hip. This zipper is standard on the CF200 and Public Safety TLS350 drysuits.
DUI enhanced the fitting characteristics of our drysuits, through the use of the QuickZip design in 2002. The QuickZip begins at the lower right side of the back and comes around the hip ending just before the left shoulder. One motivation for this change was in response to comments from divers that the zipper was difficult for some to reach in the original classic design, and particularly difficult to open completely when taking the suit off. It came to our attention that some divers were not opening the zipper completely when doffing the suit. As a result, we experienced a certain percentage of zipper failures each year that should not have happened.
With the QuickZip, most of those failures have disappeared. However, some divers are accustomed to, and still prefer the Classic zipper style so it is still available on Select, Special Production and Signature Series drysuits. When ordering one of these suits if you prefer the classic zipper, please specify this in the notes section of the order form.
At the end of 2000, DUI responded to a demand from the cave diving community in Florida to make the TLS350 closer fit to lessen drag especially for those using scooters for long distances.
This type of suit is only available as a Special Production and for the TLS350. DUI will use the provided measurements and will make the circumferences of the suit smaller than it typically would for someone of those measurements. It is critical that we have extremely accurate measurements.
The diver and dealer will need to sign a Cave Cut Agreement which outlines the potential limitations of such a cut including some restriction of movement, increased wear on seams and limitations on wearing thicker insulation under the suit. This suit is not usually a good choice for someone with larger shoulders and/or overall body size as they may find a disproportionate amount of restriction when moving.
Call your dealer or DUI for more information on whether this type of design is right for you.
As the amount and type of contaminated water can vary dramatically, there is no short answer to this question. While vulcanized rubber suits such as the RS1050 and RS1500 are usually considered best for contaminated water, that idea is more related to how easy they are to decontaminate than how well they protect the diver. It is important that each diver evaluate the risk associated with the type of diving they will be doing and select the appropriate exposure protection for those situations.
While there is no such thing as equipment that will protect the diver under all circumstances, DUI has suits made out of many different materials, and we are happy to work with dive teams to develop appropriate decontamination and maintenance procedures.
Please consult our manual on “Exposure Protection for Public Safety Divers” or contact DUI or one of our Preferred Public Safety Dealers for more information.
DUI makes insulation utilizing 4 different materials: Thinsulate B (Ultra); Thinsulate Liteloft; Polartec PowerStretch and one-way stretch fleece. Each material has its pros and cons, and the key to your selection is to determine which material offers maximum effectiveness for your diving.
Thinsulate Type B (the type that is used in footwear and is already compressed) is excellent for those who want their insulation to retain insulating value even if it gets wet. Many technical divers or others who may not be able to leave the water if they get wet prefer Thinsulate for these reasons. Thinsulate B (Ultra) comes in two thicknesses: 200g and 400g and provides the greatest amount of warmth per unit of thickness of any insulation available.
Thinsulate Liteloft will be warmer on the surface as its high loft is excellent for cold surface conditions. That high loft means that underwater the compression will decrease its insulative effectiveness to that of somewhere between the 200 and 400g Thinsulate.
Polartec PowerStretch 300 is the most popular insulation DUI makes and when you see how stretchy and comfortable this jumpsuit is you will understand why. Its high density, compressed two-way stretch Polartec is very soft and light but almost as warm as Thinsulate (400g) Ultra. Its low bulk and form fit means you will need to wear less weight than Thinsulate 400 Ultra and layering for additional thermal benefit (avoid cotton fabrics) works well.
We use one way stretch fleece in our value-priced ActionWear insulation. This fleece is more bulky than the PowerStretch insulation. Given its limited ability to stretch, these undergarments must allow some additional fabric to accommodate complete range of motion. However, it is much less expensive than the other insulation so it is a great option that provides a lot of warmth at a lower price.
DUI also has the StretchLiner 100 which is great by itself for warm waters or as an additional layer for colder waters.
Please see the articles in our tech info section of the website on insulation for more information.
Yes! Your feet get cold too even if you don’t notice it. Often your body will rob heat from the core to warm your extremities so keeping your hands and feet warm will make you feel warmer overall. In addition, the socks or boots installed on your drysuit were sized so you can wear thick insulation on your feet. If you do not wear insulation, the feet of your suit may seem too big.
Layering is great alternative to buying a new base undergarment. DUI sells an ActionWear vest that will provide approximately 5°F of added warmth. Similarly, the StretchLiner 100 made of two way stretch fleece will also add about 5°F more warmth to your base insulation.
Also consider wearing thicker insulation on your feet or using dry gloves if you don’t already do so.
Thinsulate is made of many tiny fibers that do not absorb water, it is important to wash it properly if you are to maintain the hydrophobic characteristics of the fibers.
Many people wash the insulation sparingly and layer a liner under it (such as the Stretchliner 100) to absorb sweat and extend the time between washings. When you do need to wash the Thinsulate, wash on the gentle cycle, preferably in a front loading washing machine, and use vinegar or bleach instead of soap. If you think soap is needed, use in small quantities and put the garment through 3 extra rinse cycles. It is important to get the soap out of the insulation as the soap will decrease the garment’s hydrophobicity, limiting its ability to keep you warm even if wet.
To dry, lay flat and allow to air dry. If you need to accelerate the drying process, you can put it in the dryer and tumble on the no heat setting to remove excess water and then lay flat to finish drying. Heat will melt the fragile fibers and hanging the garment to dry will cause the fibers to separate from the lining (due to the weight of the water) and bunch up.
There is no way to repair a Thinsulate garment if damaged from improper laundering and drying. Insulation is a very important component of your drysuit system, and it should be given appropriate consideration.
SEALS, DRY GLOVES, BOOTS AND OTHER ACCESSORIES
RockBoots are designed to provide greater stability on uneven surfaces. They are available in (US) sizes 4-15. The soft sock and RockBoot combination affords the ability to comfortably fit a wide range of foot sizes in the stock size sock. With the RockBoot taking the abuse from clamoring over rocks etc., your suit integrity is protected.
ZipSeals are a patented DUI system that allows you to quickly change a latex wrist or neck seal in seconds. If you are at a dive site and a seal rips while donning the suit, you can change the seal on the spot, with no additional tools, and never again miss a dive.
The ZipRings on your suit that provide the amazing ZipSeal benefits are so small and flexible that most people never even notice they are there. Without a doubt, their diminutive size and ease of use is a drastic improvement over hard ring systems.
If you have a head diameter larger than 23 ½” you may have trouble donning a suit with a neck ZipSeal as the ring itself is only 24” in circumference. You will want to try one on at a DUI dealer or DOG Rally & Demo Day prior to purchase.
All divers can enjoy the benefits of the ZipGloves which come in 3 styles for all your diving needs. Switching between wrist seals and gloves is quick and easy with the ZipSeal system. You don’t know what you are missing. Warm and dry hands are amazing, and easier than ever to use!
ZipGloves are the easiest glove system to install and use. Our 3 styles of ZipGloves are interchangeable on the zip ring system so they all install the same way and should be installed on the drysuit before donning the suit for a dive.
Our most popular glove is the original ZipGlove which is available in two thicknesses: Maximum Dexterity (orange) and Heavy Duty (blue). This glove has no inner seal to allow the maximum transfer of air into the glove and blood into your hand.
Some divers like the extra security of having a backup wrist seal inside the glove which is available as well. These gloves, called the ZipGloves-WD (wrist dam) are also available in two thicknesses. You will need to trim the wrist dam inside the glove to ensure a proper fit.
Compressed neoprene ZipGloves are also available for those divers who want the extra durability of compressed neoprene. These gloves come with a slightly thinner liner as the gloves themselves have some inherent warmth.
If you don’t have ZipSeals, you can still use the SI-Tech glove system sold by DUI. This system includes two rings: one installed on the suit and another on the glove. The system does have the advantage of allowing you to don the gloves after the suit but it can be difficult to make sure both gloves are sealed properly. You will also have a large, hard ring on the wrist when using the gloves.
In addition, DUI’s SI-5 system glues a hard ring to the suit that can then be used to convert between wrist seals and dry gloves. This system is often used by public safety divers as it is easier to adapt non-DUI gloves to the ring.
DUI also offers the Dry5 Glove System which is a dry glove with a latex wrist seal. The latex wrist seal is sealed over the top of the wrist seal on the drysuit. Divers will often leave a straw or DiveWear thumb loop underneath the seal allowing the glove to equalize with depth. The first glove is fairly easy to install yourself yet you will need assistance from your buddy for the second!
The trick is using soapy water to lubricate the rings. Just spray a little on the double tracks and you will be amazed at how easily they lock together.
DUI seals are manufactured from premium, ultra-pure latex. One of the major enemies of latex is ozone. Many people store their drysuits in areas where ozone is prevalent, such as garages and basements. It is important to try to minimize contact with ozone by storing your drysuit in an airtight bag if it will not be used for a little while.
If you have ZipSeals, you can take the seals off for convenient storage in a Ziploc bag or other airtight container. In some metropolitan areas, such as San Diego, latex seals will break down relatively quickly due to a higher than average ozone level in the air.
Washing the seals with soapy water after use can also extend their life by removing potentially harmful deposits and body oils. Everyone is different and some people will experience more problems than others.
The last thing to watch for is the way you don and remove the seals. Latex can stretch further when stretched sideways than lengthwise so always stretch the seal to the side before sliding it over the hand or head. That will lessen stress cracks that may appear on the surface of the latex at the junction between the suit and the seal.
CF200 kneepads are more durable for overall abrasion and puncture resistance. If you also use the kneepads for improved grip while climbing into or out of the water over rocks, you may find improved grip with Kevlar kneepads.
While your DUI BC is not specifically designed for use with double tanks, it is possible to use it with some sets of doubles. You will need to remove the tank bands and slide a back plate, available from many manufacturers, between the harness and bladder. There are grommets on the harness and the bladder to match the 11” spacing that is standard on back plates. The package can then be bolted to a set of banded doubles. We do not recommend you use DUI’s BC on larger tanks.