FAQs

Virtual Customer Support

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.

1. Why do DUI drysuits cost more than many other brands?
Why do DUI drysuits cost more than many other brands?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.

All DUI drysuits are made in the USA offering you the fastest delivery possible.

DUI drysuits fit better than anyone else. We use our 40+ years in designing custom garments for divers and are constantly testing and updating patterns and designs to improve the fit of our equipment. DUI suits are designed to provide you complete range of motion while the least amount of drag possible.

DUI uses only the best materials.

DUI drysuits are hand-made by skilled craftsman.

DUI offers the best warranty in the industry – 7 years against defects in materials and workmanship. And we’ve been in business since 1963 and are here to support that warranty.

DUI offers the best customer service in the industry. You have a question? Call us. We are here to help you.

DUI drysuits out perform all others. They are more comfortable, more durable, more reliable.

It’s all in the details – we add drain holes in areas so the suit drains faster, we add zipper guards to not only protect the waterproof zipper but it makes the suit look better, knee overlays cover the length of the leg, edges are finished, thread colors match, etc. etc. etc.

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!

All of the best divers dive DUI. Look around. What are the world’s top divers wearing? Underwater photographers, explorers, scientists, commercial, public safety, recreational – they are ALL wearing DUI.

TEST DIVE FOR YOURSELF! Try one for yourself. Dive another brand of drysuit and then dive a DUI. No other drysuit can match the fit, the feel and the comfort of a DUI.

2. What type of suit is the best for a recreational diver?
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 series of questions that follow contrast the features and benefits of our more popular suit styles.

3. What are the advantages of a TLS Series drysuit vs. a CLX Series drysuit and vice versa?
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

4. What are the advantages of a CF200 drysuit vs. a FLX50/50 drysuit and vice versa?
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.

5. What is the toughest drysuit you make?
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.
6. What are the advantages of self-don vs. shoulder-entry drysuits?
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.
7. What is the best suit to use for dive travel?
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.
8. Can I wear a 30/30 drysuit in colder water?
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.
9. Why would I want to wear a drysuit in the tropics?
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.
10. What are the advantages of a TLS350 drysuit vs. a 30/30 drysuit and vice versa?
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.

The key to selecting from among these suits is determining which features are most desirable to you and your diving activities.

11. What is the difference between a Stock, Select, Special Production and Signature Series Drysuit?
A Select Series is made by using one of our existing patterns. There are 15 for men and 18 for women. You then get to “select” your color, your boot style and size and your seals including DUI’s patented ZipSeals.

A Signature Series is a made to measure suit. In addition to choosing the color, boot style and size and seals, there are additional upper body design choices for most of our drysuit styles.

12. What makes a suit a “short” or a “tall”?
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.A “tall” version of a size is 1” longer in the arm length, 1” longer in the leg length and 2” longer in the body (girth) length.
13. Can I get options installed on my stock drysuit or do I need to get a Special Production?

DUI has over 50 options in pockets, pads, overlays, seals, valves and more in which to choose.  These can be installed on all DUI drysuits.

14. Is a Special Production drysuit a fully custom suit?
DUI requires 21 separate measurements for a Signature Series 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.

DUI offers the best fit in the industry. Period.

Making a Signature Series is a delicate balance between tailoring to fit, while minimizing the number of suit seams. Fewer seams mean greater suit longevity. Conversely, the greater the degree of the tailoring, the greater the number of suit seams, and the shorter the longevity. For example, if a diver has a large buttocks yet thin legs, the size of the hips will dictate the size of the legs. That is to say, the legs can only be tapered a certain amount and still unite with a common seam at the waist. Tailoring to exactly fit such a diver would require substantially increasing the number of seams, thus diminishing the expected longevity, for minimal effect on actual dive performance.

Similarly, an “hourglass” waistline is not a viable design, given that the waist can only be tailored to a certain point. When putting on and taking off 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.

15. I have some questions about the fit of my Signature Series drysuit. What should I do?
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.
16. What is the Classic zipper? Why might someone want that style of zipper over the QuickZip?
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.

17. What is a Cave Cut?
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.

18. What suit is best for diving in contaminated water?
As the amount and type of contaminated water can vary dramatically, there is no short answer to this question. DUI’s CXO (Contaminated eXtreme Operations) drysuit is usually considered best for contaminated water yet that idea is more related to how easy it is to decontaminate than how well it protects 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 “Risk Management through Advanced Technology for Public Safety Divers” or contact DUI or one of our Authorized Public Safety Dealers for more information.

19. Which is better: Thinsulate™ or Polartec®?
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.

DUI DiveWear Care Instructions are available here.

20. Do I really need to wear insulation socks on my feet?
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.
21. My existing insulation is great but not quite warm enough for really long dives or diving in the winter? What should I do?
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.
22. How do I wash Thinsulate?
DUI DiveWear Care Instructions are available by clicking here.
23. What are the pros and cons of RockBoots vs. TurboBoots?
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.Some divers prefer to have built in boots simply because it is one less thing they have to remember and put on when getting ready for a dive. For those divers, turbo soles are ideal as they are very low profile compared to many other built in boots on the market. They will often fit into smaller fins and are less bulky feeling than other designs. The sole is available in a few distinct sizes (S, M, L, and XL), so there may be people that have a hard time getting a good fit. Divers with very wide or narrow feet and those with very large feet will usually find a better fit with the RockBoots.
24. What are the advantages and disadvantages of ZipSeals?
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!

25. What is the best dry glove system for me?
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!

26. How can I make it easier to install my ZipSeals?
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.
27. Why do my latex seals seem to be wearing out so quickly?
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.

28. Which kneepads are more durable?
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.
29. How do I convert my DUI BC for doubles?
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.
30. Why does DUI use RTV to seal drysuit valves and not valve grommets?
DUI bonds the inlet and exhaust valve into its drysuits using RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanizing) silicon to prevent the valves from becoming loose due to changes in pressure, temperature and shock and vibration. Though RTV may be inconvenient for those individuals who wish to change their valves out on a routine basis, the RTV ensures the valves are secure and sealed into the drysuit which is a fundamental requirement for all drysuit divers.

It is obvious that drysuits are exposed to changes in hydrostatic pressure. However a less obvious force at work which can potentially loosen the valves are temperature changes. Material expands and contracts with changes in temperature and drysuits can experience a wide range of temperatures.

EN 14225 Part 2: Dry Suit – Requirements and Test Methods: This standard states that the drysuit must be able to withstand temperature ranges from 20°C (-4°F) to 70°C (158°F). Though the diver typically experiences water temperatures between -2°C (28°F) and 30°C (86°F), the -20°C (-4°F) to 70°C (158°F) represents storage temperatures. While many suits will not see the -20 °C (-4°F) storage temperature the 70°C (158°F) is a typical automobile trunk temperature. In fact the U.S. Department of Transportation puts the average summertime trunk temperature at 80°C (176°F). So it easy to see that your drysuit can see a wide temperature swing depending on storage temperatures and diving activity.

Many manufactures use rubber valve ports/grommets which appear to be convenient and they count on the compression of the rubber and friction between the valve and these ports to keep the valves in place. However temperatures change between storage temperatures and diving temperatures plus the addition of shock and vibration can work the valve loose over time. For these reasons manufacturers attach hang tags to the valve of their new suits warning the diver to check the installation of their valve before each dive. While it is prudent to check all your equipment before diving it seems unreasonable for the diver to carry the proper wrenches to check and insure the valves are always properly installed in the drysuit.

TYPICAL WARNING

WARNING!!! Verify that the drysuit inlet and outlet valves are tight BEFORE EVERY DIVE. Your valves can become loosened during the course of normal use from rotation of the valve and material compression. A loose valve may leak or become dislodged during your dive causing your suit to flood and lose buoyancy. This could create a potentially dangerous situation.

DUI is continually reevaluating the use of ports and grommets and their ability to maintain the valve securely in the drysuit over a wide temperature range both in storage and in use.