Wet Suits – What Every Best Dressed Diver Needs

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Next to fins, mask and a tank, the accessory that most symbolizes a scuba diver is the wet suit. Usually made of a combination of neoprene rubber and nylon fabric, wet suits have come a long way since the early days of suit pioneers like the O’Neill brothers and their Santa Cruz “surf suits.


Basics

Wet suits are an integral part of a scuba divers safety and health while under water. It protects The basic principle of the wet suit is simple; water flow into the small pores of the neoprene foam of the suit, where it is trapped and warmed by the body heat and exertions of the diver. This layer of warm water acts as a thermos bottle, keeping the colder water from reaching the diver’s body. Wet suits are designed to let water actually come in contact with the skin, as opposed to dry suits, which are sealed to keep water out. Wet suits are generally employed when temperatures range from 40 to 60 degrees—typical temperate dive ranges, while dry suits are used for lower temperatures all the way down to freezing.

Today’s wet suits combine a wide variety of fabric weaves, designs, colors and types of material densities. There are many, many brands, each offering its own unique take on one of the most essential parts of the diver’s dress; especially if you’re planning to dive in temperate or moderately deep waters. In this article, we’ll take a close look at one of the manufacturers that has most impressed our discerning panel of experts—the Pinnacle Aquatics line.

Pinnacle Aquatics

Based in Northern California, USA, the Pinnacle team is well aware of what is required to stay warm in the chilly dive waters of the mid-pacific. Featuring innovations such as their patented Merino lining, a sealed neck system (nothing is worse than a torrent of cold seawater down the back of the neck at 35 feet!) and their own Elastiprene construction material, the Pinnacle line is a solid choice for divers looking for a reliable, quality wet suit option.

The Seal

Pinnacle bills the Seal as ”the warmest 3mm wet suit ever made” and it lives up to the challenge by integrating features found on heavier 7mill suits with a lighter foam structure. A Merino lining in the torso provides extra warmth. A 10mm spine pad protects the diver and also creates a barrier against cold water entry at critical areas. Good in both warm and temperate water, the Seal is equal to many thicker and more buoyant 5mm suits used for similar applications.

Merino-Elastiprene 7

Warm and durable, or stretchy and comfortable? It’s a perennial problem for divers. The Merino-Elastiprene 7 is Pinnacle’s solution to this age old dilemma. 7 millimeter foam construction means that the Elastiprene has the thickness to handle cold water dives, yet features such as anatomically correct pre-bent arms and legs and second-generation Elastiprene titanium lined neoprene make this suit almost as flexible as far thinner 3mill suits.

Hoods and other Accessories

Although a wet suit is an important part of the cool water diver’s equipment, it’s almost useless without one addition; a hood. With almost 20% of the body’s heat lost through the head, it’s important to make sure that this all important area is secured. Pinnacle has several excellent options:

5mm Hood: This is a good warm water and cool water hood, with a 3mm trim able face seal. A large bib makes it easy to tuck this wood into the wet suit for added sealing protection.

5mm Merino: This light weight hood features 5mm titanium lined neoprene and a Merino lining for warmth, giving this option up to 35% more thermal efficiency than just neoprene alone. This construction gives the 5mm Merino protection ability equal to many heavier 7mm hoods.

7mm Merino: This heavy duty hood is advertised as the warmest wet suit hood on the market, and with 7mm titanium lined neoprene, Merino lining and a deep smooth skin face seal and bib, Pinnacle’s entry lives up to the description. Excellent for very cold water diving.

Pinnacle is the Pinnacle

With its patented Merino wool lining and rugged titanium backed neoprene, Pinnacle once again has produced a reliable and high quality entry in the wet suit market. We think Pinnacle has set a high standard for any wet suit to beat—and we think you will too.

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