THE PINNACLE ELASTIPRENE 7 WETSUIT is made from a mixture of 5mm and 7mm neoprene. Pinnacle is a company based in New Zealand but this suit isn't made in China like all the others - it's made in the Philippines! Some people might think it would be rather a warm suit to take to the Maldives, but it was the rainy season and I found myself quite comfortable in it, despite the extra amount of lead I had to wear above that I might have worn with a 3mm suit. It's nicely constructed, with gusseted zips at the ankles. Because it is made of such flexible material, it can fit really closely, which is what is required for a wetsuit to work well. The Elastiprene 7 has simple O-ring seals at the cuffs and smoothskin inside the ankles. It also has Kevlar kneepads, reinforced shoulders, and a rear zip with a really chunky lump of neoprene that doubles up in protecting against flushing while also functioning as a spine pad. The turndown smoothskin collar inverts inwards like a neoprene drysuit and is sealed with a generous helping of Velcro. I found this a bit uncomfortable, as it tended to rub on my neck, so I left it unfastened with no ill-effects.
Clouds of talc I found the suit exceedingly easy to get in and out of, thanks to the stretchiness of its material. This can matter. Back when I regularly taught new divers, I remember that getting in and out of the suit was the greatest trauma they had to suffer. I have lasting visions of my new charges disappearing in clouds of talcum powder as they cursed and struggled into and out of suits that were less than stretchy. Regular readers will know that I have a predilection for Pinnacle suits, and although there is not too much to tell you about this one, it does look very well constructed. I did 11 consecutive dives with it, in some strong currents and around a wreck. I always came up with the legs covered in rust marks, but the stitching showed no signs of becoming unravelled. This is the fault I find with some other wetsuits - and it usually happens just after I have submitted my copy for publication! Pinnacle Wetsuits are distributed in the UK by Airsub International, which has a close association with Oceanic SW, and I understand that you can buy exactly the same thing with an Oceanic label. That suit is called the Oceanic Strexs and costs the same as the Pinnacle Elastiprene 7 -£225.