DRYSUIT Waterproof Antarctic 2000

When Erik enters a room, the door-frame is filled and the sky darkens. He stayed at my house once, and I asked if he could do me a favour. Is it a piano was his immediate reaction. In fact it was a stove I wanted to move, but Erik knew his role. Erik is Swedish. All the Swedes I know are big.
  So I was disappointed to find that the Swedish-made Waterproof Antarctic 2000 drysuit sent for me to try in Mens Size Large proved a bit tight-fitting. I had to dispense with any idea of an undersuit. The things I do for you!
  The special high-density 4mm neoprene promised to give me some insulation but it was winter, and I froze. It wasnt the fault of the suit, only the fit. At least I didnt get wet.
  Its a neoprene suit, but very tough. The material has a nylon coating laminated to the outside. A polyurethane reinforcement to the part you sit on adds a non-slip characteristic.
  Soft boots toughened with patches of Kevlar extend up the rear of the calf to make them easier to slip on. There are long vulcanised rubber knee patches.
  There are no seams under arms or in the crotch area - places that would wrinkle and wear. The maker uses a technique whereby interior seams are protected by tape bonded smoothskin to smoothskin. A tiny amount of the nylon covering of the neoprene is shaved away to facilitate this. Its claimed that the result is as good as vulcanising the seams.
  Latex wrist seals are concealed and protected under cuffs closed with a bronze zip. This also avoids heat loss to the water at a place where blood-flow is close to the surface of your skin.
  Calling something 100% Waterproof could be seen as optimistic, but the latex of the wrist seals is in a heavy-duty gauge and conical, so water didnt pass even my sinewy wrists. Heat-bridging at the wrists is avoided, as it is at the neck.
  The heavy-duty latex neck seal keeps the water out all right, but latex is notorious for letting cold water chill the blood supplied to the brain. Waterproof has thought of that. A neoprene collar, redesigned since our drysuit comparison of 2003, covers this seal and is instantly adjustable by its all-the-way-round Velcro fastening. You can also overlap it with the neoprene skirt of the hood, so no icy trickles of water will spoil your day.
  The heavy-duty cross-shoulder zip seemed longer than on other suits I have tried recently. It too is covered by a heavy slab of neoprene to keep the heat in. Two zipped thigh-pockets are described in the publicity material as harmonica style. I think they must mean concertina.
  Without an undersuit this drysuit was akin to a dry wetsuit in that no excess material slowed me down and I was able to slip easily through the water - perfect for dive-guides on Red Sea liveaboards at their coldest time of year.
  As it is made of 4mm neoprene, you dont need as much undersuit insulation as with a trilaminate suit. But if you get a Waterproof Antarctic 2000, try it on over your Thinsulate first.
  I expected the suit to come with Swedish-made Si-Tech valves but the example I used had the commonly used Apeks versions, a rotating inflation and shoulder-mounted auto-dump. They worked without drama.
The Waterproof Antarctic 2000 drysuit is not cheap at £708. It was waterproof - but will it be diver-proof It looks tough enough. It comes in all-black or combinations of black and light grey or dark grey, and a range of off-the-peg sizes.

  • CPS Partnership 01424 442663

  • Divernet
    + Tough neoprene suit
    + No heat bridges at the latex seals
    + Waterproof

    - Off the peg sizes only
    - Expensive