I ADMIT TO BEING ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE who gets a pile of bits from IKEA, follows the instructions implicitly, and still ends up with a wardrobe with upside-down shelves.
With this in mind, it was with some trepidation that I fitted the Si Tech Glove Lock system for use with dry gloves to my otherwise excellent Aquion drysuit.
I say its excellent because it has always kept me perfectly dry, and I was aware of the risk I was taking by tampering with its watertight integrity. In fact I needn't have worried, because I wasnt.
This Glove Lock system from the Swedish manufacturer Si Tech is fitted to the latex wrist seals of the drysuit in such a way as to leave them completely functional.
You slide the appropriate-sized spanner ring (several colour-coded sizes are supplied for use with different thicknesses of material) down through the sleeve of the drysuit and squeeze it up inside the wrist seal, stretching it evenly round the ring as you go. The drysuit-fitting half of the Glove Lock system squeezes onto it.
Naturally, this involves a bit of effort, but the SiTech instructions tell you to test for a good fit by pulling on the ring against the suit sleeve.
SiTech supplied me with a set of heavy-duty PVC gloves, and these are fitted in a similar way by choosing the right spanner ring and forcing the glove-ring into it, ensuring that the fit is even all round, and that there are no wrinkles.
Again, you test for a good fit by pulling the ring against the glove. After a short time trying to make head or tail of the rather brief IKEA-like instructions, I managed to get everything assembled to my liking.

SO WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE of this over other dry-glove ring systems The suit is donned as normal, with some soft fluffy liner gloves. Immediately before diving, the dry-gloves are put on. The big difference is that they are not limited in the way the mounting-ring has been fitted, because you can rotate them to suit the orientation of your hands.
A big rubber-covered locking ring rotates about the suit-ring to keep the gloves in place, and a captive O-ring keeps the joint watertight.
I needed help fitting the second glove, as is always the case with dry-glove systems.
The rubber-covered locking-ring was less easy to rotate than the one Stig, Si Techs boss, had demonstrated to me previously. The captive O-ring probably needed lubricating with silicone grease, but I was damned if I could get either of the drysuit halves of the rings apart to get access. I was scared of breaking them.
Something all divers who use dry-gloves with their own wrist seals soon discover is that under the pressure of depth the glove is crushed up, and with it the insulation of the liner glove.
Your hands may stay dry, but they soon get cold. Hands in dry gloves that use the same internal air volume as the rest of the suit can be kept warm by holding an arm up and letting air migrate.
Some of you will be suspicious of this way of doing things because, should you damage your gloves, your drysuit will gradually fill with water - another way to get cold quickly . So its not for wreckers, or anyone likely to tear a glove badly.
Suspicious of my own ability to fit anything to a drysuit and stay dry when submerged, it suited me to leave the drysuit wrist seals intact and functioning.
This in effect meant that the dry-gloves had their own internal air space, with resultant loss of insulation at depth.
Not only that, but if I wasnt careful the gloves would balloon on ascent, leaving me with barely enough dexterity to handle my pressure gauge.
Then Jimbob suggested that I put the woolly liner gloves on before pushing my hands down the sleeves of my suit, the gloves becoming part of the same volume of air as the rest of the suit.
If I was to accidentally puncture one, I could just pull it off so that the wrist seal settled back against my skin, sacrificing my hands insulation to mitigate the effects of a possible flood.
It didnt make the seals too tight on my wrists, and I opted to use the gloves and the Glove Lock system in this way in future. Im not too old to learn something new.

SPECS
PRICE
£86 (with assorted spanner rings)
CONTACT www.sitech.se
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