This new design of drysuit weighs only 3kg or so, and that's for a fairly big man.
As it's a membrane suit, the amount of insulation can be varied to meet the conditions, ideal when we aren't sure what water temperatures to expect at our destination.
I have had some poor experiences with lightweight drysuits in the past, and took the Travelite away with me to Croatia accompanied by a degree of suspicion.
I determined to ensure that my weeks diving would provide a proper test, and to treat the garment with no more care than I would afford any other suit I might have worn.
You may raise eyebrows at Croatia providing coldwater diving, but I can assure you that the water temperature during my visit in April was exactly the same as it had been off Selsey the previous week.
In fact, I opted to add an additional base layer of Icebreaker Merino wool under my Weezle Oxygen undersuit, because my arms felt so chilled once I passed the 35min mark on each dive.
Of course the Otter Travelite does nothing to keep you warm. Its function is to keep your insulation dry.

Ease of Donning
The Travelite is a front-entry suit with a long diagonal zip and an overlong torso that enables it to be pulled over the head during donning.
I dont call this a self-donning design, because I have never encountered a suit of this style that did not require me to seek the assistance of a buddy in getting the zip started over my shoulder.
Whats the difference between this and getting a buddy to close up a shorter cross-shoulder zip I find that any front-entry suit is complicated to get into when youre under pressure of time. Thats when you put your foot into the wrong leg, or get your internal braces in a twist. The Otter Travelite is no exception.

Efficacy of Seals
One youve got the Travelite on, and the waterproof zip together with the outer zip are closed, you put a tuck in the waist to neaten it, and keep the tuck there, using an elastic crotch strap. The outer zip has the side-effect of stopping the tag for the main zip from snagging, and getting pulled open that tiny amount that spells disaster and a very wet dive.
A collar of neoprene pulls across the neck-seal and fastens by means of Velcro. Its a way of keeping the chill away from the throat.
The neck-seal itself, and the wrist-seals, are latex and pull on quite easily.
The wrist-seals are conical, so they give a snug fit whatever the thickness of your wrists. They are of a tough, heavy-duty latex, and did let a little water past if I gripped anything tightly, but mainly if I raised my camera for an upward shot.
In this case, air would force its way out of the wrists, with resulting dampness making its way back in the other direction.

Efficacy of Valves
The neck-seal worked impeccably, provided I wasnt rubber-necking while under water.
I cant say the same of the low-profile Apeks dump valve, which I had to keep shut, and open only as and when I needed to during an ascent.
If I left it in automatic mode, I paid for the convenience with a very wet arm.
The inflation valve is an Apeks rotating job. This allows you the freedom to rig the inflation hose almost any way you like, and the fact that it has a standard international connection meant that when, just before one dive, the small O-ring in the suit-feed connector failed (not the one supplied to me by Otter), I could simply use my redundant BC feed and not miss the dive.
It did mean that had I wanted to blow some air into the BC at the surface, for example, I would have had to resort to the corrugated hose and its oral-inflation valve, or swap the hose back.

Materials
The upper part of the BC is made using a woven material, whereas the lower part appears to be a lightweight trilaminate. There are reinforcing patches at the knees.
The legs are finished off with neoprene sock-ends, for use with heavyweight canvas hiking boots.
These give the benefit of avoiding floaty feet during a dive, but my size 12s so clad only just managed to get into a pair of Mares Avanti Quattros in the largest size.
The upper part of the suit is finished in a bright red material that looked rather startling in any underwater photographs.

Durability
The Travelite had been specially made for the New Product Showcase at the London International Dive Show, so the glue was hardly dry when I took it away with me.
Some of the smaller Otter labels did fall off while I was using it, along with some radar-reflecting patches, but otherwise the suit held together well, and withstood the rigours of two dives a day on a crowded day-boat continuously for a week.
I was particularly careful only with the sock-ended feet when not wearing the boots.
The suit looked good and I think I looked good in it. Id simply prefer a straightforward version with less material and a standard cross-shoulder zip.

COMPARABLE DRYSUITS TO CONSIDER:
Whites Fusion £859

SPECS
PRICE From £790
MATERIAL lightweight trilaminate
ZIP POSITION front-entry diagonal
SIZES 28 off-the-peg & made-to-measure
CONTACT Otter Watersports, www.drysuits.co.uk
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