It is constructed from a heavyweight trilaminate material that has a tough outer layer with a very visible weave. All seams are both glued and well taped on the inside, and there are conical latex wrist-seals and a conical latex neck-seal covered by a Neoprene collar closed with Velcro fastenings.
This latter goes some way to preventing the chill often associated with an exposed latex neck seal. The advantage of such seals is that they resist the ingress of water, even if you’re scrawny like me.
A conventional BDM cross-shoulder watertight zip is covered by a flap, and kneepads are in Kevlar. SOLAS reflective panels adorn each forearm, and the footwear is conventional in that it consists of lined rubber boots with ribbed soles and a fin-strap retainer on each.
Internal braces make wearing the suit with only the bottom half pulled up quite feasible, but adjusting it too tightly can put your waistline up where your grandfather probably had it. Being black, these braces would have left your grand-dad as grumpy as I was while trying to see and unravel them in the dark, cavernous interior of the suit.
The Fathom I tried had Apeks valves: rotating inflation valves, and a low-profile auto-dump valve mounted on the shoulder. Fortunately the inflation valve used an international Seatec fitting, so I could use a hose from a regulator that might otherwise have been fitted to a BC.
I normally hate thigh-mounted pockets because of the drag they can create. However, the Fathom pockets on each side are quite small and close to the thigh, and you have the option of unzipping the bottom part so that it concertinas out, should you need to carry a reel or other item.
Each pocket carried a helping of SOLAS tape, too. The hood provided was more than comfortable.

In the Water
I stayed dry. To me, that is the first and foremost quality of a good drysuit. It doesn’t matter how wonderful and what features it has, if you get wet – forget it.
I wore the new Fourth Element Halo 3D undersuit, and it certainly filled up the Fathom with its incompressible panels. When I raised my hands to do anything, there was no feeling of icy water running back down my wrists.
However, weighted for neutral buoyancy near the surface, I simply needed to maintain the volume of the suit to remain neutrally buoyant at any depth.
A membrane suit will never be as sleek and well-fitting as a properly fitted Neoprene drysuit, so it will be less easy to swim in.
That said, if you are not intending to snorkel around basking sharks, you probably won’t need to cover a lot of ground when diving a British wreck site.

Typhoon has not reinvented the wheel with this suit – it has just rounded it off a bit. The Fathom has an elasticated section at the back that ruches the material nicely, so it feels well-fitted.
Getting a drysuit of the right size is essential, and this suit is available in eight off-the-peg sizes. It may be a little more expensive than some others, but if you are an off-the-peg shape, I suggest that a suit like this could be a great investment in your diving, and should see years of hitch-free active service.

Oceanic Flexdura, £702
Scubapro Fjord, £639
Otter Skin Mk2, £750

PRICE £849
SIZES Eight (S to XXL)
TYPE Membrane
INSULATION User’s undersuit
ZIP Cross-shoulder
CONTACT DIVER GUIDE width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100%