The Design
The OceanFlex system comprises a one-piece front zip semi-dry suit with the additional FlexPlus over-jacket. The components are built from a combination of state-of-the-art Superstretch and GuardFlex neoprenes.
Both the suit and jacket are 5mm thick, giving the wearer the advantage of layering the garments to provide a whopping 10mm of thermal insulation to the torso region.
The suits have discreet PVC patches featuring either the Beaver logo or Union flag set at the zipper stress points. Premium Nylon YKK zips have been used for the front, ankles and cuffs, which also have Glide-skin seals to achieve the semi-dry rating.
The chest, shoulder and knee areas are made using strong GuardFlex neoprene to provide greater wear resistance, with the remainder in a super-stretchy soft neoprene for comfort. All the seams are glued and flat-stitched in heavyweight light grey nylon.
The suit’s combi system is supplied with a 5mm long yoke semi-dry hood and is available in 17 sizes in both male and female gender-specific cuts.
Beaver Sports also offers a “made-to-measure” service for an additional fee.

In Use
I’ve had this semi-dry system for a while now, and taken it under water in a variety of conditions. September in the Egyptian Red Sea isn’t noted as one of the cooler months for water temperatures, so I was thinking I’d got it wrong again as I donned the 5mm OceanFlex one-piece and watched most of my fellow-divers put on shorties or rash-vests.
After dives involving an hour and a half of immersion I returned to the boat toasty-warm, while others were blue-lipped and shivering.
I can’t tell you how smug that made me feel, especially after years of being the one who’d got it totally wrong and been ridiculed for it.
I recently took the over-jacket to the Indian Ocean. I knew that the water temperature would be around the 29° mark and did a few dives using it as a shortie – again, it turned out to be a sensible decision.
Then, to put the whole system to the test, I used both components and the hood to get into my local River Kennet at the end of autumn to photograph ducks and swans. The water was a biting 15°, yet my body was warm and comfortable, although after 30 minutes or so my feet and hands felt like blocks of ice, and I retreated with a hot shower in mind.
The combi system Beaver supplied was actually a made-to-measure model, because the infamous “Low-Bum Nigel Wide” profile doesn’t normally suit an off-the-peg version.
This OceanFlex system fitted me like a glove, leaving no saggy bits for cold water to flush through and reduce the suit’s (and my) internal temperature.
Helped by the seriously stretchy FlexPlus neoprene the suits were very snug but not over-tight. The soft inner linings were extremely comfortable next to my skin, and made them very easy to don and doff.
The GuardFlex sections have a fine ribbed texture that, combined with the soft FlexPlus neoprene and contrast stitching, makes this suit an understated eye-catcher.

Conclusion
The Beaver OceanFlex combi system is made in the North to high standards, using top-end materials. It looks and feels every inch a premium product.
It also does its job in a package that for me proved to be versatile. Over a period of quite intense use it appears to be robust enough, because it’s showing no signs of wear or tear.
The suit isn’t what I would call “feature-rich” – it doesn’t have articulated joints, Kevlar panels or computer-strap keepers, and it lacks a pocket or two. This system does however represent excellent value for money in an ever-expensive marketplace.


PRICES Standard sizes £199, made-to-measure £232.
GENDER Male- and Female-specific cuts
SIZES 17 from S to XXL, with Plus and Tall combinations.
MADE TO MEASURE Optional
COLOURS Black/black
INCLUDED ACCESSORIES 5mm long-yoke hood
CONTACT www.beaversports.co.uk
DIVER GUIDE width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100%