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O'Three Ri 2-100 Drysuit

posted Apr 25, 2012, 12:32 AM by Craig Challen
I've recently had quite a few people ask about the drysuits that we use for cold water diving in the Pearse Resurgence. The suit that we all agree is best is the Ri 2-100 from O'Three. We have used these for 3 trips to the Pearse now and the agreement is unanimous that these are the best cold water suits we have tried.

According to the publicity, the material used is 2.1mm resin impregnated compressed neoprene. This is not only tough and wear-resistant, (after nearly 3 years our suits still look almost brand-new) but has a significant degree of innate thermal protection. This makes it by far the warmest suit we have used, regardless of what garments you might be using inside it.

The inherent thermal protection offered by the suit is important to us when we do very long dives in cold water, as in the event of a suit flood (which hasn't happened yet!) that would be the only factor keeping you warm, which might well make the difference between survival for the diver and otherwise.

When diving in warmer water than the 6ºC of the Pearse, it is also very comfortable to dive with very light underclothing.

The boots are a heavy duty rubber attached item which is very comfortable and tough. We get them a good 1-2 sizes larger to allow for extra foot insulation underneath. A point of interest on boots-most of the team have tried the "Rock Boot" style of suit with a sock on the suit and then an external boot that you put on afterwards. We have gone away from these because the sock part of the suit tends to be prone to getting holes in it, and because this style doesn't give you enough room to put on adequate foot insulation inside the suit and still be comfortable.

The wrist seals are neoprene. I found that they are comfortable and seal well. Some people with skinny/bony wrists didn't have the same experience though and were frequently afflicted with small leaks. The problem I did have with them was in attaching dry glove rings to them. Originally I was using the Northern Diver dry glove system. I did eventually get these to work with the neoprene wrist seals but it was only by gluing the seals to the glove rings with Aqua-Seal. As of 2012 I have changed to RoLock dry gloves, and these will only work with latex seals, so I have changed the wrist seals on the suit to latex accordingly.

When putting on the suit with the neoprene wrist seals it is pretty much essential to use a lubricant to get your hands through. A bottle of "Jollop" is supplied with the suit for this purpose and works well.

The neck seal is also neoprene. As with the wrist seals, my experience initially was that they were very comfortable and sealed well. Some others in the team with chicken necks did have problems with leaks though. After a time I did find that the neoprene seal did start to leak a bit, presumably because of stretching. I have had this same experience with other suits with neoprene neck seals in the past. I have now changed it out for a latex neck seal which I do prefer.

The Ri 2-100 is quite heavy compared to lighter shell suits. Not a problem normally, but in these days of escalating airline baggage charges this is always a bit of a pain when travelling.

Because of the thickness of the suit they are also quite buoyant. If you are used to a shell suit you will need to add weight and adjust for changes in trim.

These few points notwithstanding, we are absolutely sold on these suits. Although not ideal for warmer conditions where the need for a very warm suit is marginal, for cold water dives with long periods of immersion, the Ri 2-100 is without reservation the weapon of choice for us.

Here is a link to the manufacturer's site:
www.othree.co.uk/#!/ri-dry-suits-13/ri-2-100-flex-dry-suit-6




Also good for work around the house!
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