Needing a new suit for a warm water destination I looked over various selections of shorties and 3mm jumpsuits. My destination was comfortable water but not the warmest time of year, and I was aware that I’d need not only some sort of insulation towards the end of my trip as my body acclimated to the conditions but quite possibly for a bit of environmental protection as well. Something as simple as a little, accidental coral cut or that one unseen jellyfish in the water can ruin an expensive dive trip, not to mention that 45 minutes snorkeling during the mid-day’s sun.
After trying on several shorties and deciding they just weren’t what I had in mind for this trip, I turned my attention to 3mm and 3/2 full suits. This choice didn’t thrill me either as airline weight allowances being what they are these days adding the extra neoprene to my luggage just wasn’t an option. Not to mention that it might be a bit much for snorkeling, should I choose to go.
Looking for options I stumbled across Henderson 17oz. Superior Polyolefin suit. Made from a 300 Denier Polyolefin/lycra fabric it is durable and comfortable. It has a brushed velour lining that has a nice feel against the skin. Being a fabric suit and not neoprene it is neutrally buoyant, will dry very fast, and is resistant to the damaging effects of the sun as well as chlorine. I was pleased at how comfortable it fit, thinking the “squeeze” of a wetsuit won’t be missed at all. The thumb loops and ankle stirrups were nice and will be very useful should I use this later on underneath my 7mm wetsuit, but for the time being they just helped with the over all fit of the suit. The best part of all is the material has a warmth equivalent to 2mm neoprene wetsuit!
In a nutshell, this suit was perfect for what I needed. Light weight, durable, comfortable, and warm! The bonus of not being buoyant made this an easy choice for not only this trip, but for many more in the future!