Earlier this season Waterproof introduced more of their dry suit range into the UK which included the lightweight, breathable D9 Drysuit. The D9 is designed almost exclusively for travel; made with a light weight material and is almost completely flexible.
FEATURESThe D9 comes with all the features you'd expect from a top-of-the-line drysuit from SITech valves, a flexible TIZIP, neoprene warm neck, neoprene cuff protectors, telescopic torso and internal braces. The D9 is a front entry drysuit so you can get in and out of it without the need for a buddy to seal you in or let you out. The TIZIP has a Velcro zip protector to protect it from damage and a Velcro tab on the chest to help with hose routing.
SIZEThe first thing you realise about this drysuit is just how small it packs down to; because it is a membrane drysuit, with socks and a flexible TIZIP it packs down smaller than my wetsuits. The D9 will pack down into its bag to about 65x20x25cm and weighing only about 2 kilograms (a Medium Large complete in its bag with hose weighs 2.2kg) it is perfect for travel. When I first went diving out in the Red Sea I thought it was weird for people to take a drysuit as I'd only ever used them in the UK in cold waters but it makes a lot of sense; the worst part of diving in the Red Sea later in the year is getting out of the water. Later on in the year the wind starts to pick up and climbing out of your wetsuit is a damp cold nightmare but a drysuit solves this. And everybody who has done more than one dive knows the awful sensation of pulling a cold, soggy wetsuit that hasn't dried; only chilled for a second dive, whilst the smug drysuit divers just pull their suits on without a second thought.
MATERIALWhilst being thinner and lighter than most membrane drysuits the materials the D9 is made from is still quite tough to protect from abrasions. On the inside the internal lining is a much softer and all of the internal seams have been taped for comfort. The breathable nature of the fabric increases the comfort especially if you're standing around in the sun. The taped seams are sealed using an ultra-sonic weld to seal every little gap to prevent even the smallest of leaks. Fitted with a TIZIP and flexible socks this drysuit is completely flexible except for the chest and shoulder valves, everything else, including the dryzip, is completely flexible.
OPTIONAL EXTRASThe D9 has been designed for tropical diving or snorkelling in colder waters and such can be fitted with an optional oral inflation valve that can be mounted to the inlet valve port on your chest if you only want to use it for snorkelling. The oral inflation valve has a one way locking valve to prevent any water from entering the drysuit inadvertently.
CONCLUSIONIf you're looking to travel out to the Red Sea around October-March time this would be the perfect accompaniment, diving holidays tend to be cheaper during the winter months and the diving is quieter with less people about. Given the choice between the D9 and my 5 or 7mm wetsuit I'd choose the Drysuit hands down as it's lighter and smaller to pack, I prefer my diving profile in a drysuit, all of my UK diving I do in my drysuit and it is so much more civilized getting in and out of a drysuit then climbing in and out of a chilled, damp wetsuit.
At SimplyScuba.com we have the full size range of WaterProof D9 Breathable Dry suits in stock so if you want to try one on for size or have any questions about the suit please feel free to ask.