Posted by: mcjangles | June 18, 2007

Gear: Neoprene neck seal review

Ok so I got a new drysuit this past winter and have been slowly but surely “pimping my ride”. First thing I did was put in a p-valve (best invention EVER). Not so recently however has been my battle with latex neck seals… I dont know if I have an allergy or not which seems to be relatively common but latex seals have always torn my neck up (doesn’t bother my wrists though). I would get a very bad rash after dives and it would even become uncomfortable/painful in the water during longer dives. Diving is supposed to be fun so I have resolved to make it as comfortable an experience as possible (plus I can’t tell my boss I was working when I was diving if my neck looks like a tried to hang myself), so upon the suggestion of a fairly prominent wreck diver I decided to give a neoprene neck seal a shout. The only problem with this is that I would have to send my suit out to get the work done. So after returning to my trusty old suit (you can always trust it to leak) for a weekend and shelling out extra for rush service and delivery I was happy to have my new suit back with a spanking new neoprene neck seal.

I hadn’t used one of these before and had heard mixed reviews so I was a bit hesitant to try it for the first time this past weekend on the Oil Wreck, but I decided to dive right in (bad pun) and give it a go anyway (I didnt want to go another week without my p-valve). I did give it a test pullover the night before and after nearly suffocating myself I wasn’t feeling very warm and fuzzy about it and almost took my old suit “just in case”. Neverless, dressing on the boat I got it on a little easier and I was glad Charlie Firtion was there to square me away with the folding it under routine.

The verdict: it was better than I could have hoped! Hanging at 20 feet I didn’t get the feeling like circulation was being cut off to my brain and I could turn my head without cringing in pain like with the latex seal. It didn’t leak at all and it was probably the driest I have ever dove. With my latex seal I had it trimmed so loose to try and prevent it cutting into my skin that it would often burp quite a bit. Another added benefit is that the neoprene keeps your neck a little warmer. All in all one it was definitely money well spent.

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