Review — Waterproof D9 Breathable Drysuit

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Review — Waterproof D9 Breathable Drysuit

August 24, 2013 - 00:00
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When Björn Elhmé, Waterproof’s CEO, flung me a little pouch with a big grin on his face, I initially wondered why he would toss me a child’s sleeping bag. But that couldn’t be—given the context.

Sure enough, inside the bag was their new ultra lightweight D9 breathable drysuit, which has been created specifically with travel in mind where luggage weight is becoming still more of an issue.

After a two decade long tenure as an editor of a dive magazine, it takes something to grab my interest, but I felt immediately that the Swedes were onto something worthwhile, and I asked if I could take it for a spin.

Less than two weeks later, I tried it both in a frigid mountain lake in the Austrian Alps and in the lukewarm Mediterranean Sea. The suit is indeed light, and it feels more like putting on a windbreaker than a heavy winter coat when donning it. With its telescopic torso, it’s got a baggy loose fit, which is less streamlined in the water, but I didn’t ever feel it was an issue—who is doing speed trials anyway?

But it actually gave me more freedom of movement. Even through the breathable fabric is only marginally stretchy, I never felt my mobility was hindered, as is so often the case. Following a dive off Italy from a RIB, I also got to appreciate the breathability of the suit. Down under, the usual amount of humidity from perspiration is trapped and accumulates inside like in a greenhouse, but once topside, it started drying.

In one case, I was completely dry and comfy when I doffed the suit 20 minutes after a dive except, that is, having one leg soaked because I neglected to pull the zipper completely tight. The wear layer is made from tough and tear resistant Cordura Nylon over what Waterproof calls a ‘Quad-Lam Breathable Material’.

Even so, Waterproof cautions that this is not a suit for sustained heavy duty use such as advanced wreck diving. I will have to agree, albeit only reluctantly, as it was so comfortable. But it will come with me on a lot of warm water trips where I would otherwise have brought my wetsuit.