There is a clear north / south divide in the UK. But not necessarily for the reason you would image. If you are a southern based diver, you are more than likely to dive an O’Three suit manufactured in Dorset.
Conversely if you are a northern diver, then you are probably going to pull on a Yorkshire Otter t’drysuit. There is also a neoprene / membrane split too. If you want a stonkingly good neoprene drysuit, O’Three has a much-deserved reputation, whilst Otter is the way to go for a membrane suit. Or perhaps I should say "there's now another choice", because times are a’changing. Otter also make neoprene suits whilst O’Three have just taken their first foray into membrane. It has taken about 24 months of research and development, and the resulting labour has produced the bonny bouncy ‘90Ninety’. The name reflects the fact that this suit has been designed to be dived from 90.0000°N to 90.0000°S, in other words, worldwide, from Pole to Pole.
We’ve not lost our passion for neoprene – we’re bringing our ethos and standards to a trilam drysuit. O'Three Drysuits
Why the move to membrane?
O’Three has certainly not lost its USP and a three decade passion for neoprene. The English manufacturer is simply responding to repeated requests from loyal customers. “We’ve had a number of divers - both here in the UK and in the USA – asking if we will make them a membrane suit." confirmed O'Three. At present the 90Ninety comes in six male sizes; small, medium, medium large, large, extra large, xxl. It's worth noting that because each suit is made to order there is some latitude to adjust the pattern. There's also an option for a made to measure suit. O'Three have stated they intend to manufacturer a ladies cut suit, and in fact the patterns are currently being worked on, so ladies, talk to O'Three if you like the look of this suit!
The 90Ninety is made from a lightweight, rip-stop material. Each panel has been cut on the bias or the diagonal grain at 45°, rather than on the straight and cross grains. This technique (invented in 1927 by a Parisian couturier) effectively gives the fabric more stretch. When you then design in a telescopic torso and crotch strap, the result is a flexible stretchy suit that should be a joy to don, dive and doff. There are other small tailoring touches, for instance the arms are pre-bent, and the crutch and armpits are seamless. This is more importatant than you think, because both areas are dynamic - they move. I write from experience. In the early 2000s I was sponsored with a top of the range membrane suit that spent more time in the workshop than it did going diving. I would dive it a couple of times and then get champagne bubble leakage in the crotch area again. After suffering from wet underwear for the umpteen time, I handed the suit back. No one likes the gamble of wet knickers because of failed and leaking seams!
- High stretch rip-stop trilaminate material
- YKK AquaSeal Zip
- Apeks low profile Auto Dump (choice of position)
- Apeks low profile swivel inflator
- The choice of a neoprene or Si-Tech 'QUICK' fast replace ring system (silicone or latex compatible)
- KUBU Dry Glove System comes as standard
- Neoprene wrist protection cover
- Suit can be dived with a wet or dry gloves
- 4mm lined neoprene 'Pivot' boot c/w reinforced sole, toe and heel and built in fin lug
- Front entry full telescopic torso
- Fully adjustable external crutch strap and internal braces
- External zip cover
- Bias cut
- Construction: Proven methods in seam construction and waterproofing. Tailoring: Cut on the bias to maximise stretch, not yield. Pre-bent arms. Crutch / Armpits: Seamless in these all important areas. Colour: Graphite. Lightweight / Flexible. *Neck Seal: Si-Tech ‘QUICK’ fast replace ring. *Wrist Seals: KUBI Cuff Side, with Neoprene protective cover. *Dry Gloves: KUBI dry gloves, as standard. *Neck / Wrist systems: Never miss a dive because of a broken seal. Silicone, Latex, and Neoprene compatible. Suit can be worn with a wet or dry glove. Boots: O’Three’s proven 4mm Neoprene Pivot Boot. Super warm and low profile contoured foot. Reinforced sole, toe and heel with a built in fin stop. Soft Sock option available. Pocket: Zipped with built-in slate pocket, D-rings and bungee. Left Thigh. Knee Pads: Anti-abrasion PU with impact absorbing 3D Polymer removeable inserts. Reinforcement: Anti-abrasion PU to shoulders, elbow and seat.
- Electro-luminescent and phosphor-luminescent backlight
- Operating temperature 0° C to +40° C / +32° F to +104° F
- Metric and imperial units
- Logbook Memory ~140 h (20 s sampling rate)
- Alarms: maximum depth, high PPO2, too fast ascent, decompression ceiling violation, deepstop violation, CNS / OTU (OLF) 80% / 100%