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SI TECH Quick Neck Test

Lelle Malmström puts a drysuit neck seal through its paces by jumping of a 10m diving board to test if it holds tight.

Under the “warm neck” collar of the drysuit, one can see the Quick Neck ring. Photo by Tomas Forssander
Under the “warm neck” collar of the drysuit, one can see the Quick Neck ring. Photo by Tomas Forssander

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Factfile

Associate editor Lelle Malmström is a JJ-CCR technical diver and dive writer based near Stockholm in Sweden.

He served as editor-in-chief of the Swedish dive magazine Sportdykaren of the Swedish Sport Diving Association from 2013 to 2020 and has assisted in archaeological excavations of the 17th-century Swedish warship Regalskeppet Kronan.

He has also been involved in arranging the Scandinavian dive show DykMässan in Gothenburg and is a member of SI TECH’s reference group, testing new dive products before their release on the market.

The Swedish company SI TECH has further developed its Neck Tite system, which enables the diver to change the neck seal on a drysuit easily, without the need to glue a silicone neck seal in place. The new system is called Quick Neck and is, just like its predecessor, made up of a soft ring that is glued to the suit and another ring that is clamped together with the neck seal in the glued ring.

The Swedish company SI TECH has further developed its Neck Tite system, which enables the diver to change the neck seal on a drysuit easily, without the need to glue a silicone neck seal in place. The new system is called Quick Neck and is, just like its predecessor, made up of a soft ring that is glued to the suit and another ring that is clamped together with the neck seal in the glued ring.

A colleague of mine and I tested Neck Tite a few years ago, and at the time, we experienced that the neck ring was a bit stiff on land, but underwater, it did not feel stiff at all. The new Quick Neck is much softer and designed so that it will shape to the shoulders in a much better way—so it will not feel like a stiff neck ring.

The secret to the new soft Quick Neck is the patent-pending construction with “grooves” that make the ring stiff in one direction and flexible in the other. (The ring must not be so soft that the neck seal risks coming loose at the wrong time.)

My colleague and I were the first people outside of SI TECH’s development department to have the opportunity to test the Quick Neck. The first thing that struck us when we saw our test specimen was that it seemed like the Quick Neck was smaller than the Neck Tite; however, upon checking the measurements of the Quick Neck, it turned out that both models had the same circumference.

This meant that all neck seals, both latex and silicone, that fit the old Neck Tite will also fit the Quick Neck. The yellow locking ring and the installation tool are also the same for the Neck Tite and Quick Neck.

Quick Neck and its predecessor Neck Tite can both be used on drysuits with and without a hood as well as on drysuits with a so-called “warm neck” collar. The soft ring can be glued to the drysuit either from the inside or from the outside. The size of the ring is basically the same as most standard latex neck seals and this makes Quick Neck (and Neck Tite) compatible with most drysuits—even on suits with a front zipper.

Testing Quick Neck

Testing a clamped neck seal is not that difficult—but how should we do it? Sure, you can pull a little on it and see if it stays in place and does not leak when diving. But we were not content with this. The questions we asked were:

• Does it work in the cold?
• Can it come loose when getting dressed?
• What happens if I jump from a high quay or boat?

Because the test dives took place during December and January, when it was only 3°C in the water and around -8°C on land, we soon got the answer that the Quick Neck worked in the cold. However, I thought that the Quick Neck was a little stiffer in the cold than at room temperature—but then again, my whole drysuit was also much stiffer. I was also extra rough on the neck seal while donning the suit, both out in the cold and inside the swimming pool. But I did not manage to get the seal to come loose or leak.

High dive

Would the Quick Neck remain in place if I jumped from a high altitude? We had already jumped off a bridge, so now we would test to see if the Quick Neck held in place for jumps from even higher altitudes. I contacted Alpin & Dyksport (Alpin & Diving Sports) in Stockholm, which had pool time in Eriksdalsbadet’s high dive swimming pool. And, of course, they wanted to see a maniac jumping from a height of 10m in a drysuit!

I can actually admit now that I did not feel so tough when I started climbing the stairs of the high diving tower—especially when I passed the 5m platform and Alpin & Diving Sports instructor Josefin shouted: “Be calm, we have both oxygen and first aid—so we will probably be able to bring you back to life if something happens.” Right. It felt very safe…

So, all that was left to do was just to take the step out and jump from 10m. It felt like an eternity before I hit the water’s surface... Once I got under the water, I started to feel as if something was leaking somewhere, but I ascended to the surface with incredible speed due to all the air in the suit.

Nothing had come loose or had started to leak.

I had to jump four more times before the photographer was satisfied, and I experienced no injuries or any sensation that the Quick Neck was about to loosen.

Summation

Having the Quick Neck mounted on one’s drysuit provides security in the event of an accident and the neck seal breaks just before a dive. You never risk missing a dive—if you have an extra neck seal with you in your dive bag. With the installation tool that you get with the Quick Neck, it is easy to change the neck seal at the dive site. After a little practice, I fixed it in a few minutes.

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SI Tech installation tool
An installation tool used for mounting and changing seals comes with the SI TECH Quick Neck system.

When changing the seal, first pull off the yellow locking ring and the seal from the ring that is glued to the suit. Then remove the old seal, fold a new seal around the locking ring, mount the seal and the locking ring into the ring on the suit with the help of the installation tool, and it’s done!

As the neck seal is clamped, it is also possible to use silicone neck seals. The silicone neck seal is as flexible outdoors in sub-zero temperatures as indoors when, for example, diving in a pool. And if you have the slightest tendency of a latex allergy, then a silicone neck seal is the solution to the problem. I think that SI TECH has succeeded in making a good product into something even better with the development of the Quick Neck. ■

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