Scuba Gear Reviews by Larry Chin
Henderson 7mm Aqua Lock Hyperstretch Diving Gloves
Rating: Expensive but Great Gloves for Cold Water 01/13/2014
I am a golf ball diver, diving 6-10 hrs/day, 4 days a week. I have spent a small fortune in various gloves looking for something to keep my hands warm in low 50 deg water. The Hendersons are the best, they have kept my hands warm and functional even during 3hr+ dives. I do not have a Aqua Lock system on my wetsuit sleeve. I do wrap a 1.5" velcro strap or 4" wrap around the proximal opening of the glove to restrict cold water flushing in and out of the glove (this is actually minimal on these gloves, but quit substantial on others)...esp important on extended dives...when working on hookah, I am usually down for several hours/dive. On sizing, I typically wear a large, but on these I use a medium-you want a snug fit to minimize excess water in the glove (but obviously the fit should not be so tight that it restricts circulation which will also make your hands cold). The material is very stretchy which makes it comfortable and provides a surprising amount of dexterity - but at 7mm thickness probably difficult to operate a camera. The lining makes it easy to slip into when dry. When wet, I smear some baby shampoo on my hands, and slide into the gloves easily. That trick works on boots, wetsuits, etc, (I use baby shampoo as a mask defogger so I always have a bottle). I do wish these gloves had a kevlar palmar and finger surface for better durability as they are too soft for bug diving. I typically wear out gloves in about 2 weeks when working. In order to make these last, I paint high wear areas with Performix Plasti Dip. This is the stuff you dip tool handles in, you can find it in your local hardware store. Use the gloves first, in areas of wear/abrasion paint about 3 layers of the Plasti Dip - you are going to lose some flexibility and there may be some small shrinkage where you paint this stuff, so dont go too crazy, later, touch up as needed.
XS Scuba Weight Pouch
Rating: Nice Weight Pouches 10/24/2013
This is a nice weight pouch. The velcro closure does securely hold the lead shot. You can save quite a bit of money by filling these pouches with reclaimed (recycled) leadshot (available from several internet sources).
Ocean Quest 7mm Premium Super-Stretch Titanium Medium Sole Dive Boots
Rating: Comfortable Boot at a Great Price 10/24/2013
If you want a flexible boot that is easy to don/duff, has a comfortable mocassin-like fit,this boot is for you, especially at this price. The sole is very flexible, so if you are doing a lot of rock/reef scrambling to get to your dive site, this may not be a good choice. The other possible downside to this boot, is that the top does stretch out a bit with use, and it would be nice if it extended up a little higher on the leg, as water does flush in/out of the boot on occasion. The boots are comfortable enough to work in, (3-4 days a week). Since they are so flexible, I am not sure how long they will last. For rec use, they should be fine. Take my comfort comments with a grain of salt, since everyones foot shape, etc, is different.
Ocean Technology Surface Air Valve
Rating: OTS Surface Air Valve, $$$ but perhaps worth it for the convience 05/30/2013
The OTS Surface Air Valve is not a necessity, but it sure does make life a lot easier. The first month or so, I used the Mantis without the air valve. Without the valve, upon surfacing, you just have to loosen the two lower straps on the face mask to break the seal to allow ambient air in. Not really a problem, but you do need to stay calm and have 2 hands available to do this. With the air valve, you simply open the valve. The unit was easy to install, although the written instructions I were included with the valve were in Japanese. Larry Chin