Scuba Gear Reviews by Larry Chin

Henderson 7mm Aqua Lock Hyperstretch Diving Gloves
Rating: Henderson-7mm-Aqua-Lock-Hyperstretch-Diving-Gloves Henderson 7mm Aqua Lock Hyperstretch Diving Gloves Review - Scuba Gear Reviews

Although somewhat expensive, these are very nice warm gloves. You are always going to give up some degree of dexterity when you are using thick 7mm gloves, but these Hendersons are surprisingly flexible/stretchy. I have used these for work, in waters down to the low 40s, and they have been very good. The grip is nice, but not durable enough for grabbing lobsters, that is not what these gloves were designed for. If you destroy gloves as fast as I do, you can use tool dip (plastic grip) to help extend the life of the glove...just apply to the worn area(s) sparingly, as you will definitely lose some flexibility where this stuff is used, (also it helps if the glove is dry when you do this).

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1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

XS Scuba 8mm Zipper Thug Boots
Rating: XS-Scuba-8mm-Zipper-Thug-Boots Could be nice boots if they fit your foot/ankle shape...

The Thugs appear to be well constructed boots with a very nice sole design (I have used this sole on various brands in the past and have found them to be very good on slippery boat decks). The toe box is roomy and comfortable (pointy toe boxes dont work for me). What I didnt like was the fit around the ankle and heel, way too loose for me. My heel would ride up and down just walking around in the living room...and yes these are not meant to be hiking boots, but if there is significant slop in the fit its a good indication of the possiblity of skin irritation. Also if there is a lot of extra room (ie voids) in the boot that can cause your feet to feel cold, if diving in cold water. I did try a size smaller, but I had the same problem around the ankle. I ended up returning both pairs of the Thug Boots, to scuba.coms credit, the return procedure was very easy to do and hassle free. I work underwater and have "burnt" through several pairs of boots over the years, but your feet may well be different from mine, if your feet fit these boots, they could be very nice.

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2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Waterproof 3.5mm W3 Mens Wetsuit
Rating: Waterproof-3.5mm-W3-Mens-Wetsuit A Great Suit!

I dive on a near daily basis for work, and have found the Waterproof line of wetsuits to be my favorite. Three of the 4 wetsuits that I own and use are Waterproofs (W4: 7mm, 5mm, & W3 3.5mm). These suits are very warm, well built/durable, and very easy to don and duff. I generally dive in high silt, zero viz water, and have not found the zippers to be a problem, but I do religiously wash the suit (and everything else) after each days dive. One trick on the neoprene wrist and leg seals, is to fold the very ends over against the skin (topside goes against the skin), this creates a very effective seal. The fit is excellent, but be sure to use the Waterproof measurement chart. I am 60, 175 lb, and generally use a ML, but on the Waterproof line I am a MT. The only minor issue that I have found with the W3 3.5mm suit is that the back zipper seems to have a tendency to catch on the neoprene seal when donning. I do not have this problem on the 7mm & 5mm suits which have a thin zipper seal that is sewn on top of the neoprene back seal. I am not sure if my suit was missing this or if it was by design...(I will talk to the mfg about this). Overal the Waterproof W3 wetsuit is a superb suit, I would definitely recommend it to a friend.

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2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Henderson 7mm Aqua Lock Hyperstretch Diving Gloves
Rating: Henderson-7mm-Aqua-Lock-Hyperstretch-Diving-Gloves Expensive but Great Gloves for Cold Water

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.

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34 out of 62 people found this review helpful.

XS Scuba Weight Pouch
Rating: XS-Scuba-Weight-Pouch Nice Weight Pouches

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).

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43 out of 82 people found this review helpful.

Ocean Quest 7mm Premium Super-Stretch Titanium Medium Sole Dive Boots
Rating: Ocean-Quest-7mm-Premium-Super-Stretch-Titanium-Medium-Sole-Dive-Boots Comfortable Boot at a Great Price

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.

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44 out of 83 people found this review helpful.

Ocean Technology Surface Air Valve
Rating: Ocean-Technology-Surface-Air-Valve OTS Surface Air Valve, $$$ but perhaps worth it for the convience

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

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45 out of 90 people found this review helpful.

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