I have been UK diving with BSAC for about 15 years and I am an open water instructor. During my time I have had three drysuits. My first was a Typhoon membrane, the second was a northern diver neoprene and now I dive with a Hammond Pro Elite. The only constant has been my Oceanic 2000 undersuit, which was like the love child between a sleeping bag and a set of overalls. It has always been OK but I used to wear it over a thermal top and ‘long johns’ because it never felt nice next to my skin.
At the Birmingham Dive Show, I bought a Hammond CoreTek X as it seemed comparable in quality and fit to more expensive undersuits but much more reasonably priced. As I didn’t want to change my setup mid season I kept using my original undersuit until the end of the year when it was retired.
First time use:
I tried my new undersuit for the first time this [March 2019] weekend. A few members of my club went for a tryout, check and trim dive in St Andrews lake, (Halling, Rochester, Kent). The 70 Acre lake only opened for diving in February so it is a little basic, but for us it is convenient and a good early season try out dive.
Getting in wasn’t easy as the water was super cold on my face and head. After a minute acclimatising, I checked my dive computer which said the water was only 5 deg c. Last year Hammond fitted Kubi Gloves to my suit and they did a good job at keeping my hands warm. But I was most impressed with how good the CoreTek X was at keeping the rest of me warm. I did two thirty minute dives and my body was warm throughout both dives and during the surface time between them.
The added bonus for me was on my second dive I took of 4kg from my weight belt without affecting my buoyancy.
I machine washed my CoreTek X when I got home and it seems to have come out as good as new. It dried well on a warm radiator. I am glad I checked the washing instructions as it only needs a 30 deg wash and no fabric conditioner.
I love my new undersuit and would highly recommend it.
Excellent thermal properties and very well priced for a 3-piece (top, trousers and socks). Feels nice against the skin, no need for a protection layer.
I am considering buying a Standard CoreTek for summer use.