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Equipment Review: Cressi Free women’s 3.5mm two-piece wetsuit

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Another quality suit has hit the Freediving market – the Cressi Free Freediving suit. We look at the female version of the 3.5mm thickness suit in this review. It is another positive step to addressing the need for quality Freediving equipment and especially that which fits the female form. Previously, and only as long ago as a few years ago, suits especially were being sold as ‘gender neutral’ but now the manufacturers can see the benefits of catering for an increasing number of females in the sport of Freediving.

The Cressi Free Two-Piece 3.5mm Wetsuit is a smooth freediving wetsuit. It is very warm for its relative thickness and reduces drag to a minimum. It has an integrated hood which helps you glide effortlessly through the water and stop the cold from water flushing.

It is a two-piece suit. The jacket with integrated hood and beaver tail hugs close to the body covering your head, arms and torso. It has a double Velcro clasp to adjust fit and keep it from moving up or down the body. High waisted trousers give twice the insulation coverage around the waist and the opportunity for easier ‘comfort breaks’ during a day’s diving. The cuff and ankle seals are ideal fit to avoid flushing and not too tight to hinder circulation.

 

It has a single-piece underarm section to improve flexibility during arm extension making it a versatile and comfortable suit. It is made from a ‘second skin smooth neoprene’ which is hydrodynamic on the outside and the ‘X-thermic material lining’ is warm on the inside. Cressi have aimed this quality suit at the premium market, and indeed have named their neoprene ‘Premium ultrastretch’ It is a case of sometimes you pay for what you get, this isn’t a cheap suit, but is worth the money.

The suit is seamless and blind stitched to avoid flush. It is soft, flexible and comfortable against the skin. It is warm in temperate waters, it was tested in the UK in Summer and fared well. The 3.5mm would be too thin for UK winter diving, but for maybe 3-4 months of the UK season and is an ideal companion for temperate water trips and when you spend long times in pool sessions when safetying or teaching.

Anita Jasso said: “This is an ideal off the peg suit for the recreational diver on holiday, but is also is the most comfortable suit that I have used for static apnea. The suit thickness, although is perhaps too bulky and buoyant for traditional pool use for DYN. The Cressi Free is the perfect combination of flexibility and warmth for the static discipline. The fit of the suit enables the top to be worn with the hood pulled down comfortably without restriction of the neck and throat – even more so than my current custom fit suit, and the flexibility of the neoprene allows free movement of the thoracic cage without the restriction of a thicker suit, therefore enabling a comfortable breathe-up.”

 The feel of the suit itself has a quality edge to it – all seams are blind stitched and glued, but whilst there is no finesse to the arm and leg cuffs with regards to design finish or extra adhesion to the limbs – there is no feeling of flushing and it fits extremely well. The neoprene elasticity and softness are exceptional and provide the feeling of a second skin with the soft nylon ultraspan lining. 

Overall:

  • Performance – 5/5
  • Comfort – 5/5
  • Looks – 5/5
  • Value – 4/5

For an off the peg suit this is an exceptional and desirable addition to any freedivers arsenal for both temperate depth diving, pool teaching and static disciplines that is both quality and budget friendly.

For more information, please visit www.cressi.com. 

Photo credits: Open Water – Natasha Brooks and Pool – Steve Millard.

Steve Millard is a leading UK based AIDA and PADI Freediving Instructor Trainer who is the owner of Apneists UK freediving group - www.freedivers.co.uk. Currently Press officer to the British Freediving Association and Performance mermaids lead coach.

Gear News

MARES Dual ADJ 62X – Introducing the Dive Industry’s smallest first stage

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Mares continues to prove to be an industry leader in regulator technology and design with the release of the Dual Adj 62X.

Created to satisfy ongoing requests from the US and Asian markets, the Dual Adj 62X is now the smallest, most compact first stage ever released by Mares. Now the most lightweight regulator in the Mares line-up, the Dual Adj 62X is the perfect traveling diver’s companion worldwide.

The 62X first stage breaks records as the smallest first stage in the diving market, coming in at a mere 63mm in height and weighing only 464g (DIN). This small-but-mighty first stage is 10% smaller and lighter than its 52X predecessor and has 30% less volume. The 62X first stage may be compact, but it still boasts all of Mares regulators’ innovative features, such as Auto Sealing Technology (AST) which protects against water entering the first stage.

Mares, however, didn’t stop here. The core parts of the 62X were re-designed to generate an even better seal, making this an excellent regulator for cold water diving. The addition of the optional Twin Balanced Piston (TBP), makes this one of the highest performing regulators in cold water.

Specific technical innovations of this first stage’s internal workings include a new poppet seat that is now sharper with a smaller cone radius and decreased angle to define the sealing surface better. The lightweight Dual Adj second stage offers smooth, easy breathing at all depths. Enhanced with a pneumatically assisted design (P.A.D.) and the unique, Mares patented Vortex Assisted Design (VAD) systems, the Dual Adj is second to none in ease of air delivery. The newly designed adjustable breathing knob helps divers enjoy a customized breathing experience, even when wearing thick gloves.

True to the Mares brand, the Dual Adj 62X goes above and beyond all performance tests and will impress even the most seasoned diver. It exceeds performance standards at 200m and uses proven technology at 400m. This highly developed regulator system offers high performance at a very competitive price while still providing all the features needed by today’s demanding divers.

For more information visit the Mares website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Quick Scuba Tips #7: How To Change A Scuba Regulator Mouthpiece (Watch Video)

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Quick Tips 7: How To Change A Scuba Regulator Mouthpiece.

In this video for our Quick Tips series, I’m going to show you how to change a scuba regulators mouthpiece. In the Quick Tips videos, I try to cram as much of my SCUBA expertise into a video 5 minutes or less.

Click here for the whole playlist!

Changing a mouthpiece on a scuba regulator is an essential piece of maintenance that any diver should be able to do. Enjoy!

D.S.D.O James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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