Time to Test
The 14 brand-new 3mm wonders sent in for this year’s round-up got a rigorous working-over in the ScubaLab shop. We stretched the arms, pulled the legs, tugged at zippers. We turned them inside out, took note of the finish work and attention to detail. Then we hauled them down to our test pool where 75-degree water awaited us—well within the operational range of a 3mm wetsuit, yet just cool enough to easily feel the leaks.
ScubaLab staff, staged on the pool deck, donned each suit, checking to see how easy it was to pull on and self-zip. Then we went through a series of squats, body bends and arm reaches to assess each suit’s comfort and range of motion. Checking to see that all seals and closures were snug, we then slowly entered the water, taking note where we felt leaks, i.e. through the seams, or at zipper, neck, wrist and ankles. Once fully-immersed, we checked for water entry at the ankles and wrists during feet-first descents. Then we shifted into standard swimming mode and checked for water scooping at the neck. Finally, using the same test diver to assure consistency, we performed a buoyancy check to give us a general idea of each suit’s relative inherent buoyancy.
SCUBAPRO - Form 2
|Inherent Buoyancy||< 1 lbs.|
|Seals||Smooth-skin Glideskin neck|
|Seams||Glued and blind-stitched|
|Sizes||7 men’s, 7 women’s|
Made of very stretchable 3 mm neoprene with a nylon jersey laminate, the Form 2 conforms to your body like a second skin. It pulls on easily and zips up fast, helped by the finger loop at the zipper’s base. Seams are glued and blind-stitched for water integrity, and the neck seal is smooth-skin Glideskin that wraps almost all the way around the neck and seals with a Velcro closure. Wrists and ankles have rolled nylon cuffs, and the suit’s zipper is backed by a thick underflap that doubles as a spine pad. We like the spine-pad combo for comfort, and even though there is only one partial seal on this suit, it’s a pretty good one. We found only minimal seepage down the neck, and leaks at the zipper, wrists and ankles were present but not excessive. As far as protection, you’d be hard-pressed to find better leg coverage than the Form 2’s large, flexible rubber kneepads.
Pros: High-stretch, decent neck seal, great knee protection
Cons: Nonsealing zipper flap, no wrist or ankle seals
This suit is light on seals, but this doesn’t seem to work that hard against it. The seams and neck take care of the most important seepage issues. Overall, a pretty nice suit.