Last year, when we interviewed Greg Eiers, VP of sales for BARE, he claimed they would have a “game changer” drysuit. We spent months trying to guess at what someone could even do to a drysuit to reach that bar. We often wondered if it was just hype. It wasn’t. When we saw this the new “SB SYSTEM” we had to congratulate them. While time will tell if divers love it or not, we were sufficiently impressed to award the BARE SB SYSTEM ScubaGadget’s Best New Technology for 2011.
Simply put it is the world’s first stretchable/breathable drysuit diving system. It accurately claims the moniker of “system” because the innovative stretchable tri-lam shell is combined with an equally creative set of undergarment layers.
What is it?
The SB SYSTEM Drysuit itself combines a unique combination of fabrics, from a highly abrasion resistant outer shell, to a waterproof stretch breathable membrane with a nylon interior lining. The breathability characteristic of the drysuit means any humidity trapped inside the suit will be exhausted on the surface – pre and post dive. They were quick to point out
that the breathability effect is designed for the surface and not underwater. One of the main benefits of the “stretchability” effect and likely what you first notice when seeing the suit is that it is appears to be a normal front-entry suit but there is no bulky fold-over material, needs no crotch strap and has no need for suspenders. The suit also incorporates an equally innovative and flat, plastic zipper from TiZip. Unlike other front-entry suits that require either gymnastics or a buddy to self don/doff. The BARE SB suit is 100% self donning/doffing with no extra effort.
The undergarment system
Like the SB SYSTEM Drysuit, the undergarment systems were designed specifically for this suit from the ground up. BARE even claims that the raw fleece to make the undergarment is a new kind of compression-resistant fabric and the “world’s first fleece material developed specifically for use by divers under a drysuit.” They go onto say that it will not lose its insulation value under pressure like other undergarments. This mid layer is not only low profile and form fitting, it is also quick drying and anti-microbial.
In addition, the system comes with a wicking base layer. The custom design of the system is evident when you notice that all zippers are offset just enough so they do not stack on top of each other. This provides extra comfort and one less channel for escaping heat. The undergarment system was as exciting as the suit and may be a great undergarment for many other drysuits.
Demo suits are not available yet, but test team divers claim the system feels like a “second skin” and “performed and felt like a wetsuit.” One test diver said he wore the suit around for as long as five hours to test the comfort and breathability and never felt sweaty or over heated. We hope to bring you a live-dive test report soon.
Word is the suit will sell in the range of around $2500 USD/CAD. It will be available in 16 sizes so divers can find the perfect fit. For more information, please visit www.bare-sbsystem.com.