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  1. #1
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    Santi or Otter drysuit

    Hi,

    I am looking to get a drysuit and I am in the very fortunate to position that I have a budget of £3000. I will definitely be getting a made to measure but I am torn between a Santi E Lite + at approx £2800 with the extras I'd like (£3200 with Santi undersuit) or Otter Atlantic at approx £2000 with the extras I'd like (£2200 with Otter undersuit)

    Both seem to get equally great reviews and on the UK diving forums everyone seems to recommend Otter but a lot of the tech divers & tech diving instructors I see wear Santi. I live in Kent so if I go for Otter i'll have to drive up to Bradford to get measured or Santi drive to Plymouth to get measured so both a fair way away but I'm happy to drive to either to get the right suit so the distance isn't a determining factor for me.

    So my question is Otter or Santi, is the Santi worth the extra £1000 over the Otter?

    P:S I've ruled out all the other makes of drysuit so it's only between these two.

    Many thanks for any advice.

    Gaz

  2. #2
    Established TDF Member Tel's Avatar
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    100% Otter and that's regardless of saving enough dosh to get a second backup suit

    All things being equal on the suit front (apart from cost) Otter have an extremely good after-sales
    reputation and go way beyond the normal when time is of the essence. I've had a zip go (not Otter's fault)
    sent it Monday PM and it arrived back on Wed AM, so they had it for less than a day and that was all gratis
    and not even a hint of any quibble.

    As for going up, yes it worth the journey to get to know what's on offer, but they are also at the NEC in
    October, depends how quick you want it. You can with a mate measure it yourself and if not quite right Otter
    will take it back and work/adjust until it is. Two of my mates one who lives on Spain the other Denmark have
    just bought Otter's and they didn't go to Bradford

  3. #3
    Established TDF Member Iain Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz_ View Post
    Hi,

    I am looking to get a drysuit and I am in the very fortunate to position that I have a budget of £3000. I will definitely be getting a made to measure but I am torn between a Santi E Lite + at approx £2800 with the extras I'd like (£3200 with Santi undersuit) or Otter Atlantic at approx £2000 with the extras I'd like (£2200 with Otter undersuit)

    Both seem to get equally great reviews and on the UK diving forums everyone seems to recommend Otter but a lot of the tech divers & tech diving instructors I see wear Santi. I live in Kent so if I go for Otter i'll have to drive up to Bradford to get measured or Santi drive to Plymouth to get measured so both a fair way away but I'm happy to drive to either to get the right suit so the distance isn't a determining factor for me.

    So my question is Otter or Santi, is the Santi worth the extra £1000 over the Otter?

    P:S I've ruled out all the other makes of drysuit so it's only between these two.

    Many thanks for any advice.

    Gaz
    In an ideal world, youíd get advice from someone who had used both and (preferably) dived both to destruction. The Otter Atlantic (at least to my eyes) looks like a clone of the Santi and wasnít available when I bought my eLite about a decade ago, so I can only comment on the Santi side of things.

    Iíve done several hundred dives in my eLite in wrecks and caves, including Croatia, France, Florida and Mexico. Iíve done a couple of cave dives which involved climbing out of the water to do some dry cave survey. In that time Iíve had two problems with it. 1) having accidentally left the zip closed for several months while abroad on business then moving house, it leaked like a sieve when I got back in the water. I think the lesson there is ďdonít leave drysuit zips closed when not in useĒ! 2) I stood on the ankle while getting a boot off, not thinking about what was under it and poked a hole in it. Again, user stupidity and an easy fix with some Black Witch.

    At some point after I got my suit, Santi moved to plastic zips. This was initially a disaster, with new failures reported on what seemed like a daily basis. I believe they changed brand from Ti-Zip to YKK. That seems to have fixed the problem as the failure reports stopped almost straight away. I still have a metal zip, so canít comment from personal experience.

    The Santi BZ400 undersuit is ridiculously warm and outperforms both the DUI 400g and Weezle Extreme which I had previously.

    Personally, if my suits went up in flames, I donít think Iíd bother looking around - my only decisions would be eLite or eLite+ and whether to add colour or stick with the ďany colour I want as long as itís blackĒ approach.

    Having said that, it would be worth your while trying a demo suit of both Otter and Santi. Provided theyíre a good fit, youíll get a better feel for how it actually dives, than any recommendation off the Internet.

  4. #4
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    I’ve used otter for a number of years, now on my third one.

    I will not be buying another otter as their after sales has become near none existent, i.e. the accountants have taken over.

  5. #5
    TDF Member OwenF's Avatar
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    I think John Kendall is still selling Santi and is a *bit* closer to you in Kent. Might be an alternative option for measure if you can catch him in the UK!

    FYI ..I have an Otter (old trilam model). Being in Leeds I've popped in to the shop several times and they have been very helpful and mostly quick with repairs. However, I will be getting a Santi as soon as funds allow.

    I used a eMotion when in Mexico whilst my otter was being repaired...night and day in terms of comfort and flexibility. Have high hopes for the elite+

    Sent from my Lenovo P2a42 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Smith View Post
    ...
    The Santi BZ400 undersuit is ridiculously warm and outperforms both the DUI 400g and Weezle Extreme which I had previously....
    I like this item as well. I would go for this undersuit irrespective of which drysuit you choose.

  7. #7
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    Otter for me. The Santi users that I know have a few too many wet dives for my liking. Certainly for a £3000 suit.

    I'd be tempted by a Brittanic Mk2 rather than the new Atlantic. I'm not sure the new improvements are all that impressive other than to try and tap into the Santi market a little more. My Brittanic got me through fundies with ease and fits very well so I don't listen to the "cut like a bin bag" comments from a decade ago.

    I find after service is still good but they don't give as much away for free as people on the internet would like you to believe. John Jnr's son seems to be front of the house quite often these days dealing with queries. They seem to be very busy but with a bit of discussion / persuasion will usually expedite repairs. They wouldn't let you miss a dive trip, thats for sure. I know it's not particularly close to you but there's a lot to be said for a manufacturer in the same country.


    BUT.... I regret buying the Brittanic Mk2. I would have regretted a Santi even more. It's faultless, but my next suit will involve a few hours on ebay / forums and a pat on the back for saving £2k.

  8. #8
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    I know you said you had discounted of manufacturers but I assume you know that Othree now make a lovely telescopic membrane suit with front entry & quick change neck & wrist seals with Kubi dry gloves as well , all as standard ?
    I trust my rebreather implicitly I just don't trust the owner

    Onwards & downwards.

  9. #9
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    The trouble with asking for a recommendation on a forum is that everyone will recommend what they bought because no-one likes to admit to a purchasing mistake. They'll also then indulge in confirmation bias by only seeing problems in the suit they didn't buy

    With that in mind I recommend a Fathom Carbon! Except they've gone bust.

    I happen to deal in both Santi and Otter and they're both good. TBH I'm a little surprised at the price you've quoted for the Santi, I would expect that, with the expensive options such as Halcyon P valve, sci-tech neck ring and rock boots to come in around the £2800 mark INCLUDING a BZ400 undersuit.

    Is the Santi that much better than an Otter? It's a bit like is an Audi better than a VW? Both will do what you want very well but bear in mind that the Otter Atlantic is very, very, similar to the Santi e-Motion and not the e-Lite; the latter is a bit heavier duty that either the e-Motion or the Atlantic and that is reflected in the price.

  10. #10
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    Thank you for all the great & informative replies.

    I quite like a road trip so I’m happy to drive to either Bradford or Plymouth & would probably make a weekend of it & find a nice place to stay near to one of them.

    Sorry, the clarify I meant the Otter Atlantic HD. Its the same price as the normal Otter Atlantic but “The HD Atlantic is made from the Armour skin/Britannic material for more durability” according to Otter website

    I’m not part of a diving club in UK at the moment so don’t have the chance to see either or the suits in the flesh or talk to anyone directly who have used either / both the suits & I would like to get a few dives in this summer so wouldn’t really like to wait until NEC dive show in October

    With regards to the pricing of the Santi E-Lite + MTM, the basic cost is £2372 on the DIRdirect website, add £30 for neoprene neck seal, £180 Halcyon pee valve & £218 for Kubi dry glove wrist seals brings the total for the suit up to £2800. The Santi BZ200 Undersuit MTM is £400 so both together come out at £3200.

    The Santi BZ200 Undersuit looks really nice & I’ve heard very, very things about it so if I went for an Otter Atlantic HD (that comes out at approx £2100) with the Santi BZ200 Undersuit it would bring it up to £2500 so then only a £700 difference between the two.

    With regards to Othree membrane suit, I did look at them as I know Othree have a very good reputation with their neoprene drysuits but on the Othree website there is a lot of stuff saying how much better crushed neoprene is than membrane so it felt they were talking one out of a membrane suit even though they sell them as I think their preference is towards neoprene.

    Thank you


 
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