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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

Neosport 5mm Farmer John and Jacket Combo Wetsuit

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Neosport 5mm Farmer John and Jacket Combo Wetsuit Posted in: Between $101-$250, Wetsuits

Neosport makes reasonably priced wetsuits for divers, paddlers and triathletes. Given that spread, it goes without saying that Neosport’s products lack wetsuit features like waterproof zippers or ankle, wrist or neck seals, the sort of features that start to appear on scuba wetsuits at the 5mm level. The company’s 5mm Farmer John and Jacket are therefore neoprene outfits with glued and sewn seams, nothing more and nothing less.

Because the wetsuit lacks any special features for constricting the flow of water, it mainly relies on thick layers of neoprene to keep out the cold. A diver who wears the entire outfit is wrapped in 10mm of neoprene from the mid-thighs to the armpits and the collar. The insulating effect of all that neoprene is at least as good or better than most 5mm wetsuits on the market, providing warmth somewhere between a 5mm and a 6.5mm wetsuit.

However, that is also a lot of neoprene to wear, and therefore a lot of buoyancy. It therefore takes more ballast to achieve neutral buoyancy on the surface, and the extra ballast leaves the diver progressively over-weighted at depth as the neoprene compresses. Of course, that is what BCDs are for, but constantly adding and subtracting air to the BCD to compensate for all that neoprene and ballast is a nuisance. One way around that is to not carry so much ballast, have a little positive buoyancy on the surface and kick down instead of sinking, but the ultimate question here is wouldn’t it be better to have a thinner, but better sealed wetsuit?

The main virtues of Neosport’s 5mm Farmer John and Jacket Combo is in its cheapness and flexibility. 5mm suits with seals are typically priced in the $250 range, and this Neosport combo is more reasonably priced. Two-pieces of this type are also very flexible. The 5mm jacket can be worn instead of a 3mm for diving and snorkeling, and either part of the outfit can be applied to sports like kayaking.

Despite the lack of seals, this bargain-basement 5mm outfit does its job and keeps you warm. However, in exchange for the discounted price tag and the flexibility, you must deal with some buoyancy awkwardness.

Average Price: $200