A good wetsuit is a requirement for every avid scuba diver, but it’s not always easy to find one with a proper fit, and its never fun using the dive shop ones.
There are several factors to consider when it comes to finding your perfect wetsuit, with height and body shape both playing major roles. Unfortunately, the wetsuit industry doesn’t necessarily take these body differences into consideration, making it difficult for some people to find a good fit.
The only perfect solution, to not having to wear bad fitting, pee-smelling dive shop wetsuits, is to get your own suit made specifically for you. And that’s exactly what we did, with a company called 7till8 Custom Wetsuits.
These guys make the custom dive and surf wetsuits for huge brand names like Nat Geo, Red Bull, Disney, Shark Week and others, so we definitely wanted to give them a try, and review the results here for you!
In this wetsuit review, diver and writer Hannah Logan shares her experience in ordering a custom wetsuit from 7till8 Custom Wetsuits. Here’s what she has to say about the experience, and her new custom wetsuit.
Why should scuba divers order a Custom Wetsuit?
The real answer is why not? Let’s be honest, when it really comes down to it; custom is better. Who doesn’t love the idea of something fitted perfectly to them? No need to worry about things being too long/short, loose or tight, thin/thick. Custom anything is ideal.
This is especially true for a wetsuit; a proper fitting wetsuit is key to having a better dive experience. As a curvy woman, I’m used to dive shops lending me men’s suits that end up being too long.
While they technically ‘fit’, they were ill-fitting and tended to let in a lot of water, leading me to cool down faster than I should have. I get cold quickly, so this was a huge pain, especially on days when I did two or three dives.
Why Choose a 7till8 Custom Wetsuit?
7til8 is a new brand, but it only took a quick look at their portfolio to get my attention; with clients including Disney, Red Bull, and Oceana, it was obvious that 7till8 offered a high quality and reliable product.
I was further impressed with the customization options. There are several thickness choices as well as a choice between three types of Neoprene; Flex, Deep, or Yamamoto, each of which offered their own benefits.
Finally, you can also choose to add ankle and/or wrist zips. The fact that I had this range of choices secured my trust in 7till8 wetsuits; they were obviously professionals with plenty of scuba diving experience behind them.
While I went with a classic black wetsuit, colour customization options are available including different coloured neoprene or logos. While these choices can’t be found on the online order forms, you can get in touch with the team to discuss options.
In a world of basic black wetsuits, I thought this was a fun and unique perk for divers to have when creating their custom wetsuits.
Finally, potential customers should know that every custom wetsuit from 7till8 is hand built; there is no assembly line production. The company stands behind their products, and if for some reason there is a problem, they will work with you until your custom wetsuit fits as it should.
How Does the Ordering Work?
I’m not going to lie; I was a bit daunted about the concept of getting a custom wetsuit online without being properly measured. But it turned out I had nothing to worry about; they made it really easy.
My first step was deciding thickness and material. Living in Canada, choosing a 5mm made the most sense since it would allow me to explore more dive sites near my home during the summer months.
I wasn’t sure about the material, but with some help from the 7till8 team I decided on Yamamoto; the lightest and warmest neoprene out there. It’s made from 100% limestone and is 99.7% water impenetrable making it the top rated neoprene on the market. I also chose to add ankle zips to make getting in and out of my wetsuit as easy as possible.
The second step was to upload three photos of myself: front facing, back facing, and side facing, so that the team could have an idea of my body shape. Next came the measuring part. Make sure you select the proper style (men’s or women’s) and then follow the steps, which include helpful how-to videos, for measurements. The model in the video made it easy to know exactly where to measure, but you will definitely need someone to assist you.
With measurements uploaded I finalized my details and hit order.
Here is a little video they have on their site, which shows one of their suits.
How Long Does the 7till8 Custom Wetsuit Take to Arrive?
It took less than a month after I submitted my online order for my custom wetsuit to be delivered. In fairness, this was a bit longer than usual because it got stuck at the border for a few days (thanks Canadian customs!), but I was still impressed with the speed.
The normal turnaround time is three weeks which is pretty impressive considering that all 7till8 Custom Wetsuits are hand crafted; there are no assembly lines with this brand.
Shipping is free for all wetsuits, but if you live outside of the USA (like I do) you will likely have to pay duty, so be aware of that.
Also, if your order does get stuck at customs, as mine did, just get in touch with the 7til8 team and they will help you sort everything out. Most Art of Scuba Diving readers are from the US though, so wont have that problem.
Related article: The COSMIQ+ Dive Computer Review
So, How Did the Custom Wetsuit Turn Out?
I’m not going to lie; I’m super impressed with how my custom wetsuit turned out. To be honest, I’ve never tried a wetsuit that actually fits, so the fact that I didn’t have to yank and struggle to pull it on was pretty awesome after years of painful wetsuit experiences.
The arms were a bit too long; clearly a sign that I didn’t measure my arm length quite as well as I should of, but it’s nothing that really matters and won’t impede my diving.
The stitching, seams, and overall look of the suit is of high quality. The Yamamoto neoprene is just as soft as promised.
Plus, my whole wetsuit feels pretty lightweight in comparison to the 5mms I’ve worn before.
I don’t think any diver would complain about that, but as an avid traveller, I consider this to be a major perk.
Another aspect that I loved was that my name was already written on the inside of the suit; a nice, personal touch that I think goes to show the care that the 7till8 team puts into creating custom wetsuits for each individual.
After years of struggling with wetsuits at dive shops across the word, I am thrilled to have one that fits; and not just one that fits, but one that fits me perfectly.
I love my 7till8 custom wetsuit, and can’t wait for the snow to melt so I can use it to explore the dive sites around my home province of Ontario. If you want to check them out, you can see their site HERE!
Disclaimer: Hannah was provided a custom wetsuit by 7till8 for consideration for review. However, all opinions in this review are her own.