How MUCH of a difference does it make to have a suit that is liquid taped vs. standard glued and blind stitched? Does it make you much WARMER? Is a taped suit really like a semi dri suit? Or is the taping more about durability? I have a new 4/3 suit that has no liquid taping and looking for something warmer so just wondering.
afaik, o'neill were the first to do liquid tape, then everyone copied them. Unfortunately, the copies I tried were really bad. The liquid dried out and cracked within months, leaving me with a scratchy, uncomfortable suit...warranty hassles ensued.
I had the first and second gen rip curl liquid taped suits and they were horrible...much would have preferred the old standard G/BS. Wouldn't doubt other brand's copies were bad, similar to RC, but I haven't tried them. I've also tried rip curl's newest E3+ tape and it's very good since it has actual fabric over the liquid (do not buy any of the previous versions!). The newest RC suits are kinda thick/a little heavier, but they're extremely warm.
Liquid tape adds a level of seam durability, but I doubt it's any warmer than a sound old school seam. It's also relatively new tech...with all the pitfalls that come with that. A lot of warmth comes from fit, not just sound seams - a suit that fits tight, keeps flushing to a minimum (just don't get one that's choking you).
I'm now wearing an o'niell psycho3 with liquid tape. It's relatively thin neoprene and has no fabric over the liquid, so I'm kinda skeptical...
Last edited by waterbaby; Oct 22, 2012 at 05:42 AM.
Liquid tape adds a level of seam durability, but I doubt it's any warmer than a sound old school seam.
Right. There might be bit of a misconception about taped seams. The primary purpose of tape... any kind of tape... is to add strength to the seam, not really to make the suit warmer. If a seam is glued and blind stitched, it won't allow any significant amount of water to seep in and out. Taping, liquid or traditional, secures the stitching and reinforces the glued edges, prolonging failure.
If you're looking for a warmer suit, I just recently purchased the O'Neil Mutant 5/4 and am amazed at how warm / dry it is. After a four hour session when taking off my suit I can tell that the entire chest area has remained completely dry, as well as most of the leg area. Very little water gets in; plus it's ultra flexible. I'm not sure if it's the liquid tape, but I can tell you from experience that it really is a semi-dry suit.
as i recall- the liquid tape was apparently all about stretch and enabling the suit to flex better.
Im my experiences, i didnt notice any extra warmth compared to a suit with glue and tape. i didn't really notice any extra flex either. what i did notice is the quick failure of the the liquid tape. I had a few suits with the liquid tape. one had the liquid tape on the outside and inside- which lead to terrible rashes on the inside and failure/peeling away on the outside. this was an early version of the liquid tape suit tho. I had had others with it on the inside without any problems... but my favorite suit to date just has the glued and taped seams... call me old school but they seem to wear much longer and they are much easier to repair...
I notice a difference, and most of the current line of good wetsuits utilize some sort of secondary type of seam seal. I can honestly say you do get less water seaping in the seams versus a suit that has just glue and blind stitched seams. It isn't a ton of differnece but it does help. If you put a brand new GBS seam suit on then a suit that utilizes a secondary seal, you may notice much diffrenece day one, but after those seams have been put to the test a few times you will notice a difference.
To me it depends on what suit it is you are worried about being sealed up. I am in the market for a new 3/2 , to get 2 to 3 months of use here in VB/Outerbanks per year. I am not worried so much about having a secondary seal on the seams. I will only use a 3/2 when the water is 60+ degrees, so it being super sealed isnt that big of a deal on a 3./2 I am more worried about comfort, chest zip so paddling is better, and fexibility. The new oneil Superfreak is $200 brand new, uses the same neoprene as the Mutant, has the new chest zip entry and is a great suit, but it does not have a secondary seam seal, just GBS.
Now on a 4/3 where I will be using it 4 months plus and the water is 38* to 58* I want the seams as sealed as i can get 'em! I Freaking hate cold water. I use an Oneil Mutant 4/3 due to the versatility of the hood system (can wear it as a hooded suit, or as a regular suit) and it does a great job keeping me warm, and very sealed up!
Does it make a diffrence to have a secondary seam seal on a suit, you bet it does- but just depends on what you need the suit for that matters, if you dont mind a little water seaping in after the suit is a year old then skimp on a lower cost version. If you want one that stays sealed for a few years and keeps your private bits toatsy in the middle of February then spend the money!!!! ONeill and Quiksilver suits have been good to me! Xcel makes a great suit as most know.
Quiksilver makes a Double seal Cypher, has GBS seams , and then a seal over the seams ont he inside and outside of the suit and from what I am told is people hardly even get wet in those.
Last edited by bushwood; Oct 22, 2012 at 02:51 PM.
I've been totally happy with my new 3/2 Xcel Xflex suit. great for the in between temps. before the cold stuff comes in. Very comfortable, flexible, no flush, drys quick. Just ordered the new 4/3 hooded drylock so anticipating how the new waterproof technology will work in colder conditions.