UK diving equipment manufacturer Fourth Element has redesigned its Arctic range of undersuits for 2024, and as a result claims to have set “a new standard in thermal protection for divers”.
The Arctic undersuit, which comes as a one-piece or as separate top and leggings, combines two layers of high-insulation and low-bulk fabric and, with sustainability in mind, now incorporates 80% recycled polyester in the outer layer and 100% in the inner.
The minimalist design is claimed to deliver outstanding and reliable performance whether used beneath neoprene, membrane or trilaminate drysuits, and in a variety of diving conditions.
The fabrics are said to be encapsulate the diver in a warm, dry micro-climate, with the high-density inner fleece designed to provide superior insulation, comfort and moisture-wicking while the resin-coated outer layer enhances durability and maintains a snug fit.
Unlike traditional undersuits, the Arctic minimises the movement of air within its fibres, according to Fourth Element, reducing the rate of cooling without trapping air and preventing its release from the dump-valve.
The undersuit is also claimed to retain a significant degree of thermal performance even if the worst happens and a drysuit leak occurs, allowing the undersuit to get wet. “Divers have reported completing dives in relative comfort after fundamental drysuit failures, showcasing the exceptional resilience of the Arctic in real-world diving conditions,” says the manufacturer.
The original Arctic undersuit is said to have been proved its worth at both ends of the Earth in service with the British Antarctic Survey Dive Team, Norwegian and Danish Navies and the French Marines.
“The launch of the Arctic Undersuit range reaffirms Fourth Element‘s commitment to innovation, sustainability and providing divers with the highest level of thermal protection. where comfort meets performance,” says the manufacturer. Recommended retail prices for the new Arctic range are: men’s or women’s one-piece £296 (or top £148, leggings £148), socks £35 and hat £64.