Exposure protection is a subject cold water divers don’t take lightly. Santi, a Polish based dive manufacturer and distributor that specializes in high quality drysuits appears to understand that better than most. Spending long Polish winters sewing together scrap neoprene, Santi CEO Tomasz Stachura produced his first drysuit in 1981 to support his cold Baltic wreck diving habit. Where most drysuit manufacturers cater to the average recreational diver and leave technical divers wanting more, Santi has done just the opposite. Santi constructs their suits to handle the rigors of the harshest underwater environments on earth: technical, cave, and wreck diving (all while making it look good!). Being a wreck and technical diver myself, I had to give Santi a try. With four different drysuit models, the Santi Enduro with its mid level price range and bulletproof construction, was the obvious choice for me.
The Enduro is constructed of a cordura/butylen/polyester blend and has a density 600 gr/sqm. In most laminate suits, the biggest complaint is that there isn’t enough mobility. Santi has countered this argument by producing their suits as a diver would be positioned in the water column compared to most suits which are sewn as a diver would stand on dry land. The Santi suits use a single piece of material that goes from the waist, up the side and down the under arm, giving a wide range of motion for reaching valves behind the divers head. I found the mobility in this suit to be just as good if not better than my DUI crushed neoprene suit. All seams are sealed with rubber tape on the inside and a heat activated strip on the outside, providing waterproof seals.
Unlike suits I have owned in the past, the Santi has a long front entry zipper making the suit extremely easy to get in and out of. It is also self- donning unlike a lot of other front entry suits. The elongated torso adds a nice touch with its thinner polyester material. This makes it easy to fold under and provides maximum comfort. Another excellent feature Santi has improved upon is the elongated torso crotch strap. On other high-end suits, the elongated torso is held in place by a thin crotch strap that eventually breaks or wears thin. The Santi crotch strap is secured by two 1.5” pieces of elastic webbing in the back. This holds the torso nicely in place, and the thicker strap helps prevent the webbing on the backplate crotch strap from wearing holes in the suit crotch.
Inside the suit, Santi has incorporated thick heavy-duty suspenders with a zippered pouch in the front for keys or any documents the diver might chose to keep on him/her. I really like this feature, especially when needing to open my car between dives. I no longer have to undress the top half of my suit in the rain. I simply unzip my suit half way and my keys are easily accessible in the front pouch.
The feature I have enjoyed more with this suit than with any other, are the attached boots. The boots are 6mm neoprene and flexible yet still provide some support for my ankles when walking on rocky and unstable terrain. My previous suit had socks that were inserted into a harder “rock boot.” Not only did this cramp my feet, the boots didn’t allow enough air to circulate, consistently leaving my feet cold, especially during the winter months. For the first time in three years I have enjoyed warm feet even after long 2.5 hour dives, since diving with the Enduro.
Another notable feature in the Santi Enduro are the two factory installed pockets. One is a utility pocket for a spare mask, cutting device, or whatever the diver wishes. The second pocket has a small compartment meant for wet notes and a larger outer compartment which can be used to store spools, surface marker buoys (SMB), etc. This is especially nice when deploying an smb on a reel; you no longer have to worry about accidentally pulling your wet notes out. The Enduro also comes stock with a large neoprene protective collar, heavy-duty wrist seals, and can be made to order with any variety of black, grey, red, or blue.
Provided with every suit is a large drysuit bag that can be used to change on when the ground is wet, a 7mm Santi hood, a drysuit inflator hose, and talcum powder for the seals.
I have put the Enduro through its paces, and so far it’s been a workhorse of a suit. Whether you’re an avid technical diver who relies on your suit during hours of decompression or a recreational diver looking for a top notch, high quality drysuit, the Santi Enduro won’t disappoint.