Friday, 6 September 2013


I have been toying with the idea of getting a set of dry gloves fitted to my O’Three RI2-100 for some time and had been looking at various systems, however when I had the opportunity to go to Weymouth with work I thought it was time to pop into the O’Three factory and try them out.  There were 2 options available; Kubi’s or the Antares system by Si Tech.  The Kubi’s were my first choice and had been for about 12 months however I opted for the Antares system for the following reasons:
·   The Antares system would be fitted permanently to my dry suit whereas latex outers would need to be added to fit the Kubi’s.  This would also mean sending my dry suit back every 1-2 years to get the seals replaced.
·  The silicon seals on the Antares are user replaceable and can be done in around 2 minutes.
·  The Showa gloves on the Antares are thicker and seemed more robust than those on the Kubi’s. 
The Si Tech Antares Dry Gloves are an oval shaped dry glove system which to be honest, I love.  Once I had decided on the system, my suit was left with O’Three and the turnaround time was about 3 weeks.  O’Three had basically cut off the old neoprene seal and taken a section out of the arm allowing a new, wider section to be scarfed on so that the flexible RU-Ring could be fitted.  I particularly like the fact that the PU-Ring is flexible as this as you do not have to worry that the oval may have been glued in the wrong way.  Next the Oval Stiff Ring, which hold the silicon seals is positioned before finally the Glove Ring is fitted.  The picture shows 2 O’Three RI2-100 suits; one with and one without the gloves fitted.  The Si Tech Antares Dry Gloves can also be fitted to latex or silicon seals which are already fitted to a suit if required.

In addition to the simplicity of changing the silicon seals, the gloves are just as easy.  Pop out the Spanner Rings and the Oval Stiff Ring will come away.  Get your new gloves, reverse the process and trim off any excess glove.  The whole procedure takes around 2 minutes.  Because changing the seals and the gloves is so simple it can be done on a RHIB, which is why I keep spares in my boat bag.  You never have to worry about missing a dive again.
As I have said, I love the system and could thoroughly recommend it, although it doesn’t come without its issues:
·  If purchasing a set I would read the instructions before use as I found out that O’Three had put the silicon seals on the wrong way round; nothing major but worth a note.
·  If RHIB diving, or in an area where some weight may be applied directly onto the gloves, I would double check the Latch Arms on Glove Ring.  I had a very small leak where the glove would not lock correctly.  This was found to be caused by the Latch Arm slightly bent in but was rectified immediately.  I now stow the gloves inside the foot pocket of my fins.
·  I would be careful with the silicon seals.  Whilst playing with the demo set in the O’Three factory I accidently tore a seal.  I then did the same thing last week after only 20 dives.
·  As the PU-Ring is flexible, whilst removing the gloves with a twist action I have noticed that the Oval Stiff Ring twists around inside slightly.  This is not a major issue but if you do not realise this after a few dives your oval rings may not be positioned to your liking. 
·  The system comes with 2 thin tubes which go under the silicon seal to allow equalisation into the gloves.  Although they work I replaced them with a short length of 5mm bungee. 
The demonstration video of the Si Tech Antares Dry Gloves can be found here:
Once the decision had been made on the dry gloves I had to start look at the liners.  My first choice was the G1 Glove Liners by Fourth Element however I opted for the Fleece and Winter Fleece Polar Liners by Santi. 
Firstly I should say that John provided excellent service and I had them before 0900 the next day.  Very well made and great bits of kit.  Also the dexterity isn’t bad considering I’m used to 3mm wet gloves however my only criticism is that they’re probably too good.  My hands were too warm so I ended up using a thin pair of £1.99 silk gloves.  We’ll see what winter brings but I honestly don’t think I’ll need them.

I’m definitely a dry glove fan and regardless of water temperature I think I’ll be wearing them from now on.  The Antares system by Si Tech is a very simple but very effective system to use.

Below is a picture of me using the gloves whilst teaching a BSAC Sports Diver course on the James Eagan Layne in Plymouth. 

EDIT – 19 JULY 2015
Unfortunately my love-hate relationship with this system has now turned into a hate relationship.  So much so that I have lost all faith in the system.  Starting off last year on my TDI Advanced Trimix Course when my gloves leaked, they have been sent back to the O’Three factory 3 times, but after each return they still leak despite O’Three saying there is noting wrong with them.  In my efforts to fix the issue, I have purchased additional gloves, glove rings and o-rings and replaced them all (one change at a time),  I have also fitted the larger spanner rings, and re-lubed the o-rings.  To no effect.  The final straw came at TEKCamp 2015 following a full suit flood followed by regular flooding.  I have since priced and sized up the Kubi system and am looking at fitting that.  Keep a look out for a new review blog.

EDIT – 2 AUGUST 2015
As soon as I posted this blog, I also contacted Si Tech via Facebook.  It took them 5 days to reply back to me, basically it said email them.  Over a week has passed and still no response.  Customer service plays a huge part in deciding on what to part my hard earned money on, and at the minute I’ve not been impressed with either their products or service.  The Kubi's however are great. 

EDIT – 6 AUGUST 2015
Finally Si Tech have replied and we have had daily communications.  They have offered to do a swap of my system for the new Virgo via system.  I will take them up on their offer however it will probably not be used, as I am happy with the Kubi system.

The boring bit!
All opinions expressed in my articles are my own and may differ to other instructor’s and agency guidelines; by no means are they wrong and I would not wish to disrepute any of them.  This article is for information only and should not replace proper training.

Safe diving!

Timothy Gort
BSAC, PADI and SDI/TDI diver training
l Mob: 07968148261 l Email: l