Thursday, 20 April 2017


Back in the winter of 2010/2011 I bought myself a set of Fourth Element Arctics as they were the undersuit of choice at the time.  Fast forward 5 years or so and the water was starting to get a little bit nippy so I decided to purchase a Kwark Navy Scooter Vest as an extra layer for the colder months.  This is not a reflection of the Arctic undersuit, but more likely its age and mistreatment in a tumble dryer over the years. 

The vest was excellent.  It fitted directly over the top of my Arctics and added an extra layer of warmth without restricting movement or making any noticeable difference to my weighting. 

However, even during the summer months, it’s easy to get cold when teaching as a lot of your time is spent static demonstrating or observing skills.  The same applies to safety diving, so during TEKCamp 2016 I chatted to John Shaw about trying a Kwark Navy Undersuit.  After only one dive I was sold and placed my order immediately. 

When my undersuit arrived, I had time to look at it in much more detail.  My first impressions were that it wasn’t as stylish as some of the newer Fourth Element wear, however, if you look through that the attention to detail is excellent.  Firstly, it’s thick, much thicker than the Arctics, but super stretchy.  Seriously, you can pull it in your hands.  This means that the undersuit remains tight, and avoid unnecessary air gaps, whilst allowing complete freedom of movement.  There is no restriction as you can feel the suit stretch as you do.  It’s also very warm, even indoors.  The only real issue I had was getting the thing off!  Next, the legs come with stirrups to keep them from riding up, and the arms come with thumb loops for the same reason.  I now use these loops to allow the migration of air when using my dry gloves, rather than using a separate device.  It has a number of storage pockets, not only for your hands if you’re without your dry suit, but the chest one comes complete with a zip for storing keys etc…  And it also comes complete with a p valve hole, something that I had to add to my Arctics.

In water, the suit is extremely warm and very comfortable.  Much more than my previous Arctics, although it would be interesting to do a side by side comparison with a modern set of the Arctic Expeditions.

It is claimed that the suit doesn’t retain water and is still very warm when wet.  Fortunately, I’ve not had to test this theory, but, after a wash it does come out of the machine almost dry.

I’ve certainly no complaints about the Kwark Navy Undersuit, and in Scotland later this year I hope to combine it with the Scooter Vest which is currently redundant.  And I’m almost certain that I’ll probably be getting some of the socks too.  This is the best undersuit I have worn so far.

The Kwark range is available in a number of unisex and women’s sizes.  If you do have any questions, feel free to ask to John or myself as I can now supply these as well.

To finish off this article I’ll quote from Clare, a student and satisfied customer:

“Finally found me the best undersuit ever!! Never had such a warm dive in cold water!  Even my hands weren't that bad this week either! Kwark for the win!!”

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 & SDI/TDI diver training
l Mob: 07968148261 l Email: l