Halcyon Exploration Pocket

Sometimes you make a fundamental error in purchasing a suit with insufficient 'storage capacity', by this I mean no-where to keep those bits and pieces that the typical UK diver carries, a lift bag.......a booty bag or get the general picture! Whilst you could send your suit away to have a pocket professionally fitted you could always do the job yourself using this item.

There are a couple of trains of thought about pockets on dry-suits, a correspondent for Diver decries the fitment of pockets as they add drag when you are diving. Now whilst this is a valid point of view, when I am diving I tend to travel a relatively short distance, slowly and wearing a 'box or twinset you have to be honest and say that the additional drag caused by a pocket is marginal and if you start looking at a fully tekked up diver doing a deep dive with side mounted bail-outs, etc, etc then you have to say that a large pocket is a boon and not a drag......(no pun intended). So there you have my general opinion, I'm diving not entering a swimming race, if you are in a race then sure think twice about fitting this pocket but for 99.9% of UK diving, pockets are good!

The Exploration Pocket is large, it's big enough to hold a 35kg lift bag, a mesh booty bag and still have space for a set of shears to be clipped onto the internal string, there is also a pocket for those who want to carry wet-notes so on the size front, it's ideal and being quite stiff it doesn't hand out of shape when empty or partially full.

I also like the material which its made from, it is quite stiff so doesn't sag if you decide not to carry anything and with a couple of brass lined drain points it wont fill with water and slowly drain onto the boat floor.

Ok, my main bug-bear is the Halcyon instructions to fit the pocket to your suit, now for sure stitching would be good insofar as it would be 'secure' but it brings the potential problem of leaks and to be blunt the material which the pocket is made from is hard as the hobs of hell and I would challenge anyone to get a needle through the material, my suggested way forward would be to use good old aquasure as follows......

i) Put your suit on and hold the pocket in position and get a friend to draw around with chalk or a similar 'removable' marker;
ii) Apply a thin layer of aquasure to both pocket and the suit where it will be fixed, use a thin and flexible metal blade to smear a coating over the entiriety of both surfaces;
iii) Allow the aquasure to sry and repeat until you have a smooth coating so that you cannot 'feel' the fabric of the pocket or suit, it took me three layers;
iv) Apply thin layers to both the suit and pocket and allow to go tacky and then place then pocket onto your suit and apply pressure;
v) Use your weight-belt and leave the suit overnight; and
vi) Apply a bead of aquasure around the pocket, you may need to repeat this operation and don 'half' of the pocket at a time:

Oh, you can probably guess that this is going to take several days so give yourself a good week to finish the job!

If you need a new pocket and don't want to send your suit away for a couple of weeks this may just be the way forward although you are going to need to have a week to do the job yourself.

But, please bear in mind that you will need quite a large amount of aquasure so factor in three tubes with the cost of the pocket, which incidentally is around £76.

Richies rating 9/10; the on-line instructions to use a needle are 'poor' the product is great!

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