Dive Gear Review: Spyder-K01 8mm BIB hood

10398739_10156835617230438_582576496964325300_nWhen I heard about the super stretchy K01 hood, I will admit to being skeptical.   A few years back I discovered the Waterproof 5/10 hood and thought for sure I’d found diving hood nirvana.  It is a fantastic hood but would get stiff over time (easily remedied by buying 2 or 3 at a time and retiring regularly).  I still consider the Waterproof 5/10 an excellent hood for the $$ and if I couldn’t get a Spyder K01 hood, they are my ‘next best’ choice.

Visit the Spyder K01 FB site here

This hood is so good that today I promptly ordered 2 more so that I would never be without.

The Spyder-K01 hood is the softest stretchy-est neoprene hood I’ve ever worn.  They are skin in, but the skin isn’t the normal stuff I’m used to, its actually a silicone skin that doesn’t grab my baby fine hair and rip it out in the same way the traditional skin in hoods tend to do.  This alone would get them my vote, but additionally they are cut very nicely (I use the 8mm BIB style which is 100% compatible with the warm neck on my DUI drysuit) and the combo of stretchy neoprene AND a good cut is phenomenal.  Did I mention they are warm?  Wonderfully warm.

The stretchy, silicone skin in neoprene makes donning and removing almost a pleasure compared to 98% of the other hoods I’ve tried, even the 8mm (all 8mm, no thin bits) glides right on and off without tearing out hear, smashing my poor nose to shreds or nearly removing my head from body.  There are three options,  5mm long neck, 8mm long neck and 8mm BIB.

Today I tested the Spyder K01 hood out inside out, to see if the silicone skin would seal against my new OTS Guardian full face mask.  When it works which is 50/50 chance depending on the hood/face shape, this is a great trick for folks with wee heads/faces, and today’s combo worked flawlessly. 

Although I tolerate the latex dry hood/bonnet combo well, it can be a bit of a challenge finding perfect size (large is ginormous, small has a short neck) and if it floods/leaks it is much colder than a snuggly thick neoprene hood, so my preference if I can make it work is a good fitting neo hood, and the Spyder-K01 works like a champ!

12493925_10206939454299127_8493875772339689792_oThe cut is similar to the Waterproof hoods (although I’ve also heard they are like Santi hoods but I don’t have one to compare too), with a rather skinny neck to reduce water flow, but with the stretchy soft neoprene this is zero problem.   The sizing is small in my opinion (even though they stretch up comfortably) I’d recommend going up a size to reduce any jaw fatigue that might occur with the thicker neoprene if it’s snug for extended duration.

 

Here are some details from the distributor:

Neoprene HAYATO in two versions from 5 mm and 8 mm with unique performance and high quality material. The neoprene was pressure tested in the Suex pressure chamber to compare before and after thickness following long exposures <I don’t have the results>

* EXTERNAL = lined
* INTERNAL = smooth / silicone
* GAS DISCHARGE = transverse holes

EXTERNAL = built with micro lining for maximum elasticity of the cap.
INTERNAL = smooth neoprene / silicone to maintain maximum heat. Extremely soft and slippery for easy dressing and comfort.

Custom name label on the head and neck for support operations.

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