Sharkskin has recently launched their new range of thermal sportswear for divers, the Chillproof Titanium. Accompanying these new products have been phrases like ‘game-changing’, ‘revolutionary’ and ‘provides the warmth of a traditional 5mm wetsuit’. Like most people, getting in and out of a wetsuit is not something that I enjoy, so I was intrigued. When the opportunity came to test these garments on a recent trip to the Great Barrier Reef, I was genuinely excited to discover if these bold claims held any water!
With the water temperature hovering around 25-26 degrees C, I would usually be wearing a 5mm wetsuit as I am prone to feeling the cold, especially when on a liveaboard doing multiple dives per day. On my first dive, I decided to put the claims by Sharkskin to the test and opted for the long sleeve zip-top and board shorts.
The first thing that I noticed was how easy the full-length zip made the garment to don and how comfortable the plush lining is. As this unique material does not compress, there is little need for compensation at depth, and as it is neutrally buoyant, there is no need for much additional weight to help you descend.
During my testing of this fantastic product, I was very comfortable for the entirety of my first dive. It was only by the final dive of the day that I did find my body temperature was dropping and that I required additional thermal protection. I opted to use the sleeveless top under the zip-top, and with this extra layer, I was pleasantly warm. I used this configuration for the remainder of the trip and did not feel cold once. It is windproof and dries quickly when it has been worn, so if you have a long RIB or boat journey after your dive, you do not get cold.
The Sharkskin Chillproof Titanium offers a range of apparel, including a long-sleeve zip-top, a sleeveless vest, long pants, hood and socks. All garments are black, and I have to admit that they do look very stylish, with subtle logos and minimal branding. They are also reasonably priced, with the long-sleeve top coming in at $299, which is only slightly more than the original Chillproof long-sleeve zip top. These garments do stretch a little when wet, so it is worth making sure that they are snug when trying them on.
In this day and age, when luggage space and weight is always a consideration when travelling, having a product that weighs very little and takes up very little spaces is a massive bonus.
The Chillproof Titanium is stylish, extremely comfortable and most definitely lives up to its billing. Game-changing indeed.