cressi competition 2 review

Freediving wetsuit review – Cressi Competition 2

Choosing a new wetsuit… Not easy. Quite a lot of cash, difficult to size (especially if buying online), lots of choice…. mmmmm tricky.

A good wetsuit will fit closely to the body, be flexible, durable, warm and shouldnt impede your progress at all. Finding the right suit for you can be a fairly laborious task. There are lots of great companies which produce brilliant wetsuits designed specifically for freediving / spearfishing, so picking the best one for you can be in some cases, less than simple.

Oh… and they have to look cool too! Do you go for the James Bond look, the Camo hunter look or the super slick dolphin man style?

This review will cover one of the most readily available and in my opinion one of the best value suits on the market, the Cressi Competition 2.

Made in 2 pieces in the the classic (and lets face it, outdated) spearfishing/freediving suit style, the Competition 2 has a long john lower and a beaver tail, hooded top.

Material…

The neoprene used is a soft and flexible ultrastretch single lined fabric. I believe the neoprene is made at the same factory as O’Neil suits, so we know its of a good calibre.  Its unlined on the inside to provide a very close contact with the body (to minimise flushing), and also adds some additional flexibility. For the uninitiated, single lined neoprene basically has a smooth rubbery finish on the inside. Awkward to get in to and very delicate, but very warm.

The outside of each piece is coated in a durable nylon jersey which has re-enforced elbows and knee patches for extra strength. The chest has a loading panel for spearguns.

Seams are sealed with a blind stitch and glue, so that they are water tight.

Overall its a very flexible suit and feels very comfortable to wear. It comes in a few different thicknesses. Personally I would recommend going as thick as you can for the UK. Lets face it, its not that warm in this glorious isle of ours and id rather be a bit hot than too cold. You can get away with the 5mm in the summer, but no thinner.

Durability…

This suit is honestly very tough. I have had mine for about 2 years, and despite a fair few fingernail marks on the inside it’s not showing any damage…. oh, except a hole on the back of the thigh, but that’s my fault for sitting on a muscle bed in a swell.

As with all freediving suits (and wetsuits in general) you do need to be very careful when taking it on and off to avoid damaging the rubber.

Seams are very strong, although after a couple of years i do have some water ingress through some of them, but that’s to be expected. If they liquid taped the seams this would be fixed.

Performance…

The Competition 2 is likely to be your ‘go to’ suit for lots of diving applications. It’s great for spearing just as its great for freediving, it can even be used as a scuba diving wetsuit. It’s not 100% performance focused, but it will do all that most of us require. In order to increase the performance aspect you would have to consider adding 100 % unlined sections and slick skin outer panels, but this would significantly reduce the durability of the suit.

Fit and sizing…

This is where Cressi drops the ball a bit in my opinion (as do a lot of freediving suit manufacturers). The size options are very limited considering what is available in say,  the surf wetsuit market.

The size options are 1-7. This equates to X-S to XXXL.

Now i normally take an MT in other wetsuits (a medium tall),  as I am 6ft3″ and have a 32″ waist. In Cressi I fall between the size 3 for waist and chest, and the size 4 for height. Typical…..

Personally I have actually altered my size 3 competition 2 to add a bit of height in the neck and the end of the legs and arms.

Some people will fit the standard sizes perfectly, but it does assume that if you are tall, you are also a bit chubby and if you are short, you are thin.

Overall…

It’s a great suit. Durable, looks snazzy and reasonably priced ranging from £150 – £200 depending on where you shop.

I have dived deep in it, I have fished in it, I have taught in it, I have taken it abroad, I have dived in fresh and salt water, I have lent it to friends and students, and it’s still going strong and keeping me warm.

Comments 5

  1. Hi Buddy,

    I have the same problem as you. I am 185 cm tall and only 78 kg. I would like to go with a Beuchat Marlin Perstige, but according to the size table, it will fit around waist and hips but be 5 cm to short, or will fit in height but be about 6-8 cm to wide.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you.

    Karl

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Karl,
      Its not ideal is it.
      I have a beuchat marlin elite, the full slick skin suit, and although its fantastic, i did have to get it altered before it fitted me. This cost me about £40 through a local wetsuit repairer. This may be an option to you if you have a local company that does wetsuit repair/manufacture. The Beuchat suits are very big in the waist if you get them to fit you in height… an trust me, that 6-8 cm is A LOT. Mine looked like a sail.
      If you cant get it re-tailored have you thought about getting a custom suit?
      Polo-sub and Elios make good custom suits that won’t break the bank…. too much.
      The other option is to get a good winter surf suit, with integrated hood. They are warm (not quite as warm as freediving suits, far more flexible than freediving suits, and have more off the peg size options.
      Hope that helps!

  2. Hi Ian,

    thanks for the quick response. I am sitting in Australia, and I guess that a good repair shop is impossible to find in the country side. However, the dealer (internet) offered to sell an L pants and an M jacket to me. Since you already own a Beuchat, would do you rekon that such a combi would have done it for you without local retailoring? And what about other comanies. E.g. given the size table of Mares, I fall directly into one category (ML). Do you have any experience with them?

    Thanks

    Karl

    1. Post
      Author

      mmmmm.
      The Beuchat suit that i got was big on every seam. I had to have practically everything altered, so having varying size pants an jackets would not have helped me… thats not to say it wont help you.
      Could you not buy it, then send it on to a wetsuit repair guy that is close to where you are planning on diving and pick it up when you get there? Assuming you are heading to the sea at some point!
      I found that the cressi suits are slimmer generally ( i wear two myself, only one being altered (4) and the other being a size 3 which fits really well off the peg) and I know a guy who is very slim who wears an unaltered mares suit quite successfully. Both of those makes offer well made suits, with Cressi being perhaps slightly better quality than Mares… not all that much in it to be honest.
      You could try to contact Apnea Australia. They run courses all over the country. Im sure they must have some good contacts re wetsuits.
      Good luck, its never easy, especially if you can’t try the thing on.

  3. Hi,

    I want to get a cressi competition 2 suit but all the ones I find are only made for men. Can anyone point me towards a site for womens suits? I know most are designed for men though. Is there a good website where I can buy one?

    Thnaks

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