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Tested: Ursuit Gemino Operative drysuit

If you spend a lot of time out at sea during the cold season, you know how important it is for your well-being to stay dry. In late autumn, winter and early spring, the temperature in the water can be so cold that it is usually a matter of minutes before the situation can be life-threatening if you fall in. In such conditions, a floation suit does not offer much help, you need a drysuit. In collaboration with the Finnish drysuit manufacturer Ursuit, we have tested the Gemino Operative model this season.


About Ursuit

Ursuit is a Finnish company that was established as early as 1964 and the actual production takes place respectively in Turku in Finland and in Valga in Estonia. They specialize in drysuits for use in water activities both above and below water, diving, rescue work and leisure activities. All Ursuit's drysuits are handmade and can therefore be specially adapted to the customer's needs, both in small and large quantities. Ursuit supplies custom suits to a number of public and private institutions such as firefighters, rescue workers, coast guard, police, etc. in addition to the fact that their garments are very popular with professional and sport fishermen, sailors and other players in maritime activities.

Examples of usage areas for Ursuit drysuits. Photos borrowed from Ursuit.


Ursuit Gemino Operative

Ursuit Gemino Operative is a 2-piece drysuit made in 4-tex, which is a material based on 100% Cordura polyamide with PU membrane, or in other words, waterproof nylon. Despite the fact that the suit is waterproof, it has very good breathability, the fabric has been developed so that the large water particles do not get in from the outside, while moisture and sweat escape from the inside. Since the suit is 2-piece, both jacket and trousers can be worn independently of each other, but the most natural thing is to take off the jacket when it is not needed, while the trousers remain on.

Ursuit Gemino Operative, here in black, but also available in red.


The suit itself comes in a bag along with a pair of gloves, a user manual and a repair kit. The first thing that struck me when I unpacked and examined the suit was the workmanship. Here the quality of both textiles, zips and practical solutions with both pockets and various customization solutions stands out. The trousers themselves, which come with a pair of very practical braces, are connected to the jacket by means of a waterproof zip, which in turn is sealed at the joint with a waterproof gasket which is screwed into place and tightened. The trousers come with integrated socks and there are waterproof cuffs in the neck and in the sleeves of the jacket. This means that the suit is practically 100% waterproof when both jacket and trousers are worn at the same time.

This is the patent that ensures a waterproff joint between the trousers and the jacket.

How is it in use?

The first trip I tested the suit was during sea trout fishing from shore in February this year. The suit is remarkably flexible to use when moving on land, there was little to indicate that it was a drysuit I was wearing. Both illegal fences in along the waterline, large stones and cliffs were climbed over without problems. Once at the fishing spot, it was just a matter of wading straight into the cold water, a strange feeling to feel the cold from the water but still be dry on the feet!

There's nothing wrong with using your Ursuit as a vading suit!

What we have used the suit mostly for is obviously during activities in a boat far out at sea. It is for this use that the suit really shines. The suit is waterproof and windproof and therefore protects very well in all kinds of weather in an open boat. It is worth highlighting the suit's collar. You can choose to fold this down if you're warm, but if it's cold and you're bothered by a biting wind, you fold it up so that it protects your neck and ears from the wind. This works very well and means that I mostly only wear a cap and when I'm out at sea, just as we see Dag pictured during a trip in Skagerrak last winter below. You can also find a film from that trip here.

Ursuit Gemino Operative offers excellent protection against the cold wind in addition to keeping you dry.

Safety at sea

The biggest selling point for the Ursuit Gemino Operative is the safety the suit offers. Ordinary flotation suits that many people use at sea are not waterproof and therefore give a false sense of security in my opinion. In winter, the water in the sea can be below 5 degrees, so it doesn't help that the flotation suit keeps you afloat, it's the cold that is dangerous. The survival time in the water in such situations can be as low as 30-45 minutes, you first lose consciousness and the road from there to drowning is short.

On the other hand, if you have a dry suit with a good insulating layer of clothing underneath, you will be able to manage in the water for several hours. Even if you float quite well with the Ursuit Gemino Operative, it is not defined as a flotation suit, so it is recommended to use a life vest in addition to the suit. When doing this you are equipped for the toughest conditions you will find on the sea here in Norway.

The suit also comes with yellow hood with reflectors, and there is also reflectors on the shoulders and sleeves so that you are clearly visible to search crews if you fall into the sea and need to be rescued.

It's easy to be grumpy when the rain is pouring and the fish nowhere to be seen. But at least you're dry!

Pricing, warranty and service

The price for an Ursuit Gemino Operative is just over NOK 18,000, a considerable sum for a piece of clothing, but the price reflects the quality of the product, which we believe is the best you can get from this type of clothing here in the Nordics. Let's not forget that the suit also acts as a significant safety measure when traveling far at sea! Drysuit or no drysuit can actually make the difference between whether you get home from a fishing trip or not.

In Norway, Seeberg AS is the distributor of Ursuit, you can see their range on their website. The suits are made-to-order and are preferably purchased through your local sports and fishing equipment retailer.

Ursuit Gemino Operative appear as very robust and durable suits and come with a 2-year warranty. If you are unlucky and get damage to your suit that cannot be repaired with the included repair kit, it is Lexov Safety in Kristiansand that makes repairs for Ursuit here in Norway.


Conclusion

We have used Ursuit for one season and are completely satisfied! It is easy to put on and take off, comfortable to wear, keeps you dry and protects from the wind. In addition, it can make the difference between life and death when the accidents happens. If you are going to invest in a garment that gives you all these benefits, we strongly recommend the Ursuit Gemino Operative, it is simply put a very good investment, despite the price.


PS: Ursuit comes with a number of different suits in different price ranges. If you are looking for a drysuit that gives you many of the same benefits as the Gemino Operative, but at a nicer price, we can recommend the Ursuit MPS. This is a drysuit that is designed and intended for use under normal outerwear.


Best regards, Atle

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