The Design
The Pyroflex range consists of full-suit steamers and short- or long-sleeve rash-guards in gender-specific cuts and styles. Each suit is made with an Everflex outer layer.
This 100% X-Foam is made from limestone neoprene and complies with the very strict PAH test requirements for environmental safety.
Because of its high micro-cell structure, limestone neoprene tends to be lighter in weight, is very durable and most importantly, its increased cell structure makes it a highly efficient insulator for better heat-retention without adding excess buoyancy.
The Everflex neoprene provides four-way stretch and has a water-repellent coating to aid quick drying and reduce wind-chill when out of the water.
The 1.5mm neoprene is lined inside with a fine microfibre fleece, with all the seams glued and blind-stitched. Strategically placed panels of ultra-stretchy neoprene are used on the shoulders and torso sides to add more flexibility, and these panels have a plush lining.
According to Scubapro, Pyroflex products have been designed and built using “Body Mapping technology” to ensure that the cut, fit and panels are perfectly matched to provide flexibility and thermal protection.
The Pyroflex Rash Guard I had on test was the long-sleeve version, featuring extended cuffs with thumb loop holes to prevent the sleeves riding up. It also had a high-cut collar to provide protection from BC chafing.
The range comes in all-black with light grey panels and white screen-printed livery.

In Use
The Pacific Ocean water temperatures are normally 19-23°C, so it would have been sensible to pack a 7mm wetsuit, or perhaps a trilaminate drysuit. Instead, after taking advice from DIVER’s Be the Champ photo guru Alex Mustard, I took my trusty 5mm wetsuit.
The logic behind this decision was the constant water swell commonly encountered in this part of the world. A 7mm suit would expand and contract exponentially as the surging current pushed and pulled me up and down in the water column, but a 5mm suit would be less badly affected.
As most photo-opportunities in this region occur from 10m deep to just beneath the surface, I would need all the help I could get as I battled with the pure physics of Boyle’s Law (pressure and volume of gases).
I was getting rigged for the first dive while watching buddy-pair Steve and Clare Rattle wriggle into their drysuits and thinking: “Here we go again!” However, I had an ace up my sleeve (well, actually covering my torso) in the form of 1.5mm of soft Pyroflex neoprene.
I was wearing the rash-guard as a base layer under my wetsuit to increase the thermal protection while keeping the expansion/ contraction problem to a minimum.
The extreme flexibility of the four-way-stretch X-Foam and ultra-elastic panels made the garment feel like a second skin, allowing me to bend, stretch and twist my body with no hint of restriction.
In the water the system worked like a charm. The extra layer had little or no effect on my buoyancy but made a huge difference to my body temperature. For the first time in a long while, I felt I had this exposure-protection thing totally nailed.
The Pyroflex rash-guard offered further advantages. The plush lining made it very easy to don and doff, and also dried quickly inside and out, so I didn’t have to suffer that horrible feeling when cold clammy neoprene meets warm dry skin on subsequent dives.
By placing my thumbs through the extended wrist-cuffs, I could get the outer wetsuit layer on without the rash-guard sleeves riding up. Most importantly, I didn’t have to suffer that ice-cold finger of water spilling down my spine as it entered the back of my wetsuit on initial entry.
Water movement and exchange within the rash-guard were either kept to a minimum or non-existent throughout every dive, keeping me warmer than I’d ever been before in these conditions.

I didn’t want to scare any youngsters who may be reading this by using images of this rash-guard on my short, rotund body, so I asked fellow-traveller and diver Richard Stevens (who has a physique more suited to the task) to model it for these pages.
On the right-shaped body the Pyroflex looks great. On mine, not so much, but I honestly don’t care, because it’s all about the amazing feeling of getting out of the water still warm, still comfortable and staying that way on the next dive.
I can’t wait to wear the Pyroflex rash-guard as a standalone top partnered with a pair of swim-shorts in warm tropical waters, or even as a base layer for my neoprene drysuit.
With this excellent addition to Scubapro’s exposure-protection line-up it’s going to be me laughing out loud and pointing at the muppet shivering in the water; the future looks good – the future looks warm and smug.

PRICE: £74
MATERIALS: 4-way-stretch Everflex X-Foam neoprene
GENDER: M & F cut and styling
SEAMS: Glued, flatlock-stitched
COLOURS: Black/light-grey panels
SIZES: Male - S-3XL. Female - XS-XL

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