Wireless Thermalution - Yellow Grade Plus
The Thermalution® Yellow Grade Power Heated Undersuit is designed with both the wetsuit scuba diver and dry suit scuba diver in mind. Using a wireless controller the Thermalution Yellow Grade Plus enables a diver to change the temperature of their drysuit during a scuba dive without having to break the seal of the dry suit.
To give divers longer battery life, Thermalution has powered the Yellow Grade suit with two high capacity, 7.4 Volt, rechargeable lithium-polymer batteries. When fully charged the batteries will provide heat for up to 4 hours. These batteries are around 1 inch thick.
Note: The Thermalution suit is designed to get warm enough to heat even the coldest of water entering a wet suit. When diving dry vs a wetsuit, the heat will feel much warmer on the skin. Most drysuit divers wear a thin layer beneath the Thermalution when diving in a drysuit, due to the large amount of warmth produced even on the low setting. These scuba divers are then able to utilize a warmer temperature setting without overheating the skin on their back.
Thermalution® is by far the best heated wetsuit product available on the market! It uses a non-metallic heating panel, positioned on the back to warm up your core area. With a weight of only 2-3 lbs, it is worn virtually unoticed beneath your wetsuit or drysuit. Of all heated wetsuit products currently available, Thermalution® has the capacity to heat up in the shortest amount of time (under a minute).
Thermalution® uses Far Infrared Ray technology, which doesn't just heat your skin like many other products. Thermalution® actually heats deep within your core, giving you improved blood circulation, enhanced cell and tissue regeneration, pain relief, and comfort to the entire body. You will be amazed at how much more comfortable you will feel after turning on the suit to even only the lowest of three settings. Once you have a dive in a Thermalution, you won't ever want to venture out on a winter day without one!
Posted by Marc Shargel of Living Sea Images on 4th Jan 2015
I withhold the fifth star only because of some ergonomic conveniences that are lacking. The basic function is excellent, it works great under my drysuit.
Things that could/should be improved:
1) Batteries fall out of the battery buckets when upside down. I sewed on velcro straps to prevent it, but should be part of the product.
2) The little holes at the bottom of the pockets are difficult to pass the plugs pass through. Should be larger or oval to match the plugs.
3) the slider on the wireless remote is small and difficult to operate with dive gloves.
But despite these imperfections I love this thing. I gave one as a gift for Christmas.
BTW, if you wear it under a drysuit you will likely find it too hot, even over a T shirt. I added a permanent layer of fleece right under the heating elements. I wish the makers offered that as an option.
Great when it works
Posted by Kimber Chard on 16th Dec 2014
The system works well some of the time. I am having issues with the remote communicating with the vest receiver. Sometimes it is great other times I can't get it to turn on even if I put the remote right outside my dry suit in the area of the receiver.
It can be a little frustrating.....
Posted by Unknown on 5th May 2014
I recently bought theThermalution yellow heated vest for coldwater diving andso far it it works as promised. It keeps me warm and I have had no problems with the wireless transmitter. The only thing I had a problem with were the batteries under my arms. My drysuit is the body contouring neoprene Everdry 4, and with the batteries in situ ,it is now too snug to be comfortable. I would suggest flatter batteries in the next model. I have since ordered a DUI Flex drysuit to accomodate the vest and batteries. It was an expensive correction. Best of luck with the next model, Linda
Hot Stuff. Like Having a Charcoal Grill in Your Drysuit.
Posted by Rich K. on 17th Mar 2014
I got to try this out last weekend with two dives. It was unseasonably warm--water was 57 degrees at depth, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway.
I was not disappointed. I initially had some difficulty figuring out if it was off or on, and which setting it was on. I finally figured out that the wireless receiver sits right under my steel tank and it sometimes blocked the signals. I began holding the wireless transmitter back towards the receiver and had no further problems. I began to just depend on the vibrations of the receiver to tell me which setting I was on. Doing that made it easy to know if it was on low, medium or high.
I did both dives wearing a drysuit and a 200 gram undergarment. I ended up cycling the heat on and off--using just the low setting--during the hour long dive. The vest heats up VERY quickly, in a matter of seconds, and became too warm from time to time. By the end of the first dive I was pretty sure I liked the vest.
Dive two followed after about a 1 1/2 hour SI, during which I turned on the vest for brief periods of time to see what it would be like to warm up on the surface. Nice! On the second dive, I ended up feeling colder (not unusual for me on second or third dives). I ended up leaving the vest on the low setting for the entire dive. The vest did an incredible job of keeping my core warm and toasty during the second hour-long dive. I forgot to wear socks, so my feet and hands were the only thing that were even slightly cold. Being toasty warm had two additional, unanticipated benefits; (1) I didn't feel the urge to pee from the cold, and (2) my air consumption went down.
I cannot imagine having to use any setting but low while wearing a drysuit. I wore the vest over a T-shirt and found it comfortable on low. For the brief periods where I tried the medium and high settings, the vest quickly became way too hot. I was beginning to perspire. I'm actually thinking I might want to try it with a wetsuit now and I haven't had any desire to wear a wetsuit in over a year.
What a great product. Well worth the money in my book.
Cold Water Scuba Instructor Approved
Posted by Rich Hopkins on 2nd Mar 2014
My wife and I are both scuba instructors in Oregon. I started diving with my Yellow Grade a year ago today. I wanted to wait to do a review until I'd logged a few dives so that I could give an honest, informed review of the product. If you're like me and don't like reading lengthy reviews here is the bottom line: 66 cold water dives of toasty goodness.
Read on for details and some tips and tricks to get the most out of your Yellow Grade heated shirt.
Before I get into the product itself, I want to talk a bit about the folks at HeatedWetsuits.com. When I first saw the Thermalution ad in a diving magazine I tried contacting the company directly. The company, based overseas, directed me to Matt Patton at HeatedWetsuits.com. While these guys appeared to have been around a while in the surfing industry, I'd never heard of them in the scuba world. I contacted Matt and was immediately struck by his professionalism, honesty, and willingness to work with me.
I got my wife one of the early models of the 15M Surf Series shirts and we took a couple of tropical trips. My wife gets pretty cold, so typically, even in tropical waters, she could only do about two dives a day. With the heated shirt, we were doing five dives a day for a week! This product simply transformed our diving experience. Then, my wife started using it in her dry suit and loved it. The only down side was that she couldn't change the temperature during a dive because the wired controller had to be tucked inside her drysuit.
In all honesty, the first models had some design flaws. Specifically, the battery connecters were difficult to put together and they were susceptible to breakage and salt water corrosion. I contacted Matt about these issues and he went above and beyond to fix the problems.
Eventually my wife and I started teaching scuba and spending more and more time in cold water. I noticed my friends were starting to use heating systems in their drysuits that cost them some big money. These systems had canisters that attached to their scuba cylinders with wires that went through the inflater valves of their drysuits and switches that had to be activated to turn on the heat. Based on what my friends had to say, it seems that these systems were okay, but expensive, and much like the first generation of the Thermalution shirts, they needed some work to be ready for the real world (and still do in my opinion.)
When the Yellow Grade became available my wife and I decided to give them a try. By now Thermalution had solved the battery connector issues and the controller became wireless. I called Matt and he remembered me. He answered all of my questions and took my order.
We logged our first dives with the Yellow Grade shirts on March 2nd, 2013. Immediately I knew I'd made a good decision. It wasn't too cold that day, (49 degrees in the water and 46 degrees outside) but it sure felt nice to be warm. Since then we have taken our shirts with us on dives all over the world; both cold and warm water diving. (Incidentally, no airport issues with the shirts or batteries.)
Here in Oregon we dive in temperatures ranging from the mid 30's to the low 70's depending on the location and time of year. Typically, the air temperature is lower than the water temperature. So the Yellow Grade not only keep us warm during our dives, but between dives as well.
In tropical waters I tended to only actually use the heater during night dives, but my wife used hers during the dives, between dives, and during long boat rides. A set of batteries lasted just fine on 3 tank boat dives. We have also become "the Most Interesting Divers on the Boat" as many warm water divemasters take great interest in the shirts - a great way to keep from being left behind by the boat at the end of the day btw! ;).
Over the past year my wife and I have had zero problems with our Yellow Grade shirts. They have worked flawlessly. We have also learned a few tips and tricks that I can pass along...
1. Put your wireless controller on a retractable lanyard and attach it to your BCD. The shirt has a disc that sits in the middle of your lower back that is used for communicating with the controller. When you change the temperature settings with the remote the disc vibrates to give you feedback. I find I can change the temperature setting much easier, if the controller is closer to the disc. Also, this way, I don't have to worry about strapping yet another thing on my wrist (I already use a wrist mounted computer). The added benefit is that I can easily change the temperature with one hand.
2. Get a second set of batteries. If you're like me and want to dive, dive, dive, during a dive trip or dive weekend, a second set of batteries is essential. Start the day with both sets charged and you will have plenty of power for the full day. When one set needs recharged, you'll have another set ready to go and your diving won't be interrupted nor will you have to be cold. Which leads me to my next suggestion...
3. The batteries are pretty thick. If you have a small, thin, frame (like my wife) they can make the sides of your rib cage a bit sore after several hours/days of use. It turns out the smaller (cheaper) batteries for the 15M and 70M shirts also work with the Yellow Grade. These batteries don't last as long, but they are much thinner and my wife doesn't have the same issues with them bothering her ribs like the thicker batteries.
4. The disc in the back of the shirt is also troublesome for small, thin, divers. My wife's cylinder rests right on the disc, which then puts pressure on her lower back, giving her a sore back after hours/days of diving. The simple solution is to wear the Yellow Grade over other undergarments while diving dry, adding extra padding. You will stay just as toasty. When diving wet a small bit of neoprene padding will do the trick just as well.
5. Coat the battery connectors in underwater camera o-ring grease. This doesn't cause any issues with the electrical flow and will totally prohibit corrosion when diving wet.
6. Be sure to rinse the wireless controller with fresh water after diving. If you don't, the slide switch can get a bit sticky. Nothing a good fresh water rinse and some o-ring grease won't fix though.
7. Turn the controller to the off position after you're done. The controller has a small LED that flashes periodically, using different colors depending on your temperature setting. If you run the batteries all the way down, the controller will continue to blink. There is no obvious way to replace the controller batteries. I assume they last quite a long time, but by ensuring the controller is off when the shirt isn't in use, they will last that much longer.
Hopefully this review has been helpful. If you're a serious diver (in either cold or warm water) you can't go wrong with this product. Just like any other dive equipment, take care of it and it will take care of you.
Happy (warm) diving!
Rich H. from Oregon
Posted by Unknown on 25th Feb 2014
initial trial dive had to be aborted because of a leaking regulator, but my wife said it worked fine for the ten minutes we were in 42 degree water
Totally Changed my Diving! Excellent
Posted by Janney on 17th Feb 2014
I am a Pacific NW cold water diver and looked around for a while before purchasing the Yellow Grade heated tank top. I loved the idea of it being wireless and the ability to control my heat levels during my dive. I have had the unit for a few months now and it's totally changed my winter diving. I'd be lucky to get a 45 min dive and now I have had an 84 minute dive and did not call it due to being too cold! I just wish they had heated glove inserts! The best part about this system is I can dive it wet or dry as we travel to San Diego often and dive wet most of the time there. I am VERY happy with my purchase and have had no issues with the remote on my arm communicating with the shirt even under several layers and my drysuit. Super satisfied!
Posted by Hong on 20th Jan 2014
I use it for scuba diving in two different dry suits with no need connector, no need canister, use it in many wet suits, wear it for outdoor in cold weather... Love it!
Not sure where and when to change the battery of the remote control.
Warm at last
Posted by Ron Camp on 14th Nov 2013
I just received my vest and tried it out for the first time last weekend. What a tremendous difference it made.
The previous day without the vest I was quite chilled, with the vest I was very comfortable on the medium setting.
I highly recommend the product and the company. Thank you for the great customer service
Heat on demand
Posted by Unknown on 17th Sep 2013
I bought the yellow grade from Brazil when going to the US. It was there before I arrived. No worries there!
I bought it for my girlfriend and now there is no more excuses for not diving in could waters!!! She loved it!
We offer a Full One Year Warranty on all Thermalution Heated Wetsuit Products purchased directly through HeatedWetsuits.Com. This covers all heating elements, stitching, and battery power components.
Petatech International Company, Ltd (Makers of Thermalution) offer a 12-month Limited Manufacturer's Warranty from the date of purchase from any retailer worldwide. This warranty covers any Defective Materials or Components and Faulty Workmanship for one year. Thermalution also offers a 6-month warranty on all batteries and components. Customers may register their Thermalution products online for a full year manufacturers warranty on the batteries as well.