I have a cohort thinking about getting a new Viking dress.

Question is: Is there enough real estate on the back to allow a standard rear shoulder zipper to be installed?

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Aloha Robert I take it you are talking about a 12 bold heavy gear dressThere are still alot of new (unused) and ones with few dives on them still around.

We have had very good luck with the Chinese 12 bolt canvas heavy dresses and they are cheap. They seem to be cut a little big, double check leg length and shoe size for a correct fit.

There is a guy who does suit mfg and repairs up in Washington who makes a real quality heavy gear suit his name is Jim and I'll have to look up his business name he is in DEMA and I think ADCI I believe for a reference. Let me see if I can find his business on the internet.

Back to Viking I have seen and talked to their reps and if I rember right it was a tight fit but could be done. If anyone knows otherwise please correct me.

What size are you, height, length length, foot size ? I know of several sources that might work for you. 



Robert the name of the heavy suit company in Washington is KME ask for Jim he is the hands on owner. They have a 800 number look up on line. What are you sizes???? Over and out.

Hiya ACE~!

Good to hear from you again, did you ever hear from that engineering company?


A 04W Viking would be a good size to start with, and with me being a Viking dealer, there's a noteworthy discount involved. 

My buddy is smaller than that but I figure if his suit is big enough to fit me, maybe he'll let me play with it once in a while.

We both have a bugger of a time squeezing through the neck opening on a standard dress.

You know the old adage; you can put a little guy into a big suit but not the other way around.

The neck opening is called the bib and a viking HD dress the bib will stretch open so you can get it on. Putting a zipper in a dress is asking for trouble. also it will have to be below the breastplate and that is way below the shoulders.

The only dress a zipper will work is in a dress for a three bolt helmet and Jim at KME has done those before.

what do you think will happen if the zipper fails and opens underwater ( have seen and experianced that with dry bag suits with neck seals). If it failed in a dress you would drown like a rat in a trap.

Not sure you guys have enough experiance in heavy gear to appreciate how it works and the dangers therein.

It takes two guys streaching the bib for big guys to get the dress on.

My suggestion dont f*@#k with the dress, Its worked great for 145 years with out a zipper. I have spent thousands of hours working in standard dress and If a zipper was a good idea I would have done it.

The viking dress will not be punched for the breastplate studs and if you punch it wrong it will leak. suggest you have someone punch it that knows how. Very few know how to punch a dress.

If you are interested I have a slightly used (no leaks) Viking heavy gear dress that is punched for a Jap or a Kirby.  $500.00.

John Durham

Message sent, thanks for the offer.


Check your PMs, my email addy is in there.

If you still have that dress I need one

Methinks the lad with the dress might have been abducted by aliens; haven't heard a peep since he made the post.

We have a line on some brand new XXL Northern Diver suits for only $550 + shipping.

(XXL = approximately a 04 in Viking)

Not a dress though, they come with neckseals & some have attached hoods.

They're seconds; the kneepads are rotated about 45° out of whack, giving the side of your knee some excellent protection. ;)

How tall are you and foot size?

Might have one to fit you. What breast plate do you have?

6' tall, 11-12 foot, 55" chest.
Let me think on the drysuit.realy need a dress.
6 foot and 270, commercial breast plate (Swindel)12 wide foot.


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