Reviewed by our experts:

The Best Scuba Diving Drysuits For Every Budget 2019

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our two scuba drysuit geeks one job:
Test 19 different Scuba Drysuits and write reviews of the best.

The result is 9 of the best Scuba Drysuits on the marked today.

torben lonne

Torben Lonne

Scuba Drysuit geek and editor Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for dive gear and especially Scuba Drysuits.

thomas grøndfeldt

Thomas Grøndfeldt

Dive instructor & Author

Thomas is a dive geek. Loves the geer, tech and guides.

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Feeling the need to stay dry and toasty warm on each and every dive you make?

If so, it might be time to invest in a drysuit.

Drysuits are must-have pieces of kit for divers who regularly explore cold waters. They’re also handy for divers and dive pros who spend a lot of time in temperate waters.

Unlike wetsuits, drysuits keep you warm by trapping a layer of air between the suit and your body. To do this effectively, drysuits need to be completely watertight.

Waterproof exteriors and snugly fitting seals at the neck, wrists, and sometimes ankles, make this possible.

If you’re on the hunt for your very first drysuit here we'll go over some of the essential bits of info you need before you make a purchase. Or, if you’re looking to buy a drysuit, look at the product reviews for some of the best options on the market.

Best Drysuits for All Budgets 2019

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at a few drysuit buying considerations, let’s dive into the suits themselves. We’ve broken these down into three sections, budget, mid-range, and high-end.

best budget scuba drysuits

Best Budget Scuba Drysuits

We've gathered a selection of the best budget Scuba Drysuits. All stable a reliable, but at a low cost.

best mid-range scuba drysuits

Best Mid-Range Scuba Drysuits

You're diving alot and you want a scuba drysuits that meets your needs. Here's the best mid-range scuba drysuits.

best high-end scuba drysuits

Best High-End Scuba Drysuits

Best high-end scuba drysuit needs to be durable, realiable and easy to read. Here's the best choices in the tech scuba drysuit selections:

Best Budget Drysuits

Whether you’re purchasing your first ever drysuit or you’re looking for a wallet-friendly model, you can’t go wrong with these options. All are from reputable scuba brands and all offer fantastic value for money.

SEAC Men's Warmdry 4mm Neoprene Drysuit

SEAC’s Warmdry 4mm provides excellent thermal insulation. The high-density neoprene is lightweight and the suit is of a low-profile design. The result is a drysuit that is ultra streamlined. Semi-rigid boots, braces, and flexible neoprene make for a comfortable fit, whatever your diving style. Having semi-flexible boots means they can be easily turned inside-out for quick drying.

Overall, the SEAC Warmdry 4mm drysuit is a good budget option suitable for demanding recreational diving.

seac men's warmdry 4mm neoprene drysuit
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the SEAC Men's Warmdry 4mm Neoprene Drysuit:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Manufacturer’s Specs:
  • Material: Compressed neoprene
  • Zip location: Rear
  • Boots or socks: Boot
  • Hood: Yes
  • Pockets: One
  • Sizes: S to 3XL
What we like:
  • Excellent value for money.
  • Sturdy pocket on the thigh.
What we don't like:
  • Not enough tread on the boots.
  • Sizes are on the small side so consider going for one size up.
  • Only one pocket.

Hollis BX200 BioDry Rear Entry Drysuit

Hollis has used their own patented WearForce material to construct the BX200 BioDry suit. What this offers is a durable but very stretchy drysuit which gives a streamlined fit. It also allows for a full range of movement and the low-profile design reduces drag underwater. The seams are sewn and double taped to prevent leaks.

If you are looking for a flexible drysuit that feels like a second skin at an excellent price point, the Hollis BX200 BioDry is a good option.

hollis bx200 biodry rear entry drysuit
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Hollis BX200 BioDry Rear Entry Drysuit:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Manufacturer’s Specs:
  • Material: Compressed neoprene
  • Zip location: Rear
  • Boots or socks: Socks
  • Hood: No
  • Pockets: Two
  • Sizes: XS to 3XL
What we like:
  • Very flexible.
  • Two pockets for storing accessories.
  • Good fit.
What we don't like:
  • Hood has to be purchased separately.

ScubaPro Women's ExoDry Drysuit

Designed for women, ScubaPro’s ExoDry drysuit is sleek and stylish. The high-density neoprene provides great insulation, even at depth. It also resists compression reducing buoyancy changes on deeper dives.

If water temperatures allow, this drysuit it is still comfortable even without undergarments. Cuff and neck seals are made from heavy-duty latex for a watertight fit. Sturdy integrated boots and a neoprene hood provide additional protection against the elements.

The ScubaPro ExoDry drysuit is a solid budget choice for female divers.

scubapro women's exodry drysuit
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the ScubaPro Women's ExoDry Drysuit:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Manufacturer’s Specs:
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Zip location: Rear
  • Boots or socks: Boots
  • Hood: Yes
  • Pockets: One
  • Sizes: 2XS to XL
  • Heavy-duty latex seals
What we like:
  • Stylish, form-fitting design.
  • Good range of sizes.
  • Comfortable around the neck and wrists.
  • Comes with a 3/8-inch quick-disconnect hose.
What we don't like:
  • No dedicated tall or wide sizings.

Best Mid-Range Scuba Drysuits

Going for a mid-range drysuit will give you a few extra features to enhance your diving experience. If your budget will stretch a bit further, it’s worth investing in some of these options.

Waterproof D9X Breathable Men’s Drysuit

Strong laminated material makes the Waterproof D9X Breathable a drysuit that’s built to last. Reinforced lower back, lower arms, and knees provide extra protection from abrasion. This is done without a significant increase in the weight of the drysuit. Waterproof have also added extra comfort with a seam-free crotch area. The adjustable braces ensure a comfy fit.

If you do a lot of traveling, the Waterproof D9X Breathable is a lightweight option that still has loads of great features.

waterproof d9x breathable men’s drysuit
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Waterproof D9X Breathable Men’s Drysuit:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Manufacturer’s Specs:
  • Material: Trilaminate
  • Zip location: Front
  • Boots or socks: Socks
  • Hood: No
  • Pockets: Two
  • Sizes: 3XS to 3XL
What we like:
  • Super lightweight for traveling.
  • Huge range of sizes available.
  • Front zipper makes it easy to get on and off.
  • Repair kit, a mesh bag, and a low-pressure hose are included.
What we don't like:
  • Some users report a loose fit which makes the suit feel slightly baggy.
  • Not as stretchy as other drysuits.

DUI Yukon II Women's Drysuit

Strong laminated material makes the Waterproof D9X Breathable a drysuit that’s built to last. Reinforced lower back, lower arms, and knees provide extra protection from abrasion. This is done without a significant increase in the weight of the drysuit. Waterproof have also added extra comfort with a seam-free crotch area. The adjustable braces ensure a comfy fit.

If you do a lot of traveling, the Waterproof D9X Breathable is a lightweight option that still has loads of great features.

dui yukon ii women's drysuit
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the DUI Yukon II Women's Drysuit:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Manufacturer’s Specs:
  • Material: Trilaminate
  • Zip location: Front
  • Boots or socks: Boots
  • Hood: No
  • Pockets: Three
  • Sizes: S to 2XL
What we like:
  • Stowaway pocket.
  • Diagonal front zipper.
  • Available with a colored trim instead of all black.
What we don't like:
  • Material not heavy duty enough if doing a lot of rough shore diving.
  • Boots are quite rigid.

Hollis BTR500 Front Entry Dry Suit

This good mid-range option utilizes Hollis’ patented coating on the internal lining. Not only does it ensure the suit remains watertight, but it also makes getting the drysuit on and off a breeze. Each panel is cut to the bias of the material increasing stretchiness and flexibility. The external trilaminate material is ultra-durable and provides optimum resistance to punctures and tearing.

The black and red color combination (the only option) may not be for everyone. Overall, the Hollis BTR500 drysuit is a pleasure to dive in whether you are a recreational diver or a techie.

hollis btr500 front entry dry suit
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Hollis BTR500 Front Entry Dry Suit:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Manufacturer’s Specs:
  • Material: Trilaminate
  • Zip location: Front
  • Boots or socks: Socks
  • Hood: No
  • Pockets: Two
  • Sizes: XS to 3XL
What we like:
  • Pockets come with internal D-rings
  • Easy to get on and off, even getting the neck seal over your head is simple.
What we don't like:
  • Does not come with a telescopic torso.

Best High-End Scuba Drysuits

Now we’re moving into the realm of drysuits that offer loads of extra feature you didn’t even know you wanted. All these drysuits are designed to make your diving as pleasurable as possible with a firm eye on functionality for demanding divers. If you are after an “all singing, all dancing” drysuit, these top-range options are for you.

Bare XCS2 Tech Drysuit

The Bare XCS2 Tech drysuit comes with customized extras so you get the suit you want. Choose between latex or neoprene neck and wrist seals. Do you want compressed density neoprene boots or compression-resistant soft boots?

Different sizes come in both tall and short versions so everyone can find a size to fit them. The fabric is so flexible that it should fit you like a glove. No-stitch technology means that there are no stitched seams, instead, they are double-glued and heat sealed for better insulation. The outer lining repels water so you don’t end up with a soggy suit after a dive.

Bare is so confident in the quality of the XCS2 Tech, they offer a lifetime guarantee.

bare xcs2 tech drysuit
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Bare XCS2 Tech Drysuit:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Manufacturer’s Specs:
  • Material: Ultra compressed neoprene
  • Zip location: Front
  • Boots or socks: Boots
  • Latex or neoprene seals
  • Hood: Yes
  • Pockets: One
  • Sizes: S to 3XL
What we like:
  • No stitched seams
  • Great fit
  • Ultra-flexible material
  • Sturdy wrist seals
  • Pocket sits flat against the thigh when not expanded, reducing drag in currents
  • Excellent quality valves
  • Very little suit compression
What we don't like:
  • There’s not really a lot to dislike here but if we were being very picky, we’d say that the shoulder dump is quite clunky.

DUI CLX450 Select Series Women's Drysuit

People describe DUI’s CLX450 Select series as the “tuxedo of drysuits” and we can see why; its design is classic and stylish. Upper and lower sections of the suit consist of different trilaminate blends. The top is enhanced for durability and flexibility, while the lower provides additional comfort. A telescoping torso and adjustable waist cord let you adjust this drysuit to the perfect fit.

The top panel is available in a range for different colors. DUI CLX450 for women offers all the features you want from a drysuit while looking great at the same time.

dui clx450 select series women's drysuit
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the DUI CLX450 Select Series Women's Drysuit:
Our recommendations:
Manufacturer’s Specs:
  • Material: Trilaminate
  • Zip location: Front
  • Boots or socks: Boots
  • Hood: Yes
  • Pockets: Two
  • Sizes: S to 2XL
  • Apex valves
  • Waist adjustment cord
  • Comes with a drysuit bag, talc, and a ZipStick.
What we like:
  • Short and tall options available so there is a size suitable for every body type.
  • Choice of neck seals.
  • Customized boot type and size.
  • Variety of colors available for the upper panel.
  • Telescoping torso.
What we don't like:
  • Some users report that the rock boots are a little stiff.

Waterproof D1X Hybrid Drysuit

This stylish drysuit is our first hybrid. Waterproof has developed the first constant-volume, insulated drysuit. The patented material provides the lightweight flexibility of trilaminate material with all the thermal protection you want from compressed neoprene.

The inner, 3D mesh lining is soft and ultra-comfortable keeping you warm in even the coldest waters — testing was carried out in the Antarctic. Sturdy boots are five times more abrasion resistant than regular integrated boots. There is a neck ring which lets you easily replace the seal with silicone, latex, or neoprene.

The design and materials used make Waterproof’s D1X Hybrid stand out from its competitors. It certainly offers outstanding comfort and protection in the coldest of conditions. If you have the money to spend, this is one investment you will not regret.

waterproof d1x hybrid drysuit
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Waterproof D1X Hybrid Drysuit:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Manufacturer’s Specs:
  • Material: Patented fabric
  • Zip location: Rear
  • Boots or socks: Boots
  • Hood: Yes
  • Pockets: Two
  • Sizes: 3XS to 3XL
What we like:
  • Stainless steel D-rings in the pockets.
  • Pockets which can have a slim profile and expanded when needed.
  • 3D mesh lining.
  • Changing the neck seal can be done easily, even at a dive site.
  • Tough, durable material.
  • Looks great on both men and women.
  • You won’t always need to wear bulky undergarments.
What we don't like:
  • All the extras make it heavier than other drysuits.
  • For the price, it would be good to be able to have a customized boot size option.

Things to Consider Before Buying a New Drysuit

We won’t beat around the bush — drysuits are expensive. They’re even more expensive if you rush into a purchase and don’t spend some time beforehand thinking about which kind of suit is right for you. With that in mind, let’s go over a few key drysuit considerations.

Neoprene or Membrane Drysuit?

There are two main types of drysuits: neoprene and membrane. Which one you pick highly depends on your preference and the type of diving you’re planning on doing. Here, we’ve summarized each to make choosing the right one easier.

What Are Neoprene Drysuits?

Neoprene drysuits, as the name suggests, are made out of neoprene, just like wetsuits are. Some of them undergo a process of compression or crushing to make them durable and waterproof.

Normally, neoprene drysuits have a lining on the inside and outside of the suits to make them waterproof. They’re thick, very warm and insulating but also quite heavy as a result. The bubbles in the neoprene have an effect on buoyancy when diving in deeper water, due to compression.

Compressed neoprene drysuits are basically wetsuits that undergo compression and become thinner. This makes them waterproof, more durable, and more comfortable to wear. Additionally, because the bubbles get compressed during production, there’s less of an effect on buoyancy.

Another type of drysuit material is crushed neoprene. The neoprene goes through a process that changes the structure. This makes it even thinner, more durable, and have a much smaller effect on buoyancy.

Generally speaking, neoprene drysuits are thicker than membrane suits and more insulating. This means you might only need only a thin layer of undergarments, depending on the water temperature, of course. They’re more form fitted and stretchy underwater but are heavier to transport.

What Are Membrane Drysuits?

The most common membrane suits available are known as trilaminate suits. They’re comprised of three layers of fabric, making them waterproof. Depending on the manufacturer, the number of layers can vary.

Membrane suits are not as warm as neoprene drysuits, because their fabric isn’t very insulating. If you opt for a membrane suit, it’s important that you buy undergarments which will keep you warm enough underwater. Membrane suits are great if you’re planning on diving in many different water temperatures since you can adjust your undergarments to the climate.

Best of all, they’re super light, making them ideal for the traveling divers among us. Also, membrane suits are super easy to clean and dry quickly.

What Are Shell and Laminate Drysuits?

Shell and laminate are just other names for membrane drysuits. Like all membrane models, the suit itself is thin and warmth is provided by the undergarments the diver wears.

Socks or Boots?

After deciding what kind of material you want your suit to be made of, it’s time to think about what you need on your feet. Most drysuits come with either a sock or a boot attached. Depending on what kind of diving you’re planning to do and what’s more convenient for you, both can have their pros. Let’s take a look now.

Socks

Socks on drysuits are commonly made out of the same material as the drysuit you’ve chosen. They’re thin, aren’t particularly sturdy, and rip easily on rough terrain. This type of footwear is designed to be worn with a detachable shoe also known as a rock boot.

Rock boots come in many different forms and are made for a variety of purposes. The kind you get depends on whether you need warm boots, robust boots for shore diving, and other factors. A beneficial feature of removable rock boots is that they can be easily repaired or replaced. They also have a tighter, more customized fit, making precise finning much more efficient

However, rock boots can be costly and heavy to travel with. They can take a lot of time to put on and you may also need larger fins to accommodate large rock boots.

Boots

Some drysuits have boots attached to them instead of socks. They’re sturdier than socks but not as durable as rock boots. Boots attached to the suit are easier to put on, especially when you’re boat diving. Additionally, they’re lighter and easier to transport than socks and rock boots. They’re also more affordable.

One possible downside is that they don’t usually fit as well as rock boots and allow more space for air pockets. Attached boots are also harder to fix and replace since you’ll have to send in the whole drysuit for repairs.

Seals

Drysuit seals are an incredibly integral part of your suit. Without them, it wouldn’t keep you dry! Usually, there are three seals on a drysuit, one at the neck and two at your wrists. Sometimes there are seals at the ankles.

Some drysuits come with an integrated hood which has a seal around the face, preventing your hair and head from getting wet. Others have dry gloves included in the set-up, which is especially beneficial for cold water diving.

There are three main seal materials that you can choose from, neoprene, latex, and silicone. Each has its pros and cons and divers shouldn’t expect any seal to last forever. Let’s take a brief look at each material now.

Neoprene

The good: A tough exterior, even pressure against your body.
The bad: Can’t be used with dry gloves, neck seals may need to be folded over to be effective, not as much stretch as other seal options.

Latex

The good: Affordable, very flexible, effective seal.
The bad: Will stretch and degrade over time, liable to rip and tear, can feel very tight.
The ugly: No good for people with latex allergies.

Silicone

The good: Comfort, easy to change with a ring system, excellent seal.
The bad: Silicone is not easy to adhere to other materials so a ring system is needed, quite fragile.

To P-Valve or Not to P-Valve?

P-valves are always a hot topic of conversation. Depending on if you’re a man or a woman, they can look and work very differently. Without getting into the nitty-gritty of pee mechanics, here’s a bit of P-valve info.

Drysuits are dry and filled with air, which creates a bit of a problem when it comes to peeing, especially on long dives. A P-valve is a valve that allows you to urinate without wetting yourself. They work rather simply with men and are relatively easy to use. However, they’re a little bit more complicated to attach to women’s suits and use takes a lot of practice (trust me.)

P-valves will always come with an additional cost and you’ll have to consider this when you decide which drysuit to buy. Adding them to an existing drysuit can be an expensive installation process.

There are some alternatives to using a P-valve, one is to use adult diapers. Now, that might sound weird, but it definitely works — as many tech divers will attest. Not everybody wants to battle with diapers though.

Option three is to hold it in for dear life. But this is not an ideal solution, after all, hydration is key when diving and purposefully not drinking water might mean you don’t have to pee but deliberately dehydrating yourself can be dangerous. Holding it in is only really an option if you’re planning shorter dives.

Front Zip or Back Zip?

The location of the zip is something that depends on your own personal preference and what is easiest for you. A front-situated zip is easier to close yourself whereas, with a back zip, you’ll need help to close it. On the other hand, a back zip creates a more streamlined look.

Drysuit Fit: Tips and Tricks

Dry suits have an unfair reputation for being notoriously hard to size correctly. In an ideal world, all divers would have a handy scuba store just down the road (and the budget to buy made-to-measure) but for most of us, that’s not the case. With that in mind, how do you make sure the drysuit you buy is the right size for you?

Buying online can be just as successful as trying the suit on in a store if you do a bit of homework. Here are a few handy hints and tips:

  • First up, measure yourself with your clothes on. Remember that you’re going to be wearing the drysuit over undergarments.
  • It’s super important to not increase the measurements you take, thinking that if the suit is a bit bigger, it'll at least fit. Take exact measurements with clothes on. If not, this results in a dry suit that's too big. If the suit’s too big, you’re prone to have your feet slip out of the boot area and as a result, out of the fins.
  • Measure your: Height, weight, chest, waist, hips, inside leg, neck, and wrist.
  • Match up your measurements with the manufacturer’s size guide. Use the size guide they provide on their website.
  • If you’re an interesting or a particularly unusual shape, you might need to consider a made-to-measure option.
  • Size up your boot properly. Again, remember that you’ll have socks on. Your standard shoe size is usually correct unless you intend to wear multiple pairs of socks.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer or retailer and provide them with your measurements. More often than not, they can then suggest the correct size for you.

One final word of advice: If your new drysuit seems way too big when it first arrives, don’t panic. It’s almost kind of magical how a drysuit seems HUGE before you put it on, but once it’s on your body, it fits perfectly.

If you find that the drysuit sizing is incorrect after you receive it, send it back to the retailer or manufacturer. Because these are expensive bits of kit, most sellers and manufacturers are happy to change the size for you within a reasonable period of time.

What Should I Wear Under My Drysuit?

It’s entirely up to you and the temperature of the water you’re in. Some divers who spend a lot of time in very cold waters wear something akin to a sleeping bag with arms and legs. Other divers just wear tracksuit pants and a sweatshirt under their drysuit. What you wear will also come down to which type of suit you’re wearing. Neoprene suits are warmer than membrane suits.

If your drysuit has in-built gloves, you’ll also want to wear gloves under the suit’s outer layer. If you have attached boots, you’ll want to wear a warm sock.

How Do Drysuits Affect Buoyancy While Diving?

Drysuits create an artificial air space, much like the one created by your mask and your BCD. And just like those airspaces, the air inside your drysuit is subject to the same rules: as you descent, the unequalized air inside your suit will compress in line with the surrounding pressure. As you ascent, any air inside your drysuit will expand as the surrounding pressure drops.

You can think of your drysuit as somewhat like a secondary BCD, to keep your buoyancy in check, you will need to add air to your suit as you descend. The amount of air needed is dependent on factors such as the amount of weight your using, the type of dry suit you’re wearing, and the salinity of the water.

On descents, you will always need to add air to your suit to avoid squeezes, unless you’re making very shallow dives. When you ascend, you need to release air from the suit to make sure that you do not ascent too fast.

Some divers will prioritize their drysuit over their BCD as their primary means of buoyancy control. Other divers prefer to use their BCD more. There are two schools of thought on this but we’d say that your drysuit is primarily there for thermal protection, not for use as a buoyancy device.

If you’re new to the world of drysuit diving, it’s best to take a drysuit specialty course or a few lessons with a professional diver who can teach you how to use the suit in a controlled environment.

Valves on a Drysuit

To add air to your drysuit, a hose is attached to the valve on the suit’s chest and to the first stage on your regulator. This hose allows you to add air from the tank to your suit by pushing the inflate button on the valve.

To remove air, drysuits generally have a dump or release valve on the left arm or shoulder. To get the air out, divers either have this valve set to closed or open. In the closed position, the diver has to manually remove air from the suit using the button. In the open position, the valve will automatically release air when the diver tilts to one side or raises their arm.

Do you have a favorite drysuit?  Thinking about adding a P-valve?  Toying with the notion of daipers?

We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about drysuits and drysuit diving in the comment section below!

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5 Comments

  1. David Tombs

    Being a cold water diver, I cannot but agree with this article. The only points that I would add is getting a made to measure suit if you are not of a standard size. This can make all of the difference in comfort before and during a dive, as well as safety. This can range from too much air moving around the dry suit, to excessive drag in the water. Also look for good quality internal braces and zip . Don’t just buy black, its not easy to see!

    Reply
  2. Ibrahim

    what about the pee valve ?
    Its my 1st time to buy a drysuit and probably will buy a cheap one for a try cressisub as its only 500 euros. but i cant hold myself when i need to leak . any advise ?

    Reply
  3. Benoit lauzon

    I’m looking to buy a dry suit for wake boarding in northern Canada.. look use in lake that are still very very cold.. any recommendations?

    Reply
  4. Shariar azmir

    Thanks a lot for your two posts on drysuits. The explanations were great and the videos really brought the information home.

    Most of the models you highlight are really pretty expensive. The ScubaPro Everdry 4 is substantially cheaper. Is the quality that much less, as well?

    I will probably only do any really cold water diving a couple of times in the next year or two. Should I rent or go ahead and buy the ScubaPro? I’m kind of just thinking out loud, really.

    Can you help me with some advice?

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Shariar,

      That’s a really good question. That’s really a matter of personal preference. It’s a high cost, yes, but finding a perfect suit that will last for many years is also a good thing.

      Reply

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