This sponsored article was created by Insight magazine, the sponsored content division of MHM Publishing, on behalf of Switlik.
If you’re part of a helicopter rescue team that flies over water, chances are you don’t love everything about your dry suit.
Sure, there may be parts of it you like, but does it fit your body perfectly? Does it take into consideration all your exact measurements?
Does the manufacturer provide color options that match your preferences, and can you select the materials they use to make the suit?
Does it have the exact pockets and accessories you need, providing easy access to every piece of carry-on equipment you need to complete your mission effectively?
Very few offshore aviators can answer positively to all the above. But starting in October 2023, the team at Switlik Survival Products aims to change that.
With the launch of Switlik’s new online custom suit configurator, any overwater helicopter team can easily build their dry suit individually and from scratch, with all the bespoke features they desire.
“One of our strengths is being able to work with the customers directly for their mission,” said Sarah Switlik, chief operating officer at Switlik Survival Products. “But the heli world is not one-size-fits-all. This allows us to be able to work with our customers on a mission-by-mission basis, and customize products specifically for them.
“This also allows us to be that one-stop shop for offshore operators — rescue swimmers, flight crews, pilots, and passengers. No matter what job you’re doing in the helicopter, you can build a suit that fits your specific needs and feels like your own. You won’t have to settle for an off-the-shelf option.”
Switlik’s innovative online suit configurator uses a simple, easy-to-use interface to build individual dry suits from the ground up. As the customer adds or changes individual features, they instantly appear in a vivid 3D rendering of the suit.
The customer begins by selecting their fabric material and base colors, then customizes their suit to include all the pockets and features exactly where they need them. The next step is inputting their measurements and boot size for a more tailored and comfortable fit. Then, the customer places the suit order directly through the online store.
As soon as the order comes in, the team at Switlik builds out a pattern for the suit and kickstarts the manufacturing process, then delivers the customized suit to customers in the U.S. through the mail.
Customers outside the U.S. can use the suit configurator to build and order their dry suit from Switlik’s network of approved dealers. Operators can also buy multiple suits with common elements, like the color scheme, number of pockets, location of pockets, and other features to suit each member of their team.
“We now offer a suit for any person flying in a helicopter over water,” Switlik said. “We can reasonably offer anything from basic passenger suits all the way up to highly technical and detailed pilot and crew suits. For the first time, we are offering a non-FR [non-flame-resistant] and an FR-based fabric option.
“The exciting thing for Switlik now is, where before we had very few anti-exposure suits that were a little bit more niche — or very specific to the customer — we now will be able to offer a suit to anyone.”
Switlik’s new online suit configurator may revolutionize the way operators and crewmembers order dry suits, and its purpose is to help operators save lives.
Although a dry suit might not seem like a life-saving tool at first glance, it’s a crucial part of an ecosystem of factors that affect a mission’s success.
“This is especially true in a cold-water situation,” Switlik said. “Any time spent in water that’s not warm … any leak is a failure. We make a lot of suits for several applications, including the government and the military, and we have 100 percent quality inspection on our suits to vouch for. When it leaves this facility, it’s guaranteed water-tight. It has to work for you.”
As the Switlik online suit configurator begins its rollout in late 2023, it carries on a long-held tradition at Switlik Survival Products. Since founder and patriarch Stanley Switlik acquired the company over 100 years ago and began working with aviation customers in the 1930s, it has specialized in customer-focused, mission-oriented solutions.
This new online tool simply leverages new technology to take its bespoke sensibility to the next level.
“Part of our mission statement is to incorporate quality, performance and innovation every day, in all that we do,” Switlik said. “This is innovative for us in that it’s a new technology … it’s very customer-focused and friendly. We pride ourselves on manufacturing the highest quality products that are relied on to perform effectively, so it aligns with all our pillars.”
Switlik dry suits are also ergonomically integrated with its line of life vests, and they use a signature U-Zip-It shape that enables easy movement with zero interference from the zipper and a high level of comfort.
“We can really offer people things specific to exactly what they need,” Switlik said.
Watch for the Switlik online suit configurator starting in October 2023 at switlik.com.