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Old 12-02-2016, 08:22 AM   #1
Josec84
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Winter wetsuit question

This is my first year that I am determined to shoot through the entire winter.

I wanted to ask what mm wetsuit is recommended for the winter in the gulf coast. I don't cope well with being cold and wanted to ask what you guys have found that works well.

Currently I have a 3.2 wetsuit, no hood.

If there is anything else you could recommend for staying warm between dives, some guidance would be greatly appreciated. Most of my shooting is done out of a center console boat.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:04 AM   #2
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

It's going to be cold... water in the 60's. For me, a 3mm is only good to about 70. Below that, the 5mm comes out. Get a windbreaker to wear while you're on the boat to keep the wind from chilling you.

Good luck!
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:47 AM   #3
Josec84
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronC View Post
It's going to be cold... water in the 60's. For me, a 3mm is only good to about 70. Below that, the 5mm comes out. Get a windbreaker to wear while you're on the boat to keep the wind from chilling you.

Good luck!
Thanks Aaron. Will have to invest in a second suit.
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:06 AM   #4
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

First off, you really need to wear a hood. The heat loss thru the head is Huge.
Wearing a cover up over your suit is a good suggestion, it will slow down the evaporation of the water off the outside of your suit, which is the principle of air conditioning, as the water evaporates it will really cool you down, which is great in the summer, not so great in the winter. Speaking of evaporationů you can also help or hurt evaporation by the material on the outside of the suit. Obviously a skin out ( that is to say bare smooth neoprene) sheds water the very best ( and will give you the most comfort because of the added stretch and flex) but bare neoprene doesn't wear well. Nylon wears Much better, but is worse than bare neoprene for draining water, so you will have more evaporation issues. Lycra drains better than nylon, but not as good as bare neoprene, it wears better than bare neo, but not as well as nylon.
There are a lot of things to consider when looking at wetsuits. I have only touched on one of them.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:11 AM   #5
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

I went out Monday and it was 68 on the bottom. I have a Tilos Zenith 7/6/5 semi dry. The way it is constructed I have great dexterity and flexibility in all of my joints

The key to a warm suit, IMO, is glideskin seals at the openings. There is hardly any water transferring in an out of my suit. I was very comfortable at 68 and would be willing to take that suit to 58, maybe even colder.

I wore a 7 mil hood as well. A hood is a must in the sixties below.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:12 AM   #6
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

ME TOO !

Just can't take the cold anymore.... So I got out a few Ben Franklin's and bought a one piece 8 mil semi dry with hood ,, like Seatux said very important. At first, almost NO water would come in the suit when I would jump in. Then I had a zipper put in to drain the vain .(every 10min when I'm cold) Now the water flows in fast ! Once you warm up that water your good to go...

The most important thing I have learned is do not take the suit off between dives,,, it takes too much body heat to warm up all that rubber when you put it back on.... And draining vain inside a semi dry is NOT a good idea ! it will be with you all day,,, not pretty........

Good luck
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:12 AM   #7
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

For winter I'd recommend a 5 mm wetsuit and a hood.

Happy hunting
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:28 PM   #8
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronC View Post
It's going to be cold... water in the 60's. For me, a 3mm is only good to about 70. Below that, the 5mm comes out. Get a windbreaker to wear while you're on the boat to keep the wind from chilling you.

Good luck!
Same for me ;-)
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:11 PM   #9
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

5mm two piece freedive with with attached hood. Another big factor is fit so that you are warm and comfortable, otherwise diving is just miserable in cold water.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:02 AM   #10
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

I have a 3mm top w hood and bottom that I use pretty much year round. However, I do switch the top to a 5mm and stick w the 3 mm bottom when the water temp drops below 68-70, which isn't for long here.
I tend to get cold from the evaporation once i get back on the boat. I usually wear my rain coat when on the surface. It's also nice because it keeps you dry if it starts raining or if spray is coming in the boat. As soon as we are done I usually change from my wetsuit top to a sweatshirt and just put the raincoat back on.
The last thing I'll mention is that I bought the henderson free diving top and farmer john. I bought the 3mm and 5 mm tops at the same time and only purchased the 3mm farmer John bottoms. I have only used the 5mm top about 6 dozen times in the past three years and really wished I would have waited to buy the 5mm until I needed it...I doubt I would have ever purchased it. It's just a whole bunch of rubber compared to the 3mm.

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Old 12-03-2016, 11:09 AM   #11
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

There is a HUGE difference in winter water temperatures between the keys and the gulf... might be 15 or even 20 degree difference. In the late summer.. maybe no difference in temps.

In Palm Beach, I can freedive most winters with a two-piece 3 mm freedive suit. Maybe 4-5 trips a year, when the air is really cold, I will break out the 5 mm top.

The gulf would be full 5 mm suit for me from probably December through mid April.

My (skinny) son, wears a 5 mm top for a good bit of the winter in Palm Beach.
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:39 PM   #12
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

5MM with a 1mm hood is good for this Florida born boy to about 65 degrees. I hate cold! I use a Henderson 1 pc Thermoprene. The key on the surface is a windbreaker or (I use) a thick, lined foul weather rain jacket and...A BEANIE!!! The beanie is the most important part of my cold weather gear.
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:27 PM   #13
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

We always bring a big cooler full of hot water with us too. We dump a few cups of hot water down our wetsuits before rolling and then again when we get back in the boat. We've been doing this the last few years and it really makes even the coldest days tolerable.
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:20 AM   #14
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfjf View Post
There is a HUGE difference in winter water temperatures between the keys and the gulf... might be 15 or even 20 degree difference. In the late summer.. maybe no difference in temps.

In Palm Beach, I can freedive most winters with a two-piece 3 mm freedive suit. Maybe 4-5 trips a year, when the air is really cold, I will break out the 5 mm top.

The gulf would be full 5 mm suit for me from probably December through mid April.

My (skinny) son, wears a 5 mm top for a good bit of the winter in Palm Beach.
Very true...as I was posting that I was thinking that the 5mm would get a lot more use if I lived somewhere that I actually needed it. As it is I usually start getting cold when the water is below 70 degees, which isn't often but when I switch to the 5 I find it so confining that I'd rather be a little cold than put up w feeling like I'm inside a python...back on the hanger it goes.

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Old 12-05-2016, 09:48 AM   #15
Josec84
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Re: Winter wetsuit question

Has anyone tried lava core suits?

There is a long sleeve top with hood for a little over 100 bucks that I was thinking about getting to wear under my 3mill suit.

Looking for a cost effective solution for this winter as I have a little one being born sometime early January.

I am hoping my suit in combination with that top could hold me over for the winter.
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