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Rick56
10-22-2007, 12:44
Hi folks;

My kids were certified last weekend in 67F water. Although they were ecstatic to be on scuba, we all became much too cold in the well-fitting, but well worn, 7 mm wetsuits we had. Two questions for you all:
1. How much thermal protection might we have gained with hoods and/or gloves?

2. We'd eventually like to dive southern California (e.g., Channel Islands). Given that we run cold, what would we have to do to be comfortable in 55 to 65 degree water? Is a dry suit likely to be our only option?

Thanks!
Rick

NitroWill
10-22-2007, 12:51
Well, if a 7mm is not enough for you in 67F water it will deifntely be nowhere near enough for 55F degree water..

Hood and gloves are definitely helpful and I know you would feel the difference considerably. Also, you might consider a core warmer - although that will be packing on a lot of neoprene - but will be much more cheaper then a drysuit for several people.

you also mention that your 7mm are well worn - wetsuits do lose some thermal value as they get old and stretched and used so maybe a new 7mm or thicker suit is in order!

skdvr
10-22-2007, 12:59
67* should be plenty comfortable with a 7mm although I too would want gloves and a hood. Like Nitro said I like the core warmer. I personally use a hooded vest, which adds some insulation to the midsection. I have dove my 7mm with hood and vest into the mid 40's. I have been quite comfortable in low 50's. If I could only use one between gloves and a hood I would choose a hood. It makes a world of difference...

Phil

RoadRacer1978
10-22-2007, 13:07
I use my 5/4/3 mm with a hood and was quite comfortable in 57 degree water exceprt for my hands. I didn't wear my gloves, if I had I would have been very comfortable indeed. With a 7mm hood and gloves I could dive in quite cold water I would think.

You could try the core warmer, a hooded vest would give you some extra insulation on you core. They make wetsuit warmers you could try. Hotsuits heated wetsuits, the world's first heated wetsuit (http://www.hotsuits.com.au/heaterinfo.htm)

As Will said wetsuits will lose some insulating properties as they age, so you may just need a new one. Hope you figure some things out. I'd hate for ya to not get to dive due to the water temps.

thor
10-22-2007, 13:33
I use a 7mm with a 5 mm hooded vest, and 5 mm gloves. I am toasty warm to about 50 and then it starts to get a little chilly. You will notice a big difference if you start wearing a hood and gloves. Once again, it all depends on your, and your kids tolerance for cold.

Aspendiver
10-22-2007, 13:50
Try adding the hooded vest before you buy another suit- most heat loss is through your head- the brain uses a lot of blood to stay warm, and your body starts shutting down the supply to your extremities to keep your head supplied. We were always told when skiing to "put a hat on if your feet are cold"! Gloves will help, too. A suit that seems like it fits may still be allowing a lot of water circulation inside, through the neck, wrists, and ankles, and that's where energy is lost, too.

Tableleg
10-22-2007, 14:22
I was rather happy in a 5/4/3 the last time I was in 62F water without the hood and gloves (which I don't like wearing because I'm a goober), but it takes a lot for me to get cold.

cheebaweebie
10-22-2007, 14:37
I wear a 7mm, 5mm hood and 3mm gloves an booties and I am good in a 58 degree surface temp (54 or so on the bottom). Also carry a thermos or jug of warm water and pour into your suit before you jump in which will help (I just learned that actually) Always wear gloves !!! and if the temp is in low 70's or below a hood is a must. Makes a HUGE difference.
Core warmer is nice as well added to a 5 or 7mm suit. And as roadracer pointed above, the older the suit the less effective it will be. Also store your suit flat if you can... don't fold up. That will help the suit last longer

BobbyWombat
10-22-2007, 15:58
Agree with Cheebaweebie, a hood makes a huge difference for me. Really cold without it, pretty happy with it.

A core warmer is a great idea too. i like a hooded vest under or over my wetsuit since it keeps my core warm but doesn't feel too constricting on my arms and legs.

-BW

mitsuguy
10-22-2007, 16:53
I agree with everyone - try a hood first... I was fine down to 50 degrees in a 7mm suit with 5mm hood and summer gloves - my hands were cold, but by choice - I hate thick gloves...

67 is almost warm enough for a shorty for me...70-80 degrees is shorty temps for me, and above 80, I'm ok with just trunks, although I'll still wear a shorty...

mike_s
10-22-2007, 17:15
I dive florida springs in a 5mm and I'm fine. They are all mostly 67f to 68f year round. I know some people who dive it in a 3mm and are fine, but I tend to get cold in a 3mm in that temp. A hood will work wonders. So will the core warmer (vest or shorty) that the others mentioned.

I'm betting your 7mm experience where you got cold was in a "rental suit" that was worn out.

Get hood, gloves and maybe a core warmer. If that rental suit is worn out, it won't stay warm as well. Replace it with your own suit.

Also, if they were getting certified they were 'sitting around' underwater waiting for others to do skills instead of moving. that'll get you cold in 67f water easily.

cummings66
10-22-2007, 17:26
A good hood and gloves are needed, but with a well worn suit yours isn't a 7mm anymore. You may need another wetsuit. However, I think a person can do 67 with a 3mm, I certainly can and I don't have issues with it. My 7mm is good down to the low 50's and a drysuit is good at any temps. Honestly I dive the drysuit most of the time and I think based on the fact you got cold that you too will soon be a drysuit user. Find a DUI Rally and attend it and see if you like drysuits. You don't have to buy DUI for what it's worth, but it's worth the dive to try them out.

Doug B
10-22-2007, 20:00
Hi folks;

My kids were certified last weekend in 67F water. Although they were ecstatic to be on scuba, we all became much too cold in the well-fitting, but well worn, 7 mm wetsuits we had. Two questions for you all:
1. How much thermal protection might we have gained with hoods and/or gloves?

2. We'd eventually like to dive southern California (e.g., Channel Islands). Given that we run cold, what would we have to do to be comfortable in 55 to 65 degree water? Is a dry suit likely to be our only option?

Thanks!
Rick


Hood and gloves make ALL the difference. I once did 45 degree water without gloves and my hands were in near-pain.

At least for me, at first, the hood and gloves didn't feel "right", and I was worried about mobility and dexterity, but once I got in the water, I forgot I had them on. In the local quarries, now, I don't feel "right" unless I'm wearing a hood.

Get your kids hoods and gloves... and all will be well. Oh, the hooded vest is the best, IMO.

kenmendes
10-26-2007, 12:02
I have a 7mm wet suit and i dive in the PNW but i also have golves and a hood. Its keeps me pretty warm

Steve Scuba
10-26-2007, 14:13
A 7mm with 5 or 7mm hood and gloves are just fine and dandy in Monterey California, and should also be just fine in the channel islands. My dive buddy is a bit warmer than I, and complained that his 7mm with hood was too warm up in Oregon. So, to each his own, but there is no reason they shouldn't be comfortable out here in Californai with suits that aren't worn out, and with proper fitting gloves and hood.

divingbuddy
10-26-2007, 17:11
We regularly dive in temperatures much lower than 67F in a 7 mm suit. As others have said:

- wear a hood
- wear gloves
- wear a vest if additional core warming is needed.
- bring a thermos or cooler full of hot water (pour it into boots, gloves and over hoods before a second dive)

Obviously, with any thermal protection question, each person has their own inherent warmness/coolness and this must be taken into consideration.

Enjoy the dives. Cheers!

Puffer Fish
10-26-2007, 19:32
We regularly dive in temperatures much lower than 67F in a 7 mm suit. As others have said:

- wear a hood
- wear gloves
- wear a vest if additional core warming is needed.
- bring a thermos or cooler full of hot water (pour it into boots, gloves and over hoods before a second dive)

Obviously, with any thermal protection question, each person has their own inherent warmness/coolness and this must be taken into consideration.

Enjoy the dives. Cheers!

Good fitting suit, hooded vest... gloves and boots... anyone will be warm down to at least 58, depending on depth. Going deep, then use a drysuit.

divingbuddy
10-26-2007, 20:32
We regularly dive in temperatures much lower than 67F in a 7 mm suit. As others have said:

- wear a hood
- wear gloves
- wear a vest if additional core warming is needed.
- bring a thermos or cooler full of hot water (pour it into boots, gloves and over hoods before a second dive)

Obviously, with any thermal protection question, each person has their own inherent warmness/coolness and this must be taken into consideration.

Enjoy the dives. Cheers!

Good fitting suit, hooded vest... gloves and boots... anyone will be warm down to at least 58, depending on depth. Going deep, then use a drysuit.

Well...when I said we I meant the students :smiley2: - I dive dry every dive. I did two dives this year north of the 49th parallel in a wetsuit - they were in Brockville in July (temp 68F). I was comfortable in the 7 mm suit with a 5 mm hood and gloves.

As for the students - OW dives in mid June will find temps in the low 40s below the first thermocline.:smiley20:

Cheers!

Puffer Fish
10-26-2007, 20:52
We regularly dive in temperatures much lower than 67F in a 7 mm suit. As others have said:

- wear a hood
- wear gloves
- wear a vest if additional core warming is needed.
- bring a thermos or cooler full of hot water (pour it into boots, gloves and over hoods before a second dive)

Obviously, with any thermal protection question, each person has their own inherent warmness/coolness and this must be taken into consideration.

Enjoy the dives. Cheers!

Good fitting suit, hooded vest... gloves and boots... anyone will be warm down to at least 58, depending on depth. Going deep, then use a drysuit.

Well...when I said we I meant the students :smiley2: - I dive dry every dive. I did two dives this year north of the 49th parallel in a wetsuit - they were in Brockville in July (temp 68F). I was comfortable in the 7 mm suit with a 5 mm hood and gloves.

As for the students - OW dives in mid June will find temps in the low 40s below the first thermocline.:smiley20:

Cheers!
Even the low 40's can be warm in a wetsuit...Coldest I did last year was 39F, and was very warm...but not a normal 7mm. I think below 60 ft (at least for me) is far more important than the actual water temperature..

divingbuddy
10-26-2007, 22:03
Even the low 40's can be warm in a wetsuit...Coldest I did last year was 39F, and was very warm...but not a normal 7mm. I think below 60 ft (at least for me) is far more important than the actual water temperature..[/quote]

I hear ya

I did my Ice Diver course in a very good, well fitting 2 piece 7 mm wetsuit. The dives were fine - but you never saw a guy strip down so quickly after a dive in your life! The turtle was scared for a long time! :smilie39:

divingbuddy
10-26-2007, 22:04
Even the low 40's can be warm in a wetsuit...Coldest I did last year was 39F, and was very warm...but not a normal 7mm. I think below 60 ft (at least for me) is far more important than the actual water temperature..

I agree completely

I did my Ice Diver course in a very good, well fitting 2 piece 7 mm wetsuit. The dives were fine - but you never saw a guy strip down so quickly after a dive in your life! The turtle was scared for a long time! :smilie39:

MSilvia
10-27-2007, 07:43
I'll dive a good 7mm suit to 45 degrees, but I wouldn't want to wear it at 60 without a hood.

Rick56
10-27-2007, 09:08
Okay. I'm convinced that with an equipment upgrade we probably will be fine in 67F and maybe even colder water. I hope so, the blue lips scare me.

Thanks for all the posts.
Rick

bvav
11-22-2007, 19:17
Gloves and a hood will definitely increase your warmth, but I would try a newer 7mm wetsuit before shelling out money for a drysuit. Wetsuits start losing their warmth after they become too worn out.

comet24
11-22-2007, 19:56
I dove the other day in 46 degree water in a 5/4 full and 7 shorty over it and was a bit chilly near the end of a 90 minute dive but not uncomfortable.

7mm in 67 degree water should be fine. A hood can make a huge difference in comfort.

frankc420
11-22-2007, 20:16
I dive Florida springs in my 3mm Henderson gold core w/ 3mm gloves and a 5mm hood, I have no problems.

Navy OnStar
11-23-2007, 10:03
Try A pinnacle merino lined suit. The Wool lining helps a lot. I have dove morrison springs (68deg) with a 3mm merino, gloves, no hood and felt fine. I add a 3mm merino hooded vest for colder water

lemonquist
11-24-2007, 01:31
I would like to put my vote in for the hooded vest. I dove in SoCal when the water was 59* with a 7mm full with everything: hood, gloves, boots, and I was still cold. (I turn into a popsicle in an unheated pool) I got a hooded vest and it made ALL the difference. I hardly noticed the cold at all. I'm a pretty skinny guy, so maybe its the extra neoprene closing the gap between my chest and the ill-fitting rental wetsuit, but a hooded vest makes a huge difference.

Grin
11-24-2007, 08:45
I dive a 5mm two piece suit that has a hood built right into the suit in water down to about 60 degrees. At 60 I still get a little cold, but it works great to 65. The hood is a huge factor when you want to stay warm. Add some 3-5mm gloves and your set. I am a big cold water puss also. I dive a 2 peice 3 mm suit with a built in hood all the way up to around 80 degree water. When you have the 2 piece type suits your talking double the thickness on your body core. So my 5mm suit actually has 10 mm core and 5 mm arms and legs. I would think a one piece 7mm suit with a hooded vest would be the ticket to happiness in 65 degree water, easily. Alot of people say they don't like hoods, but after a few dives you don't know any difference. Hoods also keep your ears happy, if you have any ear issues at all.

CaribbeanDiver
11-24-2007, 10:32
Well, if a 7mm is not enough for you in 67F water it will deifntely be nowhere near enough for 55F degree water..

Hood and gloves are definitely helpful and I know you would feel the difference considerably. Also, you might consider a core warmer - although that will be packing on a lot of neoprene - but will be much more cheaper then a drysuit for several people.

you also mention that your 7mm are well worn - wetsuits do lose some thermal value as they get old and stretched and used so maybe a new 7mm or thicker suit is in order!
You gave the answer in your question when you said the 7mm suits were "well worn". very often rental suits are long past their period of usefulness.
I would think you would be very toasty in a 7mm in 67F water. I occasionally dive the Florida springs in a 4/3 or 5/4 and I am ok. That water is 68F year round with no thermocline.
However, for water in the 50's, you need to use a drysuit. I will be flamed for that because many people dive comfortably in 50F water wearing only a wetsuit. But, they must be very warm blooded people cause that is cold water, at least to me it is.
And a hood and gloves help a great deal. It is reported that a significant amount of body heat is lost through the top of the head.

tarheeldiver
11-24-2007, 11:50
Try A pinnacle merino lined suit. The Wool lining helps a lot. I have dove morrison springs (68deg) with a 3mm merino, gloves, no hood and felt fine. I add a 3mm merino hooded vest for colder water

The Seal will be my next purchase!

mcc2318
11-26-2007, 15:26
5/3 mil with a 5 mil hood was plenty last weekend in 68

cheebaweebie
11-27-2007, 13:04
Back up a few posts Dive Buddy mentioned pouring hot water in your suit between dives... I will add that this works like a charm. I dive a 7MM in say 65 and below... I have a 5MM hood I use if needed. 3 MM Gloves and 3MM Booties seal the deal. In 65 up to 78 or so I use my 5/4/3 MM Mares 3MM Gloves and 3MM Bootiesabove 78 a shorty is good enough. In the keys board shorts and a rash guard.

As stated above... make sure your suit is not worn and in good share and you will ge golden. Buy your own and don't rent. Rented suits suck.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
11-27-2007, 13:26
Buy your own and don't rent. Rented suits suck.

Agreed. My first purchase after personal snorkeling gear was my wetsuit. A good fitting suit is so much better exposure protection than one that isn't.

If its cold enough for a 7mm it's definitely cold enough for hood and gloves. A 5mm full with a 4.3 hooded vest (chicken) and gloves does me just fine down to the low 60s or even 50s for a short time.

moosicman
11-27-2007, 16:29
I dive Florida springs in my 3mm Henderson gold core w/ 3mm gloves and a 5mm hood, I have no problems.

What springs in florida?? we did vortex last weekend and it was 62 and 63 degrees and i had on a 4/3 with no gloves and hood and though it would get cool, i never got uncomfortable at all. but getting out was a different story...the temp was in the 50s and 60s with the wind blowing....definitly cold then. my dive buddy had on a suit that wasn't form fitting at all. he got VERY cold and several times had to go to the hot showers. form fitting makes a HUGE difference so they say:smiley30: