View Full Version : How thick is too thick?

12-22-2007, 12:39
Living in Dominica for a year and diving fairly often (at least every other week) I've grown accustomed enough to the water temp that the drop from 84 to 81 has me very chilly!! I normally dive in a full 3mm, and all I have in addition is a hood and vest, but I'm about to leave for the Bahamas, where it's mid to low 70's, so I don't want to get comfy in it before hitting really "cold" water. Am I going to freeze in the Bahamas? Or am I just being a big baby in thinking I should've bought a 5mm full for this trip?

12-22-2007, 12:59
Rach I dove yesterday here in Cabo, first dive 69F second 74F

5mm, hood....I was fine.....but my wife wears her 5mm and then a 3mm shorty on top of that....and a hood.....think its overkill, but she´s comfortable.....

12-22-2007, 22:34
If you think you might be a little too cold, just find a cheap used shorty to put on over you regular suit.

12-23-2007, 20:02
Did my some diving in 59f late last Sept. Was wearing a 3mm hyperstretch no hood or gloves and I was fine. Of course I have a lot of body fat for insulation and I work outside all day so you get a little more use to it.

My point is only you can tell if your going to be cold, a lot depends on your energy level and how much your exercising when you dive.

It is always better to be a little warm when you dive than to be pushing the edge of hypothermia. Shivering when you dive is not much fun.

12-23-2007, 20:41
It's easier to cool off then warm up. Go with a thicker suit if you think you need one. 5mm full maybe.

12-28-2007, 08:16
I would say go with the warmer suit-I wear a thick suit all the time and if it gets to be too warm I grab the collar and flood it to cool off. Everyone is different when it comes to warmth=go with whats comfortable.

01-02-2008, 01:15
Shouldn't this be posted in the "Women's Issues" board?:smiley2:

01-02-2008, 01:58
People tend to get used to whatever waters they frequent, and start to feel "cold" or "warm" as relative things only with their local temps. Thus, someone used to truly cold waters (say, 40 degrees in the Northwest) is going to think that the 50ish degree waters we have in SoCal are nice and warm by comparison... and someone used to diving Caribbean waters in the 80s will feel cold in waters in the 70s that I think are incredibly warm! (since I'm used to 50s)

In sum, I say go with the 5mm suit. That's what I would do. And there is truth to the fact that it's easier to cool down than warm up, so it's better to be a smidge too warm and have to tug your neck open for a moment to cool off, than it is to shiver your way through an entire dive.

01-02-2008, 07:43
I dove in the Bahamas for a week in a 3mm regular cheap suit, in around 74 degree water. I made it through it OK, but I wouldn't want to do it again. I also have a two piece Picasso suit that has, good neoprene, a hood attached, and no zippers. I believe that suit would have been perfect. I get cold easy also. I'd bring either a good 3mm suit with hood etc... and the 5mm suit.
What you will notice is; Normally, the guys who claim to be so warm, in what many of us would consider inadequate suits for the conditions, are terrible on their gas consumption. If your moving slow and your metabolism is down where you want it, you are going to both use less gas but not generate as much heat.
I have a neighbor who boasts how he only needs a shorty in 70 degree water. He also burns through a AL 80 in about 25 minutes, on a 75 ft dive. When he surfaces we often think he missed the spot, but NOPE! He's done.