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Thread: Need a woman's opinion...

  1. #1
    TadPole
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    Need a woman's opinion...

    Hi All and thank you in advance for your responses!

    I'm looking to get a wetsuit for my girlfriend who will be finishing up her PADI OW course in the next few months. We will be doing nearly all our dives in tropical waters, 75 - 85F (23.5 - 29.5C). I want to get her a wetsuit that is comfortable and will keep her adequately warm on multiple dive days, and wanted a ladies input on what they think will be enough.

    I was thinking of a 3mm Merino Pinnacle suit rather than a 5mm suit of xyz brand. In general (understand that individuals vary) would this be enough thermal protection? I know this is not the cheapest option, but I'd rather buy nice than buy twice, especially because being cold can ruin anyone's dive day. What do you ladies think?

    Thanks!
    Jimbo

  2. #2
    Megalops Atlanticus Diver Kat's Avatar
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    Sizing can be a big issue in wetsuits for women, so you might want to just take her shopping .... Everyone has their favorites, but I swear by my 3 mil Henderson Hyperstrech. Tried a few other 3 mils on, but was sold because the super stretchy material makes it so comfortable. Unless she gets cold easily, a 3 mil will probably do. I've used mine from the low 70's in to the mid 80's.

  3. #3
    TadPole
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    Yeah, will definitely make sure she tries a few on for sizing.

  4. #4
    Grouper Damselfish's Avatar
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    she needs to try the specific one on, the same size in different brands and suits will fit different.

    I don't think anyone can guess how thick she will need, knowing nothing about her or where you are from. Does she tend to be warm or cold in general? Where are you from? - folks from colder climates tend to be happy in less suit. Lots of people wear 3mm in tropical waters, anything like a 5mm would be too much for many people. Some people wear skins or t-shirts. I personally would be in a lycra or 1mm skin down to 78 or so.

    Some people will say you can always let water in to cool off, which is true, but by wearing more than needed you lose some of the nice perks of warm water diving - not struggling into (or packing) a heavy suit and not needing to wear the lead needed to sink it. And she could be unecessarily hot on the surface.
    Last edited by Damselfish; 04-09-2008 at 04:41.

  5. #5
    Grouper
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    There are days in warm water I can dive with just a skin, and sometimes I feel like I need my 7mm on- depends on a lot of things
    If you go with the 3mm, on a cooler day she could always wear a skin under it, or a core warmer over it

    good luck and have fun

  6. #6
    Shark Founding Member
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    The 75-85 degree range is far too broad for me to just have one suit. In 75-80 degree water, I prefer a 5mm full suit, in 81-84 degrees I like a 3mm full, and anything over 85 degrees is a microprene (for protection). I do a lot of repetitive diving though, so if I were only doing one or two dives, a 3mm would work down to 75 degrees.

    All I'm trying to say that is there are a lot of individual variables to consider before buying a wet suit, not even considering fit issues and stretchiness preferences...that can change everything in a heartbeat!
    ScubaToys and Zeagle....it just doesn't get better than that!

  7. #7
    Barracuda ST-Forum Mod dallasdivergirl's Avatar
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    I was convinced that I wanted the Pinnacle suit for myself but I am long waisted and there was no way I was ever going to get one to fit me. I did end up with the Mares Trilastic 3-2-2 and the Mares Origin 5 mm with hood. I dove Cozumel in March and took the 3mm and froze my butt off. I would have been better off with the 5mm.

    good luck with finding her a suit. When she does go to try them on tell her to take her time and not struggle. Getting hot and trying on suits in no fun!
    Sparky the ninjita
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  8. #8
    Grouper
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    This is exactly the way it is for my girlfriend. In the 75-80F range, 3mm isn't enough (she is shivering after 35 minutes), especially for repetitive dives. On the other hand her 3mm is fine for the warmer spectrum of your scale.

    Do you have an idea of which range you will be diving mostly? 75-80? Or 80-85? It's hard to find a suit that does it all...

    Definetly, some layering could be a good option (although more expensive)! A full 3mm with a 3mm hooded vest (for the cold water) could be interesting!!!

    Sorry for not being a girl and giving my oppinion anyways...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zenagirl View Post
    The 75-85 degree range is far too broad for me to just have one suit. In 75-80 degree water, I prefer a 5mm full suit, in 81-84 degrees I like a 3mm full, and anything over 85 degrees is a microprene (for protection). I do a lot of repetitive diving though, so if I were only doing one or two dives, a 3mm would work down to 75 degrees.

    All I'm trying to say that is there are a lot of individual variables to consider before buying a wet suit, not even considering fit issues and stretchiness preferences...that can change everything in a heartbeat!

  9. #9
    TadPole
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    She's from Hawaii but lived in Boston for a number of years. I don't think she's the type that gets cold super easily. It's hard to say what the average water temp will be, I would guess 80f +- a few degrees either way on average. I was thinking the merino lining might give the extra protection down to 75f to keep her warm... I suppose there is always the option to get a hood or vest for extra warmth.

  10. #10
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmytaroh View Post
    Hi All and thank you in advance for your responses!

    I'm looking to get a wetsuit for my girlfriend who will be finishing up her PADI OW course in the next few months. We will be doing nearly all our dives in tropical waters, 75 - 85F (23.5 - 29.5C). I want to get her a wetsuit that is comfortable and will keep her adequately warm on multiple dive days,
    So you think you can buy just one suit? She will eventually have several. Don't think you can buy just one and make it work for everything. So, if you have to buy just one suit now get the thick one first. Better to be to warm then to cold. You can always fix the being to warm problem by pulling ont eh neck and flooding the suit or unzipping it. Can't fix the being to cold problem Also after only about 100 dives the suits are not as warm a 5mm will act like a 3mm. The softer and more streachy the neoprene the more quickly it will lose it insulative properties.

    When you buy "fit" matters more than the brand name or the material.

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