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Wetsuit Question: Please Help!

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by flyboy107@gmail.com, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. flyboy107@gmail.com

    flyboy107@gmail.com Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Muskego, Wisconsin, United States
    78
    3
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    Hi everyone, I live here in good old Wisconsin, and plan on doing some Lake Michigan diving this spring, and all my fellow divers tell me "have fun in that 7mil wetsuit" I was wondering if anyone has any ideas to help keep warm with a wetsui in Lake Michigan, besides buying a dry suit. Also, could you wear a shorty uner the one piece wetsuit? I have a scubapro 2.5 mil profile shorty from vacation dives, would that help any?

    Thanks
     
    beaverdivers likes this.
  2. g1138

    g1138 Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charleston, SC
    2,901
    680
    113
    If your wetsuit fits like a glove and allows minimum water to enter and minimum water to continually flush then you've got a good wetsuit that will do it's job.
    I don't know what the norm is for wetsuit divers in Lake Michigan, but here in Monterey serious wet-divers buy custom-fitted 10mm farmer john wetsuits w/ attached hoods and custom fitted no-zip booties.

    Ways to improve am existing wetsuit are buying a hooded vest, buying a hood, or taking it to a shop that will do altercations to fit it to your body measurements.
    You could also buy custom fitted hooded vests, booties, hoods, or a whole wetsuit setup from said custom wetsuit shops.

    Generally the custom-fitted exposure protection will provide better warmth than stock items. Other custom-fit variations that provide more warmth are
    - no-zip booties
    - attached-hooded vests/jackets
    - skin-in neoprene

    I wouldn't recommend wearing two wetsuits unless you're on vacation, in the middle of a temp gap for your two wetsuits, and don't want to buy the appropriate exposure protection.
    Doing so can stretch your suit, allows more water to enter and flush through, and you generally don't gain as much warmth compared to if you bought good fitting exposure protection in the first place.
    And even if you do pursue that route I only recommend wearing a farmer john jacket as the outer layer, since you don't have to combine neck seals of two wetsuits then.

    In your specific case, 2.5mm is not sufficient enough to keep out the cold of Lake Michigan. If your 7mm flushes with water, you'll only have the 2.5mm to help you out. Think about how your neck's going to feel with a hood and two wetsuits around it as well.

    For home diving use, spend your big bucks on good exposure protection. This doesn't always mean dry suit btw.
     
    jcfahy likes this.
  3. flyboy107@gmail.com

    flyboy107@gmail.com Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Muskego, Wisconsin, United States
    78
    3
    0
    Thanks, I already use a hooded vest, and love it, I guess I'll just try Lake Michigan in my 7mil wetsuit and hooded vest, and go from there
     
  4. Interceptor121

    Interceptor121 PADI Pro

    3,992
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    If stock items fit you like a glove I would try either an O'Neill T-Type or a combo 5mm with 5mm overshorty with hood if you are desperate to be wet.
    Personally I only use wetsuit until 22 C then is dry suit as the amount of lead you need to take down 10-12 mm of neoprene is just too cumbersome compared to a shell style dry suit
     
  5. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    45,477
    2,909
    113
    Can you carry an insulated jug of very warm water? Pour a quart inside your suit, down your back, just before going in. Helps a lot. I like to add some when I get out too.
     
    beaverdivers likes this.
  6. kimbalabala

    kimbalabala Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: St Louis
    393
    139
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    You could wear the shorty on the outside of your full wet suit. We were in the Keys recently and they were doing that - layering a 3 mil with a shorty - seemed to work well. I don't know if this would stretch your shorty too much though - or if that would be a problem for you if it did stretch in?
     
    beaverdivers likes this.
  7. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location:
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    The lake is going to be cold, much colder than Monterey. The water will be at it's highest density 3.98 degrees C at depth. It is great to have a well sealed suit, but when it is COLD, there is just no substitute for having more rubber between you and the cold.

    If you can comfortably get the shorty on, inside your thick suit, then do it. It isn't going to stretch your suit out and it is not going to make it leak. Of course there are other (even more effective options) but wearing a shorty will keep you warmer.
     
  8. g1138

    g1138 Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charleston, SC
    2,901
    680
    113
    Agreeing to disagree, I don't imagine the 2 humps created by the wetsuit's velcro and zipper are going to match up nicely to create a good neck seal.
     
  9. beaverdivers

    beaverdivers ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    This Sp dry suit is perfect for you!
     
  10. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,342
    797
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    I second the hooded step-in vest. More ideas here. Much of it is equally applicable to getting the most from a wetsuit when it's nice topside.

    Pete
     

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