What's the coldest water temp you will wetsuit in?? [Archive] - ScubaBoard - Scuba Diving Forum - Diving Social Network

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garydemos
March 13th, 2012, 03:12 PM
Living in Ohio the local diving options are quarries (unless you live by Lake Erie). When I did my OW dives last October the quarry water temp was 58. I had a 7 mm farmer john WS and after 2 dives was getting a little COLD. Since I'll no doubt do a fair amount of diving in Ohio I'm either getting a nice 7 mm WS or saving up for a drysuit. I know all you drysuit divers seem to really like them but is it reasonable to think I can get a lot of diving in with a good 7 mm suit? Right now the Circleville quarry water temp is 40 degrees. I don't think I want to attempt that in a wetsuit, right???

Gary

Thalassamania
March 13th, 2012, 03:15 PM
With a properly designed and constructed suit, made out of the right material, a 40 degree dive is no problem. Unfortunately a Rubatex, skin two sides, farmer john, attached hood, custom suit is hard to come by these days. I used such a suit in the Arctic for dives of up to an hour with no problem, and that's way colder than 40.

grantwiscour
March 13th, 2012, 03:19 PM
That seems cold to me. I have dived in 54 degree water and it wasn't too bad. I had on a triple layer of wetsuits a hood and gloves.

I have heard that the Henderson Aqualock in a 7 mil is a good system and may be worth investigating for your needs but for 40 degree water temp a drysuit is probably the most comfy way to go.

fjpatrum
March 13th, 2012, 03:24 PM
So far it's been about 41 or 42F. Too cold... I won't do it often but I'll still do it. Some day, maybe I'll get a dry suit but it's not likely in the near future. I've decided the low 50s is cold enough for me for any "regular" diving. Special dives I might go colder again, but only rarely.

EDIT: I have on a lot more than 7 mm when diving that cold, though my buddies are usually diving 7mm or dry. (I get too cold for that little protection in cold water.)

fdog
March 13th, 2012, 03:34 PM
I hit the wall at 74 degrees and switch to a dry suit when scuba diving.

I am not normal though...! I am "King of the cold weenies".


All the best, James

diveprof
March 13th, 2012, 03:36 PM
I've been diving down to 40F in a wetsuit. This year has been nice - not much below 50F. I agree with Thalassamania, since everything has has gone super stretch for (alleged) "comfort", finding one that is actually warm has been a challenge. I always thought "comfort" meant warm, but apparently "comfort" means very stretchy and easy to put on.

ajtoady
March 13th, 2012, 03:38 PM
I used to do 33-34* F fresh water in a 7mm/ hooded vest, socks, booties, hood, etc. Load up with warm water and a 45-50 min dive was no problem. Second dive would reload and be able to do about 45 min. Depth is one of your enemies as it compresses the neoprene, thus no insulation. Other drawback was standing in the 15-20* breeze changing into dry clothes. I have since moved onto a drysuit and gotta say it's a whole lot nicer in the cold waters!!

Thalassamania
March 13th, 2012, 03:48 PM
In my older age I join the weenies, dry suit for me much below 60.

RTee
March 13th, 2012, 03:51 PM
Around here some folks will take their Ice diving course wearing full length 7mm wetsuit with an additional 7mm sleeveless shorty with hood, boots and mitts in 39F water. At the local quarry, diving schools will resume OW outdoors certification dives in May at a time where water temp will hover around 43 - 45 F at 60 ft or so and low 50s in the shallower portion.

Refering to my logbook, I got OW certified in 41F water wearing such thermal protection in 78 and one would think technology has somewhat improved since then. Mind you, this was done at a time when no men ever considered waxing. Two years ago, I did upgrade to a drysuit for diving in certain conditions however, I do not hesitate to wear my 7mm full length with either a Bare Chicken vest or a hood in Low 60s water for other types of dives (drift dives through submerged locks for example).

nolatom
March 13th, 2012, 03:52 PM
45.

But only if it's 60 at the safety stop.

RTee
March 13th, 2012, 03:56 PM
I hit the wall at 74 degrees and switch to a dry suit when scuba diving.

I am not normal though...! I am "King of the cold weenies".


All the best, James

Hey Hey...you must then know Jax...the Queen of the Wussies...:cold:
:cold::cold:

rhwestfall
March 13th, 2012, 04:00 PM
what ajtoady said... did if for years. the benefit of a DS is the SI bliss when the weather is so-so, or the second and even.... gulp... the third dive..... routinely did the 2 dive days wet below a 39 degree thermocline. Feet suffered the most, hands were next. The rest was good, but a DS is just heaven!

garydemos
March 13th, 2012, 04:07 PM
full length 7mm wetsuit with an additional 7mm sleeveless shorty with hood, boots and mitts in 39F water.

I like the idea of the additional shorty with hood. That would give double thermal help in your core. I wore a separate hood when I did the OW cert dives and cold water entered behind my neck which didn't feel too good. The shorty with a hood should eliminate that issue.

Saxatilis
March 13th, 2012, 04:10 PM
I have done several dives in the mid 40's while wearing a farmer John style 7mm wetsuit. Occasionally got a little chilled but was otherwise fine. I decided to go dry for the days when it is unlikely I will warm up during my surface interval (air temp. 40-50ish, rain, snow,etc.). Started diving dry and all of a sudden the length of my dive season got a whole lot bigger. Have not dove wet since, not even on vacation dives.

RTee
March 13th, 2012, 04:19 PM
I like the idea of the additional shorty with hood. That would give double thermal help in your core. I wore a separate hood when I did the OW cert dives and cold water entered behind my neck which didn't feel too good. The shorty with a hood should eliminate that issue.

Gary, I think the proper term is Hooded Vest. Here is an example...hope the link works.

Dive - Products - Product Comparison (http://www.baresports.com/en-US/Dive/Products/Product-Comparison?itemsToCompare={3C155820-CAF4-42A2-9D11-C230D5884771}|{2E7EB587-BA52-4622-9F6C-1828DE737B04}|{87491FA1-5EBA-48F5-993A-8AD2A706B923)}

tadawson
March 13th, 2012, 04:19 PM
I've done 32 degrees in lake Superior (it was slush on the surface . . . about 2 foot rollers, trust me, it was 32, and no better . . .) in a 1/4" full farmer john suit with a cold water hood, and while it was not my idea of fun, it wasn't too bad. My forehead felt like someone was hammering a nail into it, but the rest of me was fine, just so I remembered to avoid any sudden movements . . . .

That was in 1978, and dry suits were in their infancy. Now, I'll definitely do that dry, but it doesn't mean it can't be done, if, as others have mentioned, you can find the right suit.

- Tim

vancouverdiver
March 13th, 2012, 04:33 PM
I would suggest saving your money for now. Get some dives in and then make sure you love diving. Then, why wouldn't you get a drysuit? Yes, you can dive in a wetsuit, but a drysuit will increase your enjoyment level 100%. You will be warmer, your sac rate will be better, and you can concentrate on looking for sea life rather than concentrating on staying warm. Since you won't be as cold, you would also be less susceptible to dcs.

Xaryo
March 13th, 2012, 04:40 PM
I used to do 33-34* F fresh water in a 7mm/ hooded vest, socks, booties, hood, etc. Load up with warm water and a 45-50 min dive was no problem. Second dive would reload and be able to do about 45 min. Depth is one of your enemies as it compresses the neoprene, thus no insulation. Other drawback was standing in the 15-20* breeze changing into dry clothes. I have since moved onto a drysuit and gotta say it's a whole lot nicer in the cold waters!!

same thing here.

50-60 minutes in a 14 mm wetsuit. in 33F water. been there, done that, don't want to do it again, I have a dry suit now.

modzs
March 13th, 2012, 04:44 PM
50 degrees.

Kilili
March 13th, 2012, 05:32 PM
A lot depends on your body metabolism and how active you are in the water. I have been in cold down to about 47 degrees in 7 mil, and rarely felt very cold.

When I took up underwater photography, I moved a lot less, and got cold much faster. With age, I also became more susceptible. Even long-term diving in warm water had an Impact, making cold harder to tolerate. Now, I stick to warm water. Being cold in the water is no fun.

I know a dive master in Indonesia that wears a 5 mil hooded wetsuit, and the water there is typically about 80 degrees or so. He gets cold sometimes.

You may be fine in 7 mil, but when in doubt, go for the drysuit.

soltari675
March 13th, 2012, 05:55 PM
I've gone to 42 in my 5mm, that was pretty cold. I am ok until the mid 50's in my 5mm. That was before I had my drysuit though. Not I will dive a wetsuit until high 50's. Once it drops below 60, I put the dry suit on. Though most of my buddies call me a polar bear :p

coldwaterlloyd
March 13th, 2012, 06:02 PM
Hate to admit it but , Drysuit below 77 degrees . 3mm neoprene drysuit mind you ....

scjoe
March 13th, 2012, 06:33 PM
With a custom 7 mil farmer John skin-in, I’m fine all year in So Cal, but then the temps never drop below 50.

I know of only one wetsuit company that still “claims” to use Rubatex, but I have often wondered how this can be. The original Rubatex company went bankrupt in 2004 and its successor closed the plant in the summer of 2010. I haven’t heard of any local custom shop making a Rubatex suit since 2006.

Doppler
March 13th, 2012, 06:35 PM
30 degrees C which is about 85 F

scubadada
March 13th, 2012, 06:59 PM
Low 50s comfortable for longer dives and several per day. High 40s get cold at the end of the dive and over multiple dives. I dive San Diego just fine on my visits. If I dived cold water routinely and/or lived there, I would certainly dive a drysuit.

garydemos
March 13th, 2012, 07:02 PM
I knew it! I am a sucker for getting the best gear and enough of you have been there and done the wetsuit stuff (and now won't think of doing it again after getting a drysuit) that I think I may shift gears and pursue a drysuit. I will dive some more this summer to make sure I love this as much as I think I do, but frankly it's all I think about now. Can't believe I didn't get into diving years ago. Thanks to everyone for their input - it is very informative.

fisheater
March 13th, 2012, 07:11 PM
45F.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Davemohio
March 13th, 2012, 07:46 PM
Gary,

I am about 6 miles from you.

Last April I dived Whitestar..water temps in low 40's. Crazy cold. I had the 7 mil hood and 7 mil gloves and a Farmer John top over my Neosport 7/5 mil.

The water felt like fire on my face. I kept the dives shallow and short. 20 mins Max. 80 degrees outside thankfully.

Many quarry divers around here dive dry. I'm too cheap right now..but the time is comin'.

Plan to hit Circleville soon in my SolaFX 8 mil and lavacore. But the dives will be short. Till the temps rise. Best to stay safe.

After late May/June a heavy wetsuit is fine. Probably thru mid October.

Locally, a drysuit allows you to go deeper in the quarries..at all times of the year.

gcarter
March 13th, 2012, 08:00 PM
7mm john, I find 46-47 (8C) ok, when it gets down to 42-43 (6C) I am definitely @ my limit

koozemani
March 13th, 2012, 08:03 PM
Below 65 I'm checking airfares to somewhere else.

Ayisha
March 13th, 2012, 09:13 PM
38F with a two piece 7 mm. Neoprene socks really help. If your hood is tucked inside your jacket/hooded vest/core warmer, only water from inside your suit should get into it. Don't leave the hood out hanging...

Rdy4wet
March 13th, 2012, 09:15 PM
Until I finally spring for a dry suit I dive a 7mm wetsuit all year round including ice dives. I use the warm water priming technique that AJTOADY talked about. I use three finger gloves, 5/7mm boots, and 7mm hood with 3mm extra hood over it. I also wear polyester thermal long johns under my wetsuit for really cold water. My other cold water wetsuit buddies will add a core warmer with a hood.


Don't get me wrong. If I had a dry suit I would use it, but I love diving the cold water too much to skip diving until then.

TMHeimer
March 13th, 2012, 09:28 PM
With my 7 mil farmer john:

43F and higher is fine and I'll do 2 dives if it's May through Oct. in N.S.
40-42: same but hands get cold (not feet ever, which is odd, because my feet are the only cold things on land)
33-40: one 20 minute dive using 3 fingered mitts

60-65: Only top to the farmer john & reef gloves
66-75 or so: shortie
above 75: body suit for protection from scrapes only.

buddhasummer
March 13th, 2012, 09:32 PM
I feel the cold, a lot. One piece 5mm, 3mm gloves and 5mm boots in the tropics. Two piece farmer john with hood, 5mm gloves and 5mm boots with socks locally, I'm out of the water when it drops below around 60.

Davemohio
March 14th, 2012, 07:50 AM
Those three finger mitts look odd, no doubt.

Might be worth a try. My hands get cold.

HowardE
March 14th, 2012, 08:03 AM
Below 72F, and I dive dry. But at 74F, I'm in a 7mm and hooded vest ;)

tomfcrist
March 14th, 2012, 09:16 AM
I almost never dive dry, so 32? if its not frozen solid I'll dive it.

Searcaigh
March 14th, 2012, 09:59 AM
Above 28C 3mm plus Hood
23-27C 3mm + Hooded vest
15-23C 6.5mm semi dry + Hooded Vest
14C an below - Dry suit

kierentec
March 14th, 2012, 10:46 AM
anything below 78f I'm dry. 5mm on anything above that... so def add me to the big baby group. adding more neoprene is more of a hassle for buoyancy on deeper dives, and I can still wear very little lead when dry w/light thermals.


---
I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?p3vsj3

DivemasterDennis
March 14th, 2012, 10:48 AM
It is interesting to read the variations from individual to individual. Body type and metabolism certainly has something to do with that, as does the dive conditions to which a diver is most accustomed. I am comfortable in water down to the low 50's in a 3 mil sleeveless hooded vest (all rubber or latex, not water permeable )under a 5 mil full wetsuit, with 5 mil gloves and boots. I have a dear friend and dive buddy who switches to a dry suit at anything below 75 degrees F, and I am reading here about some hardy divers who dive wet suits down to the low 40's and beyond. For me, head, hands, feet and core are the focus. My wife solves the problem by only diving in water 75 degrees and warmer. She misses out on a lot, but doesn't get cold.
DivemasterDennis

nimoh
March 14th, 2012, 11:03 AM
I've done 45 in a 2 piece 7mm, and was cold but could tolerate it.

Since buying my drysuit, I don't have much opportunity to test this since I will use my drysuit for pretty much anything under 60...Coldest I have done since getting my drysuit is 65 in Brazil with a 5mm and could feel the cold obviously, but was comfortable.

drbill
March 14th, 2012, 11:04 AM
I'm a warm water wussie... 45 F is my very minimum in a 7mm full wetsuit. One of my professors as an undergrad dove Antarctica in a wetsuit during the International Geophysical Year (1957), but his was about 13mm if I remember correctly.

fjpatrum
March 14th, 2012, 12:07 PM
Gary, I think the proper term is Hooded Vest. Here is an example...hope the link works.

Dive - Products - Product Comparison (http://www.baresports.com/en-US/Dive/Products/Product-Comparison?itemsToCompare={3C155820-CAF4-42A2-9D11-C230D5884771}|{2E7EB587-BA52-4622-9F6C-1828DE737B04}|{87491FA1-5EBA-48F5-993A-8AD2A706B923)}


I would call those hooded shorties:
Pinnacle 7mm Escape Hooded Shorty Wetsuit WS43MBK11 with reviews at scuba.com (http://www.scuba.com/scuba-gear-28/122605/Pinnacle-7mm-Escape-Hooded-Shorty-Wetsuit.html)
Waterproof 5mm W1 Hooded Shorty Wetsuit WP-W11 with reviews at scuba.com (http://www.scuba.com/scuba-gear-28/122313/Waterproof-5mm-W1-Hooded-Shorty-Wetsuit.html)

This I would call a hooded vest:
http://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/page/WW/scuba-hoods/A153MN

rivers
March 14th, 2012, 12:40 PM
I used to be okay in a 3mm down to about 73F... Then I learned how to slow down and stop while diving. Needless to say, I feel the cold a hell of a lot easier (as does diving in the UK). If water temp is in the 70s, I'll most likely wear my 5mm, below that, drysuit

bletso
March 14th, 2012, 05:06 PM
If it too cold for an 1/8 inch suit, I dive dry. Further, if it is below 65 F I will dive with dry gloves. I really don't like diving cold.

Dale

Gene
March 14th, 2012, 05:39 PM
41 degrees for 90 minutes in a rented 7mm farmer john. An hour in 55 degree water at 120 ffw in a 3mm. (No gloves or hood.)
Yes, I am hot natured.

Thalassamania
March 14th, 2012, 05:50 PM
I'm a warm water wussie... 45 F is my very minimum in a 7mm full wetsuit. One of my professors as an undergrad dove Antarctica in a wetsuit during the International Geophysical Year (1957), but his was about 13mm if I remember correctly.Jim Stewart told me that they used 3/8" farmer john suits w/ attached hood, 3 finger mitts that came to the elbow and 3/8" neoprene knee socks for Antarctica.

DiveNeptune
March 14th, 2012, 09:33 PM
40 degree north atlantic, use a 7mm henderson S/D chest zip, integrated hood, 7mm boots, 5mm gloves

jbomb001
March 16th, 2012, 02:08 AM
Did a dive in 33 f Sunday and my buddy dove wet 7mm with hood I dove dry with my halo undergarment I was warm and dry he was wet and cold like can't feel my feet hands or face cold lol so needles to say we had to go have a couple shots of brandi after ....so I guess diving wet has some advantages. ;-)

ve6raj
March 16th, 2012, 04:30 AM
21C
I did my OW in 11C and decided after that was the last time I was going to sit down to p for two days

garydemos
March 16th, 2012, 05:17 AM
Did a dive in 33 f Sunday and my buddy dove wet 7mm with hood I dove dry with my halo undergarment I was warm and dry he was wet and cold like can't feel my feet hands or face cold lol so needles to say we had to go have a couple shots of brandi after ....so I guess diving wet has some advantages. ;-)

WOW - 33 degrees in a wetsuit!!!

TMHeimer
March 17th, 2012, 01:23 AM
WOW - 33 degrees in a wetsuit!!!

I did that for one of the Deep Diver course dives (to 120fsw-May 26 in NS). Was the only non-pro on board and only one diving wet. One DM (who was my checkout buddy when I took OW) was giving me a razzing about how cold I would be. The shoe was on the other foot when his drysuit flooded at that depth.....

Ayisha
March 17th, 2012, 01:03 PM
That's a big reason I'm still diving wet after 10 years of diving in very cold water and with most of my friends diving dry. I see too many divers whose drysuits leak and they lose the rest of the dive or don't do the second dive. At least the undergarments today help with retaining warmth and dryness if that happens. The learning curve in the use of a drysuit can be extended. Sometimes drysuits are in for repair and they lose dives or have to borrow or dive wet.

At least I know I'm going to be wet and am properly suited for it and am mentally prepared for it. For deep dives to the NDL's, they don't last that long anyway. Half an hour total bottom time at 38F is really no big deal if your exposure protection fits well and is appropriate for the temps.

Chris Horn
March 17th, 2012, 06:49 PM
Did a 30 min dive in 53 degree water yesterday. 3 mil with a 3 mil hood. Depends what you can comfortably tolerate, but cold is cold.

time2go2
March 18th, 2012, 01:54 PM
33 degree in Superior. I've dove wet in the Midwest cold water off and on since 83 with varying suit successes.

My current 7-8mm with integrated hood has been a huge improvement on anything prior.
It's not the first dive.. but the second. Dry eventually but hesitate seeing all the leaks with others as Ayisha outlined above.

mathauck0814
March 18th, 2012, 01:57 PM
I did one (exactly one) wetsuit dive in 39'F water. That was too cold. Generally speaking I don't really enjoy wetsuits at all though. If I can't go in board shorts and a rashie, I'd prefer to be dry.

Whatevva
March 18th, 2012, 01:57 PM
My coldest was yesterday. 44 deg, wearing a 7mm and 7/3 hood/vest. I was toasty warm except for my hands. the 5mm gloves just didn't do it for me....

farsidefan1
March 18th, 2012, 04:50 PM
I'll take my 3 mil custom wetshirt down to 77 degrees. Period. Colder than that I want a heated submarine.

tstormdiver
March 18th, 2012, 06:02 PM
I did a maximum of 100 min. cave dive in Mexico. We did 2 dives per day over 5 days. The water was 76 degrees. Wore a 5mm wetsuit & was comfy, as long as I was swimming. If we stopped for any length of time or when debriefing the dive on the surface, I would start to get cold. I don't think I could seriously withstand much colder than that in a wetsuit. Drysuit is my friend.

Jax
March 18th, 2012, 06:10 PM
75 in a 7mm with a 5/3 hooded vest.

And the air better be at least 80F.

Sheri SGR
March 18th, 2012, 06:45 PM
40 yikes... In my book that is definitely dryduit temp. I will dive wet down to low 50's assuming its only one dive or beach dive and then I am getting warm and dry immediately after. if I am planning multiple dives or on a boat all day I will dive dry until the water is above 60. I can dive wet and be less comfortable but why? its all about having fun.

dfx
March 18th, 2012, 08:54 PM
WOW - 33 degrees in a wetsuit!!!

Our OWD checkout dives were done in 34-35F "warm" water, obviously in wetsuits only. It wasn't too bad, but it wasn't exactly fun either - after 20 mins, I was pretty much frozen solid. Hands took the most damage, I couldn't feel my fingers any more. Needless to say, selecting the right rental wetsuit as a complete noob isn't something that comes naturally.

HarrierMech
March 19th, 2012, 08:41 AM
I have dived in 46* water with a 7mm Henderson H2 and a henderson 3mm shorty under, 5mm gloves, a 6mm hood and boots and was fine. I did pour a gallon of warm water in my suit before I jumped in. I was good UNTIL I got out!

Gravybird
March 19th, 2012, 09:15 AM
last fall I dove in my elastek 7mm with 7mm hood, 5mm glvoes, and 6mm boots,on a dive in 50 degree water above the first thermocline, but went down to 113' where the water was 38. I will not do that again unless I lose something really, really, really important. This year I can't wait to use my my (new to me) drysuit:-)
The 50 degree water on top wasn't too bad once the neck, and lips went numb, I guess I'd say that's where I would draw the limits for a good day of diving, of course it would have to be above 70, and sunny out of water.

Ulfhedinn
March 19th, 2012, 10:31 AM
51 at 100' is the coldest I will go with a 7mm

Tommik
March 19th, 2012, 10:50 AM
46 is the lowest I have gone with a Farmer John and Top 7MM with Boot's hood and glove. Water Temp is not the issue for me it's keeping warm between dives in the notoriously changeable British weather so its usually Drysuit and 4th Element Xerotherms for me.

asha
March 19th, 2012, 11:54 AM
If I had my way all the time: 80.

Historically, according to my logbook: 40 in a 7mm, and 58 in a 3mm (brr on both accounts).

The surface temperature and the number of repetitive dives makes a huge difference in how much cold I can endure. Back when I dove wet, the first dive in Maine or the VT quarry was fine, but you had to drag me in kicking and screaming for the second. I wished I had brought my drysuit on a trip to the Bahamas last month where we did 4 dives a day at 72 (with air temps hovering around 65). If it had been 85 and sunny on top, I might have been okay!

thirdcoastdiver
March 19th, 2012, 12:16 PM
I will dive in 38-40 degree (F) water with a 7 mm wetsuit, and a 3 mm vest/hood. I also use 5 mm booties with 3 mm socks for added warmth.

Scott
March 19th, 2012, 12:16 PM
If it's below 76+- I'm diving dry. Below 40, I'm dreaming of warm sunny beaches from a recliner.

GrumpyOldGuy
March 19th, 2012, 12:39 PM
I have done a fair number of wet dives down to 40F. All tended to be shorter (30 minutes), shallower and single dives.
50F is my cutoff, below that I now dive dry, just because I can dive cold & wet does not make it fun
50-60ish, it depends on the temp and sunshine topside for the SI and planned depth. The same 55F water can seem toasty warm in the middle of summer with bright sunshine and no wind. In the middle of winter, when its windy, cold and little sun I shiver just thinking about the 3rd dive of the day.

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