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Layered wetsuits for 13°C/55°F waters

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by Prometheanfire, Feb 6, 2020.

Would you be OK with a 3mm full w/ 3mm shorty, hood, socks, and gloves at 13°C/55°F?

  1. Yes

    6 vote(s)
  2. No

    82 vote(s)
  1. CanadaDan

    CanadaDan DMC ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Winnipeg, MB Canada
    I dive those temps a lot. If diving wet I normally do it it with a 5mm Reactive (equivalent to a 7mm) full suit, 7mm hood, 5mm boots and 5mm gloves (all Reactive as well). Did a series of Rescue Course dives as the 'victim' and lasted through 25 minutes of lying still at depth. I would normally prefer a drysuit but mine has had issues for a while and has been back in for repairs two summers in a row.

    I think you might be fine with the 3mm shorty over a 3mm full but I would add a thicker hood, boots and gloves... unless you are impervious to cold (I know an instructor who teaches in those temps with no sleeves, hood or gloves)
  2. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    question is a bit loaded. You don't mention how deep you're going, for how long, and what the surface conditions are.
    I'm from Boston and grew up swimming in cold water. Could I do that dive? Absolutely, but I'd much rather be in a 7mm or a drysuit, especially if I'm going deep, or long, and very much so if the surface conditions aren't great... 80f and sunny at the surface? Much less objectionable than 50f and windy.
  3. Prometheanfire

    Prometheanfire Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Texas, USA
    ya, I'll edit the top post to be more clear, but surface conditions are two weeks out, but average seems to be 20°C/70°F at the surface, and sunny with a mild breeze.
  4. drk5036

    drk5036 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Sapporo, Japan
    I think the conclusion is, it probably won’t kill you but you’re going to be really cold: either really uncomfortable or miserable. But you’ll live to tell the story.
  5. Prometheanfire

    Prometheanfire Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Texas, USA
    Ya. I'll rent a 5mm full suit at the least and possibly/probably wear the 3mm shorty under or over it (depending on fit) along with the gloves/socks/hood and see how that goes. Part of the reason for this is to figure out tolerances and the like. There will be a bunch of divers on location (it's a shop scheduled event/cookout), so if I have to get out and hang around that's fine too.
  6. anchochile

    anchochile Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Northern California
    I'm pretty average as far as cold tolerance, and I dive 55F water regularly here in California. I wear a 7mm semi-dry with a 5mm shorty layered on top. I'm comfortable enough but still get quite cold by the end of a 45-60 minute dive. Most regular divers are in drysuits in these conditions.

    The coldest I've taken a 3mm was a dive in Bali where we hit a 68F upwelling at 60 ft. We were only in the cold for 10 minutes or so, but I was shivering and fairly miserable. And 68 is a LOT warmer than 55.
    JPipes likes this.
  7. Prometheanfire

    Prometheanfire Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Texas, USA
    I guess for comparison I did 2 30min dives in the 3mm with no accessories (hood/gloves/socks) at 70°F just 10 feet of depth though. Was chilly at the end but not as bad (wife rented a 5mm)
  8. saxman242

    saxman242 Manta Ray

    There's a BIG difference between 55 and 70.

    Why are you so resistant to renting a 7mm?
  9. Prometheanfire

    Prometheanfire Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Texas, USA
    If they have it available I'll rent it, shops around here have 5mm mostly.
  10. KrisR

    KrisR Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dundee
    Once in my less experienced days I went for a 2 tank dive session at st Abbs in Scotland in 12-13 C water for 2 - 50 minute dives at max depth 20m. Was trying to save some money before buying a dry suit so dived in my 3mm full suit with a 2.5mm shorty over the top. Wore 5mm gloves , good and boots. Between dives I couldn’t hold a cup of coffee without shaking it all over the boat. Why I put myself through that I really don’t know. Genuinely was ill for about a week and suffered really badly from hypothermia.
    The whole dive I was checking my computer to see how much longer I could manage before throwing in the towel. ( my brother and I are equally stubborn so didn’t want to be the one to wave the white flag first)

    Really really would advise getting a drysuit for those temps if doing multiple dives- it has made cold water diving a pleasure over complete torture. Just to add I don’t get cold easily- and when divers were wearing full 5mm in 24 C water I’m in shorts and a rashie.

    Good luck to you if you manage it though.
    AfterDark likes this.

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