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Quarries - 7mm or 5mm + Lavacore?

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by phillm47, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. phillm47

    phillm47 Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana USA
    Looking for advice on first wetsuit purchase. I recently purchased a Lacavore (Polytherm) long sleeve shirt and pants for an upcoming trip to Coz. I wish to purchase a colder water wetsuit for quarries in the Midwest, lakes, Bon Terre Mine....etc. Water temps low 50's to low 60's F.

    Would you go for a 7mm, or a 5mm with the Lavacore?

    My tolerance for cold? I have used a rental 7mm at the quarries and it worked out fine, except when the water temps dropped to 52 degrees - it was getting pretty cool. My first time diving in open water was last year at Cozumel. Water temps were 84-85 F. I just used bathing trunks and a T-shirt and was fine, but it could have been euphoria. Wearing the Lavacore this year.

    Thanks :)
  2. Barnaby'sDad

    Barnaby'sDad ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Virginia
    7mm. Even in the middle of the summer, below the thermocline...you’re likely going to want a 7mm unless your quarry happens to run on the warm side.

    ~52* is my break-even point in a 5mm. Above 52* I’m not miserable. Below that, I’m not REALLY enjoying the dive...I’m just gutting it out.

    I don’t have experience with the Lavacore specifically. Just throwing it out there that I’m the only numbnut I know diving a 5mm suit in water that cold, so 7mm is likely what you want.
    Esprise Me, HKGuns and phillm47 like this.
  3. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    7mm or a semi dry. I put my vote in for the Bare 7mm. Warm. I’ve taken my Bare 7mm with a Lavacore hooded vest AND a 5mm neoprene hood over vest hood down to 43F on the Great Lakes.

    Also recommend the Wet Sox (Amazon) that are 1mm and come up to your knees. Help get wetsuit on and help keep feet/legs warm.
    HKGuns and phillm47 like this.
  4. hilljo88

    hilljo88 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: nyc
    Something to consider: if you do multiple dives you lose more body heat and are much colder on the 2nd and subsequent dives on a given day. Water temps in the mine and quarries is no joke. A hood will help retain a significant amount of body heat, and consider a semi dry suit. They restrict water flow in the suit and have an integrated hood.
    phillm47 and Esprise Me like this.
  5. Barnaby'sDad

    Barnaby'sDad ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Virginia
    Yup. I did three dives at 48* one day. You can feel yourself cooling down as the day progresses. Especially while wearing a 5mm.:popcorn:
    phillm47 likes this.
  6. Whitrzac

    Whitrzac Contributor

    Get a good 'semidry' There's nothing dry about them, but they're the warmest wetsuit you can get.
    Ontwreckdiver and phillm47 like this.
  7. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Page Side, Rage Side

    Personally, anything needing more than a 5mm gets the dry suit for me.

    You will love the lavacore in Coz. I have a few hundred dives logged in Coz and my go to is the lavacore hooded vest and board shorts. If I get chilly I toss on a Bare Exotherm jacket.
    phillm47 likes this.
  8. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    I have a Sharkskin jacket, similar to Lavacore, and I find it makes a noticeable difference but not as much as the 2-3mm equivalent they claim. You might find yourself needing that AND a 7mm wetsuit.
    phillm47 likes this.
  9. TravisD

    TravisD Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Westminster, MD
    Agree on a semi-dry, if a drysuit isn't in the cards for you. About the same cost as a good 7mm, and warmer. I love my Hollis Neotek, when I'm not using my drysuit... (Why both? For teaching, I prefer to experience more of what my students are experiencing, and it's less fiddly, not having to deal with dry glove rings and such... )
    phillm47 and Ontwreckdiver like this.

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