Wet suit advice

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Wet suit advice

Postby Kel » Sep 6, 2006 6:33 pm

Any opinions or advice on which type of wet suit works the best for caving.
I know there are a lot of variables, such as where, how deep, etc.
The where will be mostly Texas (yes we have wet caves here) :yikes: and perhaps anywhere else that might present itself.
How deep? Who knows.
I'm really just looking for a all-around suit. Suitable (pun) for anywhere.
Thanks
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Postby wendy » Sep 6, 2006 6:45 pm

Here is florida we have a lot fo wet 'dry' caves (meaning not cave diving caves) and I have not worn a wetsuit yet, the water is 72ºF, only starts getting chilly to me when we are doing photo shoots and I have to stay in one place for a long time.

Recently I went up to TAG and did a wet cave and the water was 57ºF. I wore my 3mm farmer john, insted of wearing a full suit. I knew I wouldn't be in the water all the time and I didn't want to get over heated in a full suit, so the farmer john worked out well, with a poly pro shirt on top.
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Postby JoeyS » Sep 6, 2006 7:03 pm

Yeah a farmer john or a shorty is a good all around wetsuit. If you get cold in a shorty you just need to move faster! The bonus with a farmer john is you still look good with your cowboy hat on..
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Postby Kel » Sep 6, 2006 7:06 pm

Thanks Wendy
I'm leaning toward the farmer john for those reasons. Plus, they are much easier to put on and take off.
I'm guessing the 3mm was warm enough.
Again, thanks
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Postby Kel » Sep 6, 2006 7:13 pm

Joey
Cowboy hat, and big "chaw" of Red Man.
Where's the spit can? :omg:
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Postby mgmills » Sep 6, 2006 7:16 pm

Kel wrote:Thanks Wendy
I'm leaning toward the farmer john for those reasons. Plus, they are much easier to put on and take off.
I'm guessing the 3mm was warm enough.
Again, thanks


Depends on temp of cave and water but also the type of caving you will be doing. My personal favorite for TAG caves is a shortie made for water sports. The thin neoprene makes for easy moving. If I plan to be swimming a lot I will wear ploypro longjohns under the shortie.

I have a farmerjohn but find the long legs restrict my movements when climbing. If I lived in a colder area I might have a different opinion.
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Postby hydrology_joe » Sep 6, 2006 7:38 pm

Kel,

The best advice I got while shopping for a wetsuit (SCUBA, not caving) would be see if the dive shop and try each out. (may look kinda funny crawling around the dive shop though). I chose a shorty (for double duty) as I am a stouter person and need more dexterity on the extremeties. Being stouter, I do not chill as easily so the shorter, thinner shorty works well for me. One issue with the farmer john style some of my dive friends have found is that the torso region chills without the jacket as the upper chest & shoulders are not fully covered. Again, try them out and see what fits best for you.
What part of "Shall not be infringed" don't you understand?
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Postby Squirrel Girl » Sep 6, 2006 8:03 pm

It depends (how surprising). If you're crawling, your arms'll get wet and you might want them covered. If you're mostly wading, and an occasional deeper spot, a farmer john might be perfect.

I'd think about a farmer john with a jacket that was optional depending on the cave. The thickness would depend on the cave temp, but the thinner, the more comfortable for moving.

Consider buying a used suit off the 'net. Cavers don't care what they look like.
Last edited by Squirrel Girl on Sep 6, 2006 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby nordicjw » Sep 6, 2006 8:18 pm

I cave in the Northeast US. Average cave temps or around 50. I use a NRS Ultra John 3mm. I wear a lightweight t and a expedetion weight top with it. Always been warm enough, sometimes too much so, if I out of water too long. The farmer john makes vertical work much easier than a full suit of adding a jacket. Also anything over 3mm makes moving a lot more work.
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Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Sep 6, 2006 8:28 pm

My experience (not a huge amount) is that if you are going to be in and out of water but spending most of your time out of the water I have been warmer and more comfortaable in polypro long johns and top and overalls than with a wetsuit (I did the same cave with both) if you are going to be swimming a fair amount and spending a pair pecentage of your time in water then go the wetsuit, I would put a polypro top on as well though, but I think I get cold easier than others.... my wetsuit has long legs and short T shirt style arms.
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Postby Scott McCrea » Sep 6, 2006 9:06 pm

Kel,

The simple answer: use what cavers in your area are using. If most of them are using shorties or whatever, there is probably a good reason. Don't be affraid to ask the folks that have already "been there, done that", why they do it that way. You can waste a lot of time and money trying to reinvent the wheel. But never hesitate to ask why.
Last edited by Scott McCrea on Sep 7, 2006 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby barcelonacvr » Sep 7, 2006 6:40 am

In the summer here for warm river caves at long exposures I use this

http://www.hendersonusa.com/product_hyp ... psuit.html 3mm thickness ( 78 to 61 f water temps)

In the fall/early winter I use one of these (60f to 40f water temps)

http://www.oneill.com/mens-products.php ... =46&id=100 5mm body core and 3mm arms

In the winter river caves I use one of these with the valves removed and the holes patched

http://www.2dive4.co.uk/acatalog/info_560.html


While most of my fellow members buy cheap 5mm used wetsuits,I will not as the stiffness and resistance when caving is not worth the savings IMHO.The suits I use are very soft due to the stretchability (almost like lycra) so I have to wear them under my nylon caving suit.They are not cheap but the comfort is worth it to me.

A Lot of members won't wear a wetsuit in some smaller caves with 40f water due to the pain of wearing their stiff standard 5mm suits.I watch them shiver while toasty in my easy to wear 3mm :grin:
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Postby Kel » Sep 7, 2006 2:17 pm

Thanks everyone for all the good advice and tips. All are insightful and helpful.
This is why I value this DB and contributors.
Thanks again.
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