Cave Coveralls: Love 'em or Leave 'em?

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Cave Coveralls: Love 'em or Leave 'em?

Postby Adam Craig » Apr 16, 2007 9:02 am

I've never had a pair of dedicated coveralls made for caving... I've just always used old jeans and a sweatshirt. They've served me well over the years, but they don't hold up for long. I'm a "warm" caver, so cotton in the cave has never been a problem for me, but now I'm looking to get a suit. Does anyone have any experiences, good and bad, with cave coveralls? Do they breathe well? I don't want to be caving in something akin to a zip-lock baggie. I get too warm for that. These would be for midwest caves (IN, KY, MO, IL). Any help would be great!! Thanks!!
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Postby Adam Byrd » Apr 16, 2007 11:45 am

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Postby ian mckenzie » Apr 16, 2007 2:48 pm

Generally I'd say purpose-made caving coveralls (oversuits) are designed for cold and/or wet conditions, so you're probably better off with the inexpensive cotton ones (but wear a belt to fight bagginess). You could reinforce the knees and arse with some sort of patches, or wear kneepads.
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Postby VACaver » Apr 19, 2007 11:24 am

My first coveralls were Lost Creek and I hated them. The fabric did not breathe, so once I got wet they turned into a portable sauna. Plus, the fabric was hot-cut and any bare skin exposed to a raw edge (like the collar seam) would quickly get chewed up.

Meander Helix's have been good for me. Easily temp-controlled by opening or closing the front velcro, and no hot-cut edges.
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Postby Adam Craig » Apr 19, 2007 11:49 am

That's kinda what I figured. I've got a pair of Dickies deluxe blended coveralls coming. We'll see how they hold up :kaver:
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Postby adleedy » Apr 19, 2007 2:50 pm

i have a pair of new coveralls sitting in my room, havent got the chance to use em, so i guess ill know if i like em or not when i try em out at VAR
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Postby Carl Amundson » Apr 19, 2007 11:12 pm

I use coveralls made by B&C Wunderwear, they are great.
I do most of my caving in Virginia and West Virginia. These caves can be very wet and cold. The coveralls are tough and flexible.
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Postby chh » Apr 26, 2007 8:32 am

I'm a "warm" caver as well and love my Wunderwear bib coveralls. I get way to hot in the full sleeve coveralls. They are expensive, but worth the extra cash. Dickies and Carharts are nice, but still pretty expensive. If you are buying a new pair of coveralls for caving, go with a nylon suit. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Postby Komebeaux » Apr 26, 2007 2:13 pm

I use cotton coveralls with polypro pants underneath.
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Postby Adam Craig » Apr 26, 2007 2:39 pm

Well, my Dickies Deluxe coveralls arrived. I haven't had the chance to use them yet, but they fit and feel quite nice. Hopefully they'll hold up. If not, then I may "graduate" to real caving coveralls...
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Postby incavenow » May 10, 2007 10:10 am

Over the years, I've found my most comfortable caving outfit is a full set of light poly-pro, cut-offs, and kneepads. Warm, drys very fast, and unsurpassed mobility.
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B and C Wunderwear bibs are what I have

Postby Dangerjudy » May 10, 2007 10:26 am

I've used them for the past five years or so. They have held up very well. Image


B and C Wunderwear also makes shorts and I'm thinking of picking a pair of those up, too.

Everything else I've used (thrift store coveralls, jeans, denim or cotton shorts) gets torn up in a cave in about 3 trips.
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Postby PamSales » May 10, 2007 10:20 pm

depends on the cave for me. If it's a colder cave, I love them....they keep the heat in. If I'm down in Arkanasas, no way...I cave in nothing but shorts and a sports top down there.
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