Wet Suits

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Wet Suits

Postby Mudduck » Jan 17, 2008 7:40 am

Need some info on wet suits and caving in TAG. Is there a particular brand that seems to hold up better than others. What about protecting the wetsuit in crawls(from abrasion damage). Is it pretty typical to wear a thin outer garment to protect the wet suit? Any help , tips, warnings etc. would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby Adam Craig » Jan 17, 2008 8:22 am

I can't comment much on TAG caving, but I've got an older version of the wetsuit in the link below. For active wetsuit caving, it's kept me plenty warm, while not feeling constricted. For wet surveys, it's a little chilly, but that may just be the nature of wet surveying :doh:

I've been using mine fairly regularly for several years now without any seam deterioration. I always wear it under my coveralls. Good and economical wetsuit for caving :kewl:


http://www.diversdirect.com/items/EVO-M ... it_ID32806
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 17, 2008 8:52 am

i'm a huge fan of the NRS Farmer John, having borrowed one for quite some time and finally bought my own. the 3mm neoprene is the perfect thickness and i cannot overstate how nice the front zipper is; i can relieve myself easily without having to remove anything, while fellow cavers are stuck getting halfway undressed and struggling with those stupid over-the-shoulder velcro things.

a lot of people complain about wetsuits being restrictive but i haven't found this one to be that way at all, and the built-in knee padding is a nice extra. seems quite durable. i typically wear it beneath my Meander coveralls. we've been doing a lot of wet survey lately (see avatar).
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby NZcaver » Jan 17, 2008 9:44 am

You can also try searching through the previous caving wetsuit threads for advice. (The search engine in on the top right of the page.)

Try checking out Wet suit advice and How thick should a wetsuit be?

For what it's worth I agree with xcathodex about Farmer John's... although unlike him, I've never gone caving wearing what appear to be swim goggles! :eyecrazy: :laughing:
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby ek » Jan 17, 2008 12:13 pm

xcathodex wrote:i'm a huge fan of the NRS Farmer John, having borrowed one for quite some time and finally bought my own.

The NRS Farmer John 3mm is the only wetsuit I've worn in TAG (I wore one to Gross-Skeleton). It also works well in the northeast, though if you're going to be doing a significant amount of actual swimming in a cave up here, you'll want a full wetsuit.

xcathodex wrote:a lot of people complain about wetsuits being restrictive but i haven't found this one to be that way at all, and the built-in knee padding is a nice extra. seems quite durable. i typically wear it beneath my Meander coveralls. we've been doing a lot of wet survey lately (see avatar).

Well, the Farmer John isn't a *full* wetsuit. I have yet to see a full wetsuit that is truly nonrestrictive.

I also use my Meander Criou to protect my wetsuit. Before I got the Criou, I would use cheap cotton/polyester coveralls, or synthetic pants and a synthetic shirt. You could use jeans to protect your wetsuit too, though you might be carrying around a lot of water.

xcathodex wrote:the 3mm neoprene is the perfect thickness and i cannot overstate how nice the front zipper is; i can relieve myself easily without having to remove anything, while fellow cavers are stuck getting halfway undressed and struggling with those stupid over-the-shoulder velcro things.

Don't you know about how you can just pee in your wetsuit (when in deep and at least slowly flowing water)? Helps keep you warm!
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby JoeyS » Jan 17, 2008 12:30 pm

As others have said, you should wear it under coveralls or you other regular cave clothing (BDU's or whatever) to protect the neoprene from getting shredded. I have both a farmer John as well as a shorty. I have come to prefer the shorty because it is easier (for me, at least) to get in and out of. I've been to alot of caves that are dry for the most part, but then have a long submersion section where a wetsuit is great, and I can easily don or un don the suit quicker than the farmer john. One TAG classic where this scenario occurs is the Sinking Cove Cave through trip. You can keep the wetsuit packed away until after the last drop and then pack up your vertical gear and don the wetsuit for the water crawl. If I'm going to be in water for the entire trip, it doesn't really matter which one. I have done some wet surveying and I wore both once. Now that was nice and toasty!
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 17, 2008 12:37 pm

ek wrote:
xcathodex wrote:the 3mm neoprene is the perfect thickness and i cannot overstate how nice the front zipper is; i can relieve myself easily without having to remove anything, while fellow cavers are stuck getting halfway undressed and struggling with those stupid over-the-shoulder velcro things.

Don't you know about how you can just pee in your wetsuit (when in deep and at least slowly flowing water)? Helps keep you warm!
(Uh oh, and here a cave conservation tangent is spawned...)


haha, true enough - but unless you find yourself in exactly the situation stated above, there's no reason to do it when you have a front zipper!

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Re: Wet Suits

Postby Carl Amundson » Jan 17, 2008 12:51 pm

I use something called Hydroskin from NRS.(http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=2607&deptid=942)
It’s great. I wear them under my coveralls. They are light and very flexible.

Has anyone else tried them or am I the only one?
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby nordicjw » Jan 17, 2008 2:49 pm

Junkman, I know a couple of cavers, who use the hydroskins and like them very much. I,m planning on getting a set.
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby Mudduck » Jan 17, 2008 6:18 pm

Thanks everyone you've been most helpful and definately given me a direction to go. Fortunately I'm pretty good at holding my fluids so I'll have to pass on the autowarming recommendation :grin:
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby ek » Jan 17, 2008 8:50 pm

You may never know what you're missing... :-)
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby Mudduck » Jan 17, 2008 10:16 pm

:big grin: What about the guy behind you??
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 17, 2008 10:48 pm

ek wrote:You may never know what you're missing... :-)


sure he does, he's missing a wetsuit full of pee! :big grin:
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby Mudduck » Jan 27, 2008 10:09 pm

Thanks to all for the advice. :thanks: Ordered a NRS Farmer John 3mm. Look forward to using it . My buddy got one to but was'nt sure about the extra warming features!! :big grin:
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Re: Wet Suits

Postby YuccaPatrol » Jan 31, 2008 1:19 pm

I recently started wearing my shorty 2mm wetsuit in the caves. It is very nice to have that added layer of warmth and because my suit is designed for watersports (surfing, windsurfing, etc), the range of motion is excellent. I don't even notice I am wearing other than the fact that I am warmer and more comfortable.

What I have noticed is that I exit the cave with a lot more energy and I believe that keeping my core warm helps to prevent exhaustion in a big way.

Great deals can be had a Sierra Trading Post. I bought mine for about $45 last year and they often has such deals. I had to send one back because it was not a good fit, but the new one is perfect.
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