Caving coveralls?

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Caving coveralls?

Postby BrianC » Oct 10, 2006 1:28 pm

After reading many posts I want to know what coveralls work best in harsh caving, and where can I buy some? Currently I use pollypro tops and bottoms with duo-fold top over that and cotton blue jeans. Cleaning up after trips is timely also changing before getting back in car can be trying especially in public areas! I have seen pictures of cavers wearing colored coveralls that look perfect and easy to change out of. :hairpull:
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Postby Tim White » Oct 10, 2006 1:42 pm

IMO carries the best selection.
http://www.caves.org/imo/
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Postby NZcaver » Oct 10, 2006 3:07 pm

I recommend you try a Meander suit. :cool:

http://www.caves.org/imo/
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Postby JoeyS » Oct 10, 2006 3:19 pm

Also B&C Wunderwear. They make suits custom fitted and also have a large in stock selection with many colors and fabric types.
http://www.bcwunderwearinc.com/#products
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Postby BrianC » Oct 10, 2006 4:53 pm

thanks much! now decisions? :hairpull:
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Postby paul » Oct 11, 2006 6:47 am

NZcaver wrote:I recommend you try a Meander suit. :cool:

http://www.caves.org/imo/


I'll second that! A big advantage IMHO is that they are easy to repair if you do rip them. They even come with some patching material and a tube of PVC glue. Plus being waterproof material they are great on those long tramps across moors, to the caves, in the rain we often get here in the UK! :grin:
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Postby Tim White » Oct 11, 2006 8:19 am

BrianC wrote:thanks much! now decisions? :hairpull:


Depends on what kind of caving you will be doing and how hot/cold natured you are. For me, my first 2 Meander suits and my current Petzl Sud coveralls, are all to hot for most TAG caves. Great for those multi-drop wet caves, slow cold survey trips and for waiting at the top of the deep pits folks to climb.
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Postby CaveStar » Oct 30, 2006 5:17 pm

Yeah, I'm finding that one suit won't do it all.

I chose and am quite satisfied with a heavy-duty basic Cordura suit from Lost Creek. It performs great in cold caves, even reducing by one layer the need for thermals. It is not marketed as waterproof -- that would have weighed more -- but it's fairly water-repellent and keeps out a lot of general caving damp. I haven't had to do major waterfalls, but in a couple of smaller ones the suit did become wet at some points. Next time I'll spray it down with waterproofing on the thighs and knees and shoulders. However, I was warm enough, and the tough fabric protects pretty well from bumps and knocks.

However, even though not waterproof, it's heavy enough to carry that when I can get out of alpine hiking to caves with it, I do. And conversely, it's too warm for warmer caves and I have to fall back on the usual assortment of trousers and jackets.

So, next caving purchases are likely to be a lighter-weight nylon suit and a can of waterproofing spray.

I do note that Anmar at Lost Creek provided very good customer service.
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Postby FiddleCaver » Oct 30, 2006 9:30 pm

I custom made a 1000D cordura suit with short legs and arms. I hate wearing kneepads over or under some bulky suit. The only lost creek suits I've seen looked like they were made for goliath.

So, next caving purchases are likely to be a lighter-weight nylon suit and a can of waterproofing spray.


If you find something that lasts through a single trip let me know. I tried thinning down silicone with toluene and soaking a suit in it. It worked quite well for a few trips then it started wearing off. The cordura, on the other hand, has lasted quite well and since it's inpregnated with polyurethane, clean up is super easy. Just shoot it with a water hose.
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Postby barcelonacvr » Oct 30, 2006 10:21 pm

I had been using a Lost creek that I modified a lot but I just had a custom suit made by Martin Davis and I cannot convey how nice of a job he does.Well worth the small price of 200 Canadian plus shipping(basic version I ordered).They get thrashed hard in the Rockies and stand up very well year after year.

A standard suit is made out very thick but supple ballistic nylon stock and comes with neoprene cuffs ,furry collar(like polypro fleece) ,HD zip with Velcro cover and an inside pocket.Hoods etc can be added.GREAT cold area caving suit and one can't beat the price for a custom fit.Most colors are available and many custom options as well.Martin prefers in person fittings but my email only measurements produced a suit that fits me like a glove.I have never had a suit be so comfortable.The suit is flexible and soft unlike some that I have found to be like nylon burlap bags,yet it has great texture for friction when needed (chimneying) and stands up to nasty abrasion.

NO I do not own any stock in this company :)

I chose purple so I could be nicknamed Grimace :)


He is listed under the BC area if anyone wants to contact him .

http://www.cancaver.ca/docs/CanCaverList.htm



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Postby caverdoc » Nov 1, 2006 6:44 pm

gotta agree with erasmoskarst on the Martin Davis coveralls. I got to look them over at the BCCR summer cave rescue camp on Vancouver Island this summer, very stout construction. I was thinking about buying a pair but picked up a nice set from another participant made from the same heavy nylon as ice hockey kit bags. I just finished seam-sealing it today on the few exposed seams :kewl: Quite a few of us bought them.
I have several of Martin's excellent kit bags. His sidepack was the most frequently seen personal pack at the rescue camp.

I have several sets of coveralls (remember, Dr Jay= gear addict, now on maintenance therapy via ebay and in a 12-step program :tonguecheek: )
For mapping in Lost Creek Siphon, Montana I wore a coated Meander mustard suit. Awesome performance on the ropework in heavy frigid meltwater spray. In BC this summer I use a simple red Meander suit from IMO, very light and tough (light is good when flying to caving events). I have three different sets of Cecile's B&C wunderalls, a LW pair, a standard heavy cordura set and a novel coated set for "cold,wet contact zone caving." I could get by fine on the two Meander suits. I also have two sets of bib caving coveralls from Becky Jones at Gonzo Guano Gear, and a stretchy lightweight form-fitting suit :shock: from Beck. Generally I avoid wearing the latter because it is very form-fitting :oops: I also have a super set of bibs Cecile made me. Finally, I have a Daleswear suit I have very rarely worn, because the other suits seem to work better.

I'm still keeeping my eye out for more caving suits. Howies Harnesses make a nicely modified version of the basic Meander cordura suit that has reinforcing on bum, knees and elbows. Mike Artz, who developed many of the designs that Howie now makes, used to make a coated suit of a black material called "Shazam" that was very popular in Virginia/WV.

And to think when I started caving in 1977 I wore jeans and my dad's old army fatigue shirts, with Salvation Army sweaters and longjohns!

Cave hard!
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Postby steelwool » Nov 3, 2006 12:25 am

I'm currently in the process of sewing my own plastic suit made out of shazam. Shazam is the same material that body bags are made out of. :)

This week I recieved my gear making machine:

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Postby caverdoc » Nov 3, 2006 12:42 am

Steelwool
If I didn't know better I'd swear that was a VPI dorm room. Like the little box I occupied in Vawter Hall for four years (one quarter of one year with Phillip B.)
Checked your website, love the scaling pole trip into Smokehole! Brings back some memories of caving before I had a wetsuit.
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Postby Scott McCrea » Nov 3, 2006 7:56 am

Steelwool,
If there was a entry in Wikipedia for "cavegeek," that would be the picture. A dirty helmet sporting a Sten, strings of bolts, an carbide lamp, a monitor with cryptic code and a sewing machine--very nice.

Nice sewing macine, by the way. How is working for you?
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Postby barcelonacvr » Nov 3, 2006 8:56 am

"I have several of Martin's excellent kit bags. His sidepack was the most frequently seen personal pack at the rescue camp."

I hope he puts a catalog out of all the great things he makes.


I SO wish I could have gone!! One day...I am always happy to hear our friends to the south have come up and had fun! The West coast group are great people.



"I have several sets of coveralls (remember, Dr Jay= gear addict, now on maintenance therapy via ebay and in a 12-step program :tonguecheek: )
For mapping in Lost Creek Siphon, Montana I wore a coated Meander mustard suit. Awesome performance on the ropework in heavy frigid meltwater spray. In BC this summer I use a simple red Meander suit from IMO, very light and tough (light is good when flying to caving events). I have three different sets of Cecile's B&C wunderalls, a LW pair, a standard heavy cordura set and a novel coated set for "cold,wet contact zone caving." I could get by fine on the two Meander suits. I also have two sets of bib caving coveralls from Becky Jones at Gonzo Guano Gear, and a stretchy lightweight form-fitting suit :shock: from Beck. Generally I avoid wearing the latter because it is very form-fitting :oops:"

Thanks for sharing the knowledge!



"Finally, I have a Daleswear suit I have very rarely worn, because the other suits seem to work better."

I am suprised to hear that about a Daleswear,all the McMaster cavers swear by the things.What did you not like about them?



" and a stretchy lightweight form-fitting suit :shock: from Beck. Generally I avoid wearing the latter because it is very form-fitting :oops: "

HAH!! I wear a Lycra dive skin as my base and I can relate on the form fitting.I generally hand out complementary packets of eye bleach to fellow cavers :)

I end up looking like a North American shaved panda/manatee cross in neon

"Cave hard!
Dr J[/quote]"

Indeed!
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