Cave Diving. Wet, or Dry. Pros/Cons

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Jack Hammer

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Dual bladder wings are a mixed bag. I'm not a fan of them. They add bulk, clutter, and potential failure points. With most those I've seen dove the second inflator isn't even hooked up, so it's fairly useless. They can offer redundancy when properly used and maintained. Research pros and cons and make up your own mind.
 

The Chairman

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With most those I've seen dove the second inflator isn't even hooked up,
Never ever dive with the second inflator 'hooked up'. It's a backup and should be manual inflate only.

Both of my bladders fit in the same shell. There is no extra bulk or complexity. In fact, most people have no idea that I'm diving dual bladders.
 

tursiops

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Dual bladder wings are a mixed bag. I'm not a fan of them. They add bulk, clutter, and potential failure points. With most those I've seen dove the second inflator isn't even hooked up, so it's fairly useless. They can offer redundancy when properly used and maintained. Research pros and cons and make up your own mind.
I suspect a dry suit adds more potential failure points -- including loss of warmth -- than does a second bladder.
 

NAM001

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I would say do it dry'. I had a wing blow in madison blue around 400 ft in. should have followed my instinct and the rules of thumb i had always been told. do it in a dry suit when diving doubles. I didnt and i crawled out. dry suit would have made all the difference.
 

hroark2112

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I did my cave course in a 3mm wetsuit and a 5 mm wetsuit, with the exception of the 4 hours at Peacock I did in a rental 3/2 wetsuit. After 4 hours I was starting to get cold.

I’m planning on switching to dry for the backup redundancy. I’m fine in a 3mm in 72° water but with the rebreather and 2 80’s I’m still a bit negative.
 

NAM001

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I dive wet, for the simplicity. 7mm plus a 3/5 hooded vest. None of the caves I dive are deep enough to worry about suit compression.
;out of curiosity how deep are your caves. you loose about 70% of lift at 60 ft. thats a lot of lift with a 5-7 m suit
 

ScubaSam

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I dive dry whenever I cave dive, even in the summer in FL. I'm not dressing for the HOT FL summer temps, I'm dressing for the cave water temps of 72 degrees. Madison and Marianna caves are a tad colder at 68 degrees.
 

vinegarbiscuit

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I got cave certified in Florida in a 7 mm wetsuit...in January. Big mistake. My energy was so sapped by the cold, that I went to bed every night at 7 PM with every blanket in the house on me. Floridians always dive with steel tanks due to the deeper average depths of the caves, and obviously, a wetsuit and steel tanks are a bad combination. Yes, donning a drysuit on the surface in summer is awful, and they’re expensive to boot, but once you start staging and accumulating some deco obligations, the wetsuit’s limitations become apparent very quickly. I wouldn’t dive in a wetsuit anymore if you paid me...that extends to Mexico, too, where my husband and I both live and dive. True, the water is warmer here, especially when you factor in the halocline, and the shallow depths render deco a rare occurrence, but it’s easy to make 3-4 hour dives with a stage or two, and a wetsuit just won’t do.
 

boulderjohn

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I honestly don't recall where I read it.....I was under the impression that dual bladder wings were frowned upon in Cave diving. Maybe, it was someone's opinion.
There are 2 agencies I know of that absolutely do frown on dual bladder wings for all diving, especially cave diving. I was originally trained with one, and it took me a long time to overcome that bias.

Quite a few years ago I was cave diving in Mexico, and I brought my doubles wing, which was usually used with big LP 108s. It was too big for the AL 80 doubles we were using (the taco effect makes it hard to dump air), so the guide I was using had me try the smaller wing she had just purchased used from another dive guide. It worked great until we were near the end of the dive and starting to ascend. I reached back to dump some air, and the entire dump valve broke off. Fortunately, we were ascending slightly for the rest of the dive and had room to maneuver, and I could keep air in the upper part of the wing by going out of trim, with my shoulders above my hips.

On another occasion I was diving with another cave diver (extremely experienced) in Twin Cave in the Mill Pond in Marianna, Florida. That is a very silty cave, where buoyancy control is critical. My buddy's shoulder dump started leaking, and we could not repair it. We called the dive, and he worked his way back while continually playing with his wing inflation.
 
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