Drysuit recommendations for Florida?

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SubNeo

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I dive sidemount exclusively. I use LP50s (the skinny ones in the ice diving photo) for fun stuff when I want redundancy but light tanks. I use my heavier, bigger LP85s for cave/mine diving.

You can dive SM and not be a tech diver, but I do tech.
I kinda like it on my back for now haha
 

Marie13

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lexvil

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I kinda like it on my back for now haha
I don’t do side mount but it appears to have a boat load of benefits over back mount for carrying more than one tank, none of the inherent problem of reaching this or that that back mount doubles present.
 

Divin'Papaw

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I don’t do side mount but it appears to have a boat load of benefits over back mount for carrying more than one tank, none of the inherent problem of reaching this or that that back mount doubles present.

But they're a royal PITA on a rocking boat, especially if you're forced to kit up next to the one sidemount diver holding up the entire boat. They have their place but they are not a panacea and aren't the right tool in all situations.
 

lexvil

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But they're a royal PITA on a rocking boat, especially if you're forced to kit up next to the one sidemount diver holding up the entire boat. They have their place but they are not a panacea and aren't the right tool in all situations.
Nothing is the right tool in all situations…
 

drk5036

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I first bought a hollis neotek semidry, and then a seaskin drysuit. I dive in northern Japan, where the water ranges from about 10 C (50 f) in the late spring when we start diving, up to about 23 C (73 f) in the peak of summer. It would be possible for me to use the semidry for this entire range, but honestly it wouldn't be comfortable. Down to about 17 C (62 f) the semidry works well, but you do need to mitigate cooling on the surface interval, it's a PITA to get into, and the second dive is going to feel significantly colder. IMO semidry's work better for one long dive. Also, the compression is extremely noticeable. When you start the dive you feel super buoyant, and unless you overweight yourself descending is a struggle (I usually swim down the first few meters). After about 5-10 meters of depth, the suit compresses and suddenly you feel like you're descending like a rock! It was shocking for me to experience the first time.

Shortly after I bought my semidry, I ended up buying my seaskin compressed neoprene drysuit. It cost me about 300 dollars more than the semidry, but I like it more. by changing what I wear underneath, I can dive all year around with it here, and actually be comfortable in all conditions. You also don't need to spend a huge amount on undergarments like some people say. I bought the seaskin 150 g undergarments for the coldest temperatures, but above that I either use a bare exoskin (basically their version of lavacore/sharkskin) or just thin wool base layers in the warmest conditions. The buoyancy characteristics are also much easier to work with, because the suit itself doesn't change buoyancy, you just aim to maintain a constant volume of air in the suit, and vent when you ascend.

I also think that in really hot conditions, having 8 mm of neoprene on and waiting to dive is awful. By comparison a drysuit is thinner and doesn't bother me as much.
 
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I first bought a hollis neotek semidry, and then a seaskin drysuit. I dive in northern Japan, where the water ranges from about 10 C (50 f) in the late spring when we start diving, up to about 23 C (73 f) in the peak of summer. It would be possible for me to use the semidry for this entire range, but honestly it wouldn't be comfortable. Down to about 17 C (62 f) the semidry works well, but you do need to mitigate cooling on the surface interval, it's a PITA to get into, and the second dive is going to feel significantly colder. IMO semidry's work better for one long dive. Also, the compression is extremely noticeable. When you start the dive you feel super buoyant, and unless you overweight yourself descending is a struggle (I usually swim down the first few meters). After about 5-10 meters of depth, the suit compresses and suddenly you feel like you're descending like a rock! It was shocking for me to experience the first time.

Shortly after I bought my semidry, I ended up buying my seaskin compressed neoprene drysuit. It cost me about 300 dollars more than the semidry, but I like it more. by changing what I wear underneath, I can dive all year around with it here, and actually be comfortable in all conditions. You also don't need to spend a huge amount on undergarments like some people say. I bought the seaskin 150 g undergarments for the coldest temperatures, but above that I either use a bare exoskin (basically their version of lavacore/sharkskin) or just thin wool base layers in the warmest conditions. The buoyancy characteristics are also much easier to work with, because the suit itself doesn't change buoyancy, you just aim to maintain a constant volume of air in the suit, and vent when you ascend.

I also think that in really hot conditions, having 8 mm of neoprene on and waiting to dive is awful. By comparison a drysuit is thinner and doesn't bother me as much.
Main concern would be the amount of money spent to get the drysuit, weights, undergarments, and appropriate training versus just buying a "7mm" with some waterproofing to the seals which would only require a little additional weight.

Plus I'm still under 20 dives, but I absolutely hate the cold. Hence why I'm thinking out in advance once the temperature starts to dip.
 

drk5036

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Main concern would be the amount of money spent to get the drysuit, weights, undergarments, and appropriate training versus just buying a "7mm" with some waterproofing to the seals which would only require a little additional weight.

Plus I'm still under 20 dives, but I absolutely hate the cold. Hence why I'm thinking out in advance once the temperature starts to dip.
I'd be tempted to try getting a 5 mm wetsuit, and an additional 5 mm hooded vest and pair them and see if it works. 5 mm wetsuits are super versatile. When I was diving in the last december before covid in the Philippines, I was a little bit cold in a 3 mm and would have preferred to have a 5 mm...you can basically use them in any water temp without overheating...it's just not that much neoprene. It also doesn't have the huge buoyancy swings you'll notice with a 7 or 8 mm wetsuit. Paired with a 5 mm hooded vest, it might get you through the coldest weeks. You'd also have flexibility to wear the 5 mm hooded vest with your current 3 mm wetsuit for some extra warmth.

My overall feeling is that a 7/8 mm wetsuit lacks versatility. A drysuit can be used in many conditions. A 5 mm wetsuit paired with a hood also can be used in many conditions. You aren't going to want to travel with a 7/8 mm wetsuit, and in Florida outside of the coldest few weeks it probably won't be necessary.
 
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SubNeo

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I'd be tempted to try getting a 5 mm wetsuit, and an additional 5 mm hooded vest and pair them and see if it works. 5 mm wetsuits are super versatile. When I was diving in the last december before covid in the Philippines, I was a little bit cold in a 3 mm and would have preferred to have a 5 mm...you can basically use them in any water temp without overheating...it's just not that much neoprene. It also doesn't have the huge buoyancy swings you'll notice with a 7 or 8 mm wetsuit. Paired with a 5 mm hooded vest, it might get you through the coldest weeks. You'd also have flexibility to wear the 5 mm hooded vest with your current 3 mm wetsuit for some extra warmth.

My overall feeling is that a 7/8 mm wetsuit lacks versatility. A drysuit can be used in many conditions. A 5 mm wetsuit paired with a hood also can be used in many conditions. You aren't going to want to travel with a 7/8 mm wetsuit, and in Florida outside of the coldest few weeks it probably won't be necessary.
Seems to be an economical decision as well to go 5mm; haven't heard of hooded vests before.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/
https://xf2.scubaboard.com/community/forums/cave-diving.45/

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