Drysuit recommendations for Florida?

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Divin'Papaw

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Seems to be an economical decision as well to go 5mm; haven't heard of hooded vests before.

Several of us have spoken about hooded vests on this thread. They are incredibly helpful to layer with a wetsuit to add additional warm.

This is the one I use and absolutely love. I can layer it under my 3mm or my 5mm as the conditions warrant.

 

drk5036

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Several of us have spoken about hooded vests on this thread. They are incredibly helpful to layer with a wetsuit to add additional warm.

This is the one I use and absolutely love. I can layer it under my 3mm or my 5mm as the conditions warrant.

I’d personally go with something a little more robust, like this: Henderson Thermoprene Pro Men's 5/3mm Hooded Vest

In my experience hooded vests don’t dramatically influence your buoyancy characteristics but can provide a lot of warmth.
 

Divin'Papaw

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I’d personally go with something a little more robust, like this: Henderson Thermoprene Pro Men's 5/3mm Hooded Vest

In my experience hooded vests don’t dramatically influence your buoyancy characteristics but can provide a lot of warmth.

A little more robust? In what way? Have you used any Sharkskin products? You see their products alot in Florida. They are really exceptional. I also have a Fourth Element hooded vest which is my backup. I like it almost as much as the Sharkskin. I've used neoprene hooded vests as well and honestly, I far prefer the Sharkskin/Fourth Elements products.

Regardless, hooded vests are an excellent way to add warm to any wetsuit.
 

drk5036

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A little more robust? In what way? Have you used any Sharkskin products? You see their products alot in Florida. They are really exceptional. I also have a Fourth Element hooded vest which is my backup. I like it almost as much as the Sharkskin. I've used neoprene hooded vests as well and honestly, I far prefer the Sharkskin/Fourth Elements products.

Regardless, hooded vests are an excellent way to add warm to any wetsuit.
I have a lavacore vest and a bare exowear full suit. I think the lavacore vest has a strange fit, I don’t like it. The bare exowear is great, but I don’t find it to be quite as warm as a 3 mm suit. For heat retention purposes I think neoprene is superior but it also comes with requiring a lot of weight to offset. Personally I feel the neutrally buoyant garments are better for warm water.
 

Divin'Papaw

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Personally I feel the neutrally buoyant garments are better for warm water.

... like what we have here in Southeast Florida. :wink:

I mean let's be real, regardless of how much we like to whine about cold water in Florida, it's not cold water!! At least not in South FL. Low 70s all winter with occasional dips into the upper 60s is NOT cold.

I've found both the Fourth Element and Sharkskin neutrally buoyant hooded vests both more comfortable and warmer underneath a wetsuit in the water temps we have here in FL. They are easier to get on and off as well which can't be overstated. How many times have we seen a diver on a boat "stuck" in their hooded vest with it half way over their heads and their arms in the air calling out for assistance?!! I can chicken wing my way out of my Sharkskin in about 3 seconds.

But I digress. Key message to the OP is that a hooded vest is very much worth considering.
 

CosbySweater

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Key message to the OP is that a hooded vest is very much worth considering.
Agreed! I wear mine in the summer under a 3mil just because it's comfortable and I'm used to it. It's one of those things that once you start wearing one, it's weird to not wear one.
 

Divin'Papaw

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Agreed! I wear mine in the summer under a 3mil just because it's comfortable and I'm used to it. It's one of those things that once you start wearing one, it's weird to not wear one.

The first time you don't wear one and you get that cold trickle down your back as the water starts to intrude ... it gives you chills even in warm water! The only times I'm not in a hooded vest is when the water is around 84-85 and warmer. Other than that I always wear one either under my 3mm or my 5mm.
 

Divin'Papaw

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0_0 what?! Why are you saying they are good if people have had "near death experiences" with them?!

LOL. He’s being a bit facetious. The neoprene ones can be hard to get off without help. One reason I prefer the ones made out of neutrally buoyant material. They’re easier to get off.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/
https://xf2.scubaboard.com/community/forums/cave-diving.45/

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